CRADLEY High School is set to be demolished this month and with it goes the hopes of generations of local children’s hopes and dreams, a local councillor claimed today.

Cradley and Foxcote Councillor Richard Body believes the destruction of the building is symbolic of how Cradley has been let down over the last few years with the school and leisure centre closing.

And he also criticised Dudley Council for spending over £500,000 on the security, maintenance and demolition of the stricken school.

He said: “It is a tragedy that the school was closed down in the first place by Dudley Council and the effect will be felt on generations of children in Cradley.

“It was only opened in the 1980s and was the last of the local schools to be built which means that the council owned the land so it can now be sold off for development.”

He added: “Cradley children now have to travel miles to school and many are unable to attend sports and other after school clubs because they miss the bus back to Cradley.”

“The Tory controlled council should rethink this madness because the population is growing and once Cradley High School and leisure centre is demolished and land sold off there will never be land available to build a new secondary school for future generations.”

Ecological protection work had to be undertaken at the site before the school could be demolished to protect local wildlife.

DSM Demolition Ltd will now take four months to demolish the building.

Councillor Adrian Turner, cabinet member for legal and property, said: “Following decommissioning of the building we have moved as swiftly as possible to go through the tendering process for demolition.

“As the land adjacent to the school is registered as a Site of Local Importance for Nature Conservation it was important we carried out the preliminary works to protect all wildlife on site.”

He added: “We are now in a position to move forward with full demolition which we anticipate will take around four months.”