Greens man sees red

Ben Reed is a keen local golfer who is hoping Bath Newseum and its followers might like to hear about his concerns regarding one of the city’s most popular golf clubs.

He writes: I’m hoping I can enlist your help in publicising an issue which seems to be brewing regarding the future of the Approach Golf Course, adjoining Victoria Park on Weston Road.

As you may know, the council ran a consultation earlier in the year on the future of Entry Hill Golf Course, which, like all the sports facilities in Bath is run these days by Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL) – a social enterprise which looks after many local authority leisure facilities across the country. Sadly Entry Hill has had little investment over recent years, loses money as a result and seems set to be closed. A council cabinet meeting to discuss this is scheduled for 22nd July.
IMG-20200503-WA0001
Worryingly, the Approach Course seems suddenly to be caught up in this decision-making process, and according to the council and GLL remains closed until the cabinet meeting on 22nd July – despite not having been part of the consultation and, as far as I’m aware, no discussion of its future ever having taken place.

Most golf courses reopened in the middle of May – including some run by GLL for other local authorities, and I’ve been trying to find out why the Approach Course can’t be reopened now.

I’ve written both to Paul Crossley, the B&NES cabinet member for leisure, and to GLL, asking for more information, but received only short, bland replies stating that the course remains closed and that this will be discussed at cabinet on 22nd July.

IMG-20190824-WA0000

I hope I’m wrong, but so far they’ve done nothing to allay my suspicion that the council and/or GLL are intending to close all their golf facilities permanently.

In the case of Entry Hill I can reluctantly see a case for this, but none of the problems associated with that site apply to the Approach Course, which is accessible, cheap, popular, and ticks all the wellbeing and fitness boxes which B&NES and GLL exist to meet. The council and GLL will never share revenue information due to commercial sensitivities, but I’m fairly sure the place even makes a profit!’20200503_121414
Ben has shown me letters he wrote to Cllr Paul Crossley and Jennifer Jacob who is General Manager for Bath Pavilion and Golf Courses.

Cllr Crossley’s reply was simply: ‘The Cabinet on July 22 will be considering the Entry Hill consultation exercise and also a paper on the leisure provision as a whole.’

From Ms Jacob he received the following:

‘The Council and GLL are in discussion regarding the future of Bath Approach and Entry Hill Golf Courses and are not currently in a position to reopen them. A decision will be taken by the Council’s cabinet when it meets on 22nd July.

20180519_091014

Both sites remain closed for golf until further notice, however, they are available for public access including walking.

I am sorry that we are not in a position to be able to open the golf courses at this time, however, alternative options worth considering include Centurion Golf Club, Bath Golf Club and Cumberwell Park.’

Can’t promise l can find out much more before the July meeting Ben, but l will give it a go.

How do others feel about this?