Students’ Union to hold a referendum over the Sugar debate

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Lancaster University Students’ Union will hold a referendum over the Sugarhouse debate. The decision was made today in a meeting held by the Union’s Board of Executives in a unanimous vote in favour of giving students a say on the sale of the popular nightclub.

This was decided following a presentation given by Jack O’Dwyer-Henry, Labour City Councillor and creator of the ‘Save Our Sugar’ campaign.

He said to the board, ‘The petition on the SU website now has well over 1000 signatures and over 4000 on There has never been an issue which has activated and interested so many students.’

The board also voted unanimously in favour of conducting a General Meeting to discuss the matter, which O’Dwyer-Henry argued would allow for trustees and officers to be held accountable for their decision.

Some of the members of the board in attendance included Student Union President George Nuttall, VP Welfare and Community Grishma Bijukumar, VP Union Development Hannah Prydderch, VP Campaigns and Communications Lewis Marriott and VP Education Bee Morgan. VP Activities, Ben Evans, sent his apologies. Tim Clark, Cartmel JCR President, was also in attendance, as well as PTO’s Womens+ Officer Lydia Moodycliffe, LGBTQ+ Student’s Officer Mitch Boocock, and Students With Disabilities Officer Sarah Pennington.

For the changes to happen, a 10% turnout is required in the referendum, which equates to 450 students. A simple majority, meaning just over 50% of voters, is needed.

Chair of the meeting, Vice President Union Development Hannah Prydderch said, ‘I’d like to thank everyone for coming, I’d like to thank SCAN and LA1TV for getting involved. It’s something I really want to push for this year, making sure the Student’s Union is accountable and transparent. Hopefully, by live streaming and livetweeting this is another step in that process.’

There is no date set currently for the referendum.

This is an ongoing story. 

Update: 18th September 2019, 17:30

An SU spokesperson has confirmed that a referendum will take place, in the following official statement:

Yesterday the Students’ Unions’ Executive Committee discussed a petition asking the Union to rethink its decision to consider a potential sale of the Sugarhouse nightclub it operates in Lancaster. The Executive Committee decided to hold a referendum of the student membership.

SU Spokesperson
Olivia Kenny

Hi! I'm Olivia (but everyone calls me Liv) and I'm the Associate Editor for SCAN for 2019-2020. I was previously the News Editor and have contributed to the section since the beginning of my first year. Now in my third year, SCAN is a huge part of my University life. Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions, I'd love to hear from you!

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