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Wednesday, May 12, 2021
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People are left out

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We returned from Alvechurch Village Society’s meeting on Wednes­day June 23 about the new schools, charged up with cynicism provoked by the general tenor of the meeting.

Unfortunately this seems to fit a common pattern these days. Despite central government’s new-found philosophy of including local people in the decision-making process on local matters, the panel seemed to be out of touch with both local people and central government (if panel members are to be believed).

The actual process was rather redolent of the way in which decisions were taken regarding the new church hall, but that’s history now.

The common underlying pattern to emerge is that decisions are made by various elected and non-elected esoteric groups, who then seem to hatch a plan to present them in a quasi-public meeting under the guise of inclusion, in the hope that “the public” are persuaded by their plausible arguments.

At this meeting, at no time did we hear any of the panel acknowledge that an audience member had a valid point of disagreement, and that as a consequence a particular issue would be reconsidered.

The term that comes to mind is railroading – or perhaps steamrollering might be better. The whole meeting was simply a PR stunt and made it almost pointless. The only inclusion apparent was being included in the audience to be told what is going to be done to us.

We have a particular gripe which might be a minor one compared with those of others we heard, but ours concerns the inevitable increase in traffic along Old Rectory Lane (the rat run syndrome), which is already periodically overloaded, evidenced by residents in the lane experiencing hazards entering and exiting their own driveways, opposing traffic arguments about who reverses, also sounding horns at each other 10 feet from someone’s bedroom, minor collisions at the chicane, at least one serious accident at the junction with Radford Road, and destruction of the fabric of the lane by inconsiderate and inappropriate vehicles driving on the verges.

All of this is under the national speed limit of 60 mph, and where even 20 mph is too fast. How barmy can you get?

Time and again we have argued that a single track, blind bend lane is totally unsuitable for so-called normal modern day traffic, and some appropriate restrictions are necessary before the new school run starts.

Peter Cottrell & Christine Swainson
Old Rectory Lane, Alvechurch