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27th Nov, 2021

This week's Bromsgrove and Droitwich Standard letters......

Droitwich Editorial 2nd Apr, 2021

Surprised by Labour’s reaction to the Bromsgrove On Demand bus

I WAS quite surprised to see the letter from former Labour Party councillor Sean Shannon in the Standard.

The current Labour party chair, Harrison Rone-Clarke recently accused the Conservatives of stealing this idea from Labour on social media, but it seems now Labour think it is a bad idea!?

Moreover, the organisation, BRUG (which Shannon is a member of) recently hailed it a great success.

Funniest, however, was his reference to the Artrix and the petition (by his son) to bring it under public control (the petition actually asked for something which was illegal, it was revealed at council). The letter can only be described as the worst, most pathetic, type of political tribalism – and the type of nepotism that local Labour has suffered from.

Charford residents must have thought all their Christmases came at once when Shannon left and the far superior Dr Thompson took over.

Better than that, when Thompson left the Labour Party and joined the group which actually can effect change in Charford.

Please retire Sean, you did enough damage when you were in politics, don’t do any more.

Su Lawson

Bromsgrove

 

Concerns over way Perryfields Road was handled

I WRITE to voice my concerns about the Bromsgrove District Council Meeting on March 16.

I am concerned that due process has not been followed and would ask if that invalidates the meeting.

The deadline for a committee decision on this application was December 8, 2020 – the fact that his has been allowed to pass without such a meeting would appear to demonstrate gross incompetence at best. This meant the request has already been sent to the Inspectorate on the grounds of non-determination, taking the decision away from democratically elected planning committee members.

I understand Coun Richard Deeming, as planning committee chairman, had the responsibility for ensuring the meeting was called prior to December 8 and that this would have led to a meaningful debate and vote on the matter with a chance for the residents of Perryfields and Bromsgrove to be heard.

Furthermore, the date the statement of case has to be with the Inspectorate was March 19 – merely three days after the planning meeting arranged by Bromsgrove District Council. This short time frame meant proper debate was not possible.

Due to such failings at Bromsgrove District Council planning department, we are now in the situation where the people have not had a voice – they have been silenced. The application will now be determined by an inspector at inquiry rather than submissions. Who will be able to speak? How will our residents’ voices be heard?

The council has silenced its residents, the very people it should be trying to support and listen to.

The Perryfields application, like the Whitford application, is likely to be granted but not by the planning committee – by failing to follow due process, and negligent behaviour in allowing key dates to be missed, the matter is now with the Inspector, so they can be blamed for an unpopular decision instead of the BDC planners.

Bromsgrove West residents and I are exceptionally disappointed with the way that BDC has neglected its duty to its residents.

Joanna McKenna

Bromsgrove West Liberal Democrat Candidate

 

St Modwen should look after current Longbridge residents better

THE LONGBRIDGE West development will be a significant boost to the area but there is another narrative for those of us living on St Modwen estates.

While St Modwen may be lauded for developing brownfield sites, they are less good at supporting residents once their properties are sold.

Promises made are broken with impunity and residents are left trying to resolve major remedial themselves and face charges from the developer and Mainstay, their chosen maintenance company, for meetings to resolve significant issues.

This is the experience of residents on the East Works estate.

The parkland, for which residents are paying fees of £170 per year in addition to their council tax, is regularly flooded.

The problem was first identified by residents over six years ago. After numerous promises to rectify the issue, the latest for work to be completed by the end of January 2021, work has yet to begin. Homeowners gardens on the estate are also regularly flooded due to poor drainage.

Broken promises, made to an open public meeting in Cofton Village Hall in September 2019, included an assertion that maintenance fee increases would not be significant. Last year they increased by 28 per cent. Fees are unregulated and uncapped, but residents are legally obliged to pay!

St Modwen also promised fees would not be charged until the remedial work had been resolved. Little has been done to rectify these problems since then.

Despite these promises, the Mainstay maintenance fees were introduced in May 2020, but the remedial work is unfinished. The fees are well above the £120 per year suggested in the public meeting.

St Modwen stated they wanted to work constructively with residents but refused a meeting to understand why they have broken their promises yet again and to discuss when works will at least be started. Residents were also told they could be charged for future meetings and that fees will increase further.

No mention was made of maintenance fees in the sales literature when properties were sold.

The West Works development is welcomed by politicians. For those who might eventually consider purchasing properties the old adage has never been more appropriate: caveat emptor – buyer beware.

Longbridge resident

 

EDITOR’S COMMENT

WITH the weather warming up, the latest easing of restrictions and a bank holiday weekend upon us, things are looking a lot brighter and optimistic.

The next four days provide plenty of opportunity to take a much-needed break from work and catch up outside with family and friends.

With cases dropping and vaccination numbers rising it is important we stick to the rules to avoid undoing all the good work and sacrifice made over the past few months.

Enjoy but stay safe.

 

We welcome your letters…..

What pressing issues do you feel need addressing in Droitwich and Bromsgrove? Send us your views to editor@droitwichstandard.co.uk

 

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