Monday, March 22, 2010

Lib Dem Let Down Pt III

The scrapping of the city council conservation team looks to be the end of plans to bring a conservation area to Acocks Green. Last year, the Liberal councillors there bowed to public pressure and reached an agreement with Neville Summerfield, the titular head of regeneration in Birmingham (although he only gets to play with the small projects, with Whitless leading on the important stuff). Work was promised to start within six months, but back at the start of this year, it became apparent that no work was being carried out and it was revealed that the Acocks Green conservation area wasn't even in the departmental workplan for the next eighteen months. The departmental head is retiring in March without replacement and job cuts were already on the agenda at this point.

This caused some consternation amongst the Liberals and it was quickly reported that Cllr Summerfield had put the Acocks Green conservation area back on the agenda 'when resources allow' - which could mean anything, but is unlikely to mean that the process will be started within the next two years.

Then came the City Council budget and with typical Liberal consistency, all three councillors in Acocks Green voted to abolish the conservation team completely. The experienced officers will be located in the planning department - assuming that they don't choose to take their expertise off to a local authority that genuinely gives a damn about historic buildings and preserving the distinctive character of the urban environment.
Yet another promise compromised.

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