Your letters to the Herts Ad...
PUBLISHED: 18:00 12 February 2017
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The future is yesterday - all hail the retro revolution! Now that the mad zeal of the 40 Europhobic Tory MPs that led to the EU referendum result on June 23 last year has driven us away from a time when the European idea was the guiding light for all enlightened liberals, and into the darkness of the despots and the malign shadowy pragmatism of the ‘alt right’ with their ‘alt facts’, let’s pause on the threshold of what is not so much Waterloo or Agincourt, but more Dunkirk and consider our position.
In St Albans, the overwhelming majority, 63 per cent, voted Remain. In Hertsmere, the gap between Leave (who prevailed) and Remain was 959 votes - a bat squeak.
Our elected politicians Anne Main and Peter Lilley chose to put aside the not inconsiderable amount of people who do not share their blind devotion to a cause that is clearly becoming daily more deleterious to the economic health and future of this country, and both unhesitatingly voted to trigger Article 50 .
Because ‘the people have spoken’. As we are continually being told. Never mind that many of their own colleagues, notably Ken Clark, spoke out against the oncoming tide of chaos.
Forget the numerous appeals from constituents to both our local MPs via emails and letters to recognise that we, the ‘Remoaners’, the ‘Snowflakes’ (sic) are entitled to representation and a point of view.
With many others who live here, I plan to march to Parliament on March 25.
And before the usual suspects reach for their poison pens, may I remind them that peaceful protest is the root of democracy and sneering at it, like the man with whom we are now in a ‘special relationship’, is as much of a threat to our democracy as ignoring the 63 per cent of people who did not vote to quit the EU in the first place.
CAROL HEDGES Coldharbour Lane, Harpenden
The road marking scheme, combined with residents parking, along Beech Road in St Albans defies logic.
It is impossible to drive down the road without using the central island chevrons and, around the bus stop by the Beech Road Tesco, the blister in the central white line is madness.
The result is cars parked on verges (destroying them) and on the road (utterly rendering the road markings useless). A bad example of midguided nanny state regulation and the academic development of an impractical solution.
MIKE COLEMAN By email
Reading your recent article regarding the new quarry scheme in Smallford I must say I found it and your editorial rather sensationalist and hysterical.
Quarrying has been taking place in this area for many years supplying aggregates and ready-mixed concrete to local construction sites and offering jobs to local people. Why do we not look at the positives of this new scheme?
As mentioned in the article this quarry will be ideally placed to supply the housing planned on the Oaklands site, other developments over the coming years and contributing to the upgrading and maintenance of our infrastructure.
Surely using locally sourced raw materials makes far more sense than having to import from outside of the area over long distances requiring even more truck movements?
The loss of some farmland for 30 years is a small price to pay for a reliable, local supply of construction materials.
G GOLDRING Hardwicke Place, London Colney
My answer to the question ‘Do our councillors know best?’, posed in your recent comment is “invariably no”.
But you can bet that in 99 per cent of cases it is far from objective and in the long run we, the public, are going to have to suffer the consequences. However, that should not prevent us from airing our views and objections which might very occasionally have some slight influence.
My biggest gripe is that many decisions on purely “local” matters are taken by non -local politicians.
In St Albans we have decisions on central St Albans matters greatly influenced by council members representing Harpenden and Redbourn and at county level, decisions, such as that on the huge quarry at Hatfield aerodrome are taken by councillors from places such as Bishop’s Stortford and Chorleywood who would be hard pressed to find the location without using a satnav.
In other words the West Lothian question operates and we should have a system whereby major decisions on matters of such wide reaching importance can be most influenced by the representatives of the people most likely to be affected.
One such decision would be that on the plight of Radlett airfield where your correspondent, Eric Roberts, has once again shown in meticulous detail that it is quite impossible to operate the train service Helioslough have promised.
One item in your piece seemed to suggest that the council might have considered giving some sort of discount to pubs which are being threatened with a business rates increase of some £27,000 a year.
Personally I cannot see any justification for this even though it does seem a bit steep. Our local pubs don’t seem to do too badly; in that same issue you report that the White Swan is greatly extending its opening hours (even without a subsidy) and few weeks ago you were bemoaning the closure of the “successful business” that was The Brickyard.
If a business provides something that the public want then it will prosper if it can attract sufficient customers to buy that product.
PHILIP WEBSTER Townsend Drive, St Albans
I totally endorse your words about Madeleine Burton and her contribution over 38 years to the Herts Advertiser and to this city and district.
I first came to St Albans in 1981 as a very inexperienced parliamentary candidate. Madeleine was already there with two years experience and the paper came out week after week after week.
She was always fair, sometimes tough when she spiked what I thought was a brilliant story. But I would guess that all local politicians have had that experience!
She has been a rock, and the city and district have been much richer for her steadfast presence. Print media are going through a tough time, we will miss them if and when they are forced to close.
Good luck to Madeleine in her retirement, good luck to her successor, and long live the Herts Advertiser!
SANDY WALKINGTON Hatfield Road, St Albans
Like every other decent person, I was appalled at the case involving horrific animal cruelty and neglect in Redbourn, but also thrilled that the RSPCA were successful in their prosecution against them (‘Redbourn family face massive fines after being found guilty of a string of animal cruelty charges’ Herts Advertiser).
However, mere fines and meagre suspended sentences are simply not enough.
Isn’t it time harsher punishments were introduced for animal cruelty offences?
Isn’t it time the government started taking these crimes against the most innocent members of our society seriously instead of leaving such cases to a charity to take action on?
We call ourselves a “nation of animal lovers” - it is about time the legal system reflected this.
TOD BRADBURY Spokesperson, Hertfordshire Animal Rights
Understanding St Albans district council is not like rocket science... it’s much harder.
Back in the ‘70s The Crystal Palace pub in London Road was the destination for bikers.
Their mission was ‘to do a ton’ from Lattimore Road/London Road to London Colney without street furniture impediments.
Sadly those days are gone but rejoice because council vandals have desecrated the Kerry Pollard-inspired kissing gates on the Alban Way near Longacres. Now, with impunity, you may use the previous footpath as a race track.
No need for helmet, insurance, MOT or even to observe a speed limit because there isn’t one.
I have approached the authorities who assured me with a promise that: “Something will be done... when there’s a problem”. Doh! Freedom is a full tank of gas.
BOB HOULSTON By email
I note, in your February 2 issue, the invitation from St Albans Civic Society for Herts Advertiser readers to nominate development projects in the city worthy of receiving the society’s 2016 awards.
Readers of your Harpenden edition should know that a corresponding invitation is extended to them by the Harpenden Society, sponsor of its own long-established awards scheme, which extends to creditworthy new or upgraded facilities in the town, as well as new or extended buildings.
The first prize – or premier award – is a handsome plaque, which last year went to Jarvis Homes’ Glen Eagle Manor apartments development. Certificates of Merit and Letters of Commendation will be awarded to other significant enhancements to Harpenden’s townscape completed in 2016.
Nominations can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to Penny Ayres, Awards Organiser, Kinsbourne House, Kinsbourne Green, Harpenden, AL5 3PE.
ALAN BUNTING Ridgewood Drive, Harpenden
I would like to point out that the article written by Ross Francis in this week’s Herts Advertiser has an error in it.
Devil’s Dyke is an English Heritage Scheduled Monument and not part of (nor is it close to) Nomansland. Devil’s Dyke is in another part of the village (to the east) while Nomansland is to the south. The two are not connected.
DAVID JOHNSTON Chairman, Wheathampstead Parish Council.
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