Dear Editor, The Birmingham Post really should give up its mistaken, misguided and misleading campaign to promote the phrase Greater Birmingham as its knee-jerk reaction to false and naive comparisons with Greater London and Greater Manchester, neither of which is a city as such nor shown on road signs for directions.
Great Yarmouth and Great Grimsby may be but where are Greater Newcastle, Greater Sheffield, Greater Liverpool, or even Greater Leeds and are there Greater Paris, Greater Rome, Greater or Bigger Bombay?
People who complain that in small-scale maps the name Birmingham sometimes is not fitted in between London and Manchester should try fitting the double words Greater Birmingham in the space. GB would just confuse.
Greater Manchester is the county of 10 towns and cities not the city, which is less than half the size of Birmingham which took the name Greater Birmingham back in 1911 but later sensibly dropped it despite increasing further in size. The term Greater Glasgow, a city once about the size of Birmingham is now Strathclyde, from its major river, which we don’t have.
What local business leader cannot tell the difference between West Midlands county and West Midlands region?
If any distinct new and neutral name is needed it could be called “Central County” although some areas might dispute that.
C R Baldwin,
Opening up the subject of mental health to teenagers
Dear editor, To mark World Mental Health Day on October 10 I would like to encourage readers to make their children aware of Great Ormond Street Hospital’s (GOSH) new interactive mental health website for teenagers, childrenfirst.nhs.uk/teens/health/mental_health.
Our launch of the website coincides with research conducted by GOSH, which revealed that almost half of 12-18 year olds in the UK cannot name a single mental health condition. The resource sits in the ‘teens’ area of our child-centric Children First for Health website, which provides young people with wide-ranging, accurate and clinically approved health information and advice.
It is an excellent educational resource for teenagers, opening up the subject of mental health to them. Covering a whole range of topics, the resource even has audio stories from teenagers giving first hand accounts of dealing with a mental health condition.
Dr Jon Goldin,
Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist,
Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.
Calling in the unelected at a time of crisis
Dear Editor, Putting Peter Mandelson’s indiscretions, while he was a properly elected Member of Parliament, to one side; is it not very questionable, in a democracy, for anyone to be brought into a Government and Cabinet team, to influence our affairs, who is unelected and unaccountable to the people; particularly during a national crisis and more importantly brought in by another man who is also unelected as a Prime Minister and does not have the confidence of the people?
I don’t understand why, in our democracy, which we are supposed to cherish, why such a move at a whim of one man, is allowed in our constitution? The whim, please remember of one unelected Prime Minister.
This audacious appointment, made above the taxpayers’ heads, is undemocratic and has implications, if allowed to stand. It seems that by appointing anybody to become a Lord, this is nothing to stop us being governed by a whole cabinet of unelected ministers and unelected Prime Ministers... ultimately resulting in a dictatorship.
I feel the same is true of the appointment of unelected European Commissioners, who need to be only a friend of the prime minister of the time, which gave Kinnock and Mandelson their gravy train appointments. Something tells me that they are all into something good. Is Mandelson so good at filling deep black holes?
Douglas J Wathen,
Destined to be just another dull business park
Dear Editor, I refer to your heading (Post, Sept 30), “Heseltine back at Millennium Point to celebrate its success” according to Sir Bernard Zissman, chairman of Millennium Point Trust and your editorial.
In fact, Birmingham succeeded in winning the largest grant outside London and spent it on building a large box in Eastside into which a number of items were transferred from the very popular Museum of Science and Industry and crammed into the Think Tank, where access is only obtained by an excessive entrance fee.
It must be partly due to this fact that the failure of Millennium Point had an effect on the city’s failure in the Capital of Culture Competition?
However, we are informed that it is unlikely that we shall have such poor buildings, as Millennium Point in the future, with Clive Dutton and Philip Singelton in charge of new public buildings, will be of a much higher quality. Let’s hope so.
It is obvious that Think Tank is not a public attraction and geared more to the entertainment of small children, which is confirmed by the events and activities leaflet.
Finally it would seem that the whole area will finish up as another dull business park; even with the Birmingham City University campus it will remain dead for a good part of the year.
The opportunity for Millennium Point to be an iconic building was a unique chance missed.