REGARDING the public inquiry into the Parkgate development, can I suggest that instead a short by-pass is built to allow the main part of Shirley shopping area to become unified and pedestrianised.
This would run from the Aldi superstore alongside the park (any loss to the park entrance being compensated for by additions to the park further along) to Haslucks Green Road. The bit of the A34 bypassed would be pedestrianised or turned into a car park at the one end. It also assumes a larger Morrisons super market paving the way for the existing Morrisons site to be turned into a multi screen cinema.
In anycase I believe that this project to revitalise Shirley needs to beat the out of town sites at their own game in terms of friendliness to cars and other means of transport, but also offering pleasant surroundings and abundant interest.
To be specific I suggest the following:
1. Four car parks to be provided
2. Top name shops for clothes, shoes, books, electrical etc to be encouraged
3. A sports centre with changing rooms with showers and very flexible arrangements to allow for many different sports. These would include badmington, basket ball, indoor bowls, judo, squash, aerobics and perhaps occaisionally ballroom dancing. It would be available to the local schools and clubs.
4. Eating places other than restaurants to be open in the evenings
5. A decorative feature within a public square and many well established trees to be planted or retained.
6. A multi screen cinema and part-time theatre.
Ken Tipping, Shirley
Build a tunnel
The opposition to the Parkgate scheme is always telling us how bad it will be for Shirley. If we were able to take a completely fresh look at it, bearing in mind the scruffy, run down image that Shirley [often referred to as the Fish and Chip end of Solihull] we might see that what is needed is a new, bolder approach.
If you look at a map of the area, it is quite obvious that it is not practical to build a bypass, there are too many residential and business areas that would not be able to survive the relocation of the A34. But there is a solution that would solve both. Simply build a tunnel underneath, from somewhere at the southern end of the Shirley shopping area, perhaps the dusty, unkempt part between Longmore Road and Union Road and the extreme northern end of the boundary between Shirley and Hall Green.
Indeed, as much of the site on the east of the Stratford Road is planned for the construction of the new Park gate centre the tunnel could be built underneath that. The through traffic will have an uninterrupted flow north and south.
Shirley should be looking to attract shoppers, not drive them away. The scheme will not impact on the retail parks on Marshall Lake Road as there is no need to have DIY and the other shed stores in a future Park Gate, keeping this for the more traditional shops.
Nic Houslip, Swinbrook Way, Shirley
A resounding victory
On behalf of the Conservative Group I want to say a big thank you to the people of Solihull for such a resounding mandate to take back responsibility for the borough council.
With our share of the vote well over 60 per cent in several wards and overall more than double the next largest party, this is a terrific vote of confidence and we will do our very best to restore good governance and get on with the job of finding the savings necessary to meet the financial challenges set in this year’s budget.
We also aim to again qualify for the government rebate that delivered a council tax freeze.
I would also like to pay tribute to the army of volunteers who helped with the successful campaign.
For the record I can assure residents that Tudor Grange Park was not sold by the Conservatives as claimed but remains wholly in the ownership of the council.
It is also completely untrue that planning rules were changed to allow the sale of public open spaces and in fact in recent years we created over 40 hectares of new parks and green areas, as well as being awarded seven Green Flag Awards.
One of our first priorities will be to review current proposals to build on areas of countryside including Green Belt and instead seek a genuine consultation with communities about the location and scale of housing to meet local needs.
We will also take forward proposals to reverse last year’s growth in the number of payments to councillors as well as exploring the potential for further efficiencies in council costs.
Ken Meeson, Leader of Conservative Group
Thanks to voters
I would like to thank the 1,494 residents of Shirley South who voted to re-elect me as their borough councillor. Although I fell short by a small margin, I would like to say how much I have enjoyed working with the many people I have met since first being elected in 2007.
I am proud of the work I have been able to do both as a councillor and more recently as a member of Solihull Council’s Cabinet. I wish everyone the very best for the future and wish my successor well in his new role representing Shirley South.
Tim Hodgson, Liberal Democrat Councillor for Shirley South - May 2007-May 2011
I WANT to pay a very special thanks to my family, friends and supporters for the unstinting support they gave me during my campaign in Shirley East.
The strong support and teamwork enabled me to be successfully elected as Conservative Councillor for Shirley East with a healthy majority.
I pledge to all residents of Shirley East that I will do my utmost best to serving you as Councillor. It is a privilege and an honour that you have given me and I will return your faith and trust in me.
Mark Parker, Conservative Councillor, Shirley East