Posted by: westlancashirerecord | July 31, 2016

The Golf Bucks Stop Where?

“Royalties are paid to the Leisure Trust” is a frequently recurring phrase in public emails from the WLBC Leisure Services Manager. Yet here we go again, another WLBC version of “show me the destination of the Beacon Park Golf Course landfill royalties” when caught with their trousers around their collective ankles. It bears a similarity to musical chairs, when the music stops the game and the explanation changes. I received a copy of a letter from the Director of Leisure and Wellbeing 20 July 2016 to Rosie Cooper MP, she having written on my behalf.

In particular the Director writes “The Serco Leisure Operating Limited account receives funding from the Borough Council and any grant funding secured by Serco on behalf of the partnership. Also in this instance it receives the royalties from the landfill project…we have been advised that all of the royalties from the landfill will be spent on the Beacon Park golf facility…the royalties from the regulated landfill are paid to the Serco Leisure Operating Limited account as it is Serco Leisure Operating Limited who has the signed contact [sic] with the operating company for the landfill”. CCF30072016_00001 [click to read]

So who wrote THAT for him? Was it the same Leisure Services Manager who, as pointed out recently and often enough, 21 August 2015 re the landfill royalties “The royalties for the materials being brought to site and currently used to re-profile an area of the golf course for a new 9 hole par 3 course are paid to West Lancashire Community Leisure. Details of the royalties and payments are commercially confidential” although the end product clearly isn’t confidential golf3113 or fit for purpose golf3115.

5 November 2015 WLBC is not a shareholder, the operation of the course and the facilities provided are for the course operator to determine. The Council will benefit from a split of one third of any operating surplus [not royalties].

9 November 2015 The information regarding the number of HGV deliveries has not been made available directly to the Borough Council. The monitoring of the loads is undertaken by Oaklands [sic], each load is recorded and this information is monitored by the Environment Agency. Royalties to the Leisure Trust are paid per cubic meter and not per load, the Leisure Trust/Serco receive information regarding the volume/cubic meters delivered to site. The total volume expected on site for all 4 phases was 187,000m3 the amount anticipated for the 9 hole course was 65,000m3. I have been informed that royalties payment up to this limit have not yet been reached, however the Leisure Trust are expecting further royalties payment which will take it close to this figure for this element of the phased work. An amount of 35,000m3 has been assessed for the work to the driving range. golf312 All well and good? Well no, not when the Director writes of “the funding for the improvements and operation of the golf course” such improvements only coming to fruition after the Leisure Trust AGM exposures of downright maladministration! And, strangely enough, Oakland Golf and Leisure Ltd is merely referred to as the “landfill company” which might be a wiser description than the “golf course creation company” when you see these latest pictures above and here golf313 golf3116? But before we finish today’s report, there is an improvement as shown here golfmarker which is a “marker” to help golfers. How nice to see it, after all Serco Leisure Operating Limited has only been in charge of the golf course for three to four years since An initial temporary period of management commenced on the1st January 2012 with West Lancashire Community Leisure for a period of twelve months in order to evaluate the operation and determine if it was sustainable in the future. West Lancashire Community Leisure agreed in January 2013 to take on the responsibility for the Beacon Golf Course and agreed a business plan with Serco Leisure Operating Limited…”.

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