Posted by: westlancashirerecord | September 2, 2018

Show Us The (Public) Money, Again!

As we all know, West Lancashire Community Leisure Limited (WLCLT), Company number 05316277, was established in 2005 to oversee the running of five leisure facilities and a sixth facility, Beacon Park Golf Course (BPGC), was added to the portfolio during 2012 in a shared contract with Serco Leisure Operating Limited (SLOL) and West Lancashire Borough Council. SLOL manages the centres on a day to day basis.

Continuing the arduous task of tracing the amounts of cash, always referred to as royalties by those who prefer it, generated by the five year long landfill project at BPGC remains difficult. Mouths remain zipped shut . The cash accounting for the dumping of so much landfill, ie the remodelling of existing golf range to provide perimeter mounding and improve targets with 35,000m3 of inert soil; formation of a 9 hole short course for junior golfers on 3.7 hectares of land located to the west of Beacon Lane and to the north of Elmers Green Lane to be formed by the importation of 65,000m3 of inert soil, all involving 23,375 HGV movements, does not exist, at least in public.

By using turnover, or “operation of leisure facilities”as a basis for an annual comparison, the year ended December 2011was £2,427,826 and December 2012was £2,948,277. At December 2013 it was £2,875,870; December 2014 £2,911,061; December 2015 £2,801,558; December 2016 £2,789,455; December 2017 £2,809,429. It seems that after 2011 consistency is the norm. So what happened to the elusive royalties declared in public by the Head of Leisure and Cultural Services West Lancashire Borough Council that “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”? Wouldn’t they show “spikes” in turnover each year they were paid to WLCLT assuming they ever were?

These royalties being a huge amount of money to evade accounting for, in a local “hidden economy”, and not, apparently a matter of due diligence for WLBC, the best source must be the appointed accountants to the Trust? So I asked them “Re West Lancashire Community Leisure Ltd Registered Company Number 05316277. I am writing as a resident and council tax payer in West Lancashire to ask you to provide the following accounts information about West Lancashire Community Leisure Ltd, in respect of its reported income during the last three years that are included in its Audited Financial Statements. You may find it helpful to reply by email.

“a) Was the Trust in receipt of any income described as “Royalties” from the landfill of parts of the Beacon Park Golf Course undertaken on behalf of the Trust by Serco Leisure Operation Ltd or Oakland Golf and Leisure Ltd?

“b) What portion of the Trust “operation of leisure facilities” funds relate to the Beacon Park Golf Course?

“c) What, if any, cash was generated from the Trust’s operation of the Beacon Park Golf Course?

“d) What, if any, cash or cash equivalents at the end of the reporting periods were generated from the Trust’s operation of the Beacon Park Golf Course?”.

The response “I thank you for your letter of 8th August 2018. I feel that your queries should be directed to the trustees/directors rather than myself, particularly in the view of the latest data protection regulations. Their e-mail address is trustwlcll@hotmail.com and they can answer your queries. Andrew D Kilshaw, Chartered Accountant”.

So that’s a “bugger off” if ever I saw one. Yet all is not over. The Charity Commissioners will want to know, under Part VII of the Charities Act 2011, that “Directors have complied with their obligations under the Act with regard to the preparation of an annual report and its transmission to the Charity Commissioners”. WLCLT might wish to come clean before the Commissioners ask them?
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