Dear Editor, Re: Rising groundwater under Birmingham.
The headline story of April 28, which suggests that developers should not be designing basements and underground car parking in Birmingham due to a rising water table, needs to be balanced with some real data.
Beneath central Birmingham there is an important sandstone aquifer. Groundwater levels within it have indeed been rising in recent decades due to a reduction in demand as the old industries have closed. However, recent data from across the city centre indicates that groundwater levels have now nearly reached pre-industrial levels in many areas and therefore are unlikely to rise much further. Developers within the city centre should be made aware of this so they are not put off potential city centre projects.
Instead the presence of groundwater beneath Birmingham city centre should be seen as a benefit to developers, not a threat. For example it can be used sustainably as a giant 'storage heater', to store excess heat from a buildings' air conditioning in the summer, which can then be extracted as energy for heating in the winter, through ground source heat pump technology.
Outside the city centre, particularly to the south east, the geology is completely different. There is no sandstone aquifer at the surface, just glacial deposits overlying clay. Within the glacial deposits there are permeable shallow zones of sand and gravel forming perched groundwater that respond to short term rainfall fluctuations and there are indeed localised problems encountered, particularly after a wet season like last summer. The situation beneath the city centre should not be confused with this as the groundwater levels are not representative of the major sandstone aquifer.
Senior Geologist, Arup
The problems of 'social dumping'
Dear Editor, The Post editorial on April 19 ("We're in Europe so who are the immigrants now") made important reading and raises some very important issues.
"The United State of Europe must be a political reality, or it cannot be an economic one" (Arthur Salter, The United States of Europe, 1931). Salter was a civil servant whose idea was to prevent any more European wars.
Even he could not have foreseen the enormous damage such a union would cause to individual states.
Large scale immigration, which is known in Brussels as the free flow of labour but is known by political realists as social dumping, has caused and will continue to cause enormous difficulties for the government and the people alike.
A large pool of cheap labour has wiped out trade union rights won after eight generations from the trade union movement. Along with people who have come to work are criminals and layabouts, plus sex slave traffickers. The blind loyalty of the Eurpophiles has led them to accept every edict and directive issued by Brussels.
These poor sycophants will realise too late that their loyalty will cost us our collective independences in less than 20 years.
A nationwide tea party to help needy pets
Dear Editor, I am writing as a supporter of Britain's pet charity, The Blue Cross, to invite you pop the kettle on and take part in a nationwide tea party to help needy pets.
On Friday May 16 animal lovers everywhere will be hosting Blue Cross Tea Parties to help raise funds for the charity's work and everyone is invited to join in. To get involved simply get friends, family, neighbours or colleagues together and host a tea party anywhere you like, asking everyone who comes along to make a donation to help the sick and homeless animals cared for by The Blue Cross.
By hosting your own tea party you will be helping The Blue Cross to continue its vital work caring for thousands of needy animals at its re-homing centres and animal hospitals across the country. Just £9 a week will keep a dog's kennel warm.
Your party can be as lavish or as small as you wish, and all proceeds will make a huge contribution, as The Blue Cross does not receive any government funding.
The Blue Cross is also holding a Tea Time Treat competition to help you show off your baking expertise! Once you have registered to take part, The Blue Cross will send you the details along with a free host pack with plenty of super fundraising ideas to help make your party a special occasion.
To find out more or to register to host your own tea party please visit bluecrossteaparty.org.uk or phone 08444 993 663.
Capital punishment is cost-effective
Dear Editor, Sometimes it is better to be cruel, to be kind.
Three 'youths' described as animals by the judge, 'hyenas' in fact, have been sentenced to a minimum of 20 years each for the horrendous attack and murder of a married man who caught them burglaring his home.
I wonder if the judge recognised there were two offences and should have imprisoned them with a longer sentence?
This was a heinous crime, with no grey areas of culpability, of three males turning on another human being, knowing perfectly well what they were doing in kicking the poor man, to death.
Keeping these three in prison for so long, is going to be extremely and increasingly expensive at taxpayers' cost at £36,000 multiplied by three increasingly recurring year by year.
If these 'animals' are ever released; which, of course, they should never be, what will they be able to do again, worthwhile in society?
Isn't this a classic case, for the good of themselves and for society, for the return of the death penalty. They set an example of animal instinctive, callous and cruel killing, just for the sake of it; such beings are no good to themselves man or beast.
At their trial they did not appear to be concerned about what they had done nor the prospect of imprisonment and showed no remorse. Why should society concern itself about the moral issues of capital punishment?
DOUGLAS J WATHEN,
Is it really an all English final?
Dear Editor, So we're about to witness the biggest club game of football in our history with the Champion's League final set to host two English teams.
Not really. The final is set in Moscow for a start.
Secondly, has anybody bothered to count how many English players will actually be playing in the final - less than 30 per cent of them I would hazard a guess.
We will never again see a successful national team like we had in 1966 when the majority of Premiership teams ignore English talent in favour of foreign players and consequently fail to provide a stage for many potentially world-class players who are just overlooked and underdeveloped in lower leagues.
The current English team practically picks itself - we have so few to choose from.