Posted by: westlancashirerecord | October 17, 2016

Health and Safety (Lack Of) At Beacon Park Golf Course

As the Himalayas foot golf landfill reaches astonishing heights estimated at 70 feet in parts 006, [click all pics taken 15 October 2016 to enlarge] you might suppose Health and Safety there would be prioritised by WLBC. Think again, H&S doesn’t exist anywhere on the Beacon Park Golf Course.

To WLBC; I understand the Directorate of Leisure and Wellbeing carries WLBC responsibility for health and safety for all leisure facilities in the borough including a health and wellbeing strategy, environmental protection, public protection, licensing, commercial safety, corporate health and safety, and community safety. I have read in a West Lancashire Borough Council Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plan that “The Council’s Health and Safety Enforcement Service is responsible for enforcing health and safety legislation in the majority of workplaces in West Lancashire like offices, shops, places of entertainment and leisure services, warehouses, catering businesses and consumer services. Our aim is to protect the health, safety and welfare of people working in West Lancashire and to safeguard others who may be exposed to risks from such activities” 003.

Presumably WLBC inspects before it enforces, via an Interventions Programme. Would you therefore be kind enough to let me a have a list of the dates of any and all health and safety inspections undertaken at the Beacon Park Golf Course including the new 9 hole course since that development began and including before and after seeding of the 9 hole course? Would you also send me summarised copies of any such inspections and decisions made? This is a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

From WLBC; Further to your Freedom of Information (FOI) request submitted to the Borough Council regarding a request for … ‘any and all Health and Safety inspections undertaken at Beacon Park Golf Course including the new 9 hole course since that development began and including before and after seeding of the 9 hole course’. I can confirm that their have been no Health and Safety inspections undertaken by the Borough Council at Beacon Park Golf Course including the 9 hole course since that development began and including before and after seeding of the 9 hole course. The responsibility for Health and Safety enforcement at this site is with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
Deputy Director of Leisure and Wellbeing 013

To WLBC; Thank you for this reply for which I’m grateful. While you “can confirm that there have been no Health and Safety inspections undertaken by the Borough Council at Beacon Park Golf Course including the 9 hole course since that development began and including before and after seeding of the 9 hole course”, and that “The responsibility for Health and Safety enforcement at this site is with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)”, would you please let me know a) is the entire Beacon Park Golf Course including the 18 hole course and the childrens’ play area, the “site” for which the HSE has responsibility, and b) the procedure by which the HSE enforces Health and Safety there, ie by request of the Directorate of Leisure and Wellbeing, and if so c) on how many occasions and with what outcomes has the HSE inspected the entire Beacon Park Golf Course operation? Would you be kind enough to include the driving range landfill operation in this request? 008
The last copy I can find of a WLBC Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plan relates to 2013/2014. It states “These duties [Health and Safety at Work Act 1974] etc are discharged by the Health and Safety Enforcement Service” and its Service Plan is produced annually for regular reviewing and scrutiny by the elected Members of Cabinet. Would you be kind enough to let me have a copy of the last report scrutinised by the Cabinet?

From WLBC; Thank you for your email requesting further information regarding Beacon Park Golf Course. In relation to your questions, I can advise that: a) The HSE has the enforcement responsibility for the entire Beacon Park Golf Course including the 18 hole course and the children’s play area. b) As the enforcement body, this question would be better addressed to the HSE c) The Council is not aware of nor does it hold any records of any inspections carried out by the HSE. Please let me know if you wish for me to pass on your request for information to the HSE. Regarding the WLBC Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plan 2013/14, following publication of this national guidance and the requirements for health & safety enforcement changed. Consequently this document is no longer produced, and the link on the Council’s website to the Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plan 2013/14 was outdated and has therefore been removed.

To WLBC; It would be helpful if you could ascertain records of inspections from WLBC itself rather than the HSE direct as it seems to me that if HSE had checked they would then report to WLBC. I suspect from your reply that no health and safety inspections have been undertaken by anybody, and given the scale of the landfill undertaking that is a major development requiring HSE involvement, if WLBC can`t be bothered who can?

From WLBC; Further to your initial enquiry relating to the works at Beacon Park golf course and your email below, I can confirm that the Council has not undertaken any health and safety inspections and is not aware of nor does it hold any records of any inspections carried out by the HSE. 005

To WLBC; Thanks John, that confirms your Directorate of Leisure and Wellbeing does NOT include Beacon Park Golf Course in its West Lancashire Borough Council Health and Safety Enforcement Service Plan, notwithstanding there is a major landfill development there, and isn’t that of exceptional concern? Over 23,000 loads of rubble delivered and dumped there? Would you be kind enough to let me know if it was a WLBC Committee or an officer decision not to assess the Golf Course for Health and Safety Enforcement, or was it a matter handed over to Serco Leisure Services that has not been complied with?

From WLBC; The Council no longer produces a health and safety enforcement plan this followed national guidance and the reduction in the requirements for local authority health & safety enforcement. Consequently this document is no longer produced. The responsibility for Health and Safety Enforcement for the golf course and the other facilities within the partnership agreement with West Lancashire Community Leisure limited is the responsibility of the Health and Safety Executive, (HSE). Due to the type of partnership agreements in place with West Lancashire Community leisure the responsibility for Health and Safety enforcement rests with the HSE.

The contractors on site and the managers of the golf course (Serco Leisure Operating Limited) have responsibility to meet health and safety regulations, including methods of work and risk assessments 002. The volume of loads you have quoted was for four phases of work, as previously advised only two phases will be completed and this will reduce the total expected volume of deliveries considerably.

To WLBC; Thanks for that helpful reply John, but for the record, dumping of landfill is continuing at a remarkable rate on the old driving range, as I’ve witnessed only today, 7 lorry loads in 35 minutes. Perhaps the rush to dump as much as possible is rather more to do with landfill income than the creation of a playable foot golf facility? But to revert back to my original request for all this information, 18 August 2016, it seems that “Our [WLBC] aim is to protect the health, safety and welfare of people working in West Lancashire and to safeguard others who may be exposed to risks from such activities” is not a real aim at all. Who for example would pay out for a claim for injury incurred while a member of the public was walking on the brick/concrete strewn new 9hole heap, it being a public place to walk?


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