‘Council’s plans need more thought’
I READ Councillor Rouse’s polemic in the letters section of the Redditch Standard with open mouth disbelief.
I speak as someone who has been a council officer for a good portion of their career and who now work strategically with larger local authorities like Nottingham, Derbyshire, Essex, Cambridgeshire and Norfolk.
Put bluntly Coun Rouse doesn’t know what he is talking about.
All other local authorities, be they Labour, Liberal or Conservative develop their strategies using consultation.
A controlling party can set a direction but then it’s down to officers to consult the people affected and draw up plans to make sure it works. This irons out any problems they may encounter and also builds public confidence in the strategy.
Coun Rouse doesn’t understand this and given our council’s woeful track record on working with local people I’m not surprised.
Time and time again this council has ridden roughshod over local people’s views.
If it’s not knocking the library down, it’s building on our green spaces, or ignoring the needs of local businesses.
It is not professional.
What they excel at instead is launching half-baked projects on the people of Redditch and saying they are a done deal.
Far from setting the record straight with his letter all Coun Rouse has done is prove that the current administration is unfit for office.
Public need to be listened to over Ipsley Meadow cemetery plans
LEAVING aside the cheap political jibes unworthy of an honourable man,
Coun Rouse makes an excellent point when he writes ‘a huge part of our job is to be in touch with the needs and aspirations of our residents and to guide our policies and plans accordingly’.
An assertion he repeats later in his letter.
One wonders how this dictum applied in the case of Ipsley Meadow and the new cemetery.
Most people only found out it was happening when a campaigner put up posters warning of impending development.
There were around 860 objections, some painstakingly detailed and better alternatives advocated.
Despite this we’ll still lose what one person called ‘our bit of countryside’, because the whole ‘consultation process’ was in reality a ratification process.
As Coun Rouse must be aware, particularly if he practices what he preaches in his letter, many Conservative supporters feel this was a flawed process.
Politicians of all parties and levels would do well to remember that when the public perceive a disconnect between what they see happening and are told is happening, disillusionment sets in and conspiracy theories flourish.
Proper open consultation is needed, not private phone calls
REGARDING the letter by Coun Rouse (Redditch Standard).
As he is a seasoned councillor in charge of the finances I would’ve expected better from him than to read the most nasty attack at another candidate in the upcoming local elections, while he himself is also up for election in May.
I’m sure residents would be far more interested and concerned in what Coun Rouse has to say about the rises in council tax and the cuts coming up and what he intends to do for those who will be really struggling and needing to find more and more money in the years ahead – to get less and less in receipt.
Does he really expect residents to make a phone call to try and get information about things happening in our town that should be properly consulted on and accessible to all rather than in a private phone call that nobody else is privy too or can be corroborated?
How can we be sure our concerns are really being listened to and properly taken into consideration when they make decisions before and without any formal consultation or transparency?
I think we’ve all had enough of this type of politicking.
Formal consultation should be a normal function of the council for all residents to be able to contribute and see the results of, not something that should be bypassed in favour of a private phone call.
The letter that Coun Rouse wrote last week would give me no confidence at all that any of this is being done or that my needs and views would be represented or respected by this councillor.
Name and Address supplied
‘Butchery’ has caused irreparable damage to Redditch’s trees and hedges
YOU may be interested in covering the butchering of the trees and hedges along Grangers Lane?
When I arrived home from work and saw the results yesterday I was horrified.
Not only is it very unsightly, has done irreparable damage to some trees and hedges, and has robbed local birds and wildlife of much needed habitat, much of the butchery has left trees in a dangerous condition with very sharp shards of branches sticking out!
I have posted this on the ‘neighbour’ app and have been told this is happening all over Redditch!
If there is a legitimate reason to cut back hedges and trees this should be done with due care and attention to local residents and wildlife.
If anyone cares to take a look at Grangers Lane – or, as I am informed, other parts of Redditch – the decimation is quite clear to see.
More options should have been explored
DURING the planning process for the proposed new cemetery, significant emphasis was placed on the council being progressive in its choice of an alternative to traditional burial.
Unfortunately, this has only been taken as far as looking at a non-Victorian burial location.
The council could adopt a more holistic approach which recognises the wellbeing of ALL Residents as well as environmental and climate change issues.
Alternatives to a ‘traditional’ burial or cremation are topical at present given that Archbishop Desmond Tutu had an Aquamation, which is a more environmentally friendly alternative to burial OR cremation.
If a religious icon such as Desmond Tutu recognised the moral imperative of a green alternative to traditional religious mores, then it should serve as an example to others.
