According to Mike Bird, the alpha male in the cartload of councillors currently closing down Walsall, Willenhall Leisure Centre was an open sore haemorrhaging money and had to go. Now that he has finally got his way in depriving swimmers, keep fit enthusiasts and pensioners of a valued and needed community facility, the building has suddenly become a valuable “council asset”.
Mike wants to flog it off to the highest bidder and claims that a troop of enthusiastic developers are flocking to his door wishing to transform the place into a cinema, skating rink or concert hall. Trouble is, shrieks Mike, they will not offer any money for it. This can hardly come as a surprise to the primate of all Walsall given the track record of “regeneration” in the borough.
Walsall Housing Group boast of their prestigious new headquarters to be built on prime town centre land acquired from the council for the princely sum of 100 new pence and the cosy, if secretive, relationship between Tesco and the council ensures that the retailer can close markets and dictate transport policy. Fund a mentalist Robert Edmiston was given half of George Rose Park in Darlaston as a condition of the secret deal to allow him to peddle his nonsense and the murky land swap deal surrounding the Norfolk Place depot continues unfettered.
Word travels fast on the jungle telegraph and it is no wonder that the hyenas are circling the clearing looking for some easy meat. Perhaps the most lucrative future for Willenhall Leisure Centre would be to allow a local “businessman” to convert it into a huge cannabis factory. This seems to be the only “growth” evident in Walsall now that the silver backs in Westminster have shut the Walsall Regeneration Company.
But Mike is steadfast and vows that the building will not be sold for “peanuts” and may take up to two years to shift. This will allow plenty of time to arrange a “mysterious” fire which will solve the problem once and for all. A few weeks back, Mr Shifter claimed that he was worth twice his £28,000 allowance and suggested a more reasonable figure of £100,000 for the good works he does. No, £28K is enough. After all, if you pay peanuts, you get…