Chairman’s Message – 6th April 2020
Dear Fellow Members,
I regret that one of the consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic is the need to send you more communications than normally we would wish. One of our key objectives is, however, to ensure that we maintain good communication with Members.
As you would expect your Board has been giving careful consideration to a range of issues arising from the present epidemic.
We have been looking at the Club Rules to ensure that they are completely clear, particularly in those areas which have assumed an additional significance in the present circumstances. I attach documents (click here) which set out the rule changes that the Board has made. These have immediate effect. A copy of the Club Rules as they existed before these changes is available on the Members’ pages of the Club’s website.
Following that review, we are making some changes to make sure that the Club can deal quickly and decisively with changing circumstances in the Club’s interest.
A handful of Members have asked about the possibility of early resignation and whether this might lead to any refund of subscriptions. We have simplified the existing rules to make the position very clear. There is an annual opportunity to resign which must be exercised before the 30th November in any year. The Board does not consider that it would be fair to continuing Members to offer any refunds. In coming to this decision, the Board has taken into account the nature of a Members’ club where Members are essentially owners as well as users of the Club, and the financial impact of the closure of most of our member-facing operations.
I am pleased to report that the overwhelming majority of messages from Members have been of solidarity and support. We have no reason to expect any significant number of resignations and will continue to focus (i) on ensuring the financial viability of the Club, (ii) on supporting our staff and (iii) on keeping the Club ready for re-opening as soon as conditions permit.
In the present circumstances, given the loss of various streams of secondary income, it is very important that the Club receives subscriptions when due. The vast majority of Members support the Club by paying on time. We have clarified and strengthened the rules relating to late payment or non-payment.
The need temporarily to close the Club premises completely for a period has never arisen before. The Board has introduced a Rule to regulate temporary closure. This states the circumstances in which a closure decision may be made, imposes requirements for the Club to keep Members informed and allows the Directors to agree to defer a Member’s subscription where that Member is experiencing serious financial hardship.
The Board has also used the opportunity to incorporate the discount scheme for longstanding Members, announced in February, into the Rules.
Finally, I would like to thank all Members for their continuing support for the Club and the many messages of goodwill, which the Club has received. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we are all safely back at the Club enjoying all that it has to offer.
Chairman | email@example.com