Under-threat courses to have funding cut "within weeks"

Golf Balls

Two courses under threat of closure are to have their funding cut in a matter of weeks, it has been confirmed.

Earlier this year it emerged Brackenwood Golf Club and Hoylake Municipal were at risk of being closed as a result of Wirral Council’s financial troubles.

Club officials said they were “devastated” by the proposals, which first came to light in January, and warned the loss of the clubs would leave members “in limbo”.

However, despite their pleas for the plans to be reconsidered, the local authority voted through the cuts as part of a £20 million package of savings.

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It means that as of April 1, the clubs will lose all cash from the council.

Several other sport facilities will also have their funding removed as part of the plans.

Bosses at Brackenwood said they were “sorely disappointed” by the decision not to continue the club’s funding until a new operator could be found.

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,” said secretary Keith Marsh. 

“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. 

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“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.” 

Marsh also slammed the “embarrassing and unprofessional” conduct of councillors in the decisive meeting. 

“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,” he said. 

“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. 

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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.” 

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