BHB Chairman Peter Savill and Secretary-General Tristram Ricketts met Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell this morning to brief her on key current Racing issues. Following the meeting, Peter Savill said:
“We could not have been made more welcome. Tessa Jowell was clearly keen to be fully briefed soon after her Department’s assumption of its new responsibilities: we covered a wide range of topics including the Future Funding of Racing, the abolition of the levy, the sale of the Tote to Racing and the Gambling Review Body Report.
“I was delighted to hear the Secretary of State confirm that the Government fully intends to press ahead with its Tote and Levy plans as soon as legislative time permits. Suggestions that there are any other reasons for the delay in introducing the necessary legislation are completely unfounded, nor is there a desire to delay these matters until the Government is in a position to legislate on issues arising from the GRB Report. The Secretary of State clearly welcomed the progress being made by Racing in moving from a structure underpinned by statutory provisions to one based on commercial mechanisms.
“Tessa Jowell made it clear that her door is always open whenever we need to discuss important issues. For my part, I stressed that Racing saw the transfer to DCMS as a positive move and that we were delighted that the current Horseracing Policy Team will continue to work on these issues. I look forward to progressing matters further with Tessa Jowell and Richard Caborn and quickly developing the same constructive relationship which we had with Home Office Ministers.”