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Garden competition joy

AS ONE of the entrants in the Solihull Garden Housing & Gardens competition, I would like to thank everyone who made this such a pleasant evening.

AS ONE of the entrants in the Solihull Garden Housing & Gardens competition, I would like to thank everyone who made this such a pleasant evening.

But most of all, I was very heartened to hear our new Mayor, speaking of the good neighbours around, entrants, these folks are little gems. Please nominate people next year. It’s so nice to get a voucher to spend in the garden centre, I am still eating produce purchased with the vouchers.

Sylvia Bell-Hartley

Kixley Lane, Knowle


Car park supervision

BEARING in mind that car park charges have gone up yet again, I find it deplorable that there is only one attendant in the Marks and Spencer car park.

At 10.25 on Saturday, 30 October my ticket reported “Read Fail” at the middle exit barrier, so I pressed the call button, and then waited and waited and waited. About 8 minutes of pressing the button (as it cancels after a few seconds) and sounding my horn, before an attendant finally strolled back to the cabin with no sign of urgency. I had to press the button and sound my horn to gain his attention. Whereupon he strolled over to me.

He then listened to my explanation of what had happened and took the ticket out and my car registration number, and strolled back to the cabin before releasing the barrier. In all it took me over 12 minutes to leave the car park, and I had frozen food in my car’s boot. Hardly an encouragement to shop in the town centre!

There should be a minimum of two attendants at all times, with one always on the barrier. And the call button should go to a radio handset carried by this lone attendant, and sound in the whole of the car park. Perhaps also flash a lamp on each level and the barrier cabin.

And, while I’m writing, why does the middle barrier now only work as an exit? There was a queue down to the road when I entered at 9 o’clock.

Richard Taylor via e-mail


Recycling petition is real

REGARDING the recycling petition, I am very disappointed that Councillor Ted Richards’ angry rant is even considered as news.

Over 700 residents signed and supported our petition. Nearly all of them were unaware of the trial and others had been refused when they had tried to use the site.

We don’t consider a trial to be an acceptable long term solution and it doesn’t address the root cause. I would also suggest investing in a map, as to say the Bickenhill site is closer to B37 residents is very misguided.

Elizabeth Adams,

Liberal Democrat campaigner


Canals offer a solution

COUNCILLOR Ken Rushen supports the HS2 project, despite its human, financial and environmental cost and the destruction of land and housing. The March 2010 report tells us that this train will not even reach Central London. Passengers from Birmingham will have to ‘detrain’ at Old Oak Common in the outskirts of the city. Who would want to do that?

Tesco, Proctor & Gamble, the Co-op and Unilever have seen the advantages of moving freight by canal as John Bramham wisely recommended [Letters 22 October], taking many heavy lorries off the road every week and reducing carbon emissions by 80 per cent. Increasing use of barges in London is reducing fuel consumption and road congestion,

British canal freight is more common in the Aire & Calder, Calder & Hebble and Sheffield & South Yorkshire navigations. If a fraction of the HS2 money were - instead - spent on dredging and modernising the canals we could emulate the innovative Scottish government which last week awarded grants to bring freight back to the Caledonian Canal, removing over 15,000 lorry trips from the road network.

B Panvel, Shirley


More freight on canals

IN RESPONSE to Ken Rushen’s letter of support for the HS2 expansion, I’d like to point out that the principal objections to that expansion are the vast uptake of green belt land that would be required for such a venture, and the enormous cost of creating yet another transit corridor within which to build it.

Waterways however have no such drawbacks, being largely still in place after 100 years of intensive use and a further 100 years of neglect; all that is required is cleaning, dredging and bank reinforcement, plus rebuilding and realignment of some of the smaller bridges to allow the passage of wider, taller tugs and lighters in both directions.

Bank reinforcement would allow the ridiculously low speed limit to be raised to a more acceptable 15 knots or so, and use of Terry Fogarty’s innovative Diagonal Lock concept to replace or bypass the restrictions of conventional lock flights would reduce transit times still further, making the system economically and environmentally viable over many generations to come.

We cannot continue along the same path of putting all freight onto the roads purely for convenience’s sake; all three transit methods (road, rail and water) have to be used together to allow future generations the choices they will need to supply goods throughout the UK - short-term solutions will never suffice over a properly thought-out strategy.

John Bramham,



Help appreciated

LAST Thursday afternoon I was travelling to Warwick to see my family I find it difficult to walk there were two lovely ladies on Solihull station platform, the elder lady was the mother-in-law of the younger who had a wonderful new born baby.

When the train came the elder lady helped me on to the train and then when I reached Warwick helped me off on to the platform. She was travelling on to London.

Coming back on Saturday on the five twenty one train from Warwick a man helped me on to the train he and his wife and two delightful children had been to London they were getting off at Solihull the man took my luggage helped me off the train came down in the lift with me and saw that I had a taxi.

I don’t know any of their names but so want to thank them, in this world where we hear only bad news this kindness though small to others, was a shining star that stood out.

Thank you to all of them Because your paper is so popular in the Solihull area I was wondering if you could just put a small thank you to them from me.

Mrs Chris Simons via e-mail



Cathrina Hulse
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Annette Belcher
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