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Kiss of death

Like most Shirley residents we want some regeneration of our shopping parade.

Like most Shirley residents we want some regeneration of our shopping parade. However, most traditional high street shopping areas like Shirley have declined – visit Northfield, Kings Heath and Stirchley and count the empty shops.

Take a look at Hay Mills, which once had shops like “Old Shirley”, and where Asda has a superstore at one end of what is sadly left.

If anyone thinks an Asda superstore is really the magic bullet to attract new shopkeepers perhaps they should visit Chelmsley Wood shopping centre. As part of their new Asda, 12 new retail outlets were built nearby. A recent visit revealed that over a year on, every one of them is still empty. Not surprising really, as Asda sells everything.

Shirley really needs some radical new thinking. However, with regard to the forthcoming Parkgate appeal starting on May 10 – if we must have an Asda superstore imposed on us, then it should have a car park big enough to compensate for the loss of existing parking.

Richard Wise (vice chairman), on behalf of Shirley Residents Association


Care for Shirley

With reference to the people who are for the Parkgate Development, do they have all the facts? Perhaps not. They are obviously happy to lose part of the park, so important to our environment and a reminder that we have the smallest green space in the borough, and have held a Green Flag award since 2003.

To all those who criticise Shirley Residents Association and Shirley High Street, we ask “Where were you on ‘Pride in Shirley’ day last Sunday?” This was well advertised, helping to keep the High Street tidy. We care about Shirley and some of us made the effort to be there.

Malcolm & Ann Turner

Neville Road, Shirley


Save the park

Reading the many letters over the years regarding the Shirley Parkgate saga it made me think if one cares about where you reside then do not wait around for someone to ask you what you would prefer.

Get involved like a lot of wonderful residents have done. People who care and do not want their park cannibalised for the sake of another supermarket which in my humble opinion will be the death knell for our existing shops.

I have been happy here for over half of my 86 years, Whatever the outcome I will be content to know I at least tried my best to save Shirleys parkland from developers.

HH Shirley


Protect Ward 14

With reference to Mr. Fletcher’s letter in your paper last weekend I too have just returned from a stay in Ward 14 at Solihull Hospital where I had an operation for cancer.

I was cared for by wonderful staff to the highest level and was very perturbed to hear that the powers that be are considering closure of such a facility and transfer to Good Hope Hospital.

Come on the people of Solihull and fight to save facilities at our excellent local hospital.

Diane Stanton via e-mail


Shameful cuts

Your report that the Council had cut its remaining funding for Solihull’s Music Service really made me angry.

Once again those making decisions have failed to understand the real value of something that is worthwhile and as someone who benefitted in the past from this service I would like to draw attention to some very pertinent facts.

Solihull Music Service is ranked outstanding by an independent inspection despite previous cutbacks in council funding.

Many young aspiring musicians are going to lose out on talent that will not now be noticed.

The service isn’t just for those who seek a career in music but gives pleasure and activities to enhance the educational curriculum.

It develops teamwork, social acceptance, social networking and other extra skills.

It also provides a junior feeder group for many other organisations like the Shirley Band where I play or the Solihull and Midland Youth Orchestras and Jazz Orchestras.

There are also musicians that started with the Solihull Music Service that have played in leading bands and one former student is a university professor in music.

We should take pride in and support our successes and to hear from Councillor Davies that all parties supported this cutback and no one on the Council was prepared to speak up for the Music Service is particularly disappointing.

Karen Socci, Solihull & Meriden Residents Association, Shirley



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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