Your letters to the Herts Ad...

PUBLISHED: 13:34 16 February 2018

Have your say and write to hertsad@archant.co.uk

Have your say and write to hertsad@archant.co.uk

Pixtural

Email us at hertsad@archant.co.uk or write to the usual address in French Row...

As someone who is appalled by the prospect of another Harpenden school being built on Green Belt land - and on the busy Lower Luton Road - I applaud Mary Maynard’s comments reported in your issue of January 25 that “Green Belt objectives are not about having nice rolling hills. It is actually about building a good distance between settlements and maintaining farm land”.

The school proposed by HCC, not SADC, rides roughshod over both these criteria.

It reduces the green area between Harpenden and Wheathampstead and it is planned to be built on land that was, until purchased by HCC, an active cattle farm.

In SADC’s own Green Belt Assessment (2013) this area (GB40) was highlighted as making a significant contribution to the Green Belt.

A case was indeed made in the same report for building development on a part of that package of Green Belt but at that stage there was no suggestion that a school would also also be built in the same GB40.

However, as we now know, Site F had already been selected by HCC as the best option for the new a new school.

This begs the question of how much discussion there had been between HCC and SADC at that time.

While SADC’s own Strategic Local Plan has been undermined by accusations of lack of consultation with neighbouring councils. perhaps SADC themselves should take a firmer stand against HCC who appear to be steamrollering through a project by setting themselves up as the appropriate planning authority for their own project with little regard for the values that Mary Maynard is seeking to maintain in her role at holder of the SADC’s planning portfolio.

ADRIAN STEPHENSON

Mackerye End, Harpenden

I looked with dismay after the recent strong winds, as ivy-clad branches and bushes fell into the roads and lanes all around us.

It appears that our Highways Department is either unwilling or unable to address the matter of maintenance of our trees and hedgerows in the interest of accident prevention.

I have no doubt that another spell of high winds, heavy rain or, particularly, a substantial fall of snow will bring down more trees and branches into the roads with potentially fatal consequences. If, or when, such a disaster happens there will be no excuse that you have not been warned.”

HENRY DRYDEN

By email

Hooray! This restaurant was the pits from day one. I wrote about it on the letters pages, and hundreds more confirmed the same in negative reviews.

Now let’s return it to a great pub. Not another gents’ hair salon or coffee shop. I thank you!

BARRY CASHIN

Green Lane, St Albans

The article on ‘joining forces to secure future of the NHS’ (January 25) struck a chord. As some of your readers may know, I have breast cancer, and am currently being treated at Mount Vernon hospital.

I cannot praise the staff there too highly for their cheerfulness and good humour in what must be trying circumstances - a constant stream of cancer patients.

However ... I have seen for myself what this government’s covert policy is doing. Machines break down - I was told they are supposed to be replaced every nine years but many aren’t.

The hospital, unlike ‘private’ ones, cannot claim charity status and so is subject to taxes etc, money that is being diverted away from vital equipment.

Yesterday, I was chatting to one of the radiographers as she prepared me for treatment. She comes from Hungary. Since Brexit, she is not sure she wants to remain in this country, which she now feels is unwelcoming.

She sees little point in going through all the Home Office hoops now set before her, nor understands why she should have to pay a sizeable whack of her pay to do a job she didn’t have to pay to do prior to June 23 2016.

We are constantly being fed a diet of lies by our MPs: £350 million a week for the NHS, a big Brexit ‘rebate’ to spend on the NHS.

We need to wise-up. Not only are there private health insurance sharks circling round this precious resource, but when we are pulled out of Euratom, the radio isotopes currently treating cancer patients like me, will not be as readily available. A small price to pay for ‘getting back control’ or a MASSIVE con that will lead to suffering and loss of life?

CAROL HEDGES
Coldharbour Lane, Harpenden

Some correspondents would prefer that our MP commute like a normal mortal, which in his case would entail driving to a local station, fighting for a parking space, waiting for a train, then standing the whole journey to London before wrestling with our underground system.

