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Appointments to vacant Levy Board seats on hold

30 January 2015

EFFORTS to find candidates to fill the two vacant seats on the board of the Levy Board have been halted until a decision has been made on the future of the levy system, it has been revealed.

The Levy Board has been working without two of its three independent government-appointed members (Gams) since October and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

The news means racing will continue to hold a numerical advantage on the board with the sport being represented by three of the five remaining board members.

However, that has not yet become a serious issue with nothing contentious enough to require a vote having occurred.

The two positions were first advertised in July last year when Paul Darling - now chairman of the Association of British Bookmakers - and Paul Bolt's terms ended.

Appointments had been due to be made by early October in time for the deadline for levy negotiations at the end of the month.

However, the early approval of the terms for the 54th levy scheme appeared to diminish the urgency to find the new Gams and with a consultation looking at a ‘racing right' as a potential levy replacement mechanism due to be launched soon - the third consultation on the levy within a year - the government has decided to put the appointments on hold.

A Department for Culture, Media and Sport spokesman said on Thursday: "No appointments to the Levy Board will be made until a decision has been taken on whether the levy is to be reformed or replaced. A line has been drawn under the recruitment process."

The one remaining Gam is Levy Board chairman Paul Lee, who is joined on the board by Bookmakers Committee chairman Will Roseff - representing the betting industry.

However, they are outnumbered by racing's three representatives - Racecourse Association chairman Ian Barlow, Horsemen's Group chairman Philip Freedman and BHA chief executive Nick Rust, who attended his first board meeting on Wednesday.

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