Interim Report     12/05/2020

UPDATE ON CORRESPONDENCE PROBLEMS:

I seem to still have my email problem, for the time being at least. I have noticed that the last email sent from Bowls England was in the form of a newsletter, such a pity they didn’t start doing this five weeks ago when I first suggested it, it could have saved me a lot of grief and work, trying to solve a problem I would blame squarely on the fact I was sending out too many emails on their behalf. I also believe that with flooding the inboxes of our club secretaries, some of them have missed important emails containing information such as the grants from local councils, to discover on Thursday from a club secretary that they hadn’t heard of this was unsettling, and a little dis-heartening after the work I along with other County Officers have been doing. I have attached the information on financial support prepared and circulated by Bowls England to the bottom of this report.

For the next couple of weeks, the Divisional Secretaries have agreed to circulate Bowls England correspondence and information, this will leave us free to concentrate on County matters and correspondence.

USE OF VIDEO CONFERENCING:

 I have seen from social media that many clubs are using various forms of internet conferencing software, this way they are able to stay in touch with club and committee members, also hosting quizzes and other social events, a really great idea and almost certainly very important especially for those isolating alone.

We have also been finding this useful, we were able through this medium, to hold a meeting of the Unified Management Committee recently, a meeting that we felt was very important to ensure the County is ready when the time comes to get back to business. We looked into a number of different options and decided that Zoom Video Conferencing, especially after their recent security updates with further updates expected on the 18th. May was the best option. We would recommend Zoom as a good option the free version can be downloaded to phone, tablet, or computer and would meet the needs of most people.

 

COUNTY SPONSOR:

Our County sponsors Focus Investment Services have put together a new initiative. the details of which have been circulated by the Divisional Secretaries.  Focus have been supporting Bowls for around fifteen years now and are at present our most valuable sponsor in financial terms. They did offer at the start of the year to visit clubs to give a short presentation with a financial incentive being offered to those clubs that took up their offer, unfortunately, as you can understand, although the number of clubs interested in this was substantial, this has not been possible due to the current situation. The new offer that Focus are making will be of financial benefit to members, with I understand, further financial assistance to clubs if the offer is successfully taken up by enough people.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA:

The County Facebook page is just one way to share things that are going on within our County, it seems to be fairly successful, but, as with all things it does attract some negative comments and posts, I try to keep it upbeat and positive wherever possible sharing as I do many posts from clubs especially those with nice photos for us all to enjoy, I also try to keep up to date with social events going on at clubs, open days, successes of members etc. , along with things that make us laugh, the page is meant to be informative, fun and social. So, keep posting and I will keep sharing.

NEW MEMBERSHIP SCHEME:

The GoMembership scheme has received good support and we are now in a position to send to Bowls England the first tranche of clubs for the registration, don’t worry if your club is not among the first tranche, we now have a full list of all those taking part and your club will be eligible for participation paid for by Bowls England.  This new initiative although met with scepticism from some, is the future, it will certainly be interesting to see it up and running.

 

CLUBS RE-OPENING

We have been locked down with our clubs closed for two months now, with the start of our season having passed with no real sign of when it will be safe to return to bowling. Bowls England are in touch with relevant government departments and I am sure will issue further guidelines when these are available, in the meantime we need to be patient for a little longer, the old cliché “better safe than sorry” certainly very relevant to our current situation. We will be only too happy to send out some good news when we receive it from our governing body, but the times call for continued vigilance and some tough decisions may have to be made by everyone, as the future almost certainly will be very different from what we would wish.

 

FINANCIAL SUPPORT SURVEY:

I have prepared a very short questionnaire, this is very short, just a few yes/no answers required with no obligation at all for you to complete it, this will enable me to circulate to everyone the results of those that have claimed monies from local councils, Bowls England, Sport England etc.  keeping club details anonymous of course, but, it would at least be nice to share some good news. This will be circulated by email in the next few days, the questions will be in the email with a submit button at the bottom.

 

 

MORE INFORMATION

We wish to make you aware of the following opportunities that may apply to your club.

 

SPORT ENGLAND COMMUNITY EMERGENCY FUND This aims to deliver immediate funding to those most in need and builds on the success of similar previous funds such as Sport England’s Flood Relief Fund. Organisations can apply for grants between £300 and £10,000. The types of organisations eligible include local clubs forced to close at short notice but who are facing ongoing costs around maintenance and utility bills. A specific example might be a grant to support a local club to pay costs for their facility when no activity is taking place. A total of £20million is available. Sport England advises that it expects applicants to have exhausted all other government funding sources before applying to this fund. Details at:  https://www.sportengland.org/how-we-can-help/our-funds/community-emergency-fund

 

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR BUSINESS Information can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-andbusinesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

 

Bowls England recommends you look at the following specific options:

SUPPORT FOR RETAIL, HOSPITALITY AND LEISURE BUSINESSES THAT PAY BUSINESS RATES There will be a Business Rates holiday for these sectors in England for the 2020-2021 tax year. The eligibility our clubs in this sector fall in is:

 

 Based in England  Business is in the leisure sector  Business wholly used for assembly and leisure

 

We understand there is no action to take as this will apply to your next Council Tax bill in April 2020. The local authority may have to re-issue your bill to exclude the Business Rates charge.

