September Policy Update

Policy type: 
Publish date: 
Fri, 30/09/2011

POLICY UPDATE September 2011

1.    The Good News

1.1 DCMS to remove entertainment licences for indoor sport competition

The Department for Culture Media and Sport has announced its intention to remove the requirement for an entertainment licence for indoor sports events held at venues with under 5,000 spectators.

The consultation proposes that boxing exhibitions, and events of a similar nature, should in general continue to be licensed. However, DCMS will also consider whether events recognised by boxing and wrestling governing bodies could also get an exemption. The consultation will also look at other similar disciplines such as martial arts to see whether they should fall in the same category as boxing and wrestling. 

How you can help:

Most indoor sports should welcome this removal of bureaucracy and the Alliance suggests governing bodies provide a simple response backing DCMS’s proposals. The sports which may still be covered by licensing should also make their voice heard both directly through the consultation and by inputting into the Alliance’s response. You can respond to the consultation o remove entertainment licences for indoor sport competition here.  Or find out more from the Alliance through David on

1.2 DCLG changes Best Value Statutory Guidance in line with Alliance calls

The Government has agreed with calls from the Alliance to protect voluntary and community organisations from disproportionate cuts to their funding. The Alliance argued that when considering ‘best value’ councils should give adequate notice of their intention to reduce funding, consider the community and social value of the service (not just economic value) and not pass on disproportionate cuts. These recommendations have been taken on board and can be found in the new one page Best Value Statutory Guidance. The guidance must be followed by Best Value authorities during funding decisions of all voluntary and community organisations.

2.    The Bad News

Proposals for the National Planning Policy Framework will hurt sport and recreation

The intention of the Government’s new planning system is to simplify and encourage development but proposals fail to protect sport and recreation facilties. The draft proposals ignore the community benefits of sport and recreation and mean that:

•    Open space, sport and recreation facilities will be more vulnerable to development than they are at the moment.
•    Playing field protection will be reduced, despite assurances, as there is no requirement to provide a like for like replacement.
•    Developers will be less likely to provide sport and recreation facilities through planning obligations.

The Alliance is calling on the Government to maintain current levels of protection for sport and recreation facilities. To do this the draft NPPF should be amended with the addition (paragraph 129, above) of the words ‘and a suitable replacement is provided’. Please support our campaign on planning by taking action on our website.

See our front page story on planning in the Telegraph.

3.    Policy briefs – what we’re working on

3.1 New work on insurance for sports and volunteering
The Alliance is working with the Cabinet Office to help encourage volunteering and increase access to facilities by reducing the risk of liability. The Cabinet Office has been tasked with implementing recommendations from Lord Hodgson’s ‘Unshackling Good Neighbours’ report and is keen to work with the Alliance to ensure that the proposals work for sport and recreation. The Alliance’s Access Working Group, Outdoor Pursuits and Water Recreation Divisions are helping shape the Cabinet Office’s thinking during this project. We hope to produce sport and recreation specific guidance which will help clubs recruit more volunteers and access new land for their activity.

3.2 Latest Community Amateur Sports Club developments
The Sport and Recreation Alliance continues to champion CASC and has been in dialogue with HMRC about improving and developing the scheme. The Alliance will be meeting with HMRC officials in the coming weeks to discuss some of the most pertinent issues for the CASC scheme, including junior voting rights, payment for tours and deregistration penalties.

The Alliance will also be hosting a CASC Sports Forum meeting on 18 October. The meeting will give NGB’s the opportunity to raise any CASC issues for their particular sport. The outcomes of the meeting will help to inform future work on CASC and feed into discussions at the CASC Development Forum. 

For more information on CASC visit the CASCinfo website or, if you interested in attending the CASC Sports Forum meeting, please contact David Foster:

3.3 Conferences
The Alliance has been busy at all three political party conferences this year, taking the opportunity to engage with parliamentarians and councillors across the political spectrum and advance the case for sport and recreation at the national and local levels. In addition to a packed schedule of meetings, Alliance Chair Andy Reed spoke at fringe events hosted by the Motor Sport Association which highlighted the importance of cutting the red tape and bureaucracy holding back the sport and recreation sector.

If you would like to find out more about our engagement with politicians or would like to work with us during future party conferences please contact Simon Butler at

3.4 Local Authority Working Group
The Alliance’s Local Authority Working Group is looking into how best to support clubs given the current economic climate and the push for greater localism. The Alliance is working towards a joint publication with the Local Government Association to be sent to councils ahead of their budget meetings to highlight the benefits of sport in the community.

