Dear Mark [Snaylam]/Rupert [Soames] at Serco
“I am [we are] writing to you on behalf of ALL the members of Beacon Park Golf Club. It is with great sadness and some confusion that you have ceased daily maintenance of the course at BPGC.
“There has been a directive from English Golf to say that it is OK for greenkeepers to continue to work providing they keep to ‘Social Distancing’ regulations. Some courses DID ‘Lay Off’ green keeping staff for a short period but since the directive from English Golf (which has received Government approval) all courses in the area have allowed them to return.
“SERCO’s current directive NOT to allow greenkeepers to carry out daily and essential maintenance at BPGC is unique. It will also prove damaging to the course in the long term.
“Local greenkeepers are relishing an opportunity to carry out pre-season work without the interruption of Golfers. Gathurst, Sherdley Park, Dean Wood, Houghwood, Kirkby, Allerton, Golf Clubs are all allowing greenkeepers to work and are taking advantage of the situation. This, below, is a picture of one green keeper working at Sherdley Park today. [On his own, nobody to infect or be infected].
“If your current policy of non-maintenance were to continue for any lengthy period of time it would be impossible to play golf at BPGC when the ‘Lock Down’ is finished. Surely this is not good economics!! [Unlike the landfill royalties/VAT “economics” still shrouded in mystery as to their whereabouts!]
“The membership asks would you please reverse your current policy for Beacon Park and allow the green keepers to continue working. I can assure you that as soon the Corona Virus has finished there will be many people rushing to return. If Beacon is not fit to play then many members will leave and go and play elsewhere.
“Many Thanks, Mal Hayman (Club Captain) below right, Mike Stokes (Seniors Captain), Tommy Jackson (Club President), below left, inspecting the creative golf course construction left by Serco/Oakland Golf & Leisure Ltd”.
For the record, WLBC allows Clean and Green Operatives to work on the “Upkeep of green spaces across the borough such as highway grass verges, roundabouts and open spaces. The government has declared council staff, unlike private businesses, as key workers and therefore with the resources available these services will continue to maintain highway safety”.But they could come within 2 metres of the public while undertaking those duties.
WLBC stated “In answer to your specific queries a) what maintenance work is being undertaken at the BPGC. The course is closed and as per the governments advice all non essential work has ceased, this includes all maintenance work at the Beacon, other than statutory compliance works. b) are the green keepers working normally? The health, safety and welfare of the community, our staff and customers is our main concern – therefore in line with government advice the greenkeepers are not working. c ) are the greens, fairways and roughs being cut and professionally maintained. As stated previously all non-essential work has ceased.
And there you have it. WLBC declared in writing that the Beacon Park Golf Course greens, fairways and roughs that should be maintained are all non-essential work. You might draw the conclusion that the desecration of Beacon Park that started with massive and ultimately illegal landfill, all bungled under the banner of greed and ” un-monitored planning permission” will be completed within the next few months.
And who is making these decisions? Highly paid WLBC executives with no knowledge of golf course standards. Well they would, wouldn’t they? And dare we mention the unmentionable, that WLBC wants the BPGC to close? Probably!