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November 2006

Questions and Answers

What is the law regarding Clubs and serving members of armed forces`? I am told by one of our 'barrack room lawyers' that serving members on production of a warrant card can gain admittance. This is without signing-in or paying any entry fee.

I confirm the belief that serving members of H.M. Armed Forces may enter a Club on the production of an Identity Card without signing in, or paying an entrance fee, is an `urban myth' without any foundation in law.

The fact is, that a member of H.M. Armed Forces has no right of entry to your Club. It may be that such a person would have some affiliation rights in respect of the Royal British Legion, but in short, this has nothing to do with our Clubs.

 

Is it illegal for glass washers to dry glasses using a tea towel, and is it true that a glass washing machine must now be used. We would like to stay with the tea towel as we have had no complaints about our glasses or beer, but we have had complaints from members who use other pubs and clubs where glass washers are used, and from the bar staff who have to wash up.

I have looked carefully into the matter which you have raised and confirm there is no mandatory/legal requirement to use a glass washer.

However, any washing up routine must be hygienic and should include a wash with detergent and a rinse in clean water. There is a recommendation that glasses are left to `air dry' but it seems that using a tea towel is also acceptable.

The completion of a Risk Assessment is likely to identify washing up as a potential contamination of food risk. It is recognised that glass washers are more efficient and more likely to eliminate contamination risks.

 

Further to our telephone conversation. I am writing to ask whether it would be possible for me to remain as the elected Secretary of the Club whilst being paid a wage for carrying out this work. I do not want to give up my membership, since I give up this more than being paid.

During our conversation I outlined the conflict which can occur when members either become or remain employees, and in addition. [ referred you to the Club's Rules which prevent employees from becoming members, or vice versa.

The fact is, that all employees have employment rights and members have membership rights. The two do not, unfortunately, mix.
However, it would be perfectly in order under the terms of your Club Rules for you to receive an Honorarium for the work which you do on behalf of the Club. An Honorarium does not constitute a salary, and, therefore, no employment relationship will exist between you and the Club. It would be possible for the Committee to agree an annual rate of Honorarium which could be paid to you on a monthly basis, in recognition of your work. Honorarium is subject to PAYE in the normal way, but as I have pointed out above, does not provide employment rights and will mean that you are not subject to the terms of the Rules 1 referred to above.

 

Am I correct in saying that since the new licensing laws came into effect all Conservative Clubs must hold an AGM every year ie every 12 months and not held over?

I confirm that the mandatory requirement for a Club to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) has in fact, not been carried through from the Licensing Act 1964 to the Licensing Act 2003. However, it is considered that the absence of any procedure whereby an AGM is held, would be contrary to the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003 under which the Members are required to be given reports concerning the Club's activities and in particular giving information to the Members regarding the finances of the Club.

In addition, all Club Rules provide for the holding of an AGM and the new Club Premises Certificates have been granted on the basis that Clubs are managed in accordance with their Rules. Consequently. Clubs must carry out an AGM each year. However, there are occasions when more than 12 months may elapse between AGMs which normally result from audited accounts being late.

 

Please see below a copy of our letter to Customs House. We note that the Chancellor has yet again increased the licence for our fruit machine. Having projected the takings from the machine, together with the costs, i.e., rental, licence, Magistrates registration, insurance and the cost of running the machine over the next year, we shall make a loss on the machine of over £70. The supplier of our machine informs me that many clubs are in the same position. particularly in Scotland with the effects of the smoking ban. Should this trend continue. then we shall have to consider returning the machine and licence.

The point that you have made is very relevant. I have no doubt that HMRC will state that whilst the Licence Fees for 5p and 10p per play machines have increased, the Duty for 20p machines has reduced.

Consequently. there will be both winners and losers. which seems an appropriate phrase to use in view of the subject matter. In addition, to the Licence Duty there will be Annual Fees payable to operate Gaming Machines under the new Gambling Act which is due to come into force next year, replacing the current Gaming Machine Registration Magistrates' Courts. You will see tha covered this matter January 2006 edition of our Magazine.