Fact Check Derby City Council Cabinet Meeting 040821


Section 45- 21 of the minutes for the Council Cabinet Meeting held on 4 th August state:
“Council Cabinet resolved to not accept the recommendation contained within the resolution, having given due consideration to the will of Council and considered the evidence presented in support of the proposal

“On the balance of the evidence considered, Council Cabinet agreed there were not sufficient grounds to overturn its decision of September 2019”

At the Council Cabinet Meeting held on 4 th August 2021, Councilor Poulter made the following closing statement prior to the vote by Council Cabinet to reject motions approved by Full Council:

“We can’t follow the will of the council when it is on flawed evidence and inappropriate representations from a social media group with no facts and no evidence”


Several inaccurate statements were made in the process of Council Cabinet dismissing motions passed by Full Council.

This fact check provides evidence of misleading key statements that were used to reject motions approved by Full Council in relation to the sale of Allestree Hall and operation of Allestree Golf Course

Link to Minutes of Cabinet Meeting 4th August 2021   

Council Cabinet – 4 – August – 2021


Councillor Poulter stated the following regarding the advertising process employed for the golf course

Expressions of Interest process in answer to the motion:

“It simply wasn’t just an online subscription only magazine or some local publicity”


The following question was asked to Derby City Council via the Freedom of Information Act 2000

“The opportunity to operate the golf course was advertised in the 21/01/20 edition of the leisureopportunities.co.uk ezine.

Was the opportunity advertised through any other channels?

The response below (extracted from EIR15304) confirms the statement by Cllr Poulter is inaccurate and misled the meeting

“Yes, Leisure opportunities website Available through various search engines.
Golf Course Consultation Exercise.
Golf course ticket office”

The advertisement placed in the 21/01/20 edition of the e zine is not accessible via search engines. It also cannotbe found through the search feature within the leisureopportunities.co.uk homepage.

The opportunity was clearly not advertised through any golf media channels despite comments in the meeting to the contrary

DCC Link to Download EIR15304


In response to Cllr Shanker enquiring if the value of the Hall had increased, decreased or stayed the same since the offer for Allestree Hall was accepted, a council officer stated the following:

“The due diligence was done at the point the offer came in and we know we had an asset that had a number of condition surveys and everything else highlighting its dilapidation. That at the time went through a process of best consideration”


Questions were asked to Derby City Council via the Freedom of Information Act 2000 relating to the sale of
the Hall.

The response via FOI15457 states eight organisations placed bids to purchase the Hall. It also states “Information Not Held” in response to the following questions:

1. Invitation to tender documentation that was issued to pre qualified bidders for them to make an offer
2. Scoring mechanism utilised to evaluate tenders, including grading required for an acceptable tender
3. Scores achieved by tenderers
4. I have been advised by Council Officers that a valuation of the Golf Course took place prior to the Hall sale process. Please provide documentation detailing the valuation process and value applied, which was used to comply with the best value provisions.

Without a commercial tender process to evaluate proposals or a valuation of the course, how can it be stated that due diligence was carried out to ensure best consideration for either the hall or course?

DCC Link to Download FOI15457


Councillor Smailes stated the following:

“If you look at the public comments, they want the park for everyone to enjoy, not just a group of 90”


Derby City Council have not published detailed results of the public consultation process. The Equality Impact Assessment includes the summary below, which confirms the overwhelming will of the public was for the golf course to be retained

805 people in total completed the survey, this was made up of:
• 763 people gave their view through the online survey
• 42 people completed a paper questionnaire.

Key findings:
• Three quarters of consultees (75%) believed that it was important to the local area that Allestree continued to have a golf course
• Most people responding to the survey (80.2%) did not mind if it was the Council or other organisations that operated Allestree Golf Course as long as it is of a good standard
• 246 participants commented that the golf course should be kept
• 96 people commented that the golf course should be removed and returned to parkland

Response via FOI14961 states that 16,292 rounds were recorded in 2019/20. The response does not detail the number of rounds played by each individual , clearly it is not just 90 people.

DCC Link to Equality Impact Assessment  

DCC Link to Download FOI14961


Councillor Poulter stated the following in relation to the history of the golf course not being included in the
marketing for sale of the Hall or the golf course Expressions of Interest process:

“The motion seeks to rely on this course being designed by a renowned golf course designer, Harry S Colt. It wasn’t mentioned as the council wasn’t aware of who the designer of this course was and that he had any


An interview with Alan Maguire (Chairman of Allestree Park Golf Club) published in Derby Telegraph five daysinto the public consultation on 20/01/21 stated:

“ It was designed by Harry S Colt, who also created the world famous courses at Portrush, Sunningdale, Woodhall Spa and Wentworth.”

This information was available for officers to act upon prior to advertising and release of EOI documentation.

Other information was available online about the course history for council officers to access during research prior to advertising the Hall and Golf Course opportunities.

  • Derbyshire County Council Historic Environment Record MDR9766 references the creation of a golf
    course in 1928.
  • Derbyshire Golf Union published an online book in 2013, available via a Google search of “Allestree
    Golf”, states the following against the entry for Allestree Park Golf Club.

The Derbyshire Golf Club (q.v.) moved to the course, designed by H.S. Colt, in 1930 from a site in Mackworth”

Link to DET Article  

Link to HER Record  

Link to Derbyshire Union Document


Councillor Poulter stated the following when referring to organisations that contacted the Chief Executive of Derby City Council prior to the meeting:

“Your refer, Councillor Repton, to some letters received at last minute yesterday or today. Two of these letters refer to people who bid as a result of this expressions of interest going out and they failed to meet the criteria on a number of grounds.”

“There is only one other party resulting from the social media pressure in the group run by a couple of people”


Three organisations contacted the Chief Executive of the council prior to the meeting to reconfirm their interest to operate the course.

Only one organistation was part of the original process. They exceeded all criteria but were rejected for
requesting a subsidy, which was due to the requirement to TUPE transfer council staff contracts . They are
proposing to remove the subsidy as TUPE is no longer required.

Neither expression of interest from the other groups were received at last minute One of the groups that approached the Deputy Chief Executive of the council had provided a full proposal to operate the golf course in April 2021, which was not submitted for consideration to council by officers.

The Ian Woosnam Golf Courses & Academies contacted Cllr Hassall (Allestree Councillor ) via email on 16 th May 2021 expressing their interest to operate the golf course. They received no response from Cllr Hassall