LETTERS - look after your pets, Labour policies and Redditch Railway Station - The Redditch Standard

LETTERS - look after your pets, Labour policies and Redditch Railway Station

Redditch Editorial 24th Feb, 2024   0

‘We must be realistic over our wish-lists’

LABOUR was accused of ‘flip-flopping’ or seeming to ‘flip-flop’ a couple of times by supporters of the ill-named Liberal Democrats in last week’s Standard.

Could be coincidence, could be an embryonic election strategy – either way, it is a slightly infantile phrase for what is in reality considered and sensible.

Nationally, Labour has indeed scaled back its, perhaps always over-ambitious, plan to spend £28billion per year on developing a ‘green economy’.

The party realises that, mainly due to the pandemic, but also the ramifications of the disastrous Truss/Kwarteng ‘fiscal event’ it is unaffordable.

Locally, the party’s final plan for Redditch town centre, especially the library element, was far more practical, and cheaper, than the Conservative version.

Despite David Steel’s risibly unrealistic claim in 1981, the Lib Dems know they can promise voters anything certain they will never need to ‘prepare for government’ in their own right and thus deliver.

Everyone will recall that when they propped up the Cameron government in 2010, they did so by betraying their key pledge to students to abolish tuition fees and increased them instead – an enormous policy reversal (presumably a ‘well big flip-flop’ in modern LD speak).

The country is in dire financial straits and grandiose plans by opposition parties or ill-considered, politically motivated tax cuts by the government, are wholly inappropriate. Labour seems to have realised this, let us hope all other parties do too.

Additionally, despite financial constraints, we are going to have to massively increase defence expenditure very soon.

We do not have the money for unrealistic wish lists.

The future is likely to be difficult in many ways and that will remain the case whatever the general election result.

K Wass

‘What was real reason for Coun Miles’ move?’

I READ with interest a letter regarding the defection of Coun Kerrie Miles from Redditch Labour to Lib Dems, stating that Coun Miles had defected as Redditch Labour had moved away from the values they hold.

Personally that’s not something I have seen.

However, I found what she said to be quite astonishing since only just a few days before her defection, she had posted out a statement on her Facebook page saying: “I wish all the Labour candidates the best of luck in the upcoming elections and know that they will have my backing and my support. Redditch needs a strong Labour voice to make a difference and to hold the local Conservative party to account on its record in office.”

I agree wholeheartedly with what she wrote – so you would then have to question Coun Miles on what her real reasons for defecting are since clearly she didn’t have a problem with Redditch Labour or their values a few days before her switch.

Batchley Resident


‘St John youngsters are shining examples’

AS ONE of the country’s largest youth organisations, we at St John Ambulance are incredibly proud of our young people and their achievements.

In 2023 alone, 2,000 of our Badgers and Cadets (aged five to 17) gave an astonishing 54,000 hours of their time over 12 months, covering events, training, teaching first aid and helping their communities. That works out to more than six years of volunteering in just 12 months.

We want to continue helping our young volunteers thrive and would like your readers to consider volunteering, themselves, as part of the Youth Team.

They’ll be instrumental in helping the next generation of first aiders develop their skills and help save lives.

They can find out more and apply via our website at sja.org.uk/youthteam. We have opportunities all over the country and they don’t need any previous first aid experience.

Readers can also help us with a donation. A generous gift of £15 could help us cover the cost of one first aid lesson, enabling St John to empower young people with essential lifesaving skills.

And a gift of £50 today could contribute to training a Youth Leader who could learn how to equip hundreds of young people with crucial first aid knowledge and leadership skills that last a lifetime.

Those who wish to help us in this way can visit sja.org.uk/donate/ – we’re immensely grateful for whatever amount they can spare.

However you choose to support St John Ambulance, we wish you a healthy and happy 2024 and our team looks forward to seeing and helping you in communities around the country.

Matthew Atkinson,

National Youth Operations Lead


‘A day to remember all we lost during Covid’

THE NEW ITV drama, Breathtaking, set in a hospital on the frontline during the pandemic, will be triggering for many people who were bereaved during that time.

This period was a devastating time of loss where people’s normal traditions and death rituals could not take place or were altered in some way.

For a great many, this made their grief either delayed or more complicated and put millions at risk of needing formal grief counselling.

On Sunday, March 3, Marie Curie will lead the nation in a UK-wide Day of Reflection to remember the people who died during the pandemic, from any cause, and to show support for those who were bereaved.

It’s a day for healing and hope for the future.

We’re asking the public to observe a minute’s silence at midday and if anyone needs support with their grief, or someone to talk to, please contact Marie Curie’s Support Line for free on 0800 090 2309 or visit dayofreflection.org.uk

Matt Williams,

Associate Director of Information and Support at the end of life charity, Marie Curie


Make right decision to get your pet neutered

Worcestershire pet owners are reminded to look after their furry friends as National Spay Day approaches.

This year it falls on February 28 and encourages pet owners to sterilize their pets to prevent unwanted pregnancies and spiralling vet bills.

Getting your dog or cat neutered is so important as it stops irresponsible breeding or accidental pregnancies. It can be really expensive if your pet has to have a caesarean section or if there are related complications.

