BY the time you read this hopefully a decision, whether yea or nay, will have been made on the Parkgate development in Shirley.
Whatever the outcome, it was disappointing to see the BBC’s shoddy handling of the issue on ‘Inside Out’ on Monday night.
A ten minute slot on Shirley High Street and the Parkgate issue proved once again just how superficial television can be.
After telling us that Wolverhampton has a shop vacancy rating of 24 per cent, and Birmingham one of 23 per cent, it decides to concentrate on poor old Shirley’s ‘dying’ high street where the vacancy rating is a comparatively healthy 14 per cent.
They then invite someone - and full marks to the man - who’s made his millions in Poundland or some such, undercutting goodness knows how many high street traders, to be their roving reporter.
Robert Birch from the developer Shirley Advance managed to get a look in but there was no one from Keep Shirley Alive or the borough council, while the issue of the loss of parkland was tacked on as an after thought.
Truly a missed opportunity.
We have always felt that Shirley high street is not dying - go there during business hours and parking spaces are at a premium and the Stratford Road has plenty of shoppers. However, it is changing, and not necessarily for the better.
What is needed now is leadership and direction whatever the planning committee has decided - let’s get positive about Shirley - goodness knows it deserves it.