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4th Dec, 2021

Letters: Cemetery U-turn, plans for Redditch train station, elections and more

IN A lame attempt to justify the de-selection of Councillor Brunner as a sitting candidate for the County Council Arrow Valley East seat, Matt Dormer claims that ‘we had a lot of good candidates coming through’.

Well clearly they aren’t that good as he considers it necessary to stand for the seat himself!

Clearly, this has nothing whatsoever to do with the current debacle over the plan to turn a well-loved part of the Arrow Valley Country Park into a cemetery, and that Juliet Brunner has been very pro-active in fighting this proposal.

God forbid that the council actually has councillors who are prepared to listen to, and support the people who elected them, rather than adhere to a strict party line.

Is it pure coincidence that both county councillors that represent the area in which this planning application falls, should be conveniently de-selected?

I can smell the stench from here!

S Williams, Redditch

I CAUTIOUSLY welcome the announcement that the council will fully review the proposals for cemetery provision in Redditch.

I have been working with local campaigners on this issue for many months and my party, Redditch Liberal Democrats, launched our campaign to stop the proposals.

I sincerely hope a full review will recognise the total unsuitability of Ipsley Meadow for the proposed cemetery.

I also hope they listen to the near 700 objectors from across Redditch and discard Ipsley Meadow completely so it can continue to be enjoyed by local people both now and in the future.

I am concerned this may be a political ploy by the Conservatives, given that elections are just around the corner and Councillor Dormer is seeking election as a county councillor in the very district Ipsley Meadow is located.

Whatever the reason for the decision, the campaign to save Ipsley Meadow goes on.

M Tomes,

Lib Dem candidate for Arrow Valley East District and Church Hill ward

HAVE we got a U-turn by the council on the Ipsley cemetery or is it is simply marking time until after the election?

One does suspect the latter because if I’ve done my sums correctly if the Conservatives lose the two seats on Arrow Valley East then Worcestershire County Council is in danger of slipping from their grasp.

I imagine Councillor Dormer has had his knuckles rapped over that.

R Jones, Matchborough

I WAS interested to see your comments on council tax and the precept for Redditch (February 26).

Of course, these figures are a bit confusing and bear little relevance to the amount paid.

The average band D may well be over £1,700 but the average council tax for Redditch is £1,339.

These figures are 2020/2021.

The breakdown for Redditch is that only 4,380 households paid the average band D precept and 27,750 fall into bands A B and C and paid considerably less and just 5,080 fell into bands E F G and H and paid considerably more.

C Melsom, Redditch

IN agreeing with C Moore’s letter (Pie in the sky, Standard, Feb 19), I feel that I must go further.

Councillor Matt Dormer’s ‘grand vision’ for Redditch appears to be not only Pie in the Sky, but Pie Halfway to Mars.

He initially appears to have a ‘build it and they will come’ mentality – of course, we all know how well that worked with Redditch’s covered market out the back of Debenhams.

It was built, yes, but come they did not.

My main concern about the councillor’s vision, however, comes to a head when he addresses Redditch station.

For one thing, he appears to be wanting to break the laws of physics, by aiming to get to Birmingham in 20 minutes by train, weirdly reasoned as because ‘you can from Bromsgrove’.

A little research will inform him that his so-called express to Bromsgrove from New Street is actually the Hereford train, which stops at Bromsgrove because it is simply en route.

Redditch is at the end of a branch line, and is served differently.

Terminus stations on a branch line with one route rarely, if ever, have more than one platform filled at once.

There’s no need for his vaunted second track – it’d just be a waste of time, money and effort, not to mention that his aim is self-defeating: to decrease travel times between Redditch and Birmingham just makes it easier to access the latter’s wider array of already-existing services.

The ‘gateway’ vision that is mentioned – the redevelopment of the station itself – seems to, again, be in danger of going totally over-the-top.

The current ‘gateway’ for train-users is the somewhat monolithic Hub complex – hardly the best advertisement, and I wish the council all the best in diverting attention from it – but I understand the need to perhaps provide a better linkage between the railway and bus stations.

Redditch’s train station is a little run-down, so perhaps some investment there is indeed needed.

However, what we actually need is something simple, sensible, and in-keeping with the town’s aesthetic – preserving the current mural, for instance.

Let’s not have yet another monument to the council’s weird desire to become ‘Birmingham Mark Two’.

M James, Southcrest

AS I write this letter, Wednesday lunchtime, the pound is trading at one Dollar forty one Cents and one Euro sixteen Cents. Many people, including me, were of the opinion that, post Brexit, the pound would fall, not rise, on the currency markets.

Does this mean that the UK is actually doing something right?

D Vincent, Winyates

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