Anger over Sheringham and Cromer early season putting green closures

Failure to open seaside putting greens during the early season holidays has been attacked by concerned councillors.

Sheringham Town Council has hit out at the greens being shut at Easter and Whitsun and is toying with trying to take their local facility over from North Norfolk District Council.

And Cromer Town Council has aired similar concerns over the putting at North Lodge Park.

A district official has apologised for the closure but said it was among the teething troubles of a new contract which sees the greens managed by the same company which does refuse and street cleaning.

The lack of putting at Sheringham had prompted a lot of complaints Peter Cox told fellow town councillors, querying why tourism amenities were bracketed with cleansing.

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He felt the district council was trying to save money and not thinking about the affects on people.

'If a facility is closed people might not came back again. We want people to come and enjoy themselves, not be disappointed.'

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Councillors agreed to express their disappointment about the putting management and Mr Cox hoped there was not an ulterior motive in failing to open the greens, such as closing them due to low use.

The town council should look at taking it over from next year, he added. It also ran the Beeston Hill putting green, which was operated by a local resident and 'does not cost the council a penny.'

Mayor Doug Smith said the situation was a 'disaster' and 'shameful' as the town needed its tourist facilities.

Cromer Town Council has also been angered by the same thing at North Lodge Park. Mayor Greg Hayman said it was a 'disgrace' and if the contract was not ready some temporary arrangements should have been in pace to ensure the facilities were operating during two busy holiday weeks when the area was packed in good weather.

District council parks manager Paul Ingham told Sheringham council in a letter the closures were 'disappointing' and due to training of new staff not being completed in time, which was 'unfortunate' but assured the greens would be open more under the management of contractors Keir.

Council strategic director Nick Baker said the putting greens were a non-core add-on to the cleansing contract. The matter had been raised with Keir at regular meetings to monitor and discuss the new contacts, along with some other hitches such as glass bank and litter bin collections.

They were teething troubles just three months into a major contact and he was was 'confident it will be run effectively in the future.'

?NNDC says the 2011 opening times for the Sheringham Station Approach putting green, and at Cromer the Marrams putting green, Meadow pitch and putt, and North Lodge Park putting and bowls greens are 10am to 8pm until Friday September 30. Prices are: pitch and putt �3, putting �2, bowls �2.50 (bowls hire �2 extra).

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