July policy update

Policy type: 
Publish date: 
Mon, 30/07/2012

1. Sport and recreation in the community

1.1 New grants for community groups

The Community Right to Challenge grant programme is open for applications, and is set to invest £10.5 million in community groups so that they can run local services more effectively.

Grants of between £5,000 and £10,000 are on offer to organisations that can demonstrate strong potential to compete for public service delivery contracts.

Visit the My Community Rights website to find out more.

1.2 Good news for Community Amateur Sports Clubs

The Home Office has published its response to the secondary legislation consultation for the late night levy and early morning restriction orders (EMROs).

The Alliance’s view
The Alliance asked for local authorities to exempt Community Amateur Sports Clubs from the late night levy, and the Home Office has backed community sport by doing just that.

Visit the Home Office website to read the response in greater detail.

2. Select committee inquiries

2.1 The 2005 Gambling Act: A good bet?

The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee has published a report into the Gambling Act 2005, focusing on its implementation, the role of the Gambling Commission and the regulatory challenges posed by online gambling.

The Alliance’s view
It is good to see recommendations that the Government acts on its proposals to licence overseas operators as soon as possible, and no later than 2014.

Less welcome however was the committee’s assertion that the Gambling Commission’s work in the area of sports betting integrity was ‘mission creep’ and that it should remain the responsibility of national governing bodies.

The Gambling Commission has the resources and expertise to monitor markets, collect intelligence and conduct investigations that governing bodies simply do not have.

The Alliance and Sports Betting Group will continue to push for a framework that is robust enough to meet the requirements of the sector.

For more information on sports betting or the Sports Betting Group contact David Foster.

2.2 The Government’s alcohol strategy

The Health Select Committee has published its review of the Government’s alcohol strategy. Most notably for sport, it recommends a review of the French Loi Evin legislation, which includes a ban on sponsorship and advertising at sports matches.

The Alliance’s view
The Alliance gave written evidence to the committee outlining the importance of the relationship between alcohol sponsorship and sport. Unlike tobacco, which has already seen a sponsorship and advertising ban, grassroots sport and alcohol sponsorship are inherently linked.

The average sponsorship received by a grassroots club is larger than the average surplus a club creates, so the value to grassroots sport of sponsorship should not be underestimated. Governing bodies also have deals with alcohol suppliers which allow further investment in grassroots.

The Alliance is currently in a series of discussions with the Portman Group to ensure that alcohol industry codes of conduct are suitable for sports rights owners, and will continue to emphasise the value of sponsorship within the sector.

The full review can be found on the Parliament website.

3. Consultations

3.1 Richard Review of apprenticeships

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is reviewing apprenticeships in England and has appointed ex-Dragon’s Den entrepeneur Doug Richard to lead the review. The review aims to:

  • take a medium to long term look at the future of apprenticeships in England
  • deliver the qualifications and skills which employers need, to world class benchmarks
  • ensure that government is maximising the impact of public investment in apprenticeships
  • identify best practice and ensure that going forward, apprenticeships meet the needs of the changing economy.

The Alliance’s view
Many sports run apprenticeships, and it will be important to promote the value of non-traditional apprenticeships in an industry-oriented report.

The Alliance will respond to the consultation and welcomes your thoughts.

Full detail can be found on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills website.

3.2 Scottish Parliament examines community sport

The Health and Sport Committee in Scotland has launched an inquiry into community sport with three key themes: the contribution of volunteers to local sport; the benefit of clubs to the health agenda; and the accessibility, affordability and quality of facilities.

A detailed set of questions has been listed on the Scottish Parliament website, and the deadline for submission is 17 August. For more information on how this consultation might affect you, visit the Alliance’s consultation tracker or contact Simon Butler.

3.3 Is sport making the most of its intellectual property?

The Ofcom consultation on the Digital Economy Act has just closed and the Alliance has put in a brief response highlighting areas which affect sport.

The Alliance’s view
More and more sport is being consumed online, and piracy poses a threat to sport’s intellectual property. The advent of new technology provides threats for sport, but new business models will also provide opportunities.

If you would like to learn more about intellectual property in sport let the Alliance know and we will consider bringing the experts together to discuss the issues in more detail.

3.4 Child performance licensing

The Alliance continues its work with the Department for Education (DfE) to ensure that new child performance licensing requirements do not adversely impact the sport and recreation sector.

The proposals will affect the sport and dance sectors of our membership in particular, and the Alliance held two roundtables with members and the DfE to examine the proposals.

The Alliance’s view
For sport it is important that safeguarding standards aren’t reinvented and that the definition of paid youngsters does not impact elite pathways. For dance, it is important that no extra levels of bureaucracy are added for amateur performances.

