MEP AND CHARITY SEND A CLEAR MESSAGE TO THE PRIME MINISTER – SAVE OUR ARENA IN ASTON
An Independent MEP alongside a local charity have today delivered a hefty petition to 10 Downing Street.
Nikki Sinclaire alongside Bidgley Power charity delivered a petition containing over 3000 names protesting about the closure, and soon to be demolished Aston Arena.
This is despite the charity offering to run the centre for the community, in an area that severely lacks sports provision. The Arena is now set to be demolished as a part of Birmingham City Council’s Area Action Plan (AAP).
The council’s AAP lists a number of alternative sites to play sport, but the reality of the area is very different, with facilities offering limited opening hours or being exclusive for certain age groups only.
Nikki Sinclaire said of the plans, “I am disappointed that following meetings with Birmingham City Council, they are not budging on their plans for the area.
Why not give the arena to this charity? This is a unique facility that can be used for a number of events and really unite this community”.
Her finding of this site was just the tip of the iceberg, after discovering there is little to no affordable sporting facilities available to the community at evenings and weekends.
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.
Ms Sinclaire and volunteers of the charity will head to Downing Street on Wednesday to present a petition to save Aston Arena, as well as highlighting the urgent need for sports services that meet the community’s needs.
Among those who will make the journey to Number 10 is Pritesh Pattni, who was a torchbearer in the run up to the London Olympics.
Mr Pattni has volunteered for over 25 years, and is chairman of Bidgley Power, a charity that organises and subsidise sporting activities for the community in Aston, despite problems in accessing facilities to hold sports sessions.
Nikki said, “During a time when the Olympics dominates our consciousness, what will happen to the 5 year old in Aston who wants to emulate the sporting heroes they see on screen, yet they have no facilities to do so.
The people of Aston feel forgotten about. Sport is a way of engaging communities, and connecting those of all ages.
I support Bidgley Power’s plan for Aston Arena and their wider philosophy of establishing community relationships and trust through the power of sport.
I have written to the Secretary of State and the Department of Media Culture and sport – and now I’m bringing our message to the Prime Minister.
This is about health, not wealth”.
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