Posted by: westlancashirerecord | December 4, 2018

Beacon Park Golf Bulletin

In December 2015 the Head of Leisure and Cultural Services West Lancashire Borough Council, John Nelson, wrote “The contractors have started to bringing material to site ready for the access to the driving range to be provided. The driving range will then accommodate up to 35,000m3”.

It was already reported that “Contractors started on site in November 2013 [for the 9hole course]. The first sections of topsoil were moved back and deliveries of the inert materials commenced at the end of November 2013. Footgolf is one of the proposals for the Beacon”. And “Serco have entered contractual arrangements with Oakland Golf and Leisure Limited  to deliver the scheme on behalf of West Lancashire Community Leisure”.

In November 2016 we corresponded with John Nelson that “Hence we are in late November 2016 without a playable new 9Hole Course and a “remodelled” golf range that merely resembles one of the largest landfill sites in West Lancashire without an obvious end in sight. Indeed, it would seem that playing FootGolf on it might be a dangerous experience if by chance it received a safety certificate from WLBC and/or any statutory health and safety organisations. The only “shaping” as I’ve viewed it is in random heap upon heap of concrete, bricks, rubble, steel, old lorry tyres, plastic pipes and sheets, and now mounds of clay” .

And, in December 2016 John Nelson wrote “In regards to the area previously used as a driving range, the delivery of inert landfill has now ceased in this area and the “shaper” is liaising with the greens team in order to shape the footgolf course in the most appropriate manner. This will commence after the Christmas break, dependent upon weather, and is expected to be complete in the new year and should be seeded in March 2017. The operator will have to allow the area to grow and mature for one full season before it can be considered as a usable area”.

Readers will by now be aware there is no driving range at the Beacon Park Golf Course. Serco Leisure thinks otherwise, and has claimed otherwise publicly on its website. On 23 November we wrote “Dear Ms McDougall I refer you to

“You will see it refers, today, to Facilities “Beacon Park Golf Centre has a range of facilities offering an excellent choice of golfing activities, a clubhouse and free parking. We offer a golf club loan service and baskets of balls for the driving range”.

“This is a gross public misrepresentation of the facilities at the golf course which as you know has no driving range due to landfill, now the subject of Breach of Planning Conditions. During my regular visits to the course I have seen no golf clubs on loan nor baskets of balls to hit on the imaginary, illusionary, driving range. The recently installed driving cages are closed due to failure of Health and Safety regulations. When will WLBC insist on Serco Leisure Operating Ltd publishing what IS available and not what it IMAGINES might be available?”

On 30 November Ms McDougall wrote “Thank you for your email below. This matter has been brought to the attention of Mark Snaylam, Serco Contract Manager, who has agreed to reply to you directly. Mr Snaylam has also agreed to update the website accordingly. I hope this information is useful”.

Yesterday “The website is now updated, Kind regards, Mark Snaylam”.

Response “Mr Snaylam. The website is not updated. The “Facilities Matrix”shows there to be a “Driving Range”. There is no driving range at the Beacon Park Golf Course”.

Reply “Many thanks for your continued vigilance. It will be removed from the website asap Kind regards, Mark Snaylam”.

Response “I remain as vigilant about the Beacon Park Golf Course as ever I am. West Lancashire golfers, especially the Senior members, deserve better treatment than they have, and are, receiving”.

Outcome. Today, 4 December, the Serco Leisure “Facilities Matrix” STILL claims there to be a driving range at Beacon Park Golf Course.

Foot Note…the Serco Leisure “Facilities Matrix” has deleted its claim of a driving range at the golf course.

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