Tribute to Andy Whitlock
Regenerating North Solihull is honouring the contribution made by community advocate Andy Whitlock, who tragically died from a heart condition aged just 39.
Andy was closely involved in the selection of the North Solihull Partnership as Solihull Council's partner in Regenerating North Solihull, and worked with the partnership to make sure the community's needs and aspirations were met.
Sadly Andy died in the summer of 2005 leaving behind his young family including his wife, Leanne Hunt, and an unborn son who is now a healthy toddler.
Andy was a strong advocate for the local community and asked tough questions of Regenerating North Solihull; he even visited a relative's Bellway home in Ipswich to see the standard of housing developments that were proposed.
Given this, the Partnership thought that a fitting tribute would be to name a housing development after him, Whitlock Way. The new development is in Chelmsley Wood off Carisbrooke Avenue and construction is planned to start in 2008.
Andy's widow Leanne said that he would have been amazed at the decision to name a housing development after him. She said: "Never in a million years would Andy have ever expected to be honoured like this. He was a great believer in doing what you could for the community and he would be extremely proud if he knew how he was being remembered.
"Andy was a real salesman and could sell snow to the Eskimos. He used these skills to make sure the community was properly represented when the idea of the regeneration project first came about.
"It was a true partnership – getting involved in the selection of a regeneration partner even helped him to get on a training course that led to a brilliant job in computers. It's such a shame he's not here today to see the progress that has already been made in the area."
Duncan Sutherland, Managing Director of Inpartnership, one of the four partners which comprises the North Solihull Partnership, worked closely with Andy over several years. Duncan said: "Andy was a friend of North Solihull and his death is a loss not only to his family but to the whole community. His enthusiasm and hard work played a crucial role in making sure the community's needs and aspirations were met. That was just what was needed."
"The naming of a housing development after Andy is a small and personal tribute from the management of the North Solihull Partnership. Andy's real legacy is much more important: a real and lasting contribution to his community by being involved at such an early stage in this massive project."