Upgrades to Castle Vale Stadium should begin “within the next couple of weeks”, Erdington Senior Manager Chris Baker said tonight.
The Council has agreed to spend £125,000 to carry out a number of improvements. These include replacing the stairlift, connecting the mains sewer, improving the lighting for the stadium access, refurbishing the stadium (including installing better ladies’ toilet facilities) and replacing some of the grounds maintenance equipment.
Chris Baker told the Ward Committee meeting at Spitfire House tonight that the improvements would help the stadium to attract more people and generate more income.
The Council has already spent over £50,00 this year on pitch improvements to the stadium and Farnborough Road football fields. A further £33,000 of spending – on CCTV camera systems and fencing for the new water tank- is awaiting City approval.
The money is in the hands of the Council, though it is due to be passed over to the Neighbourhood Partnership Board if it is not spent before February 2011. If all of the proposed spending goes ahead, Mr Baker says that there will be £163,283 left of the money originally allocated for Stadium by the Housing Action Trust when it folded in 2005.
Not all local residents accept these Council figures. Brian Cragg, who has been an active member of a number of local committees for many years, feels that Castle Vale is being short changed by the City accountants. He feels that the sum of money still owed to Vale after all the current round of spending should be closer to £200,000.
The financial arrangements between the Council and the Neighbourhood Partnership Board have been a source of disagreement and growing anger for many local groups. One of the most contentious points is the money spent on the paddock. It is an issue that keeps arising at committee meetings. Disgruntled residents maintain that the money was designated to be spent on sports facilities, not on developing a meadow for horses.
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