And then, like a normal mortal, he would arrive at work exhausted, but still stay at his place of work until late. Then he would have to commute to get home again, going to bed rather late.

I would prefer, instead, for our representative to have a short stroll to Parliament so that he arrives fresh and ready to do battle on behalf of his constituents. I also want Mr Afolami to have as much quality thinking time as possible in order to arrive at the right judgements when addressing the challenges his constituency and country face.

Some people have, in my view, a very odd way of looking at how best to obtain value from tax payers’ money, and would prefer Mr Afolami to spend a quarter of his day travelling – something which would inevitably impact on his performance. That would constitute a gross waste of Mr Afolami’s capability, which I want deployed exclusively in serving us.

SIMON LEADBEATER

Station Road

Harpenden

The petition that I started on the government petitions website calling for a “New A&E Hospital CENTRAL to St Albans, Watford and Dacorum” has now reached 3,250 signatures but has less than four months to run.

It has come to my attention that people who passionately want to sign the petition are struggling with registering their support because they are not finding the government petitions website totally user friendly.

To help your readers to sign my petition please can they follow these steps:

(You will need your own email address to sign the petition - if you haven’t got one please ask a member of your family or someone you trust, who has their own email address, to help you)

1) Please go to the link and click “sign” the petition

Petition: Build a new A&E Hospital CENTRAL to St Albans, Watford and Dacorum;

2) fill in your name, postcode and email address;

3) Click “Continue”;

4) Confirm your email address by clicking on the button;

5) Wait a minute or two and check in your inbox for a mail from the Government petitions team;

6) Open this email and confirm your email address by clicking on the link (in blue).

You should have now signed the petition.

St Albans residents need to get behind the petition and sign it NOW - Our A&E Hospital should be more accessible to us all than being at Vicarage Road and with more consideration given for those who are less able and without their own transport.

Thank you to all your readers for their support.

ANDY LOVE
Warren Road, St Albans

I am sure that many of your readers will have been horrified to read your story about the sickening cruelty of hunters with dogs in St Albans last week.

In broad daylight a pack of hunting dogs raced through the countryside and on to busy roads, leaving chaos and acute distress in their wake. Many were traumatised to see a deer horribly injured and screaming in pain.

This is an everyday reality in the countryside when so-called drag hunting leads to the terror, injury and death of wild and pet animals including deer, foxes, hare, small dogs and cats. I had a pack of hunting dogs tearing through my garden just a few months ago. If my cats had been out they would have been torn limb from limb.

Isn’t it time that we named these “country pursuits” for what they are: cruel, anachronist and barbaric practices of sick individuals.

MARY BARTON

Ayot St Peter, near Wheathampstead

I read with interest the article earlier this week about St Albans district council free parking for staff and councillors, and shared the story with my work colleagues.

Everyone in my office expressed that this was unfair (this is me being polite as what was say was a lot stronger) and we expected that a good proportion of people who live and work in St Albans would feel the same. I was therefore not surprised that the council had asked the Herts Ad to tone it down.

Why as a council taxpayer should I provide them with free parking, when lots of other St Albans worker have a pay for their parking? The staff at the council already get good salaries, sickness pay provision and pensions. I sometime think that these people forget that they work for our community and we pay for their services.

The BID organisation has already taken some of the financial outlay off the council, paid for by local businesses like cleaning the street in the city centre, painting the bollards, the Christmas lights and putting on that awful Christmas Market (which really should be cancelled in future years).

The money that they should be paying for their parking could help other organisation in our community (to help our young and elderly) or help the homeless in St Albans to find temporary accommodation and get them back in to work so they can then support themselves.

Also, our roads are in a frightful state, for example the Park Street roundabout is becoming ‘pot hole city’. The same holes are being filled in on what seems like a monthly basis. As soon as they are ‘fixed’ the holes are reappearing. Surely it would be better to do these properly in the first place and would save money in the long run.

We all know that services are under stress and are asking for more money, but why should we have our council tax increased while council staff are getting freebies.

Also, and this is a wider question that needs asking, are other councils in Hertfordshire giving free parking to staff?

L ROSS

Park Street, St Albans

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