Contact: Andy Ellis
WELCOME & APOLOGIES
In the absence of Cllr Susan Erbil, Cllr Margaret Greer chaired the meeting. All members of the Committee introduced themselves. Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Susan Erbil, Cllr Elif Erbil and Cllr Lee David-Sanders.
Cllr Greer read a statement, reminding all Members of the requirements relating to the purdah period.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to the items on the agenda.
No declarations of interest were received.
To review the portfolio decision taken on 23 March 2021 as a result of
the matter having been Called-in.
The response to Call in reasons is not attached to the agenda and will be
circulated “to follow”.
The Chair outlined the purpose and format of the call-in process and detailed the options available to the Committee. The Chair also reiterated that only questions relating to the reasons for call-in would be permitted from Committee Members. The Chair requested Cllr Laban, as the Call-in Lead, to provide reasons for call-in.
1) It was noted that Whitewebbs Park Golf Course has many supporters and a petition with over 3,000 signatures, against potential closure, was previously presented to Full Council.
2) There was a lack of consultation with the many interested stakeholders, including residents and Friends of Parks Groups. It was stated that there was a moral and professional duty to consult.
3) The finances in the original report were queried, with particular reference to depreciation, central costs and costs of re-opening.
4) The premature closure of the golf course has resulted in a loss of income for the Council, especially considering the surge in golf witnessed at the lifting of the first lockdown in summer 2020.
5) The ‘pay and play’ system used at Whitewebbs Golf Club allows for affordable sport as opposed to the fees charged by private golf courses. With obesity related to cases of COVID, we need to encourage exercise.
6) The passion exhibited by residents and stakeholders should be acknowledged.
The Chair thanked Cllr Laban and asked the Leader of the Council, Cllr Caliskan and Officers to respond.
7) It was noted the Council finances are used responsibly and there is a need to address poverty and other areas deemed necessary.
8) The call-in relates to a technical report on the closure of the golf course. There has been consultation, with much discussion going back to March 2019. To say there has been no engagement is misleading.
9) The report identifies a commitment to the site but acknowledges a year on year loss.
10)It is necessary to review provision on site, in order that tax-payers money is not used to subsidise the cost of maintaining the golf course.
11)Enfield is in a fortunate position of being very well served by alternative golf courses, offering a range of fees and charges.
12)The specification for potential bidders allows for future provision of golf to be considered.
13)The closure of the golf course now, allows for a reduction in cost pressures associated with the site.
The Chair opened the discussion to Members of the Committee for any comments or questions.
14)In response to a question about future access to the land it was confirmed that the land would remain open to the public, to be used by walkers, cyclists an horse-riders. In response to the petition to Full Council, the specification criteria has been enhanced and all bidders informed.
15)It was confirmed that further consultation would be undertaken, however, this has been delayed as a result of COVID restrictions. The views of the local MP would also be considered. Both the Council and bidders have been focused on other areas during the ... view the full minutes text for item 9.
DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS
To note the dates of future meetings as follows:
Provisional Call-in Meetings
· Tuesday 27 April 2021
To note that future meeting business dates will be confirmed at Annual Council in May.
The dates of future meetings will be confirmed following Annual Council on 19th May 2021.
The Chair thanked Members, officers and members of the public for attending the meeting and wished everyone well.