It is interesting that Councillor Howard Allen should comment on the council’s budget pressures (Solihull News) given the failure of his Alliance Group to participate in the all-party budget strategy group looking at council expenditure.
He also produces no evidence to support his accusation of ‘Empire Building’ and omits to mention that Solihull has one of the lowest ratios of council employees per head of population or that the chief executive was appointed on a substantially lower salary than his predecessor and remains one of the lowest paid councils in the country.
I do have some sympathy with criticism of the online ‘budget calculator’. It may however help people to better understand the cost of services and has been used by other councils to give the opportunity to indicate priorities.
At the end of the day of course it is the responsibility of elected councillors to set a realistic budget that protects essential services and fulfils the statutory obligations set by parliament.
Ken Meeson, Leader – Conservative Group
Let’s see the facts
COUNCILLOR Howard Allen’s complaint that middle managers at Solihull Council are ‘empire building’, reported in last week’s Solihull News, intrigued me.
The story isn’t new: other people - ordinary citizens, that is - have made similar claims. But the fact that a council member has levelled the accusation too makes it more believable.
However, I would like to see Coun Allen giving detailed information to back up his case.
What council departments are involved, who are the managers concerned and how much taxpayers’ money is being frittered away?
Peter Kennedy, Hampton-in-Arden
Signalling the end
What a pity that Network Rail are possibly going to destroy Shirley Station.
Does it interfere with any future development? My guess it does not. I have lived in Shirley all my life and not more than half a mile from the station.
When I was a young lad I used to go there in the evenings to see the Penzance Express go through, a mail train had to pull in to the sidings to let it pass. If I was lucky I would have a ride on the foot plate.
Nearly every time I would go into the signal box. The signal man would show me what each lever does for different operations, points and signals etc as I could not pull the levers back as a young lad of six or seven.
To demolish this building would be vandalism of railway history.
Mr J Smith via e-mail
Sort it out please
After reading another letter regarding the school times changes at Haslucks Green School with the feeder school Burman Road, I would like to ask how long it will be before the kindness and patience of the teachers at Burman Road runs out.
As stated last week, teachers are having to stay with children for at least 10 minutes until mothers can collect them, having been unable to get away promptly from Haslucks Green School. We are constantly being advised to walk our kids to school so why are they making this so difficult?
Come on Haslucks Green, why after nearly 30 years of a workable timetable, did you decide to change things. Who is gaining here?
Fed up Grandma
WITH reference to ‘Poor Marks’ (Letters).
It is impossible to walk between Haslucks Junior and Burman Infants in ten minutes, especially if you have a toddler in tow.
It was ‘Walk to School’ week during October but several of the younger children are now back in their pushchairs. Incidentally, why don’t the people do speed checks near the entrance of Haslucks School instead of the relatively pedestrian free dual carraigeways? Two great schools ... but amazed they are linked!
An exhausted family
Why we should love
YES, Mrs J M Greaves, J R Nurcombe and Anthony Howe (Letters), God really loves you and all the creatures he has made. A surprise is that having created us in love, he gave us the freedom to love him in return or not. But think! God doesn’t make pianos or cars or guns or atom bombs - man does.
Life has become a mixture of good and bad, joy and pain. Christians try (and often fail, but try again) to live a life of good (ie love) as Jesus taught. Why should we love? Stephen Hawking has no answer. Jesus has.
W Gibbs, Byfield Place, Balsall Common