Asda/Parkgate, according to today’s email message from a local entrepreneur born and bred in Shirley. We add: Asda/Shirley Advance/Parkgate, with the backing of the political party controlling Solihull Council.
Our correspondent writes, “I went to the bank in Shirley yesterday and as predicted on your website, Parkgate has killed Shirley. Many of the shops are now empty and even the charity shops are closing. I think I’d rather have vaguely competent European bureaucrats than inept and or self-serving local politicians”.
It has been a long, slow process, death by a thousand cuts
The first blow: CEGB/Powergen (above) relocated after being refused permission to expand; hundreds of its employees then no longer had lunch and did their shopping in Shirley. The building was allowed to decay and much of the site will be used to further Asda/Shirley Advance property development.
Then came a twenty year struggle against the wishes of over 90% of Shirley residents (who responded to a poll overseen by the Electoral Reform Society). The council finally made the development financially viable by a gift of public parkland on which to build aspirational housing – not for those really in need on the borough’s housing register.
Our correspondent sent the graphic (above) republished in the West Midlands aggregator website and the text of the original 2014 Green Party article.
Measures which could help Shirley
- Set up a decent indoor market in the former Woolworth’s building which would attract many stall-holders and customers from surrounding areas who might spend in the few remaining High St businesses.
- In May, people in all Solihull’s threatened locations should vote to increase the main opposition Green Party and give them control of Solihull Council.
- Then nationwide vote in a government which would control the exorbitant rents landlords charge. In Shirley it is not unusual for landlords to ask for £30,000 in rent per annum for small shops and overhead flats.
Should the well-being of thousands suffer to maintain the profits of a few absentee landlords and property developers?