FOLLOWING our press release of August 12 regarding security at Brandon Stadium, we can now provide an update on the latest situation.
The update is very simple and straightforward: absolutely nothing has changed.
In mid-August, stadium owners Investin plc (Brandon Estates) issued a statement to the Coventry Telegraph via their PR consultants Thirty4/7 Communications. In it, they stated that they had been “working closely with our security advisors…” and “will continue to liaise with all relevant stakeholders on this issue.”
We have clear photographic evidence which proves that even if the security advisors (assuming they exist) have offered advice, and even if such liaison with stakeholders has taken place, the position at the stadium remains unchanged.
The many areas of the site where unauthorised access can be gained still exist. There are very obvious entry points enabling anyone to go in and out at will, and this has continued to happen over the last month. No measures have been put in place to secure the site.
Once again, this shows a total disregard on the part of Investin for the local residents who have to deal with these repeated incursions, not knowing whether further acts of a criminal nature will follow.
All the developers have done, very belatedly, is to use their statement via Thirty4/7 to urge people to stay out of the site. This is a message we have carried frequently on our website and social media since the outset, but unfortunately it is clear that many people simply choose to ignore it.
The only way to ensure safety and reassure residents is to have a physical 24-hour on-site security presence – and this is, of course, exactly what was in place when the venue was operating as it should be, as a sports stadium.
The developers’ failure to act suggests to us that they may have considered the position and concluded that they would rather pay a fine, which we understand is a maximum of £10k, when their court case with the Council is eventually heard – rather than act in the interests of local residents and the safety of all concerned by properly securing the site.
While we appreciate that a fine could cause reputational damage, we would prefer the Court to require Investin to take action to restore the stadium to the position it was in when they took control almost four years ago, rather than to impose a fine at a level that could be seen as tokenistic by a major developer.
Meanwhile, the offer to buy the stadium and refurbish it for sporting use remains on the table, as it has been for nearly four months. It appears the developers would prefer to pretend this offer does not exist.