29th Jun, 2022

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


As it seems to have gone widely unreported, I think it is important to make people aware of the fact that the much-hyped BBC Music’s Biggest Weekend that is taking place in Coventry over the May Bank Holiday is actually going to cost the city a huge amount of money.

As reported by BBC local radio, the council have agreed to cover the ‘infrastructure’ costs of the event and £300,000 of public money will be spent on policing the weekend and cleaning up after it. The cabinet member responsible for events, Coun Abdul Khan, has issued the usual statement telling us about the benefits that the event will bring to the city without actually specifying them.

Coun Khan is also a great proponent of the annual ‘free-to-the-public’ Godiva Festival which will take place this summer. A recent Freedom Of Information request revealed that the net cost to the taxpayer of holding this event last year was £319,157.

Combined, that’s probably over £600,000 that the council will be spending on music festivals alone this year. So perhaps the councillor or any of his Labour comrades could explain to the people of Coventry how far that money would go in funding emergency accommodation for the homeless, keeping a library open, getting disabled youngsters to school free of charge, dealing with fly-tipping or getting on top of the current bin collections fiasco?

It really does appear that the ‘austerity’ excuse so often used by our local Labour politicians to justify their savage cuts to our basic local services doesn’t apply to extravagant spending on superfluous projects like this which will inevitably grab positive headlines for them. How convenient.

Matthew Batson



Councillor O’Boyle keeps referring to the Gibson plan and the updating and removing the escalator in the Precinct.

Whilst I agree with the removing of the escalator I have not seen any reference on how one obtains access to the higher level of shops especially as he also proposes the removal of the ramp.

May I suggest he visits the Herbert Museum as in the History Gallery there is a video of the interview by the BBC in the late 1950/early 1960s with the then City Architect, Arthur Ling who explains the Gibson Plan.

Barry Stelfox

Green Lane


I cannot forecast the final outcome of the poisonings in Salisbury, nor of BREXIT, but see an obvious connection.

We clearly need the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Military and Security Services to co-operate closely with their friendly counterparts overseas. This includes not only the USA and Commonwealth countries, but, where appropriate, the EU.

It is some time since I was involved with overseas affairs, but I hope that, whatever happens, those vital links are maintained after BREXIT. The existence of biological and nuclear weapons, which could, in an extreme case, destroy life in many countries, including the UK, makes security the very most important issue for us all.

Coun David Skinner (Conservative)

Westwood Ward

Coventry City Council

I’m writing to encourage your readers to join the thousands of people across the UK and millions across the world taking part in the biggest event to protect the planet, WWF’s Earth Hour, taking place at 8:30pm on Saturday 24 March.

This year, make a #PromiseForThePlanet and change an aspect of your life to live more sustainably. This could be switching to a green energy provider, refusing plastic cutlery with take-away food or buying a re-usable coffee cup. Whilst individually these changes may seem small, together they will have a huge impact and will help to reduce our environmental footprint.

With almost half of animal and plant species at risk in the world’s most important natural places if global temperatures continue to rise at the current rate, this year’s Earth Hour is focussing on the need for us all to play a part in protecting our planet – for people and nature. By working together, we can show we care and are willing to take action to ensure –that species such as polar bears, elephants, tigers and marine turtles, to name but a few – will still be around for our children and grandchildren.

Make sure you take part on Saturday 24 March at 8.30pm and make a promise to protect our wonderful planet at wwf.org.uk/earthhour.

Andy Murray, tennis player

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