News story

Red tape review for sports clubs

Sports Minister wants ‘bonfire of costly bureaucracy’ to help increase participation.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The Central Council of Physical Recreation (CCPR) has been asked to conduct a review aimed at cutting the red-tape and bureaucracy that hits sports clubs and holds back participation.

The review will be completed by the end of the year.

It  will look at a number of areas, including:

  • licensing regulations
  • planning rules affecting sports facilities
  • water rate charges
  • the impact of safeguarding requirements on sports volunteering

“We need to remove as many barriers as possible that stop people getting involved or threaten the existence of community sports clubs,” said Hugh Robertson, Minister for Sport. “My main priority is to extend the opportunities through sport to the maximum number of people and that’s what this review is all about.”


The review will look to ensure that the new vetting and barring system does not deter more volunteers into youth team sport and place an unnecessary burden on clubs. Previously coaches of teams (where players are aged 16 and 17 years old) would need to have been registered with the Independent Safeguarding Authority.

The current system means that a teacher who has had a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check but who wants to volunteer at a sports club outside of school, working with young people, has to have a second check. The review will look at the portability of CRB checks.

Planning and water rates

The review will examine the planning current system and how it can be made easier and quicker to help improve sports facilities and playing fields.

Some sports clubs have had up to 1000 per cent increases in water rate bills after companies changed the way charges were calculated. So the review will also see if more needs to be done to ensure that they receive concessionary rates from water companies. 

“There’s an urgent need to lift the burden of bureaucracy from clubs and volunteers,” said CCPR chief executive Tim Lamb. “Red tape is preventing people from getting the opportunities they want in sport and taking up too much valuable volunteer time.”

Published 26 July 2010