I READ on the front page of the Solihull News about the plans to open a venue called the Honey Club in Solihull.
I think it is outrageous that such a club has been allowed planning permission with absolutely no public consultation. In my street a house many doors up was asking planning permission to put in some gates and this was notified throughout the neighbourhood, whilst this club was put through almost secretly with no one in the local area being informed. This makes no sense.
I believe this club is completely out of keeping with the local area and will bring into the area policing problems throughout the night later than current club opening times. Morally this is not the message we want to be giving our children as they walk through the town centre or are on their way to school.
I hope that your newspaper will reflect this local view.
Stephen, via e-mail
Why the secret?
IN response to your article regarding the opening of an ‘exotic’ club in Solihull, as a parent of a teenage girl living in the area, I am extremely concerned that this sort of establishment is being allowed to open in our town.
This will add no value whatsoever to Solihull, the only beneficiaries will be the owners of the club.
I, and a large number of Solihull residents, will be against this proposal. I would wish to ask the council who voted in favour of this proposal, why it was done in secret and was not the subject of debate with local residents, before planning permission was granted. I would remind the council members that they are there to represent the views of the people. Clearly this was not done as they knew this proposal would not have been acceptable to many Solihull residents.
I remember some years back when a similar proposal was met with fierce resistance, resulting in it being scrapped. The council, I suspect, would have known the likely outcome of this current venture and therefore chose to act in a secretive and underhand manner by not soliciting the views of local people.
I would ask people to question the council as to why it took this approach and look forward to receiving a response. Similarly I shall forward a copy of this letter to our MP Lorely Burt. Was she aware of these proposals, and what is her view?
I hope that when the local elections are next held, Solihull residents remember the council’s arrogance in ignoring our views and that people vote accordingly. Remember the national elections are also not far away, Solihull may be a marginal seat. I look forward to reading the views on this matter of our current and prospective MPs.
Concerned parent and long standing Solihull resident, via e-mail
A sexist move
I AM disappointed that a lap dancing club is proposed for Solihull High Street. Sex venues like lap dancing clubs are seedy, sexist and promote the idea of women as sex objects rather than people.
Birmingham is the UK’s lap dancing capital, known for businessmen from around the country meeting in the centre of England for business meetings, a minority of whom follow on with a seedy night’s entertainment. We don’t want Solihull to have even a small element of the sexist culture that portrays women as sex objects.
I also fear for the safety of women residents. A report found that incidents of rape in Camden in London rose by 50 per cent and sexual assault by 57 per cent over a three year period, during which time four lap dancing clubs had opened in the area.
I am sure that lap dancing and its associated culture is not the culture that the majority of Solihull residents would like to encourage.
Chris Williams, Solihull Green Party
RE- your article on the ‘gentleman’s club’. Solihull is not the right place for this type of club. This is a residential area, people live above the shops down the road, and the club will encourage the wrong type of person to our small town. Large groups of men getting drunk before the club opens at 10pm and then drinking until 4am. God help the police. I can not understand the council passing this licence - it takes years to get a fish and chip shop. Go to Birmingham or some non-residential area.
Not Happy, Dee of Solihull
Park a no-go
THE story in your paper about mums being afraid to use Malvern Park didn’t outline the full extent of the problem. The park is becoming a no-go area at all times of the day thanks to the college’s practice of having the teens in early in the morning but then giving them ‘free periods’ during which they cross over the park to get to Touchwood. It doesn’t matter what time of the morning you go there, the park is overrun by these large crowds of intimidating youngsters, frequently making either sexist or racist comments about each other, people around them etc.
Presumably the college is receiving full-time funding for these youngsters so why doesn’t it actually provide a full-time education? And they aren’t all local teenagers as your article implied, many of them come from outside the borough. I’ve yet to see either a policeman or a community officer in the park, presumably they’re frightened off too.
Melanie Guthrie, via e-mail
A teen takeover
AS a regular user of Malvern and Brueton parks with my three and four-year-old, we were all very pleased to recently find that the council had replaced the somewhat tired Malvern park playground facilities with some shiny new ones. The children love the new equipment.
However, on Saturday when we arrived I was somewhat surprised to find that the parents and children combined were outnumbered by teenagers. The atmosphere in the playground was awkward as smaller children would not venture onto swings, climbing frames and roundabouts with older children on them.
