Agenda and draft minutes

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Items
No. Item

1.

Members' Code of Conduct - Declarations of Interest / Party Whip

Members are asked to consider whether they have any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or any other relevant interest in connection with any item(s) on this agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.

 

Members are reminded that they should also declare whether they are subject to a party whip in connection with any item(s) to be considered and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of the whipping arrangement.

Additional documents:

Minutes:

Members were asked to consider whether they had any disclosable pecuniary interests and/or any other relevant interest in connection with any items on the agenda and, if so, to declare them and state the nature of the interest.

 

Members were reminded that they should also declare whether they were subject to a party whip in connection with any items to be considered and, if so, to declare it and state the nature of the whipping arrangement.

 

No such declarations were made.

 

The Chair informed the Committee that he will not be enforcing the five-minute time limit for speeches.

2.

Called-in business - Future Provision of Golf Courses (Public papers) pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Chair introduced the item of business ‘future Provision of Golf Courses’ considered by the Cabinet Members as a delegated decision made on 30 May 2019, the decision relating thereto having been called-in in accordance with Council Procedure Rule / Standing Order 35. 

 

The Chair referred to the procedure for the consideration of called-in business that had been circulated with the agenda.  The Committee further received -

  • the details of the call-in and reasons submitted;
  • The decision notice for the delegated decision; and
  • the exempt report considered by the Cabinet Member.

 

The delegated decision made on 30 May 2019 had been called in by Councillors Ian Lewis, Tom Anderson, Helen Cameron, Chris Blakeley, David Burgess – Joyce, Andrew Hodson on the following grounds:-

 

We note the decision to approve the recommended preferred provider and to commence negotiations for a lease transfer of The Warren Golf Course (including The Grange) and Arrowe Park Golf Course but are concerned that:

  • Brackenwood Golf Course, which must also be affected by the same issues leading to this decision, is excluded from the decision and any proposed benefits to users and taxpayers
  • Accurate financial information for the running costs (including income, expenditure and capital works) for both facilities has not been provided
  • The scope of the negotiations has not been defined, in particular, any alternative uses for the land or buildings
  • The only consultation outlined is the statutory consultation required by the Local Government Act 1972 and that no meaningful consultation has taken place with existing users and clubs on either facility”.   

 

Councillor Ian Lewis, as Lead Signatory to the call-in, spoke to the Committee and stated that he recognised that the decision had been taken by a newly appointed Cabinet Member and that much of the work had been carried out by the previous Cabinet. He noted that the Cabinet had accepted a report that golf was in decline but he had seen that Sport England had mentioned a rise in numbers playing of 10,000 a year. He had noted that the previous Cabinet had been keen on a new golf resort on land at Hoylake and that the Borough would be hosting the Open. He was concerned that the Council was using a report from 2017 which covered only one of the courses in the decision and that no assessment of the Warren had been undertaken. The lack of financial data for each course had been raised by this Committee in the past, and it knew from other asset transfers that figures can be inaccurate. The figures for Arrowe Park and the Warren suggested that the running costs could be reduced and a lease rental would be gained from the operator who would in turn make a profit, but there was no detail as to how the income would be generated. He would be surprised if the bidder used the 2017 figures. He cited Basildon Golf Club as an example where a similar proposal failed, leading to criticism  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.