there are quite a few trainers at bv that dont make any attempt at having the correct amount of dogs. while it is ok for them the other kennels are carrying and subsidising them. if a contract trainer doesnt fulfill there contract then its up the road im afraid. take monmore as an example.many trainers in the past have lost there jobs because they have fell short. sandra ralph.martin burt etc etc.to name but two. when the tracks have bags contracts then things take on a whole new picture. its ok getting new trainers however if these trainers dont have the correct amount of dogs the same scenario will happen again.so in a couple of years the trainers could well outnumber the dogs. SO some trainers will have to depart to stabilise the training strength.if our kennels is one of them so be it.
Paschal Taggart is determined to give Wimbledon a long-term future
Taggart reveals his racing plans at new Wimbledon
PASCHAL TAGGART has outlined the racing schedule and prize-money that he has in mind were he to be successful in acquiring Wimbledon.
He said: “Owners and trainers have asked what a ‘new Wimbledon’ might hold for them. I can tell them that 12-race cards are envisaged for every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, plus Sunday brunch.”
He anticipates prize-money rungs of £250 to the winner for the first five races, then £300 to the winner for races 6-10 (all also rans £30 each), race 11 winner £500, others £50, then concluding with a £1,000-to-the-winner finale, other runners £50.
“These are my envisaged minimums and do not include sponsorships or payments to contracted trainers,” added Taggart.
“Furthermore, each Saturday there will be a 12-dog stake, two heats the first Saturday, final the following Saturday – with the winner receiving £7,500 plus trophy, and appearance money of £500 each for the other five finalists.
Taggart would also undertake, as promoter, to guarantee 0.5 of tote turnover to a trainers’ championship and the Retired Greyhound Trust. He explained: “If we grew tote turnover to £20 million, that means £100,000 to each party. £30m would involve £150,000 for each, and at £40m, £200k to each.
“Imagine a trainers’ championship for £200,000 with the trainers deciding the split.”
The one-time IGB chief believes the dream is possible. He said: “In my last year as chairman of the Irish Greyhound Board, our tote reached 42 million turnover, and Ireland has a population of 5.5m. Imagine the potential Wimbledon holds given the population of London on its doorstep.”
Taggart added: “We believe we can deliver a new era for all of the UK and Irish greyhound industries. But we need the help of greyhound racing enthusiasts as the existing Galliard/Risk Capital plans for Wimbledon, filed in January 2013, do not include a greyhound track, but do include a football club, even though one failed at the top of the same Plough Lane when the old Wimbledon Dons gave up!
“I’m asking that in order to preserve Wimbledon as a greyhound track, people need to write to the Mayor, Boris Johnson, and the leader of Merton Council, Cllr Stephen Alambritis.”
Wimbledon’s existing management were recently given a short-term lease, believed to be for five years, to continue to operate greyhound racing, while the site’s owners, Galliard Homes and Risk Capital, seek to agree a development plan with the council. The GRA management were also given longer leases, said to be 15 years, for Belle Vue, Hall Green and Perry Barr, on the basis of paying rent and running them as a going concern.
Taggart concluded: “Nothing ever happens without real effort being made but if everyone works together we can frustrate Galliard Homes’s Stephen Conway and Risk Capital’s Luke Johnson, and present London with greyhound racing in a wonderful new setting.”
He reminded that it is important anyone writing gives their full name, address and contact details.
Taggart asks that supporters write to Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, Greater London Authority City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, More London, London SE1 2AA, email email@example.com
Leader of Merton Council, Cllr Stephen Alambritis, can be contacted at Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, SM4 5DX email firstname.lastname@example.org
Anyone interested in getting in touch with Diane McLean, who is organising the campaign locally, can do so via email at email@example.com
Please accept my apolgies for the intial response you received in relation to your email regarding Wimbledon greyhound racing stadium.
In January 2013 Merton Council consulted on the pre-submission version of its 'Sites and Policies' Development Plan Document. With respect to the site allocation for Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium the Mayor made the following comment:
"Site 37 - Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium
The suggested use of the site for substantial out of centre retail causes strategic policy concern and would not be in conformity with London Plan policy. The loss of the greyhound stadium use would also raise strategic policy concerns."
The Council is now consulting on the Submission draft of this document. The allocated use of this site is now "Intensification of sporting activity (D2 Use Class) with supporting enabling development. Developments that facilitate more sporting activity may be enabled by more viable uses, subject to meeting planning policy, evidence and consultation".
The consultation period ends on 30 August 2013 and Greater London Authority officers are currently preparing a response for the Mayor.
Any planning application on this site is likely to be referable to the Mayor. This means that initially he will be required to provide a statement of compliance with the London Plan. Once the Council has determined the application it will be referred back to the Mayor for a final decision. Given the Mayor's role in the determination of a future application he is unable to comment on the specific proposal put forward for a new stadium.
Raymond Peart Public Liaison Unit ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dear Mr Heaton
Inside Track on Diane McLean, battling to save, then transform Wimbledon
Get writing to ensure there’s a track in London
Diane McLean: We Want Wimbledon campaigner
Age Born the year of the Profumo Affair and the Great Train Robbery.
