‘Distance’ charge that Lanarkshire golfers pay is set to be scrapped

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 3, 2021 08:42

Unpopular charges that members of municipal golf clubs in South Lanarkshire have to pay if they don’t live in the area could be scrapped, according to reports.

South Lanarkshire Council has accepted that the charges are deterring golfers from outside the area from visiting, and this has led to a political blame game, states the Daily Record.

The ‘boundary charges’ result in members from outside the area having to pay more at local golf clubs – and this only applies to golf facilities.

South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture (SLLC) previously insisted the scheme was needed to ‘limit the increase in golf prices for residents’ and that the courses represented ‘good value for money’, despite clubs like the Torrance House Golf Club in East Kilbride saying the charges were “disgraceful”.

However a recent report to South Lanarkshire Council stated that it had “impacted on uptake from customers outwith the authority area.”

Torrance House Golf Club. Image from Facebook

The report’s findings could see SLLC changed to a charitable organisation and given the power to be more flexible with pricing arrangements.

Councillor Graham Scott has called for the charges to go. He said: “The pernicious boundary charge has harmed South Lanarkshire’s golf courses for too long and now its days are finally numbered.

“For the past four years I have been working to remove this charge. It has been pushing golfers away from South Lanarkshire when we should have been encouraging new customers to come here to play on our courses.

“Now that SLLC is gaining new flexibility over pricing, their most senior official has indicated that the boundary charge will be going. My Labour colleagues and I will keep pushing until it’s gone for good.

“The next challenge is to ensure that a more customer-friendly pricing structure goes hand in hand with a plan to reverse years of underinvestment in our leisure and culture facilities and our golf courses.”

Rutherglen Central and North councillor Janine Calikes, of the SNP, hit back, however.

She said: “Labour’s deliberate leaking of cross-party, confidential information was designed to stop any progress on improving the services provided by SLLC.

“Now they have the audacity to call for solutions. Let’s be clear – the solution is not to vote Labour whose decades of mismanagement and neglect have taken us to this point.

“Let me remind Councillor Scott that it was a majority Labour administration who introduced the boundary charge in the first place, and that at any time they could have replaced it as a majority administration – they didn’t.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 3, 2021 08:42
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