Mark Bradbury – the Director of property and economy , has distributed a letter regarding Whitewebbs to all the homes in Chase Ward, an unusual event.
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We understand that Mark Bradbury, the Director of Property and Economy has distributed a letter to every house in the Chase ward about Whitewebbs Park today.
This is a commentary on the points in his letter.
It appears to be a re-iteration of points, denying things that have not been issues
Freehold / Leasehold. Once the land has gone whether by freehold or leasehold it has gone from public control.
This Council, by its own admission, has an appalling record of not enforcing the terms of leases.(Green Belt Forum) Those responsible for drawing up the leases and approving them will be long gone by the time the lease is up for renewal. No accountability.
“The woodlands will continue to be protected” and the rest of the park?
The Golf Course has made a loss – This depends on how the Council assigns overheads, central costs and depreciation. The business model for the golf course which is unlike other golf courses ensures a “loss”. What is the income from the Carvery lease, the café lease, the social club lease? How could these be better managed to generate income for the park.
Mark Bradbury makes a political point comparing the cost of social workers and care costs with his notional costs of the golf course. Has he costed in the health benefits both mental and physical of the 25,000 rounds of golf played on the course every year. The activity probably greatly reduces the need for social workers and care costs.
The maths of the comparison need a closer look. His £1 Million cost of 22 full-time social workers is over 1 year. But the 1 million “loss” is over 5 years. This suggests that a full-time social worker costs the Council (salary/Employers NIC/all other costs) £9,900 per year. This equates to each social worker being paid less than £5 per hour, an amount far below the minimum wage.
The closure of the golf course is going to cost Enfield £200,000 to £300,000 plus this year in cash green fees at a time when other courses will be jam packed and the demand for golf is at a high. Look at the figures for the post lockdown period last year – income up 80%
The point about 135 golf club members is totally irrelevant and misleading. It is not a membership club charging over £1000 a year for membership. It is a public pay and play course for ordinary people who don’t want the rigmarole of posh private clubs. Costs of playing are substantially lower than at neighbouring clubs offering pay and play.
What alternate leisure activities on this site are going to generate income? Jogging?
Trent Park course is next to a tube station and on several bus routes. It has function rooms and a busy bar. Whitewebbs has one occasional bus and that goes nowhere near the golf course office.
Yet again the letter denies landfill but ignores the 200,000 cu metres of potential “landscaping” that is envisaged in the marketing material.
The letter, in its most significant omission, fails to mention the commitment to a meaningful consultation process with the “stakeholders”. These groups represent users, walkers, youth groups, woodland management and many respected specialist environmental groups.
The whole process has been characterised by inadequate and misleading information. The process is conducted secretly in the name of commercial confidentiality. Attempts have been made to minimise the access promise. If the council is concerned about “scaremongering and misinformation” it only has to look at its own performance in this “marketing “ exercise to see the cause.