20th Sep, 2018

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

The Solihull Observer article of June 22 outlined Solihull council’s ambitious plans to improve routes across Solihull with Green Corridors and enhanced wildlife sites.

This confirmed our commitment to biodiversity and the natural environment. The initiative forms part of our ‘Green Prospectus’ which details our ambitions to grow our economy in a sustainable way while at the same time ensuring Solihull remains a great place to live. Our managed growth agenda commits us to work towards greater efficiency in the use of resources and natural assets, reducing waste and reducing our energy consumption. Economic growth and protecting our environment, therefore, are for us two sides of the same coin.

As part of that agenda, the issue of air quality is very much in our thinking. Poor air quality is a major public health priority and is recognised as the fourth largest risk to public health, behind cancer, obesity and cardiovascular disease. The two pollutants of most concern are nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and fine airborne particulate matter (PM 2.5). Both of these pollutants contribute to health problems, but it is only NO2 currently which has a legal limit set by government.

Local air quality monitoring has shown that, whilst air pollution is generally low here in Solihull when compared with our nearest neighbours, one area has been shown to exceed acceptable limits. This is the stretch of the A45 leading up to Junction 6 on the M42 and we are working to reduce air pollution here as part of our Clean Air Strategy for Solihull.

We monitor air quality across several locations in the borough and later in this year will have the findings of those studies which will be used to review our Clean Air Strategy for Solihull and determine policy going forward.

As a Solihull resident for over 30 years, I have enjoyed living in a place with such beautiful and accessible parks and open spaces. As the council’s cabinet member for environment and housing, I am committed to ensuring that Solihull remains a great place in which to live and work.

Councillor Tony Dicicco

Cabinet Member for Environment and Housing

Congratulations to Kathryn Moore, Professor of Landscape Architecture at Birmingham City University, Mayor Andy Street and Dame Caroline Spelman MP for looking to create Britain’s 16th national park here in the West Midlands.

What a perfect antidote that would be to the popular misconception of our conurbation as a grim, grimy and crowded place that is in the Premiership for manufacturing and commerce, but non-league for beauty and fresh air.

In fact – as we all know – our region has some of the most beautiful urban and rural landscapes anywhere and they deserve to be recognised and appreciated more widely.

This is an opportunity to rethink the parameters of what a national park has to be. It does not need to be a Lake District or Snowdonia – endless acres of wild countryside. Instead it can be a patchwork of greenery and parkland adjoining and incorporating more built-up areas – more accessible but equally good on the ey and suitable for outdoorenjoyment.

Let us press ahead with this plan – not just because it is good for our economy, jobs and tourism – but because it will bring a much overdue correction to our public image.

Anthea McIntyre,

Conservative MEP forth West Midlands.

What has happened to the S1 bus service, Solihull to Damson Lane circular, since Diamond Buses took it over earlier this year?

We are not frequent users of the route but have to travel regularly into Solihull for most of our shopping and, as this service picks up opposite Morrisons and drops us off at the end of our road, it is ideal for bringing our shopping home. The alternative bus service is not as convenient for us.

However in the last few weeks the bus has failed to turn up at all for half of our return journeys leaving us waiting hopefully with our weekly shopping, including chilled and frozen food, before having to find an alternative way home. Other people, including an elderly lady, were also left waiting.

Amongst the excuses have been bus fire and failed gear-box. As the buses used seem quite old this isn’t surprising! The buses for this service are from the Redditch garage and it seems that they don’t bother to send a replacement out as it only runs for part of the day anyway.

We are always being exhorted to use public transport but this is what happens.

Elmdon resident (name was supplied on email but no address)

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