Your letters to the Herts Ad...
PUBLISHED: 10:33 24 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:33 24 January 2018
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I refer to your article ‘Alban Way will remain unlit despite recent safety fears’ in which Debbi White, SADC head of community services, states that there are no plans to provide lighting along the Alban Way .
One very important factor is a large number of monitoring tests by a number of organisations (including St Albans Green Party) which show that air pollution levels in St Albans are consistently over the EU legal limit.
Air pollution is a grave public health issue. The report published in February 2016 on the effects of air pollution produced by the Royal College of Physicians (Every Breath we take) found that children’s lungs can be stunted by 90 per cent, and that air pollution is linked to dementia and obesity.
According to the WHO, in children it can stunt brain growth, reduce lung function and trigger asthma, and cause cancers, chronic respiratory diseases, cardio-vascular diseases and even strokes.
One of the basic duties of a local authority is to promote public health.
So wherever possible it should be the duty of a local authority to provide alternatives to polluted streets. One example is the Alban Way.
In your article Debbi White states that St Albans had considered installing lighting along the Alban Way, but had decided that this would be too expensive.
Did she mean the entire six mile length of the Alban Way? There are surely measures which would be far cheaper.
In sections with the most footfall, perhaps lighting could be installed? As the Alban Way also doubles as a wildlife corridor, to minimise light pollution why not use lighting with photo-electric cells so the lighting only comes on when somebody is passing?
Cat’s eyes along the edge of the path could be another possibility.
Where possible, the path could be made wider without significantly reducing the area of the surrounding vegetation.
By the way, have there been any studies carried out as to the amount of footfall along any parts the Alban Way, and in which sections?
If the public felt safer using the Alban Way, then more people would greatly benefit from using this great facility.
PHIL FLETCHER Sopwell Lane, St Albans
We fully sympathise with Rosalind Marshall’s outrage at Morrisons’ lack of consideration for residents, as we suffer similar from Waitrose.
The noise from a goods yard in a residential area is excessive for too great a daily window of operation (0700 to 2200) normally, but when deliveries double in the run up to the festive period it’s non-stop noise for longer hours.
However, last year Waitrose excelled itself by installing a couple of refrigerated containers in its goods yard. One container placed about 20 metres from the backs of houses disturbed us all when it was turned on and prevented my daughter sleeping in her back bedroom.
When we complained to a Waitrose night duty manager he said it was full of turkeys and couldn’t be turned off. Hopefully the council weekend night staff witnessing the noise at 23.30, which contravenes The 1996 Noise Act, will prevent a repetition this year.
NAME & ADDRESS WITHHELD
I am disgusted and concerned about the closure of the Nat West branch in Harpenden.
I have banked there for over 60 years and another branch will not be easy to get to.
I do not bank online and have no intention of doing so. It is not secure, in spite of what they say.
I will have to revert to keeping my money under the mattress.
STAN HUNT By email
For several months the Herts Advertiser has published letters from a resident of St Albans. He has attacked West Herts Hospital Trust’s plans to re-develop Watford General as an A&E and specialist hospital and he has championed building a new hospital on a new site. In last Thursday’s edition he was backed up by a resident of Hemel Hempstead.
Their letters have at least three other things in common: they do not mention (a) the cost, (b) the source of funding or (c) the site of new hospital.
In fact, their letters have another, fourth, thing in common. They do not make it clear if they support the trust’s plans for St Albans City HospitaI (SACH) or its continued existence.
The trust intends to continue to provide the following services at SACH: antenatal and community midwifery, outpatient clinics, elective and day surgery, and clinical support including X-ray, ultra-sound, mammography, and blood and specimen collection.
The trust aspires to provide new buildings and facilities to develop SACH as a centre for cancer care and the Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (which works with the Trust) is investigating up-grading the Minor Injuries Unit into an Urgent Treatment Centre.
Perhaps your two correspondents do not believe the trust, and are inclined to rubbish everything it states, but I’d like to know of they support the trust’s intentions for SACH and if they support the continued existence of SACH.
Chair St Albans and Harpenden Patient Group
I must take exception with the views of Alan Bunting about the state of Israel. Has he ever visited the country? I am presently in Tel Aviv where Jews and Arabs work and live side by side. Muslims and Christians eat in the same restaurants without discrimination.
