Your letters to the Herts Ad...
PUBLISHED: 09:37 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 09:38 17 May 2018
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I am sure that many people have read and watched the heartrending accounts of the treatment of the ‘Windrush’ generation with horror.
‘Shameful’ barely covers the way these people have been treated by the Home Office and Immigration Service, for no crime whatsoever.
They must have felt relief when promises were made to recompense these good people for their unjust suffering at the hands of the heartless ‘hostile environment’ this government has chosen deliberately to adopt.
However, ‘shameful’ continues. Last week, the Tories voted down a Labour motion calling for the handing over of all papers, correspondence and advice relating to the debacle - including emails and text messages - from 11 May 2010 up to 1 May 2018.
The motion was thwarted when 316 MPs followed party orders to defeat Labour’s motion, with 221 MPs backing the call.
Amongst those voting against transparency and openness was Bim Afolami, Harpenden’s MP.
If the move had been successful, it would have shown exactly what Prime Minster Theresa May knew about the scandal and when, during her six years as Home Secretary.
It would also mean that successive attempts to cover up mistakes,for instance when the three million EU citizens are attempting to register post-Brexit, it will not be able to be investigated nor brought to public scrutiny.
This will be even harder when the new Data Protection Bill comes into force, as it contains an immigration clause forbidding such citizens from finding out what information the Home Office holds about them, and why their application for citizenship has been rejected.
The irony in all this is, of course, that Mr Afolami makes no secret of his own Nigerian immigrant origins.
As we sleepwalk towards Gilead, I hope he will be able explain to people whose lives have been turned upside down why he has played politics with their futures and why he thinks they don’t deserve the facts to be known and don’t deserve proper justice.
CAROL HEDGES (EU dual-national) Coldharbour Lane, Harpenden
I read the news yesterday regarding legal proceedings around the proposed secondary school on Lower Luton Road in Harpenden and saw on social media the subsequent barrage of vitriol against RSRP (which is supported by thousands of people from across the district).
I have to say I am disgusted by the seemingly underhanded manner that the county council has taken to pass planning permission for a school they knew in January would not be able to open this year, playing with the futures and emotions of children and their families.
At the first open meeting planners stated it would take a minimum of nine months building (so after planning had been approved and heritage /archaeology had surveyed the site) to make the site ready to receive pupils.
The county therefore knew in January that it would not be able to be ready by September.
Why were the school/county continuing to say it would open, going through allocations and uniforms etc, when the planning committee meeting was deferred from December to January, and then to March 15?
Surely if the planners knew it would take a minimum of nine months to be ready to receive pupils, the decision to defer should have been made in January.
I think it is absolutely disgraceful if this was knowingly done just to get the planning passed without any real consideration to the real people who will be affected.
By acting in such a manner, the county council has fuelled discontent and more among residents.
OHLE LIVE By email
I was amused by your article on the proposed code of conduct for buskers and street performers to be introduced in the city centre.
St Albans district council recently installed a plaque to commemorate the much-loved busker Paddy Delaney, the “accordion man of St Albans”, celebrating the fact that he stood in the same spot for over 35 years.
What better way to continue honouring his memory than by withdrawing a proposal requiring buskers to move on after just one hour!
Has it occurred to the council that a ban on amplifiers would render popular instruments such as electronic keyboards completely silent? In any case, I wish the council luck as they impartially apply the bylaw prohibiting “any noise which is so loud of so continuous or repeated as to give reasonable cause for annoyance to other persons in the vicinity” by asking market fruit sellers in the city centre to please be quiet.
ALEX MILES Marshalswick
The results provided in the recent local council elections can definitely been seen as a protest vote against the present government.
Unfortunately, instead of providing a lesson meant to shock our PM into changing her policies they will do nothing more than cause her amusement, as the party voters opted for have such a low representation in Parliament they provide no significant opposition to this government .
Voters also seem to have forgotten that the policies which the Lib Dems are now claiming they have the voice to change are in fact their own which they crafted in collaboration with the Tories under the Cameron/Clegg coalition’s declaration of war against the working class of this country.
