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6th Jul, 2022

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Redditch Editorial 3rd Apr, 2022

TO SAY I was perturbed to read in last week’s letters that Redditch Borough Council’s financial problems only began post-2018, is an understatement.

P Willis directly referenced my steadfast support for the current Conservative administration, of which I am a proud member, and the steps we are taking to tackle the horrendous financial legacy we inherited from the last Labour administration.

If I am not mistaken, Mr Willis should probably ask his husband, a former Labour Borough Councillor, who was serving in 2014 when, as it has been documented, the problems started in Redditch Borough Council’s finances.

Labour ran Redditch between 2012-2018, for at least four years they steered Redditch perilously close to financial oblivion.

Unsurprisingly, their incoherent pettifogging omits this fact.

Needless to say, my Conservative colleagues and I are rising to the challenge; with the auditors acknowledging a more sanguine financial picture thanks to three years of responsible financial management by this Conservative administration.

Coun P Fleming,

Conservative, Winyates Ward

AS THE next set of local elections get closer, it’s clear the local Labour Party are hard at work in the letters pages and comments thread of your social media posts.

Meanwhile, I am heartened by the people of Redditch who are contacting me or talking to me about how much better the town is doing.

Everyone in Church Hill is pleased about the new high quality private apartments that are selling fast, whilst down road the council is building the first new council houses since 1994.

Plans for the central library will be released at the end of May after the elections, and I’m excited to see them.

As the chairman of a county council scrutiny committee that examines library usage, I am worried that the number of people going into our local libraries is half of what it was before the pandemic, and even lower for the number of people actually borrowing books.

So I want to know what the future of libraries is going to be, and I’m proud that Redditch will become a trailblazer site.

Since Labour last ran the council we’ve got more investment into Redditch than ever before, compared to their administration sending money back to the government, nearly losing millions of pounds from the Right to Buy pot, leaving a £777,000 black hole in the finances, and selling assets for £1.

That’s before we have to remind people that one of their current volunteers is the former Labour council leader who was jailed for defrauding a homeless charity.

M Rouse,

Conservative candidate for Church Hill

REGARDING the southern site of the Redditch Eastern Gateway, I have sent this letter to Councillor Matt Dormer, the Leader of Redditch Borough Council:

I strongly oppose this development because:

They are ugly, grey metal sheds designed regardless the loss of green with no consideration for the environment.

The buildings have no architectural merit – it is just cynically designed boxes to make money regardless of how bad it looks

It replaces farm land with metal sheds

It will have a negative impact on the environment

It will increase run-off of surface water now that we have increased flood problems

It should have ‘green roofs’ with living vegetation to compensate for the loss of green land

Water from the ‘green roof’ should be recycled for flushing toilets and the like.

The building should be painted in shades of green to break-up the considerable mass and have ‘living walls’ wherever possible.

It will increase the amount of road traffic just at a time when it should be reduced and transferred to railways.

J West, Winyates Green

IN REPLY to M Jones (Letters) I would point out that the loss of Ipsley Meadow will affect some people’s health and welfare as I am one of those who will be so affected.

If he is familiar with the topography, he will realise the inaccuracy of his statement regarding ‘similar surroundings’ a hundred yards on.

By Redditch Borough Council’s own calculations, there is a shortfall of green, recreational space in the immediate area of 1.85 hectares per thousand population.

M Jones’ assertion the cemetery ‘will no doubt be tastefully designed and a pleasant place’ is straight out of RBC’s script and has no relation to reality.

It will not be a peaceful churchyard.

It will be an operational cemetery.

Fresh graves will be dug and funerals held on a weekly basis.

I doubt s/he would wish to walk there or have their children or grandchildren play by newly dug graves.

I suggest most people would not choose so to do.

K Wass, Matchborough

SAJID Javid has been a total disaster as Health Secretary.

Not content with decimating the care sector (then doing a u-turn) with dog whistle politics over compulsory vaccinations he then adopted the same technique with NHS staff with another inevitable u-turn.

We then had the unedifying sight of him defending the indefensible – yet another crass and insulting statement by Johnson – likening Brexit to the war in Ukraine!

What Mr Javid should have been telling us is what his plans are to combat the current spike in Covid infections with increased numbers in hospital.

For a man who resigned on a point of principle over economic policy and earned a lot of respect it is depressing to see him now insulting our intelligence.

I Welch, Redditch

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