Labour Target Benmore Play Area Again

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Birmingham’s shambolic Labour Council has let the cat out of the bag regarding their plans to axe local play areas. How? By writing to Councillors telling them about the removal of the play areas in their wards – during the election campaign.

This week I received a letter from a senior Council officer which states, and I quote “In the Edgbaston Ward, 1 play area has been identified for removal, this is located at Belgrave Road/Murrell Close.”

The letter invited my comments – and so I duly (and immediately) sent back a furious email. This play area serves the Benmore Estate. The estate has five tower blocks, which are NOT surrounded by grass. Indeed the largest of them is right next to the Middleway. The play area is just about the only place where the young children from these flats can safely play. And Labour wants to axe it. We all know savings have to be made, but taking away a play area from young children who live in tower blocks of flats is the cruellest cut of all. In fact I think it’s completely despicable.

Labour tried to axe the Benmore play area a couple of years ago, but we fought a campaign to save it – and won. Then came this week’s letter.

Other Councillors across the city have received similar letters, and Conservative and Lib Dem Councillors have started campaigning on the issue (not surprisingly – we are now only 10 days away from the local elections.)

And so Labour – presumably terrified they might lose votes – have obviously panicked. At lunch time today (Saturday) the same senior officer sent round an email telling us all the “consultation” has been “paused.”

What does that mean? Paused till after the local elections? I’d love to think our play area is safe, but I don’t feel very confident. The Labour Councillors running Birmingham have presided over a complete shambles (again). But let’s be clear, if they were prepared to announce this two weeks before Local Election Day, we should all be very worried about what they might do afterwards – if they are still in control come May 6th. Frankly, they don’t deserve to be.

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