Members of the Local Authority Working Group will be providing their own case studies and the Alliance will be highlighting research to help councillors make the case for funding sport and recreation. If you would like to contribute to the publication please contact Martin Key

3.5 Policing of events
The Alliance took a representation of 15 sports to the Home Office earlier this month to discuss sport and recreation’s needs in relation to the policing of sports events. The Home Office is considering a review in the autumn and it is important that sport puts its views forward now to influence the parameters of the consultation.

To be involved in future discussions on the topic, contact James (

3.6 Music Licensing
The Alliance has been working with PRS on simplified music licensing criteria for sports clubs. We hope to have a better deal for sport in place for next year. To find out more or tell us how music licensing affects you, contact James MacDougall

3.7 Protection of Freedoms Bill
The Alliance continues to monitor and lobby for changes to the Protection of Freedoms Bill. There are a number of concerns with the Bill as it stands including restricting the definition of regulated activity, issuing one disclosure to one individual, portability and continuous updating. For more information, please see our full brief on the Protection of Freedoms Bill or contact Joy Tottman

4.    Consultations

Planning laws could cost sport and recreation dearly
The National Planning Policy Framework is open for consultation until 17 October 2011. We encourage members to submit a short response which supports the Alliance’s calls for valuable facilities to be protected. For more information visit our planning pages.

Big Lottery Fund to simplify its funding requirements

The Cabinet Office is running a consultation on the proposed direction of the Big Lottery Fund. The simplified structure will still allow access to lottery funding for sport and recreation focusing primarily on projects delivered by the voluntary and community sector.

The Alliance will respond to the consultation. While the Alliance will not argue against the current direction, we will highlight some of the bureaucratic burdens which sports clubs and governing bodies would like to avoid - such as excessive application procedures and time-consuming reporting.

If you have any comments, please contact Syann Cox at

Bookmakers to share more information with sport
The Government has launched a consultation on its proposed amendments to Schedule 6 of the Gambling Act 2005. The intention is to add several domestic and international sports bodies – including the IOC – to the list of organisations listed under Schedule 6 which are bound by information sharing agreements with the Gambling Commission. This is a positive step for the integrity sport ahead of the Olympics and follows the Government’s recent announcement on imposing stricter licensing arrangements on overseas bookmakers.
The consultation deadline is 9 November and DCMS is particularly looking to hear from national governing bodies. If you wish to respond to the consultation on behalf of your organisation then the full document can be found here. Alternatively, the Sport and Recreation Alliance would welcome comments from interested parties to inform its discussions with DCMS and the Sports Betting Group, so please contact David Foster at with any observations you wish to make.

Managed migration
The Alliance recently responded to the Migration Advisory Committee’s call for evidence on settlement by migrant workers. The Committee, which advises the Home Office on the likely impact of policy changes, considered the economic impact of restricting or removing settlement rights of migrants, including those who come to the UK using the elite sportspeople route.

The Alliance's response reminded the Committee that self-regulation by governing bodies in this area has proved very successful, and that migrant sportspeople who enter the UK are guaranteed to be at the peak of their profession. Our submission also highlighted that while sport accounts for a very small number of settlers to the UK, the sector as a whole creates a huge boost for the economy, and stated that this important contribution relies on the ability to retain the knowledge and experience of exceptionally talented players, coaches and administrators from overseas.

For more information about our ongoing engagement with the Migration Advisory Committee please contact Simon Butler at Read the Alliance's full submission to the Committee on managed migration.

5.    Events and Workshops

5.1 Parliamentary networking event: “Club Together”

The Sport and Recreation Alliance will hold a reception at the House of Commons on 25 October from 12:30 entitled ‘Club Together: Show Your Support For Sport’. The event will serve as the Parliamentary launch of our Sports Club Survey and will be used to highlight key issues from the report to MPs. This will not only serve as a useful networking opportunity for members but will also provide further exposure for the sport and recreation sector in Westminster. 

Members are invited to come along and meet Parliamentarians with an interest in sport and a desire to help clubs in their constituencies. To indicate your interest in attending this event please contact Simon Butler by emailing

5.2 EU Summit

This year’s European Summit will take place on Thursday 20 October at the offices of the European Commission Representation to the UK in Smith Square, London. The event looks to bring together European Commission officials, Parliamentarians and leading stakeholders to discuss the key aspects of European sports policy.  We have some excellent speakers confirmed and we will be looking particularly at issues around good governance, match-fixing and funding.
The booking form and further information about the event can be found on our website. Alternatively, please contact David Foster for more details.

5.3 Other workshops and events
Managing Social Media workshop
4 October

Business Essentials
2 November

Leadership Convention
16 & 17 November

Working with Government
26 January 2012


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