Councillor Tildesley (Letters) was correct in saying the Tories planned to encourage schools to go it alone if they won the last election, but I’m sure many voters did not expect the Liberal Democrats in Parliament to support this headlong rush to break up the family of schools that, here in Solihull, has served us so well for many years.
There is no compelling uniform evidence up to now that shows by converting to an academy standards have risen - the picture across the country is very mixed so some caution should be exercised.
However he is totally wrong to say it is a decision of all those linked with a school whether they wish it to go down the academy route. If only that were true!
Now a simple vote behind closed doors by governors is all that is needed and the hapless Mr Gove can decide the future of our local schools at a whim from his desk in Whitehall.
The Minister is rushing the law through Parliament and making up the rules as he goes along. No wonder parents are anxious, and no wonder that Solihull Council passed a motion at our last meeting expressing strong concern about the whole process.
Labour Group spokesperson
Education, Children and Young People
I write to congratulate Solihull Council for passing a motion in opposition to the Government’s academy school legislation.
The Government’s planned meddling with our schools has great drawbacks and will do little favour for the Borough’s school students.
The Green Party has always spoken in favour of school governing bodies having greater freedom but this does not have to involve putting the running of the school into the hands of a private sponsor and taking power away from teachers and parents who have very little representation on the governing bodies of academies.
Time and time again, the question has been asked why the freedoms and funding given to academy schools cannot be given without the strings attached. No answer has been given.
Solihull Green Party
Birchley Rise, Solihull
A sock in it
No-one in their right mind objects to horse manure or a rag and bone man ringing his bell (Letters). What is unacceptable is the blaring of a tuneless electronic trumpet for hour after hour, since it is clearly intended to penetrate many blocks of town streets.
When this racket can be heard inside an insulated room in a house many streets away then the unfortunate resident is entitled to rather more than the snide brush-off provided by Sheila Grandfield who obviously doesn’t understand the complaint.
Could someone please reply from someone suitably qualified as to why what is clearly noise pollution of the worst kind is allowed to continue. If it can be stopped, why isn’t it?
Pat Rose (and many others) via e-mail
I read Sheila Grandfield’s comment relating to my letter ‘lump in the road’.
I must agree with her about the collecting of horse droppings. I am on the wrong side of 60 and can vividly recall, milk, bread and coal being delivered by horse drawn cart.
And yes my Dad would be one of the first out into the street to collect this ripe fertiliser. He used to take me out for cycle rides through the Earlswood Lanes, in his saddle bag would be his sack and small coal shovel.
We would collect all the free manure we could carry. Needless to say my Dad’s garden always flourished, oh what happy days.
K J Bates, via e-mail
In response to K J Bates’ question about whether horse riders should pick up after their horses I do not know the legal answer but from a health and safety viewpoint such an action is almost certain to prove very dangerous for horse, rider and road users.
I doubt K J Bates has any contact with horses to make such a suggestion but not all horses would stand still on a road/cycle path whilst the rider got off, picked up the poo then got back on again plus the rider would then have to ride one handed which would seriously affect their control of the horse.
In the majority of cases horses depositing manure whilst out on a hack isn’t a problem as it is the best fertiliser in the world.
Personally I would not take a horse along a cycleway as even the most bomb proof horses are often nervous (if not scared) of bicycles - because they come up on the horses silently.
I can however understand that on Catherine de Barnes Lane it would be extremely dangerous to take a horse on the road due to the speed of the traffic using the road.
The majority of horse owners only hack out on the roads because they have no alternative and the equestrian world has long campaigned for more bridlepaths. Maybe if more cyclists supported the campaign then it would have more success - after all cyclists can use bridlepaths too!
H Cosford (Mrs) via e-mail
WHAT a coincidence. On a Saturday several weeks ago my wife and I were working in the front garden. Later in the afternoon we went inside for a drink and I was sat in the lounge by the window.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw someone walk past and seconds later I saw the same person cycle past. I went outside to find my bicycle had been stolen from outside the garage door.
Guess what? Coincidentally a scrap metal merchant had been round during the morning. We frequently have two or three a day and you get to know them.
This one had been different. Over the years the genuine scrap metal people have provided a good service but I feel that once word of this sort of activity gets around then people will be reluctant to deal with them. Because the bicycle was not actually in the garage, the police and insurance company consider it a theft and not a burglary and so my excess became £100 and not £25.
Malcolm Peers via e-mail
Rapid stop needed
THERE appears to be no limit or restrictions on the number of fast food takeaways that can be opened in any one area.
An example is by the ice rink in Hobs Moat where several fast food shops have opened. In Acocks Green another fish and chip shop has opened right next to a school.
With Jamie Oliver’s campaign to encourge children to eat more healthily and the increase in obesity and type 2 diabetes it is time to put limit onto these shops.
J Ryan, Tyseley, Birmingham