The Real Friends of the Rec now have 4872 registered members!

Notes From The Rec Trust AGM PDF Print E-mail
Written by editor   
Wednesday, 23 September 2015 06:27
At last Tuesday’s Bath Recreation Ground Trust AGM a couple of items came up that might be of interest to RFOTR members.

1. The Rec Trust has almost completed an agreement with B&NES Council regarding a future lease granted by the Rec Trust for the Leisure Centre. The Rec Trust will grant B&NES a lease until 2069 but with a condition that if the Leisure Centre is ever not used for a 2-year period the lease will become void and it is to be demolished. In return for the granting of the lease, B&NES will write-off the debt of £289,000 that they claim that the Rec Trust owes them due to expenses incurred by B&NES when the Rec Trust was under their control. B&NES will also carry out £2M worth on work on Rec improvements to put right work not done whilst B&NES controlled the Rec Trust. The Trust plan to include the refurbishment of the Cricket Pavilion in this work. No work is planned to be carried out on the part of the Rec currently covered by Bath Rugby’s own robust lease.

2. The next steps that the Rec Trust take following the successful Upper Tribunal appeal are dependent on whether the further 'appeal on the appeal on the appeal' by Messrs Mr Sparrow and Ms Carne is allowed. Assuming that no further appeal is allowed, the Rec Trust will submit a new Scheme, which will then allow a new negotiated lease with Bath Rugby to be put into place.
Good News! PDF Print E-mail
Written by editor   
Thursday, 30 July 2015 21:13
We have heard the Rec Trust have won their Appeal to the Upper Tribunal (aka the Appeal against the Appeal)! More info to follow. Needless to say we are delighted for the Rec, for Rugby in Bath and for the City of Bath and we offer our congratulations to the Rec Trust.
Rec Trust 'Appeal On The Appeal' PDF Print E-mail
Written by editor   
Thursday, 18 December 2014 13:46

As RFOTR members will be aware back in March this year the Charity Tribunal (aka the Lower Tier Tribunal) announced its decision on the appeals made against the Charity Commission Scheme for the Rec. The three appellants were Mr. Websper, Mrs. Carne, and Mr. Sparrow. One of the consequences of the Tribunal’s decision was that the amount of additional land that the Rec Trust could grant to Bath Rugby could be no more than the maximum previously occupied by the East Stand. This decision constrains the revenues available to the Rec Trust and the ability for redevelopment on the Rec to take place.

Back in Aug at the Rec Trust AGM the Rec Trustees stated that they intended to appeal the Lower Tribunal decision. This is now moving ahead with a hearing scheduled at the Upper Tribunal (Tax and Chancery Chamber).  The Rec Trust has attended a Directions Hearing in November with all parties and the Judge has listed the case for a one day hearing.  Mr Websper is now represented by a barrister; Mrs Carne and Mr Sparrow are acting in person. The availability of barristers for the respondent and the Charity Commission and the pressure on court time has resulted in the case being listed in May. If the Trustees are successful in their appeal the scheme will go back to the Lower Tier Tribunal for amending to incorporate any changes and to make it more workable in practice.

Details for the hearing are:

18th May 2015 at 10:30 am at The Royal Courts of Justice The Rolls Building, Fetter Lane, London EC4A 1NL.

So progress is being made, albeit at a slow pace!

Notes From The Recreation Ground Trust AGM PDF Print E-mail
Written by rfotr   
Thursday, 14 August 2014 00:00
The first AGM of the newly constituted Bath Recreation Ground Trust (RGT) was held yesterday in the Illustrious Suite on the Recreation Ground - agenda, annual report and supporting documents here. There were c. 50 attendees the majority of whom were regular opponents of the presence of Bath Rugby on the Rec and of future development of an arena on the Rec. Two of the three individuals who brought the appeal against the Charity Commission Scheme for the Rec were present. Members of the RFOTR Committee attended.

The new Chair of the RGT, Liz Bloor, did an excellent job in conducting the meeting especially preventing unhelpful interruptions from the floor. Three points stood out from her annual report:

1. The new Trust needs to operate as an independent body clearly separate from B&NES. This means that the RGT will need to provide its own services and have its own staff rather than using B&NES resources as in the past. The RGT will be appointing a General Manager for the Rec. The RGT plans to be fully independent from reliance on B&NES resources by Mar 2015.

