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Flooded with fury

WE moved to the address below in June 2008. We have serious problems with flooding due to a drain/culvert which runs along the back of the gardens.

WE moved to the address below in June 2008. We have serious problems with flooding due to a drain/culvert which runs along the back of the gardens.

There has been a long history of flooding in this area, which we had no knowledge of when we brought the property.

We have a 100ft garden which has been completely submersed in water for nearly the whole time we have lived here. I have three children who can not play outside.

The drain at the bottom of the garden has 3ft of stagnant water, more during the extreme weather.

This is dangerous. My youngest child is three and, like many other children in the area, could easily drown in such deep water.

The flooded garden is stagnant most of the time and has algae growing in it, my children are covered in midge/insect bites which has to be from the unhygenic conditions in the garden.

Myself and a neighbour surveyed the area to find out how widespread the problem was, and the majority of houses have a flooding problem, some as serious as mine, some just a bit. All of them state however, they feel it is a health and safety issue and a danger to children.

Councillor Ian Hedley has been out to see the problem first hand and has been helpful. A number of residents have told me they have been in talks with the council for the past three years but there is a reluctance to actually do anything.

I contacted Solihull Council first hand and initially spoke to John Coutes, Drainage Deparment, who told me he was aware of the problem and he wasn’t willing to spend public money on residents’ gardens. If we all wanted to chip in a sum of around £8,000 he would then be willing to talk.

What price is our children’s safety?

I understand the council will try to clear the culvert/drain but we are only a priority 4, again this is the safety of our children.

I am hoping by making this more public the council will have to try a bit harder before there is a dreadful accident.

Resident of Ralph Road, Shirley


Old soldier’s tale

I READ with interest the story of the uncovered Wileman medal in Olton. Whilst I can’t shed any light on how or why it ended up in the garden - I can tell a little bit about the man himself (courtesy of a quick hunt on the Ancestry family history site).

His full name was (I believe) Albert Reginald Wiseman whose birth was registered in the second quarter of 1895 in Tamworth.

In the 1901 census he appears as the son of Alfred W Wileman and Ada L Wileman with a younger sister Gladys Ada Wileman who was born about 1900. They were then living at 41 Lower Wilton Street in Aston Manor, Lozells St Paul in Birmingham. His father was a licenced victualler (ie publican).

His medal information card can also be viewed. It shows he was in the Army Service Corps - which provided all the transportation for the men and supplies in the First World War. The card shows he would also have been awarded the Victory medal - I wonder if that medal is still buried in the garden?

The only other information I can add is that it appears he married a lady by the surname Grinsell in the second quarter of 1921 in Kings Norton.

I hope this information might help in the hunt for the medal recipient’s family.

Jon Cray, Starbold Crescent, Knowle


A class act

I WOULD like to congratulate classes 2K and 2J of Greswold primary school for their stunning and outstanding Christmas panto.

My son joined the school when we moved to Solihull, and it was the best decision I ever made. The school has a very traditional feel and has a great community.

Congratulations to the teachers who made it all possible, especially Mr King. I believe my child, along with many others, has been privileged to be taught by him. Thanks so much.

Charleigh Conroy, Solihull


Duo in denial

WHAT Mr Stone and I dislike about Joan Dennis and P Thomas is not their Christian beliefs (Letters); of course they are entitled to these.

No, it’s their continual denial of the evolutionary process which they strive to ‘rubbish’ by attacking Darwin.

It is true that Darwin’s children reported that their father, Charles, cried out: “Oh God, oh Lord God” in his final moments before passing into unconsciousness, but he had been suffering for a long time so this could just as easily have been an expletive.

In last week’s ‘Letters’, she tries to make him sound like a believer by quoting his statement that he was not an atheist.

Maybe, but in Victorian times he was well known as an agnostic and freethinker.

This explains why Darwin’s friends had such a struggle to try and get him buried in Westminster Abbey alongside other great Britons such as Newton & Lyell.

Surely this would have been easy if he had embraced the faith? I am happy to agree with Ms Dennis that we do live in an amazing and beautiful world.

However, I see this to have been formed by natural, often violent, processes rather than the supernatural magic she prefers.

When will she and P Thomas accept that I and people like me are entitled to hold our views without being patronisingly preached at?

Dr J Edwards, Welford Road, Shirley


Festive greetings

AMONGST others, I recently received a Christmas card from Lorely Burt - nothing special about that, maybe, but I had to look twice at the words that followed her signature; “Liberal Democrat MP for Solihull”.

Presumably she still harbours the illusion that after three years of incessant press releases and photocalls, there might be someone in Solihull who doesn’t know who or what she is - although I find that possibility extremely remote.

What annoys me is that she used a Christmas card to promote not only herself but also the tacky left-wing organisation to which she is afflilated.

Is the good lady that desperate for publicity that she would stoop to politicising Christmas?

On second thoughts, don’t bother; I think I know the answer!

John Bramham, Elmdon


Green dividend

BARACK Obama has promised up to five million jobs in the US for a shift to green energy industries.

The EU has just set a target to increase the proportion of renewable energy used across the EU to 20 per cent by 2020, although the UK target is only 15 per cent.

This was all led through the European Parliament by a Green Party MEP. With the green energy target, this is now a fantastic opportunity to push forward the renewable energy industry in the West Midlands.

Serious investment in wind and solar power can offer both cuts in our climate change impact and jobs for manufacturers and installers.

Just 26,000 people in the UK are employed in the green energy industry while in Germany, 250,000 people work in the field. We need to take on the green industry challenge now before somewhere else gets all the green jobs.

Felicity Norman, Green Party prospective MEP


Thinking of you

I JUST wanted to tell Leanne Williams how sorry I was to hear that your dog is missing. I do hope you find him.

A friend of mine had her dogs stolen last week but we managed to get them back safe and well with the help of “Doglost” and the local news and radio stations and dozens of posters.

Also “Facebook” is an excellent way of reaching out to people.

Rosie, via e-mail



Cathrina Hulse
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