How will new wheelie bins help recycling?
Dear Editor, We found the Birmingham City Council full-page advertisement on wheelie bins headed “Lifting the lid” very confusing and virtually useless, as did many of our neighbours.
A lot of space is taken up by photographs of a bin, plastic bottles, newspapers, etc.; I think we all know what those look like! While the text is short on actual facts and information.
At present we have black bags for rubbish, green/clear bags for garden waste, a blue box or bag for paper recycling, and a green box for paper.
Now we are to have just two wheelie bins, “for rubbish disposal and recycling”. Although not explained, I deduce that one bin is for rubbish and the other – for what? Paper, metal, plastic, (broken) glass, all mixed in together?
This seems ridiculous, as it means that (if in fact it is done) someone then has to separate all these materials on arrival at the depot.
Just how is this better than the present system?
The ad also says that “As of April 1, residents need to provide their own sacks”, but it doesn’t say which year.
Again, I deduce from the context that it means 2013 – ie. we have already ceased to receive these, both black and green?
I forecast that all this will simply lead to a reduction in recycling, and a huge increase in fly-tipping, as many people will not pay this £35 charge for a third bin, and neither will they drive to the local recycling centre.
And the whole operation will cost much more than stated. We shall see.
David A Hardy
Use land wisely to solve city’s housing crisis
Dear Editor, The news that house building has plummeted in Birmingham over the last 12 months comes as no surprise.
A lack of confidence in the economy matched with a drying up of the mortgage market is not the environment for construction on any mass scale.
At Accord Group, we are one of the few continuing to build in Birmingham and the wider Midlands region, with 1,500 new homes planned over the next four years.
We firmly believe that by working collectively and in close collaboration with the council, housing associations can and do make a significant contribution in meeting the housing shortage.
However, with land at a premium in Birmingham, we must make the best use of it by building high-quality, high-density housing that is led and managed by local people.
There are great examples of this in places like Freiburg in Germany, where we could learn a lot about building well-designed homes within limited space.
If 6,000 new homes are needed each year in Birmingham to make a dent in the housing shortage, we must work together to build affordable, energy efficient housing that works for the people who live in it and the city as a whole.
Dr Chris Handy, Chief Executive
Patronising Albion does their heritage no justice
Dear Editor, West Bromwich Albion have truly had a memorable season but all this talk of them striving to finish in their “highest ever” Premier League position, I think, diminishes their proud history.
The Premier League is, in reality, just a modern day marketing confection and shouldn’t erase the team’s achievements prior to its inception in 1992.
WBA were one of the 12 original founders of the Football League in 1888.
They were, in fact, the first team to head that very first league table (in itself a world first).
Since that time they’ve finished eighth or higher in the top league in English Football on no less than 22 occasions (winning it in the 1919-20 season).
So, when national commentators patronisingly talk about the Baggies “punching above their weight” and being such a “surprise package”...perhaps they should remember.
Albion were a dominant force in football before many other teams even existed. Long may their achievements continue.
Sydney , Australia
Cricket club must get back to basics and attract members
Dear Editor, Among all the muddle, confusion and contradictions there is a glimmer of hope that the ruling regime at Warwickshire CCC are beginning to admit that they have got the club into an appalling financial mess.
At the heart of the matter is the issue of whether the club should be “a business” or whether it should be a county cricket club which is run in a business-like way. Arguably, at the moment it is neither.
In Brian Halford’s article in the Post of April 18, Mr Povey (Chief Executive, WCCC) is quoted as saying that “our business plan has been looked at many times by ourselves, our auditors, the city council and the ECB and has been seen as robust and workable.”
It is a pity, however, that they have not shared it with the members of WCCC.
The “Strategic Plan” which has just been published makes hardly any mention of the club’s finances, and certainly gives no meaningful financial projections.
In Graeme Brown’s piece in the Post of April 25 the same Mr Povey says that the business plan is all about keeping an eye on the bottom line. Yet the club seems very reluctant to acknowledge that the 2012 accounts show a bottom line loss of £2.1 million on a turnover of £11.5 million.
In the same piece Mr Povey is quoted as saying we are a not-for-profit organisation. I agree with that, but it doesn’t absolve the management from running the club in an efficient way. Thus among the many questions thrown up by a careful look at the accounts is, why has the cost of “administration” risen from £1.6 million in 2009 to over £3.1 million in 2012? This doesn’t gel with Mr Povey’s claim that the club keeps a close eye on costs.
However, all of this runs counter to Club Chairman Mr Gascoigne’s claim that the mission statement is “to be the best cricket business in the world”.
Of course we want to be a big club that hosts international matches, and T20 Finals Days, etc, but we are losing sight of our main raison d’etre which is to be a successful county cricket club. The cricket set-up itself is excellent, but the club has neglected its ordinary members.
Despite the success of the team membership has halved since the mid 1990s. The latest handbook shows 2012 membership as only 4,274. Partly this is due to the fact that in the new development nowhere near enough space has been allocated to the ordinary members, and far too much to the Jaguar Club and the 1882 Club. It’s time to get back to basics. A major membership drive is long overdue, and a re-think of priorities.
Anthony N Cook.
Canal-side project leaves much to be desired
Dear Editor, While a new life sciences campus and its potential benefits are positive, there are a number of areas of the plan that you skim over. (Life sciences campus to create up to 7,000 jobs, Post April 25)
You mention the nearby canalside development in Selly Oak. This is much more limited than before as there is no reinstatement of the Lapal Canal and the existing canal would generally be for students in the accommodation to enjoy and not local residents.
Local residents are not only disappointed in developer Harvest Partnership on the canal issue but a number of other aspects, too.
These include a lack of Sainsbury’s store frontage on Bristol Road – only service yards. Disabled, cycle and pushchair access to the store will be via lifts or stairs, not ramps. This leaves the Bristol Road isolated and reduces access for those residents who walk to the store as carrying shopping up steps is not easy. This new design seems to insist that you drive to the store.
The student accommodation is also not needed as there are already 1,000 new beds in development. The amount of accommodation planned could also lead to a 16-storey tower.
The latest plans submitted by Harvest go against a number of key development guidelines in the Local Development Action Plan and are summarised on the web site www.cp4so.org.uk by the Campaign officer for Community Partnership for Selly Oak.
City needs showcase for the green revolution
Dear Editor, A newly built industrial history museum for the region replicating the iconic Crystal Palace Great Exhibition design, which had all its glass and metal frames made in the West Midlands, has strong merit (Post April 25) .
However, the priority should be to popularise the range of established facilities in the Midlands highlighting the work of our enlightenment pioneers of the Industrial Revolution.
These can be visited at Millennium Point’s Think Tank, Birmingham Art Gallery & Museum, Black Country Museum, Coventry Transport Museum,and Matthew Boulton’s Soho House – meeting place for the radical Lunar Society.
Complementing this, we need a centre for the green enlightenment age, addressing the challenge of climate change, combined with showcasing and promoting the range of local and global best practice solutions for the smart, low carbon clean technology revolution to avert the greatest threat to life on Earth.
It would help stimulate delivery of Birmingham’s and the wider West Midlands’ aims for smart, green cities, transport, technologies and resource efficiency, creating new business and jobs, combined with reducing costs and emissions.
This could be a flagship building complementing the iconic Eden Project.
Climate Change Solutions