Unwanted pups and kittens are often dumped too putting extra pressures on animal charities and shelters which are already filled to capacity.

With dogs there is a greater risk of escaping and straying when uncastrated as they chase after potential partners.

With all of this in mind I am grateful for National Spay Day which acts as a reminder to us all to be a responsible pet owner.

Pip Griffin,

Worcestershire Regulatory Services Animal Welfare Officer 


‘My grateful thanks’

I WOULD like to thank the cleaners and housekeeping team members involved in dealing with the repeated vandalism of the bus station female toilet on at least three consecutive early mornings recently.

We are lucky to have these bus station toilets, alongside others in the Kingfisher Centre, and free-to-access public toilets in general across this country.

The key workers maintaining these important resources do a tremendous job, often with little recognition.

Thank you for dealing with these difficult situations and looking after us – it is appreciated.

Oakenshaw resident


‘Defending rights’

IF WE we are to honour the memory of the Holocaust, we must fearlessly defend the human rights laws that were created to prevent such atrocities happening again.

Why did Rachel Maclean attend the Holocaust memorial service (page 4, The Standard, February 2) when she has voted to weaken British human rights laws?

Redditch resident.


‘Ways to get involved’

I HAVE noticed a lot of negativity towards Redditch, particularly on social media, recently.

There are many ways to get involved directly with trying to make our town and our world a better place.

Do a litter pick with Rubbish Friends – Redditch, support local businesses, particularly in the evening.

There is the new purple rain bar in town that seems to be aiming very much for live music/ events, the Black Tap for a cosy fire and town centre drinks.

Woodland Cottage – for their wide variety of events, music and sports, and keenly priced drinks, and a whole host of options in Headless Cross, as well as the cinema and The Palace Theatre, Redditch, in town.

Get involved with organising any of the many events that go on in Redditch, it is very rewarding.

Volunteer, run for council, even, if you see a gap in the market and you’re passionate about it, rent some space and pursue your dream.

This town is what we as a community make it, and I for one am proud of it.

Also, make sure you make your voice heard and vote.

Lucy Griffith


‘Is ‘dream’ on track?’

IN June 2023 your editorial comment supported Coun Dormer’s ‘dream’ expressed a year earlier in which Dormer stressed the need for a second platform and track at Redditch Railway Station.

A letter was published in your edition on July 7, 2023, wondering how on earth Coun Dormer intended to fit his second track in the narrow strip of land west of the existing track towards Edward Street.

Recently I submitted a comment to the county council on its Worcestershire Rail Investment Strategy.

Here is the non-edited reply:

“Worcestershire County Council’s ambition is for Redditch Station to be served by four trains to Birmingham per hour which is compatible with the West Midlands Rail Infrastructure Strategy and Network Rail’s West Midlands Strategic Advice 2022.

“To achieve this ambition a second platform and track would be required and it is acknowledged that whoever promoted the scheme would need to acquire land to facilitate the works. So, does Coun Dormer want to acquire land to facilitate his dream?”

P Bladon


‘Bus service gotten worse’

WHEN I moved to Redditch in 1975 there was a couple from the north at a bus stop on the Studley Road.

They said this is the worst bus service we’ve seen.

I think it was still the Midland Red.

If they thought that was bad they should see it now.

Ray Whitehouse


‘No act of bravery’

DEFECTING to another party when elected as a councillor of any party is not a brave move and is rarely due to a change in party values.

The core values of the Labour Party have not changed, and whilst there may be differences of opinion locally, it is ridiculous to make this argument.

In my experience here and further afield elected individuals who defect to another party were misplaced in the first place, and should never be welcomed back.

Better interview and selection procedures might have helped here.

Jayne Sillitoe

Astwood Bank

‘Major incompetence’ 

I’VE BEEN munching my way through the council’s financial plan for 2024 to 2026. Some points are worrying.

They say they have £1million in reserve but have allowed nothing for the increase in development costs for the library site.

This increase, due to increasing building costs and inflation, will cost £1.1million which wipes out all the council’s reserve fund.

The increase in council house rents was supposed to be to cover repair costs but the budget for repairs has not risen by the same amount.

The s151 officer, who watches over the expenditure stated he would not advise a freeze in council tax in 2025/26 but the Tories voted in favour of it, anyway, and have boasted of their lunacy.

I cannot quite decide if the promise of a tax freeze is just blarneying or plain irresponsibility.

I also don’t know which is worse as both are illustrations of incompetence on a large scale.

Margot Bish




THE PLANS for a new cemetery at Ipsley Meadow have divided opinion from the moment they were mooted.

More burial ground capacity is needed but some argue that other sites be sourced instead to preserve the green space for leisure.

As with the library move, the outdoor market being moved indoors and now this, the borough’s Conservative and Labour groups have set out their stalls on what they would do.

Every council seat being up for grabs in May gives voters the ideal opportunity to have their say.

We welcome your letters….

We welcome your letters for the Redditch Standard on any subject.

Email them to [email protected]

Online Editions

Catch up on your local news by reading our e-editions on the Redditch Standard.


Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.


Receive a weekly update to your inbox by signing up to our weekly newsletter.


Weddings, Birthdays, Bereavements, Thank you notices, Marriages and more.