Following a recent consultation with Ashfield residents, a proposal for the future running of Selston Golf Course will be considered at Cabinet on Thursday 19th January.
Working with Selston Parish Council a proposal to explore the identification of an alternate commercial partner has commenced, consideration of which was incorporated into the recent budget consultation exercise.
The site, owned by Nottinghamshire County Council, and leased to Ashfield District Council provides a nine-hole course, two croquet greens and a café. Any decision to lease to a new provider must be taken by the County Council.
Cabinet will be asked to consider the proposal to formally advise Nottinghamshire County Council that Ashfield District Council would be prepared to surrender its lease for the site should an alternate provider be found who would like to enter a new lease with the County Council, or purchase the site out right.
If no alternative provider is found the proposal is to turn the site into a community park.
The site currently costs Ashfield District Council £50-£60k per year to run. In recent years the Council has taken active steps to reduce this subsidy and increase custom, but unfortunately this has not reduced the cost of running the site.
The Council’s recent budget consultation found that 56% of respondents who expressed a preference favoured the option to hand over to an alternative provider whilst 44% favoured the option to turn the course into a community park.
Cllr Tim Brown, Portfolio Holder for Waste & Environment said “Unfortunately it is not possible for us to continue to run Selston golf course with a loss of £50-£60k per year, with huge cuts to our budgets we need to make savings across a range of services, including leisure. Offering a commercial company, the opportunity to run the golf course will free up the money for the Council to spend in other areas.”
In the recent local government Financial Settlement announcement from central government, further funding cuts for local councils only adds to the huge financial challenges already faced and means that the Council has to re-visit its budget.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Cheryl Butler said “We hope that an alternative provider can be found to keep Selston golf course running, but if this is not possible then the Council are committed to turning the site into in to a community park that could be enjoyed by the whole community. The savings made from these changes are critical at a time when no extra money has been provided by Government to tackle shortfalls in its social care funding and instead cuts are being made to the new homes bonus scheme, which councils like ADC rely on to fund their services.”