I was stunned to read that because of deplorable and protracted neglect at the hands of Tory Erewash Borough Council; a sum in excess of £15,000 is required to renovate the “Stanton” railway wagon.
What a shame that Cllr Wallis didn’t reveal his passion for all things heritage earlier – when a lick of paint would have done the trick.
For years, this decaying wagon has symbolised the contempt Tory Erewash has shown towards Ilkeston.
Instead of fronting media stunts like this, perhaps Mike Wallis should direct his energies towards a worthier goal: persuading Tory colleagues to replace the real life jobs lost from Stanton.
Erewash needs an intelligent Economic Development Strategy and a dedicated team of staff to drive it.
That Strategy needs serious money. Cameron’s Government has pulled the plug on Regional Development cash, so resources must be found closer to home; from Erewash and Derbyshire Councils.
Projects like a station for Ilkeston need local funding to pump prime local economies.
The borough council should campaign loud and proud for the electrification of the Midland Main Line and HS2.
It should seek a new road to link the former Stanton site to the M1 and the A52 to maximise job creation on the patch and cut the volume of traffic passing through Sandiacre and Ilkeston.
Instead of pacifying disgruntled voters, with ‘consultations’ about the repair of a museum artefact (which isn’t even an original Stanton wagon), Ilkeston needs resources to repair the broken economy for the people who live here now.
‘Paint Your Wagon’ was a great old movie from the 1960s but Lee Marvin isn’t around to pay the bills or feed and clothe the kids.
Create the jobs, Cllr Wallis! Until then, Hollywood and wagon painting can wait!!
Cllr Howard Griffiths.