Memorial bench unveiled on site of landmark housing project

A memorial to a much-loved and well-respected local councillor has been unveiled on the rooftop terrace of The Burgesses, our £3.2 million new housing development in Kinver. 

Councillor Brian Edwards MBE was a passionate supporter of our project to provide high-quality retirement living for older people in the popular village. 

A former leader of South Staffordshire Council, Councillor Edwards sadly passed away before work on the Burgesses was completed. Now, a memorial bench has been installed, recognising his commitment to the local community. 

At a ceremony to dedicate the bench, we were joined at the Burgesses by members of Councillor Edwards’ family, his former colleagues at the council and other stakeholders, to pay tribute to his vision for more suitable homes for older residents in the village. 

The bench has been added to the rooftop terrace of our new building, from where our chief executive Sarah Boden, explained: “We are extremely grateful to Councillor Edwards for his tireless campaigning on behalf of local residents and his backing for a project that was designed specifically for people over 55 who want to live independently. 

“I’m delighted that Councillor Edwards’ family were able to join us to see the memorial bench. It will provide a fitting reminder of his work, and a quiet spot where residents can sit and enjoy their surroundings.” 

The ambitious project was completed late last year by our construction partner S J Roberts Construction Ltd. It benefitted from a £1.1 million Social Housing Grant from Homes England and additional funding of £145,000 from South Staffordshire Council. 

Now home to 23 residents who have the reassurance of access to care and support from Care Plus, The Burgesses was built on the site of several bungalows that no longer met our high standards. With photovoltaic panels supplementing the building’s electrical supply and a range of communal facilities, the scheme has already been nominated for a national development award. 

Councillor Edwards’ son, Chris, commented: “Our father thought it was very important to provide a facility like The Burgesses for the benefit of Kinver residents and, as a family, we would like to thank you for recognising his support.” 

Speaking at the unveiling of the bench, Leader of South Staffordshire Council, Councillor Roger Lees, said: “Brian provided an outstanding service to the people and businesses of South Staffordshire.  

“He was passionate about the district and his Kinver residents. As well as being Leader of South Staffordshire Council, Brian also represented Kinver on the parish council 

“He was an exemplary Leader; fair, honest, and generous with his time - and he is missed by us all. I am sure this bench, in memory of Brian, will act as a reminder of the exemplary service he gave to South Staffordshire and, in particular, Kinver.” 

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