I READ the report by Rachel Maclean in the Redditch Standard claiming her personal success in solving weeks of unacceptable delays in passports for people and their families.
As Rachel is an Under Secretary for the Home Office and responsible for passports for the whole of the UK, I felt compelled to look at the bigger picture to find more than 700,000 applications are still outstanding.
The chaos has already forced the cancellation of family holidays and is likely to get worse due to cuts in the Passport Office staff which would mean up to 45,000 fewer passports processed every week.
Then we see the additional chaos at our airports with families and business people subject to mass airline cancellations or having to join massively long queues as the holiday season kicks off with the Jubilee celebrations combined.
I can hardly see this being chalked up as one of our MP’s successes.
A Berry, Batchley
CAN any readers explain why we vote for councillors?
I was under the impression they’re meant to represent local residents.
I wrote to my local Conservative councillor, who is also our county councillor, and posted it on February 2.
I had received no reply by the weekend of March 18 to 19. So I telephoned him. His answer was that he would get back to me within a week.
I had heard nothing by April 21, so I rang again and got an answer machine message which said ‘leave your name and number and we’ll get back to you’.
I write this on May 23 and still no answer.
I wrote to Kevin Dicks, chief executive of Redditch Borough Council on March 3, but sadly he seems to be another person who does not believe in answering questions put by residents.
I moved to Redditch 80 years ago and have been a voter for 71 years and in all that time I have never known voters treated so.
E Drinkwater, Astwood Bank
MAY I take this opportunity to thank all those visitors who attended and supported our recent book signing event at Redditch Local History Museum.
The day was a huge success and a fitting tribute to author Tony Aston.
This is yet another piece in the jigsaw of the heritage of the town which we are dedicated to preserve for future generations to enjoy and wonder at.
Everyone is welcome on a Thursday, Friday and Saturday to experience with us the pride that we have in our past rich history.
Walk down the old Evesham Street, admire the shops, visit our cinema, view the short films, explore peoples’ written memories and much much more.
Finally, thank you to our wonderful volunteers, young and not so young, always on hand with a smile to help you on your journey back in time for a memorable visit.
Like many charities we rely on your local support to continue in our work.
P Harris, Trustee
WELL done the BID again for the food festival.
There was a big crowd on Sunday watching Shaun Paul Smith Dance Academy with all the proud mums and dads.
I think star of the show on Saturday was Yasmeen Shaaban, a little bit nervous to start, Harry Styles’ Water Melon a little too long, Rihanna’s Love on the Brain as ever 10 out of 10.
The only down side was lager £5-a-pint in a plastic glass. Yuk.
So it seems Coun Matt Dormer has belatedly realised we are supposed to live in a democracy and has graciously offered to call a public meeting about the future of the library.
Not, it would seem, for an open discussion, but to convince residents he is right.
I hope it will be a public meeting, in a public, easily accessible place, widely advertised on posters in post offices, local shops and on noticeboards.
I also hope residents will turn out in large numbers, whether or not they are concerned about the library because too much has been slipped in under the radar in recent years.
No one seems to recall a referendum on whether or not we should merge with Bromsgrove.
No public opinion was sought on the closure and removal of the market leaving that area feeling like a ghost town.
I have no idea what grandiose plan Coun Dormer and his friends have for that area, but I would remind them the convoluted and tortuous Redditch road system precludes any large scale influx of visitors to the town.
I know many people from Birmingham who have tried to visit but have given up and gone home, never to return and a lorry driver told me he and his mates dread seeing Redditch on their delivery schedules.
Another thing which seems shrouded in secrecy is the contact details of the local councillors.
At one time, their names, phone numbers and the area they represented were published in the local press and on electoral papers.
Now, all that is given is the name of the candidate and ‘address in Redditch’ which is not helpful should you wish to contact them.
Or is that the idea?
M Morley, Headless Cross