Consider this, our Local Authority buys a parcel of land in 1972 to build a golf course to further the health and well being of its residents. Since 1972 the course and club house facilities become a much loved hub for not only golf but social interaction and well being for local people.
In 2008 the Local Authority begins a decade of golf course and amenity improvement promising a world class facility we can all be proud of. The improvements are to be self funded by allowing millions of tons of soil from development to be dumped on the course’s driving range and existing par 3 course.
During this decade of improvement, the immensity and disruption of the project hits and the golf course loses revenue due to the temporary closure of the amenity (the driving range and par three course). It also stifles a vital introductory element of sport for the youth but it is all worth while as the community watches the improvements taking place from the comfort of the club house with its extensive views.
In 2018 and almost in the week the new facility is opened the Authority’s governing Cabinet suddenly announce its intention to close the whole facility on the grounds that it has consistently lost money over the previous 10 years. (It is important to note that many if not most of the Council’s recreational facilities are run at a loss and are poorly maintained, “Splashes” as an example has just (2021) been grant a 5M capital upgrade by the authority, no doubt needed due to lack of good maintenance over its lifetime).
After much public outcry and indignation and after the decision close is “called in” to the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee the Cabinet closes the facility. In an act of commiseration its leader announces a £50,000 study into the possibility of a sports centre to replace the loss. This hasn’t materialised to date.
Local protest fails but is successful in convincing the Authority to register the whole of the site as an Asset of Community Value, a move normally taken by an authority against a third party (like a pub) when the owner closes a much loved and vital amenity in the pursuit of profit. This has resulted in the unique situation of a Local Authority registering an Asset of Community Value against itself as the owner.
Shorty after closure the Cabinet commission a £150,000 study to establish how much the site it is worth in terms of development and now in 2021 the authority propose building a road way through the site and announce the concept of “Parkland living at Deangate”, all in the name of ‘New Routes to Good Growth.’
Saving Deangate is not a local issue. No community in this country would quietly stand by whilst its local authority disregards the health and well being of the community it serves, however small.
Please take this opportunity to have your say and sign the SAVE DEANGATE PETITION.