Whopping cost of Sedgley wall revamp sparks UKIP brickbats at council

Dudley News: 29/11/61
Bill Etheridge UKIP with wall in Sedgley. (2828397) 29/11/61 Bill Etheridge UKIP with wall in Sedgley. (2828397)

DUDLEY Council is facing a broadside of brickbats after it emerged a Sedgley wall refurbishment cost a whopping £235,000.

The controversial construction, on Gospel End Road, has recently undergone a major revamp but Bill Etheridge, chairman of UKIP’s Dudley and Halesowen branch, says the price is too high for the cash-strapped council.

Mr Etheridge used information gained under the Freedom of Information Act as the foundation for branding the cost of the project astonishing.

He said: “The first issue is how effective are the council negotiation's with contractors, £235k is a lot of money regardless of how attractive a wall is. The second issue is how can it be justified to spend such huge sums on a wall when massive cuts are being made elsewhere.

“This project raises very serious questions about the priorities of our elected councillors both those is Sedgley who glory in this shiny new wall and the ones who passed the spending in the first place.”

Councillor Khurshid Ahmed, Dudley cabinet member for transportation, said: "The old wall at Gospel End, which dated back over 100 years, was set extremely close to the carriageway which did not provide any space for a footpath for pedestrian access or for any maintenance work to be undertaken on the wall.

"In addition to re-creating this important retaining wall and creating a new footpath we also re-used the original Gornal stonework on the facing stones to keep and conserve the original appearance of the wall."

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