Share |
The truths they don't want you to read....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Golf Club Sunday licence


How much has this fiasco cost us?

Added later: The current Council Sunday policy for Lewis, as per the Council Budget report page 15: ceasing the street cleansing and de-littering service on Friday evening, Saturday evening and Sundays (£20k saving)

Publicly this doesn't happen and isn't a breach of the Council Sunday policy, but I hear the road sweeper every Sunday morning, and the staff do get paid.  Hypocrisy in action.


Anonymous said...

Uh, looking at the historical news stories, many thousands. Especially if you factor in the (paid) time of Comhairle staff.

And what great and profound changes come about to the Outer Hebrides, with all this local taxpayer money spent?

People having lunch in the golf club on a certain day of the week can have a pint with their pie and mash, instead of a lemonade.

That's it. Nothing else.

Pathetic, really.

Anonymous said...

There goes my free round of golf on a Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Can't there just be a sensible resolution now? The Comhairle will not spend one penny of taxpayers money blocking attempts by businesses and services to operate on a Sunday.

If anyone wants to object to it e.g. churches, then they can do it *and* pay for the objections themselves. Not the Comhairle, who are supposed to be above religion, are cash-strapped, and should focus every resource they have on creating and retaining employment in the islands.

Anonymous said...

9:36 - yes they can be there and have a pint...but only if they are a member of the club and not just a member of the general public - a fact that seems lost on so many people!

Anonymous said...

........yes they can be there and have a pint...but only if they are a member of the club and not just a member of the general public - a fact that seems lost on so many people!......

Not least the Licensing Board.

Anonymous said...

This was essesntially a battle between the Golf Club and the Licensing Board. In the interests of transparency, it should be made plain that there were no formal objections to the application from any of the island churches. Quite what this says about them is for themselves to comment on, but they should not be instinctively criticised every time there's a Sunday related drama. There'a actually far more common sense among church membership than they're often credited with.

Anonymous said...

The councillors who willfully acted the way they did (and we assume/know against their own legal advice on the matter, despite no record of that legal advice being given Ha!) should resign from CNES as they obviously cannot be trusted to work within the law nor in the public rather than personal interest.

Anonymous said...


I'd be tempted to say that they should also be considered for personal surcharge in the matter.

How much did it cost, by the way - given that we can probably forget the ludicrous figure given by CNES which, if I remember, included no estimates of internal legal or admin costs.

Anonymous said...

11:01 here again..

9:58 is quite right. Objections were submitted only form individuals who have their own slant on things.

The bible contains so much common sense, a fact that seems to escape many people. People on the other hand often have a tendency to manipulate things to suit their own objectives.

On the Sunday thing>

12:21 I agree the individuals who acted this way should be personally liable for the costs - they acted on personal (Calvinist) motives.

Anonymous said...

Is it just another open pub or can you actually play around on the grass with sticks and balls?

Anonymous said...

I'm hearing that in a last-ditch attempt, the Sabbath wing of the Comhairle are trying to restrict the foods offered by the golf club on a Sunday...

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see if The Club can make money out of Sunday oppening as they will need quite a few punters who are prepared to spend quite a few quid to pay for the extra wages and electricity unless they staff the bar with volunteers.
Making money out of watching sporting events on TV could be challenging, Making enough money out of serving food to make it profitable on a Sunday is even more challenging.

If they cannot entice members to spend money the other 6 days how are they going to do it on a sunday.
Some pubs on the mainland have this problem so what they do is bring strippers in and that seems to entice the punters in.

Anonymous said...

Some pubs on the mainland have this problem so what they do is bring strippers in and that seems to entice the punters in.

Bang on! There's your answer - Stornoway Sabbath Strippers.

I'm sure no-one, individual or organisation, would object to it. Something for the golf club to consider and work a business plan around?

Anonymous said...

they could get some "lady boys" in; double up with entertaining and strong enough for caddying..... eat your heart out Donald Trump!

Anonymous said...

Sky costs a club nearly a grand a month subscription. It's based on rateable value and food income. A lot for a small club like Stornoway.

