Club uncertainty

Members of Whitwood golf club presenting a petition in support of the under-threat club to Wakefield Council.'Keith Martin (chairman), coun David Dagger, Paul Flockton (treasurer), Sam Wickens (captain), Dave Everitt (secretary)
Members of Whitwood golf club presenting a petition in support of the under-threat club to Wakefield Council.'Keith Martin (chairman), coun David Dagger, Paul Flockton (treasurer), Sam Wickens (captain), Dave Everitt (secretary)
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COUNCIL chiefs say under-threat Whitwood golf course could still be saved after several organisations expressed an interest in taking over the facility.

Members of Wakefield Council cabinet were told at a meeting on Tuesday that five applications had been received from groups interesting in running the municipal course, which was due to close at the end of June in a bid to save council cash.

Councillors recommended that the closure date be postponed to allow talks to continue with two of the interested organisations. Coun David Dagger, cabinet member for culture, sport and libraries, told the Express after the meeting that if no suitable organisation was found to take over the course, the council would enter into further negotiations with Whitwood Golf Club.

He said: “We are trying to do everything we can to keep the golf course going, taking into account the financial constraints we are in at the moment.

“But until we have the results of the procurement exercise, we don’t know. We will continue to explore every avenue.

“The golf club has said that it doesn’t want to see the course shut and if the council can’t get anyone to take it on, the club will be interested and will enter into negotiations.”

In September last year, the council announced it was looking at offloading the nine-hole course in a bid to save money.

It hoped Whitwood Golf Club would take it over, but a report to cabinet said after discussions, the club did not feel it could take over without a council grant.

A decision on the proposed closure of the municipal course was deferred by cabinet in April after Coun Dagger asked for more time to speak to organisations which could take it over.

Sam Wickens, captain of Whitwood Golf Club, said: “Following the decision by the cabinet, the club would obviously welcome going into negotiations with the council.”