This morning we all woke up to a news item lambasting Wolverhampton and calling our citizens “The Most Miserable”. I have responded reminding Wednesfield North residents that really this so called report is just ‘Cobblers.’
However I am grateful for Councillor Roger Lawrence Leader of Wolverhampton City Council, for his much more measured response and his expansion on where Wolverhampton currently is. Here is The Leader of the Council’s response to the allegations.
Legatum Institute report
The leader of the City of Wolverhampton Council, Councillor Roger Lawrence, said: “Whilst it’s fair to say that Wolverhampton took a battering during the recession with private investment pulled, traditional industries closing down and massive Government cuts, we’re now seeing some really positive signs of recovery.
“Only last month, the city saw a decrease in the number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance, with the number down by 187 in September, to 3.9 per cent.
“This shows that things are moving in the right direction – particularly when you look at the opportunities that are being created by a city that’s regenerating and re-inventing itself.
“Wolverhampton was recently named as one of the top 10 of the fastest-growing areas in the UK. “The UHY Hacker Young study found Wolverhampton’s gross value added (GVA) figure, which shows the value of goods and services produced, is up 19% per person from £16,474 to £19,548 between 2009 and 2013 – a positive reflection of the huge efforts the council and its partners are making to create a strong manufacturing base, improve education standards and raise skills.
“More than £868 million of investment in the city centre is either underway or in the pipeline, including the £35 million refurbishment of the Mander Centre which is set to start in January, a stunning new youth zone for our young people and exciting plans for the regeneration of Westside.
“A number of major employers have moved into the area in recent times, such as Jaguar Land Rover and Wiggle, and around 400 more new jobs will be created by the construction of Pantheon Park in Wednesfield next year.
“Of course it’s not just about jobs and employment; a recent survey by OneFamily found that Wolverhampton is one of the top 10 cities for families to live in across England and Wales. We are a friendly and welcoming city, the local property market offers excellent value for money, over three quarters of our schools are judged to be good or outstanding by Ofsted and exam results are on the up.
“We also a wide range of fantastic family-friendly facilities in the city, including our stunning parks and green spaces and wonderful attractions like Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Bantock House Museum, plus beautiful countryside right on our doorstep.
“It’s also worth remembering that this research is old news. The data used is from 2011 and 2013-14. Wolverhampton’s come a long way since then and as we approach 2016 there’s a lot going on in our city.
“The index is also limited in that it only uses two data sets when there are many different ways that ‘prosperity’ can be measured”.
I think that this very much sums up the current situation here in Wolverhampton….incidentally the photograph I am using to run with this response. Is a Photograph used by Municipal Journal along with the headline ” New Horizons” which formed part of a recent magazine feature on our City of Wolverhampton! Much more positive and much more accurate than the cobblers printed this morning…..