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28th Jan, 2022

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

Droitwich Editorial 14th Jan, 2022

Councils  should recreate Tiananmen Square commemoration statue in Bromsgrove

AS YOUR good self and most of the Standard’s readers will no doubt be fully aware, Chinese communist officials have recently removed the 26ft-tall statue commemorating the massacre of students and young people at Tiananmen Square, back in 1989.

This is yet another example of Beijing’s harsh crackdown on political dissent throughout China and its imperial colony, Hong Kong.

May I respectfully propose that Worcestershire County Council and Bromsgrove District Council, along with other interested parties, approach the Dutch designer, Jens Galschiot, to commission a bronze replica of this fallen statue and place it on display in the very heart of Bromsgrove.

This will enable people from all walks of life and faiths to remember the fallen at the site of a mass murder!

What do your reader’s think?

John A Ridarta

Cofton Hackett

 

‘Ditch cashless parking plan for Bromsgrove town centre and focus on small specialist shops’

BROMSGROVE needs more housing and, probably, to diversify into small specialist shops in the High Street to compensate for the loss of national chains. For example, I used to come into the town to pay my utility bills at Martins the newsagents, but the Bromsgrove branch shut down.

My bank, Barclays, in the High Street, now closes all day Wednesday, predictably the very day I need to use it!

Our family shopped at the Bromsgrove Edinburgh Woollen Mill Shop for 20 years but the nearest branch now is Solihull.

Declining town centre facilities, sadly, mean fewer shoppers.

The prominent, empty, frontages, such as Shoezone, are all too obvious.

Bromsgrove Council is to be congratulated, therefore, in taking a sensible and practical decision to grant planning permission for the Dorothy Perkins/ Burtons and M and Co shops to be converted into small retail units and residential apartments.

This has the potential to start reviving the town centre, increasingly under pressure from the internet and out-of-town centres with free parking.

A mixture of residential accommodation and local shops seems to be the way forward for small towns.

However, the suggestion to adopt cashless car parking in Bromsgrove could deter shoppers as 80 per cent currently prefer to use cash.

Worcester has ticket machines which are both cashless and take coins, and the shops are always busy.

Michael Shaughnessy

Bromsgrove

 

Jury’s out on Bromsgrove On Demand (BOD) bus ‘but it could help hospitality’

PICKING up a copy of winter 2020 ‘Pint Taken’ magazine from Bromsgrove Library, I was surprised to read an article showing council leaders boarding a bus titled ‘Bromsgrove Beer Bus Launched’ by Gez Quinn.

The article describes the Bromsgrove On Demand (BOD) bus – launched last year – serving the town centre, some nearby villages and the railway station.

It also mentions how to call up bus for a trip and explaining that a smart phone with the Worcestershire on Demand app installed will take you there.

Gez outlines areas covered by the bus service and suggests the bus can be used for visits to pubs you might not ordinarily visit.

He adds it can also be used for shopping or visiting relatives but had yet to give either a try.

On local social media it appears ‘The Bromsgrove Beer Bus’ has gone down well with Bromsgrove pub goers. Sounds like Utopia?

Looking closer the ‘Beer Bus’ is of course the new on-demand bus service from Bromsgrove District Council.

Public transport has always interested me and I am a regular user of buses, trains and occasionally the ever expanding Metro system.

We eagerly awaited the new service although well aware the new Bromsgrove Station has never been so well provided with buses since it opened.

A small party of us became early users of the service and tried a ride into town centre and learnt an important lesson – when arranging our return journey we found the phone app unstable and impossible to book a return.

Although operated by mobile phone there is no helpline to seek assistance. Taxi got us home. On a second outing the driver advised us to always book return journey at ride start.

On the whole our party found service very useful and convenient for local travellers and we will use again.

A couple of teething problems that can be easily rectified with a better quality app and a helpline, also why not open up the service to all Bromsgrove residents by offering a phone booking service? Not all travellers have smart phones or the online skills.

The bus used – as detailed at the launch – is set to be an electric one which is needed asap – another diesel bus is the last thing Bromsgrove needs.

I remain open-minded about how the ‘on demand’ bus has morphed into a handy service for pub-goers.

I personally like good public transport and am also quite fond of pubs

If it will help the struggling hospitality sector it can be considered beneficial to the town but the costs do concern me (£250,000 ringfenced).

There are so many services provided by council that have disappeared or been slashed. Just one suggestion so many people on council waiting list for genuine affordable housing. Perhaps its time we all had a rethink on what should be priorities for Bromsgrove.

Sean Shannon

 

EDITOR’S COMMENT 

WHAT started as post-work ‘cheese and wine’ in the garden of Number 10 became more serious this week with the email revelation of 100 people invited to a bash during last year’s lockdown.

All this while people across the country were only able to meet with one other person outside and, in some cases, were unable be by the side of dying loved ones is unacceptable.

The PM, ministers and others involved should be leading by example and now be considering their positions.

 

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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