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Lighten up

I wonder how many people were taken in by the April Fool’s joke in last week’s Solihull News?

I wonder how many people were taken in by the April Fool’s joke in last week’s Solihull News? Quite a few, it seems.

I’ve heard that Solihull Council was flooded with phone calls from householders concerned that refuse collections were apparently being reduced to one a month, and that council bosses were angry with the spoof story.

Lighten up, guys. Surely, in these times of economic doom and gloom a bit of tomfoolery of this kind is welcome. And after all, the paper was only keeping up an old tradition.

Does anyone else remember the “spaghetti growing on trees” spoof on BBC TV some years ago? That was a cracker!

Peter Kennedy, Hampton-in-Arden


Forklifts please

I presume Councillor M T Yarone will also be supplying forklift trucks to move the bins to the bottom of our driveway and shall look forward to meeting the ‘Supermen’ who will be responsible for emptying and returning bins to our drives!!!!

Yours, I Lee Amused


Think twice

Your April Fool’s ‘joke’ about the alterations to the refuse collections was deeply un-funny.

It confused and upset elderly in-laws in our family and reports of many others in a similar perplexed state.

Highly irresponsible, deeply unfunny.

I hope your future merry japes will be a little more obvious, especially to the elderly. Think twice next time please.

Name and address supplied


Big bin query

RE: Big bins. Nice one! Two questions: will the bins be big enough to live in?

Will they be bio-degradable, and like the plastic recycling sacks fall apart if left out in the sun?

Jim Bumstead, via e-mail



I WAS somewhat unimpressed by your choice of subject for your April Fool story.

Despite the presence of Mr ‘Loof Lirpa’ in the story I suspect many readers, particularly the elderly, will not have realised it was a prank.

To choose an emotive topic like this is highly irresponsible and will have caused considerable concern amongst many residents as well as, I presume, causing a great deal of difficulty for Solihull Council.

Not your finest journalistic hour.

John Outhwaite, via


Going in fury

Congratulations on the April Fool item re refuse collection. It had me going in fury, composing a letter of objection mentally until I remembered that the paper had not arrived on its usual day. I then read the article carefully and enjoyed the Danish spokesman, Loof Lirpa and the Councillor MT Yarone. Well done !

Yours cheerfully, John Lattey.


Floating bins

I write to correct some errors in your recent article about Mr Loof Lirpa’s proposals to collect refuse on a monthly basis.

The new mega-bins cannot be painted in pastel colours, as this is expressly forbidden under European law: (see para 19 of the Directive on Refuse Visibility, 2003). In fact, they will be covered in fluorescent stripes, and have a flashing blue light on the lid.

You omit to mention a key feature of the scheme. By the end of each month, the rubbish will have fermented, generating enough gas to cause each bin to rise slowly into the air and float across the borough to Birmingham Airport. From there the rubbish can be quickly and easily transferred to the Elmdon Tip.

Leif Ittoff (legal adviser to Mr Lirpa), Copenhagen.


A stuffy lot

I attended the full council meeting as an observer on Tuesday night and council leader Councillor Hedley stood up and went on and on about your article about the bin collections and how it had caused immense suffering to loads of people.

What an old woman he is! He said he was going to demand you put an apology in the paper and had spoken to you and told you exactly what he thought. Don’t dare put an apology in the paper.

We thought it was the funniest thing in yonks. My husband has cut the article out as he thinks it is one of the best he has seen. They really are the most stuffy lot in creation and need to get a life.

Actually, when asked 14 people had rung the council and three had gone in so I do not think that is mass complaining do you?

All the best, keep up the good reporting.

Linda Brown, Devitts Close, Shirley


Back this bus

May I urge everyone who can to try to make good use of the new number 99 bus which now runs along Castle Lane and into Acocks Green. We don’t want to lose it again through lack of support!

Daphne Smallman, Olton



I must apologise to Aldi for implicating them in the Parkgate scheme rather than Asda in my letter last week. I am sure that Aldi are considerate developers who would seek the backing of local people rather than alienating them.

Simon, Shirley


A tidy sum

£4,300 on a new Budget Box, shows just how serious the government is on austerity measures.

There is plenty of cash for a red box that could have been knocked up for £20 as an apprentice training project, but of course that’s not good enough for the vanity of George Osborne it has to be at a staggering cost of more than a single pensioner would get in a year.

ST Vaughan, Glastonbury Road,

Yardley Wood


Such a waste

The public are in for a lean time if Britain is to pull out of this recession so it does beg the question why all British taxpayers contributed an average of £300 each last year to the EU - twice as much as in 2009.

This comes from the Office of National Statistics. The reform of the EU is not only overdue it has become down right desperate!

We go on and on supporting this monster whilst our elderly face living near to the breadline, our youngsters now face not finding employment with our NHS in fear of a possible privatisation.

The fact that the public have not been given the promised referendum begs the question why not?

Josie Herbert, Solihull Pensioners Convention


In the family

I read the article published last week (Solihull News) and wondered why it wasn’t possible to also issue a photo of the “missing burglar” so that your readers may more easily spot Matthew Sidwell, the absconder.

Then I read the “Before The Bench” section and noticed that a Daniel Mark Sidwell was listed as being fined for using threatening, abusive or insulting words, or disorderly behaviour - this person being from the same address as the first miscreant.

How proud the Sidwell seniors must be of their boys!

Name and address supplied



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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