Selly Oak stalwart honoured

Plaque unveiled to honour former Lord Mayor.

A plaque to honour a former Birmingham Lord Mayor and civic champion who lost his battle with cancer has been unveiled at the community centre that he helped to establish.

Ian McArdle, Lord Mayor of Birmingham from 1999-2000, played a huge role in improving services in and around the Shenley estate before his death two years ago.

The married father-of-three was instrumental in opening Shenley Court Hall community centre in Selly Oak in partnership with Bournville Village Trust and the Shenley Youth & Community Trust. He also jointly founded a community transport service – Shencare – which today boasts a fleet of vehicles and offers affordable transport to older people in south west Birmingham.

A former city councillor, Ian was passionate about working with young people and was delighted when Shenley Court Hall secured funding to open its own recording studio.

In Ian’s memory, a plaque has now been unveiled at Shenley Court Hall and an annual bursary scheme has also been launched there to offer young people grants of £500 to support their education.

Peter Roach, Chief Executive of Bournville Village Trust, said: “Ian’s drive was at the heart of successful efforts to develop Shenley Court Hall into the thriving community centre that it is today, so it is only fitting that he is honoured there with a permanent memorial.

“As well as his work at Shenley Court Hall, Ian’s legacy lives on through the success of ShenCare which continues to help older people to remain independent and a part of their community.

“We hope the memorial will act as a permanent reminder of what can be achieved through one person’s ambition and commitment to making a difference.”

Mary McArdle, Ian’s wife, added: “For Ian to be honoured in this way was very unexpected but has left myself and our children feeling immensely proud of him. I’m sure that Ian would have been quietly chuffed too.”

Chris Bonnard, Chair of the Shenley Youth & Community Trust Board, said: “The current success of Shenley Court Hall is in no small way due to Ian’s passion, drive and vision.

“As successor to Ian on the Board, his values and integrity offer a role model to which we all aspire.”