 

COMMUNITY AMATEUR SPORTS CLUBS (CASCS)/CHARITIES The Sport & Recreation Alliance (SRA) has advised that it understands additional rates relief will be applied after any mandatory relief received, such as that applied to CASCs and charities. Therefore, these organisations should benefit from the full 100 per cent rates relief. However, please note that the guidance confirms that it is for local authorities to administer a local scheme and determine in each individual case when to grant relief.

 

BOWLS DEVELOPMENT ALLIANCE (BDA) The BDA has advised that it has made a payment of £50 to those clubs who had applied for a Play Bowls Package with planned open days in March/April. This payment will contribute towards any costs already incurred in preparing for these events. The BDA will contact directly all clubs that have applied for a Play Bowls Package for activity planned for May or June. The BDA will work with Bowls England and the English Indoor Bowling Association regarding recruitment activity including open days from July onwards, subject to Government guidance.

 

GRANT FUNDING Bowls England provides a dedicated facility to enable affiliated clubs to search for potential grant funding opportunities. You may conduct a personalised search at: https://www.idoxopen4community.co.uk/bowlsengland

 

CASH GRANTS FOR RETAIL, HOSPITALITY AND LEISURE BUSINESSES This grant provides businesses in these categories with a cash grant of up to £25,000 per property. For businesses with a rateable value of under £15,000, they may receive a grant of up to £10,000 and for businesses with a rateable value of between £15,001 and £51,000, they may receive a grant of up to £25,000. The eligibility our clubs in this sector fall in is:

 

 Based in England  Business is in the leisure sector  Business wholly used for assembly and leisure

 

There is no action to take as your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant. If you have any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the grants you should go directly to your local authority.

 

SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES THAT PAY LITTLE OR NO BUSINESS RATES The Government will provide additional Small Business Grant Scheme funding for local authorities to support small businesses that already pay little or no business rates because of the Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR). This will provide a one-off grant of up to £10,000 to eligible businesses to meet their ongoing business costs. The eligibility our clubs in this sector fall in is:

 

 Based in England  A small business and already receive SBRR  You are a business that occupies property

 

There is no action to take as your local authority will write to you if you are eligible for this grant. If you have any enquiries on eligibility for, or provision of, the grants you should go directly to your local authority.

 

Larger clubs may wish to consider these other areas of support:

 

 Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme  Deferring VAT and Income Tax payments (self-employed)  Business Interruption Loan Scheme  HMRC’s Time to Pay Service

 

RENTAL PAYMENTS Finally, if your club has to make rental payments then we would advise, if you have not done so already, that you start discussions with your landlord to see what assistance can be provided and for how long any temporary arrangement can last. In the meantime, the Government has passed legislation that means commercial tenants can’t be evicted if they miss a payment between March and May 2020. Any missed payment will need to be paid in the future. Details can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/news/extra-protection-for-businesses-with-ban-on-evictions-forcommercial-tenants-who-miss-rent-payments

 

As always, Bowls England is here to help clubs go through the process of any of the schemes. Please do not hesitate to e-mail: john@bowlsengland.com if you have any specific queries or need to find your local authority. Also, we would appreciate hearing of any clubs who have successfully received a grant in order that we can use this information to help the others within the bowling community.

 

USEFUL LINKS The following websites may provide useful additional information to your club at this time:

 

National Governing Bodies - Bowls

 

Bowls England: www.bowlsengland.com/coronavirus-guidance English Indoor Bowling Association: www.eiba.co.uk

 

Other Bowls Organisations

 

Bowls Development Alliance: www.playbowls.org Coach Bowls: www.coachbowls.org

 

Sporting Bodies

 

Club Matters: www.sportenglandclubmatters.com/ Club Matters is Sport England’s one stop shop for clubs, groups and organisations involved in the delivery of physical activity and sport. Club Matters provides free, convenient, practical resources to help organisations to develop, grow and become more sustainable and successful.

 

Sport England: www.sportengland.org/news/coronavirus-information-sector Government agency responsible for promotion of physical activity.

 

Sport & Recreation Alliance: www.sportandrecreation.org.uk/news/politics/covid-19-businesssupport-measures-faqs The Alliance is the umbrella body for sport and recreation in the UK and represents 320 members including Bowls England and the English Indoor Bowling Association.

 

Other Support Business Support: www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support A full range of business support measures have been made available to UK businesses and employees. This page helps businesses find out how to access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply.

This site is designed, built and written by Rick Travers. All content is the sole responsibility of the web master, any errors, omission or breaches of law are not intended. Please contact the web master if you have any concerns regarding content on this site.

Contact:kentcba@gmail.com

© 2023 by Name of Template. Proudly created with Wix.com