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Highlight Clubs' Charitable Work - Philip Smith

ACC. Secretary, Philip Smith, who is also Chairman of C.O.R.C.A. (The Committee of Registered Clubs Associations) spoke of the challenges facing many clubs in the coming year, when he delivered his annual report to the All Party Parliamentary Clubs Group.

Among those challenges was the smoking ban now in force all over the country.
He said: "l continue to believe that one of the most important roles that C.O.R.C.A. and the Parliamentary Group have to play is to promote better understanding of the special needs that Private Members’ Clubs have.

"There are many people who have spent a great number of hours lobbying various Government Departments simply to have basic issues relating to Clubs separated from matters that would normally apply to the commercial world"

Mr Smith spoke of the concerns that Clubs had over the use of lottery machines on their premises and the fear that the new rules would have another negative impact on Clubs at a time when they would also be suffering financially from the effects of the smoking ban.

He pointed out that income from lottery machies had been a lifeline which had replaced income lost from declining membership.

Mr Smith emphasised that Clubs continued to be involved in charitable, social and community activities and he felt that C.O.R.C.A. needed to do more to highlight the work which Clubs did for "good causes". Often this part of clubs’ activities went unnoticed and unreported.

Everyone involved with the Club movement wasconcerned by a recent B.B.C. survey which revealed that as many as 20 per cent of Clubs face possible closure because of the recent increased regulations. These, often, had a less dramatic effect on the commercial end of the leisure industry.

He reminded all Parliamentarians at the meeting that there was not a single constituency that did not have at least one Club that was affiliated to C.O.R.C.A. This year three more Club organisations would be invited to join the Committee.
Mr Smith declared; “We shall continue to be positive about the important role which Clubs play within their communities.

"To achieve this we must also continue to voice the concerns of our member Clubs and create a better understanding of the unique nature of our activities."
He expressed the gratitude of all the groups that made up C.O.R.C .A, for the support received from the All Party Parliamentary Group.