Swindon AdvertiserCouncillors to tee off on leisure deals (From Swindon Advertiser)

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Councillors to tee off on leisure deals

Swindon Advertiser: Broome Manor golf course Broome Manor golf course

PROPOSALS to lease the town’s leisure and golf facilities moved a step forward on Wednesday night when Swindon Council’s cabinet agreed to put the plan to full council.

Following a consultation process it emerged last week that Greenwich Leisure Limited will run leisure services, while Twigmarket will take over Broome Manor and Highworth Golf, a move the council hopes will save £1.4m a year in subsidies. The leisure facilities will be subject to a 25-year lease while Broome Manor is on a 75-year lease.

While the opposition says it broadly supports the leisure move, Labour councillors say they have objections to the golf facilities being leased out as it is still possible to make money from them.

Initially Moredon Golf was included in the lease but, because it struggles to make a profit, it was later removed. As a result Labour believes golf is now an attractive prospect for the council.

Councillor Jim Robbins (Lab, Mannington and Western), the shadow member for leisure, said: “There is a lot we are pleased about in the lease appraisal.

“There was talk of 99-year leases on leisure facilities, so we like that they are down and there are longer ‘keep-open’ clauses. Labour lobbied hard on that so it is good to see.

“Where we do have worries is with the golf facilities. Now that Moredon has been removed it leaves Broome Manor and Highworth, which are in fact close to breaking even.

“There has been investment at Broome Manor so it would not take much more to have them turning a profit. If this is the case then there is no need for either of the facilities to be passed over to the private sector.

“One argument is the companies are in a position to invest, but when you look at the rest of the council programme, such as the broadband proposal, then there is money available to improve facilities if we really want to.”

The council says one of the most attractive elements of the deal is it will make money from the lease.

The lead member for leisure services, Coun Keith Williams (Con, Shaw), said: “With the leisure aspect there will be a saving as we will no longer be paying a subsidy. There is currently no subsidy with the golf but through this deal we will get some money, dependent on performance.

“Twigmarket has the expertise in running golf courses as we have seen, so there is a lot they can bring to both Broome Manor and Highworth.

“Most of all they bring investment. Breaking even is one thing but Twigmarket have said they will invest, which many would say is a good thing.”

The proposals go before full council on July 17.

Comments (8)

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8:10am Fri 27 Jun 14

house on the hill says...

OK so this will potentially save money for the Council, but I have no doubt it will cost the users far more for a service paid for by tax payers.
OK so this will potentially save money for the Council, but I have no doubt it will cost the users far more for a service paid for by tax payers. house on the hill
  • Score: 2

8:47am Fri 27 Jun 14

Davey Gravey says...

Why is broome not already making money? It is as busy a golf complex as youwill find anywhere and it isn't exactly cheap to use either. Considering how busy it is I struggle to see how they can make profit if they currently are not. I think it is already making money and would be interested to see some figures.
Why is broome not already making money? It is as busy a golf complex as youwill find anywhere and it isn't exactly cheap to use either. Considering how busy it is I struggle to see how they can make profit if they currently are not. I think it is already making money and would be interested to see some figures. Davey Gravey
  • Score: 1

10:05am Fri 27 Jun 14

Sandor Clegane says...

Virtually everything the council runs loses money. There's zero incentive to run anything properly and in profit and there's always a nice big pot of money to call on when they do lose money.
Virtually everything the council runs loses money. There's zero incentive to run anything properly and in profit and there's always a nice big pot of money to call on when they do lose money. Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 7

11:09am Fri 27 Jun 14

Ph1lxx says...

Davey Gravey wrote:
Why is broome not already making money? It is as busy a golf complex as youwill find anywhere and it isn't exactly cheap to use either. Considering how busy it is I struggle to see how they can make profit if they currently are not. I think it is already making money and would be interested to see some figures.
On Golf Broom Manor is making money. It is losing £1,300 a week an Catering which just about cancels this out.

