Wednesday, 15 August 2012


A local MEP last night held a public meeting to discuss a local sporting facility.

Nikki Sinclaire chaired a meeting where around 100 concerned constituents and community groups attended to discuss Aston Arena, a centre that has been earmarked for closure and eventually demolishment in the near future.

Despite being invited to attend, local councillors and even the local MP failed to attend the event at the Aston Pavilion in Aston Park.

Nikki Sinclaire said,

“As a politician myself, I know how important it is to listen to my employers, that being my constituents.

You should never ignore the will of the people, and the people of Aston and the surrounding boroughs do not want this site removed from the local area.

We cannot let a facility like this be bulldozed into history

Why do the local council want to diminish such an important sporting provision? For the second city, this is shameful”.

With high levels of unemployment and lower than average house hold incomes, expensive private sporting facilities are out of reach for local residents who are increasingly frustrated as affordable sports services appear to decrease.

This frustration was heard in the meeting last night, where organisations pledged to work together to fight the closure of the centre.

Pritesh Pattni, of the Bidgley Power charity said, “We need to save this facility for our kids. Nobody else is going to do this. We as a community need to work together to save the Arena.

The council will never build anything of this size ever again, so we must preserve this facility”.

Also at the event was Rico Wojtulewicz, who has been working with Bob Cooper who is the current tenant at the Aston Arena, who made an impassioned speech to those in attendance, “Why would Birmingham City Council want to close the only facility of this size in the area? If Birmingham is serious about making a bid about future commonwealth games in the future, then we need to keep venues such as the Aston Arena”.

Birmingham City Council have earmarked the Serpentine site as a future business park with the aim to create jobs in the area. Their plans are backed by a 15 year Area Action Plan (AAP) and supported by the claim of a 20,000 person consultation. In fact, the real figure is around 1000 which was made up of statutory bodies and residents, meaning very few local people have been consulted about the future of the arena.

Those in attendance all pledged to work on group events to highlight the Arenas plight to the masses.