Q1 - 2.20.1 “A club must promote participation in an eligible sport using any gains for further promotion. The provision of facilities does not amount to the promotion of participation in sport”.
2.20.4 “Some clubs have the main purpose of providing social leisure facilities. If this is the case they will not be able to register for CASC’s because these are principally places for people to meet for social purposes even though some sporting activities take place”.
Does the Board not think that this facilities’ main purpose currently is, and should continue to be that of 2.20.4?
A1 – The Board believe the current company meets the requirements of 2.20.1 for the following reasons:
The name of the Company is Woodland Glade Sports Management Ltd, implying that the primary purpose of the company is sporting in nature;
A number of different sporting activities are actively promoted through the auspices of the Club;
We have invested over the years in improving our infrastructure with the aim of increasing further the range of sporting activities that can take place.
The Board recognises that there is a leisure element to the provision of services that are currently made available and that a small number of members only use them for this purpose. We recognise that there is a risk of subsequent challenge that the Club’s activities are covered under 2.20.4, but we believe most members and existing guests use the centre primarily for sporting purposes. Consequently, we are confident that our primary aim is to encourage the sporting participation of our members.
Q2 - What is the criteria for becoming a sporting activity member? Is there a membership fee to pay?
A2 – The only criteria for becoming a sporting activity members is that an individual has signed up to take part in a sporting activity run in the Club. There is no specific membership fee to pay to become a sporting member. Sporting activity members will continue to pay the fees they are charged to take part in the relevant activities.
Q3 - Currently guest members take part in sporting activities, would they be required to become a ‘sporting activity member’? What would that mean regarding chances/charges etc.?
A3 – Guest members will be a separate category of membership. Guest members will continue to be signed in by full members with payment of the relevant guest fee. Provided they are accompanied by the full member, guest members will have access to the club facilities, except for the gym, on the day they are signed in on.
Q4 - Paragraph 3(D) within the proposed M&A changes dictate, membership must be non-discriminatory and costed on a fair basis. Currently activity suppliers/organisers/instructors have control over who engages in classes, how many, how much they charge and even if they provide free classes. How will that change to satisfy CASC?
A4 – There will be no requirement to change any of the current arrangements in place for the purposes of CASC membership.
Q5 - HMRC require evidence. How will that be sourced and who will source it?
A5 – Full details of how this monitoring will operate have yet to be defined and agreed. It is anticipated that sporting instructors will be asked to keep records of attendance at their activities, which can then be made available to the Board at agreed intervals or on specific request. It should be noted that the Board is yet to hold discussion with instructors on whether this approach is feasible.
Q6 - HMRC – CASC Status 5.1 - 5.5.1 “A CASC can never be asked to be deregistered and an application cannot be withdrawn once it has been sent to HMRC”.
5.1.3 “Once accepted your club will remain a CASC until;
A: your club is closed / wound up
B: HMRC deregister
C: Or members vote to close the club and transfer to a registered charity”
HMRC – CASC Deregistration 6.1
6.1.1 “A club can’t simply ask to be removed.”
6.1.7 “HMRC can deregister a club from any date of its choosing so it would be possible to choose the date of original registration”.
“Any tax refunds or exemptions would be withdrawn”.
If it was deemed false information had been provided backdated costs could follow.
In light of the above, how can the board be satisfied that they could get out as easily as they state?
A6 – The Board believe that by amending the M&A in the manner proposed that we would meet the current CASC rules. In the event that either our rules were changed subsequently in a way that meant we no longer met the CASC rules then we would write to HMRC to make them aware we were no longer entitled to be registered as a CASC member. The provision of 6.13 would then apply, with the potential tax charge on the assets of the company as at the date that we failed to meet the requirements of the scheme. Where HMRC change the rules, as they have recently done, a provision was included that allowed clubs that could not meet the new requirements to exit the scheme without incurring a tax charge. While we can’t guarantee that a similar approach would be taken, HMRC has established a precedent that we would expect future rule changes to follow.
Q7 - This Board may be pursuing this idea with all good intentions, but amending the M&A as proposed would leave any future Boards, whether it be in 1, 5, or 10 years the legal opportunity to read the amendments to suit a host of host of possible different membership categories.
Has the Board considered this? And if so, how can the current Board guarantee that future detrimental changes will not be made?
A7 – The Board has considered this possibility, but concluded that there is no effective way to impose a restriction on a future Board’s authority to increase the types of membership available. One idea that was debated was the inclusion of a new rule that would require change of membership categories to be subject to approval of full members. However, the rules of the Club are not subject to voting provisions, so it was decided that such a rule would be superficial with no real practical effect, and so the idea was dropped. There is therefore a risk that future Boards may look to make further changes that would be deemed unacceptable at this point in time.
Q8 - The Board has a mandate to pursue ideas and possibilities and make decisions that are in the best interests of residents. As defined in their individual profiles when seeking election. The Financial aspect of their mandate is only part and should never be always the main decision making criteria.
My personal opinion is that over recent years’ finances appear to have steamrolled most decisions affecting members, to the detriment of resident/Board relations and the fundamental principles of this development.
Can the Board offer any reassurances regarding this issue?
A8 – The Board recognises the rights of individuals to hold opinions, but in this instance it does not agree with the view that “finances have steamrolled most decisions”. While the financial implications of all decisions have to be factored into the decision making process, we would cite the development of the new activity room as just one decision where if the financial return was the key driver, then the build would never have taken place. Instead, a wider perspective was taken and the concept pursued due to the benefits it offered the membership, despite it not offering financial returns that covered the costs.
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