TODAY my wife and I received our Spring pack of publications from the National Trust, and within five minutes I read: National Trust have teamed up with Cadbury for the third year running, to ensure a fun weekend for visitors, with trails running at around 250 places over the four days of the Easter weekend.
Regarding the ancient trees on NT land: Through an ongoing three-year partnership with Cadbury, who are supporting the Trust in our maintenance of countryside sites.
I wonder if Kraft would care to tell us whether they intend to continue these, and the many other environmental and social programmes that Cadbury provide (and have done for many years), and if so for how long?
David A Hardy
So little equality
HOORAY! I had my household waste removed today (Wednesday) for the first time in three weeks. The wheelie bin was stuffed full and we had to put the overspill in plastic bags - the refuse was beginning to pong a bit and I was glad to see the back of it.
My experience was, of course, no different to that of many other borough residents after the heavy snowfall, and I’m loathe to criticise the local authority or anybody else for the delay in collecting refuse and recyclable waste in the adverse conditions. But the fact is local residents were not treated equally.
In the area where I live, householders lucky enough to live on main roads which had been gritted by Solihull Council - and therefore deemed passable - had their refuse collected on time. Others like me, living on untreated side roads turned into skid-pans, didn’t. The risk-averse policy of local authorities and their contractors had kicked in. Far too dangerous to operate there, it was decided. Yet all the people delivering goods managed to get through to my house: the milkman, the postman, the paperboy and even the Avon lady, bless her.
Quite honestly, the council’s refuse contractor, Enterprise, doesn’t live up to its name. It could give Solihull taxpayers much more value for the money it gets.
More importantly, the council must be even-handed in the provision of local services. If there’s another severe ice-up this winter, many more roads should be salted/gritted for the benefit of borough residents as a whole.
Thanks to staff
NOW the worst of the winter weather appears to have passed, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff, who have done their very best in difficult conditions.
Our gritting staff have been out and about day and night, endeavouring to keep our roads safe, and the traffic moving.
We did a lot of planning before the winter weather hit us, and ordered more grit this year in order to cope. We’ve had to be careful with its use, and while in an ideal world we’d like to be able to grit every road in the borough, that simply is not possible and we’d quickly run out of grit, with little prospect of getting more.
There have been some days that have been more difficult than others - let’s not forget we are at the mercy of the weather forecasters – but we’ve managed to keep our A and B roads and bus routes moving for the majority of the time. This is a great achievement, and I cannot speak highly enough of our gritting team.
Although not part of my cabinet responsibilities, I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our school staff who have worked with us to minimise the number of days our schools were closed – there was only one occasion where all the borough’s schools shut - along with our refuse collectors, who have done their very best to catch up with collections in often tricky conditions.
Of course, there will be those who believe we could have done more, and we will be looking at how we’ve responded over the past few weeks to see if there’s anything we can improve upon in future years.
Finally, a thank you to the people of Solihull, who have shown patience and understanding during the past few weeks.
Councillor Ted Richards
Cabinet Member for Transport and Highways
Tories no hope
NO ONE who watched the National Health Service systematically eroded under Thatcher and Major will be under any illusion that David Cameron’s Tories represent a saviour-in-waiting.
The current threat to Solihull Hospital’s maternity service is a direct consequence of 30 years of government mismanagement under both the Tories and New Labour.
A poor example
FOLLOWING the number of health warnings from the Government and medical profession regarding obesity, I am delighted to see Solihull Hospital is doing its bit, chocolate, sweets, soft drinks (saturated in sugar) dispensing machines located in the main passageway. What next - a licensed bar outside hepatology. Why does asylum and lunatics keep entering my head?
JUDGING by the number of cars, more and more people love to walk round our wonderful Brueton Park - especially on a Sunday.
However, the car park is always full by 10.00am and after that time, cars are parked up Old Warwick Road as far as the eye can see. This must be awful for the residents.
Next to the car park, there is a vast, open area of grass that is not used by anyone. This could accommodate all the extra cars.
Come on Solihull Council - help to get people out enjoying their local park.