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YET again Solihull Carnival posters have been put up on lampposts close to or at junctions.

YET again Solihull Carnival posters have been put up on lampposts close to or at junctions.

This, as SMBC agreed with me two years ago when they promised it wouldn’t happen again, is dangerous. Drivers are distracted from looking out for traffic from any direction or reading the proper road signs. And it is also against government advice to restrict signs roadside to a minimum.

And the invitation to submit advertising signs as bright as possible to put on roundabout islands beggars belief!

Both of these at a time when the council is going to reduce speed limits in the interests of safety! Is SMBC’s Road Safety Unit aware?

Richard Taylor, via e-mail


Airport rip off

I COULDN’T agree more with Janet Kilminster regarding Birmingham Airport charges (Letters, May 29). What an antagonistic, anti-passenger place it is to use.

Their response to the Glasgow airport attempted bombing has brought about the usual knee-jerk over-reaction which doesn’t increase safety one bit.

Anyone could walk into the airport with a bagful of explosives so what was the point of closing off both approach roads to passengers? No doubt so they could be charged even more.

J Griffin, Solihull


Keep voting

MANY people - myself included - who believe in active democracy and freedom to choose, have spent a good portion of their lives voluntarily supporting one or other of the three main parties and more recently the Greens and even UKIP.

The disgraceful behaviour by a minority of MPs, MEPs and Lords has brought shame on the whole political establishment.

Some people will now understandably be tempted - as a mark of protest - to either not vote at all, or turn to extremist, undemocratic, racially obsessed, groups like the BNP, feeling that politicians and greedy bankers are all untrustworthy.

As sensible people we know deep down that despite a few very bad apples, the great majority of MPs and MEPs of all parties are honest, hard-working representatives, deserving our continued but vigilant support. Thus my wife and I did still vote at the European elections, and we will also vote at next year’s general and municipal elections. I urge everyone to adopt the same positive attitude.

Don Bargery, Solihull


Bonfire time

IT is almost unbelievable that highly educated people running this country can stand there and say: “I was not shown the accounts, and I didn’t see the bills, so I thought it was alright.”

What we need is another Guy Fawkes, only this time do the job properly.

MC Chapman, Bryanston Road, Solihull


Nice earner

BROMSGROVE MP Julie Kirkbride may be standing down, but the money is still very much in evidence, and that’s the whole point. She still hasn’t understood why we are outraged at what she and her fellow MPs have been up to.

We don’t see it as our responsibility to build a bedroom for her 50-year-old brother, we don’t accept her sister is working in her constituency. Between her and her husband they will be picking up around a £250,000 golden goodbye and a £100,000 a year index-linked pension.

It’s obvious that in the Westminster village MPs really are convinced that our money is theirs, and this isn’t fiddle, it’s their rights.

ST Vaughan, Glastonbury Road, Yardley Wood


Not all bad

THE anger expressed by the public at the actions of some Rt Hon MPs, caught with their fingers in the till, is not surprising. They should, of course, be punished for their betrayal of the trust expected of them.

However, all MPs are not involved, the majority do not deserve to be treated like criminals. Those who were supposed to oversee and approve or otherwise the expense claims also bear some responsibility.

I wonder about the situation with the MEPs and the overstaffed, overpaid bureaucrats in Brussels. Membership of the EU is costing the UK £40 million a day.

So far as the Euro election is concerned, to me there is only one option. There is only one party who quite clearly state that they feel, as I do, that we should have the option of voting in a referendum to withdraw from the EU as soon as possible.

F Carpenter, Shirley


Poor excuse

LORELY Burt uses the old myth that MPs were poorly paid during the Thatcher years (Solihull News), but if one looks at the detail then this excuse is just that, a poor excuse.

In fact their pay rose from £11,750 in 1980 to £26,701 in 1990 which is 127 per cent approximately in 10 years.

Also in July 1996 they had an increase of £8,915 which was about a 26 per cent in less that one year. Since then according to their own Parliamentary statistics their basic pay has increased at a similar rate as average earnings.

As well as their basic pay I understand that an MP’s pension would cost an ordinary citizen about £55,000 a year to purchase but an MP only has to pay 10 per cent of salary ie about £6,750 so the taxpayer is contributing about £47,500 a year so taking the salary above £100,000 a year.

Mike Job, Hillfield


Parking mad

I AM disabled due to a stroke, I am almost 80 years old and I also have a very sick hubby. We have to try to get on with life the best we can.

On arriving at Tesco in Monkspath on May 28 there were no disabled places available nearby so we parked in one of the few family places free. There was a reason as we were picking up my granddaughter and great grandchildren. We were quite shocked when this very bouncy rude person told us to move further afield.

My daughter had come from Sutton Coldfield to take me shopping and she said she had never known such rudeness in her area.

Why should I have to explain myself to this snob when she parked next to us in her 4x4?

I hope the young culprit reads this - she may be 80 one day.

Name and address supplied


Try walking

I AM writing in response to John Chown’s letter regarding blue badge and parent/toddler parking at supermarkets.

