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Cutting a path to ruin

I AGREE with Mrs Spelman that the greatest economic crisis facing the world since the Great Depression should give ‘us all pause for thought’ (Solihull News).

I AGREE with Mrs Spelman that the greatest economic crisis facing the world since the Great Depression should give ‘us all pause for thought’ (Solihull News).

A moment’s reflection will cause us to see that the approach being advocated by her column on April 24 would be to inflict deep cuts now on schools and the NHS that many thousands of people in Meriden rely on.

This attempt to cut our way of out of recession not only seeks to apply an economic theory that failed spectacularly in the Great Depression, but is completely at odds with the historic and co-ordinated approach agreed at the G20 summit earlier this month. It is an approach that is isolated, incoherent and unfair.

I am also concerned to read that Mrs Spelman appears to be claiming that the UK is ‘the worst affected country amongst the G20’. I ask her to set out the basis of these comments, particularly when the UK’s estimated debt burden as a percentage to GDP for 2010 is lower than Japan, Italy, US, Germany and France.

Ed Williams, Meriden parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party


No bolt from the blue

IN response to last week’s report on the Ullenhall Players being asked to find alternative accommodation, I was not available to comment but would like to clarify the village hall’s position.

In recent years the Ullenhall Players have taken their main production to the Palace Theatre in Redditch and presented a three-night production at the village hall. No other user of the hall requires a stage so that area, which represents around a third of the floor space, remains largely unused for 362 days each year. At many of our events space is a problem and as there is no other practicable or affordable means of extending the hall, it seems logical to remove the stage and enlarge the seating area for other users and events.

To describe this as ‘a bolt from the blue’ is somewhat inaccurate as we first indicated our plans to the Players over a year ago. We are pleased to hear that they have found an alternative so quickly.

David Waller, chairman, Ullenhall Village Hall management committee


Let’s stay positive

JR NURCOMBE (Letters) is absolutely right that people have a big choice to make in the forthcoming European elections on June 4, but the choice is between those who want to positively engage with Europe and those sniping from the sidelines still fighting battles lost over 30 years ago.

UKIP have nothing positive to offer in these elections, and their members have an awful record of non-achievement in the European parliament.

Whilst the Tories will always put the interests of big business first Labour’s two members seeking re-election have a good record in fighting for this region over a range of areas from workers’ and consumers’ rights to the environment and animal welfare.

Let’s hope the local media give the issues some prominence in the next few weeks, and we don’t see the usual negative campaigning because under the proportional voting system every vote matters on June 4.

Nick Stephens, Seven Star Road, Solihull


Let down on vote

THE letter from JR Nurcombe (April 24) is rather disingenuous. The Conservative Party has not reneged on its 2005 General Election promise for a referendum on the EU Constitution, or what is now called the Lisbon Treaty.

Had the Liberal Democrats stuck to their manifesto commitment and voted with the Conservatives rather than sitting on their hands when it came to the vote in Parliament, the Government could have been defeated and forced to hold a referendum. It is the Lib Dems who have let us all down.

Now we are in the position where our neighbours in Ireland will be asked to vote a second time on whether to accept or reject the treaty, yet the British people haven’t had even one chance for their voices to be heard.

Maggie Throup, Conservartive parliamentary candidate for Solihull


Ripped off

HAVING had the budget and another lowly pension rise, the members of SPC were very ready to listen to the speaker from Taxpayers’ Alliance this week. Now I am a great believer in publicity but I did not realise that this Government has increased its publicity by 78 per cent at a great cost to us.

Our taxpayers are ripped off by Parliamentarians, regional councils, councils and councillors plus the wealthy.

The projected cost to December 2007 for the UK to play in Europe was then £60 billion gross payment, £50.5 billion net payment (£9.5 billion returned to us). What is it in 2009?

Josie Herbert, chairman, Solihull Pensioners’ Convention


Round, not square

THANK you kindly for running the article entitled ‘Good causes benefit from Round Table cash’ (March 6).

The article states that Round Table is an ‘under-40 male group’ when in fact we are an ‘under-45 male group’.

Today we offer a dynamic active fun social club that has a conscience. In Solihull, we are embarking on a year of Diamond Jubilee celebrations. We currently have 24 members, and are looking to recruit new members from all walks of life.

Brad Parkes, Solihull Round Table membership team


Back the Gurkhas

£200 MILLION to bail out the banks. Public spending and Government borrowing at their highest levels since records began. Immigrants and asylum seekers nationally and locally flooding but not a penny for the Gurkhas.

