LETTERS - Election thank yous, save the hedgehogs and solar panels - The Redditch Standard

LETTERS - Election thank yous, save the hedgehogs and solar panels

Redditch Editorial 11th May, 2024 Updated: 11th May, 2024   0

‘At last, a chance for a fresh start’

I WOULD like to be the first to complain about this appalling Labour council.

As I write this, they have been in office now for literally hours yet the streets remain unpaved with gold.

What a dismal record of failure!  It’s clearly time for a change!

Seriously, many congratulations to Labour on their impressive victory.

This reflects, I believe, both the positive ideas they put forward for the town and the erroneous policies pursued by Mr Dormer’s group.

Labour had some excellent councillors before and I’m hopeful the newer ones will be of similar calibre.

They have so many good people it is invidious to single out one but I was delighted to see Matchborough and Woodrow was a clean sweep for Labour and the hard work and effectiveness of Councillor Spilsbury in her first term for Matchborough was, I believe, key to achieving that.

Well done Jane!

There is much to do to improve the basics, raising the standard of the housing stock, repairing infrastructure, straightening the finances and the like.

The boring but essential matters the last council ignored for their headline grabbing vanity projects.

Perhaps Labour’s biggest task is restoring faith in local democracy.

Please, if you consult people, listen to what we say! If what we tell you can’t be implemented, explain why, don’t just ignore us like the Conservatives did.

The Labour council has an enormous fund of good will from many of us for simply not being the Dormer regime.

If they get it right, this really can be the “fresh start” for Redditch their campaign posters mentioned.

K Wass


‘We will represent all’

WE would like.to say thank you to everyone in Headless Cross and Oakenshaw who voted in last week’s elections.

Ian Woodall and Juliet Barker Smith are joined on the council by David Munro.

We want to thank all the other candidates who stood. Tom, Andrew Roger, Helen, Edward and Stewart all fought a good positive campaign on the issues.

As for the Labour team we will work for everyone.

All three of us call Headless Cross and Oakenshaw our home and it is a privilege to represent it.

The surgeries, ward walks and online consultation will stay.

As will our commitment to represent all residents.

We thank everyone who put their trust in us last Thursday. We will work hard repay your faith.

Ian Woodall 

Juliet Barker Smith

David Munro


‘Let’s hear about it’ 

MOVING regularly and being active is important to nurture and protect good mental health but many of us are not moving enough.

That’s why ‘Movement: moving more for our mental health’ is the theme of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week which is taking place from  May 13 to 19.

We know it can be difficult to be physically active when you’re busy with work, childcare or caring responsibilities.

We know it can be tougher still if you’re living with a long-term health condition or struggling financially.

That’s why we’re sharing information and advice throughout the week to help people move more for their mental health.

People are invited to find their #MomentsForMovement and talk about how it makes them feel.

Whether it’s dancing around your living room to your favourite music, doing chair exercises while watching television, or going for a walk in your local park, it all counts, and the Mental Health Foundation want to hear about it!

We invite your readers to share what they’re doing and tag the Mental Health Foundation to be part of the #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek conversation.

Alexa Knight

Director of England


‘Hedgehog champ’ 

BRITISH Hedgehog Preservation Societies Hedgehog Awareness Week is a time to celebrate and raise awareness of our spiky friend.

So as a hedgehog champion I would just like to ask you to spare a few minutes to learn a little more about them and maybe support them in your neighbourhood.

The British Hedgehog Preservation Society have been helping our native mammal for 42 years so they know them pretty well.

Hedgehogs are a threatened species and numbers have been in decline, though recent figures show an increase greater in urban areas than in rural parts of the country.

They can travel two miles a night in search of food or a mate and their eyesight is not that great they rely more upon their sense of smell and hearing.

Garden ponds can be deadly, they can swim but often can’t get out so a ramp will be appreciated.

Rubbish is dangerous, over the last three years the RSPCA has received more than 10,000 reports of animals injured, trapped or killed due to discarded litter.

Rescues receive hedgehogs with elastic bands around them or trapped in plastic beer can holders, so please cut them before binning them.

In our gardens mowing or strimming the lawn can prove fatal to a hog asleep in long grass so please check it before you cut, rescues receive hedgehogs with horrific strimming injuries.

If once you’ve mowed the lawn, you get the football net out tie or raise it off the ground by 30cm at night to avoid entanglement of a passing hedgehog.

Life for a little hedgehog can be tough so please spare them a thought when you’re going about your daily lives.

Small changes can make a big difference and they and I will be grateful to you.

Ms V M Dugmore


‘Thanks for trusting us with your vote’

A SINCERE  thank you to the residents of the newly- created North Ward for your trust in electing us to serve as your representatives on Redditch Council on May 2.

We pledge to work and advocate on your behalf and actively support the local community.

