As our new council tax bills drop through our letter boxes (showing an increase much higher than the rate of inflation) I wonder how many of your readers in the East Bromsgrove district realise that we have been without active representation on Worcestershire County Council for quite some time now.
We only became aware of this situation when we tried to contact our current county councillor, Debbie Hamilton-Jones. When she did not reply to several emails and letters we contacted the Leader of the council, Dr George Lord, who said that we would have to wait to until after the June elections when a new councillor would be elected.
Imagine our delight when we received election campaign leaflets from Ms Emma Moffett, the new Conservative county council candidate, in the post. Especially since her leaflet showed photos of her eagerly helping local residents with their problems. At last it seemed we would get help.
But we have been let down again. Despite several emails to the address given in her leaflet, Ms Moffett has failed to respond to any of our requests for help.
I wonder how Worcestershire County Council would respond to our cry of “No taxation without representation”, after all, it worked for the Americans in the mid-17th century. Perhaps we could throw our council tax bills (rather than tea) in the Worcestershire canal as protest.
We have been seeking action over the increasing problems of safety on Grange Lane, Alvechurch, where we live. In a five week period this year there have been seven accidents on this lane caused by excessive speeding.
The widespread use of satellite navigators now means that this country lane carries an awful lot of traffic, particularly commercial traffic using the lane as a rat run between Redditch and Bromsgrove.
The speed limit is 70 miles an hour and so much of this traffic (including many very large commercial vehicles) travels very fast despite the fact that the road is very narrow in several places.
We have been in touch with the council about our safety concerns and asked for a reduced speeding limit only to be told that because there had “only been three accidents involving personal injury” no changes were deemed necessary.
We called the police out following one accident because of damage to one of our properties and were informed that the council would, in all likelihood, only reduce the speed limit if there were more deaths (there was a fatal accident on the lane some two years ago). I’m sure we are not the only ones to think that this is a rather backward thinking road safety strategy.
The council has so far refused to reveal information on the criteria used for deciding speed limits and access issues on our roads. Since we have no one representing our interests on the council it would appear that we can do nothing.
We will pay our increased council tax bills but probably won’t be voting for Ms Moffett in June and hopefully none of us will be killed outside our homes by speeding traffic.
Donna Lee, Mike Bingham and Sarah James
(residents of Grange Lane, Alvechurch)