I am delighted to report that the Conservative campaign to save the Benmore play area has been successful.
A few weeks ago, Conservative Councillors were sent letters telling us the play area was closing. I immediately objected strongly to the Department, and local Conservative campaigner Matt Bennett organised a petition against the closure. Cllr Hutchings raised the matter at Full Council, and it was also discussed at the District meeting this week.
At the end of last week, new letters went out informing us that the Labour Council hadn’t really been telling us the play area was closing, it was actually a consultation and they wanted our opinions. (I can assure you that the first letter I received was definitely NOT a consultation letter and it WAS telling me the play area was closing. Councillors across the city can confirm this as 23 play areas across the city were ear-marked for closure so lots of Councillors received the same letters.)
By this week, the Labour U-turn was complete. They have decided to shelve their plans to close the 23 play areas they had ear-marked for the axe – despite previously saying that they had to close them as there was no money.
It’s great news for Edgbaston that the play area is saved. But it just proves that if money can be found to stop one unpopular policy, it could have been found to axe the garden tax as well – if Labour had wanted to. But they don’t.