Back where they belong
On 1st April 2019 the Contracts Manager for Serco Leisure Operating Limited advised Rosie Cooper MP that the Senior Players of the Beacon Park Golf Course were reinstated to the competitive league we know they grace with their presence in it. Having been kicked out unceremoniously because Serco Leisure Operating Ltd (SLOL)and Oakland Golf and Leisure Ltd had ruined parts of the course and driving range by illegal breaches of planning conditions, it was a case of job done by Rosie and the Senior players.
Rosie wrote “It seems there is now light at the end of the tunnel for the members at Beacon Park Golf Course after much controversy about the state of the course”.
She states she “has taken a keen interest in developments at the Beacon, following countless complaints over the poor state of the course since Serco took over and landfill works began”.
Despite all these challenges, the Beacon Seniors beat the odds and won the South West Lancs Seniors League last year. This season, due to the ongoing landfill situation, the Seniors were suspended from the league. There was uproar at this decision. MP Rosie had met with the golfers on site to discuss their concerns, as well as meeting with Serco and West Lancashire Borough Council Directors to find a solution.
Following a recent meeting of the league, at which Serco attended to present their work remeasuring the course and maintaining an 18-hole facility that meets CONGU regulations complete with new stroke index and score cards, to everyone’s delight, the Seniors have been re-admitted to compete in this year’s competition.
50% off all memberships
Additionally, SLOL has assured Rosie in writing that “From 1st April we are offering 50% off all memberships for the next 12 months at Beacon Park”. No work has yet started to reinstate the course to something approaching its former glory. Nor will it ever be, unless those involved in the works are not the cowboy companies mentioned here.
In a recent somewhat oblique reference to the course, Labour Cllr John Bullock said, of the new Borough development company “The entity acquiring the land is essentially passing the wealth of the Borough to a separate legal personality in which we may or may not have tools of control (to be tested – hopefully not in a court of law) [Think Beacon Golf Club]”
“Think court of law, think Beacon Golf Club”
and in that context surely it is reasonable to consider what we all know, that the land-filling of Beacon Park Golf Course began and ended with the wealth that was created by the dumping of 23,375 lorry loads, 187,000 m3 volume of fill being claimed by, accounted for, and paid in secret to the private companies Serco Leisure Operating Ltd and Oakland Golf and Leisure Ltd.
As we’ve published so often, the intended beneficiary of the landfill royalties would be the West Lancashire Community Leisure Trust. Its annual accounts do not provide any evidence to prove the receipt of other than its regular leisure income. It’s hardly surprising, because we know SLOL admitted to having received the royalty income. Serco plc has admitted to receiving a considerable sum from it. Oakland Golf and Leisure Ltd showed various income moving between associated companies run by director Jonathan Snellgrove. No evidence has ever been produced of VAT accountability on the landfill activity, a matter that should be seriously examined by WLBC.