I must stress that there was no bad behaviour aside from some littering and over-zealous use of the equipment. When asked to make way for smaller children the youths moved without question.
What struck me though was:
- the lifespan of the equipment will be greatly reduced as it was designed for small children. This will be everyone’s loss.
- how sad that there is nowhere else for these teenagers to go on a Saturday afternoon in Solihull town centre.
Maybe an adventure playground for older youths is what is required? Maybe also a call for the return of the legendary ‘Parky’ to oversee use of the facilities, even if only on the weekends.
I am sure that all the parents in the playground on Saturday would echo my sentiments.
Andrew Mackey, Olton
OTHER noise covers the low frequency buzz - when in bed at night I get a few seconds of relief from it when a car passes by in the road outside! I have considered getting a ‘white noise’ machine which apparently shuts out low frequency noise but it’s expensive and there’s no guarantee it would work.
I understand from Margaret’s letter that local residents have reported this to the Environment Agency in Solihull and think that I should do the same. In a way it’s a relief that other people are experiencing this (not that I would wish it on anyone) and that I’m not completely barking mad!
Carol Brant, Tidbury Green
Help our dogs
THE Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre in Honiley looks after an average of 150 dogs at any one time so there are lots of hungry mouths to feed each day!
The centre is running desperately low on tinned and dried food for its canine residents and would like to appeal to the local community for any help they can give. Any brands of dog food would be most welcome and also tins of hot dogs or corned beef which the dogs love as an occasional treat.
Any dog food donations will be very gratefully received at Dogs Trust Rehoming Centre, Honiley, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 1NP. Thank you very much for any contribution that you can make.
Sandra Wilson, manager, Dogs Trust Kenilworth
Just scrap it
IS anybody else totally fed up with the incessant clamour of the scrap iron collectors in our area?
Is it really necessary to have up to three vans/lorries per day blasting us with trumpet calls and raucous calls for ‘scrap iron, old iron’?
If it is as lucrative as it appears, why does the council not send a lorry around the streets and put the ensuing cash back into its coffers?
David Hand, via e-mail
WE need your help urgently! I appreciate this must be a standard plea, however, it is with reluctance I write owing to the complete about turn by Arden School concerning the closure of the Milverton Road entrance to members of the public.
A debate has been ongoing for over a year, for which we (local residents) have a mountain of records to support our case, some from the school itself confirming the route in question as a public right of way! A legal application is currently being undertaken with Solihull Borough Council to lodge the route in question on the ‘Definitive Map’, as a public footpath. However, contrary to previous assurances, we understand that the school now intends to install permanent gates and has commenced procurement of the same, prior to the outcome of this decision. Given the relaxation shown by the residents of Milverton Road to construction parking, delivery times and noisy work restrictions in good will, I am appalled by the recent news advised by fellow residents.
If the decision is upheld by the local authority and the route is officially classified a public right of way (we have not seen a solitary item of evidence that effectively disputes this point) it seems a ludicrous waste of school funds to install gates that could be removed in a matter of weeks/months. Given the logic of that statement, it begs the question that the school knows something we don’t regarding the pending outcome of the decision, giving them the confidence, they will not be wasting money.
I do not consider the school’s approach to be reasonable in any way whatsoever and have less faith now with the local authority, to act impartially on this matter, than I would have previously envisaged prior to the onset of this saga. I would therefore welcome an opportunity to convey our concerns in more detail and ask that you support your readers in a matter that is now as much about honesty and integrity, as it is about a known and walked public right of way enjoyed uncontested by local residents for circa 50 years!
Gregory Kirby, Knowle
THE Green Belt invasion is about to start with the proposal of expanding north Solihull, already over-populated into the Meridan Gap.
Councillors are elected to represent - but with residents in Chelmsley Wood being dictated to, with bullying tactics from the Regeneration Partnership and Planning Department in the sham of consultation, when plans have previously been decided between the builders and planning department, and then under the pretext of applying for permission it publishes in the local newspaper, none of local residents’ comments or wishes have been adhered to. Foremost, the new houses are of outrageous design and do not integrate with the present housing estate that is only 42 years old. The disappearance of green areas, and the building of blocks of 30 to 40 houses in small areas is reminiscent of the back to back houses of pre-1960s.
