DERELICT garages in Charford that have become a haven for crime, drug use and anti-social are to be demolished, local housing chiefs have pledged.

The Advertiser reported earlier this month how councillors Michael Thompson and Kyle Daisley were calling for action over the garage site between Austin Road and Collis Close.

Now, Bromsgrove District Housing Trust has promised to bulldoze and 'regenerate' the site, while Bromsgrove District Council and the West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner are to install more CCTV cameras in Charford.

Mark Robertson, chief executive at bdht, said: “The garages on Austin Road were previously identified as a key site scheduled to benefit from our ongoing programme of improvements.

"As such, we have taken the decision to demolish these and, by doing this, we hope to regenerate the site and offer a solution which benefits the community and enhances the local area.

“Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of tenants and residents across Bromsgrove is of utmost importance.

"And where drug related issues are identified, we continue to work closely with West Mercia Police and Bromsgrove District Council to resolve these."

West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion, meanwhile, is match-funding the upgrade of the council's CCTV system.

He said: “When partners come together, it can have a real impact on tackling issues that face local communities.

"I am therefore proud to have worked with the people of Charford, BDHT, Bromsgrove District Council and West Mercia Police to achieve a successful outcome for the community and its residents.

“CCTV, for example, plays an important role in reassuring the public that they are being kept safe, and I am pleased to see cameras being rolled out in suitable areas within Charford.”

A council spokesperson added: "The Council owned CCTV scheme has received an upgrade to the latest digital technology that will enable redeployable cameras to be utilised.

"Once available, Camera locations will be assessed, using the Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s standards, to ensure deployment is effective and proportionate."

The response has pleased Cllr Thompson who had called for action to prevent Charford becoming a 'hive of criminal activity' after a string of residents brought up issues during a recent surgery.

He said: "I would like to thank [Bromsgrove Council CEO] Kevin Dicks and council leader, Karen May, for their support in helping the people of Charford.

"Under Karen's leadership, a pipedream of CCTV is becoming a reality.

"I would also like to make a big thanks also to Mark Robertson of BDHT.

"In the most difficult of times, he has listened and put his money where his mouth is.

"As councillors, we understand the difficulties of these times and Mark has shown exemplary leadership in doing this."