LETTERS: On Brexit, JLR and Julian Knight MP, HS2, green belt and more - The Solihull Observer

LETTERS: On Brexit, JLR and Julian Knight MP, HS2, green belt and more

Solihull Editorial 21st Oct, 2018   0

I noted with interest your front page article last week, which highlighted calls for Julian Knight MP to clarify where he stands on the possibility of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit. This is an extremely pertinent question in a Leave-voting constituency. On the one hand, one would assume many residents will likely support the idea of ‘no-deal.’ On the other, we must be mindful that Jaguar Land Rover, one of the boroughs biggest employers, have explicitly said that ‘no-deal’ could cost thousands of Silhillians their jobs. Mr Knight’s stance on the issue is therefore of paramount importance to his constituents.

I noted that Mr Knight was extremely active on social media over the weekend. However, rather than taking the opportunity to clarify his Brexit position, he chose to embroil himself in a Twitter spat with other local parties over who and how they chose to canvass residents. Aside from lacking the decorum one would expect of an elected official, I can’t help but wonder if this was a deliberate attempt to deflect attention away from the elephant in the room. Where does Mr Knight stand on a ‘no-deal’ Brexit?

James Edwardson


No wonder people are fed up with politicians. Your front page summed it up last week with local Lib Dem councillor.

Ade Adeyemo once again making personal attacks on another politician. Last week he was attacking local MP Julian Knight on the Brexit news. Every week Coun Adeyemo is in one or other paper making personal attacks on one politician or another.

He never seems to have a good word to say about anyone or anything positive to say about Solihull. As we all know the Solihull electorate in both the Meriden and Solihull constituencies have rejected him on his Parliamentary ambitions at the last two elections. As a Lyndon Ward resident I would like to see my councillor work with all politicians to get the best deal for our Town.

I’m sure my fellow neighbours would like to see him dealing with local issues like street cleaning, pot holes and graffiti which he seems oblivious to. Anyway, as an optimist one can only hope leopards can change their spots?

P J Thomas, Lyndon Ward resident

I read with interest your article in last week’s Observer on plans for a “care village” being refused planning permission in Catherine-de-Barnes.

However, the councillors’ decision is difficult to rationalise. The view was expressed that “it would set a bad precedent for the rest of the borough’s greenbelt”. Furthermore, councillor Jim Ryan suggested that to accept the application would throw away all the policies built up over the years to protect greenbelt around Solihull which many people enjoy.

Presumably, these will be the same councillors who have earmarked 433 hectares of greenbelt land in Shirley (Site 13) and Blythe Villages (Sites 4 and 12) for future housing development. These areas represent less than a quarter of land identified for such development but will account for 41 per cent of proposed homes.

Whilst I am pleased for the residents in Catherine-de-Barnes it is hoped the councillors will show similar concern when the fate of greenbelt in and around Shirley is discussed. It will be sad that all those years “of protecting valuable greenbelt” are thrown away especially when it is enjoyed by so many.

Maggie Lukeman


I was amazed to read in your paper of August 23 details about the current construction project in Kenilworth Road, Knowle.

For the property and land speculators 10M Group to describe the building as of “great architectural significance” reminds me of the claims regarding Tracey Emin’s unmade bed.

I am also surprised that David Sheppard has got involved in the spoiling of the greenbelt in Knowle. Shame on you.

Regarding its ability to house six double-decker buses; it doesn’t have to look like a bus depot to do this.

For the asking price of £3,200,000 one could build at least 20 affordable homes in Knowle, all of far greater architectural merit than Hedge House which makes no contribution to the shortage of afforadable homes in Knowle.

It takes more than sedum on the roof, local larch and solar panels to make and eco-home, and to suggest that the architects are “building on the tradition of large country houses” is an insult to our heritage of great architects of yesteryear.

I can see no indication that the design is influenced by a brick and timber barn, which is an agricultural structure forming part of the greenbelt; but has more in common with an Amazon warehouse but with less honesty in design.

Unlike 10M Group, I am not proud but appalled to have such an eyesore in Knowle; and, before the council start bleating about having their hands tied by planning legislation, may I suggest that if they wish to prevent further spoiling of our greenbelt, they have a word with their two local MPs and their masters in Whitehall.

Barrie Stanton


Thank you for publishing the artists’ impression of the proposed HS2 Curzon Street station.

HS2 is not being paid for with private investors, they would not touch it with a barge-pole. It is scheduled to be paid for by the UK taxpayers, at a staggering £1,800 each more than £3,000 for the average household.

With hald the Cabinet dead against it, 90 per cent of the UK population dead against it, and 95 per cent of the population never likely to use it in their lifetime, HS2 realise that cancellation is imminent, and they are releasing these feel good images in a last ditch bid to gain support.

£55billion to get a few elite businessmen home 20 minutes earlier?

Brian Davies,

Wylde Green

So having spent £1m on a new pavement, £20m of our money is going to be spent on a new station!!

What are they going to build there? A shopping centre or a three-storey hotel? It’s a place to spend as little time as possible to get on and off a train not to spend the whole day!

Concerning the pavement I still cannot understand what was wrong with the previous one. It seemed to work quite well. In a few years the new one will look like the old one unless they are going to have it scrubbed every week which would not surprise me.

I am also curious to understand why the new pavement takes all these visitors to Solihull to the back of Waitrose. Did they part sponsor it? At least while waiting to cross the road they will have something to do.They will be able to see what a permanently gridlocked roundabout looks like now that traffic cannot access the station going onto Solihull along Blossomfield Road.

It all just seems a crazy waste of our money but i guess it is too much to expect that any of our councilors would ever object to what is being spent on these various vanity projects.


Sometimes the happiest childhood memories are the simplest ones: playing with siblings, celebrations with grandparents, riding a bike with friends.

But sadly there are children who are denied these precious memories, and who shudder when they think about their childhood.

In the UK today there are many hundreds of vulnerable children waiting to be adopted by a loving family. Many have suffered horrific neglect or abuse, which is why they desperately need the support and care of a new family and a stable home.

Every day, Barnardo’s adopters support vulnerable children to overcome past harm and start working towards a positive future.

Adoption, like all parenting, can be daunting. There are always going to be really difficult days. But at Barnardo’s we know that everyone needs that helping hand, which is why we provide ongoing support and training throughout the adoption process. We also continue to support new parents once they’ve been matched with a child to help new families bond, get to know each other and start their lives together.

We really want to encourage more people to come forward to give a vulnerable child the new family they richly deserve.

Although nothing can erase a traumatic past, our amazing adopters – with help from our incredible specialist staff – can give children new, happy, healthy lives, and the skills they need for a bright future.

Call 0800 0277 280 or visit www.barnardos.org.uk/adoption

Emma Bowman

Barnardo’s regional director


Find a career you'll love with our free career finder website.


Weddings, Birthdays, Bereavements, Thank you notices, Marriages and more.

Business Directory

From plumbers, to restaurants, we can provide you with all the info you need.

Reader Travel

Check out all of the latest reader travel offers to get your hands on some free gifts.