A Birmingham MP has accused the city council of ‘indecent haste’ in pushing through plans for the £4 million conversion of a former swimming pool at Stirchley into offices and a community centre.
Labour Selly Oak MP Steve McCabe believes the council pushed through the plans for Stirchley Baths on the eve of election when the costs of the project will most likely fall on the expected incoming Labour administration.
He also claims the deal has been done with little consultation and rushed through and demanded a halt to the scheme.
He said: “It’s very sad to see the state of the former baths but this has been the situation since the building closed 25 years ago.
“I’m at a loss to understand why exactly, one month before the council elections, there’s now so much urgency to force through a scheme that most people don’t know about and haven’t been consulted on.
“I’ve yet to meet a person or organisation in Bournville who’s been consulted or supports the idea.’
The plans include the closure of Cotteridge Neighbourhood Office, Selly Oak Constituency Office and Stirtchley Community Centre with all staff and functions transferred to the refurbished Stirchley Baths.
A council spokesman said that the decision was made in a public meeting of the Cabinet Committee Property in March. He added that the issue was raised at the Bournville ward committee that month as well as an open day held at the existing community centre.
He said: “The scheme, likely to cost around £3.75 million, is being funded by city council corporate resources and an anticipated Heritage Lottery Grant. The scheme will form part of the wider regeneration of the local area.”
He added: “Approval was given to the refurbishment of the Stirchley Baths building to include a new community centre, neighbourhood office giving access to Council Services and potentially the relocation of the local constituency office.
“Other facilities are also being considered.”