LETTERS: Your discussion across the borough from this week's Observer - The Solihull Observer

LETTERS: Your discussion across the borough from this week's Observer

Solihull Editorial 10th Feb, 2018   0

LETTERS

At a time when council finances and services are under real pressure, the spending of approximately £13,000 on the Blythe By-Election on March 1st is a real waste of money.

Having spoken to many of my neighbours, no-one can comprehend why the vacancy, created by the resignation of Conservative Councillor Alex Insley, couldn’t have been filled at the same time as the local elections on 3 May 2018 i.e. just some 9 weeks later.

We’ve still got another two Conservative councillors after all.




Actually, anger would be a better way to describe the level of disbelief, particularly when they realise that local schools are having to close for the day as they are being used as polling stations. Many parents are being forced to make childcare arrangements that might well include having to book annual leave.

Everyone will sympathise with the circumstances that led Alex to decide to resign. However, his timing and, even more inexplicably, the decision by two local people to force the council to hold a by-Election within 35 days has led us to where we are.


Under the 1972 Local Government Act, Solihull Council were put in a position where they literally had no choice, but it is us, as local residents, parents and tax-payers, who are paying the price.

Some of my neighbours have suggested political shenanigans – I really don’t know, but whether by design, or accident, this must NOT be allowed to happen again.

I am being asked to make representations so that the 1972 Local Government Act is reviewed in two regards: 1) Remembering that a councillor’s normal term of office is 4 years, and when a ward is represented by 3 councillors, it might be more appropriate to say that any vacancy created should only lead to a By-Election if that can be held at least 5 months prior to the May elections, unless 2) There is a special request triggered by at least 100 or more electors.

I would value the input of your readers before making my submission and would ask then to Email: [email protected] with their views

Sardul Marwa MBE JP

Labour Candidate For Blythe

We managed to stop a dreadfull planning consent next to our house as one of the neighbours found a covenant that was relevant.The site is now being developed with a sensible house.

Planning specialists were surprised planning consent was approved and our councillors would do nothing to help.

When asked, ‘Do you not represent us’?The answer was ‘no’!

One did nothing and the other went through the motions.The planners disregarded the line of sight guide and also the right to light. The plans were pushed through despite objections from many people. We were not allowed a hearing.

I have voted all my life, now 82, but won’t bother to vote again. That says it all I think!

John Salisbury

2 Woodchester Rd

Dorridge Solhull.

The End Child Poverty coalition has just released local statistics of the numbers of children living in poverty across the UK.

There are now 9,538 children (21 per cent) living in poverty in Solihull local authority area.

The cap on children’s benefits that has been implemented by the Government is having a devastating impact on child poverty across the country. Families struggle to make ends meet as prices, especially rents, continue to rise.

In some areas child poverty is now over 50 per cent. That means we live in a country where some children are more likely to grow up in poverty than not. Children are growing up in homes where they go without meals, appropriate clothing or heating.

The detrimental impact of growing up in poverty on a child’s educational attainment, their health outcomes and future employment is well documented. The failure of this government to prioritise and invest in the future of the next generation is scandalous. It is time the cap on children’s benefits was ended.

Geraint Jones

Solihull

It was alarming and distressing to read that the rate of attempted suicide has more than doubled since the introduction of the Work Capability Assessment in 2008. It has been 10 years since the assessment was introduced, phasing out incapacity benefit and replacing it with Employment Support Allowance and part of the change was the introduction of assessments every two years.

Although it is important to prove eligibility for benefits, some medical conditions do not improve, no matter how many assessments are conducted. The continual cycle of reassessments and constant threat of losing your benefits can have catastrophic results on people’s mental health. Living with a life-limiting medical condition; trying to get through the winter and make ends meet; and feeling that getting the benefits you are rightly entitled to is a constant battle. These are the realities of living with Post Polio Syndrome (PPS) in 2018.

The British Polio Fellowship prides itself on being able to offer advice, support and guidance for members affected by changes in the benefits system. PPS is a debilitating neurological condition that can occur in up to 80% of those who have had Polio. The symptoms are numerous; there is no cure; and it will not improve every two years. Any Polio survivors of the 120,000 out there can call us free, on 0800 043 1935. We would love to offer them some TLC and practical support, with what we know can be a truly desperate and lonely situation.

David Mitchell

National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship

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