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Club Law and Management

by Philip Smith, Secretary of the A.C.C.

Questions and Answers

ClubLaw and Management

by Philip Smith, Secretary of the A.C.C.

Questions and Answers

Q. We have come across a membership problem and I would be obliged to have your view on it. An ex-member applied to rejoin the Club after a lengthy absence. The selection process was duly followed and he was 'passed' by the selection committee. When his name came before the full committee for ratification, a committee member mentioned that he had seen the person delivering leaflets on behalf of another political party prior to the recent elections and that he had also signed the nomination papers of a non Conservative candidate.
A letter was then sent to the applicant asking him to re-appear before the next selection committee to explain the apparent conflict, bearing in mind that he had signed the portion of the application form stating that he supported the Conservative Party. The applicant wrote back to say that, amongst other things he would withdraw his application.
The problem now arises that he is a member of a neighbouring Conservative Club and has taken to coming into this club via his Inter Affiliation Ticket. Can he be banned from using theClub as either an IA Ticket holder or a member's guest? Should the Committee inform the neighbouring club of his apparent conflict of interest?

A. The person in question has not been elected to membership although due to his withdrawal of application it could not accurately
be said that he is a failed candidate, since no voting actually took place. However, putting that technicality to one side, this person has no right of entry as a member’s guest and if he is refused entry as a member’s
guest the Committee do not have
to give any explanation for this
As an IA Ticket holder he has
no automatic right of entry to your
club under the rules and regulations governing the IA Ticket scheme and if the Committee do decide to ask him to no longer visit the Club then, again, you are not obliged to give any reason.
I think the Committee should ask him not to visit the Club in future and consider that it would be entirely in order to inform your
neighbouring club as to why this
decision has been made making
it clear, of course, that all other
IA Ticket holders in their club
continue to be welcome and that
this decision should not be viewed
as a reflection on your club’s
relationship with them.

Q. Further to your report in the July edition of the Magazine. Could you explain the current position in the Linnewebber test case?

A. The case, which revolves around whether HM Revenue and Customs should have to repay the Rank group VAT that it levied on bingo and gaming machines, has recently received a significant amount of press interest. The Government has now lodged yet another appeal against this test case on taxation of the gambling industry in a move that kicks a potentially embarrassing political issue into the long grass until after the General Election. The taxman is taking the case to the Court of Appeal, which will restart another lengthy process.

Q. Is it too late to submit a claim following the Rank Group's success in the High Court last week? So far the Club has done nothing.

A. The deadline was the end of March 2009. I am afraid clubs are now too late to submit a claim.


Q. Could you kindly inform me if there are any rules which prohibit the Club Secretary also being the Treasurer? Our Treasurer has retired and we do not wish to appoint another one at present.

A. By reference to the Club Rules, each individual member. If this was not the case then a club could have the ridiculous situation where one member could, for example hold five or six positions. The constitution of the officers and committee members is clearly set out in the Rules and does not provide for a variation in the total number of office holders.
However, I confirm that if the Secretary is to hold the position of Treasurer as a strictly temporary measure until a suitable candidate can be found and this is agreed by the Committee, then this would be acceptable.
I am obliged to point out that in any system of financial control there must always be a check and balance. The two offices involved are key to this financial control and not only would the Secretary not wish to be put in this position but I am also sure the Committee would wish to avoid setting a precedent for the future.