Global Edition

Furore over new 19th hole fees

12.05am 6th January 2005 - Management Topics

The National Golf Clubs Advisory Association is piling pressure on the authorities to rethink proposals that will mean massive financial costs to thousands of amateur sports clubs up and down the country. The Central Council of Physical Recreation (CCPR) has added its voice to the campaign.
Michael Shaw, national secretary of the NGCAA said, “The average golf club currently pays £15 over 5 years to run a bar, but these proposals mean that in February clubs could face fees of up to £725 in the first year of the new regime, and £225 thereafter.
“The way of calculating how much clubs will pay is unfair because it’s based on premises‘ rateable value. This means that golf clubs will be categorized as commercial premises even though the vast majority of them are not-for-profit organizations.
“It’s nonsense to implement such draconian measures because the area used by a golf club for the sale and supply of alcohol is tiny in proportion to the total area on which rateable value is assessed.”
The NGCAA says the legislation is mainly about public order problems arising from excess drinking in town centre pubs and clubs and says golf clubs will end up subsidising the big pub chains which should shoulder the responsibility:
“Drinking at the 19th hole is only a small portion of club activity and is used mainly to encourage social participation and to raise much-needed funds for the club. Complying with the proposals will be costly. Our members are quite rightly worried about the impact of this,” added Shaw.
The CCPR is the umbrella body for 270 national governing and representative bodies of sport and recreation. Its role is to represent and promote the interests of voluntary sector sport and recreation. Margaret Talbot, CCPR chief executive, said, “Community sports clubs are finding themselves increasingly under threat from burgeoning regulation. Millions of volunteers, who give up their time to run local sport and recreation clubs, are becoming completely demoralised by excessive administrative and financial burdens. We seek urgent Government action to ensure that local sports clubs, which are the backbone of sports provision in this country, are not damaged by the proposed licensing fees.”

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