The regeneration partnership is talking of thousands of new properties in an area of 20,000 people of which 5,000-6,000 have no employment or income. Where is the money coming from to pay for this foolishness?
C Mills, Coleshill Heath, Chelmsley Wood
Admit our sin
RE- Steven Richards’ Faith Matters, I’m sorry Mr Richards, I’m afraid you don’t go far enough. Those of us who read God’s written word know if we don’t follow God’s law to the letter we will invite eternal damnation unto ourselves.
There is nowhere in the Bible where Jesus was reported to be popular, it does not matter whether we are cutting it as you say with God his son has already paid the price, (John 1 v12) tells us, but as many as received him he gave the right to become the children of God. I think you were using (Matthew 18 v3) as the scripture for being like a child, but right at the beginning of this scripture Jesus says that you must become as a little child, there is no way of not being judged every person on this earth right from the beginning who won’t be judged.
Unless we admit our sin, believe that Christ died on a cross, and was raised from the dead, and ask Christ Jesus into your life, you will never see the kingdom of heaven.
P Thomas, Baxters Road, Shirley
I CONTINUE to be overwhelmed by the support we are receiving from the local community, and want to say a heartfelt ‘thank you’ for this.
However, with some misinformed comments circulating around Marie Curie’s proposals for a new hospice in Solihull, I felt it important, once again, to separate the facts from the fiction.
Our proposals are for a hospice for the 21st century – and this means so much more than simply providing in-patient beds. It’s about offering enhanced day care and outpatient services for patients who are able to remain at home, as well as being the base for both our Community Nursing team and Macmillan’s too. It’s about creating a space to share the charity’s expertise in end of life care with health professionals locally, to benefit the whole of the borough.
The proposed hospice does not contain a conference centre – there is an education and training space, allowing us to share our specialist knowledge in palliative care with local GPs, district nurses, and other care groups, as well as ensuring we train our staff to meet the highest expectations of our patients.
The office space is for consultants, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and medical secretaries, to discuss and organise patient care. Fund-raisers will also work in the new building to raise the large amount of money required to provide the ongoing care and
support to patients and their families. There are no ‘head office’ functions such as HR or accounts.
No developer has been involved in our proposals, and we have not entered into a ‘land swap’ arrangement with anyone.
I hope this clarifies some of the issues being raised around our plans for the new hospice, which will, no question, offer unrivalled care and support to more local people with terminal illnesses, and their families for generations to come.
Liz Cottier, manager, Marie Curie Hospice, Solihull
Cut back on MPs
I MAY be opening a ‘can of worms’ but, after the MPs’ expenses exposure, have we not been promised a few new ideas on how we should be governed from Westminster, and how Parliament can be improved?
Many people realise we have too many MPs, so, before the next election – which is looming – why do we not get rid of a few?
To do this we would have to make constituencies smaller! Solihull and Meriden constituencies could easily become one, in my opinion. What do other residents think ?
We do need to economise in this recession – is this not one way of achieving this?
Josephine Herbert, Solihull Pensioners’ Convention
UK never asked
YOUR correspondent G Rea of Yardley really does need taking to task for his comments on Europe.
Other European countries like France and Germany are exiting the recession quicker and stronger than Britain, because they look after themselves first, and European partners second. Just look at how Germany will keep Opel manufacturing cars, while Britain faces job cuts at its Vauxhall plants.
As for ‘virtually the whole of our continent wants a united Europe,’ how can you make such a statement when the UK has never been asked? Tell that to the Irish who have voted against the Lisbon Treaty, but are being told to ‘try again.’ At least they get to vote and exercise their democratic right.
You also state that the Treaty ‘is not the monster depicted by right wing political zealots.’ Do you include in that number the Labour MP Gisela Stuart, the main architect of the Treaty? In last week’s national press she declared ‘it breached the fundamental democratic principle that voters can get rid of those in power,’ and that ‘it would leave a huge democratic deficit, leaving EU leaders accountable to no one.’
All this will do is allow Labour to shake their heads, and wring their hands saying ‘it’s not our fault.’
Rob Heffernan, via e-mail