Letters, April 28, part one

PUBLISHED: 10:59 28 April 2011

Origins of Sunday Football League

SIR – I write regarding your letter from David Ansell (April 14) referring to Roy Scott and myself being aware that Sunday morning football took place prior to the formation of the Sunday Football League in 1961.

Of course there were many matches played on Sunday mornings all over the town for many years but the important issue is they were not recognised by the Football Association.

Prior to 1961 players registered with Saturday clubs were not allowed to play on Sundays nor were FA referees allowed to referee matches.

Of course everyone did so but it was not until the FA woke up and could see that if they didn’t recognise Sunday soccer then another football association would be formed that would create a major problem for them and so our league was established at the very beginning of FA recognition.

BRIAN HUBBALL

Press Secretary

Herts Advertiser Sunday Football League

Last words on the AV referendum

SIR – On May 5 we will have the biggest and most expensive nonsense in British politics for many years when we are asked in a referendum to say “Yes” or “No” to AV voting.

Nobody really wants AV, not even the Lib Dems who insisted on this referendum as the price for joining the coalition. What the Lib Dems really want is Proportional Representation (PR). How silly of us to think that the reason they joined the coalition was to save Britain from economic and financial meltdown!

If the “Yes” side were to win the referendum then thereafter there would be a bigger opportunity for future “hung parliaments”. In such a situation the Lib Dems would no doubt say that Proportional Representation (PR) was the price to be paid for them to join a future coalition government. PR would bring with it the ridiculous position of having some MPs who were not chosen by their constituents but directly by their political party. How would that bring MPs closer to the voters?

Whether through AV or PR, having a greater likelihood of coalition governments would mean that political parties in future need not bother too much on what they said in their referendums and pre-election promises. Once the coalition was in power the political parties concerned would simply say they couldn’t keep their pre-election undertakings because they had had to make compromises to be in government (for the benefit of the country, of course!). We have already experienced this sort of comment by both Lib Dems and Conservatives in the present coalition to the annoyance of their supporters!

So even if like me you believe that the AV referendum is a nonsense it is vital we all vote – and vote “No”.

If we have to have a referendum surely it should be on Britain’s membership of the EU, especially at the present time when we are being told that we must pay £4 billion to save Portugal from bankruptcy and the EU’s Euro from collapse.

KEN SHUTTLEWORTH

Reynards Way, Bricket Wood

SIR – Writing over the Easter weekend, I have already voted by post but still have not heard anything much from the candidates.

I did get messages for and against AV, although I thought the only message I should have got was the explanation of how it works. It would have been interesting if they had given us the option of “don’t know”/“can’t decide” on the AV vote!

Too many arguments have ignored the fact that under AV nobody has to put a second choice. Personally I’d like to be able to give marks out of 10 to each, and the one with most will win. Even then, too many people would vote tactically.

This fundamental dishonesty of voters is why we have had the same rubbish parties in power for so long and so little power for the Greens. Anyway if Cameron is against AV, it must be a good thing to vote for!

S BEAVER

Name and address supplied

SIR – Having being away for a little while I have only just seen the letter (April 7) from Dr David Leigh accusing me of being a “Little Englander” in expressing a preference for First Past the Post as the least unsuitable system of electing MPs and I hope you will allow me to reply at this late hour.

It is a well-known fact that a person, having lost an argument will resort to the habits of the kindergarten and to name-calling of those who have made a stronger case.

I can understand Dr Leigh’s frustration but I think he greatly weakens his case by using derogatory remarks especially when he misconstrues their meaning.

If he refers to the origin of the phrase “Little Englander” he will find it referred to “radical and liberal politicians” and I doubt if he would include me in their number.

From his continuing correspondence I was beginning to suspect that Dr Leigh himself was of a Lib Dem persuasion but I now thinks he has a somewhat narrower approach where he has his own “David Leigh” party and we should all do his bidding.

I have some sympathy with Mervyn Cox (March 31) who makes a much more reasoned case for a change from FPTP but the bald facts remain that under any system other than FPTP we will end up with a minority party pulling the strings as we have right now and what a mess they have got us into.

Since when has democracy ceased to be government by the majority? No matter how much some of us may dislike the present system it does ensure that the candidate polling the most votes gets elected and this is not always going to be the case with any other system.

