Daily Archives: July 19, 2010

Councillors vote to reinstate Castle Pool Play area

    Vale Comment:

Erdington Councillors tonight voted to reinstate the upstairs play area at Castle Pool. But in reality, the vote is unlikely to take effect.
The play area was officially ended as part of Council cutbacks at the end of last month. The first floor of Castle Pool is to be used by Hardy Spicers Judo Club, who will be given a substantial grant to develop the area by Sport England. But the terms of the agreement have not yet been signed, and Councillors expressed their dismay that the process is taking so long. Councillor Alden insisted that a vote be taken to reinstate the play area until the agreement with the Judo Club has been signed.
There is slightly more to the issue.
Top Council Officer Sally Potter said that she could not support such a proposal, because of the financial implications. It would be reversing a decision taken for good financial reasons, she said.
There is often a power struggle between councillors and officers – councillors officially have the final word, but in practice, the full time officers usually get their way.
So the vote was carefully worded…. they would restore the play area as long as it would have “no significant negative impact on the budget.” That will not be difficult for the officers to prove.
Twenty minutes prior to the vote, Councillors had hurriedly skipped over a budget analysis that revealed Erdington as the constituency with the biggest budget deficit (£1,770,000) in Birmingham.
Councillors tonight voted with the best of intentions. But they are unlikely to get their way.
At tonight’s meeting, Councillors listened for 70 minutes to a presentation about roads. They spent just ten minutes listening to and debating about the details of the financial mess they are in.
The financial realities seem to have passed them by. But the officers have not been so easily sidetracked. In times of deep recession, budgets determine all Council decisions.


Councillor calls for more night-duty police in Erdington

Erdington Councillors at tonight’s constituency meeting expressed their concern following the recent deaths by stabbings of two youths in Erdington. Councillor Robert Alden called for more police presence on the streets through the nightime and early hours of the morning. He said: “Unfortunately, we seem to put most of our police resourcing into the daylight hours, but we need them out on the streets between 9pm and 4am, because that’s when our young people are most vulnerable.”

Erdington stab victim named

Adam Cusack

Police have released details of the young man who died from a stab wound during a fight in Erdington on Saturday. He is Adam Cusack, aged 21, who lived locally. Earlier reports had suggested that he was 19.
Police have said that he died from a single stab wound to his heart, after a fight that started in Birches Green Road and then moved on to Kingsbury Road.
The victim’s family have described Adam as ‘ a loveable rogue….He was everyone’s buddy, he had loads of friends. As a family we ask anyone who knows anything to come to the police.”
Two 17 year old men have been arrested on suspicion of murder, one on Saturday night and one on Monday morning. Both are from Birmingham.

Car cruise misery continues

Vale residents endured another night of noise from the car cruisers last night. A number of residents have complained that the car racing along Fort Parkway is continuing, despite police operations in recent weeks aimed at putting a stop to the chaos. One resident has said that the racing went on for around four hours last night, ending some time after midnight.