Dear Editor, We are writing to express our deep concern at the proposal to build a new town at Long Marston near Stratford-on-Avon. We feel that its approval would be nothing short of disastrous, for the following reasons:
The 6,000 dwellings are unnecessary, since Stratford District has already met its medium-term target for new homes and only needs 300 more in the longer-term.
There is full employment in the area, yet there is insufficient space on the proposed site for new industry.
The residents of the new town would therefore have to travel considerable distances to find work.
The transport infrastructure is totally inadequate to handle the additional car journeys - for work, schools and shopping - which the new town would generate.
Neither is there adequate public transport. It is simply not true that the former railway could be brought back into operation within the proposed timescale.
Other aspects of infrastructure, especially schools and hospitals, are incapable of handling the huge increase in demand which would occur.
The creation of a new conurbation two-thirds the size of Stratford, only six miles from that town, would change forever the character of an important part of England's heritage.
We would ask you to place your strong support behind the withdrawal of this project from the government's short-list of "eco-towns".
NICK and GENNY WALKER, Ilmington, Shipston-on-Stour
* I'll raise a glass to the Jug - but there's no more curry for me
Dear Editor, I am very disappointed to hear that the 'Jug of Ale' pub is due to be demolished.
This is one of the most treasured pubs in the South of the city.
It is one of the best live music venues in Birmingham and has seen many famous bands play there including Ocean Colour Scene, who are from the area and possibly Birmingham's most successful modern musical group.
It is also the most attractive building in this part of Moseley.
According to reports, the pub is to be demolished and replaced with an upmarket curry house.
Moseley already has four upmarket curry houses and non of these are as good as those that can be found in the Balti Belt, which is merely a stone's throw away.
It is terrible that people can destroy an area's culture and heritage purely in the pursuit of money. All over Birmingham and the country as a whole, pubs are being closed and demolished.
'The Tap and Spile' pub in the city centre was another good live music venue that has been forced to close.
Public houses have been an important part of British society for centuries.
They should be protected.
A system similar to the listing of architecturally significant buildings should be devised. Pubs are not just there for the consumption of alcohol. They are a place to meet friends, listen to live music, watch comedy acts, sporting events etc.
I shall boycott the new curry house when it opens (and I eat alot of curry!). I hope others will do the same.
LEWIS LUCAS, Kings Heath
* New 'stars' should pay back wages
Dear Editor, The decision made by the independent consultants, Oliver and Ohlbaum, in the inquiry into the outrageous salaries paid to some BBC presenters that the BBC is not overpaying them is preposterous. Organisations, including the government, collecting and spending our taxes seem to have lost the plot and values.
Why? I don't know but it must have something to do with the way we are being educated and manipulated into believing subliminal images of "stars."
The money Beckham has earned is another example of this perverse, foolish, absurd lack of common sense.
The huge sums of money these people are being paid is distorting totally what real life is about and making us all feel inadequate.
Paying £6 million per year to a talk show host is an insult to our intelligence and to all hard working men and women, and he should feel ashamed of this acceptance and pay some back to licence payers who are having difficulty paying their mortgages.
This inquiry has turned out very much like all of Blair's costly "independent" inquires.
One can only ponder and wonder how independent the consultants are who commissioned them to hold this inquiry into BBC salaries and how much have they been paid to reach their independent conclusions.
DOUGLAS J WATHEN, Salford Priors, Nr Evesham
* Lost tribe facing local difficulties
Dear Editor, I viewed with interest the recent TV footage of an apparently lost tribe. Lost tribe indeed.
They look like a bunch of hippies hiding in the Clent Hills to me, and they should think themselves lucky if they were found in Britain Gordon would be after back taxes and council tax, and I'm not so sure that's not a sattelite dish on one of the huts, and that's the reason they are throwing sticks at the helicopter: they think its a TV detector van.
S T VAUGHAN, Yardley Wood.
* Cool! Now we can dig in Arctic
Dear Editor, We are now being told that thanks to our enthusiastic burning of our one-off geological inheritance, the Arctic will be free of ice by the end of the century.
Great! That'll make it so much easier to exploit and then burn up all those fossil fuel resources, as well!
TIM WELLER, Halesowen.