Letters, January 6, 2011, part one

PUBLISHED: 11:10 06 January 2011

Only EU withdrawal is the answer

SIR – Your correspondent, who rightly complained about the Government’s move to increase university tuition fees, still misses the main point over the appalling mismanagement by the previous Labour government of our national finances.

As a result of their compliance to all EU dictates, their surrender of most of our EU rebate, and their refusal to allow the electorate a referendum on whether we should accept the Lisbon Treaty, we are currently giving the EU £45 million every single day. The greedy EU is now asking for even more money.

David Cameron promised a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if elected, but reneged on that promise as soon as he gained office. The Liberal Democrats have always been completely beholden to whatever the EU demands, and the Greens seem to be no less compliant.

The only moderate and democratic party that is committed to Britain’s withdrawal from the EU is the UK Independence Party.

If that aim is achieved, not only will the considerable financial saving avoid any need for a rise in tuition fees, plus other considerable benefits, but it will also restore fully accountable parliamentary democracy to our country.

DR JOHN BUTCHER

Saberton Close, Redbourn

Branch chairman of St Albans and District UKIP

Council cull would save costs?

SIR – I was delighted with your recent Nativity supplement. It was wonderful to see the happy smiling faces of so many children having such fun celebrating their own versions of the Nativity.

I feel sure that many of your readers will be equally delighted. I only hope that Bernards Heath Primary has underfloor heating!

I was delighted too to read the comprehensive and constructive letter from M Schroeder.

He certainly hit the nail on the head in his comments about our governing council.

And I heartily agree with him about the erection of a statue to Sam Ryder. If the present council is too mean minded to support the proposal then perhaps the PGA and their members might care to start the ball rolling.

After all it was Sam Ryder who first started paying golfers by sponsoring Abe Mitchell and putting up purses for him to compete against other golfers.

It is from such small acorns that professional golf has grown and the winner of the Open Championship can now take home a cheque in the region of £1million and the Ryder Cup has become one of the best known sporting trophies in the world.

A statue to this fine gentleman would do much to enhance the name of the city.

My delight turned to despair when I read that the council still insist on pursuing their hell-bent folly of implementing their pathetic plans for a new Westminster Lodge, partly on the basis that it will be self-financing.

If they are so confident perhaps they will personally underwrite any shortfall that might occur.

Finally I see that there are to be redundancies among council employees and I am sorry for those affected. If we are able to manage with fewer workers I wonder why we cannot see a commensurate and proportionate reduction in the number of councillors.

A cull of at least a dozen would be a start. After all with fewer employees to be supervised we will hardly need nearly 60 supervisors will we?

A Happy New Year everyone.

PHILIP WEBSTER

Townsend Drive, St Albans

Incinerator is still not the solution

SIR – Herts Council’s executive member for waste said he’d like to give a “response” to the many criticisms of his beloved incinerator (Herts Advertiser, December 23).

In fact, his letter gave us little more than the council’s original position: landfill is unsustainable, we have to find alternatives, and those alternatives must be environmentally and economically acceptable.

The critics of the incinerator broadly agree with the definition of the problem. What we don’t accept is that an incinerator is the solution. Neither do the 1,300 people who’ve signed the petition so far.

We’ve moved on to a more detailed examination of the situation and come up with a better answer.

It involves following the example of other counties in the UK, and other countries in Europe, by using cheap, green technology to recycle and reduce the waste we produce as much as we possibly can. At the same time, we should leave the door open to further advances in the near future, that will reduce residual waste even more.

Wouldn’t it be good if our waste strategy was modern, flexible, environmentally and economically sound, and in-keeping with best practice worldwide?

Wouldn’t it be foolish if the council entered into an expensive, 25-year Private Finance contract, in which they guaranteed for the period of that contract to provide all Hertfordshire’s available waste to be burnt in a huge furnace?

Wouldn’t it be odd if the main thing our waste treatment generated was not energy, but profit? It’s the profit, of course, that is the attraction of incinerators, with their long contracts. And that’s why the waste companies push local governments so hard to sign up to them.

