How we use Cookies

Big Brother’s park

SINCE the 70s, I have visited the nature reserve that backs onto Elmdon Park.

SINCE the 70s, I have visited the nature reserve that backs onto Elmdon Park. This place was truly once one of the very few wild and quiet places still left in Solihull and had an atmosphere all of its own. The mist of insects as you entered the old orchard in the summer was truly a marvellous sight.

Then the conservationists moved in. Imagine my surprise at the latest ‘improvements’ when, whilst walking past the lake, a metallic voice boomed out: “You are now entering a CCTV controlled area.” Apart from making me jump out of my skin, I lost all compulsion to continue my walk. Well, as someone who goes there precisely because of its privacy and quietness, I don’t particularly want to sit there wondering if there’s a camera hidden behind a tree watching me.

I’m sure the people will probably point the finger at vandalism being behind this latest innovation, but I can’t believe they’ve done as much damage to the place as they themselves have. I won’t be going there again.

John Carrington, Solihull


Tyre fly tip menace

WITH reference to your story about fly tipping, (Solihull News) I have been the victim of fly tipping tyres in my garage at 24 Rowood Drive, Solihull.

Just before the New Year my garage was broken into and a number of tyres were left. I reported this to the police and they told me this was an ongoing problem and could do little to help. I then contacted Solihull Council and was told they could not help because the tyres were “fly tipped on private property”.

I was told a contractor could remove them for 85p per tyre including VAT (approximately 80 plus tyres). They are still in my garage.

John Bastock, via e-mail


Transfer market

ONCE again our Council Leader resorts to personal attacks (letters, March 6) and distorts the facts with spin.

The 2008 approved three-year council tax budget was based on a target of year on year five per cent efficiency savings. It is well documented in reports available to the public that this was not achieved.

For example, OSMB of February 11 2009 and Cabinet of February 19 2009 presented to council on Monday, March 2 both state £3.630 million achieved against a target of £4.469 million. As Ken Meeson well knows the difference was made of transferred underspend against budget commitments and the use of reserves.

Ironically, in 2008 the Liberal Democrats presented an alternative budget which was pilloried by both the Conservative and Labour groups as being totally irresponsible due to the use of reserves. Needless to say the budget going forward makes significant use of reserves. Despite this reserves have grown through transfer of income and other underspends against budget commitments with no immediate benefits to residents.

More could have been done now to ease the council tax burden.

I will leave residents to form their own conclusions.

Coun Andy Hodgson (Lib Dem), Shirley South


Pretty rich

SIMON Slater’s latest letter brings to mind the observation by Edmund Burke that the loudest complainers for the public are rarely the most anxious for its welfare.

Having failed to seriously engage in the budget process and after reneging on their promise to produce proposals for a lower council tax, it is pretty rich for the Liberal Democrats to now cry crocodile tears and pretend concern for local people.

Ken Meeson, Leader of Solihull Council


It’s all there

TORY Council Leader Ken Meeson has clearly lost the plot over council tax. In his ill-tempered outburst (Letters, March 6) he claimed I am not correct in stating that Solihull Council has failed to meet its efficiency savings target of five per cent for the 2009/10 budget. This is despite council minutes clearly stating only around four per cent has been found, leaving a gap of around £1 million.

Of course Ken Meeson would prefer to slag off the Liberal Democrats on a flimsy factual basis rather than talk about the Conservative and Labour decision to whack up the council tax by 4.5 per cent, 45 times the rate of inflation.

Coun Tim Hodgson, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Solihull MBC


We did it!

YOU ran a story by Andy Walker on February 2 2007 about my petition to have a footpath constructed in Brick Kiln Lane.

The council spokesperson Chris Morton, having walked the route with me, told me he didn’t think I had a hope in hell’s chance of pulling it off as Brick Kiln Lane is an unadopted road.

However, I had asked Coun Kate Wild to present my case to the council planning committee. I fought it on the safety aspect and I’m pleased to say we won with the help of the Solihull News and the 100 people who signed the petition. The council is at this moment creating a lovely new footpath to keep all of us who use the lane safe and sound.

I would like to thank everyone who signed the petition, Kate Wild and of course the Solihull News.

Mrs Joanna Bushell, Hollyberry Avenue, Solihull


UFO probe

WONDER if any readers could assist me further with my research into a series of strange sightings of ghostly phenomena that were reported by children playing in Palmers Rough Park, Jacey Road, Shirley during September/October 1971.

This matter was originally brought to the attention of the media in that month by local UFO/paranormal researcher Derek Samson, then living in Shirley, who was first told of strange apparitions seen in the park by a number of children including his two sons.

Although a vigil was kept, nothing untowards was seen but thanks to Derek I have been able to track down some of the witnesses, who certainly appear genuine.

I’m hoping that somebody can put me in touch with Stephen Broadhurst and Trevor Betley, who I understand may still live in the area, in order to fill in the missing pieces of this ‘jigsaw’. If anyone can help I can be contacted on 0121 445 0340, or by e-mail

Ms Dawn Holloway,



Sober view

NOW we see that all community pubs could be lost in the not too distant future. But I would think that by then all alcoholic drinks would be banned on health and safety grounds.

Ray Dyke, Leafield Road, Solihull


United stand

ONE of the few signs of optimism that emanated from Gordon Brown’s trip to Washington DC was that President Obama gave the British PM his platform, indeed no one can deny Brown the status of an international financial statesman.

Yet it needs to be made clear to both Democrats and Republicans in Congress that if the European Union, the United Kingdom and especially the United States had got their act together collectively with intervention in the banking system, then the impact could have been very significant - with joint action on limiting bank executive salaries and bonuses and recovery of pensions from executives, especially from the Fred Goodwins of this world.

Gordon Brown constantly makes the case for a more effective International Monetary Fund which means bigger funding and a stronger IMF. Yet more than ever we need a stronger, free-trading EU combined with a UK financial regulation that speaks with Europe when meeting the Americans.

This is why I was saddened by the report that appeared in a recent Solihull News which seemed to demand withdrawal from Europe, which would be precisely a move which would convert Britain into an isolationist state and make it vulnerable, especially at this time - indeed globalisation makes EU membership more crucial, not less.

Graham Rea, Queens Road, Yardley


Plastic conundrum

I HAVE been supporting Solihull Council’s plastic recycling scheme for some time, taking my plastic waste to their collection point in Tudor Grange park.

When it first started they only accepted milk and drink bottles, but recently they have widened this to include margarine and yoghurt containers and flower pots.

However a recent programme on Channel 4’s ‘Cutting Edge’ revealed that mixed plastic such as our council is collecting is worthless and unsaleable.

It also revealed that many other councils have now stopped collecting plastic altogether. Furthermore, that unless plastic is segregated into each individual PET category, it is unlikely to ever be worth collecting.

So, am I wasting my time?

AF Griffiths, Stanway Road, Shirley



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
Full newsroom contact details
Tell us what's happening in your area.