On Christmas Eve the RC St Peter’s Church in Jaffa advertised a Christmas Mass celebration would be held at differing times in English, Polish, Russian and Hebrew - which other Middle Eastern countries even allow Christianity to flourish? During that evening we could also here the calls to prayer emanating from the three local mosques.
Israel is home to over one and a half million Arabs who have equal voting rights, with many Arabs elected as members of the Knesset (Parliament) and also have equal education and health benefits. Many Arabs and Bedouin serve in the Israeli forces also. No notice is taken of Muslim ladies wearing traditional clothing or with their faces veiled, they are simply part of the population.
If Israel is an apartheid country why is it home to many Somali and Sudanese refugees and thousands of non-Jews from many other countries. The Tanzanian lady who services our apartment has lived here for 19 years with her husband and children and would not wish to return to Tanzania, her eldest daughter is about to enlist in the Army.
At Christmas there are thousands of religious pilgrims from many African countries touring the country before spending time celebrating in Jerusalem and Bethlehem. I would also mention that the Israeli Government contributed large sums towards the urgently required repairs to the Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem.
I presume that he did not watch the recent Channel 4 TV programme on research and a possible cure for MS featuring a team of doctors in Israel consisting of Arabs, Jews and Greeks all working together. So much of the world’s medical and technological innovation originates from Israel.
Israel continues to remain under threat of annihilation from extremists and many of its neighbouring countries and constantly has to deal with attacks on its citizens.
Is Mr Bunting one of those who consider that Israel has no right to exist as a sovereign state recognized since 1948 by the UN?
Should it return land captured in wars against countries that threatened its very existence? It returned a modern redeveloped Gaza to the Palestinians who have destroyed much of its development because it was done by Israel while occupied!
Israel security forces constantly deal with extremists intent on destroying the state in the same way that the UK security services have needed to for the past several years. Is that unreasonable?
The families of captured terrorists are paid pensions from the millions of pounds of foreign aid given by the UK to the Palestinian government, this is what Pritti Patel was trying to stop before she was dismissed.
Might I suggest that Mr Bunting takes a flight from Luton and spends a few weeks in the country and sees first-hand how free and integrated the population is which will hopefully give him a totally different perspective of Israel.
LES CAZIN By email
Rupert Evershed’s Nature Notes column on the joys of dog ownership was a delight to read, but I have to say that he does give a rather rosy and one-sided picture.
I have the good fortune to live in a fairly rural area and local farmers and other land owners have a rather more jaundiced view of the dog-owning classes.
There seems to be a “divine right of dog owners” which means that dogs and their owners are free to do what they want.
Once you have a dog, you no longer have to keep to footpaths but can wander anywhere you like on a field, disturbing wildlife, destroying birds’ nests and damaging crops. You can allow Fido to leave piles of poo anywhere he wants, or decorate the countryside trees with plastic bags containing excrement.
Fido will be allowed off his lead to chase wildlife and harass sheep.
I have seen a “well-behaved” dog attack a pregnant fallow deer near Wheathampstead, leaving it and its young seriously injured. I have seen several dogs catch pheasants leaving them dead or injured.
One owner stuffed an injured pheasant into my hedge thinking that he could hide Fido’s crime.
A weekly occurrence is for dogs to be allowed to roam freely across farmland and then into my garden chasing my cats leaving them almost too traumatised to leave the house.
Of course there are many responsible dog owners, but in my experience, the irresponsible owners far outnumber those who are more thoughtful.
I was also delighted to read Becky Alexander’s Local Foodie column about veganism. It is heartwarming to read a positive article about this increasing popular lifestyle choice
Having been a healthy and happy vegan for more than 20 years, I am really encouraged by the number of people who are choosing a compassionate and cruelty-free way of living.
Veganism is good for our health, good for the planet and better for animals. Animal farming is responsible for around 18 per cent of greenhouse gases, is a major source of water pollution of both rivers and seas and is turning great tracts of the earth to desert as we destroy forests for crops to feed cattle.. Animal production is also driving antibiotic resistance.
Most people became vegan for the animals, many of whom live short, dismal lives. If slaughterhouses and factory farms had glass walls, I am sure that many more people would be vegan.
MARY BARTON Ayot Place, Ayot St Peter
St Albans council has just started a consultation exercise on where 913 new homes a year to 2036 should be built. Democracy in action! The figure of 913 comes from the Government, without any consultation. Not so democratic!
DOUGLAS RAINE By email