I am an able bodied person and do not have children, but I am sick of hearing about people complaining they can’t park near to superstores when going shopping.

I agree parking near to a store entrance should be allocated to people who have disabilities, but why oh why do parents and toddlers have to have parking near to the store?

I agree there should be larger parking spaces to assist with prams etc, but really do they need to be nearest to the store and do spaces have to be designated for a particular group of people? Put the larger parking spaces further away from the store and then everybody won’t be parking in them - simple. Or is this all just an excuse to hide the fact that able bodied people are too lazy to walk.

Stephanie Hemmings, Solihull


Cheaper by bus

ARE readers aware that £60 million is the estimated cost of the projected Midland Metro extension (Snow Hill to New Street)?

Apart from the astronomical cost and the civil engineering chaos involved, the main drawback is that the Metro offers only an eight-minute regularity. Who is going to wait eight minutes plus travelling time in central Birmingham for an inter-station link?

There are three perfectly viable, far cheaper and far superior bus alternatives, each with a three-minute regularity:

1. Moor Street station - New Street station - Moor Street station - near Millennium Point - Moor Street station. Buses needed: possibly only two, inter-station journey time one and a half minutes.

2. An extension from Snow Hill station, incorporating 1. Buses needed - four? Snow Hill to New Street journey time six minutes in each direction with extra stops at Snow Hill station and Aston University (one direction) and Snow Hill station and near the Children’s and Dental Hospitals (reverse direction).

3. The Grand Circular (incorporating 1 and 2), clockwise and anti-clockwise, extending westwards with stops near the Council House, Centenary Square (for Symphony Hall), bottom of Smallbrook Queensway (for Alexandra and Hippodrome theatres) (eight buses?).

I have made unsuccessful representations about this to Birmingham newspapers. Are these firmly on the side of the high-spending half-wits.

A Allsopp, Etwall Road, Hall Green


Not serving us

RE- DIANE Stokes’ recent letter about the complete lack of respect for the wishes of the people in North Solihull, where the council ‘do not listen, they will do what they want regardless of public opinion’, I have to tell her that this ‘box ticking’ attitude seems to be characteristic of Solihull Council in the south as well.

For nearly two years the residents of Solihull Lodge housing estate have fought the granting of planning permission for a beauty parlour which opened in July 2007 in a semi-detached house in Yardley Wood Road, and was granted retrospective planning permission in November 2007.

There exists in the deeds of all the houses in the estate a restrictive covenant (put in by Solihull Council itself), forbidding the use of any of the houses as businesses ‘of any kind’ and we are assured on several occasions that the council intended to enforce the covenant.

However, in spite of all our efforts and that of our MP, Lorely Burt, nothing was done and an appeal to the Ombudsman brought us the depressing judgement that the council had decided to take no action, ‘a decision it was entitled to take’.

Just who are the council meant to serve? Not the residents, so it would seem.

Brenda Bullock, resident of the Solihull Lodge housing estate


Breaking ranks

I HAVE long hoped that sooner or later common sense would start to prevail and eventually shut up for good those in the media and/or politics who keep harping on about man-made climate change. Someone has to break ranks and be brave enough to declare it to be all totally false.

So well done recent correspondents John Bramham and D Bonham for starting the process, at least locally.

The whole global warming fiasco has become like a religion and declaring it to be false is like declaring a religious doctrine is false.

There is no such thing as man-made global warming. I accept that the climate is never stable. Greens will go on about creating a stable climate, but the earth’s climate has and will always be changeable.

Plenty of texts exist to support this by true scientists but their work is criminally ignored by the media because it is deemed politically unacceptable.

There is a nickname for the Greens - Watermelons - green on the outside but red to the core.

I know I can not change things overnight but I still wish to try. Who else out there is fed up with being told to be carbon neutral and to recycle everything? Well I for one have had enough.

P Thomas, Jacey Road, Shirley


Secret deals

ACCORDING to the Lib Dems’ latest newsletter the scaled-down plans for ‘Parkgate’ still show a giant Asda at its heart. What is the great hold that Asda has over our council, I ask myself?

Although I have no inside information, the answer is obvious. It all revolves around the Powergen site, which Asda controls and for which the council has refused them permission to develop. In order to get Asda to give up the Powergen site, our council has done a secret deal with Asda, who have insisted upon a certain size store in the new development if they are to relinquish the Powergen site. In order to give Asda the size of store they are demanding, parkland has to be taken.

I think our councillors are forgetting they are elected as our servants, not our masters, and they have no authority to engage in deals like this without reference to those whom they claim to serve. They are determined to push this through, come what may.

The truth is that parkland should be sacrosanct.

I challenge anyone from the council to deny the above.

AF Griffiths, Stanway Road, Shirley


Ken Branch

I AM trying to find information on my grandad Ken Branch. He won greengrocer of the year probably around 40 to 50 years ago. I know that the story was reported by the Solihull News, from an old picture that I found. I would also like any information on his wife Phyl. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Dan Carroll, via e-mail


Agency cash

REGARDING your article last week about the RNLI can anyone from this organisation confirm or deny that a percentage of money donated via street collectors is kept by a collection agency. Does this apply also to the Air Ambulance?

