On Monday 7th October 2019 a new Charitable Incorporated Organisation (a "CIO") called the "Watford (Cassiobury) Croquet Club" was registered by the Charity Commission. The registration number is 1185646. Although it shares the same name as the existing (non-charity) club, it is a distinct legal entity, which is significant in three respects:

  1. The CIO has a new Constitution that has been approved by the Charity Commission.
  2. A CIO has its own "legal personality", which means that it can sign contracts, take leases, and even employ staff in its own right rather than relying on trustee members to do so on its behalf. In particular this means that, unlike for the old club, trustee members do not take personal liability for any claims that might be made against the club.
  3. A CIO is also a charity, recognised in England and Wales by the Charity Commission. This means that
    • Any voluntary donations made to the club by any UK income tax payer, whether a club member or not, are eligible for Gift Aid; the club can therefore recover a further 25% from HMRC for any Gift Aid donations. Furthermore, if the donor is a higher-rate income tax-payer then they can also use the donation as an allowance against tax.
    • Any legacy left to the club as part of a deceased UK person's estate is exempted from the value of the estate that may be liable for inheritance tax. Furthermore, if the total value of all charitable legacies in the estate exceeds 10% of the gross value of the estate then the rate of inheritance tax on the taxable value of the estate is reduced from 40% to 36% as well.

Since this newly registered CIO is technically distinct from the original (old) club of the same name, in order to complete the process of converting the club into the CIO it is necessary to dissolve the old club and transfer its assets, liabilities and members to the new CIO; and therefore under the old constitution of the club a Special General Meeting must be held in order to do this.

This Special General Meeting took place on Thursday 31st October 2019 at 7:30 pm at the Essex Arms, Langley Way, Watford, WD17 3EG. Notice of the SGM was been sent to all club members. The attendance of club members is optional, but only those attending may vote on the proposals.

Once the SGM has taken place, and assuming that its proposals are passed by a 2/3 majority of those attending and voting, then the changes will apply to ALL club members whether attending the SGM or not, and everything that applied to the old club (except the old constitution, which will be replaced by the new charity constitution) will apply instead to the new CIO of the same name, including this website.

It is important to note that in practical terms, all day-to-day matters for all club members will continue unchanged, and they don't need to do anything to take advantage of the new arrangements.

Update following the SGM: the proposals were passed unanimously by those attending the SGM (being quorate), enabling all the assets of the old club to be transferred to the new CIO and the old club dissolved with effect from 1/4/2020. Furthermore all the members of the old club became members of the CIO with effect from 1/11/2019 along with a transfer of their data, so that for a few months they are technically members of both the old club and the CIO until the old club is dissolved. From 1/4/2020 they will then continue to be members of the new CIO if they choose to renew their annual membership fee in the normal way.

Since all members of the old club are now members of the CIO, and all their contact and historical data is now copied to the CIO as well, this website has been redesignated as the website of the new CIO with effect from 1/11/2019. However, until 31/3/2020 members using the club's facilities will continue to do so in their capacity as members of the old club in order to comply with the terms of the lease with Watford Borough Council.