Fingers crossed for England members of border golf club

English golfers could soon be tee-ing off again at a cross border golf club.

Welsh member, Satyajit Maitra on Llanymynech Golf Club
Welsh member, Satyajit Maitra on Llanymynech Golf Club

Officials at Llanymynech Golf Club are awaiting clarification that their English members can cross the Welsh border - a cattle grid - to allow them to play on their home course.

But they are hoping that a Welsh government release that it would be reasonable for its members to enter or leave Wales within the confines of the course will pave the way for them to welcome back English members.

The anomaly over whether people can move across the Powys/Shropshire border saw the golf club tell its English members at the weekend that it would be unable to allow them to play until it had confirmation that they would not be breaking lockdown restrictions.

But, after the cross border confusion was highlighted in the Shropshire Star the Welsh Government contacted reporters to announce that it would be reasonable for members of Llanymynech golf club to enter or leave Wales within the confines of the golf course.

Club Chairman, Stuart Jones, said the club was now awaiting exact clarification from Powys County Council.

A spokesperson for Powys County Council said: “We understand the frustration that Llanymynech Golf Club is currently experiencing and are working with them to find a workable solution.

“However, the Welsh Government currently has travel restrictions in place which means travel in to and out of Wales is not permitted unless you have a reasonable excuse. The council has provided advice to Llanymynech Golf Club on what the latest restrictions are following the Welsh Government’s announcement at the end of last week. Travel restrictions can only be enforced by the police.”

The too-ing and fro-ing has left club officials none the wiser. They had to advise English members at the weekend not to turn up on Monday until it had clarification.

Mr Jones said: "We had the ridiculous situation on Monday of all golf course in England and Wales open but English members of Llanymynech GC unable to play on their won local course that thy live closer to than the Welsh members, because the Welsh government will not clarify that the unique situation here does not qualify under the 'you can only cross the Welsh border for legitimate reasons such as going to work'

"We just want some clarification so our English members can play without fear of a fine, or the club being fined."

Politicians on both sides of the English Welsh border have called for a common framework of coronaviruse guidance to avoid the anomalies hitting sports and tourism in Llanymynech.

Members of the Welsh Parliament for Montgomeryshire, Russell George, said he had raised the anomaly with the Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford, twice.

"It is a ridiculous position that we are in," he said.

"People in Wales can now drive from Cardiff to Holyhead and back, a 400 mile trip. But they can't travel a mile up the road from Llanymynech to Pant unless for one of the reasons listed by the Welsh Government. And they do not include leisure."

"It shows the anomalies of devolution. The governments should be working together on a common framework of guidance to avoid these anomalies on both sides.

North Shropshire MP, Owen Paterson, said it was ludicrous.

"My constituents should be free to enjoy safe exercise and fresh air today," he said.

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