Sandwell or Solihull?
The picture above was taken near my home in Wednesbury, which is part of Sandwell. Six towns make up Sandwell as part of local government reorganisation that made large Metropolitan Areas governed by Metropolitan councils. These were formed in 1974 and many people think it made things worse. Local government certainly became more ‘politically correct’.
I read this week that Sandwell is one of the most deprived areas in the West Midlands. This doesn’t surprise me. The most affluent area was Solihull and this got me thinking. I wondered how I would get to Solihull, so I could see how they made their money. I checked it out on Google maps, it 24.7 miles from here and it would take me about 31 minutes to get there. I just go down the M6 onto the M42 and turn off at junction 5. Just a minute, I went through Birmingham last time, it was a few decades ago… Why can’t I go that way? I checked… If I go down the A34 through Birmingham it’s only 18.7 miles, but it takes 36 minutes. Why is Google telling me to do an extra 6 miles? That’s an extra litre of petrol nearly; extra quid anyway. Doesn’t Google know the price of petrol in the UK?
I decided to see if Solihull had changed much by using Street view. Well, it’s bloody cheaper than driving there! It’s still as posh, nice big houses and drives suitable for a number of cars; just as well there was a lot of yellow lines to stop parking on the roads. There were no speed humps and little traffic; hell it’s not nice like that around here. There was a lot of greenery too and I didn’t see any graffiti. I wondered for a moment what the people of Solihull do that makes them so well off. Do they make things? They’re too far from the sea to build ships and all their cars appeared to be imported. That was to remain a mystery because I remembered Chelmsley Wood, a less pleasant part of Solihull, that I seem to remember. What is it like today? I went on a Street View tour. This is what I’m used to! Cheap housing, no drive ways, cars parked on the pavement and God awful speed humps that went right across the roads! Now things were starting to look clear.
I know why we are deprived; we spend all the money on speed humps and traffic calming in poorer areas. That forces the traffic onto A and B roads causing chaotic traffic jams. Then traffic lights are installed so people can cross the roads making the traffic worse. This is why I need to do an extra 6 miles to drive from here to Solihull; the motorways are the only roads left that are hump free! But for how long? They already have spy cameras to check on speed!
I found the blog that was set up for the Chief Executive of Sandwell Council this morning; it’s for employees only and has about 1,000 subscribers. I wouldn’t have thought that many people would want to suck up! That blog has an editor, who I assume gets paid and it cost over £5,000 to set up; that’s more than I spent to set up A zillion Ideas! My blog is a dot com too! I left a comment on that blog anyway, just to be nice!
There are more blogs on the Home Page. You might like yesterday’s blog which was also about the Black Country! Please share with your friends on Facebook, subscribe ( I don’t have a 1,000 subscribers yet) and maybe click ‘like’.
The picture above was described as ‘gorgeous’ by my friend in Texas after this blog was published on WordPress. Shame about the less pretty areas of the town!
Thanks for reading…
- Black Country humour (mike10613.wordpress.com)
- The Black Country inferiority complex (mike10613.wordpress.com)
- Wednesbury History in brief (mike10613.wordpress.com)
- Britain’s Got Potholes (blogs.confused.com)