Chairman’s Message

Dear Fellow Members,

As we move to more relaxation of the lockdown, it is great to see so many Members using the parts of the Club that we have been allowed to open. The Board, however, is very aware that for many Members the ability to play golf, croquet and tennis is of limited interest because they prefer to use the Health Club including the pools, the squash courts, the art studio or the bridge room, quite apart from the Members Bar and Club Café. We share that frustration and we can see that the Government is very wary of relaxing regulations to open the Health Club and any indoor activities until mid-July.  CEO Marc Newey and his team have plans in place as soon as we get the green light.

The good news is that eating, and drinking can now take place outdoors, on the Members Bar terrace, and inside the Clubhouse from 4th July. However, strict social distancing regulations are still in place so a guide from the Club will appear early next week guiding you on booking and usage procedures. Please keep to them for everyone’s safety.

The Sports Shop will close on 30th June for two weeks and re-open on 15th July after an internal refurbishment from new retailer Matthew Paget. There are bargains galore to be snapped up in the Shop before next Tuesday.

Unfortunately, it will be a long time, if ever, before we can return to ways of working and enjoying the Club as we used to. I have written before about the steps we have taken to cut costs and safeguard the Club’s financial security. At its June monthly meeting, the Board considered the likely levels of activity in the Clubhouse, especially regarding our Food and Beverage operations and events. We reviewed the likely future staffing needs of the Club and it is clear that the present mix and levels of staffing are unsustainable in the foreseeable future. The Board therefore agreed proposals from management not to fill several staff vacancies. In addition, a small number of other posts are surplus to requirements and consultations have therefore begun with those affected, which will see a very small number of staff take voluntary redundancy and /or be deployed, where possible, to other departments.

As the Government prepares to taper the furlough scheme before winding it up completely in the autumn, the Board also agreed changes to the support being provided to staff. More than half of our valued staff are now working full time back at the Club. Others are working at our request part time on a two-team rota system. All such staff will be paid their full salaries. Some staff will continue to be furloughed and their remuneration will be reduced to 80% unless they are on the minimum rate of pay (the London Living Wage), when they will be paid 100% of their normal wage.

The Board believes that these decisions strike a fair balance between working staff, whether full time or part time, furloughed staff, and Members. In these extraordinary times there is no perfect solution. We are all of us a strong community in this Club, whether we are Members or staff, and the Board’s aim is to sustain that. We are very mindful as Members ourselves that these are not easy times for any of us. Please remember that if any Member is having genuine difficulty paying a subscription that he or she should approach Marc Newey who will consider what help the Club can give.

As previously mentioned, the Board will be considering in September what it can offer Members in 2021 to reflect the period of closure this year. Our scope is limited because there is only one pot which we all contribute to through our subscriptions with no reserves, but we would like as your Board to do something. We will wait until September when we have more information and data to decide. An important distinction between proprietary clubs, gym chains and Roehampton Club is that our Members are long term and have invested in the Club’s future. This is a Members’ Club in the full sense of the word which we all own for better for worse, in good times and bad.

With all good wishes,

Alan Jenkins | Chairman |