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Winshill retirement complex is officially opened

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: July 26, 2014

By Rob Smyth

Comments (4)

THERE were smiles all around as the ribbon was cut at the official opening of a refurbished Burton retirement complex that was saved from closure by a Mail campaign

Burton MP Andrew Griffiths and Mayor of East Staffordshire Ron Clarke were on hand to do the honours in front of dozens of residents and staff at Elizabeth Court, in Borough Road, Winshill.

This comes only months after a £3.2 million redevelopment project was completed at the site by Trent & Dove Housing, who took on the ownership and management of the complex after the Mail won a campaign in 2011 to save it from closing its doors and being bulldozed.

John Jackson, chairman of Trent & Dove Housing, spoke to the Mail about the historic day.

He said: "When we acquired Elizabeth Court from Anchor back in 2011, we promised existing residents that we would make their homes better places to be.

"With £3.2 million of investment, we have managed to turn what was a building with a faintly institutional feel into a sheltered housing complex which feels more like a hotel.

"It's superb to see so many smiling faces here now – both old and new, and we wish all of our residents the very best in their new homes."

Mr Griffiths, who was instrumental in helping to save the complex, urged residents to 'buy a copy of the Mail' to thank the paper for its pivotal role in saving the site.

The scheme, comprising of 47 one and two bedroom apartments, has received a facelift both inside and out.

Residents now enjoy enhanced communal facilities and residents also have the added security of an on-site scheme manager.

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4 comments

  • Terry  |  July 28 2014, 3:50PM

    I still say give credit where it is due, I respect your many opinions, respect mine.

  • mattlong  |  July 26 2014, 8:10PM

    OK Terry. I accept that two young ladies may well have done the donkey work as Gerry Chatfield, Ron Clarke and myself did in terms of kicking off the Margaret Stanhope Campaign. This being said when high profile people like an MP or a Mayor for example come on board would you not agree that this bolsters a campaign and gives it more chance of succeeding? I accept we can rightly question the motives of any politician but with the Margaret Stanhope campaign I don't think you could accuse Andrew Griffiths of jumping on a bandwagon that was heading for success. Everyone involved knew that health chiefs had already cited Stanhope closure as their preferred option and we knew we were pretty much doomed but chose to fight on moral grounds. The problem with the line of argument you take is that Andrew Griffiths or any politician for that matter will be condemned for their involvement in a campaign (in this case a retirement complex) and censured as a 'bandwagon jumper' and alternatively if they abstain they run the risk of the censure that they have not used their influence to effect change. With regards to the 'Daily Griffiths' comment, this newspaper actually printed a letter whereby I attempted to put pressure on Andrew with regard to his need to challenge at the ministerial level on issues of austerity. It was printed probably because it wasn't a barbed attack on Andrew as a person. I think many on the political left in this town would do well to reflect on this in terms of presentation and whether in fact this is a more effective way of holding an individual, political party or ultimately a government to account.

  • Terry  |  July 26 2014, 7:39PM

    Some people have short memories, it was two young ladies whose mother was a resident, that spearheaded the campaign to save the home. Andrew Griffiths turned up almost as the fight was won, no doubt spying another photo opportunity. The "Daily Griffiths" should give credit where it is really due.

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  • mattlong  |  July 26 2014, 1:06PM

    Another good Burton Mail campaign. Whether they fail like the Stanhope one I was involved in with by Ron and Andrew or succeed like this one, its about taking a stance. Good to see two guys I've got a lot of time for who happen to be from different sides of the political divide coming together for this one.

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