Often Partisan

Asset of Community Value Delay: What Can We Do?

The Blues Trust reported this week that Birmingham City Council have delayed their decision on the application made by the Trust to have St Andrews registered as an “asset of community value”.

The application, which was made on June 22 2013 with an eight week deadline for a response would ensure that if listed, any owner must notify a community group such as the Blues Trust to enable them to come up with a bid. Whilst there is no compulsion on the owner to sell to the community bid, it would give the fans the chance to ensure that they at least have the opportunity to own the ground.

What’s disappointing is the tardiness Birmingham City Council have shown in responding to the application, taking ten weeks to acknowledge it and to say that they need to seek further information. Sir Albert Bore was quoted as saying

“The Council has very recently taken [Queen’s] Counsel’s opinion on the nomination. On advice from [Queen’s] Counsel, we will be writing to the Blues Supporters shortly asking for further information in support of the application, before a decision is made.”

“Given the need to carry out further consultation to ensure that the correct decision is made, the application has been delayed. However, we would envisage a decision being made by mid-October.”

From a personal point of view this is a very disappointing response. To return stating that they needed information having sat on the application for so long shows a lack of respect for the fans – no doubt many of whom are voters in Birmingham – and a lack of nous about what is going on at the club.

At the moment there are fourteen football grounds listed as Assets of Community Value – from Anfield and Old Trafford to Portman Road, the Kassam Stadium and Liberty Way. Most applications have been completed within the eight week deadline although the Manchester United Supporters Trust application took thirteen weeks to get approval and Spirit of Shankly (Liverpool) took four weeks longer than that. The hope is that Birmingham City Council will not drag their heels any longer than necessary and it is slightly confusing that they have felt the need (uniquely) to get QC advice.

Eric Pickles MP, who is Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government was quoted as saying this about the ACV legislation.

“Football stadiums are not only the heart and soul of every team, they are rooted in and loved by the neighbourhoods that surround them.”

“Thanks to the new rights we’ve created, today football fans are exercising their community right to keep the beautiful game at their team’s spiritual home by protecting their stadium’s future.”

If St Andrews doesn’t fall into the scope of that, what hope do we have as fans?

If you live in Birmingham and would like to contact your local councillor to ask them what is happening with the application, then the list of contact details is here.

The case is being dealt with by Birmingham Property Services, and the cabinet member within Birmingham City Council who is responsible for that department is Ian Ward. His contact details are here. Alternatively, the leader of the council is Sir Albert Bore and his contact details are here.

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72 Responses to “Asset of Community Value Delay: What Can We Do?”

  • bluenose 11 says:

    its a bloody outrage that it has to come to lobbying by the fans just to get this done (if indeed that even works) birmingham city council could only show more disdain toward the fans if they were to deny this application i dont live close enough to lobby as i live in walsall or i would what else can i do to put my little bit of pressure on ?

  • tamuffblue says:

    Vile council – Vile lovers – Vile people enough said !!!!!!!

  • ryley says:

    Any news on a takeover?and Do you think we will servive this season?

  • Agent McLeish says:

    Just shows how the council views the real community. Football is one of the few activities are brings communities, races, genders and age groups together. Between now and mid-Oct anything could happen to our club.
    Final though, as clause 7 of this legislation stipulates “The responsible authority must decide whether land nominated by a community nomination should be included in the list within eight weeks of receiving the nomination.” the surely the council is now in breach of a statutory law?

  • Paul says:

    BCC’s response doesn’t surprise me. Inept at best springs to mind (unless spending other people’s money).

  • Jumbo says:

    Dan,

    Do we know what info the trust has been asked to provide?

  • Flakey says:

    Don’t forget these are MP’s we’re dealing with,if there’s nothing in it for them it could be a building site before anything gets done,don’t hold your breath KRO

  • Big Al says:

    Anyone who has to deal with B’ham City Council in their day job will not bat an eyelid at this news. They’ve been too busy making love to a library to even look at the application anyway.

  • dave mann says:

    im glad i work for the north warickshire borough council because there diffrent class
    from the idiots that i use yo work with on the birmingham city council, wouldnt no
    there arse from there elbow trust me i know! KRO.

  • geraldsquires says:

    Maybe its time to move to a more mmmm shall we say ‘suitable’ location one might say, small heath is looking more like a rubbish dump every day, not an area i would be keen to invest in i might add and too few others one might safely summise would one not mmmmm?

  • blaneh says:

    Hey at least we will be able to read all about this in the books of our new Library…

    • chris says:

      just don’t take the flashy expensive glass lift as people got stuck in it for 45 minutes, they were lucky there was no fire.

  • sappy sad says:

    ……….perhaps blues trust needs to see queens council ,as the footballing powers failed to pick up on the simple task of finding out that carson yeung was under investigation by the H.K. police……and now we have a council who seem to be void of the power to make a decision on a simple task which is in their power playing for time and seeing queens council seems funny in the least…..perhaps blues trust are dealing with more fit and proper persons

  • Ronj says:

    Here we go again. The Labour Council were also negative with the previous owners plans. Any perceived objections are always put in our way. Would the same response have been if it had been Villa. I doubt it. At the end of the day these same people will be looking for votes. I hope blues fans will remember come election date.

