Radford Stakeholder’s meeting announce plans to demolish St Nicholas Church

By Ludaina Hussein


Going over statistics

I attended the Radford ward stakeholders meeting where members of the ward gathered in the church hall of St Francis of Assisi church, on Links road, Radford to discuss everything from the ward’s economic to  environmental state.

In attendance of was Radford ward Councillor Mal Mutton, Councillor Kieran Mulhall and Tony Skipper, also Councillors for Radford ward were not in attendance. Also present at the meeting was the vicar of St Francis of Assisi parish church Reverend Liz Jackson, Sergeant Neil Ward, a youth worker, the Radford community centre manager, Radford library manager, and two other members of the Radford church community.

Reverend Liz gave a warm welcome before getting down to business; she raised the issue of the St Nicholas church building that is no longer fit for use. The Reverend explained that although they do not have permission to sell the land on which the church was built on, the demolition of the building could open up new possibilities of economic growth in Radford, “depending on what the people of Radford need” she stressed.

Councillor Mutton took of the meeting after Reverend Liz Jackson. Cllr Mutton started off with enforcing the message that “The only way forward is to work in partnership with another”, she continued “Radford ward is below the City in the average household income, highestin child poverty within Coventry” and has seen  “an increase in crime, increase in anti-social behaviour”. This lead to back to the discussion of the demolition St Nicholas church, arose the ongoing issue of the youth anti-social behaviour. There’s a “congregation” of youth who gather at St Nicholas cemetery who cause a nuisance.

Sergeant Neil Ward, Radford sergeant for two years in Radford suggested that the problem with the crime and nuisance that takes place in Radford is due to that fact that too much time Is being put in to preventing crime whereas, “part of my ambition is to actually catch convicts” he explains, despite “going from 18 staff members to 13” the job cuts have not yet had a negative effect on crime figures, in fact, “we’re 23.5% down on the rate on burglaries and the total record crime (TRC) is down” which is a major improvement for Radford as the ward has suffered from something Sergeant Ward referred to as “opportunist crime”, “the local people need to be aware that “leaving your window open is and opportunity for theft”.

So, what’s next for Radford? The demolition on St Nicholas church opens a window of many possibilities, hopefully the land could bring something to Radford that could steer the youth offenders and anti-social behaviour away from crime, as Cllr Mutton stated “it’s imperative that we work together, prioritise inclusion because you get a real sense of scapegoating and fear” she concluded that “all stakeholders in Radford can start to work together to get to where we want Radford to be”.

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