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Out of bounds

SOME of the recently published Boundary Commission proposals on Parliamentary constituencies ‘border’ on nonsense!

SOME of the recently published Boundary Commission proposals on Parliamentary constituencies ‘border’ on nonsense!

The example of Shirley is a classic case. Here we have a natural constituency of Solihull which includes Shirley as a whole. We have a very hard working MP whom we appreciate and might well wish to vote for next time.

To split Shirley basically down the A34 and to move West and South wards to ‘Kenilworth’ is ridiculous. Firstly because the proposed new constituency is a hotch-potch mixture of town and country areas with no common thread or community. Secondly when it comes to a controversial matter such as say the Parkgate proposal which affects all of Shirley there could easily arise a situation where two adjacent but opposing MPs could cancel each other out in a vote or debate. That’s a loss of democracy! Thirdly there’s the question of costs.......surely the idea of the review is among other things to save money. How can that be achieved when MPs surgeries will be held on either side of the Stratford Road at the same time, one of the MPs presumably having had to travel some distance and hire a separate room!

We have the chance to make our views known and we must do so to avoid Shirley being divided across the A34!

Pete Simpkin, Shirley

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Off the rails

It is hard to see how there can be continued support for HS2 when there are good alternatives.

David Cameron states that the UK will have HS2 in spite of the consultation.

What a shocker for democracy from a man who states that he believes in consultation.

His Transport Minister echoes his leader whilst the consultation process is still warm. Nick Clegg states the line is crucial despite opposition.

The AA has stated that a poll of drivers indicates that an overwhelming majority prefer comfort and destination choices rather than speed and lack of choice.

The UK is suffering badly from austerity measures.

And so it goes on. HS2 cannot really be a serious project at this time.

A correspondent recently quoted a list of supporting organisations that without exception all have something to gain from HS2’ development. It is worth pointing out that although Virgin is listed, a company spokesman has stated that an increase in speed and capacity is well within the WCML structure.

Peter Bray via e-mail

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Lost the plot

THE latest outburst from ‘HS2 Harvey’ (Letters) illustrates even more clearly that he has totally lost the plot; he accuses me of making allegations without evidence - a bit rich from someone who copies text directly from the DfT website into his letters.

The CTB (Cost-to-Benefit) ratio that he refers to, and upon which his entire case appears to rest, is a document that was assembled months ago composed of responses from business and engineering consortia, all of whom have a vested interest in promoting the scheme.

This week I received a response from Paul Cox of the DfT HSR team, in which he states: “The Government believes that HS2 would deliver around £44bn of benefits and would cut journey times between London and other major cities by as much as an hour. It means that society would gain over £2 for every £1 spent.”

So this is what it boils down to; the government “believes” - still doesn’t know for sure, despite rafts of projections, forecasts and other magical machinery, and the bottom line is that Mr. Traveller will save an hour on his journey from London to Edinburgh - big deal.

John Bramham, Elmdon

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Think big

MAYBE I’m being cynical, but has the decision to impose parking restrictions along Station Road been made in order to ease the way for Sainsbury’s to bring its HGVs into Dorridge village centre? The timing seems particularly pertinent!

I agree that the problem with parents parking across pavement and road outside Dorridge Junior and Infant schools has steadily worsened, but this is largely due to the Catholic Church stopping parents from using its car park to drop off. I agree too that many more parents could walk their children to school, but Dorridge Infants and Juniors are big schools serving a large catchment area and it is simply not reasonable to expect all their pupils to walk.

I would urge the Council to come to some community minded, possibly ‘Big Society’ arrangement with St George and Theresa Church so that for half an hour each end of the school day parents could be allowed to park in their normally empty car park.

Dorridge parent

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The people say.....

WITH all the debate about Sainsbury’s, a group of local residents felt that no one was actually asking the people of Dorridge what they actually wanted. So we carried out a doorstep survey, knocking on over 1,000 doors across different parts of Dorridge, asking two simple questions: Are you in favour of the redevelopment of Forest Court into a Sainsbury’s supermarket? What size of supermarket do you feel best suits the needs of Dorridge, using Tesco in Knowle as a benchmark? We received nearly 700 responses.

The results show that 78 per cent would welcome a Sainsbury’s. No surprise there.

As for the size, only one per cent wanted the size proposed, which is well over three times the size of the Tesco in Knowle. Over 96 per cent wanted something no larger than twice the size of Tesco Knowle and over 74 per cent wanted something no larger than one and a half times the size of Tesco Knowle.

The evidence is very clear. Dorridge wants a Sainsbury’s but does not want one which is anywhere need as big as is being proposed.

Of course, our survey results are being submitted to the council’s planning department and so will be available for review.

Nick Cromie, Dorridge

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Bowing to giants

AS a resident concerned about the proliferation of supermarkets into Knowle and Solihull, I take exception to Sainsbury’s bid for a scheme at Station Parade, Haslocks Green Rd which is reported to have Council Officers’ approval.

This is not an area of need for such a supermarket where parking can be a nightmare.

Small shopkeepers now seem to be in a position of being denied a right of service to the local community by their local council officers - who seem to be in favour of these large super-rich companies who seem to call the tune across our country.

We will soon have no small shopkeepers serving the public.

Josie Herbert Lightwood Close Knowle Solihull

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Hill starts

IT’S good to see that Mell Square car park has been given a lick of paint, it looks a lot cleaner and brighter. The only problem with the car park is that it is not pedestrian friendly, other than on the ground floor to some degree. There are no pedestrian walkways to assist a safe passage out once you have parked.

I would also recommend that the ‘give way lines’ on the connecting slopes are changed so that the motorist on the flat level at the top of the slope gives way to the driver on the slope.

I only suggest this because 75 per cent of lady drivers can’t carry out ‘hill starts’, they wait at the bottom of the slope until their way is clear. .

No ladies I’m not a ‘chauvinist porky’ you know it’s true.

K J Bates via e-mail

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Let’s hear it

REGARDING Parkgate, now that the publicity has died down over the approval of this ‘white elephant’ development I note that the developers are unable to tell us what stores and facilities will be available to us Shirley residents, as this has been argued over for the past few years does it not seem strange that we still don’t know which retailers will opening their stores to us?

Pat Joyce, via e mail

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Camera found

I FOUND a camera in the Dove House Lane/Ulverley Green Road area on the morning of Sunday, September 25. If you lost it, contact the Solihull News with a description and your telephone number and I can arrange for it to be returned.

S Fowler, Dove House Lane, Solihull

 

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