25th Jun, 2022

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


Oh dear, Coun Jim O’Boyle is back on his soap box, this time educating the clueless masses of Coventry about income and council tax and why we pay it (Letters, Feb 22).

In what is probably a first, I actually agree with Coun O’Boyle’s opening gambit in which he perceptively notes that “no one likes paying income tax and council tax in particular gets people’s ire”. However, what follows is the usual patronising drivel telling us how awful those nasty Tories are in a lame attempt to justify yet another rise in our council tax.

We all know times are tough but the local Labour Party’s default excuse of ‘austerity’ to justify every single bad decision it makes just won’t wash for as long as the current Labour administration continues to waste money while it cripples basic local services.

I am sure the majority of those who can afford it would happily accept another hike in their council tax if they knew it would be competently spent and bring tangible improvements to the city.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case and it really is high time Coun O’Boyle and his comrades started to look a bit closer to home before blaming national policy for their local failures.

Wasteful council spending has reached new heights of idiocy under the current Labour administration. The cost of employing trade union staff, the creation of deputy cabinet positions, the refusal to implement cost-saving recommendations of an independent report on allowances and expenses, and the continuing production of the biased Citivision magazine are just a few of the many outrageous examples of waste. Yet our local leaders still plead poverty and expect citizens to pay more in council tax for less services.

So before you start lecturing to us about council tax rises councillor, address your own financial mismanagement. Perhaps then your endless excuses might attain some level of credibility.

Matthew Batson

Byfield Road



The devastating event in Leicester on 24 February shows yet again the importance of fire issues.

The new main Coventry Fire Station at Radford Road, now under construction, will incorporate very modern technology and add yet more to the ability of the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Service to safeguard residents and businesses.

I have great respect for the efficiency of our fire-fighters, and the speed of reaction to emergencies, both at the Central Control Room at the HQ in Birmingham and at individual stations, including Coventry.

Their “safe and well” visits to domestic premises are also important in preventing future danger. To book a visit, please ring; 0800-389-5525. The website https://www.wmfs.net/contact-us/ gives more details.

Above all, I respect the sheer courage of the men and women who risk their own lives to protect us day and night. They deal with events which would terrify me. As with our excellent West Midlands Ambulance Service, we are so fortunate to have them.

Coun David Skinner

Conservative, Westwood Ward

Coventry City Council

I used to be one of the four out of five women in the UK that can’t name bloating as a major symptom of ovarian cancer. Then my role model, the wonderful comedian Linda Smith, died from the disease. Now as an Ambassador for Target Ovarian Cancer, I am calling for more awareness of the disease during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month this March.

I want everyone to know the four symptoms – it could save lives: persistent bloating; feeling full; tummy pain; needing to wee more.

I’m asking your readers to join us to raise awareness and money to support Target Ovarian Cancer this March. It’s time to TAKE OVAR. Together we can make sure every woman knows the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Join us at your workplace, school or community: Bake Some Noise with a cake sale or coffee morning, join us on Friday 9 March for The Big Colour Clash by wearing your loudest outfit for a donation, or Challenge yourself to tell 50 people about the symptoms and raise £50.

We’ll send you everything you need for free – stickers, symptoms leaflets, badges and wristbands. Call 020 7923 5474 or visit targetovariancancer.org.uk/March

Raise awareness, fund research, and save lives this March.

Susan Calman, Target Ovarian Cancer Ambassador

There is a lot to be proud of since we were founded in 1961. Seven in ten people now survive a heart attack; the idea of heart transplants is now a reality and the majority of babies born with congenital heart conditions now live on to adulthood.

We want to say thank you to everyone who has donated to the BHF over the years – your money has helped to make these breakthroughs and save millions of lives; we simply wouldn’t have come so far if it wasn’t for your generosity.

But unfortunately, heart disease and circulatory disease isn’t a done deal. In the Midlands alone, an estimated 1,160,000 people are living with cardiovascular disease, and every year around 25,200 people die from these conditions. Heart and circulatory disease still devastates thousands of families every year and is the cause of more than a quarter of all deaths in the UK. Our fight isn’t over yet.

Up and down the nation, thousands of scientists are making it their mission to keep more families together. As you read this letter, we are one step closer to finding a cure for heart failure, pioneering new methods of diagnosing inherited heart conditions and improving surgical procedures.

But these projects will cease to exist without donations, as they aren’t government funded. By donating to the BHF, you will be helping around 1,000 research projects in over 50 locations to unlock the key to beating heart disease for good. To be a part of this exciting prospect, please visit www.bhf.org.uk/thankyou

Simon Gillespie

Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation

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