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MP CALLS FOR HALT TO WARKS LOAN

17-06-2009

MP Roger Godsiff is calling on Birmingham City Council to withold it's £20 million loan to Warwickshire County Cricket Club for the redevelopment of Edgbaston. He says the thorny issue of floodlighting should be sorted first.

Approval was given by a government planning inspector last month for the erection of five 150ft pylons, and the Government Office for the West Midlands have subsequently declined to become involved on the grounds that this is a ‘local matter’.

In a statement, Godsiff said, "I disagree with argument put forward by the Government Office for the West Midlands that this is a local issue because Edgbaston is a major national sporting venue. In June 2000 a Government Inspector decisively rejected the application by Warwickshire CCC for the erection of five permanent floodlight pylons and the new application is even more substantial.

"The ball is now firmly in the court of Birmingham City Council. They have it in their power to stop the erection of these five 150 foot high permanent floodlight pylons. Edgbaston would fully meet the criteria for Test grounds by having permanent floodlight ‘bases’ and retractable floodlights like those at Lords.

"If the home of cricket can have retractable floodlights in order to preserve the attractiveness of the people living in St. Johns Wood then why can’t the same consideration be given to the people of Balsall Heath and Moseley. "

Godsiff has now written to Council leader Mike Whitby calling for any loan to be witheld until an agreement is reached over retractable lights.

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