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In Full . . .

THE VILLAGE VIEW

Posted on May 25 2010 at 11:10:46

It’s refreshing to watch the birth of something so positive in our village lives. The need for some sort of youth club in a settlement as large as Alvechurch has been glaringly obvious for a very long time, but no individual or organisation was able to get beyond flirting with the idea.

Now, thanks to a group of village parents, the desire has been galvanised into action, with growing numbers of teenagers attending weekly meetings. Bromsgrove District Council has been very helpful in guiding the parents towards the paid experts whose advice and support has made this happen.

The council also pledged financial backing and has now been joined by Alvechurch Parish Council, which has agreed all its £4,000 annual youth budget should be put towards the rent the club will have to pay on its own premises in the village, if a suitable venue can be found.

Imagine it, if you can: a cold, wet, dark February evening and those 15- and 16-year-old kids won’t have to shiver in their soaked hoodies outside the Co-op, where they are perceived to be a threat to other villagers. They might be somewhere warm, zapping each other on a Wii or kicking back, chatting to a trained youth worker.

It is still very early days, but at last adults have managed to get beyond the idea that our teenagers are a menace and that instead they deserve better from us. Let’s all hope that it is a success – and if anyone can help in any way, go along and offer your support.

 
Lest we forget Pt 2 … here again is the picture of children’s play equipment being removed from the park at Swan’s Length, Alvechurch, in July 2000, just as the school holidays were about to begin.

Play equipment being removed

We published it last November to emphasise our view that removal of the multi-use games area (MUGA) from the same site now would be a “perverse response” to a vocal minority of residents, some of whom have likened village teenagers to vermin.

Yet we are now hearing whispers that, after an unrelated incident, Bromsgrove District Council is considering their demands. To those making any decision, all we can say is:  How on earth can taking away children’s swings make any difference to antisocial behaviour? It might move it, but it won’t remove it. Let the children play.


So Sajid Javid romped home, as predicted. His 22,558 votes was down around 7.5 per cent on Julie Kirkbride’s 24,387 at the 2005 election, but his majority was actually up 10 per cent because so many votes for his nearest rival, Labour’s Sam Burden, went to the Lib Dems, who were not far off second place.

It’s good to see that if there was any reactionary voting because of Sajid’s heritage, it was insignificant. We now have an MP who looks very able and ready to lead our “progressive” constituency to greater things.


May we echo the tribute to Syd Caddick by his parish council colleague David Matthews on the previous page. Syd was most passionate about calming the menace of speeding traffic through Alvechurch and worked with incredible patience negotiating the Kafkaesque maze of highways bureaucracy that frustrated his efforts at almost every turn.

He did succeed in seeing a number of measures to fruition and never gave up his tireless campaign. Now, with Redditch-bound traffic speeding faster than ever at the top of Swan Street and Syd’s recent efforts to calm Hopwood’s roads left in abeyance, will anyone else take up his torch and become our speed tsar? 


Finally, back to those daffodils. Most people took our remarks last issue about “overkill” in the light spirit with which they were intended – even the person we know to have planted more than her fair share around Alvechurch.

When we offered to buy a sack of blue crocuses for the next planting, she revealed that she had planted around 1,000 crocus bulbs at the same time as the daffodils but they had failed to show. Her theory is that mice had burrowed under the snow and snaffled the crocuses. “So at least the mice had some benefit from all our efforts!” she laughed.


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