Sandra Troman, Marlene Croft, Chelmsley Wood


Tasty treat

Many years ago I lived in Solihull (I am now based in North East) and on a visit to the region for training I took the opportunity to visit my mum and go out in Solihull for a meal.

We chose the Fat Cat and had an exceptional meal there - beautifully thought out and executed menu using local, seasonal produce, exquisitely presented. Only problem - we were the only customers there!

As a resident of the north east where such gems are much more few and far between can I please implore the residents of Solihull and around to try this place - you’ll really enjoy your meal there, and Solihull will be much culinarily poorer for it if it goes.

Kate Read, Newcastle


Well cared for

I RECENTLY spent a week in the coronary care unit and ward 17 in Solihull Hospital and was so impressed with the care and attention of all the nurses and doctors.

There was a much older patient who could have been a little irritating but on no occasion was there any adverse reaction from the staff. They were caring and attentive at all times to everyone.

The food was good and varied. The cleaning of the wards was very well organised and carried out to a definite pattern. We can be proud of our hospital. They are setting a standard to all of the NHS to follow.

Norman Whitburn, Meriden


You’re paying

MANY curious residents have asked me how the controversial cycle route through our park to Arden School is to be financed.

The scheme, if it goes ahead, is to be funded in two parts. The road alterations, table-top hump, part-time signals, altering the road alignment and digging up and moving the underground services are to be paid for from central government sources.

It is proposed that the cycle part should be paid by an application to Sustrans (a charity). Sustrans receives funding from various sources. For instance central and local government, the Big Lottery, and the Millennium Commission, together with donations from private groups and individuals.

The cost has risen by £10,000 since last September or about five per cent to £210,000 at present.

Secondary schools in the past have been able to get funding based on a formula of £5,000 and then £5 per pupil. Arden has about 1,300 pupils.

The truth is that we as income tax payers will pay the majority of the bill.

Coun Jeff Potts, Knowle Ward


Diverse world

ALTHOUGH I am a confirmed atheist, I read P Thomas’ letter ‘A Perfect God’ last week (Solihull News) with rather a smirk on my face.

Of course I respect everyone’s views on religion as, I hope, they respect my complete lack of faith.

Without branching into different religions, how can your correspondent state that the Bible holds only one interpretation?

Isn’t that the opposite of what every Christian church tells us for being the reason that there is so much diversity in their numbers?

Roman Catholics, C of E, Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Baptists – all have a different interpretation – otherwise the ‘one message’ from the Bible would not have been corrupted into the many versions held as ‘truth’ by each different faction.

I did study the Bible as a youngster – for the life of me I can not see any requirement to dress in lavish robes, wear pointy hats and masks, abstain from alcohol – even to wear a dog-collar or shake smelly incense around – and yet throughout history, these quirky and much different interpretations have been allowed to develop.

Still, each to their own I suppose!

John Davies, Shirley


Life of strife

RE- Faith Matters by Rabbi Yehuda Pink (May 29).

God has a plan for all of us, you don’t have to be clever or be proud or have self-image and self-esteem. You don’t even have to climb a mountain. Yes God did give the law to Moses from Mount Sinai but the important thing is that he gave the law that has lasted thousands of years.

Our Lord Jesus was sent to connect us to God the father (John 14 v 6). Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” It’s no wonder people get confused with different faiths.

Humility we have to have, pride is an abomination to God. John 2 v 16 says for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life - is not of God. In Daniel 5 v 20 it tells us of a king who lost every possession that he had through pride.

Proverbs 13 v 10 says by pride comes nothing but strife. I am not quite sure on this one Rabbi, I honestly don’t want to offend anybody of the Jewish faith, but I believe that the Messiah came 2,000 years ago.

We give our lives to Christ, he took on the sins of the world, was crucified, died, then rose again from the dead, ascended into heaven and there he intercedes for us with God.

P Thomas, Baxters Road, Shirley


Show some respect

IN reply to P Thomas’ letter aimed at me last week (May 29) I would just like to say that my main reason for replying at all to his or her letters is to ask him or her to show some respect for other peoples views on religious matters.

It’s clear to me that he or she has no respect, and certainly no tolerance, for other views on faith or religion. I’m not, nor ever have been, trying to change P Thomas’ beliefs, just trying to get him or her to accept that others have views, and to respect those views. As for the occasional ‘dig’ at the Muslim faith, frankly I find that offensive.

Steve Hall, via e-mail


Parking taxis

HAVING read a reader’s letter concerning taxis occupying parking spaces at Hobs Moat shopping area I fully understand the comments made but I must say Grove Road and the lower end of School Lane, central Solihull take some beating for parking spaces being taken by not one but several taxis, thus making it difficult for people attending either clinics, doctor’s surgery, hospital for short visits or for people shopping.

I do agree the taxis have a right to park, but please less in numbers at one time.

Name and address supplied



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