Express & Star

Bilston 'back open for business' after town hall lead thieves cause havoc

Tens of thousands of pounds damage was caused to Bilston Town Hall after mindless thieves stripped the lead causing masonry to crash to the pavement below.

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Lead thieves caused the damage which wrecked the town hall roof

Now shopkeepers are urging customers to flock back to the town centre after losing trade due to the temporary closure of Church Street on safety grounds yesterday.


Businesses reported their takings were down due to potential customers being unable to access their shops.

Dr Kamal Singh, who runs a private medical practice on Church Street, said: "We had a bad day because the police were being very cautious and closed the road for several hours.

"And by the time it was open again everyone believed it was closed all day so we are hoping people will return as soon as possible."

Shopkeepers branded the police "too cautious" for closing roads

Another business that complained about the road closure hitting custom was AR White Menswear which told the Express & Star: "The road was not even closed all day, but people thought it was, because of the media coverage."

Security measures have been stepped up at the site to make the venue safe after thieves stole lead from its roof and knocked masonry from the building resulting in safety fencing being installed and the road temporarily shut by the police.

Wolverhampton Council said it will now be carrying out urgent major repairs to make the building safe and the affected rooms fit for use by community groups.

It said tens of thousands of pounds of damage has been caused and this has been compounded by inclement summer weather conditions which saw the hall suffering flooding on Tuesday.

Cabinet member for city development, jobs and skills, Councillor Chris Burden, said: “Bilston Town Hall sits at the heart of the community and we have invested heavily in improving the facility in recent years while remaining sensitive to its heritage status.

The area around Bilston Town Hall was closed off after reports of falling debris

“This is a despicable act by mindless thieves who have a total disregard of community needs and safety. It has already forced the closure of the town hall in the short term and other events will need to be postponed until we can guarantee everyone’s safety.

“The repercussions of this theft are absolutely devastating for everyone who uses the town hall, and I would urge anyone who has any information about the theft to please call the police as soon as possible on 101, quoting crime reference 20/597776/24, so we can bring the culprits to book.”