The figures you want are available in the reports attached to the agenda of the Cabinet meeting this week. Available on Council website.
[quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Why is broome not already making money? It is as busy a golf complex as youwill find anywhere and it isn't exactly cheap to use either. Considering how busy it is I struggle to see how they can make profit if they currently are not. I think it is already making money and would be interested to see some figures.[/p][/quote]On Golf Broom Manor is making money. It is losing £1,300 a week an Catering which just about cancels this out. The figures you want are available in the reports attached to the agenda of the Cabinet meeting this week. Available on Council website. Ph1lxx
  • Score: 2

12:27pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Davey Gravey says...

Ph1lxx wrote:
Davey Gravey wrote:
Why is broome not already making money? It is as busy a golf complex as youwill find anywhere and it isn't exactly cheap to use either. Considering how busy it is I struggle to see how they can make profit if they currently are not. I think it is already making money and would be interested to see some figures.
On Golf Broom Manor is making money. It is losing £1,300 a week an Catering which just about cancels this out.

The figures you want are available in the reports attached to the agenda of the Cabinet meeting this week. Available on Council website.
Cheers. I'll have a look.
[quote][p][bold]Ph1lxx[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Davey Gravey[/bold] wrote: Why is broome not already making money? It is as busy a golf complex as youwill find anywhere and it isn't exactly cheap to use either. Considering how busy it is I struggle to see how they can make profit if they currently are not. I think it is already making money and would be interested to see some figures.[/p][/quote]On Golf Broom Manor is making money. It is losing £1,300 a week an Catering which just about cancels this out. The figures you want are available in the reports attached to the agenda of the Cabinet meeting this week. Available on Council website.[/p][/quote]Cheers. I'll have a look. Davey Gravey
  • Score: -1

12:50pm Fri 27 Jun 14

BCDR99 says...

Moredon loses money because it's been virtually abandoned. I suspect it will be houses soon because "it's not viable." It's been made loss making on purpose.

If Broome is losing money on the catering, why lease the whole thing out? Why not just put the catering facilities out on a lease? Any decent operator would pay to be there and instead of losing money for the council, it would be a fixed income stream?
The proposed plan seems to be a case of chucking the baby out with the bathwater.
Moredon loses money because it's been virtually abandoned. I suspect it will be houses soon because "it's not viable." It's been made loss making on purpose. If Broome is losing money on the catering, why lease the whole thing out? Why not just put the catering facilities out on a lease? Any decent operator would pay to be there and instead of losing money for the council, it would be a fixed income stream? The proposed plan seems to be a case of chucking the baby out with the bathwater. BCDR99
  • Score: 5

1:11pm Fri 27 Jun 14

Ollie Dognacky says...

I guess, once the sprawl is built at Coate, they'll be moving on to Broome.
More flats at Moredon too
I guess, once the sprawl is built at Coate, they'll be moving on to Broome. More flats at Moredon too Ollie Dognacky
  • Score: -4

1:27pm Fri 27 Jun 14

house on the hill says...

Sandor Clegane wrote:
Virtually everything the council runs loses money. There's zero incentive to run anything properly and in profit and there's always a nice big pot of money to call on when they do lose money.
Very true and the same reason why they don't bother to run a good value for money service in general. We cant go anywhere else for our service and every year they get a nice big new pot of money regardless of how they have done. If they want a pay rise they should earn it and improve their services first to deserve it!
[quote][p][bold]Sandor Clegane[/bold] wrote: Virtually everything the council runs loses money. There's zero incentive to run anything properly and in profit and there's always a nice big pot of money to call on when they do lose money.[/p][/quote]Very true and the same reason why they don't bother to run a good value for money service in general. We cant go anywhere else for our service and every year they get a nice big new pot of money regardless of how they have done. If they want a pay rise they should earn it and improve their services first to deserve it! house on the hill
  • Score: 5

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