Dr Evadne said...

I don't think I would get much of a thank you for stripping but I would be happy to give lunchtime talks at the Golf Club. My subject area is; Turnips or Swedes...What's the Difference?
My fees are very reasonable.

Anonymous said...

There's something far wrong when a golf club can open as a social club on a Sunday but its members cannot play golf. I'm all in favour of the club being open on Sundays but without the course being open the potential for extra income is limited. Opening the course on Sundays will increase income from visitor fees and on additional membership - it happens everywhere else.

Anonymous said...

There's your answer. Cancell Sky subs and save £1000.00 per month.
At Club prices they are not going to make an extra Grand a month profit out of opening on Sunday.

Foot-loose said...

Opinion from Appeal (note decision re expenses):

No appearance for Respondents

INVERNESS , 18 January 2011.
The Sheriff Principal, having resumed consideration of the appeal and the Motion by the Appellant for sanction for the employment of junior counsel, ANSWERS in the affirmative the first and third questions of law in the Stated Case; FINDS it unnecessary to answer the second question; ALLOWS the appeal; and in terms of s.131(5)(c) of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 GRANTS a variation of the premises licence issued by the Respondents in respect of Stornoway Golf Club, Lady Lever Park, Stornoway dated 1 September 2009 so that the periods of their Licensed Hours thereunder shall henceforth include Sundays between 12 noon and 11.00pm for On-Sales only; DIRECTS the Clerk to the Respondents to issue forthwith to the Appellant a premises licence as so varied; FINDS the Respondents liable to the Appellant in the expenses of the appeal; ALLOWS an account thereof to be given in and REMITS same to the Auditor of Court to tax and to report; REFUSES to certify the appeal as suitable for the employment of junior counsel.

More can be gleaned from the full statement at

An expensive and unnecessary quagmire.

Anonymous said...

Just read Norrie Tosh's colum in the WHFP.
With a captain like him no wonder the Club's got problems.
I just hope if I ever need a taxi in town that he's not at the front of the Que because he certainly was'nt at the front of the Que when they were handing out Intellect and respect.

Anonymous said...

9.58 'This was essesntially a battle between the Golf Club and the Licensing Board. In the interests of transparency, it should be made plain that there were no formal objections to the application from any of the island churches.'

The Sherrif Principal's written opinion says:

[9] However, the Board had considered objections from a number of sources, of which three required mention. None of them, taken at their highest, were sufficient to support the decision reached. The Free Church of Scotland (Continuing) had presented submissions in relation to public health, but these were of a very general nature and dealt with the extent of alcohol consumption in Scotland and its medical consequences.

(LDOS also submitted an objection)

Anonymous said...

8.57 Haven't read the article but when they were handing out intellect I think you were further down the QUEUE than anyone.

The club is in a far better situation after two years of Norrie Tomsh at the helm than it had been for some time. Sounds like you may have a personal grudge.

Anonymous said...

But can he spell?


StornowayCarParkers said...

8.57 you say that someone is lacking in intellect and then spell queue as que and you have put the apostrophe in the wrong place.."was'nt". It should be "wasn't". Get your own house in order first. You remind me of these fools who support Celtic and moan about other teams' songs whilst they themselves go around every away ground in Scotland singing IRA anti-British songs. It's called hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

One of the last times I spoke to an LDOS person, we were discussing the economic woes of the islands. He came out with this, word for word:

"It would be far better, in the eyes of our Lord, if these islands were depopulated rather than lose the Sabbath."

I thought he was joking, or trying to be deliberately controversial, but then realised as he expanded on it that he was deadly serious.

His priority and preference for the islands has stuck with me ever since.

Anonymous said...

Humble apologies to 12.17 from 9.58, I wasn't aware till I read the statement that the FCC had, probably predictably, had lodged an objection.

Anonymous said...

If the club's that good since NT took over, why are they needing an extra few quid on Sundays then? Never needed it for the past 120 years so why now?
The license fiasco is only the first step to Sunday golf. Is it not obvious??

