Gipsy response

PUBLISHED: 11:39 18 January 2010 | UPDATED: 14:50 06 May 2010

SIR – I m writing in response to the letter from Mr Tony Houlahan dated January 7, 2010. Can I start by stating that neither Ms Burton or Cllr Shardlow are racists, they have opinions on many subjects. Ms Burton always writes objectively and honestly, Cl

SIR - I'm writing in response to the letter from Mr Tony Houlahan dated January 7, 2010.

Can I start by stating that neither Ms Burton or Cllr Shardlow are racists, they have opinions on many subjects. Ms Burton always writes objectively and honestly, Cllr Shardlow represents Wheathampstead in a good and professional fashion. Because I or any member of the public may disagree with them at certain times does not make them racists.

Mr Houlahan states that I did not contact Major General Burns and I never opposed him building on the flood plain. Major General Burns until 1979 owned North Mymms Manor, I was not a District Councillor in 1979 or before. I have no knowledge of Major General Burns building on the flood plain if indeed he did, because North Mymms is in Welwyn and Hatfield not St Albans District or Colney Heath Parish.

Major-General Sir Walter Arthur George Burns GCVO, CB, DSO, OBE, KStJ, MC died in 1997 having left North Mymms Manor in 1979 .

Mr Houlahan also states I allowed a windmill to be destroyed, the only windmill in Colney Heath still exists and up until the 60s it was still operating as a bread mill. The only thing that has changed is that the blades of the windmill have been removed and the interior has been lovingly converted into a flat for the owner's son. The windmill is still in existence and has a listed building notice attached to it.

Mr Houlahan goes onto say that I'm in contradiction with Rosemary Ross of the West Herts Gypsy Advocacy on the number of sites we have in the District. Gypsy organisations and EERA say we are under providing pitches for gypsy families. I'm in total disagreement with that assertion, these are the facts as Mr Houlahan requested. St Albans provides more pitches than any other District in Hertfordshire, we have 40 per cent of the pitches in the south of the county and 25 per cent of the pitches in the whole of the county. There needs to be an equitable share of provision across the county - it is not right that we have over 64 pitches, North Hertfordshire six, Broxbourne 22, Dacorum 36, East Herts seven, Hertsmere 35, Stevenage 14, Watford 10, Three Rivers 11 and Hatfield 51. If you support the EERA recommendations that we provide a further 33 pitches making 97 pitches by 2011 and you allow for 3 per cent growth per annum after that, St Albans would have over 134 pitches by 2021, more than any other district in Hertfordshire. I will continue to oppose any increase until there is an equitable share across the County. This is not a NIMBY view it is a view based on the cost of providing the infrastructure needed to support the extra pitches. The cost of extra pitches must be shared across the County and cannot be met solely by St Albans District.

Chris Brazier

Colney Heath

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