A senior Birmingham councillor has hit back at critics who complained that the Pope’s visit to the city left Cofton Park in a churned up mess.
The park has been left covered in muddy tyre tracks and football pitches are unplayable after more than 50,000 pilgrims attended the service by Pope Benedict XVI.
Coun Alan Rudge, who headed the event for Birmingham City Council, insisted that the park will be properly restored.
It comes after some residents and local football teams complained about the condition.
Coun Rudge (Con, Sutton Vesey) said: “It is exactly as we expected. This was a once in a lifetime massive event. There was always going to be some damage.
“We wrote to everybody in the area, including football teams, telling them this would happen.”
He said that any event of this size was bound to cause damage to the park, but it is not permanent and will be repaired over the coming weeks.
“We will deal with it. The park will be restored to its pristine condition, but it will take a few weeks depending on the weather.
“Two of the football pitches will be playable within a week, again depending on the weather.”
The company hired to organise the Papal service, WRG, are footing the bill for the park restoration.
The firm has only just finished dismantling their equipment and officially handed the park back to the city council yesterday.
Birmingham City Council came under fire as dog walkers and football teams returned to the park to find it a muddy and boggy. The recent wet spell of weather has not helped.
The venue was chosen as it is near to the home of Cardinal John Henry Newman who was beatified, taking another step on the road to sainthood, by the Pope during the service.