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In Full . . .

Snobbery on a piffling matter

Posted on October 16 2011 at 2:36:00

Before we came to live here 30 years ago I had never come across such parochial snobbery as exists in this area, so well illustrated in the last issue of The Village.

Local government reorganisation is not taking place. The Boundary Commission is merely looking into the electoral size and geography of parliamentary constituencies as a prelude to a reduction in the overall number.

So why the misleading headline “Alvechurch joined to Redditch?” and the emotive reference to Alvechurch being “lumped into the Redditch parliamentary constituency”.

You also report an alarmist suggestion that house prices might fall if that were to happen, though why they should I can’t imagine. Do people in Redditch have some kind of disease which might be passed on to the residents of Alvechurch if the constituency boundaries are changed?

There is glib reference to “the historic link to Bromsgrove”, but how far back do you want to go? When Margaret Thatcher came to power the Redditch constituency did not exist.

It was linked in with Bromsgrove and I wonder whether at the time the good people of Alvechurch saw that as an outrage. Moreover, 30 years before that, the constituency of Bromsgrove did not even exist.

Of your list of leading questions only the last one, “Does it really matter?”, merits an answer, which should be a resounding “No”.

But the query “Might your Labour vote actually count in Redditch?” was intriguing. I doubt the Redditch Labour people will be rushing to welcome Alvechurch into the constituency.

Clearly the class war is far from over, but is it not time to put aside this and other piffling concerns such as whether “Birmingham” should be part of Barnt Green’s postal address, or how far up Greenhill Burcot ends and Blackwell begins.

Frank Howard, Lickey End


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