AFTER much controversy, the new name for Craig Croft Village Centre has finally been announced.
Chelmund’s Cross was the overwhelming winner, with almost 65 per cent of the public vote, beating off Chelmsley Wood Town Council’s more traditional choices of Craig Croft, Craig Park or Dunster Road.
The winning title was originally left off the list of options put to the public, but was added after complaints from residents.
Reverend Neil Roberts, of Chelmsley Wood Baptist Church, who has championed the community’s choice of name, said: “We’re really pleased that lots of people got involved and we support the name that the community chose.
“It’s a brand new start for the area. When you said Craig Croft, people do have negative connotations. Now we have the chance to say it’s better here now and improving all the time as well as giving a bit of pride and heritage.”
Borough councillor Chris Williams (Green, Chelmsley Wood) also welcomed the name saying: “This local vote shows just how much the community cares about Chelmsley Wood, an area with massive community pride and an area that is changing very quickly.”
While the legend of mythical Saxon warrior Chelmund is growing, Solihull Council said the new name actually stemmed from an ancient local wood known as Chelemundesheia in 1200AD.
But leader of the town council, Alf Hill, was furious with Solihull Council for endorsing the Chelmund name which he claims is a “hoax”.
“We believe Chelmund is the sole creation of the local Baptist Church and its associates and we question their motives,” he said. “Chelmund is to Chelmsley Wood what Mickey Mouse is to Walt Disney.
“The whole renaming process has been a farce from start to finish, a minority group has been allowed to hijack the process to the detriment of local residents.”
However, Rev Roberts said he was keen to put the dispute behind them and work with the council on behalf of the area.
“Most people are a bit bemused about the town council’s attitude,” he added.
“The community have chosen this name, and everyone is pleased and delighted about it, that’s not going to change.”