Tuesday, February 27, 2024

THE VILLAGE VIEW

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The Marlbrook Tip debacle already beggars belief, so long-suffering residents could be forgiven for thinking that things couldn’t get any more farcical. . . but the latest twist in the 15-year saga has scaled new heights of absurdity.

After the public meeting in February it appeared that Bromsgrove District Council had at last found a way to move forward, with the proposed formation of a cross-party working group to determine the site’s future – even if the Labour opposition and the majority of residents would, quite rightly, prefer an independent inquiry into the whole sorry mess.

Residents and parish councillors were told they could apply to join this group, which many did.

Then they waited… and waited… and waited to see if they had been successful – and they will have to wait some more, because it seems that the District Council has not even made up its mind on how to go about selecting them.

According to District Councillor Brian Cooper, who deemed the situation “totally unsatisfactory”, the party leaders have reached an “impasse” and therefore cannot get on with the selection process – which was already described as “bewildering” by the chairman of Lickey & Blackwell Parish Council.

If members of Bromsgrove District Council cannot even agree on how to select people, let alone actually form the promised working group, then what hope is there for the future of Marlbrook Tip and the residents who are unfortunate enough to live in its shadow?

The party leaders need to put politics aside on this occasion and get their acts together fast, because the people of Lickey are running out of patience.

* Network Rail has come in for an inordinate amount of criticism via social media for the disturbances generated by improvement work at Alvechurch railway station.
But when an opportunity to improve relations with the local community came along, the company was happy to take it – offering its own labour and machinery to tackle the problematic fallen tree between the cricket club and The Meadows.

Some may view this as a publicity stunt, but to see it that way would be churlish.

Without assistance from Network Rail, the parish council may have had to spend a large amount of taxpayers’ money on the problem, while cricket fixtures and the Picnic in the Park would have been in jeopardy.

Meanwhile, surely the future benefits of the completed railway project outweigh the irritation of a few months of noise?

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