Shepway District Council (SDC) are considering selling off Folkestone Indoor Bowls Centre on Cheriton Road Folkestone. It is understood that two offers to purchase the site have been made by two supermarkets. The land on which the Bowls Centre sits is owned by SDC who purchased the Cheriton Sports Ground site (which includes the bowls centre), on the 24/12/2004, for the princely some of £750,000.
The decision to sell the Indoor Bowls Centre will be taken at the Cabinet Meeting on the 28th February 2018. “It is anticipated that this report will contain information which is exempt from publication and during discussion of this information the public may be excluded from the meeting.“
“If you wish to make representations that the public should not be excluded from the meeting during discussion of this item, please email Committee Services at email@example.com, stating the reasons why you think the discussion should be held in public.“
Cllr Dick Pascoe (pictured) is a director of Folkestone Bowls Association Limited who operate the site and was appointed on the 29th Oct 2014. He is also Cabinet member for Property Management and Environmental Health. So will he recuse himself from any decision which may be made on the 28th Feb?
According to the latest set of accounts lodged at Companies House on the 12th Oct 2017, Folkestone Bowls Association Limited made a loss of £15,266 up to March 2017. In the previous year it had made a profit of £36,101.
On the 25th Feb 2015 at SDC’s Cabinet meeting a renewal of the lease for the Indoor Bowls Club was discussed in Report C-14-83. An Independent valuation on the rent was sought and can be seen here However, in 2014 Folkestone Bowls Association Ltd, were not happy with the terms and conditions offered by SDC and their response can be seen here It was resolved at the Cabinet meeting of the 25th Feb 2015:
To approve the proposed approach to the offer of a new lease to the Folkestone Bowls Association Ltd, as set out in paragraph 1.4 of this report.
To authorise the Head of Housing, Land and Property, in consultation with the Solicitor to the Council to finalise the details of the proposed lease with the Folkestone Bowls Association Ltd.
That during the subsistence of the lease (and subject to a schedule of dilapidation) a grant of £10,000 per annum or part thereof payable quarterly in arrears and on condition that the grant shall not be regarded as a total of £50,000 but only of £10,000 per annum subject to a maximum of 5 years.
That the Council’s logo is included in all Folkestone Bowls Association Ltd publicity material.
All 10 Cabinet members voted for the motion.
We have spoken about Shepway District Council selling off the family silver previously. Folkestone already has Tesco’s, Morrisons (next door to the site) Sainsbury’s, Asda’s and Lidl’s. Does Folkestone need another supermarket?
Selling the Centre will put money before health. Health professionals recommend playing bowls, particularly for older people, as it provides a number of health benefits, including:
improved coordination and skill development
increased confidence and self-esteem
enhanced mental wellbeing
community connectedness and support.
Should SDC sell the land? We think not as the elderly need to stay fit as much as young people, plus it gives them somewhere to go and keeps them off the streets. 😉
The Shepwayvox Team