Course I will Nigel
can't be the devil's advocate without bringing up uncomfortable truths.
My commercial experience of councils is that contracts go to those who pay for them - does not mean that they do no get good deals but the bidders who approach them, in the appropriate manner, are also advised of the price to be beaten. Misuse of public funds might be a difficult accusation to prove but stupidity would probably not in cases like this. From what I have seen and read the Glass Cone site lacks the space, lacks parking facilities and is suffering from serious structural weakness - would it be unfortunate if having completed the move they then have to condemn the structure as unsound. Or would that be the plan? To condemn the glass cone now would prevent the sale of Broadfield House as they would have nowhere else to show a few bits of glass. Once Broadfield House is out of the way then they could get on with eliminating problem No 2. Glass can then go into low cost storage.
It seems quite feasible to speculate that ulterior motives are at work here. Why take a collection that is clearly regarded by an international audience as of the highest importance and use it in jockeying over property deals and savings that would not provide toothpicks for the boroughs staff? Could it be that the councillors resent an intellectual audience from commenting on what to them is probably no more than a bundle of used wine glasses. Do they forget that the people who made that worked their butts of in appalling conditions for working lives often cut short by the poisons they were forced to work with? Cultural heritage is not an elitist concept even if its value is heralded by elitist academics. It is the remembrance of the blood and sweat of the working classes that stoked the fires and gave the area of Stourbridge a place in history. But history is perhaps a poorly regarded aspect for businessmen concerned with short term gain.
The amazing thing is that the group that are pushing for this closure are so thick to believe that people will not see through their ridiculous games - the locals should be looking at them as traitors to their ancestors and make it clear they are going nowhere at the next election.
Having said all of that, I would also like to point out that my commercial and social experience of the council workers that actually do the work, are invariably of a different character! These workers 'really' care for their towns and its people.
I would approach the relevant unions to see if they can get the council workers - whose grandparents, and generations before, work is being so pitifully abused (by a small group that do not believe public opinion as being any more than a pain in the ass) to do their bit in getting this mess sorted out. A council strike would have a lot more impact than can be imagined, particularly one where heritage and not money was at stake. The Dutch are very good at this type of protest, come on people of Dudley show the council members the value of your heritage.