So vote no to AV on May 5 and you will stand a far better chance of getting the candidate of your choice and with a bit of luck the chap who beats all the other finalists in the 100 metres at next year’s Olympics will get the gold medal and not have to take part in a re-run.

PHILIP WEBSTER

26 Townsend Drive

St Albans

The Lea thanks us for our support

SIR – On behalf of the Governing Body of The Lea Primary School and Nursery I would like to thank you for your supportive editorial in the April 7 edition of the Herts Advertiser.

We are very proud of our achievements. The Lea is a good school that provides a uniquely individual and inclusive approach to education and produces happy, confident children. We have every confidence in our headteacher, Sharon Swinson, and the excellent and dedicated staff at The Lea to continue our upward progress.

We appreciate that parents are disappointed at not being offered their preferred school.

Since we are not involved in the allocation process, we believe it is simply our job to provide a quality education in a nurturing environment for each child who is given a place at The Lea.

We heartily concur with your assertion that supportive parents will contribute to the ongoing improvements at The Lea, and we are delighted to have the opportunity this year to welcome extra families to our school.

NIGEL MCCARTHY

Chair of Governors

The Lea Primary School and Nursery

End of the line

SIR - I would like to take the opp–rtunity to thank the electorate of Harpenden North Ward for their support in electing me in 2003 and 2007 to serve on the town council, and also the town clerk and his staff for their help and kindness. I was co-opted in January 2003 and then elected in May of that year.

I regreat that I am unable to stand again due to unfortunate circumstances, but I remain a councillor up to the end of this electoral year.

I am a firm believer in the preservation of the Green Belt, and while on the plans committee will continue to oppose any applications which I consider unsuitable.

CLLR JOHN HOLLEY

Reg Lane, Harpenden

A bit of due praise for once

SIR – The economy is in a rut, everyone is feeling down, blaming anyone they can: quick to moan quick to complain... so what about the good news stories?

Not the ones about skateboarding kittens but about companies working well together, about banks coming up with the goods, about new beginings, about a bit of success.

So a role call first. St Albans Travel (that’s us), Sherrards (that’s my solicitors) and Barclays Bank (that’s my bank).

I will not go into details but suffice it say, to move on to the next stage in the company’s development (we have been doing travel in St Albans for over 40 years) we needed some serious funding. The family had put in all they could and we needed some outside help.

So off we popped to our friendly bank... who were friendly. I had to do a lot of work persuading them that we were a good bet but if you are asking for a lot of money then expect to have to do a lot of work. It doesn’t grow on trees you know!

Anyway after a lot of toing and froing the man from Barclays says yes. This is what I’m talking about. Support! Positive Outcomes!

So now we have to get things sorted... but the amount of work that I have had to do means that we are running out of time and there is a lot of paper-work and you know what solicitors can be like... well no. Yes Sherrards were thorough and yes the paperwork seemed like it was never going to end but I refer you to the statement above – if you are asking for a lot of money then expect to have to do a lot of work... and paper does grow on trees!

But we hacked through the work – and although I seemed to be running round like a headless chicken at times, Barclays and Sherrards kept calm and made it all happen. And last week Sherrards dotted the last i and crossed the last t and the next thing I know Barclay’s has given my family and my company a lifeline.

So St Albans Travel will live to fight again – no doubt I will tell you all about it in a future advert for www.stalbanstravel.co.uk in your local paper, but today I just wanted to big up two organisations – Sherrards and Barclays. Thanks.

SIMON HARDING

St Albans Travel

SIR – To those Harpenden residents who got weary of the drone of Luton planes overhead during the Easter break, my advice is write to the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) asking that their suggestion of looping them round to the south over the gap between Harpenden-Wheathampstead and Sandridge be re-investigated.

Meanwhile, the spring easterly winds will mean yet more noise, especially from 6am onwards.

Those woken at night won’t be best pleased to know that Luton’s management has recently allowed night movements, the night noise contour and the number of night noise violations all to increase substantially.

Complaints on that score should go to 01582 395382 (be patient with the menu!) or noise@ltn.aero

JOHN DAVIS

Fairmead Avenue, Harpenden

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