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1st Dec, 2021

Letters: Mental health, county elections, bird watching and more

Correspondent 1st Mar, 2021

I’D LIKE to respond to the article in your paper dated February 19 entitled ‘Checking mental health’.

It’s amazing that this world we live in is so geared up our mental health, once a taboo subject.

The article goes into great detail about all the wonderful services provided by Herefordshire and Worcestershire mental health services.

But did you know that if you need counselling from a real person (not a piece of software) then you will have to wait for over a year and then only get limited time no matter how awful you feel.

Online courses and virtual activities suit some people but the majority of us want to speak to a real person who has empathy and compassion.

I believe that the media are misleading the public into thinking there is instant one to one help out there and that just isn’t true.

A frustrated mental health sufferer, Webheath

I FEEL it is terrible that Councillor Matt Dormer is standing for Arrow Valley East in the county council elections when Coun Juliet Brunner has been a long serving member and always worked tirelessly for the community.

Whether you were her political persuasion or not she would help you.

Juliet is very passionate about all things to do with Arrow Valley East and in particular Matchborough, Ipsley Meadows and the two shopping centers Matc hborough and Winyates.

Matt and the Tories will rue the day they de-selected her.

Juliet is very much loved and respected in this area.

S Ball, Winyates

I FIND it hard to believe that Redditch Conservatives have removed Councillor Juliet Brunner from defending her Arrow Valley East seat in the forthcoming county council elections.

I have known Coun Brunner for a long time and she has always worked hard for the town.

Both her and former councillor Gay Hopkins were extremely approachable.

When Coun Brunner she was utterly superb, and one of the best we have ever had hold that office.

I really think that what has happened to her has been planned ever since she won power for the Conservatives a few years back and now they have done the deed.

JP, Winyates Green

LATELY I find myself becoming an ardent Bird watcher.

Our feathered friends are lovely but I’m actually referring to the two-wheeled variety.

Bird scooters have been operating their 12 month Redditch trial since September.

It’s easy to spot them in their resting state, abandoned in groups on Redditch pavements.

Observing the Bird in motion is a much more challenging pastime.

I notice that they recently expanded their territory, so now they nest as far afield as Headless Cross and Woodrow.

After several months of Bird watching I am increasingly concerned.

I’m afraid that they are being usurped by the illegal non-rental species.

I see a scooter whizz by. Is it a bird? (Is it a plane?) no, it’s a privately owned two-wheeled electric transportation device.

One which is not permitted on UK roads.

I wonder if the Bird trial has confused Redditch residents into thinking all scooters are equal?

Or at least equally legal?

This government approved experiment has created a flock of lawbreakers.

Are they ‘free as a Bird?’ Or should they all be ‘doing Bird’?

S Harvey, Southcrest

IN defence of the maternity unit at Worcestershire Royal Hospital and the Acute Trust regarding your front page story of February 20.

First of all the trust, like the rest of the NHS, has been battling a global pandemic and saving hundreds of lives in the process.

Secondly, the maternity unit, like maternity units in the rest of the NHS is suffering from a severe shortage of staff.

The CQC knows this and I feel, similar to its criticism of University Hospitals Birmingham (the QE), they are failing to see the big picture and sticking the boot in simply to justify their own existence.

DURING the pandemic, people have rediscovered the simple act of walking – the oldest, cheapest and greenest transport there is. It has allowed us to stay healthy, happy and connected to those around us.

But lots of us still struggle with narrow, cluttered, uneven pavements; crossings that prioritise cars rather than people; and growing numbers of speeding vehicles.

That’s why I support Living Streets’ Manifesto for Walking, which calls for candidates in our upcoming election to pledge to end pedestrian deaths and injuries on roads, tackle air pollution, make school streets safe and make walking easier by cutting the clutter on our pavements.

It is time we redesigned our streets around people not cars. That way we can all continue to enjoy the benefits of walking and healthier, happier communities.

S Briar, Hunt End

EARLIER this month, while announcing the latest lockdown, Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave thanks for the ‘miracle of science’.

Despite the crash-course in epidemiology we’ve all had this year, there are many aspects of science and how it interacts with faith that Christians feel ill-equipped to talk about.

At our project ‘Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science’, we want to help churches work with scientists in their congregation to creatively engage with questions of science.

Local churches in Redditch can apply for grants of up to £20,000 towards a project before the window closes on April 23 – more details at

We hope to see churches exploring the ‘miracle of science’ up and down the country.

Revd Prof David Wilkinson

St John’s College, Durham University


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