Andrew Mitchell MP starts repair effort at arson damaged boardwalk in New Hall Valley Country Park

9th October 2010

Andrew Mitchell MP has visited New Hall Valley Country Park to help get repairs underway to a walkway after it was damaged by arson last month.

During the visit Andrew met with Jeff Gilbert, Chairman of the New Hall Valley Steering Group, Tony Derbyshire, its Vice Chairman and Cllr Dennis Birbeck to exam the arson damaged boardwalk.

The park’s Steering Group are now beginning to replace the burnt out section with fire resistant timber and are looking for local residents to sponsor the repairs. Anyone willing to, can now sponsor a new board for the walkway at £35, onto which their name will be carved.

Andrew Mitchell MP was the first person to sponsor a board (pictured here) and it will be the first tread laid as part of the repairs. So far both individuals, families, organisations and even pets have come forward to sponsor replacement boards.

Jeff Gilbert, Chairman of the New Hall Valley Steering Group said, “I am extremely pleased for the support Mr Mitchell has given to us once again. This is all the more commendable when one appreciates the onerous nature of his new Cabinet Post.”

The boardwalk allows access to wet areas of the park which are not normally accessible. A date for the rebuild has not yet been decided.

In the past Mr Mitchell has supported numerous projects at New Hall Valley Country Park, including the Green Flag Award it received in 2008 as well as the repair effort when the walkway was torched for the first time two years ago.

Andrew Mitchell MP said, \"New Hall Valley Country Park is a haven of natural tranquility in Sutton Coldfield of which we can all be proud. I am extremely disturbed by this second arson attack on the walkway and am in the process of setting up a meeting with the West Midlands Arson Attack Force in order to hear how they are tackling this worrying problem.\"

Photo: Andrew Mitchell MP at the site of the arson damaged boardwalk with his replacement board. (L-R Mr Jeff Gilbert, Cllr Dennis Birbeck, Mr Andrew Mitchell MP, Mr Tony Derbyshire.)',