The council should take the lead in providing greener options which create less pollution, utilise less energy, and take up less or even no space.
They should also be influencing residents to adopt the newer options.
As part of this, there should be recognition of the true costs of a traditional burial, namely, the economic costs of the land, the environmental costs of the land taken out of use for other purposes, ground pollution, and the energy used.
A burial can still be undertaken, but should be priced to take these factors into account, which they currently do not.
Councillors, stop following the herd, and be creative on behalf of Redditch residents!
New footpath is at a corking success
A HUGE thank you to the team of men who replaced a public footpath in the Winyates East area of Redditch last week.
They all worked extremely hard (Tuesday to Friday) and the final result is fabulous far better than expected.
I was planning an opening ceremony but they had all gone before I could set up the ribbons – and I had to drink the champagne.
Thank you all.
Resident of Lilleshall Close
Ordinary working people need their fair share
I HAD to laugh at Coun Mike Rouse and his ‘discussions of which books by Marx and Lenin’ to put in the library (Standard, letters).
It just goes to show that after more than a century the likes of Coun Rouse and his Tory henchmen are still terrified of the very idea that the ordinary working person might actually gain a fair share of the fruits of their labour, instead of toiling under the ‘minimum’ wage.
One only has to look at the vast profits made today by so many corporations, the contracts worth squillions given to Tory chums and donors to see that the ‘ancien regime’ of corrupt Tory boys is alive and well.
Indeed, look no further than our very own Prime Minister and Old Etonian Boris Johnson!
Heartfelt thanks for help after fall
MY warmest thanks to the kind young man who helped me up and walked me home when I fell over smack in the middle of the A435 near Tesco Express in Studley on Tuesday, January 4.
I was too shaken to think of asking his name, but got away with a couple of scraped knuckles and a wrenched and bruised thumb.
I shall try very hard to be more careful in future – and I’m extremely grateful to him!
What did WE get in Redditch as county’s hospitals are reorganised?
OUR local MP sets out her priorities (Redditch Standard, January 7).
Our council leader Matt Dormer said: “The garden suite was moved to Kidderminster so the Alex could treat Covid and it won’t be coming back until Covid is under control.”
Experts say we will have to live with Covid so the chance of the garden suite coming back to Redditch are nil.
The land sold off to build new homes at the Alex. Where has that money been spent?
Kidderminster Hospital gets money for new development.
Expanding endoscopy, an additional CT scanner and new ultrasound room.
What does Redditch get? A lot of hot air.
Dates have been given for decisions to be made – they come and go and nothing happens.
Rachel Maclean said ‘There’s a lot to do’ and ‘I will leave no stone unturned’.
I wouldn’t hold your breath.
Our MP and others need to recognise ‘First Past The Post’ is unfair voting system
IT IS very dispiriting to get, not once, but twice a copy and paste reply from one’s local MP.
I voted Conservative at the last election for the party’s manifesto.
However, I had hoped Rachel Maclean would read that which I had written and respond to the new information I provided.
Not the case.
Recently, I pointed out that only two countries maintain the First Past The Post (FPTP) voting system within Europe: Belarus and the United Kingdom
She took no notice of this information and just repeated her previous blurb, which, obviously, did not address the point being made.
In the general election almost 14.5million people (45.3 per cent) of all UK voters cast their vote for a losing candidate.
Voters in Scotland and Northern Ireland fared even worse, with the choices of 53.7 per cent of voters in Scotland and 55.1 per cent of voters in Northern Ireland ignored.
Overall, 229 of 650 MPs were elected with less than 50 per cent of their constituency’s vote. With five MPs making it into Parliament with less than 36 per cent of the votes cast.
UK-wide, the Conservatives largely benefited from the discrepancy between votes and seats, winning a majority (56.2 per cent) of seats on a minority (43.6 per cent) of the vote.
An increase of 7.4 percentage point increase in seats on just a 1.3 percentage point increase in votes.
Nevertheless, Ms Maclean still espouses FPTP is a fair system.
Finally, I had thought the sleaze in government had subsided somewhat after the MPs’ allowances’ debacle, how wrong I was – no more votes from me to the Conservatives.
Name and Address Supplied
WHAT started as post-work ‘cheese and wine’ in the garden of Number 10 became more serious this week with the email revelation of 100 people invited to a bash during last year’s lockdown.
All this while people across the country were only able to meet with one other person outside and, in some cases, were unable be by the side of dying loved ones is unacceptable.
The PM, ministers and others involved should be leading by example and now be considering their positions.
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