In a significant case which could have important implications for shooting clubs and councils across the United Kin...
In a significant case which could have important implications for shooting clubs and councils across the United Kingdom, East Hampshire DC yesterday submitted to a high court order to reinstate discretionary rate relief for a local gun club.
The council had decided at the beginning of the year to alter its policy on discretionary rate relief for sporting organisations to specifically exclude gun clubs. This meant that local Gun Club Havant Rifle and Pistol Club would have been forced to pay full rates, despite its important contribution to the local sporting community. Other sporting clubs not involved in shooting remained eligible for discretionary rate relief.
The case was taken up by the National Small-bore Rifle Association, who asked the high court to review the council's decision. After a period of negotiation, the council agreed that gun clubs would no longer be excluded from consideration for discretionary rate relief and an Order to that effect was made by consent yesterday in the high court.
Welcoming the decision, David Bredin, director of Foresight - the Campaign for Shooting, said: 'Shooting is a sport like any other, enjoyed by millions of people throughout the country. It is disgraceful that the council should have targeted local shooting clubs and tried to exempt them from consideration for rate relief. I am glad that the NSRA's timely intervention has made the council see sense, and hope that no other councils take this foolish, unfair and frankly prejudiced approach'.