A couple of weeks ago I told you to keep watching the Ravens Court situation, as it looks like something is going on. Local MP and West Midlands Mayor Andy Street have been having a big social media push on the subject of late, which is remarkable as they couldn’t distance themselves from it fast enough previously.
Since then there’s been a risible video filmed in a misty, Mad-Max alike Ravens Court, mostly to local derision, in which MP Morton and Mayor Street waffle a lot, use a lot of words but don’t ever manage to get them to form anything resembling a promise, statement of fact or commitment.
You can witness this Oscar-worthy epic here (Facebook, sorry).
For those unaware of the why’s and wherefores of the rotting shopping precinct at the heart of Brownhills, please read this previous article on the matter here.
One thing that has occurred to me about this flannel is the complete absence of the local sitting Tory Councillors – Ken Ferguson or Steve Craddock, or indeed their invisible candidate for this May’s elections in any of the promotion. Looks like Wendy’s gone off you, lads. Shame.
Anyway, I have a message here posted this morning by Brownhills Labour Councillor Steve Wade, who has worked tirelessly on Ravens Court, to the degree of frequently litter picking it on his own.
RAVEN’S COURT: It may have taken forever, but a victory for campaign persistence?
Well the rumour mill down the council is in overdrive regarding some good news on Raven’s Court over the coming weeks, just before an election amazingly enough. If it is the case, then I, like everyone else, will be absolutely delighted that this eyesore right on our High Street may be finally getting regenerated.
Of course, there will be those over the coming months who, if there is good news, will be taking all the credit and telling us how wonderful they are. However, if there is something to be celebrated over the next few weeks then it will be a victory for all those who have campaigned relentlessly over the last 10/15 odd years to keep this issue at the top of the council’s regeneration agenda and to keep the pressure on the council and owners to come forward with solutions.
It will be a victory for all those who have continually raised it on social media and on their blogs about the state of the buildings and the need for regeneration. It will be a victory for all those who have reported it to the council when there have been breaches and danger to the public. It will be a victory for all those who have litter picked and have tried to tidy the area up on the now probably hundreds of occasions when it would have been easier to just leave it.
So yes, the council may have finally listened, regeneration may be on its way, and the local politicians will no doubt be telling us it is THEY who may have done the great deed for our people and community. But rarely, if at all, have we ever seen any of them in the last decade set foot in Raven’s Court except when an election is on the horizon and leaflets have to be filled and distributed.
So if there is good news on Raven’s Court over the coming weeks, then I salute all those who have campaigned, litter picked, reported, and used social media over the last decade to keep Raven’s Court regeneration on the agenda. After all these years, finally, all the hard work may have just paid off.
Thanks to Steve for that, which I echo 100%.
I also have some pertinent questions readers might like to consider:
- If this is going ahead, that will presumably involve a change of ownership of Ravens Court. How much will this cost?
- If Ravens Court is gifted, how much will it cost to raze the site?
- If Walsall Council is left holding the baby, how much will Council Tax payers be stumping up to absolve a wealthy property owner of their responsibilities to a community they’ve taken for idiots for a decade?
- If we are paying, on what cost-benefit basis has this been decided?
- Why now and not eight years ago?
- Why does this look like a cynical bid to win re-election for Andy Street locally?
It’s worth pointing out that the owner of Ravens Court is the company Lightquote Limited. You can see a list of their directors here.
This article at Opendemocray is well worth a read.
Remember, whatever happens here, you and me don’t matter a jot. It’s all about the big money.
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