Protest over golf course closure

Monday, 29th September 2014

CAMPAIGNERS fighting to keep Tamworth Golf Course open have been staging a protest, just days before it is due to close for good.

Tamworth Borough Council confirmed last month that Amington Municipal Golf Course is to close sooner than planned, on 1 October.

Originally the golf course was due to close next spring, but due to fewer players using the facility, it is losing money and could cost a total of £192,000 if it had stayed open until April 2015.

Income was down by more than 40 per cent in June this year, compared to the same period last year.

Tamworth Borough Council have assured golfers who signed up to an annual membership that they will receive a part refund.

They have said thay all members will be contacted and informed about the process for refunds.

With 171 members – a reduction from 257 last year – and fewer ‘pay and play’ golfers during the autumn and winter months, takings at the course can be as low as £40 a day, or sometimes even less Tamworth Council have said.

The protest, by about 30 members of Amington Residents Association, was held at the same time as the club’s annual Memorial Day event.

Talking to the BBC, John Rogers from the residents association said: “There will be no more golfing facilities left in Tamworth once the club closes.

“The course used to be one of the best municipal courses in the country but has been left to decline in recent years.

“Amington is a densely populated area of Tamworth and the council are talking about building homes on it.

“We will lose our green space, I understand housing is needed, but it will just be an urban sprawl here, it’s terrible.”

Council Leader, Cllr Danny Cook said: “We re-opened the course in March 2013 but we just have not had enough members and players to justify the amount of money it is costing the taxpayer to keep open.

“If we kept it open until April next year as originally planned it would cost an additional £62,000. To date, we have spent £300,000 on the course.

“At a time when we are facing financial cuts and need to make savings, we have to make difficult decisions to ensure we are protecting vital frontline services.”

Part of the land will now be sold to provide much-needed housing and part of the site will be used to provide high quality, accessible parkland.

What do you think of the closure and the plans for the site?