Dear editor, I have just returned from a meeting of Birmingham City Council's Planning Committee, where at least one-third of the visitors were there because they opposed the application to demolish 187 Highfield Road, Hall Green (Highfield House) and build four two-bed houses and six two-bed apartments.
We were all highly disappointed, and indeed disgusted, that despite our petitions, containing hundreds of names, and articles in The Birmingham Post and Mail, our concerns were ignored and the oldest house in Hall Green (built in 1850) is to go.
It was stated that the committee "has no powers" to stop the development, since over the last two years the house has been allowed by its owners (the developers, of course) to be vandalised internally.
Copper pipes have been stolen, and the basement is flooded.
But it was claimed that the siting of this development, right on the roundabout in Highfield Road/Robin Hood Lane, would not result in traffic or parking problems (it inevitably will) and that all other conditions have been met.
The exterior is actually fine, and the interior could be converted into flats or even offices.
So yet another historic building is fated to meet the bulldozers, and our heritage apparently means nothing to our council.
Only the Liberal Democrat councillors opposed it, which they did vociferously.
Better way to spend than car-share lane policing?
Dear editor, I felt compelled to write following something that I witnessed yesterday morning en-route to work.
There has been a car-share lane placed along the route of the A47 heading towards the city centre in the Bromford/Nechells area. This new lane was been policed by at least six burly officers, two fast-response cars and at least three motorcycles and it occurred to me what a monumental waste of police resources it was.
There were also several other personnel in high-visibility jackets- presumably local officials and observers, adding more cost to the exercise.
Surely these officers and their expensive vehicles could be put to better use than this- it was a particularly stormy morning and I heard of several problems on the roads network via the radio. Could they have not been better deployed elsewhere?
After all, if anyone ignores this lane and drives in it, it is hardly the most heinous crime ever committed. I personally watch the occasional car driving along it and always look out to see if it has single or double occupants.
I think in six months, I've seen six at most ignoring the lane completely. The ones that do seem to get pulled over and booked have invariably pulled into the left hand lane shortly before it finishes in readiness for the three filter lanes before the traffic lights- again hardly making them ardent criminals.
As the managing director of a local company paying almost £200,000 per year in non-domestic rates and employing around 40 people, it saddens me greatly to see our money been wasted in such a way. Policing a busy area like this must be no easy matter, but surely resources could be matched to demand much better than this.
Director, Paul Ponsonby, Hurricane Park, Heartlands Parkway, Bromford
Beware the next election
Dear editor, So, the city lawyer MP for North Warwickshire has tried to defend his cowardly decision to vote with the Government to deny the people a referendum on the treaty his boss, dithering Gordon Brown, signed.
The people of this country understand only too well, no matter how city lawyer tries to spin it, that the treaty is just the discredited EU constitution by another name. We know that all three major parties promised a referendum on this matter in their election manifestos.
We know that Labour has tried to spin its way out of that referendum in spite of thousands of people across the country joining the campaign for a referendum to be held. City lawyer should remember that the people will get the chance to have their say at the next General Election.
The Conservative candidate, Dan Byles, is right to draw attention to city lawyer Mike O'Brien's failure to stand by his election promise when 29 of his Labour colleagues had the guts to do so. Shame on you city lawyer. More power to you Dan Byles.
Memories of Leslie Smith
Dear editor, I read recently that the great former 1950s Wolves and Aston Villa footballer Leslie Smith had died in the Midlands in his 80s.
A second cousin of mine, Phil Giles, played football for Walsall FC at the same time.
There is something special about these old footballers and they definitely take us down a sentimental journey with loads of great memories.
I have found this nice comment about Leslie in Billy Wright's 1950s autobiography, Captain of England:
"Leslie Smith, Aston Villa's International outside-left, is a perfect example of a footballer who has become an outstanding businessman. When I first met Leslie, he was a cheery young fellow always out for a joke, inevitably smiling, but, I thought, always intelligent. Since joining Aston Villa, he has shown what intelligence, and hard work, can do."
Praise indeed from one of the greatest.
May Leslie RIP.
Driving on the road to ruin
Dear editor, Does Lord Goldsmith's Good Citizen Report include a chapter on good driving? For if it doesn't, then the making of good citizens alone, will only slow Britain's decline rather than reverse it.
In fact, if we don't change our vain, selfish, lazy and lawless approach to driving, and reduce congestion, road danger, pollution and ill health today, then Britain is surely facing accelerated decline.
Holy Saturday, not Easter Saturday
Dear editor, You report that a temporary medical facility will be established for drunken revellers on Easter Saturday (Broad Street drunk tank to be repeated over Easter, The Birmingham Post, March 14). I think it is more likely that the facility will be available on Holy Saturday (also called Low Saturday or Easter Eve)- March 22. Easter Saturday is not until March 29- the Saturday after Easter.
In search of lost cousins
Dear editor, I would like to find my cousins, Margaret, Lucy and Olive Bushill, late of 64 Church Lane, Aston, opposite the Vine public house on the Lichfield Road.
Margaret married Bill Chapman, ex-boxer for Birmingham, while Lucy married Les Hall, and Olive married Ron. They lived next door to a Mrs Mountford, who ran a small shop selling everything.
E W PERRY