Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Golf pro takes down sign after joining council

A GOLF professional has joined Peppard Parish Council.

A GOLF professional has joined Peppard Parish Council.

Lee Rawlings, 45, is a PGA qualified professional and a director of L & N Management, which manages Greys Green Golf Course in Dog Lane.

He was co-opted on to the council last week after explaining that he wanted to be more involved in the community.

Mr Rawlings has run the golf course for four years and is based in Peppard during the week, although he lives in Leicestershire.

He said: “Now Peppard is a huge part of my life. We recently signed a 99-year lease so I envisage being here for a long time.I felt it was about time I tried to interact with people around here and put something back into the community.”

Mr Rawlings said he planned to move to the village once the business had grown sufficiently.

Councillor Tony Cotton said the council was concerned about the golf club’s use of an advertising board, which was a wider issue highlighted in a parish survey two years ago.

The club has asked Oxfordshire County Council to replace the brown tourist sign on the B481, which says “public golf courses”, with a more specific version which also mentions the availablity of country walks.

Mr Rawlings said he would take down his advertising board if it was an issue.

“It was only there on a temporary basis until we upgraded the brown sign but if it’s an issue that will be removed as of tomorrow,” he said.

Councillor Valerie Ross said the council had been in dispute with businesses in Manor Farm and the Ruchetta restaurant over their advertising boards and didn’t want to be seen as hypocritical.

She said: “They can’t see that we let you continue having it there. We understand that local businesses have to advertise but we can’t allow one to do it and not the rest. We have to be seen to be fair.”

Councillor Hadley Cooper wondered whether the fact that Mr Rawlings lived a long way away from Peppard would be an issue if he became a councillor. Cllr Cotton reminded him that he was based in Peppard during the week, adding: “It will be good to have a business person on the council and someone working in the parish.”

The council voted unanimously to invite Mr Rawlings on to the council. He has since taken down the board.

Meanwhile, the council has made changes to the procedure for co-opting members following its decision not to accept villager Babli Shahi because of a planning dispute she has with the council.

Potential members must now have two supporters for their application and must attend at least one council meeting so they understand the procedures and issues and be willing to attend courses.

Chairman David Hammond said: “We’ve had a problem where someone comes along and basically demands to be on the parish council. It would be useful to demonstrate some form of support from the community.

“I’m very conscious that there’s a lot of law involved in being a parish councillor. Those councillors who have been on the courses recognise the benefits.”

Ms Shahi is due to reapply to council for the one remaining vacancy and told members she hoped “the next seat has my name on it”.

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