Dear Editor, Recently two charming Victorian buildings on Kings Heath High Street have been demolished. Attractive pre-war architecture is one of the reasons people choose to live in Kings Heath. Moseley is becoming gentrified as a result of its old architecture and Kings Heath has the potential to go the same way.
Birmingham has shown complete disregard for its old buildings in the past and those that remain should be cherished. There are plenty of boring, ugly buildings from the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties that need to be demolished because they look terrible. Birmingham is still famous for these brick and concrete eyesores.
There is no excuse for destroying beautiful buildings in a city that needs to improve its appearance and reputation as much as Birmingham does. The amateurish property developers responsible for the destruction in Kings Heath are worse than vandals.
New and spectacular buildings, such as the Selfridges building, have a vital part to play in the renaissance of the city, but we cannot rebuild the whole city. Birmingham is a Victorian city and this should be celebrated through our architecture. Just look at what has been achieved with the refurbished Town Hall.
Eye-catching new buildings built alongside and mixed with traditional architecture is what will give Birmingham the image it deserves.
This principle should be repeated throughout the city centre and the suburbs.
Tired and weary of singing the Blues
Dear Editor, I am exhausted with Birmingham City. I fear I will not renew the season ticket I have had since the days of Terry Cooper and the Kumar brothers.
Survival and hanging on to the coat tails of the premiership is so important; there is no alternative. The financial investment required of fans is obscene but it's here to stay, as younger generations are used to it and probably expect it.
Nowadays, if you don't have a season ticket how many home games will you go to? The price of even the cheapest game and the need to arrange a ticket in advance (as I happily do for live music) would just turn me off. I couldn't be bothered, so I wouldn't go. When I didn't have a season ticket; like thousands of others, I made the decision to go 'on the day,' to join the 'walk up' and pay on the gate.
Further and of more relevance, the emotional investment attached to following Blues is crippling. I care too much and am finding that I don't want to put myself through it anymore. If I'm not at the game I cope much better.
I'm thinking my season ticket fund can be better used. It would easily finance a trip to London, a bit of shopping, a bite to eat and a visit to 'the Emirates'. I enjoy watching football but my best live game experience last year was Villa v Sheffield United. Simply put, I didn't care as to the outcome and I enjoyed the game. I no longer enjoy watching Blues; it matters too much.
Andnothing changes. Let's be honest, Blues are just rubbish. Years of watching the same old, same old. The fans change, the players change, the managers change, the board changes, the owners change and the one constant is failure on the pitch. BCFC need to move.
Just go to a new stadium. Three-quarters of St Andrews is redeveloped but I looked around recently (Derby game) and it was tired and weary and soulless in many ways. Rationally, curses don't exist but ours is in the psyche and it's been there for 100 years. Knock the stadium down; build a car park, a Sainsbury, whatever, and go.
Villa Park is a better stadium; better location and better access. Blues caught up with Villa; from being 50 years behind, the stewardship of the board got us to within five years of Villa but Villa have kicked on; just like Portsmouth did in the transfer window of January 2006 and Blues have been left behind again.
And "finally" as the other 'Sir Trevor' says, I'm suffocated by Blues fans who care more that Villa don't win than that Blues don't lose; singing songs of coming back up, winning the cup, etc. Well, we've come back up enough but I don't recall us winning the cup.
When I was a kid, my dad told me that Blues would "break my heart and never be any good". He wasn't a prophet, he was just right.
A modern miracle
Dear Editor, Many of your readers may not be aware but there is only one hospital in this country that boasts a purpose-built heart and lung centre, and that is the Wolverhampton Royal (New Cross) Hospital. In here now for a few more days, I need to give three cheers for the complete excellence of this healing place and the modern miracle of our NHS.
Police in the dock
Dear Editor, School teacher Linda Walker was jailed and lost her job because she wanted peace to live in her own home.
The thugs who drove her to do what she did are no better than those who kicked a lovely husband and father to his death a short time ago. The police should have been in the dock, not Linda.
Advantage of diversity
Dear Editor, This week you covered a story about plans to discourage councils from funding organisations which focus on providing services for specific ethnic groups.
I have to respond with a yes... but.
At Birmingham Focus on Blindness we provide a range of services for any blind or partially sighted people who live in the city. However, we know that many people from ethnic minorities do not present themselves to the NHS or social services at the levels that the white population does.
That doesn't mean there isn't the incident of visual impairment, it just means that organisations like us have to work harder to understand how best to help. We should be turning the diversity in this wonderful city to our advantage, and by understanding the problems of all communities we can then tailor our services to be meaningful and useful to them.
One-size-fits-all was never a good solution and increasingly we need to offer meaningful choice that is appropriate to our citizens' needs, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity etc etc.
Pragmatically, if that means for the time being providing services to specific ethnic groups, I would still support that.
Birmingham Focus on Blindness
No remedy for shoddy service
Dear Editor, In my street and in many parts of Handsworth the rubbish is still left rotting in the street following Tuesday's strike.
The city council has said to residents that it should be left out and will be collected at some point, but they cannot guarantee when, if at all. The bags have now been split by rats and foxes and the street is full of food waste. This response from the council is completely unacceptable and makes Birmingham look more like a shanty town in a developing country than supposedly the largest and richest local authority in the country.
They extract £1,000 in council tax from us with menaces and we have no such remedy against their shoddy service. I am told that the regular refuse collection contributes about £1 per week to the council tax so I would suggest that all residents affected subtract £1 from next year's council tax payments and send a bill to the city council.