Comments for article


Suggest it would have been less expensive if the Council officials had travelled to the lawyers office because these people normally charge £100 plus an hour plus expenses. Also what was the process that selected a company based mainly in the south-west and what were the advantages compared to a West Midland legal company non of this is explained in the article. Surely Sandwell have a tendering process for work with the level of expense.


Where is the problem here 50k to secure an excellent 25 year use of this white elephant building is a bargain. This place had previously drawn the life blood out of different budgets as million after million went down the drain just to keep it open. 50 grand is small change in comparison.


We may speak up or challenge any decisions that these people in power make, but i have no illusions, they have the power, they make the decisions. We can sit here and have no say or we can shout out and try to influence change. Unfortunately those who shout out tend to be ignored, shuffled under the table or ridiculed. I have had enough! I am a working man, pay my taxes, pay your wages. Too much of my tax money is wasted and there needs to be a discussion, a discussion of change in how my own contributions will show a positive impact to my society, a society in which I live.

B Jackson

At least this cash guzzler will now stop guzzling taxpayers' cash.

funny old world

I wouldn't count on it, no doubt in a couple of years time some other costs will appear in the paper.

Mrs Ivy Trellis

Then there is the situation that the 'Change of Use' from Arts Centre to College is proceeding (Physically) without Planning Permission! Albeit, there is a Building Regulations Application (Unapproved) with works underway! Notwithstanding the lack of Planning Permission, part of the Building Control Process involves consultations with those having jurisdiction with regard to Fire, and Emergency Planning!

There would also appear to be a questionable 'Title' to the property; given that the Arts Council donated a substantial share of the cost, yet no Legal Charge was registered? Yes, this was a mistake on the part of the 'Arts Council' yet SMBC appear to have assumed 'Title!'

Local Authorities are given the opportunity to 'Grant' Planning Permission to themselves under law. However, this is controlled strictly! In my belief, SMBC have 'Overstepped' the boundaries of exemption, and are deemed to be in 'Contempt' of the Law! – Any comments on this would be appreciated.

The 'Spin' given to this article (relating particularly to 'Ashfords') is a complete 'Bluff!' Whilst members of SMBC did not travel to Exeter, Bristol, London, Plymouth, Taunton nor Tiverton (Given that they might have had a 'Jolly'); the Consultant 'Law Firm' came to them! – Anyone with a modicum of sense knows that a Graduate Lawyer has his time charged out at not less than £150 Per Hour! This, coupled with the seniority (and enhanced cost) of those attending; together with the 'Mileage Rate' (for Ashfords), would be far more than 'Ten Bellies' Cooper, driving to the West Country in the 'Village Jag!'

Evidently, we can see why Mr Cooper wants to 'Draw a Line' and move on! – I wish he would (Move On!) empowered by the electorate of Sandwell!


Why use an outside firm when you have your own "in house" legal team, get rid of the "in house" team then you obviously don't need them ! And why oh why do you keep using the phrase "cash strapped" when writing about Sandwell council, the way "Don Darren " throws our money around it is plentiful !

Mrs Ivy Trellis

It is likely that SMBC were given 'Sound Advice' by their own team yet chose NOT to follow it. Then the 'Council sought Counsel' from Ashfords, who no doubt were 'Bullied into Submission' by Don Darren et al!

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