LETTERS - Election promises, British Sign Language, and Brexit - The Redditch Standard

LETTERS - Election promises, British Sign Language, and Brexit

Redditch Editorial 15th Jun, 2024   0

‘Tories only interested in how to keep power’

I HAVE received an election communication from Rachel Maclean.

She writes: “When I voted in Parliament to honour the EU referendum result, I did so to end free movement of people, stop sending the EU billions and billions of pounds every year, make our own laws in our own country and have a free trade agreement with the EU, I wanted the UK in charge of the UK again.”

You would not guess, reading this, that these are the words of a woman who voted Remain in the EU referendum.

Mrs Maclean clearly has no firmly held principles or beliefs of her own and instead just meekly follows the current Tory Party line in the interests of career advancement and clinging on to power – but perhaps for not very much longer.

David Powis,


‘New PM needs to send a positive sign to Deaf’


THE morning after the General Election, July 5, will be a historic moment for the UK.

Whether it is delivered by a re-elected or newly-elected Prime Minister, their speech to the nation will be a moment of national significance.

It’s a moment that should be accessible to every voter in the UK, including the 87,000 members of the deaf community who use British Sign Language (BSL).

The deaf community has continually been excluded during these key broadcasts from No. 10 because of the lack of a BSL interpreter.

RNID (Royal National Institute for Deaf People) has long tried to work with the Government to ensure that access is provided for the deaf community.

A public service announcement is just that, but by not including deaf people the Prime Minister is removing their right to have the information at the same time as everyone else.

RNID has written to both Sir Kier Starmer and Rishi Sunak offering them the use of our interpreter for their victory speech on July 5.

Their speech to the nation will be the start of a new chapter in our country’s history and they cannot lock the Deaf community out.

I encourage all your readers to join our call and sign our letter to make this election inclusive of everyone at rnid.org.uk

Michael Quinlan.

Advocacy Manager at RNID 

‘Promises aplenty… but not many clear results’


I NOTE Ms Maclean wants us to judge her on her results.

In 2019, she promised the return of the lost services to the Alex – we had lost heart, stroke, paediatrics, maternity and 24-hour emergency care.

None have been returned and the ambulances continue to queue outside our hospitals with casualties lining the corridors.

She promised an increase in funding for Redditch education. Adding inflation to the 2020 per pupil funding, we should now have funding of £4,909 per primary and £6,321 per secondary pupil.

We were promised for 2024/25 only £4,655 and £6,050 – in real terms a drop in funding of around £250 per pupil.

In 2020, the Government failed to control Covid within our country, giving us the sixth highest death rate in the world.

As a result, Redditch lost the Garden Suite to Kidderminster Hospital while Redditch handled the Covid cases.

We still have small numbers of Covid cases, but as expected, with the reduction, the Garden Suite returned to Redditch – so how much was Rachel’s intervention actually required, I wonder.

What else? The failed scooter trial which was so incompetently set up we were falling over scooters all over the town.

A government promise to improve our pavements and cycle paths to encourage green transport.

There are ponds in our pavements and death trap potholes in our cycle lanes which I am tired of having to report because we have no scheduled road maintenance covering our whole road systems.

The Town Fund, originally promised at £25million but reduced to £16.6million has so far spent £8.8million of government money in removing our town centre police station and leaving us with a derelict site intended to be a totally useless (as regards town centre trade) digital and innovation centre.

This has had to be boosted by a further fund of £2.2million of West Midlands development money.

The library demolition has thankfully been cancelled which would have cost Redditch £8.6million on top of the Government’s town fund of £4.2million and gained us nothing more than a windy wet space and three more pubs/cafes to bankrupt those already in existence.

What the rest was to be used for is a mystery, but surely a government with a debt costing each tax payer an average of £1,500 a year in interest on their debt should not be flinging money around at such irresponsible projects.

I welcome the £5million cultural budget, but again am worried that this was offered as a bribe without any business plan for sensible spending to boost economy, or idea of what Redditch really needs the money for (I fancy a hands-on, walk-through-the-scenes history museum to entertain and educate and bring in tourist trade, but Rachel wants more seating at the theatre).

So if you want to vote on her achievements, remember that these, I think, equate to……nothing.

I note also, the disgraceful, desperate lies at top party level debates by the Conservatives concerning taxes repeated many times in order to brainwash us.

Tactics used by Hitler should have no existence in our country’s political debates. That is shameful behaviour that no one should support or condone.

Margot Bish,





THE THEFT of the Redditch Blues’ England flag just a week before Euro 2024 was nothing short of heartless.

The club’s members have been spending their hard-earned cash on following England home and away for years.

We echo the plea from Lynda Courts who runs the group for whoever has the flag to return it so it can take pride of place in the stadiums of Germany.

And good luck to Gareth Southgate and the Three Lions from us all.

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