I find the debate regarding the proposed Co op at the Maypole an interesting reflection on what Halesowen has become. We are a nondescript little side show town clustered with other such Dudley towns that look longingly over the border to Worcestershire. There we see towns that have councillors determined to maintain the heart, dignity and fabric of their communities, irrespective of what pressure is mounted by businesses. Where is even the demand for the Co op store to at least be aesthetically suitable and attractive for a residential district? No, for Halesowen, we have sunk so low in our self esteem and councillor aspirations that anything goes for a few low paid jobs - bring on the bookies, bargain booze shops and takeaways it's all we seem to be worth. Or is it? Perhaps the Halesowen residents might wish to show they have greater ambition than those who claim to lead us.

Robin Chadderton