Lives Bromley, Kent.
Family Just the one son.
Job Distressed debt and special situations lawyer.
Pets Two dogs: Defor, a cross-bred Labrador/boxer and retired greyhound Fergie, aka Droopys Ferguson.
Hobbies Walking dogs, swimming and cooking.
Favourite meal Steak, medium rare.
Favourite song I have many, but Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel is definitely a favourite at the moment.
Favourite film Depends on what mood I’m in. The Jungle Book always makes me laugh, Shawshank Redemption for triumph over adversity and hopelessness.
Favourite TV programme? It has to be Fawlty Towers.
Favourite holiday destination Antigua.
How did you get into greyhound racing? I was invited one day by friends who thought it might cheer me up. Encouraged by [son] Alex, we went and the next day we bought a greyhound.
Do you own any greyhounds? I now own six, thanks to my pal and co-owner Robert Brinkley, who found five puppies for us.
Favourite track and why? Although Wimbledon has sadly been run down, I do still enjoy racing there as the staff and patrons are all so friendly, and I think the track is very good thanks to the hard work of the groundstaff. I also very much enjoy racing at Shelbourne and am looking forward to being at the Derby final.
Best greyhound seen? Jimmy Lollie certainly sticks in my mind as a class sprinter and an exceedingly handsome dog.
Best race seen? William Hill Derby 2012 when Blonde Snapper beat the mighty Farloe Ironman.
Best moment in the sport? Every owner wants their dog to win, and that first win with ours, Antiguan Boy, was a fantastic moment.
Worst moment? When our bitch pup, who had led from the first bend comfortably by several lengths, stopped ten yards short of the winning line. Needless to say she didn’t win.
What makes greyhound racing special? A night at the dogs is a cracking night out. It’s one of the few leisure activities which has something for every member of the family, young or old. It doesn’t cost an arm and a leg like many activities today, and just the thrill of seeing those canine athletes fly round the track is more than value for money.
What is the latest news on We Want Wimbledon and what can people do to help? The campaign is going very well and we are very optimistic about the long-term future of greyhound racing at Wimbledon. We are currently asking all enthusiasts of the sport to write in to Merton Council and the Mayor of London to express support. We’d like to thank all those who have already written, and for those who haven’t yet I urge them to do so before the next council meeting on September 11.
How do you see Wimbledon Stadium in, say, 2015? With a bit of luck, buzzing in new surroundings with world-class facilities.
Is a successful track in London essential for the sport? I believe it is crucial to have a track in the capital, and not just any track but the best in the world which will give the sport across the country a huge boost. With the ability to tap into over 8m population in London, it will also bring money back into the industry.
Alternative career? I’ve been very lucky to have two bites of the cherry in that I’ve been a professional musician and now a lawyer. Perhaps a wildlife photographer? Just a couple of problems though. I’m useless at taking photos and I don’t like snakes or spiders. I need to think again maybe!
What’s the best advice you have been given? To thine own self be true (Shakespeare).
Any heroes? All those people who dedicate their lives to helping others.
Your ideal four dinner guests? Louis Armstrong, David Attenborough, Ian Botham and Daniel Craig.
How important is TV coverage of greyhound racing? I believe that TV coverage is crucial. Owners love to see their greyhounds on TV, and if they win they too can be on TV. More importantly, sponsors crave TV coverage.
Further info: We’d like to thank all those people who have already written into the Council and Mayor, and a big thank you to Steve Fluin and the Champagne Club, Steve Morison and Grant Holt and Tony Howard of Hats Group, but for those who haven’t yet written, I urge you to do so before the next Council meeting on 11 September 2013 after which the Council’s Sites and Policies Plan will be submitted to the Secretary of State for examination by an independent planning inspector. Everyone should let Merton Council and The Mayor of London know what they think as regards Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium (Site 37) before 5pm on Friday 30 August 2013.
Contact details are as follows:
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, Greater London Authority City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, More London, London SE1 2AA, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Leader of Merton Council, Cllr Stephen Alambritis, Leader of Merton Council, Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, SM4 5DX. email: email@example.com
Clive Feltham: "Diane McLean is organising a highly effective campaign"
Clive Feltham: campaign is on the right track
CLIVE FELTHAM, MD of the GRA, has said the high-profile We Want Wimbledon (WWW) campaign is approaching things in exactly the right manner in order to make progress in safeguarding a long-term future for the sport at Wimbledon.
Feltham, whose management team was recently handed a medium term lease to continue to operate Wimbledon – believed to be for five years – alongside a longer 15 year arrangement for Belle Vue, Hall Green and Perry Barr, explained: “The owners of Wimbledon Stadium, Galliard Homes, are effectively acting as agents for NAMA – the Irish banks who are owed over £53m in total. Both Galliard and NAMA want to make progress at Wimbledon, but accept it is a long-term project.