The consultation deadline is 3 August, and the Alliance’s work will continue behind the scenes to ensure the sector benefits. More details can be found at the Alliance’s consultation tracker.

To contribute to the Alliance’s response, contact Simon Butler.

3.5 Active people

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport and Sport England are proposing to bring together the Taking Part and Active People surveys for a single set of sport results.

The Alliance’s view
The Active People Survey provides good longitudinal date showing participation in the UK. With improvements in technology, however, more could be done to survey people online and through mobile phones, which is particularly important for young participants.

The Alliance would also like to see more questions specific to national governing bodies so that they could use it as a service to gain access to data that particularly helps them to progress and improve on their work.

The 8 August deadline is fast approaching, so let the Alliance know if you have anything to add to its response by emailing Simon Butler.

4. Outdoor pursuit policy changes

4.1 Independent panel on forestry

The independent panel on forestry has delivered its final recommendations on the future of England’s forests, which Defra will make its official response to in January 2013.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance has been working closely with the adventure activity sector during this process.

The Alliance’s view
Positive recommendations include:

  • Give as many people as possible access to forests and woodlands
  • Increase the percentage of managed woodland from 50 to 80 per cent by 2022
  • Free the public estate from political interference
  • Allow forestry services to become a public body with powers to champion forests
  • Provide greater support for community groups
  • Local health and wellbeing boards should invest in local access to woodlands
  • Education authorities should reconnect children with nature.

However, there is:

  • No recognition or recommendation to increase statutory rights of access
  • No recognition or recommendation to increase sporting events
  • No recommendation to incentivise private landowners to increase access.

The Alliance will respond to the report on behalf of and in consultation with its members. The final report is available on the Defra website. For further information contact Martin Key.

4.2 Adventure licensing proposals ‘paused’

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is delaying plans to abolish the Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA), to allow further consultation on the most effective way of regulating the industry.

This means that for the time being, adventure activity providers covering caving, climbing, trekking and water sports must continue to buy a valid licence to conduct their business.

The Alliance’s view
The HSE was tasked with creating a code of practice to replace statutory licensing. However the sector deemed this ‘not fit for purpose’. Although the Alliance is not certain, this is likely to be the reason for the ‘pause’ in the abolition process.

However the adventure activity sector is clear that some form of on-the-ground inspection for adventure activity providers to ensure good safety management is needed, and the Alliance will continue to work with stakeholders to find a satisfactory resolution.

For further information contact Martin Key.

4.3 Coastal access debate in the House of Lords

On 12 July members of the House of Lords highlighted the importance of widening access to the nation's coastline.

Peers welcomed proposals by Natural England to implement the full route set out in the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, and called on the government to give plans "full-hearted support".

Other speakers echoed concerns about the delay in the timetable for completion of the English coastal path. Lord Knight of Weymouth also argued that Natural England's budget cut of over 20% left it "struggling to promote public access or leisure opportunities”.

In response, environment minister Lord Taylor of Holbeach confirmed Natural England had already started preparations on 19 miles of English coast, and said there was "no lack of government will to implement the coastal access programme."

Read the full transcript of the debate at the Parliament website.

5. Parliament

5.1 Who is your parliamentarian of the year?

The nomination process for the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s second Sports Parliamentarian of the Year award is now underway.

All sport and recreation clubs, governing bodies and organisations are invited to nominate a member of the House of Commons or the House of Lords for this year’s award.

The final shortlist of candidates will be considered by a formal judging panel, with the overall winner being announced at a dinner in the Palace of Westminster in December.

There will also be an opportunity for the winner to be joined at the awards event in the House of Commons by the national governing body, club and/or individual who has nominated them.

To put forward your politician of choice download the Alliance’s nomination form and return it before 5pm on 7 September 2012. Further information can be found on the Alliance’s website.

6. Research

6.1 Economic impact of the Olympics

New research on the economic impact of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games calculates that in the 12 years following them being awarded to London they will provide a £16.5 billion contribution to UK GDP.

The research also proposes that there will be a significant boost in foreign tourism following the Games, with a net increase in tourist visits of 10.8 million over the same period.

The Alliance’s view
Written by Oxford Economics and commissioned by Lloyds Banking Group, the report considers activity that would have happened regardless or that might not have happened as a result of the Games and there is a balanced and robust approach to the report.

From a legacy perspective the report considers the impact on the labour market and physical environment but sadly, changes in sporting participation have not been included because doing so would require considerable speculation and make it difficult to produce estimates of any real credibility.

You can view the full report on the Lloyds Bank website.




To receive the Sport and Recreation Alliance’s free daily sports news summary, a round-up of the day’s most interesting and informative news articles on sport and recreation, including links to original sources, email info@sportandrecreation.org.uk