Langley Crescent, St Albans
In response to Lee Rodgers’ letter about the boy who fell into Verulamium Lake.
I could not believe that Mr Rodgers could be so heartless. The rivers and lakes were somewhat cleaner when he was a boy. No wild fowl were dying in great quantities as they had been in the last two to three years in the lake because of botulism.
Yes at last something is being done about the lakes and not before time.
The problem being the foul water is lapping the pathway causing no bench mark between land and lake, my dog has fallen in plus other dogs and even a toddler last week. It’s disgusting the poor boy could not get out on his own and must have feared for his life.
His family were not making a fuss for nothing, with that foul brown water coming down his nose and swallowing it.
If this lad ends up with some nasty in the next months, his parents would be in their rights to sue the council for not putting a barrier around the areas preventing these accidents. Where was Health & Safety when you need it!
CAROL HILL By email
The refaced former Ziggurat building on Grosvenor Road may be a bit industrial but it cannot compete with nearby Telford Court as the ugliest blot on the city’s landscape.
Anyway, the new residents will not care much once they’re safely inside - who looks at the mantelpiece when poking the fire? ROBERT HILL
West Common, Harpenden
Dear, oh, dear! I refer to the front page news lof the poor young fellow who managed to fall into the lake in Veralamium Park. That bloomin’ lake! Along with all it’s other problems - it’s just not visible enough, is it?
To use this rather amusing accident as a exercise in ‘having a pop’ at the council is, in my opinion, nothing more than pathetic.
I attended a very educational and fun guided walk around this park just the other day. The walk culminated at the corner of the lake where the youngster met his nemesis.
There, waiting for us, was a representative of the council who proceeded to outline in a very honest and matter-of-fact manner just how complicated the issue of doing something positive and of long-term benefit to the lake and immediate area is proving to be.
Water management is complicated - far more complicated than the average Joe can fathom (excuse the pun). I was impressed with what the council representative said and fully understand now that it would be easy to approach the problems from a ‘fire-engine management’ stance - something that might very well end up being an expensive mistake -as opposed to taking the time to think about it with due concern and to consult some experts.
There is a moral to this story - a very simple one. If you find youself failing to notice large, muddy bodies of water in front of you during your day-to-day whateverornot’s you are doing, perhaps a quick visit to Specsavers may be in order...
Oscar, you have my sympathy, but for Heaven’s sake - if you want to lark about next to a smelly corner of a lake - take the consequences on the chin! FINTAN BERMINGHAM By email
I was very troubled to read online about Anne Main MP’s recent intervention in the Windrush debate in the Commons this week. Having looked up the written record of her intervention in Hansard online I find it frankly appalling.
Not only was she childish and rude to her opponents (“I am afraid that I will not take any interventions from the shadow Home Secretary, as she absolutely steadfastly refused to recognise the requests of any Conservative Members and did not give way in any way, shape or form. If she would like to take a bit of her own medicine...”), to the extent that the Speaker was compelled to intervene, in the course of her tedious pro-government peroration she managed to completely undermine the Afro-Caribbean community by denying recognition of the historical wrongs done to them of which the Windrush scandal is just the latest example.
If she treats her own colleagues in Parliament with such disdain and tactlessness, one can but wonder how she will treat the concerns raised her constituents in her surgeries.
At a time when sensitivity is required Anne Main has shown herself to be anything but, and has undermined any confidence that people from diverse ethnic backgrounds or the many EU citizens living in Hertfordshire may have had in her.
It is also worth noting that whereas she refused to give way to both MP David Lammy and MP Diane Abbott she did however allow MP Yvette Cooper to say a few words, very curious one does wonder what Mr Lammy and Ms Abbott have in common.
This together with the recent buzzfeed revelation that if not a fully paid-up member she is a satellite sympathiser of the ERG group, where she was recorded spouting slogans such as: “Stay focused we march on to win.” and “Patriots all!” should raise he gravest concerns about Ms Main’s political orientation.
It does seem that she is entirely unworthy of representing this tolerant and liberal constituency.
MARIA P HOSKINS Halsey Park, London Colney