“For anything to happen, a development needs to be agreed with Merton Council and, off the back of that, there then can be a broader commercial development around the remainder of the site that jells the deal. The council has expressed an interest in football, but it would be helpful if they were to accept that greyhound racing is something to be encouraged – and many people believe it offers a more realistic alternative to football.”
Feltham explained that it is in greyhound racing’s interests for the council to come round to accepting this. “Everyone at the GRA wants to see Wimbledon provide a long-term home for the sport. Paschal’s [Taggart] plans offer a vision, and from what I’ve seen, Diane McLean is organising a highly effective WWW campaign seeking support for them – she is approaching things in a sensible way. If the council indicate interest at their next meeting [September 11], that’s when things might start to happen. But again, nothing can happen overnight.
“What I can say is that I was at Wimbledon on Saturday night and it was buzzing, full of people young and old enjoying themselves. We all know elements of the operation, including the car park, aren’t ideal, but it is indicative of just how successful a modern stadium that was part of a measured development could be.
“If everyone works together, something worthwhile can definitely emerge. It is no good trying to do something once a track has closed – as happened at Walthamstow. Now is the time for action, I think WWW are spot on.”
Paschal Taggart was pleased to hear of Feltham’s view. He said: “A new Wimbledon will help the sport as a whole in Britain and Ireland – it can float all boats, including Belle Vue, Hall Green and Perry Barr, by bringing in and exciting owners and customers.
“And the banks want to see ideas and investment for the future, not gradual decline as that can lead to only one result. We have tried to approach this the right way, and make no mistake, greyhound racing remains a big player, it is alive and kicking as a key leisure and betting medium with a real future.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how it all pans out – nothing in life is easy, and everyone needs to get behind this. In that context, I’ve also been pleased to hear of the positive reaction to our new Twitter account @wimbledontrack, and via Facebook (Facebook.com/wewantwimbledon).
“I want to know that greyhound fans, en masse, have expressed their view to the local council leader [Cllr Stephen Alambritis] and London’s Mayor [Boris Johnson]. We can make this work.”
Contact details are as follows:
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, Greater London Authority City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, More London, London SE1 2AA, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cllr Stephen Alambritis, Leader of Merton Council, Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, SM4 5DX. email: email@example.com
Pachal Taggart: Merton Council asked for reaction tonight to his plans
Wimbledon top of the council agenda tonight
DIANE McLEAN, the We Want Wimbledon campaigner, will tonight receive the answers to eight questions the WWW committee has posed to Merton Council at an eagerly awaited council meeting at Morden's Civic Centre (starts 7.15pm, open to the public, few hundred yards from Morden tube at the end of the Northern Line).
The WWW questions put to the planning committee and council cabinet members were:
1) Has the committee, and have the councillors, taken into consideration the financial viability of AFC Wimbledon (the “club”) actually paying for a football stadium to be built on the Plough Lane site through careful consideration of any costing or financial plans submitted by the club, if any have indeed been submitted?
2) Has the committee, and have the councillors, taken into account the effect on the local community of thousands of football fans descending on the Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium site if permission to build a football stadium was granted, and the cost of policing matches?
3) Has the committee, and have the councillors, considered the financial benefits, such as higher rates than currently it receives from the site, and the job opportunities for local residents (hundreds of interesting and well-paid jobs) which will benefit the borough under the proposed multi-sports complex plans of Paschal Taggart?
4) Has the committee, and have the councillors, taken into consideration that the plans proposed by Paschal Taggart for a world-class greyhound stadium will bring thousands of tourists every year from all over the world into the borough bringing revenue to the council and local businesses?
5) Has the committee, and have the councillors, taken into consideration that the plans of Paschal Taggart will not only transform what is an eyesore and embarrassment to the borough but will also provide a world-class greyhound stadium, international standard squash and fitness club and up to 500 subsidised secure parking spaces for staff at St George’s NHS Hospital?
6) Has the committee, and have the councillors, taken into consideration that not only has greyhound racing taken place at Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium since 1928 but that the prestigious William Hill Greyhound Derby has also taken place there since 1985 and that the prize-money for the winner of the 2014 Derby has been set at £200,000?
7) Is the committee, and are the councillors, aware of the support for greyhound racing at Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium?
8) The Mayor has shown his concern over the loss of the greyhound stadium on the site and is keen to retain greyhound racing in the capital. Given Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium is the last stadium in the capital shouldn’t this form part of, and be written into, the Sites and Policies Development Plan Document?
McLean said more than 3,000 separate emails of support have gone to Merton Council and the Mayor “plus there is a signed petition of 4,832, organised by Tony Gallagher of Greyhound Data”.
She added: “Paschal and all those working so hard to secure a long-term future for Wimbledon would like to thank everyone who has helped so far – it is most heartening. It’s also going to be interesting to see if there are other questions raised by any other groups.”
McLean explained there will be no decisions as such taken, or debate held, and that tonight “is a taking of the temperature of where the council sees the future”.
She added that last week she held a “positive” meeting with Cllr Stephen Alambritis, the leader of Merton Council, who “indicated that he appreciated the beneficial nature of our plans for the community as a whole. I took that as most encouraging”.