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Brum council chief rebuffs Worcester jobs anger
MEDDLING Brummie council chiefs trying to pinch your jobs have delivered an extraordinary rebuff to Worcester - and refused to back down on what they call “a point of principle”.
Sir Albert Bore, the leader of Birmingham City Council, said his officers could not “turn a blind eye” and allow a key county growth blueprint to go ahead without their input.
As your Worcester News reported in October, during a public examination over the blueprint, planning officers from Birmingham and the Black Country said it threatened the prosperity of their towns and cities.
They said the current figure of 25,000 jobs by 2030 should be revised because it could harm employment opportunities in their region.
The stance infuriated Worcestershire’s MPs, who called it “outrageous” and sent a letter to Councillor Bore following our coverage.
In the letter Coun Bore claimed he was a “great supporter” of jobs and growth across the country, but feared for the prospects of the Second City
He also said his main concern is the affect on the Longbridge industrial plant in Birmingham, which is still trying to recover after the collapse of MG Rover in 2005.
He said: “As you will be aware I am a great supporter of boosting jobs and growth, not just in Birmingham but across the wider area including south Worcestershire.
“What the inspector has concluded, in line with the Government’s new national guidelines, is that there should be an appropriate balance struck between population and housing growth.
“This was, and remains an important principle behind our representations but you could not reasonably expect (Birmingham) city council to turn a blind eye to a situation that could have a damaging impact on the prospects of developing and creating jobs on the land at Longbridge, which is an area that has suffered from severe economic misfortune.”
He also said Birmingham supported the number of homes earmarked in the plan, which is currently 23,000.
Inspector Roger Clews has since backed the tally of jobs, refuting suggestions it is too high, but wants the number of properties to be increased.
District councils in Worcester, Malvern and Wychavon, which worked on the SWDP, are currently working on a revised figure of homes.
Mr Walker said the letter “didn’t really answer” his concerns over their meddling.
“It’s a pretty standard response, it doesn’t really address our concerns over what they were trying to say,” he said.
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