Wouldn’t it be really strange if incinerators were shown to be no better than landfill, in environmental terms? Well, that’s the conclusion of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Readers can draw their own conclusions about what might be a better waste strategy for our county. The petition is at www.bit.ly/NoAshHCC

SIMON GROVER

St Albans Green Party

Thank you to good Samaritans

SIR – I am writing to thank all the people who helped me on Friday, December 17, as I do not have all their contact details.

I was walking along Beaumont Avenue, St Albans, and slipped over and fell on my back.

I was unable to move and very distressed and those kind people stayed with me for an hour and a half in the freezing cold and snow waiting for the ambulance.

I am so grateful to them – I was in a lot of pain but everyone was so reassuring and kind, covering me with blankets, bringing a tarpaulin for me to lie on and hot water bottles to keep me warm whilst talking to me to prevent me losing consciousness.

Fortunately I did not break any bones and was discharged from hospital later that evening.

I will always remember the care and thoughtfulness shown to me by complete strangers and would like to pass on my thanks and appreciation to them via your newspaper.

CATHERINE JAMES

Address supplied

Plain English please Cllr Wakely!

SIR – Another burst of Lib Dem bashing from my local councillor Mike Wakely (“Localism denied by District Council?”, Herts Advertiser letters, December 30), below their heads and too abstruse for translation into plain English by the press office.

Does Cllr Wakely send his streams of sub-consciousness by prdctve txt mssge?

ROBERT HILL

East Common, Harpenden

What will replace 712 service?

SIR – Living in Bricket Wood we are lucky to have the option of catching the Greenline 757 to London, which is an excellent service running all day and night, but the 712 was always a handy alternative.

My husband and I, being retired, do not depend on the early and late buses to reach London but we all have a purpose for using the buses either for leisure or business.

We understood that the 712 service would cease early January but today, December 30, there were 13 passengers waiting at the Black Boy bus stop for the 9.45am bus to go to London and were informed by a fellow traveller that the 712 service ended on December 23.

This is totally out of order as there was no notification of this at the bus stop and made the return timetable very unreliable for us. For some unknown reason the 757 does not call at Bricket Wood on services between 3pm and 7pm, which was where the 712 also filled a gap.

If Arriva cannot afford to run a full daily service surely something could be arranged for them to subsidise the 757 for buses to make additional stops between these hours and then people could transfer to the 321 for onward journeys to St Albans.

Something would be better than nothing Arriva!

CAROL THURLEY

Field View Rise, Bricket Wood

Raising awareness of Herts Jazz Club

SIR – I was pleased to see the item in your December 16 issue about the forthcoming Herts Jazz Club gig featuring Stan Tracey.

Unfortunately the blizzard on the day of the concert, December 18, caused travel problems which made it impossible for the performance to take place.

The club plans to re-schedule the event for another date, some time in 2011.

It was good to see some publicity for the club, since it seems to be largely unknown to St Albans residents.

It was founded more than 40 years ago, and for most of that time it has presented weekly performances by many of the great British modern jazz musicians, and some from abroad.

This tradition continues at the regular Sunday evening gigs in its new home, the Hawthorne Studio at Campus West, Welwyn Garden City.

A different band performs each Sunday, the next being on January 9 with the Zoe Rahman Trio, Zoe being a brilliant young pianist.

Details of future programmes will be found on the website www.hertsjazz.co.uk where the date of the re-scheduled concert by Stan Tracy and other stars will be announced in due course.

Doors open on Sundays at 7.30pm, for music from 8pm until 10.30pm, and non-members are very welcome. Tickets are £10, if booked online at welhat.gov.uk/cw, £12 at the door, £8 for members, and £5 for students and under 21s.

These performances allow anyone with an interest in modern jazz to see and hear a wide range of top musicians at a cost very much less than in central London.

TONY COOPER

Oakwood Drive, St Albans


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Herts Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Herts Advertiser