  • motozulu says:

    Email sent – for what it’s worth.

  • mark says:

    Too many vilers on the bcc………give us a cup parade they said kiss your arse. There line was health and safety……about 1000 fans protested outside their offices. If fans want to protested there place to protest not stans………does anyone remember what happen to poor old pepple mill????.

    • chas says:

      Mark, McLeish himself said at the time that it was HIS idea not to hold a Parade, as we had an important match the following Tuesday. And most of the problems from the Council were when they were a Tory Council.

    • skareggae72 says:

      Pebble Mill was an eyesore which was way beyond its sell by date + they wanted a more central location.

      Love or loathe Small Heath,it would be a sad day if we ever moved from our present home to a faceless stadium on the outskirts of the city,with limited local facilities,it certainly didn’t do Coventry any favours,even the promised train station failed to materialise.

      Or god forbid we were forced out due to more dubious & desperate financial dealings over the next few years!

      • StaffsBlue says:

        I’ve been going to StAns for 44 years, it’s the spiritual home of BCFC. Anyway, I doubt we’ll ever see much more than 25-30,000 again, why would we need a new, soul-less metal box? I think that would be the time I stopped going.

      • chris says:

        it was the anti Birmingham BBC which shut Pebble Mill and the same biased BBC which sets up in Cardiff and Manchester even though Midlanders (east and west) contrubute 19% of BBC licence payers funding.
        Please support:
        http://www.crbmidlands.org.uk/

  • Jimbo says:

    Does anybody know what ‘additional info’ the council have requested?

  • Gardenshed says:

    Is it just a coincidence that CY’s trial may well be finalised mid October?

  • RJ-BCFC1875 says:

    Birmingham City Council, indecisive what a shock, Labour or Tory, only interested in what’s in it
    For them, other city’s drive There City’s forward, that’s why most outside of Brum class Manchester as the second City, but not our lot.
    I for one would be open to the idea to move outside of Birmingham to Solihull or cross to Worcestershire, the Training ground is only a mile if that inside the city boundary, anyway.
    As long as the Club owns the ground, why not consider it.
    Any way we need a change of owners first, before we can move on to that.

  • oldburyblue says:

    Why the need for QC advice? Just how many solicitors are employed by the council and how many barristers are retained? The costs must be enormous…..but there again its not their money, as per.

  • andy says:

    Surely everybody remembers David Sullivan banging his head against a brick wall with the city council. Even offering to buy out the properties and land opposite the main stand so that he could develop it fell on deaf ears. The city council do nothing to help out its football club, Sullivan made that clear to us during his tenure, so why would they now?

  • Stephen Wood says:

    What we should learn from the councils response is in fact that we in Small Heath are so insignificant they would not allow an open top bus in the city centre when we achieved oone of our greatest successes THE LEAGUE CUP!!!! I rest my case !

  • Peter Nolan says:

    email sent, hope it helps in some small way…KRO

  • RJ-BCFC1875 says:

    What’s the betting we become the first to be rejected.

  • dave mann says:

    birmingham city council obviouslly dont think birmingham city football club are worth there
    time off day, there all vile fans anyway from my experience with them so are we all that
    supprised……….no! KRO.

  • foreverblueallan says:

    Sent to Birmingham City Coucil today :-

    Dear Mr Ward
    I have been informed that you are responsible in some degree for dealing with the application from the Blues Supporters Trust to have St Andrews listed as an “Asset of Community Value” – The result of this being granted would go some way to protecting our stadium from “asset strippers”

    It has also been reported that Birmingham City Council has not treated this application with the urgency required, and not only have you renegaded on your statutory obligations to deal with this matter in the time allowed, but you have, for whatever outlandish reason decided to involve the legal profession – ( more of our council tax wasted !)

    You are obviously well aware, and if not you should be, that several other major football stadiums in the UK have gained this status without any problem —

    So I have to ask — Just what on earth are you people playing at ????

    From a loyal Blues supporter since 1945.

  • dave mann says:

    great statement, but falling on deaf ears im afraid, propably file it in there out tray, out with
    the rubbish, typical birmingham council im sorry to say.KRO.

  • RJ-BCFC1875 says:

    Email sent

    Dear Mr Ward

    I have been informed that you are one of the persons responsible in some degree for dealing with an application from the Blues Supporters Trust to have St Andrews listed as an “Asset of Community Value” on being granted this would go some way towards protecting our stadium.
    It would be helpful if the council showed support to the football clubs of this city.

    Several other major football stadiums in the UK have gained this status without any problem, so why is it Birmingham Council had to seek legal advice on this, looks like another waste of tax pay money to me as well, please remember the club carries the City name without that you will be the only city outside of London not to have the city name on a football team, and as we are supposed to be the second city, looks like that would be an own goal to me.

