The proposed Library move and e-scooters - this week's Redditch Standard letters - The Redditch Standard

The proposed Library move and e-scooters - this week's Redditch Standard letters

Redditch Editorial 23rd Jun, 2023   0

Consultation complete but debate ‘far from over’

THE DEBATE about the library consultation is far from over.

The survey itself was badly promoted. There were no signs visible in the library until just before the end of the consultation period and it seemed as if staff had been told not to tell library users about it unless they asked.

When I asked about it, a librarian found some of the consultation forms in a file in a desk drawer. As for other attempts at widely publicising it. Well, did you see any?

In the Kingfisher Centre? In bus shelters? In community centres? Anywhere?




If Worcestershire County Council now turns around and suggests the consultation was unrepresentative or insignificant due to its small size, then shame on it.

You couldn’t participate unless you knew of its existence.


Worcestershire County Council says it is in ‘listening mode’ but doesn’t show much sign of it.

Coun Marcus Hart has repeatedly said that it was ‘a consultation not a referendum’ and the implication from that is that the very clear views of library users can and will be disregarded. But he is wrong.

There was a legally binding requirement to consult and they cannot just pay lip service to those views. Why not?

Because the law says so. It is not what I say, it is what the Supreme Court says.

In a judgement given in 2014 the court stated: “The input from the consultation must be conscientiously taken into account when finalising the proposals.”

That’s clear enough. Both non members and members of the library strongly disagree with the proposal to relocate it. That is even clearer.

David Munro

Oakenshaw South.

 

‘Editor right to defend paper’s headline’

YOUR editor’s note replying to Mrs Robertson and D Yeomans was more than merited.

In any consultation, vote or referendum one can obviously only count the response of the active participants.

The spurious and pernicious argument that not enough people took part in a given thing is designed to stifle, if not destroy, democracy.

No government, and few councils, would ever enjoy an absolute majority of the entire population.

In 1997 Labour won 43.2 per cent of the 72.4 per cent who voted and won a landslide victory.

In 1987 the Conservatives won 42.2 per cent of the 75.2 per cent who voted and also won by a landslide.

By your correspondents’ criteria, both were invalid as governments. Is apathy to invalidate democracy?

At the recent council elections 70 per cent failed to vote, a figure voter ID may have increased by the way.

Does that mean all who won are invalid as councillors? Such an argument is manifestly ridiculous.

The council has used the same tactics with the library as they did with Ipsley meadow.

Failure to look at proper alternatives, a reliance on public apathy, ignoring the opinion of those consulted and driving through an ill-advised scheme for political reasons.

The ‘silence is consent’ concept was used to show 854 opposing the meadow development to 13 in favour meant 99 per cent of the town supported it,

A total of 854 being about one per cent of the population.

The same argument is now advanced over the library.

It is the spurious logic of an infant and I find it difficult to believe that someone who writes as eloquently as D Yeomans is not aware of that.

Any town consultation, to be valid in their eyes, would have to have nearly 50,000 opposing, or supporting, a given proposition!

K Wass

 

‘Maybe those making the decisions should be put under microscope’

LAST WEEK, your two main letters were from people (Roberton and Yeomans ) both casting aspersions on statistics with regard to the proposed demolition of the library.

If statistics are to be put under a microscope, well maybe the people using that microscope should be put under one, both were almost mocking in their attitude towards both people wishing to preserve the library as it is situated, and even more strangely the ‘Pride’ event for some unfathomable reason.

It was quite obvious from the tone of both their letters exactly where their political allegiance lies – one even went to the lengths of stating the population of Redditch some 87K to try and justify their case, but I’m sure they are perfectly happy with the sitting MP, and also the present Government and maybe even Brexit.

All those are first past the post taken from those who could be bothered to vote, none of the things mentioned were supported by the overwhelming majority of available voters, in fact far from it.

But I guess they don’t have a problem with that, as it suits their narrative, whereas statistics did not.

Michael Lewis d’Abreu

Church Hill

 

Nothing against e-scooters – it’s the people who ride them

I DON’T mind the e-scooters per say, it’s just the fact the people who ride them are not aware of the rules of the road.

They give no notice of turning, go on and off paths at will again being a danger to young and old people

But the biggest problem is that people using them just seem to dump them when they are finished with them, causing problems for people with prams and buggies and especially people with restricted sight.

Mrs S Bramhall-Green

 

‘Town centre consultation responses are down to way it was conducted’

ALAN Godwin registers concern regarding the percentage of Redditch’s population responding to the public consultation on the town centre.

His concerns actually arise from the methodology used to generate the data.

The method of consultation used can be called a ‘convenience sample’, by researchers which simply means the sample group is a group the researcher has access to eg via this newspaper.

For a statistically valid result, a randomised sample would need to be used.

Basically this means every resident of Redditch would have had an equal chance to provide a response.

