26th Sep, 2018

LETTERS: Your discussion about your city from this week's Observer

LETTERS

RE The Observer front page story, January 25th, I am glad that your raise the wider point, “The Observer had called for an inquiry into the council’s handling of planning applications by unelected officers…”.This issue is worth pursuing, I feel.

The decision is pending on an application to demolish Coventry Boys’ Club and SQ Club in Whitefriars Lane, and build two massive student accommodation tower blocks – 17 storey and 13 storey (planning ref. FUL/2017/2704) The site is directly south of my building (Gosford Books in Gosford Street), just beyond the end of my garden, and, obviously, I have objected. I imagine others will have too.

Checking online for the date of the committee hearing, I was really surprised to find that the decision is delegated to officers. The proposed towers would not only overshadow me, but the listed Whitefriards Alehouse next door. There are two even more important historic buildings in the viccinity – the Whitefriars itself, and its gatehouse at the end of the lane, on Much Park Street.

Surrounding university buildings, some of which are award-winning, would be dominated by these towers, which, to put it mildly, would be unlikely to win any awards. This is a major development on a sensitive site. If such an application does not go before the planning committee, then just what is the planning committee for, exactly?

Rob Gill

Gosford Books

Gosford Street

Coventry

I have always had a high regard for Mr Jim Cunningham, the MP for Coventry South.

I was therefore surprised to see him pictured on some Labour Party leaflets with people who apparently think that they can affect a wide range of national matters, but offer nothing specific about the City Council Wards that they wish to represent.

City Councillors deal with Social Services, housing,, planning, roads, lighting, trees, etc, and above all should try to help residents over relevant personal problems.

My friends Cllr Marcus Lapsa, Clllr Tim Mayer and I take these duties very seriously indeed in Westwood Ward. We do not pretend to be able to change the world.

Why does Mr Cunningham support people who apparently do not understand what the Council does? Clarity is vital.

Coun David Skinner (Conservative)

Westwood Ward

Coventry City Council

In this our 50th year, Anchor recognises that loneliness is nearing epidemic proportions and is something which concerns the older people living with us. According to the Campaign To End Loneliness, more than half the country’s 75 year olds currently live alone which increases the likelihood of mortality by 26%.

As we deliver housing, care and support to 40,000 older people from our 1,000 locations across England, Anchor does its utmost to prevent this. The older people living in retirement housing properties, like mine, benefit from living in a thriving community. I’m also around if they need any support.

That is why I welcome the Government’s decision to appoint Tracy Crouch as its Minister for Loneliness. We wish her every success.

And local retailers can also help older people, particularly those living alone, to reduce their sense of loneliness. Anchor’s Standing Up 4 Sitting Down campaign is asking retailers to provide seating so that older shoppers, as well as disabled people and pregnant women, can rest mid-shop. A shopping trip may be a weekly chore for many but for some older people living alone it’s a chance for social interaction and could be a life saver.

Innocent Chagiye

Manager, Leofric Lodge

Heath Crescent

Coventry

Calling all schools.

To mark Safer Internet Day, the NSPCC and the London Grid for Learning (LGfL DigiSafe) is urging primary and secondary schools across the UK to take part in a free pupil online safety survey.

Findings from the anonymised survey will be used to help develop a better understanding of young people’s online lives via a national academic report, and locally, by returning the data to participating schools.

Schools can sign up in advance to take part in the online survey, which is open from Thursday 1 to Wednesday 28 February.

Designed for pupils across Key Stages 2-4, it covers a range of online safety issues including:

Livestreaming

Gaming

Meeting people online (and then face to face)

Sharing – such as personal information, images and videos

Staying safe online

More than 22,000 children and young people took part in the previous survey which was held in 2015.

To sign up, and for further information, visit pupilsurvey.lgfl.net

Nick Hanslip, NSPCC Midlands Schools Service Manager.

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