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Speech by Leslie Glancy, Club Captain, Perivale Park Golf Club to the Ealing Council Scrutiny and Oversight Committee on 5th October 2023

Firstly I would like to say that we are not against the creation of the Ealing Regional Park but I cannot see any reason why we are being excluded from being a part of it. We are a green, leisure facility, that is biodiverse, with protected flora and fauna and a wooded area. Many people would consider it an asset.

Perivale Park is a unique golf club. It is not an elite, manicured Club for rich patrons as suggested by Cllr Knewstub, Chris Bunting and other councillors. This is not the demographic of the Club nor even the casual golfers. Indeed most members couldn’t afford to move to the private clubs of Ealing and West Middlesex also mooted by the councillors. Brent Valley was suggested as an alternative, but it is an undulating course, not ideal for all.

Perivale is more of a social and community hub, supporting charitable organisations in the area. It addresses the principles of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. That is what we are all about: trying to encourage young and old, people from all walks of life and abilities who enjoy the game of golf or who want to learn to play in a safe and friendly environment. Encouraging them to participate in a sport that has been shown in recent studies to have considerable health benefits, not only from a fitness perspective but also for mental and physical well-being.

Some of the players from the Brent Valley Academy (sponsored by the council) come to the course to hone their skills, as do other school children. This means that the footfall on the course ranges from teenagers to octogenarians. The nine hole, flat course is ideal for them all.

It is a low-cost, high-impact facility run by member volunteers who provide year-round competition and social interaction. There may only be 150 Club members but the number of public users are more than trebled by the footfall of casual golfers. People come from all over Ealing and from many parts of congested areas of West London, as you will see from the graph in our Statement of Case pack. It is a well-known and much-appreciated venue.

If you have not as yet read our SOC I suggest you do so. It is a thorough piece of analysis of the documents produced for the ERP. It highlights the many flaws, inaccuracies, misapprehensions and misrepresentations provided by Ealing Council on which the arguments for closing the course are based.

This closure has obviously been planned for some months, but the council has never reached out to consult with the various stakeholders. In fact, Perivale contacted Cllr Mason in May on a management issue, and we had a response on his behalf in June. This suggested business as usual and gave no hint to the Council’s intentions.

The covert nature of the proposal suggests a real lack of transparency, and we are concerned that the intended consultation period will be no more than a paper exercise. However we are preparing for a meaningful dialogue which will open the door to a change of mind.

Firstly,, we are not against the creation of the Ealing Regional Park, but I can not see any reason why we are being excluded from being a part of it. We are a biodiverse green leisure facility, with protected flora and fauna and a wooded area. Many people would consider it an asset.

Perivale Park is a unique golf club. It is not an elite, manicured Club for rich patrons as suggested by Cllr Knewstub, Chris Bunting and other councillors. This is not the demographic of the Club nor even the casual golfers. Indeed, most members couldn’t afford to move to the private clubs of Ealing and West Middlesex, also mooted by the councillors. Brent Valley was suggested as an alternative, but it is an undulating course, not ideal for all.

Perivale is more of a social and community hub, supporting charitable organisations in the area. It addresses the principles of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. That is what we are all about: trying to encourage young and old people from all walks of life and abilities who enjoy the game of golf or who want to learn to play in a safe and friendly environment. Encouraging them to participate in a sport that has been shown in recent studies to have considerable health benefits, not only from a fitness perspective but also for mental and physical well-being.

Some of the players from the Brent Valley Academy (sponsored by the council) come to the course to hone their skills, as do other school children. This means that the footfall on the course ranges from teenagers to octogenarians. The nine-hole, flat course is ideal for them all.

It is a low-cost, high-impact facility run by member volunteers who provide year-round competition and social interaction. There may only be 150 Club members but the number of public users are more than trebled by the footfall of casual golfers. People come from all over Ealing and from many parts of congested areas of West London, as you will see from the graph in our Statement of Case pack. It is a well-known and much-appreciated venue.

If you have not as yet read our SOC I suggest you do so. It is a thorough piece of analysis of the documents produced for the ERP. It highlights the many flaws, inaccuracies, misapprehensions and misrepresentations provided by Ealing Council on which the arguments to close the course are based.

This closure has obviously been planned for some months, but at no time has the council reached out to consult with the various stakeholders. In fact, Perivale contacted Cllr Mason in May on a management issue, and we had a response on his behalf in June. This suggested business as usual and gave no hint to the Council’s intentions.

The covert nature of the proposal suggests a real lack of transparency, and we are concerned that the intended consultation period will be no more than a paper exercise. We believe we are entitled to a fair hearing and will take the fight as far as possible.

Send the proposal back to Cabinet, and let’s have three months of meaningful dialogue to discuss ways to encompass everyone’s needs with other users, including any potential requirements for a possible course redesign. Closing it down is a retrograde step.

Thank you.

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