§ Nick Harvey
To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what recent discussions she has had with(a) charities and (b) sports clubs on rate relief; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Caborn
The Government announced in April that community amateur sports clubs will now be eligible to apply for charitable status, under which they would receive mandatory 80 per cent. rate relief and other tax advantages. The recent Finance Act 2002 also included a package of tax reliefs available from the Inland Revenue that will benefit such clubs.
In July, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State met several of sport's governing bodies, as representatives of community amateur sports clubs, to discuss these measures and other issues. In September, my Department arranged a seminar which was designed to give sport's governing bodies the chance to discuss the tax and charitable status options available to amateur clubs. Since the Budget, my Department has met representatives from Sport England, the Central Council of Physical Recreation and the National Playing Fields Association on a number of occasions to discuss these issues. I will continue to work with these organisations and with governing bodies to agree the best way forward for helping these clubs.