2. The RGT needs to be in a financially sound position for the future, not just in terms of income vs. expenditure but also by having built up an endowment that guarantees the long term viability of the Rec. This means that the RGT needs to maximise all potential sources of income. The decision of the First-Tier Tribunal earlier this year to modify the Charity Commission Scheme so that Bath Rugby are limited to their current footprint plus the space of the temporary East Stand limits the potential future revenue stream for the RGT. Hence the RGT is proceeding with its appeal against the decision of the First-Tier Tribunal. The RGT has concluded that taking on Lambridge as compensation for land occupied by Bath Rugby on the Rec is not in the interests of the RGT, and instead the RGT would seek a capital sum from Bath Rugby. Further steps on this point are dependent on the outcome of the appeal against the First-Tier Tribunal decision.
Recreation Ground Trust Update PDF Print E-mail
Written by editor   
Tuesday, 12 August 2014 12:55

The Bath Recreation Ground Trust (RGT) has published a public notice regarding a new five year lease with Bath Rugby.
This agreement provides the Rugby Club with a lease for an area of land outside the main footprint on which the East Stand is erected each year (see here for plan). It also provides the RGT with a secure income stream for five years to invest in amateur sport and charitable activities at the Rec. This lease is in line with decision of the Charity Tribunal earlier this year. It covers less area than the original Scheme for the Recreation Ground that had been proposed by the Charity Commission and agreed by the RGT. We are still waiting to hear if the RGT has decided to proceed with its appeal against the Charity Tribunal decision that modifies the Charity Commission Scheme.

The Public Notice is inviting comments before the end of a 28 day consultation period. If you wish to provide comments click here to find out how.

The RGT is holding its AGM which is open to the public on Wednesday 13 August, 2014, at 5pm in the Illustrious Suite at the Recreation Ground. The agenda for the meeting and the Annual Report are available on the RGT website. We expect to hear more about the status of an appeal by the RGT against the Charity Tribunal decision. RFOTR members are urged to attend.

RFOTR Committee Meeting With Rec Trustees PDF Print E-mail
Written by editor   
Wednesday, 11 June 2014 15:57

The RFOTR committee have now had an interesting and informative meeting with members of the new Recreation Ground Trust committee, including their new chair Liz Bloor.

We understand that the Rec Trust have now lodged their right to Appeal against certain items contained within the Charity Tribunal decision. However, they are now awaiting a full financial assessment and indication of potential outcomes, before they finally decide later in the year whether or not to proceed with the Appeal.

This has time implications, as the Trust are also in the latter stages of discussions with Bath Rugby regarding their Heads of Terms (Agreement) which will outline the clubs future relationship with the Trust on both practical and financial grounds. As with most discussions, these have been robust and are taking time to get right, and there are various shades of opinion amongst the Rec trustees.  Liz Bloor assured us that the Trust is committed to getting to the right decision for the Recreation Ground as a whole, and all the groups who either currently, or may in the future, wish to use the Rec.

Liz Bloor concluded that she looked  “…forward to developing a useful working relationship between the Trust and the RFOTR….”

We would like to thank all RFOTR members who sent emails and letters to Liz in support of an Appeal.

Developments Following the Charity Tribunal Decision PDF Print E-mail
Written by editor   
Tuesday, 06 May 2014 00:00

Following on from the recent decision by the Charity Tribunal there have been a number of developments about which we wish to make RFOTR members aware.

Firstly the newly reconstituted Recreation Ground Trust has decided to apply for leave to appeal the Charity Tribunal Decision which artificially limits the discretion of the Trust about future use of Rec land. Liz Bloor, newly elected Chair of the Rec Trust, said, “After thorough discussion by the Trustees, it is really clear that we are all disappointed with this decision by the Tribunal. It is financially unhelpful to the Trust and we believe there are some errors in the law which the Tribunal have applied.

Temporary Planning Application Approved PDF Print E-mail
Written by editor   
Wednesday, 30 July 2014 20:35
The Committee of the Real Friends of the Rec is delighted and relieved that  the B&NES Planning Committee have voted overwhelmingly in favour of the 2 year Temporary Planning Application by Bath Rugby (see here for details)

The support shown so convincingly by the Council for the Rugby Club and its exciting plans for its 150th Anniversary in 2015 is hugely important for what now needs to be addressed for the future.

Continued support is now needed to progress for full plans for the new Arena (perhaps with an International design competition) that will contribute to the long neglected River Front becoming a contributor to the enhancement of our World Heritage City.

This long overdue improvement, with the cooperation of the reconstituted Rec Trust will enable Bath Rugby to become the best Rugby Club in the Northern Hemisphere, but, more importantly provide the added income to the Trust to increase recreation and Amateur sport for Trust's beneficiaries.

Further Rec Developments & Bath Rugby Planning Application PDF Print E-mail
Written by editor   
Thursday, 22 May 2014 00:00
Bath Rugby has now submitted the planning application for the additional temporary structures at the Rec outlined in our last email. This application is for a 2-year period and will take the capacity at the Rec to 14,000. It will be in place for the 150 year celebrations to be held during 2015.

We would urge RFOTR members who live within BA postcodes to submit their comments on this planning application. The planning application can be found on the B&NES website here. There is a link near the top of the page that you can follow to make comments. Under the 'Documents' tab, and then under 'Associated Documents' you can find the set of documents submitted as part of the application that include drawings of the new temporary structures. The deadline for submitting comments is 12/6/2014.
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