We will continue to hold a monthly face to face surgery at St Andrews Church in Church Hill on the third Friday of each month from 12pm to 1pm and have plans to hold an additional surgery on a Saturday in the Ecumenical Centre in town to accommodate people who are working. Thank You.

Coun Bill Hartnett, 

Coun Monica Stringfellow,

Coun Sid Khan,

Redditch North

‘We’ll do our best to hear all voices’

SACHIN, Wanda and I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who voted for us on Thursday, May 2.

It is an honour and privilege to be elected to represent you on the Batchley and Brockhill Ward.

We would also like to reassure all those that didn’t vote for us that we will do our best to ensure that your voice is heard.

The hard work starts now and we look forward to working with all residents to make Batchley and Brockhill a great place to live.

Many thanks

Councillors Joe Baker, Wanda King and Sachin Mathur 

‘Tories paid price for lack of effort’

FIRST of all I want to confirm that I have no allegiance to any particular political party.

However I am amazed to hear that Coun Matt Dormer is of the opinion that the results of the local election that decimated his Conservative Party’s numbers on the Redditch council was ‘down to the national picture’.

Not so, Coun Dormer. It is largely due to the effort put into the election, or rather the lack of effort.

Of the four parties who had candidates in the election in my ward, Central Ward, only one party posted election literature through my letterbox – the Labour Party and only one party rang my doorbell to speak with me about the election – the Labour Party.

Come election day I could not tell you anything about the other parties’ candidates, including the three Conservative ones, because they had not bothered to try to make contact. This was not ‘down to the national picture’. It was down to lack of effort.

Other things have clearly affected the results in the election.

Like many other local residents, I have been totally against the previously proposed move of the town’s library into the Town Hall, with the existing library building being demolished.

I am delighted to hear the new Leader of the Council, Coun Joe Baker, confirming the library will stay where it is in the existing purpose-built building.

Whenever I have talked with people I know about the previously planned move, I have not come across even one of them who was in favour of such a move.

Similarly, there was substantial opposition to part of Arrow Valley Park at Ipsley Meadow being used for a new cemetery. The Conservatives on the council still pushed through approval.

Rishi Sunak and Co cannot be blamed for the people of Redditch voting against the local Tories – that, Mr Dormer, was not ‘down to the national picture’. It was down to the above actions/inactions and more.

That is why the Conservatives now only have five representatives on Redditch’s Council, the Labour Party have 21, and the Green Party one. Congratulations to them.

Tony Banks, Smallwood

‘I can’t wait to see council’s new era’

I AM a very happy Redditch resident after Labour’s historic win in the local elections.

Congratulations to all of the councillors elected, especially the team in Headless Cross and Oakenshaw. I am over the moon.

Joe Baker will be the best leader Redditch Council has ever had. Here’s to a new era in Redditch.

Hannah McGahan,

Headless Cross

‘Mixed message on solar panels’

FIRST I would like to thank everyone who helped me in standing for the Green Party in the local elections – whether you helped with the campaign or voted for me, your actions were very much appreciated.

Second, I note that Mrs Maclean claims she opposes solar farms on agricultural land, in which case her government’s policies are baffling. Solar panels producing electricity on a domestic roof as of Sept 2023 (I can’t find newer figures) have only to be paid at a rate ‘above zero’, whereas a solar farm is offered 61 pence per Kwh.

It seems therefore that the government is encouraging solar farms much more than the more sensible domestic roof panel, doesn’t it?

Margot Bish, Abbeydale

‘We can do more to help deaf people’

MAJOR new research from charity The Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) has revealed the negative attitudes and behaviours that deaf people and people with hearing loss experience on a regular basis.

The research of 8,151 people found that more than a quarter (27 per cent) of deaf people and people with hearing loss are ignored by most people in public settings.

More than two thirds (67 per cent) told us they have experienced negative attitudes or behaviours in the last year, and almost half (48 per cent) said they also experience this from their own family members.

Forty seven per cent have experienced people shouting at them.

The impact of this can be huge – people tell us they feel excluded, lonely, and disrespected. Often these experiences cause people to withdraw, to avoid others, and even hide that they are deaf or have hearing loss.

We want people across the UK to stand with us. We know the public want to help, so we’re urging people to follow our three simple tips to be more inclusive, and learn some simple BSL phrases for everyday conversation.

To get involved, visit rnid.org.uk 

Crystal Rolfe, 

Director of Strategy at RNID



THERE was a dramatic night at the Abbey Stadium last Thursday during the Redditch Borough Council elections.

Whether it was the national feeling or some of the plans the controlling Conservative group had for the town, for example the library building and market, the people clearly made their voices heard.

The pressure will now be on the incoming Labour administration to deliver what it promised in its manifesto.

All eyes will be on what should be some interesting months and years ahead.

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