Anonymous said...


Doing much better than two years ago doesn't necessarily mean the club can secure it's future without the continued development of it's business. In the current economic climate all businesses that have a desire to survive look at all the options. The term not-for-profit doesn't mean it can make a loss each year. 120 years of history / tradition doesn't come into it - rather a club that survived for another 120+ years.

Undoubtedly the club will continue the drive towards Sunday golf - that's what it's members want. Of course playing golf on a Sunday wouldn't have required any work to be done by staff nor had any effect on the income of the club.

Fiasco indeed - the license should never have been refused.

Definitely sounds like you have a grudge, or maybe you are wearing those Sabbath fixated blinkers those members of the licensing board were wearing.

Anonymous said...

I think some could do with less days drinking, not more:

Anonymous said...

I also read NT's column in the WHFP and - like all rational thinking people, including a lot of the Point church people - agree with every word he said. Surely it is ludicrous that, when the existing 3 churches are struggling to fill their pews, another of similar persuasion is being built. It typifies so much of what is awry with our island and is a sad reflection on the way religion is observed here." Everybody out of step but our Murdo, or Mary or whomever"!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:28

Can we object to the planning permission for the newest Church on the grounds of 'overprovision' in the area?

Anonymous said...

9:37 LOL!

Actually you may have a point. Can the new church also be objected to on any other grounds e.g.

- will create disruption on the Sabbath through the increase in traffic
- will attract vulnerable people to join an undesirable religious cult
- the area and building should be used for something of tangiable benefit to the residents of Stornoway

Anonymous said...

Is this the worst economic climate in 120 years? Don't think so. Think the Club's economic fortunes went downhill when they stopped doing the regular dances at the weekend. The last Friday I passed the club there were only 3 guys in watching the TV

Anonymous said...

I agree. The Club's image could be a lot better if someone with a bit of tact could speak for them. They may be right in what they say but NT and KG aren't the most tactful in the language they put across. The Club's image shouldn't appear as bitter as its opponents.

Anonymous said...


No indeed not the worst economic climate in 120 years - but then again I didn't say it was - read the posts accurately or you may get mistaken as a councillor from Point.

You are entitled to voice your opinions as to the reasons behind the club's economic fortunes - but then again those opinions would be better based on fact or certain knowledge, rather finger in the air thoughts.

The fact that you witnessed only 3 in the club on a Friday night, and then reports tell us that 50+ frequented the establishment on Sunday, would suggest the club's business strategy may be a suitable one.

And finally, in case anyone is starting to lose the subject of the original blog:

The club is perfectly entitled to have applied for a 7 day license and as we all knew and had confirmed by a Judge - it is not against the law. End of..

Anonymous said...

The council shouldn't be in the business of screwing local businesses for any reason.

Norrie Tomsh said...

Would hate to think that either KWG or myself have ever come across as "bitter" in any of our utterances on the subject of Sunday Golf. Indeed we have gone out of our way to ensure that our membership are aware that there will be no Sunday golf unless the Trust amend our lease. We will continue to enter dialogue with them in an effort to change their opinion on the matter.
This may not happen any time soon.
We asked the Trust several years ago to let us open our locker room, so our members could get changed and pick up their clubs to play golf, with an ASSURANCE that there would be nobody employed on the course on the Sabbath.
This was refused.
We have abided by their refusal to change the lease and the official policy of the club is that it will continue to do so.
My utterances in the WHFP (It's Tomsh, by the way, though I accept that Tosh may have been an attempt at humour-though "anonymous's" subsequent comments would probably hint at an inability to spell) are made in my capacity as a columnist.
I may not have headed the queue where intellect was being meted out, but at least I joined the one where names were.
The Sunday Licence "fiasco" was another issue entirely. Without KWG's assured intellect,and our collective determination,the Club would have been expected to "go away" quietly and not trouble the board again.
As the biggest sports club on the Island we can sereve alcohol but not participate in our chosen recreation on the Sabbath.
if anyone else can see the irony in this, please point it out to the rest of those "anonymous" people out there.