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Amateur Sports Clubs: Charitable Status

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:43 pm on 30th April 2002.

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Photo of Lord Davies of Oldham Lord Davies of Oldham Government Whip, Lords in Waiting (Whips) 2:43 pm, 30th April 2002

My Lords, the latter was an alternative strategy that was widely canvassed and it had some merit. However, I do not believe that one should underestimate the burden of administration and bureaucracy on clubs applying for that status because the offices of accountants, and so on, would be greatly needed.

Every attempt is being made to streamline the process and to make it far more sensitive to the needs of small organisations such as small sports clubs. Against that background, the advantage of the Charity Commission proposals is that, once the initial application—I recognise that it would involve a cost—had been received, the element of bureaucracy and additional costs would reduce over time. Therefore, there are advantages to sports clubs in those terms.

With regard to the Scottish dimension, we hope to see the same strategy being adopted in Scotland as in England and Wales. I do not believe that anyone would doubt that this is a signal step forward for sports clubs, and the Scots would do well to follow suit.