Thursday February 27 2020



In Full . . .


Posted on November 01 2010 at 5:53:29

Goodbye, Bromsgrove, hello. . .Red­ditch? Barnt Green, Cofton Hackett and Lickey inextricably linked to a distant new town rather than our historic market town?

And they’re not the only places that would be lumped in with Redditch – try Alvechurch, whose name would be wedded publicly in the new “Redditch and Alvechurch” parliamentary constituency. Surely this is some sort of joke.

According to one critic, the proposed reorganisation of constituencies must have been dreamed up by someone in an ivory tower in London with no idea of how people around here organise their lives.

Well, actually it seems to have been done by something even more anonymous and far less sensitive to human needs . . . a computer program.

The Electoral Reform Society, the pressure group that has published the new boundaries, commissioned a market research company called CACI to come up with them. And this organisation, they proudly declare, has “deployed cutting-edge technology to show how a new political map could be drawn”.

We suggest they go straight back to the drawing board where they could deploy some old-fashioned common sense.

It’s no wonder our current Bromsgrove MP, Sajid Javid, is “relaxed” about these proposals. He must know that if they ever looked like becoming more than lines on a computerised map, the world would already have gone mad.

£412 and a hillside of ill-feeling later, Lickey & Blackwell Parish Council has apparently decided to give up on having a sign at the boundary of the parish welcoming people to Blackwell.

A squall in a teacup it may have been, but somewhere along the line our money has been spent by Worcestershire County Council: first in making and installing the sign, then removing it and then in the time taken for senior officers to look into it and write to the parish council explaining that they shouldn’t have put it there for them in the first place and to give them their money back.

Blimey! It’s a good job they’re Tories to start with or “Big” Eric Pickles would be sending in a hit-squad to sort them out.

Six years after they applied for an environmental permit and more than four and a half since winning a planning battle for the right to use a 17-metre chimney to operate a rendering plant Hopwood, the owners of Mayfield Farm are about to have all the official pieces of their jigsaw in place.

It has taken so long that many people, including some dealing with the environmental health permit at Bromsgrove District Council, thought this stage might never be reached.

Once the permit is granted, health officers believe they will have the clout to make sure no more foul smells emanate from Mayfield Farm. But this is going to be a strict test of both the technology to be used – principally a “thermal oxidiser” to burn off odours –  and the enforcement abilities of Bromsgrove.

These rendering plants are usually in unpopulated areas, not 100 yards from villagers’ front doors.

If health officers have the power and, indeed, the duty to come out and enforce the tough regulations at the slightest niff crossing the fence, then the double air-lock doors and thermal oxider and carbon filters will need to be, well, air-tight.

If not, the sensitive human noses over the canal will immediately pick up any escaping odours and their owners will be hitting the speed-dial to Bromsgrove.

Everyone will be hoping this “best available technology” does what it says on the tin.

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