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Super-casino indecision „undermines credibility“

The inability of senior councillors to decide the best site for a new super-casino has „undermined Birmingham’s credibility“, the leader of the opposition on the city council has claimed.

Sir Albert Bore, leader of the Labour group, said a decision to back Birmingham City Football Club’s proposals for a new Sports Village or the National Exhibition Centre’s plans for a casino complex should have been taken weeks ago.

Sir Albert also claimed the local authority’s ruling cabinet should have ensured the NEC made a commitment to fund new sporting facilities in Birmingham if it gets council backing for a new gaming complex on its Solihull site.

The cabinet is to meet today to decide which casino option to support and is expected to support the NEC scheme.

Sir Albert (Lab Ladywood) accused cabinet members of putting at risk the city’s future sporting heritage through procrastination.

„This public debate has again undermined Birmingham’s credibility,“ he said.

„How can we advance our role as the driver of the West Midlands economy and as a widely recognised international city when we cannot unite behind major transformational projects?

„A casino at the Wheels site, as proposed by Birmingham City Football Club, needs to deliver that sports stadia infrastructure. A casino at the NEC needs to deliver the same sports stadia infrastructure at the Wheels site.

„Whichever of these proposals delivers a new stadium capable of hosting football, athletics and cricket, a new 50m swimming pool, indoor arena, community facilities and much more, without the need for public sector finance, is the option that we all have to support.

„These are the questions that need to be answered and with leadership should have been answered many weeks ago.

* Birmingham City Football Club has issued a last-minute plea in The Post urging the city council today to back its bid for a super-casino. In a full page message, the club lists the comments of some of its supporters and said it has the backing of 35,000 people.