§ Mr. John Carlisle
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science what representations he has received regarding rate relief for sports clubs and its effects on extra-curricular school sport.
§ Mr. Atkins
I have had many representations on the subject of rate relief for sports clubs, several of which concern its effects on sport beyond the curriculum. The Government are particularly keen to encourage more links between schools and local sports clubs in order to provide opportunities for sport outside school hours. We recognise the value of the facilities that many non-profit making sports clubs provide for the local community. That is why we have retained the arrangement from the previous rating system whereby non-profit making sports clubs can receive up to 100 per cent. rate relief at the discretion of their local authority. The Government will refund to local authorities 75 per cent. of any relief awarded. The preliminary results of a Department of the Environment survey show that more non-profit making sports clubs received more relief in 1990–91 than in 1989–90, the last year of general rates.