THE results of an independent review into the management of Musselburgh Racecourse are not being released to the public.

The review, which was ordered after the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) threatened to pull the plug on racing at the course in July, has reported back to East Lothian Council, which has also been told it must implement recommendations from it by March to avoid further sanctions.

But the council has refused a request to be told what is in the report or what recommendations have been made.

In a statement to the Courier, the council said: “The council has received the independence governance report from Pinsent Masons and will be considering the recommendations contained.

“This is a private report which contains commercially sensitive information and there are no plans to release this at present.”

In July, racing came within hours of being cancelled after the BHA refused to issue a new temporary licence amid concerns about the Musselburgh Joint Racing Committee (MJRC). The course had already been refused a permanent licence over concerns about a rift between Lothians Racing Syndicate, which has three members on the committee, and the council, which has four.

The council leases the racecourse and buildings to MJRC annually – the ground the course is built on is owned by the Musselburgh Common Good Fund and leased in turn from that by the local authority.

But in 2015 MJRC was stripped of its prestigious Investors In People Scotland award after a report branded the management committee “dysfunctional”.

Earlier this year, staff at the racecourse threatened industrial action over the governance of the venue and things came to a head in July when the BHA demanded an independent goverance review be carried out and its recommendations implemented. The MJRC and the council agreed.

The current temporary licence was due to run out on December 31 but the BHA approved an extension at a board meeting on Wednesday.

Council leader Willie Innes is currently chairman of MJRC. He is joined on the committee by fellow Labour councillors Andy Forrest and Fiona O’Donnell, as well as Conservative Musselburgh ward councillor Katie Mackie.

l See page 8 for details of the racecourse’s recent award win.