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CLUB LAW & MANAGEMENT

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Is it possible for A.C.C. Clubs to obtain grants either the Government or from the National Lottery in order to fund improvements to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act? Our Club is currently undergoing a refurbishment and we would like to install a lift.

I note that a refurbishment programme is being carried out and that you have raised the question of the possibility of obtaining a grant in order to introduce equipment to provide enhanced disability access.
I am afraid that I do not know of any grants which are available for the purpose you have described since as the Club is not owned by or open to the public, it is almost impossible for public funds to be obtained.
I do not know of any Club or similar organisation which has been able to obtain grant-funding for Disability Discrimination Act improvements, nor do I know of any other Club or organisation that has benefited from Lottery Grants. The reason being in almost every case is that members of the public have no right of admission to a private establishment.
The Club should be aware that whilst a lift or stair lift would be an obvious benefit, there is, of course, no requirement for such equipment to be installed under the Act if the finances are not available to cover the installation of such equipment.
I think you will find the article which I wrote and published in the October 2005 edition of the Magazine which addressed the subject of Disability Discrimination to be of assistance.

 

A Member of our Club Committee has asked why the Local Rugby Club, of which he is a Member, benefits from a preferential rate charged by Sky TV? Is the A.C.C. able to negotiate such a rate for Member Clubs?

I confirm that Clubs affiliated to the R.RU. enjoy a preferential rate with Sky as a result of a centrally negotiated deal between Sky and the R.F.U. You will appreciate, that R.F.U. matches are shown on Sky T.V. and, consequently, they are in a rather better negotiating position than we are. I understand that similar agreements are in place with Cricket Clubs.
Unfortunately, on every occasion the A.C.C., together with other Club Organisations such as ourselves, have approached BskyB the response has been rather negative.
However, I do intend to raise your letter at a future meeting of the Committee of Registered Clubs and Associations (C.O.R.C.A.) in order to obtain the views of other Club Organisations.
I do not think there is any harm in asking BskyB to look again at Private Members' Clubs within the C.O.R.C.A. group as a separate identifiable group with a separate tariff of charges.

 

Our Club President recently died and the Member who came second for this Office at our last Elections in May has contacted me to say that he is now entitled to become Club President. Is this correct?

I note the Club President has recently passed away and that a Member who stood against him at the last Elections has requested that he should now take over the position of Club President.
May I advise you that this person has absolutely no automatic right to be appointed to the vacant President's position.
The vacancy caused by the President's death is deemed to be a casual vacancy and, as such, can be filled by any person appointed by the Committee. It may well be that the Committee decide to appoint the Member who was the unsuccessful candidate but, importantly, the Committee have no obligation to do so.

 

Please find enclosed a copy of a letter received our local Council in which they have raised a question of Club Advertising. We would appreciate your view on this matter

It appears that your local Council are not commenting on the fact that the Club is advertising. The Council is simply giving the Club notice that advertisements promoting the Club must not be displayed or affixed to Council property. It appears that posters advertising an event at the Club had to be removed from 'street furniture'.
The Council have given notice that in the event of any further advertising material being displayed in a similar manner, legal proceedings will be commenced against the Club.
I would suggest that the Club takes care in respect of advertising material and asks any Promoter or Agent of an event not to advertise so carelessly.
Please see the November 2007 edition of the Magazine which includes a specific article on Clubs and Advertising.

 

The Treasurer of our Club has recently reached retirement age and has asked whether he can receive bar tokens which are made available to senior Members of the Club? Some Members of the Committee have argued that the Treasurer is not entitled to receive these, since he receives an Honorarium and is therefore not a Member. I do not think this is correct and would appreciate your opinion.

I confirm the Club Treasurer is not an employee of the Club. He is a Member elected to the position of Treasurer for which he receives an Honorarium. The Honorarium is a voluntary fee for a voluntary service and does not create employed status. Your interpretation of the Rules is correct. The Treasurer is entitled to the same rights and privileges which other Members of his age enjoy.

 

My Wife has recently become an employee of the Club. I would like to know whether this would now prevent me from standing for re-election as Club Secretary? The Committee's opinion is divided.

There is no specific legal restriction on a husband or wife of an employee being prevented from standing for election to office of a Club Committee. However, if elected, such a person may not be involved in any discussion, voting or decision-making in relation to the employment of staff. Such a person would have, of course, a vested interest in these matters.
I confirm that it is correct that most Rules prevent Club employees from either becoming, or remaining, Club Members. Members and employees have specific legal entitlements and the two are incompatible.

 

I have been a Member of my local Conservative Club for 35 years. I was told that I could not gain entrance to the Club on New Year's Eve without paying a £3 fee. I always believed that a room had to be set aside for those who do not wish to pay any entrance fee. Am I correct?

Members do not have an automatic legal right of entry to a Club, and therefore, it is possible for a Club Committee to determine an entrance fee which must be paid in order to gain entry. Such occasions usually apply very infrequently and in most Clubs New Year's Eve is possibly the only day when such a restriction is implemented.
Whilst the view that at least one room should be set aside to accommodate those persons not wishing to pay an entrance fee is a popular view, it is not one with any legal authority.
I trust this information is of assistance to you, although I appreciate that it is not perhaps the answer you were hoping to receive.

 

We are writing to thank you for your recent advice to t e Club during a V A. T. Inspection. We were grateful for your support. We have now received confirmation from the V.A.T. Inspector confirming the following:-

"Firstly, the hire of the rooms is exempt from VAT. Section 10 of Notice 701/5 Clubs and Associations refers.
"Secondly, the membership of the Club is standard rated and additional amounts Members pay to use the snooker room are exempt from VAT. Section 3.5.7 of Notice 701/45 Sport refers.
"Copies of Notices may be downloaded from the HMRC website, www.hmrc.gov.uk or obtained in hard copy form from the National Advice Service Helpline on: 0845 010 9000."

Thank you for taking the trouble of forwarding me a copy of the letter that you received from H.M. Revenue and Customs, Although, I agree the content of the letter is brief, the fact is that the content confirms that the Club is not in breach of any VAT, payment requirements, and indeed, Members hiring the Club rooms will no longer be charged VAT