MP LORELY Burt asks for the readers’ take on the violence and damaged parts of Britain (Solihull News). Yes, have zero tolerance of violence, but it is essential to address the problems created by long-term unemployment leading to millions of lives lacking in purpose and self-respect.
Set a good example at the top: MPs, MEPs have been inflating expenses, Lords and police have been taking backhanders, bankers have been rewarded for failure and the revolving door between parliament and the corporate world has corrupted decision-making in the interests of the few.
In street parlance, these models have been ‘on the take’ – and now ‘shock, horror’ others have had the effrontery to do likewise.
So start by implementing the Parliamentary select committee’s recommendation for a register to bring some of these dealings into the open and also close that revolving door.
Build a future for all. Strengthen the regional economy and small/medium businesses. Silhillian Steve Walker heads a not-for-personal-profit reinvestment trust to help them.
Explore creative thinking: look at the municipal bank proposals put forward by Hall Green’s Councillor Michael Wilkes, emeritus professor of economics, and Coun John Clancy’s municipal bond proposals which have the double merit of offering a secure pension and release from heavy PFI charges. We also have ‘Localise West Midlands’ which is the only organisation in the country dedicated to rebuilding the local economy.
Ms Burt, Ms Spelman and Mr Hemming, unlike many other MPs, have a good background in business, and could work with others to design and support such a programme.
The words of Deborah Orr in the Guardian, should be repeated until they are heeded: “It is simply practical to organise society so that everyone feels that they can attain some kind of stake in it and achieve some sense of responsible agency, however modest.”
B A Panvel, Shirley
Dealing with future riots
THERE are two obvious responses to prevent the recent rioting undertaken by the country’s growing underclass.
Firstly more prison spaces so that there can be proper protection of the public and punishment for the offence. I would not mind paying an additional £50 a year in tax for a prison building fund.
The more difficult action is to stabilise the population by reducing the natural population growth and immigration. An increasing population for an already overpopulated country is putting pressure on local services and living in densely populated urban areas.
Discouraging large families using financial incentives would solve a number of key issues (need for house building, pressure on public services, crime) including the burgeoning underclass.
WE should do as France does. Any rioters, no arguments, they get the water cannon, and this also applies to squatters. Job Done. Knowing how sloppy this country has become they will probably have to have a referendum prior to any decision.
M Chapman, Grange Road, Solihull
IT’S shocking to learn that schools throughout the Midlands are daily having to suspend or exclude 150 pupils for a range of offences, carrying on to teenagers and graduating as adult criminals; all apparently uncontrollable.
Undermanned police, with teachers and parents are unable to curb this wicked destructive mob behaviour, evidenced by the riots.
There are no easy solutions, but it’s pleasing teachers are being given more power to discipline pupils of all ages. Equally, whilst allowing peaceful protest, politicians must enable police to robustly protect people and property from abuse.
The cane and birch should be re-introduced.
With already 10,000 fewer front line police by the end of 2011, foolish government intention cut further 24,000 must be ruled out. We cannot keep doing more with less.
Don Bargery, Alston Road, Solihull
Come off it
it’s almost comical that David Cameron talks of moral collapse, when nearly every mp and peer deliberatly defrauded the British tax payer of thousands of pounds.
They bought, refurbished and sold homes that were purchased through a purposely manipulated system.
So when we talk of the slow moral collapse of our society look no further than the subsidised bars and restaurants of the Palace of Wesminster.
ST Vaughan, Glastonbury Rd, Yardley Wood
Make it work
WITH regards to Sainsbury’s in Dorridge (Letters) the reality is that the only scheme on offer is Sainsbury’s - it is not a choice between this and the various alternatives dreamt up by others.
A successful scheme will draw people into the area. That is what thriving ‘centres’ do and what every business wants.
That means more traffic but car ownership in Dorridge is well above average so much traffic in the area is generated locally and the negative impacts exported to other communities as people shop and work elsewhere.
A Sainsbury’s in Dorridge will at least give local people the opportunity to walk and cycle to the store.
It will be difficult for Solihull Council to refuse this scheme as the developers clearly have tried to address local concerns and, with regard to planning policies, it ‘ticks all the right boxes’ in terms of revitalising an existing centre which has relatively good access by non-car modes.
The present Government, strongly supported by Dorridge people at the last election, is proposing to change planning guidelines further in favour of allowing developments of this type so refusal is likely to get even more difficult.
However, we should expect the council to set Sainsbury’s tough targets for how people will get to the store, with further action to be taken if these are not achieved.
Stephen Holt, Bentley Heath