Two Wirral golf clubs set to have funding pulled in just a few days

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 2, 2022 12:24

Two golf clubs that have been caught up in the middle of a budgeting crisis within Wirral Council are to have their funding removed on April 1.

Brackenwood Golf Club and Hoylake Municipal have been told the council will end funding for them in just a few days, after councillors voted in favour of a £20 million cuts plan.

Several other facilities will also have their funding removed.

Keith Marsh, secretary of Brackenwood Golf Club, said: “Brackenwood Golf Club were sorely disappointed that Labour and Conservative groups could not see the validity in maintaining Brackenwood Golf Club during the summer months ready for a new operator to take over the course as a going concern.

“We were once again present at the meeting and have worked so hard to demonstrate to the council the public feeling about the importance of the course and the land in Bebington.

“There are several operators that have shown significant interest in running the course and we now need the council leader, Janette Williamson, to stand by her commitment from the meeting to ensure that any transfer happens with haste.

“The course is not just a leisure facility, but a greenspace that is loved by many – golfers and non golfers alike.

“We are, obviously, disappointed that Brackenwood was not afforded the same level of support and protection that Woodchurch Leisure Centre has been given following agreement that £330,000 would be ring-fenced to support community asset transfers for the site.

Brackenwood Golf Course. Image from Facebook

“It can sometimes seem that all our work to raise the issues to councillors went ignored, a 3,600-strong petition, an extremely well supported residents’ meeting at Brackenwood, protests against the closure, inclusion in a rally through Birkenhead and of course the many communications with councillors but our fears of not being fully listened to transpired.

“From a public perspective, it seems nonsensical to have a public consultation on proposals about the budget running on the council website until March 27 when decisions have already been made at the budget meeting.

“We were highly disappointed that the outcome of the meeting seemed to be decided before anyone had even attended with both Labour and Conservatives agreeing the set budget in what appeared to be a ‘whipped’ decision by leaders.

“It is also highly-disappointing that ward councillors from across the Wirral, in particular from Labour and Conservatives, were not in a position to truly represent people who elected them but spent the majority of the meeting having a slanging match with each other.

“Our group representing Brackenwood Golf Club, as I am sure members of the public at the meeting and at home watching on the webcast, observed a spectacle that was embarrassing, unprofessional and not what residents want to see on such an important night where local issues should have been high on the agenda, not attacking the opposing party.

“Brackenwood Golf Club can only hope that the council has the determination to ensure that services affected by the savings within the budget can be fast-tracked into alternative operator hands and not left to fall into disrepair.

“Brackenwood Golf Club’s 87-year-long history is on the line here, we will wait and see but rest assured, as an organisation at the heart of the local community, we will be holding councillors to account for the promises made by the leader of the council.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 2, 2022 12:24
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