LAST night I had the honour of being the judge in a Solihull Writers Workshop article writing competition.
The entrants could write on any non fiction subject of their choice, but the topic that came up time and time again was the changing face (for the worse) of Solihull.
It’s plain that people can barely recognise the town they first moved to. Housing estates have grown up and the ribbon development of car showrooms and business parks has spread along Stratford Road and up the M42 corridor.
What was also apparent is that people feel powerless in the face of development - and any illusion of influence will no doubt soon be taken away by edicts from the centre aimed at removing the obstacles to many planning applications.
By ‘obstacles’ they mean you and me, people who might object to one scheme or another.
I would much rather see the advocates of these schemes, from new supermarkets and shopping centres to high speed rail lines and the rest, to spend more time persuading us why these projects are so good rather than having them pushed through by changing the rules.
I don’t think the members of Solihull Writers Workshop are a particularly grouchy lot - just ordinary folk worried about what’s happening in their town.
With the local elections on May 5 now might be the time to ask our would-be politicians what they are prepared to do for us, the voters, and to nail their colours to the mast and state what exactly they are for - and against.