I ASKED in these letter pages for more detail on what is happening with Parkgate. The Parkgate developers did not answer but it was Conservative Council Leader, Ken Meeson, who chose to write a letter to attack me personally rather than focus on the issues Shirley West residents rightly are concerned about.
As it is my duty as a ward councillor to act in the best interests of Shirley I shall again ask for answers to important questions.
We are still not being told who will fill these extra 20 units and residents have still not been informed when construction is due to start. Why have we not been told?
What exactly are the temporary parking arrangements we have been promised to support existing high street shops?
Just last week, against the advice of Solihull’s planning officers, the Conservatives chose to back the move of M&S from the High Street to Sears Retail Park. M&S stated that Parkgate makes it undesirable to stay there. How can the developers and Coun Meeson possibly still maintain that Parkgate will not mean businesses on the High Street moving away or closing?
Finally, now it is no longer commercially confidential, can Coun Meeson inform Shirley residents exactly how much money the Council is receiving from the developers for selling off so much of Shirley Park?
Councillor Howard Allen, Green Party, Shirley West
A simple ‘no’
IT’S ALL very well Ken Meeson criticising Howard Allen for changing parties (Letters), but at least the latter has the ear of his constituents in Shirley West, which Councillor Meeson clearly hasn’t.
Two referenda in the last seven years, neither initiated by the Council, have shown overwhelming rejection of the Parkgate proposals. What part of “no” does Coun Meeson not understand?
JR Nurcombe, Marcliff
I LIVE in Elmdon Lane, Marston Green. Some months ago single yellow lines were painted to deal with the chaotic parking problem in our lane.
Councillor Bob Sleigh worked hard to get these lines down. He personally visited every property affected to gauge residents’ reaction to the proposed new parking restrictions.
Last week the lane was resurfaced and the single yellow lines were obliterated.
So on the one hand we have a councillor working for the people of our village and on the other we have a council squandering our money.
Surely it would have occurred to someone that the road would need resurfacing and get that work done before painting road markings. At the very least, the offending bureaucrat should be identified and reprimanded. Why do I know that won’t happen?
Ian Westwood via e-mail
LIKE your recent correspondents I too feel that to support HS2 to the extent that one has to disagree with every fact raised against this controversial project is depressing.
It appears that Solihull News is not exempt even though reporting an impartial view. However, the term ‘NIMBY’ has returned even though those that oppose have clearly explained their concern about wasted tax payers money and the destruction of the environment.
I had hoped that this term, used by Government and business organisations, had disappeared in this debate. Its return smacks of a certain desperation, may no good come of it.
Peter Bray via e-mail
Question of time
REGARDING last week’s letters on HS2; at least Mr Deanshaw is wise enough to support HS2 however Birmingham is in a direct line, half way between the two cities and is central to the Midlands with a population above five million.
Journey times Birmingham to London/Manchester/Liverpool Leeds will be almost halved with similar savings to Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
These savings will of course shorten overall journey times to destinations beyond the major cities.
These time savings will give more quality time with family and friends to all travellers.
Rail and bus passengers already pay a toll in the form of their fare meanwhile motorists fight paying their full costs through road charging to level the playing field.
The failure of M6 Toll shows how specious any proposal of toll roads are concerned.
As for Mr Bramham’s ‘no evidence’ claim it is he who makes assertions with no evidence. He should read consultation documents and not repeat the anti-facts direct from HS2 opponents.
These documents show HS2 has BCR of 2.6 and means a benefit equal to £2,600 for every £1,000 invested by UK household. Of course businesses use the internet but business travel has grown more rapidly since the internet began and continues to do so.
The facts are all rail operators Network Rail, Chiltern Trains, Centro, Virgin the rail drivers Union all support HS2 and state RP2 just will not provide capacity relief.
H Harvey, B91
Day for scrap
HOW to satisfy those who need scrap metal collecting and those wishing to stop the noise the collectors make when touting for trade? Simple. Any scrap metal to be disposed of must be left out on waste bin collection day. The collectors know when and where to collect and therefore there is no need to disturb anyone with their blaring klaxons etc.
Paul Gilbert, Knowle
Six home fear
Ref: ‘Four Homes Plan’ (Solihull News). The item was not quite accurate. There are to be five new homes and an extension to Hillfield Cottage, making a total of six homes instead of the one existing cottage.
Each property will have either three or four bedrooms.
The four homes mentioned are to be terraced properties, three storeys high - the equivalent of a block of flats. This, with bungalows on either side, will be like a massive carbuncle in a very pleasant residential area and will adversely affect the surrounding homes, my bungalow included.
Is the outline plan some sort of joke? As a certain tennis player once said, “You cannot be serious!”
Jean Forster, via e-mail
MR Syd Ashby, chairman of Solihull Pensioners Convention, complained (Letters) he had not received a response to the points he raised in a letter to the constituency MP which he wrote on June 29.
Mr Ashby might like to know that Lorely Burt might have had other things on her mind for in July she made a trip to Gaza - inspired no doubt by the wish to discover if there were any Solihull pensioners lurking there.
Martin Kolinsky, Buryfield Road, Solihull
AS much as SMBC must undoubtedly stand by their (new improved) recycling policy, I have to question the reasoning for the removal of plastics recycling facilities in the Chelmsley Wood area.
This morning I lugged my recycling all the way to the sports centre, only to be met with vastly reduced recycling facilities - just paper containers, the textiles banks, one clear glass bank and one aluminium bank were on site.
A note announced the mini recycling facilities were to be removed after September 23. Apparently this is ‘beyond our control’. The note directed recyclers to the banks opposite Chelmsley Wood Police Station.
Funny that, considering any time I have ever visited that site the banks are over spilling with recycling! Still, I had a sizeable amount of plastics still to drop off, so I tried the site opposite the police station. And lo and behold - everything else was there but plastics.
I have not long spoken to someone at my local walk-in Connect centre, who told me that there will not be a plastics recycling facility located near the police station, but instead I would need to take my plastics to either Bickenhill or Tudor Grange. Well excuse me for trying to be a well meaning, conscientious citizen, but I don’t drive and don’t consider either of those locations to be local to me.
‘Beyond our control’? This is laughable. Sure, SMBC have kerbside collections and changes are rolling out later this month to apparently improve recycling in the borough, but why can we no longer have the option to recycle plastics as we have for many years in Chelmsley Wood, should we choose?
Annoyed Mum, Fordbridge