These brave and loyal soldiers have fought side by side with the British Army for over 200 years and this shameful Government repays them by setting out criteria by which less than a hundred of ex-Gurkha soldiers who should be allowed to live in this country will qualify for eligibility.

The Home Secretary wants the tax payer to buy her 88p bath plug but does not want to do the right thing by the Gurkhas. My father served with the Gurkhas on and off throughout his military career and he said that they were simply the bravest and most loyal soldiers he ever served with.

I hope that this is the final nail in the coffin for this truly appalling Government.

Rosemary Worsley, Bronte Farm Road, Shirley


Thanks to all

I WOULD like to thank all those who attended and supported the Fordbridge Council Charity Dance on March 28 at the Fordbridge Centre. Special thanks go to Councillor Flo Nash and Neil Millard for organising the event and to all who donated raffle prizes including Revival (hairdressers), Subway and Boots, all from Chelmsley Wood shopping centre.

The money we raised is to be split between Diabetic UK and the British Heart Foundation who will both receive £1,100.

Coun Lynn Sorrell, Fordbridge Town Council


Check your bill

MY wife and I really love M&S food and take advantage of the regular money saving offers at the Mell Square store.

However, we would advise every shopper to make sure you check your bill because we have found on a number of occasions that the discounts shown on the shelves and marked on the products are not recognised by the tills.

For example, last Saturday we bought two packets of corned beef at £1.39 each - buy two for £2 and yet this clearly advertised saving was not given and we had to return to the store for a refund.

This is nothing new - we wrote to M&S’s head office nine months ago about this problem and we have spoken to the food hall manager but for some reason it still persists. I wouldn’t have thought that it was deliberate, but. . . So, just a word of advice ‘Enjoy your M&S Food but always check the bill!’

David Adams, Buryfield Road, Solihull


Unfounded slur

HAVING read Councillor Hawkins’ latest personal attack (Letters) I feel I must respond. He makes the accusation that I spend much of my week in Liverpool. Coun Hawkins knows this to be a mistruth.

I spend one day a week teaching undergraduate students at Liverpool University during term times. I do not reside there or stay overnight as he claims and have never done so.

The truth is that I am only away from Solihull during the working day one day a week. I am sure thousands of people across Solihull and indeed councillors have to work away at least one day a week.

Just as Coun Hawkins works at Solihull College, I also work.

Unfortunately I fear this latest unfounded attack is merely an attempt to distract from the important issues that face Shirley.

I therefore challenge Solihull Council to come clean and make public many of the facts and details regarding the project which have been kept a secret from Shirley residents.

Coun Simon Slater (Lib Dem), Shirley West


Gloves are off

IF D Mountford believes it is okay for shoes and pushchairs to get covered in dog mess (Letters), then perhaps they would be happy to come and clean it off my wheelchair!

I am sick to death of having to wear gloves for fear of getting dog mess all over my hands as I spin my wheels.

If dog owners are so concerned about the environment then they should buy bio-degradeable bags or invest in a reusable pooper-scooper,

Mr D Roberts, via e-mail


Narrow escape

I AM writing about the narrowminded comments of D Mountford regarding dog mess. Ten years ago my two year old nephew became seriously ill. After many tests he was diagnosed with toxicaris, a disease contracted from dog faeces. Fortunately he recovered, however this was a very traumatic time for the little boy and an extremely scary experience for his family.

Sam, Shirley


Looking for Chip

I KNOW a lady with a learning disability who lives alone in Shirley. She has two cats who she adores although one of them has been missing for a week and she is desperately upset about this.

The cat is called Chip and he is one year-old. He is a lean brown cat with black stripes. He went missing from the Ashwell Drive area (off Solihull Road). The owner is desperate to reunite him with his brother.

If anyone has spotted him, please could they call Joanne on 07973 230151.

Joanne Brown, via e-mail


Space invaders

REMEMBER the fantastic and weird shop, ‘Stone the Crows’, that used to be next to Argos in Mell Square? Well only there would you find such an item that would get the borough talking about UFO invasions.

As we let off the Chinese lantern from our home in Olton, we actually joked whether the neighbours would think it was a UFO. For £8.99, I bought the lantern from the ‘Stone the Crows’ branch in Regents Street Leamington, as a present for my friend’s little girl who was visiting from Lincolnshire.

She couldn’t wait to see it work so we let it off in my garden. We set the lantern alight and when it had inflated, just like a mini hot air balloon, we let go and it flew beautifully into the night sky. It was amazing to watch.

I returned to the shop the following day to get another but they had sold out. The manager ordered some more while I was there and assured me that I will be phoned as soon as they arrive - so watch out Solihull - The UFO invasion has only just begun!

