Severe car crash at Walsall Civic Centre

There’s been an unfortunate RTA at Walsall Council, and it deserves as wide exposure as possible.

Hot on the heels of 332 job losses and subsequent symbolic handwringing at 19 million pounds worth of cuts for this year alone, it seems the Mayor can’t be expected to arrive in any old jalopy. Despite the shutting down of Aldridge Manor Youth Service to save about £20,000 per annum, and the shuttering of well-loved and respected mental health facility the Broadway Centre to save £100,000, it comes as some surprise that the council can apparently afford £50,000 on a shiny new limousine for the Mayor’s civic duties.

Nice work to the Express & Star for clocking this one.

[Added 8th November, 4:40pm: The Stymaster, late of this parish (first comment below) has submitted a rather interesting Freedom of Information request about this – worth keeping an eye on. It can be viewed here – nice one, Chris!]

It’s gratifying to see Mike ‘Blofeld’ Bird so unselfconsciously defending this ridiculous plan, once again showing his utter talent for piss-poor PR. The communications unit at Walsall and his fellow party members must wince every time he’s approached by a reporter.

Walsall is broke, facing massive and devastating cuts. Nobody except perhaps the more pompous of our Councillors would actually give two hoots what car the Mayor turned up in – and were he seen to use his own vehicle for a normal staff allowance, or even a pool car, it would surely garner respect as the actions of an official saving money for the citizens he represents.

This is a question of tact, sensitivity and good PR. Politicians in Walsall have never been guilty of any of these things.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the crash, but Mike Bird’s credibility seems to have been killed stone dead. A remarkable direct hit on a tiny target.

The rumour is circulating that there may be ‘Kippers on the menu. Things are certainly getting mad enough…

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Click on the screen shot to read the story at the Express & Star.

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15 Responses to Severe car crash at Walsall Civic Centre

  1. stymaster says:

    I suppose that if we accept the Mayor should have a car supplied (questionable to start with), and then accept that it needs to be a luxobarge (again, questionable), the most expensive Skoda Superb currently retails at under £33k, though I’d personally have thought an Elegance 2.0TDI at under 25k would have been more than adequate.

  2. Edwina. says:

    We’re all in it together lads ….

  3. Martin says:

    I’ve suggested they hire something – they could get a Bentley for £600 a day, use it once a week every week and still save £20000 on what they’re spending. They’d save more if they went for something more discreet, like a BMW 7 series at a trifling £195 a day. (more choice here, and of course other hire companies are available).
    Unfortunately, I think the town needs a mayor, but an elected one with the authority and mandate to actually do something would be even better.

  4. Laurence Thacker says:

    If the Superb is good enough for Rowan 🙂
    Living outside of the borough it does not directly affect me but I think I would look seriously at the need for either the car or the Mayor.

  5. themrmarjon says:

    Skoda Superb = Audi A6, doesn’t it?
    Like the difference between George at ASDA and Next, it’s mainly the badge isn’t it?

    • I’m sure the Stymaster can clarify that…


    • Peter says:

      Hi……… going off topic slightly with the main post, you are almost correct! The Audi A6 used to be the Skoda Superb in terms of it’s originating platform. All car maufacturers have a designated platform (literally the underneath of the car) from which differing models are derived. The other thing to remember is that VW Skoda Audi Seat Porsche and Bugatti are all part of the same group these days.
      So, the Audi A6 used to be what was the Skoda Superb Passat which was produced up to 2008, it’s the Skoda Superb that looks like an older VW Passat, it was in fact a “stretch” Passat aimed at the Chinese market as a limousine.
      Audi then changed the platfrom for the A6 and they went their different ways, the New Skoda Superb (2008 onwards) shares it’s platform with the Passat CC, VW Sharan and SEAT Alhambra.
      I used to own a Skoda Superb (both styles) and the rear legroom was more than sufficient, it would make a fine Mayoral car in my opinion, however having recently been on the Number 56 bus it has even more legroom and would be better still.
      Maybe we could ask the good folk of Walsall Council who haven’t had a pay rise recently, or those who have recently lost their jobs, or are underthreat from losing them what they think? I suppose the only consolation is that they have bought a car that was made in the Midlands and not some unpronounceable place that no-one knows where it is!
      Mind how you go………….

  6. Oh good. I’m going to ask the wife if we can have a Mercedes CLS now as my Vauxhall Zafira needs an MOT and service next year.. the maintenance on it is BOUND to exceed £50k…..

  7. Jayde says:

    Surely all any of us need to do is get from A to B. Does anyone think any the less of a person because they arrive in a less expensive vehicle? What they do for the town is what matters. The councillors all need a reality check.

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