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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Club’s anger at crippling fees

ALLENDALE Golf Club had a strong message for the powers that be when they attended this week’s Northumberland Union of Golf Clubs’ AGM.

For the High Studdon club brought to the table the proposal to significantly reduce crippling union fees for those smaller set-ups with Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC) status.

Allendale, as well as many other golf clubs across the district, are finding it difficult to meet the high Golf Union affiliation fees imposed by England Golf and the Northumberland Union of Golf Clubs.

These are based on the number of members from the previous year and the sum represents a three per cent surcharge on annual income – a substantial amount for a small club like Allendale.

To put it into perspective, it equates to half of all the money generated from the wind turbine erected there in 2011 to help with costs!

Such is the struggle faced by the club, HM Revenue and Customs recognised it as a CASC and their council tax was slashed by 80 per cent. Now, local golfers are asking the golf unions to follow suit.

Treasurer Robin Down said: “If HMRC has the grace and intelligence to recognise and reward community based amateur sports clubs, why not England Golf?

“So, here is the proposition. From 2014, any CASC registered golf club will be entitled to an 80 per cent reduction in golf union fees consistent with the HMRC scheme. Wentworth, Royal Birkdale and Sunningdale we are not.”

Northumberland Union of Golf Clubs said it would raise the matter with England Golf on behalf of small, volunteer-run establishments.

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