Tracy Zimmerman, via e-mail


Missing links

EVERYONE must be delighted with the new Park Hall School in Castle Bromwich. However, 12 months ago I suggested to borough councillors and school administrators that to meet the needs of the 21st century the school requires the following:

1. Solar panels to reduce the electricity bills

2. A water storage tank on the roof

3. A simple cycle path round the perimiter of the campus for use by those pupils who prefer cycling to football/running etc .

I suggest this latter facility must be done while the earth moving equipment is on site. I have offered to set up a school cycling club/team.

But there is no prize for guessing if any on these suggested facilities will be implemented.

Denis Feasey, Castle Bromwich.


Cadets cheer

THE cadets, staff and committees of Shirley & District Sea Cadets would like to thank the shoppers at Sainsbury on Stratford Road, Shirley on April 4 for their generosity during a ‘bag-packing’ event. We raised £555.92.

In addition we would like to thank Sainsbury’s and their staff for allowing us to do this event.

For more information on the local sea cadet unit please visit or contact us on

Ken McNally, vice chairman Shirley & District Sea Cadets


Friends’ thanks

FRIENDS of Woodlands Cemetery would like to thank Councillor David Bell, Mayor of Solihull for attending the unveiling of our noticeboard on Friday, April 3.

We would also like to congratulate Richard Baker, and family and friends, for raising £1,773.21 from their 12-hour darts marathon for our 2009 project ‘Babies and Children’s Memorial’. If you would like to do a sponsored event for our 2009 project or make a donation please phone 0121 776 6337 or e-mail

P Higgs, secretary, Friends of Woodlands Cemetery


Shirley blow

I FEEL the need to say that as a Shirley resident for the past 36 years I for one am very disappointed that the Heart of Shirley development will not be started until mid 2010.

I welcome Asda and was hoping it would have been open by Christmas 2009. We need to bring in more shoppers and this is the answer.

Joyce Hill, Snowford Close, Shirley


Fantastic care

I WOULD like to thank all the doctors, nurses and paramedics for the care and attention given to my husband at Solihull Hospital two weeks ago; they literally saved his life.

Their dedication is absolutely wonderful and I shall be eternally grateful to them. We hear so much criticism of the Health Service, but at Solihull Hospital the treatment was just phenomenal.

Mrs Jean Cable, Valley Road, Solihull


High Standards

I WOULD like to tell you how helpful Warwickshire Trading Standards have been. I recently discovered that my mother had been taken in by unsolicited mailings, which told her that she had won £65,000, £20,500, £22,000 etc. All she had to do to claim her prize was send in an order. Nearly all these letters came from abroad.

I was shocked to discover that my mother had sent off nearly £600 in just one month. She had received no cheques, but still expected to get one.

My mother is elderly and not daft, but the letters are so convincing, it’s criminal. I was at my wits’ end. Then I wondered if Trading Standards might have some advice. They did and also offered to visit my mother.

The lady who came was excellent and spent nearly two hours gradually persuading her that the people she is sending money to are criminals. My mother has now stopped sending money. A good result, thanks to Trading Standards.

Name and address supplied


Right on song

THE Friends of Solihull Hospital would like to thank Mr Peter Benniman and the Merlin Singers, better known as Alternative Medicine 7, for the concert at the Methodist Church, Station Road, Solihull on Saturday, April 16.

How nice to hear such songs as Deep River, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Roland MacDonald. A total of £450 was raised for our local hospital. Thank you all.

George Cother, chairman, Friends of Solihull Hospital


The right road

IT’S pleasing that, due to a generous Government grant, 13 Solihull primary schools keenly took part in the 12-month ‘walking buses’ initiative which saw teachers and parents escorting children to and from local schools. An additional £1.8 million has been set aside for the next 12 months for 267 schools in the West Midlands. All primary schools should participate.

Too many parents foolishly mollycoddle their children by running them around in cars, causing obesity, laziness and lack of road sense, coupled with excess carbon emissions.

As a member of the Land Rover/Council/Residents Forum, I know that Jaguar/Land Rover does encourage staff - where possible - to walk, cycle or use public transport. Their £340m Government arranged loan from a European bank to develop efficient electric vehicles is well deserved. We must all co-operate to slow down catastrophic global warming.

Don Bargery, Solihull


Unfair attack

I MUST take issue with you for printing Don Bargery’s vitriolic attack on Trevor Eames (Letters).

Mr Eames has served his time and he should be left in peace.

For Don Bargery’s information, Trevor Eames was the last local councillor we have had in Monkspath to keep us well informed on issues which were of interest to us and calling meetings in the local park on contentious issues.

Mrs Linda Brown, Devitts Close, Shirley



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