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Cruelty to animals

LIKE C Coley I too was disgusted to hear about the ‘inhumane’ Mary Bale who put a cat in a wheelie bin (Letters).

LIKE C Coley I too was disgusted to hear about the ‘inhumane’ Mary Bale who put a cat in a wheelie bin (Letters).

Can’t see why she had police protection, what a waste of taxpayers’ money.

As regards to the anti-climb paint on any other kind of animal cruelty, it’s always best to ring the RSPCA or Cat Protection League (both very helpful) and not the council.

J Greaves

Stonor Road, Hall Green

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Get real, please

ALONG presumably with many other Solihull residents, I’ve just received the latest edition of Your Solihull, the council’s quarterly magazine delivered free throughout the borough.

I wonder what people think of it? Do they, like me, feel the magazine is an expensive propaganda exercise, with much of the content so bland and predictable as to make it utterly pointless?

In the current edition the council’s chief executive. Mark Rogers, welcomes readers with the message: “I hope you’ve all enjoyed your summer break and have pleasant memories to take you into the blustery days of autumn.”

Now why do I feel that I’m being patronised? For goodness sake, there must be something more important to talk about than a change in the seasons.

The impending local authority cuts because of the dire economic situation, for instance. There’s not one word about this painful subject.

I don’t see why we should have to wait until after the Government’s Spending Review in October for the issue to be aired publicly. I’m sure Solihull Council has a good idea now of what will have to go.

Why doesn’t it use Your Solihull to do more to inform people about matters of real importance - such as the cuts - and devote less space to hardy annuals like Back to School (yawn, yawn) and the Christmas Fayre in Solihull.

Peter Kennedy, Hampton-in-Arden

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Money sink

We are told the Government has to take difficult decisions - so pressing down wages and tearing up sections of the Welfare State by the Coalition seems to be on the cards.

They never seem to mention the cost of being a member of the EU superstate.

Since 1998 EU regulations have cost the UK, £124billion to implement. Britain is said to be the second largest contributor to the EU budget - £7.6billion handed over this year - whilst EU auditors have failed to sign off accounts for 15 years because of concern about fraud in the EU!

All three main political parties promised us -the People -a referendum! It will not materialise because the Govt expect to lose.

Josie Herbert, Samra

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Go by barge

With all the controversy surrounding the proposals to build the HS2 rail link through our countryside, perhaps it may be a good idea to think outside the box for a change, and begin to look a bit more closely at systems we already have in place before spending huge amounts on a high-speed system that is only marginally faster than the one we have presently.

The current gridlock on motorways and main routes isn’t helped at all by hundreds of HGVs, carrying non time-specific freight all over the country and clogging up inner-city arterials to the point where it would be faster to deliver freight by wheelbarrow.

The canal and inland waterway network has been in existence for over 200 years now, and is largely intact even after 60-odd years of disinvestment and lack of maintenance; in recent years the status of waterways has been reduced to ‘leisure usage’, which in turn has thrown even more traffic onto British roads.

The answer so far has been to build even bigger roads and more of them, but we all know that this strategy cannot be sustained in the long-term - we will run out of room eventually, and countryside as we know it will cease to exist.

Many existing viable routes could be opened up to waterborne traffic for a fraction of the cost of the HS2; with a nominal investment in novel concepts like the Diagonal Lock, costs and transit times of non-specific freight would be reduced dramatically, thus relieving the load on the road.

We need an answer - perhaps we should begin to look at what our neighbours in Europe are doing with their waterways before building yet another white elephant?

John Bramham,

Elmdon

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Where’s Alfie?

MY brother’s dog has gone missing. Alfie, a West Highland terrier, disappeared on Wednesday September 15, from a garden in Henley in Arden, where he was being looked after by my mother. She left him playing with two other dogs in a securely fenced garden while she was in the kitchen, but thinks the gate might have been left open by another member of the family while loading up a car.

Alfie, a lively, inquisitive and very friendly dog, simply vanished, and no trace of him was found.

If anyone knows of the whereabouts of Alfie, please get in touch with me on 0121 7425929. He was wearing a red collar, but no name tag. Thank you.

Kim Forster via e-mail

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Come and join us

Dire predictions of the likely increase in dementia abound. For 35 years we have been delaying/preventing the onset - at no cost to anybody- simply by involving retired people in enjoying life.

Rather than vegetate watching daytime tv, or even doing continuous lonely DIY, retired people need fun and social interaction.

Friends in Retirement, Solihull (FIRS) put on some 50 activity sessions each week across the borough - from bowling to art, from Bridge to Tai Chi, Dancing to language groups, whist to rambling.

We have some 1,500 members and even make a small profit. We keep active, keep involved, keep stimulated - by running it all ourselves.

Visit our open day this Saturday, September 25 at Elmdon Heath Community Hall (Cornyx Lane) and see how life can be improved. “Use it -or lose it”.

Jim Bumstead, FIRS Central Chair

 

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