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29th Nov, 2021

This week's Bromsgrove and Droitwich Standard letters......

Bromsgrove Editorial 29th Jan, 2021

More needs to be done about Bromsgrove’s air quality

IN THE WEEK before Christmas we were all shocked and saddened to hear about the tragic death of little nine-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah, whose death from air pollution was announced by the South London coroner.

He said: “I will conclude that Ella died of asthma, contributed to by excessive air pollution.” She actually died in February 2013.

The UK is failing to meet the legal limit of nitrogen dioxide pollution, where the annual average concentration level cannot exceed 40 ug/m3.

In Worcestershire the air quality is not good as we have seven AQMAs (Air quality management areas) in the county – two of them in Bromsgrove. Disappointingly, for the Worcester Road starting outside the Black Cross pub the level of exceedance was 56ug/m3 in October 2011…… and nine years later it is still exceeding legal levels at 43.99ug/m3.

This is very bad news as it runs straight past St Peters First School, St John’s Middle School and South Bromsgrove High School.

Whilst we can look forward to taking up one of the approved Covid-19 vaccines in 2021 we don’t have a solution for asthma sufferers in the county.

According to recent data released by Public Health England 28,000 to 36,000 deaths per annum are expected from long-term man-made air pollution.

As one of three significant asthma sufferers in my family I am concerned by the disheartening lack of progress being made in the county and have written to Tony Miller, Cabinet member with responsibility for the Environment at Worcestershire County Council about the actions proposed and Mrs Kathryn Cobain, Interim Director of Public Health at the Council.

Going forward I accept the county council has recently agreed to undertake a joint impact assessment of the environmental impact of any new projects it undertakes, but this alone will not solve the problem.

I fear for the future health of our school children and I urge you to write to Worcestershire County Council and ask them to take the decisive and urgent actions now required.

Graham Bouchard



Why bring back town’s parking charges during lockdown?

HEATHER Evans outlines the problems with the ticket machines in Bromsgrove Council car parks (Standard, January 15).

It is estimated 80 per cent of infectious diseases are transmitted by touch and the Covid-19 virus can live on metal surfaces for three days.

Apparently, the only hand sanitiser facilities are in the Asda car park.

The council says that it relies on car park income, but does not wish people to visit the town centre during the pandemic!

What is the point of bringing back car park charges so soon, then?

Droitwich has provided free parking throughout the pandemic.

Why can’t Bromsgrove?

Michael Shaughnessy



Plea for help in finding Mary Teresa (Tessa) Johnson

I AM trying to find my friend’s sister.

Her name was Mary Teresa (Tessa) Johnson.

Their mother died in 1950 shortly after childbirth and all five children were put into care.

Michael is the only remaining brother and he is desperate to find his sister.

Mary (Tessa) was born May 17, 1945. We think she was in Shenley Fields Children’s Home.

If you can help in any way please let me know.

Anyone with any information can email the Standard at

Christine (family friend)


Help is there for blind and partially sighted during these tough times

2020 was a difficult year for everyone.

Though there is hope on the horizon, starting 2021 in lockdown is not how most people wanted to ring in the new year.

It’s understandable that many of us are feeling down and in need of a little extra emotional support.

The situation is especially challenging for the more than two million people in the UK living with sight loss.

Many have faced anxiety, sadness and even fear about the unique challenges they have experienced – such as problems social distancing, difficulty shopping without guidance and isolation from losing tactile contact with friends and family during lockdown.

That’s why the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) launched Emergency Mental

Health Sessions for local blind and partially sighted people in October.

The sessions are completely free and offer people with sight loss the opportunity to speak to a counsellor for an hour over the phone about however they are feeling and any problems that are on their mind. It doesn’t have to be about their sight at all.

We know that the next few months might be tough for many, so we want to remind you that RNIB is here to help. If you or someone you know could benefit from speaking to someone, please call our Helpline on 0303 123 9999. We can set up a chat within 36 hours and the service can be used as many times as needed.

No one with sight loss has to suffer on their own. Blind and partially sighted people deserve the same expectation of mental wellbeing as everyone else. That’s why RNIB will always be here.

Amanda Hawkins

Specialist Lead for Counselling and Wellbeing



THE TRANSFORMATION of Artrix from arts venue to vaccination centre was incredible to see when I visited the site on Saturday.

So many people have pulled together and worked so hard to get the vaccination programme under way on Monday.

Days after we had the concerning news about NHS-branded scam emails going trying to dupe people into handing over their bank and personal details.

Remember you do not have to pay for the vaccine and should only respond to offers from genuine NHS correspondences.

We welcome your letters…..

What pressing issues do you feel need addressing in Bromsgrove, Droitwich, Rubery and South Birmingham? Send us your views to


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