Sadly Josie Herbert (Letters) has missed the point on the review of parliamentary boundaries. It is not about protecting the seats of sitting MPs but rather the threat to the integrity of Solihull.
At present we have two MPs who between them represent the whole of Solihull and have no responsibility for other areas. Under the current proposals we would end up with more MPs, all of whom would represent just part of the borough but also have to look after the interests of Kenilworth, parts of Warwickshire and a large area of Birmingham.
Surely Josie would agree that Solihull should have its own representatives at national level, rather than ones focussed on other areas – unless she is working on the theory that four MPs is better than two.
With all-party agreement, Solihull Council has objected to the Boundary Commission’s proposals and expressed real concerns about the fragmentation of the borough, which is being split up to provide jigsaw pieces to fit surrounding areas.
We also have concerns over the potential threat to us remaining as an independent Metropolitan area if the same approach is taken when the Commission next looks at local government boundaries. Possibly Josie would be happy to be ruled by Birmingham or become an outpost of a County Council, but I think most people believe that we should take pride in our borough and seek to remain independent.
Ken Meeson, Leader of Council
This morning, I found what appeared to be a newspaper on my hall carpet, bearing the headline “Maternity Crisis: ‘No Beds For Babies’ Scandal”.
In the light of recent controversy over maternity services at Solihull Hospital, and the fact that a close friend is due to give birth in the new year, I was understandably concerned.
Further investigation, however, swiftly revealed this was merely an elaborate publicity stunt by the Renewal Christian Centre.
One would have hoped those behind this publication would have shown more consideration for their neighbours’ peace of mind.
Zoe Seinman via e-mail
WITH regard to the recent criticism of surgeon Ian Paterson in the local and national press; I was operated on by Mr Paterson for breast cancer in 2002 and was and still am extremely grateful for his skill and expertise.
In my opinion Mr Paterson would only act in a way in which he felt was in the patient’s best interest.
M Wood, Address supplied
Let them pay
REGARDING HS2 perhaps it is time to decide that we have had enough propaganda for this project from Mr Harvey.
High-speed rail to connect the depressed north-east regions to London could well be helpful to those parts of the UK.
However, in his response to me he suggested that he would be content if the line passed the end of his garden en route to Snow Hill.
Perhaps he would agree to write a joint letter with me to the Transport Secretary withdrawing his current stance and specifically asking for the route to be changed from churning up Solihull’s Green Belt. If he were to agree, I would be willing to suggest that the route should stick to current corridors – e.g. along M40 thence to Snow Hill via Olton.
This would require widening all along the way, but there is space on the Chiltern line and back until it reaches Olton.
Of course a more sensible suggestion would be to accept that the new timetable on the Chiltern Line enables passengers to get to London in good time, with only the train company’s money spent. There would then be funds available to prime the pump on other infrastructure investments – housing for all, roads and most importantly improve the current transport system.
If business wants HS2 – let them pay for it – including the M40 option.
David Deanshaw, Regeneration Consultant, Balsall Common
It’s all propaganda
So H Harvey (Letters) chose to patronize me and my complaint regarding the loss of my local bus service and went on to promote the proposed HS2 scheme.
Mr Harvey and everyone involved with pushing the HS2 scheme ahead should be made to pay a personal financial-bond which would be forfeited should the scheme not deliver. This would then focus their mind more on reality and not wishful thinking.
My final concern is that of propaganda from our government, which has cut back everything from the defense of our country down to local services and yet is able to consider funding a massive scheme such as the HS2.
Should the scheme be started we can all expect the projected cost to escalate, the construction time to be extended and the projected financial return to be reduced, just like other “White Elephants” in the past.
P Thorp, Solihull
I would not have any objection to being challenged with regards to my letter of December 9 (Solihull News) except that the unnamed person has made many unfounded assumptions.
How can one presume to know how many complete years I have worked in my career lifetime (which is substantially more than 13). This makes a complete nonsense of the projected figures, which are based on supposition, not fact.
Of course there would be no public sector without the private sector, but if it did not exist, then we would all have to pay for essential services on an individual basis. The point that I was making was that the extra contributions will not be put in the pension pot, but will be used towards the deficit.
Katherine Roberts via e-mail
You try it
I wonder if those who have recently complained about our postal service would be prepared to get up at 4am and go out in all weathers to deliver our post?
Rain, frost and snow are bad enough, without having to open and close gates and climb countless flights of stairs, as well as putting post through all kinds of letter boxes, high and low, wide and narrow, plus the added hazard of dogs. Is there anyone prepared to try it? No, I thought not, too busy complaining!
M Jennings via e-mail
In defence of Nikki Sinclaire MEP, she has shown great strength, will and determination in her campaign for a House of Commons debate on the possibility of a referendum on EU membership.
As for her reasons for leaving UKIP, Paul Gilbert (Letters), should understand the reasons for this and might change his opinion.
She is an active participant in many local issues and attends many events. Should she decide to stand as an independent MEP at the next election, she will undoubtedly gain much local support.
Kelvin Jones via e-mail
Having read Paul Gilbert’s recent letter in the Solihull News, I thought it would be a shame for it to go uncorrected.
He was correct in that Nikki Sinclaire MEP was elected as a UKIP MEP.
However it was UKIP that removed Nikki from the fold for leaving the EFD group, not the other way round. It saddens even her to have become estranged from UKIP, the party she supported since its first steps in elections in 1994.
It was therefore deeply ironic that within months of her election as an MEP, the leadership of UKIP were demanding that its MEPs participate in a blatant betrayal of UKIP’s principles by joining a larger pan European group in the European Parliament that contains extremists and even those who supported the Lisbon Treaty.
Josh O’Nyons - Monkspath
I would like to thank all the generous people of Solihull who gave to our Christmas carol singing events in Mell Square on December 8/15.
The proceeds totalled £741.93, and will be donated to local animal sanctuaries, who really need help during these difficult times.
Yvonne Troth, Treasurer, Solihull Animal Aid