Video puts state of golf course back in spotlight
Members and campaigners have been involved in a bitter fight for years with Serco and West Lancashire Borough Council (WLBC) over huge quantities of landfill waste which have been dumped at the site, causing the course to deteriorate dramatically.
Only a handful of members now remain at the once-thriving club.
Last year matters came to a head when members were stunned to receive a scathing email from Serco chairman Rupert Soames dismissing their concerns.
The video by Golf Mates has already been viewed thousands of times, putting attention back on the course.
Local campaigner Alan Lenton said: “This has been going on for seven years now. The first landfill was dumped there in 2013.
“Here we are in 2020 and if you turn right at the clubhouse and walk 50 yards all you see is slippage.
“You have to walk through all that to get to the first tee. You can see on the video them playing with streams of water rushing down. That is what they have created in all this time.
“Things are not getting any better and it’s terribly sad. Most of the golfers have gone. A few are trying to form a new club but with the condition of the course I can’t see that happening. The loyal members who have paid their fees for years have been robbed.”
Campaigners have been demanding financial transparency over the landfill operations at Beacon Park for some time.
Serco was also previously rapped by the local authority and given a breach of conditions notice over the mountains of waste.
Matters appeared to be progressing after a planning application was submitted for footgolf, green and tee changes and landscaping work. Remodelling allowed the course to be passed for league play once more in 2019.
However, last year golfers again said the course had been badly neglected during the row with Mr Soames and Mr Lenton said this has got worse.
He said “nature has reclaimed” the area intended for a nine-hole junior academy golf course.
WLBC, though, said it was still optimistic planned works at the course would improve the situation.
A spokesperson said: “The council has enforced the need for the re-profiling work at Beacon Country Park to be undertaken to design an improved facility for the public.
“The work has been subject to delays due to bad weather and the national Covid pandemic. However, the council anticipates that the new facilities will be available in summer 2021.
“The golf course members have received a 50 per cent reduction in membership fees."
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