Hopwood and Barnt Green seem unlikely bed-fellows to anyone living around here, although, peering at a map in London, they could look quite a comely match.
They are adjacent, north of the dividing M42 and separated only by a picturesque reservoir, and together form a buffer to the encroachment of Birmingham on to our patch.
So the local government boundary commission’s suggestion that they should be joined into a single ward of Bromsgrove district might, from a distance, seem a good idea.
Yet it could, in the stroke of a draughtsman’s pen, diminish decades of togetherness and experience built up between Alvechurch and Hopwood.
Take the current efforts by Alvechurch Parish Council to bring some sort of relief to Hopwood from the nightmare of heavy traffic speeding through their hamlet up and down the A441.
It has taken forever just to get a meeting with the county council councillor for Alvechurch and highway chiefs, and although so far fruitless, at least a dialogue has been opened.
If Hopwood were to be conjoined with Barnt Green for district matters, but remain in Alvechurch for parish purposes, “getting things done” would feel even more like being caught in a Kafka-esque bureaucratic maze.
We support the well-reasoned suggestion by Alvechurch Parish Council of creating an Alvechurch North Ward, containing Hopwood, and an Alvechurch South, including Rowney Green and Bordesley.
We do, however, wonder what would become of the parish of Beoley, which is nowhere near its suggested partner of Wythall.
We are happy to report in this magazine on donations of money rolling in for The Lounge youth project in Alvechurch (£330 raised by Morris dancers at New Year and another, smaller, sum from an nativity event at Alvechurch Baptist Church).
There will be another chunk heading their way next month from our Village Walks Calendar, which sold out very quickly, and we hope other people will put The Lounge at the top of their list when they are planning a charity event this year.