This is often achieved through a telephone survey or street contact using a questionnaire but can be expensive.

Coun Hart is therefore correct in describing the result as a consultation.

However, it should be remembered that ultimately, an individual or body such as a board needs to make the decision as to which aspects of the consultation to accept or reject.

The result may therefore not ultimately reflect the views of the majority of the population.

Andy Bywater

Headless Cross

‘Dumping waste at Town Hall was not fly-tipping’

I AM writing to supply a few ‘corrections’ to Sue Hanley’s statements regarding the ‘disposal’ of my waste in protest at Redditch Town Hall on Thursday last (Standard front page, June 16).

1. My camper van is based on a commercial type vehicle but is no longer a commercial vehicle. That varience could apply to say a Land Rover Defenders or similar, who do NOT need any CVT permits to access Worcestershire. Since the camper van designation on V5 registration forms no longer exists, substantially converted camper vans remain listed as ‘light goods’ or ‘light commercial’ even though DVLA designated and defined motor homes do not suffer the same issue.

2. The awarding of CVT permits is generally decided by an automated web-based system. Sue Hanley did not check thoroughly enough, since I did apply for the so-called CVT permits in very late 2022 and was turned down by both the automated system and also a human representative of Worcestershire County Council who would not discuss my dilemma but simply said, to paraphrase: “If the automated system turns you down my answer is automatically the same.”

3. Since I am always concerned about disposing of my household waste responsibly and at recycling centres, I thought I was doing the right thing going there with my bits and pieces of waste as shown in your photograph. Where else could I go?

4. Sue Hanley needs some immediate training/education in the exact legal definition of fly-tipping, since my actions did NOT constitute fly-tipping.

5. I think I have made it clear that I do my ‘homework’ thoroughly before any action I take such as my protest happens.

Steve Determann

 

E-scooters great to get from A to B but designated parking needed

I THINK the e-scooters are a great idea to support people to get from A to B although there should be dedicated areas to park them after use.

As currently they are left anywhere and everywhere.

In other countries, you are charged until they at returned to the dedicated area.

Sarah O’Connor

 

‘Great idea but shouldn’t be scattered across footpaths’

The e-scooters are a great idea – a fantastic mode of transport.

But they also a great eyesore for the people of Redditch as they lay scattered around the community when not in use.

Would it be better to have some kind of permanent parking bays around the town where they could be returned after use.

Similar to supermarkets shopping trollies for example.

Graham Burford

Mixed feelings about electric scooters

I THINK e-scooters are a good in one respect, fast transport without using cars or buses, but on the other hand they are a menace the way they are left in inconvenient places.

I think there should be parking bays throughout the area so the scooter has to be returned.

Lisa Wahab

 

Government reports suggest alternative view on e-scooters

APROPOS, Andrew Scott’s letter regarding e-scooters in a recent edition and your more recent request for views about these Bird vehicles.

Our esteemed MP (Rachel Maclean) promotes their use in our town.

This is despite a Government report ‘expressing major concerns’ – [National evaluation of e-scooter trials findings report publishing.service.gov.uk)]

Here are just two of the concerns in this report:

(i) Page 68 – ‘Almost half of resident survey respondents felt people riding e-scooters were not respectful of pedestrians and/or rode in a way that was unsafe for other pavement users all or most of the time’, ‘and travelled too fast’.

(ii) Page 76 – ‘Riding on the pavement is illegal. Most users understood this, including 80% who admitted to doing it’.

Reasons for doing this included NO enforcement (page 77).

These are a menace, which Mrs Maclean and MANY others continually resist dealing with.

And now Coun Dormer saying this trial has been a success over the past three years is yet another example of his fallacious misinformation.

P Bladon

Southcrest

 

‘The Standard should be asking more questions about e-scooters’

I THINK as our local newspaper, you should have been asking questions to why the e-scooters were introduced without proper planning and the introduction of designated pick-up and drop off zones.

Our local police service has clearly been instructed to leave e-scooters alone as there has been no data collected to prove all journeys carried out on Bird scooters were by someone with the correct licence and age to hire them.

There has been numerous reports of them being used on pavements and dumped outside and on residents’ properties but you have remained silent rather than asking the questions and holding the council, Bird and the police to account.

It begs me to ask the question how independent are you?

Andrew Scott

EDITOR’S NOTE – When people have contacted us regarding issues arising from e-scooters, since their introduction, we have covered them and put questions to the authorities concerned. These have included questions raised about underage users who were ‘borrowing driving licences’ to access them and people leaving them in obstructive positions. This week’s piece, which prompted these latest correspondences on this letters page, details the public consultation next week. We, as a newspaper, urge anyone with strong opinions on the e-scooter scheme to go along and have their say or to email the council with their views if they cannot make the event.

We welcome your letters…..

What pressing issues do you feel need addressing in Redditch and Alcester? Send us your views to  [email protected]

 

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