RESIDENTS claim that a public vote to rename Craig Croft Village Centre has fallen into farce after one of the options put forward was...Craig Croft.
Solihull Council was forced to step in after Chelmsley Wood residents said their suggestions to celebrate the area’s Saxon heritage were simply disregarded for the town council’s more traditional choices; Craig Croft, Craig Park or Dunster Road.
Borough Councillor Chris Williams (Green, Chelmsley Wood) said: “Chelmsley Wood has been an area where so much has been thrust upon it, people are crying out to have their say.
“It was a fantastic idea to get the community involved in naming the area. But the town council, frankly, didn’t have the most regard for the community’s pleas.
“They have gone against the principle of having a new name by choosing the exact same name, or as similar as possible.”
Other suggested names included Chelmund, believed to be a local Saxon settler, Chelmund Cross, Bishop Wilson Place and Three Trees.
Baptist church minister Neil Roberts said many saw a new name as an opportunity for a fresh start.
“There are basically quite a lot of local people keen for a new start for the area. It has quite a bad reputation.
“We wanted to show the wider world it is a good place to live and good things are happening here.
“The name is important - it says who you are. Chelmund is the original Brummie. It’s about being proud of our area and its history.”
But Chelmsley Wood town councillor Alf Hill said the community wanted to keep Craig Croft’s heritage.
“Most people don’t feel it necessary to change the name of Craig Croft,” he said.
“It’s been like that for the past 40 odd years. Someone is talking about some Saxon warrior, quite frankly, they need to have their head examined.”
Solihull Council is now offering community groups the chance to put forward two additional names, after concerns local views had not been represented. “Solihull Council wants to take account of their views and ensure the right decision is made,” a spokesman added.
“Now is the chance for the commuity to reclaim our area, the council are listening,” added Mr Roberts.