UPDATE FOR MEMBERS 29TH JUNE 2020
Following on from the Government announcement recently that the Club would be able to look at opening its sites and CLs from the 4th July, there had been no firm announcement with regard to the Centres of the Club and rallying. A protocol document had been received by us earlier which led to the decision that we could not meet the requirements and the Centre Committee cancelling all rallies in our programme for July and August.
Following the Government latest update, we subsequently received a message from the Club that due to issues raised in the announcement they were putting all Centres into a “holding” position and would update us further, and this is what was received today.
It would appear that there was an unexpected provision factored into the guidance about “meeting up” which stated it would be illegal for gatherings of more than 30 people to take place. This was stressed because this provision will be written into law.
The Club has emphasised all along that with the changes a rally would only be for the siting and parking of leisure vehicles with no social aspect. However, the Club is now concerned that the very manner in which rallies are organised, through Centres enabling a group to come together for a common cause, makes it more difficult to argue that a rally is not a gathering. Views from Scotland Yard indicate that rallies are likely to attract the attention of local police forces as gatherings causing local populations in tourist areas a lot of nervousness.
The Club has therefore taken the decision that all Centres are having their exemption certificates withdrawn until the end of July. August onwards will be discussed in late July. The only exception could be if a rally is booked on a commercially licensed site where discussions can take place with the site operator. This would then be run under their commercial licence and not the Clubs exemption certificate.
The overriding feeling of the Club is that the safety of the members and volunteers must be paramount, and they have a responsibility to comply with the law and no desire to place volunteers into a situation where they may have to deal with a police intervention.
We will keep members updated as and when we know, and hope for the day when we can all meet again on the rally field.
Suffolk Centre Committee