For thye chop

SIR, — Yes, Mr Robert Hill (Herts Advertiser letters, February 28), welcome to the environmental utopia of the Countryside Management Service (CMS). Having destroyed Bricket Wood Common, attacked Colney Heath Common and devastated Nomansland in collusion

SIR, - Yes, Mr Robert Hill (Herts Advertiser letters, February 28), welcome to the environmental utopia of the Countryside Management Service (CMS). Having destroyed Bricket Wood Common, attacked Colney Heath Common and devastated Nomansland in collusion with St Albans District Council, they have now formed an unholy alliance with Harpenden Town Council to repeat the process here.

Clearly, there is something about the sight of a healthy tree that sends the CMS into a frenzy of destruction. Strangely, while endeavouring to take the axe to every tree they encounter, they refuse to fulfil their legal obligation to control ragwort - the bright yellow flower that adorns both commons - which is highly toxic to all species, including man.

His description of the "consultation" will be all too familiar to those of us opposing their proposals for Nomansland. Given the experiences of Bricket Wood, Nomansland and Colney Heath, I feel he has been remarkably generous in accepting the CMS spin. It is obvious that, having been given free rein by St Albans District Council and Harpenden Town Council, they have every intention of pursuing their agenda regardless of public opinion.

One might conclude that since CMS serve no useful purpose, the officers feel they have to devise such grandiose schemes to justify their existence. Money is certainly no object since they appear to have an unlimited supply available from the taxpayer, locally and nationally. Our district and parish councils - with the honourable exception of Wheathampstead Parish Council - seem, for whatever reason, to be completely in the thrall of CMS and unable or unwilling to mount any opposition.


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I certainly agree the time has come for everyone who cares about our commons, and indeed local democracy, to join together to get rid of the very expensive white elephant that is the CMS. I am sure we could all suggest ways in which the council could spend our money to much better purpose.

RHODA HARRISON,

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Eastmoor Park, Harpenden.

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