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4th Jul, 2022

Your Letters: Ukraine, police precepts and our right to protest

Redditch Editorial 13th Mar, 2022

I JUST want to say that our MP Rachel Maclean, myself and my daughter amongst others have been helping the distribution of aid for Ukraine.

On a personal level I would like to say what an unbelievable effort from the townsfolk of Redditch.

It certainly gives me faith in the abundance of human kindness.

Oakland International and Attwells Farm are doing an amazing job, and their financial commitment is astounding.

Whether Redditch Borough Council or Bromsgrove District Council can aid the financial commitment Attwells and Oakland have made is the least I think that should be done.

They were even fined by the French for arriving late given that the window was a very narrow one.

Tony Taylor,

Muffin Break Redditch

AS THE bombs continue to fall on Ukraine, the world rightly condemns the tyranny of President Putin and extols the virtues of democratic society.

Last week, as Putin continued to crack down on protesters in Russia who dared to show their dissent, Rachel Maclean and her Conservative colleagues voted to reintroduce draconian anti-protest laws that Putin himself would be proud of.

Under plans voted through in the early hours of Tuesday morning, the government would have the right to shut down a protest that is deemed to be too annoying, too noisy or too disruptive.

Democracy relies on the ability of the people to express their displeasure at government plans, not just through the periodic casting of votes, but also through peaceful protest.

Any government that seeks to give itself the power to ban protests just because they are, in its opinion, annoying, loud or disruptive cannot lay claim to be the upholders of democracy.

If the Conservatives cared about democracy, they would scrap these draconian new laws.

Mrs Maclean should also remember that her right to vote was secured through the Suffragettes’ annoying, loud and disruptive protests.

A Thompson,

Redditch Liberal Democrats

I WOULD like to state my contempt and disgust at our County Councillors and Police Commissioner for agreeing to increase their elements of our council tax bills for 2022/23 by an inflation busting 3.94 per cent.

Pensioners and those living on benefits are only getting a 3.1 per cent increase.

So how do our elected representatives expect the poorest to do what that themselves cannot do.

Namely balance our budgets.

We are being told that the average energy bill could be £3,000pa by this autumn.

In 2012/13 the police precept was £99.45 and in 2022/23 it will be £249.66.

Well in 2013 I saw police officers walking around the area every week.

In 2022 I am more likely to see hens teeth than a police officer.

I think it would be useful if The Standard could print a list of all Redditch County Councillors who approved this increase so we can consider whether they really do represent us effectively when we go to the ballot box next.

I have also discovered we can now elect to pay our council tax over the full 12 months rather than the current 10 months which those on low income might find useful.

All councils and precept holders should not be allowed to ever increase their elements by more than pensions and benefits are being increased by.

This was known in September long before they are considering budgets. And perhaps over a five year period it must be one per cent below pension and benefit increases. After all we have to cope with food and utility increases as well.

J Smith, Matchborough

THE Ukrainians have Volodymyr Zelenskyy – an international hero – as their leader. We have Boris Johnson.

Biden is better than Trump but the bar was so low I guess virtually anybody would have been an improvement.

The result is a lack of any credible strong leadership in the West against Putin although I expect Germany to become the dominant political force in Europe in the future.

Whilst the West collectively sit on its hands militarily as Ukraine is destroyed, only Tory MP Tobias Ellwood has consistently called it right saying Nato troops should have been put on the ground in Ukraine before Christmas.

The response was that it would provoke Putin – yes appeasement worked so well – and who can forget the feisty exchange between Ellwood and Johnson on November 17, 2021?

Showing his usual aptitude as Russian tanks massed on Ukraine’s border Johnson said: “The days of fighting big tank battles in Europe are over”!

Nobody wants a nuclear war but if Putin is not stopped there will be other countries on his shopping list.

The UK does seem to consistently roll over in the face of Russian aggression.

Churchill was a great war leader but at the end of the Second World War he decided not to upset Stalin and sent thousands of White Russians who had fought alongside Hitler back to Russia to be slaughtered.

I Welch, Redditch

A BIG thank you to both Redditch Borough Council and local residents for planting the new trees alongside Rush Lane last Friday, February 25, to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

About 40 local residents, including adults and children on half term holiday, worked hard together with the council’s landscape team to plant 30 trees in double quick time.

The avenue of pink and white flowering cherry trees will look absolutely magnificent in the spring when they are in bloom.

Well done everybody

M Acton, Redditch

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