The essential journalist news source
Memorial bench unveiled on site of landmark housing project

A picture containing drawingDescription automatically generated


                     Press release

Ref:PRHP025                                                                                                                       Date: May 25, 2022

Memorial bench unveiled on site of landmark housing project

A group of people standing around a wooden benchDescription automatically generated with medium confidence

Hi-res image
A memorial to a much-loved and well-respected local councillor has been unveiled on the site of a£3.2 million housing project in a popular Staffordshire village.

Councillor Brian Edwards MBE was a passionate supporter of the development by Housing Plus Group that is now set to
provide high-quality retirement livingfor older people in Kinver. 

A former leader of South Staffordshire Council, Councillor Edwards sadly passed away in 2021 while work on the Burgesses development was well underway, and this week a memorial bench was installed on the site in recognition of his commitment to the local community.

At a special dedication ceremony, representatives from Housing Plus Group joined his former colleagues at the council and other stakeholders to pay tribute to all his hard work and support for a vision to provide more suitable homes for older residents in the village.

Sarah Boden, Housing Plus Group chief executive, explained: "We are extremely grateful toCouncillor Edwards for his tireless campaigning on behalf of local residents and his backing for a projectthat 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 being unveiled, which will provide a fitting reminder of his work, and a quiet spot where residents can sit and enjoy their surroundings in this beautiful Staffordshire village."

Now home to 23 residents who also havethe reassurance of access to care and support provided by Housing Plus Group company, Care Plus, The Burgesses was built on the site of several bungalows that no longer met the organisation's high standards.

It also benefits from photovoltaic panels that supplement the building's electrical supply and a range of communal facilities, including an attractive rooftop terrace.

Councillor Edwards' son, Chris, commented: "Our fatherthought 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 Housing Plus Group for recognising his support."

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

Speaking at the unveiling of the bench, Leader of South Staffordshire Council, Councillor Roger Lees, said: "Brianprovided 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." 

Caption for picref: HPG22052

(From left) - Cllr David Heywood, South Staffordshire Council chief executive, Sarah Boden, Housing Plus Group chief executive, Chris Edwards, son of the late Cllr Brian Edwards and Cllr Roger Lees, South Staffordshire Council leader are pictured with the memorial bench at The Burgesses, Kinver.


- END -

Background for editors

Housing Plus Group

Housing Plus Group is a Charitable Community Benefit Society providing 18,000 quality, affordable homes and care services that customers can trust across Shropshire and Staffordshire. As one of the largest affordable housing providers in the area, the Group is a major investor in communities and employs more than 900 people. 

Housing Plus Group is addressing the housing crisis by starting to build 2,000 new homes for rent, shared ownership and outright sale by 2023. The Group has pledged to deliver one-third more hours of care and support for older people in their own homes and to create apprenticeship opportunities for 100 people in the Group and its supply chain within five years.

Housing Plus Group members include South Staffordshire Housing Association, Severnside Housing, Stafford and Rural Homes, Care Plus and Severn Homes.

Its members are inspired by the CLARITY values which are the foundations of its work: Communication, Learning, Accountable, Respectful, Inclusive, Trust and You.

Further information

Mara Hargreaves
Head of marketing and communications 
m:07800 619 863

Kerry Stanley
Marketing and communications officer
m: 07951 208882

Martin Farrow
CHANGEWORKS Communications
t: + 44 (0) 1785 247588
m: +44 (0)7771 970025