    From a Blues supporter of 45 years.

  • Steve Aerobic says:

    Dan, please could you enlighten me here if possible. As I see it even if we get the Asset of Community Value status it only puts us in a bidding war with any other parties that have an intent to buy the ground? If this is so why do we need any status as we could bid anyway and secondly the Chinese win either way, or is it the case that we would have the opportunity to match any bid and if this is so everyone would be aware of this and it could be manouvered around by a bit iof fainancial tlickely(trickery).

    • almajir says:

      If St Andrews is on the ACV the Trust would be notified first of any potential change of ownership – it also ensures a six month period whereby the Trust would be given the chance to make a bid, thus slowing down any quick sale of the ground.

  • Steve Aerobic says:

    Thank you for the quick response, it would prvent any rapid asset stripping then. Reading earlier posts regarding St Andrews, I think its a liberty making remarks about Small Heath as an area as I know many people that originated from and some that still live there and they are, like any other areas people, a mixed bunch. does Mr Squires dare to travel into Small Heath for fear of his life on match days? This is our spiritual home and it will be a sad day if we ever have to leave and the likes of Mr Squires are welcome to take or leave it as far as I am concerned.

  • Applebob says:

    Has anyone emailed Mr Pickles about this? If there were enough he may have a word or put out a statement. He’s done it before regarding BCC and business tax relief.

  • Tony says:

    What do you expect from a left wing council led by a failed physics scholar

  • tony says:

    Are you telling me what politics to adopt dan?

  • tony says:

    Ask Bores previous wife

  • RichardM says:

    I may be missing the point here, but I just sense this is somehwat of an over-reaction.

    True, it’s not happening as quickly as we want, but they have committed to a decision by mid-October. Given the precedents that exist around the country already I can’t see what reasonable objections they could put forward to block this, and even they did, surely we would have leave to appeal.

    Are we that worried that Carson (with, let’s face it, a lot on his plate right now) can force through a sale of St. Andrews before mid-October? Is it even in his best interests to do so if he’s trying to sell the club for £80 million?

    • almajir says:

      I think it’s a commmitment to a response by then, not a judgement. I would hope that if nothing is done in the next few weeks people do kick off.

  • AR says:

    Just to let you know that I have e-mailed Sir Albert asking,among other things, why he thought it necessary to spend money briefing a QC (money which is in short supply)and Mr Ward asking him to do something for some of the people who elected him. So far no replies.

  • Bobble says:

    Hi Dan
    Thank you for the detail and the contact points. Having been a double rate payer, home and business, for many years, I shall be sending as many emails as there are contact points.
    This goes to the heart of the stewardship of the Club. Is there any support available from the football powers that be, who have a lot more to answer for as their big fat salaries are paid exclusively for football matters, allegedly.
    You still haven’t answered Blueboy88’s question “Are you coming in on loan to cover the left wing”. If so, please can I have some tickets in the player’s area.

  • Bobble says:

    Shame, just think of the blogs that you could have written

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    The reason the council don’t want to give it protected status is being they probably have lined as for a developed project if it was available. They want QC to find a loophole to decline the application

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Palms need to be greased mehtinks.

  • sappy sad says:

    …..could be that the council are thinking of buying st Andrews to rent out…but don’t want baggage if things don’t turn out as insurance ….and perhaps Q.C.is there to clear it with the hong kong courts….perhaps perhaps perhaps the party will be voted in for the next 30 years….(who said that )…..k.r.o

  • Paulusss says:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2382223/Glazer-family-suffer-Old-Trafford-blow-stadium-named-asset-community-value.htm

    The reason Birmingham Council need to do there homework and instruct a QC is because Trafford Council are having to defend an appeal by Manchester United which will cost them a lot of money. (Check out the link). It’s nothing to do with not liking BCFC it’s to do with getting things legally correct.

  • tony says:

    No problem Birmingham council always lose appeals

  • lee says:

    As a close friend of paladin is son please give everybody time to sort deal out in back ground .will be done be patient blues fans….

  • sappy sad says:

    ……….no good knocking the villa ….my nephew is a avid supporter ,and he is 100% behind blues having their ground protected against being an housing estate ect…..unless a new and better ground is built and thinks the villa should follow the same course ,……so get together protect the citys football

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    I have emailed this:

    Dear Rt Hon Mr Pickles,

    Please be aware that Birmingham City Council have not decided upon the above above ACV in the statutory time. In fact now that it beyond the eight weeks they are further prevaricating by taking QC legal advice. I thought that this should be of concern to you.

    As a Birmingham City supporter and season ticket holder I have a concern that the club’s majority shareholder(s) may sell or sell and lease back the stadium which is not, in my view to the benefit of the football club

  • StaffsBlue says:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leicestershire-24023144

    I hope they have better luck than we’ve had!


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