Letters, April 14, 2011, part three

New group for back pain sufferers

SIR – The recent Spines & Whines Talk held in Redbourn at the Christ Church was a great success, with 75 people interested in learning more about Lower Back Pain – how to avoid or manage it.

Organised by the Redbourn Health Centre’s Patient Link, Dr Paul Hart FRCA FFP MRCA consultant in pain management, and chartered physiotherapist Sarah Cameron gave interesting and informative lectures which were well-received and stimulated several questions and conversations at the end of the evening.

To get the proceedings going the chairman, John Lavers, introduced the Mayor of St Albans, Maxine Crawley, who has kindly supported the Patient Link with a Locality Grant of �500 from her county councillors’ budget.

The chairman paid tribute to the Mayor for her tremendous support of the local community in her mayoral year.

The newly-created Patient Link has the task of bringing together the Health Centre doctors and the patients in a better understanding of what patients need and what information they require to help manage their health issues or concerns.

Attendees came away with a better understanding of the way the spine is constructed and what constitutes good back management in work and home situations. Dr Rosemary Ramsay, who attended the event, expressed her gratitude on behalf of the Health Centre, for all the hard work put in by the Patient Link Committee, organised by secretary Pam Lavers.

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Following this inaugural evening, the Patient Link will be organising a future event in September which will deal with another important health topic. So watch out for posters in the High Street and check the Redbourn website for more detailed information nearer the event at www.Redbourn.org.uk – under the Medical Services section.

The Patient Link also provides regular informative meetings for patients who care for others at home. So, if you are interested in joining the free Patient Link, which has already attracted 700 members, then just pick up an easy-to-complete application form at the Health Centre.


Address supplied

Curb speed to end rat-run hazard

SIR – I read with both disgust and dismay that once again the people who are supposed to have our interests at heart have it in mind to reject a proposition which could affect the life or lives of both our elderly and very young population.

A number of years back, Cell Barnes Lane was equipped with road calming devices which due to their effectiveness diverted traffic into using Thirlmere Drive as a rat run.

Cars, heavy lorries, coaches and transport of every description now use Thirlmere Drive to allow them to avoid the ‘bumps’ in Cell Barnes Lane.

Apart from those who chose to speed up and down Thirlmere, there is is also the additional hazard due to parking.

From Windermere to Burnside there are a number of blind bends in the road which in some cases cause restriction of seeing oncoming vehicles, a particular hazard for the elderly or disabled when crossing the road.

I feel the speed of traffic should be restricted to no more than 20mph or some other method adopted.

As is usual, the persons who will be speaking against this obviously live miles away in some cosy little cul de sac or likes of and have no real knowledge of what is really happening

Thirlmere Drive in my opinion is a definite hazard spot with a serious accident waiting to happen, but of course then it will be too late.

For many years now the useful facilities of the ward have disappeared, probably to be replaced with a new frontage to our shopping area, but no community rooms as in other wards, no facilities for younger members, no library, what next?

So is it not time you were allowed to have an open meeting with those responsible to explain what is to be done for the future of your ward? I often wonder are our councilors really there to help us?


Thirlmere Drive, St Albans

Back at you Mr Pollard

SIR – Re: Kerry Pollard’s comments on Nick Clegg’s interview in the Herts Advertiser of March 24.

I’ve never voted for Anne Main or for Mr Pollard and regard myself a political agnostic with a keen interest in economics and it’s this that leads me to pen this belated missive.

Mr Pollard has a touching belief that there is one simple answer to Labour’s economic mess, but I can assure him the world has scores of economists, all brighter than him, who have hundreds of contradictory solutions.

We certainly have a world crisis and it may have started in the US, but the UK’s slump is very much home-grown. Mr Pollard’s Labour Party were happy to take ownership of their economic boom and extolled the virtues of light regulation of our banks. So they really ought to take responsibility for their bubble and collapse that followed.

I’ve no doubt the coalition will make some awful mistakes along the way, but they have an awful mess to clean up.

Mr Pollard then jumps on the “Vince Cable was right all along” bandwagon and cheekily advises Nick Clegg to support Mr Cable.

On some three occasions in the lead up to the crash, Vince Cable warned of the forthcoming bust and was arrogantly dismissed by Gordon Brown.

Did Mr Pollard ever make his support for Vince Cable known to Gordon Brown at the time? I doubt it. Now Labour benches make a point of barracking Mr Cable whenever he speaks in the house. They didn’t listen then and are too stupid to listen now.

Mr Pollard also says eventually the government will be able to sell its bank shares and pay off the debt. Oh really? He knows that does he? Perhaps he’d like to share some of his other investment insights with us.

Labour’s Ed Balls insists the US is following the correct recovery plan.

However, Bill Gross the CEO of Pimco, the world’s largest bond investment fund, begs to differ and has dumped all holdings of US treasury bonds. Warren Buffet, the world’s most successful investor, also advises investors to do much the same.

Now we all know Ed Balls, Labour’s co-architect of our current slump, thinks he’s very bright, but brighter than these two gentlemen? I beg to differ.


West View Road, St Albans

A scar on the landscape

SIR – I have passed Westminster Lodge many times in the last month, either on foot or in my car and each time I have felt a growing sense of anger against the council for their cowboy land clearance for the new Bodge scheme.

It looks and feels like the cabinet are sticking a collective two fingers up to residents and the many visitors who use or pass the park, using the stumps of the once glorious trees fronting Holywell Hill as their combined digits.

You may not want this scheme but you are going to get it and this is where it’s going to be, is the message this visual scar is shouting out loud and clear to one and all.

If it were not bad enough to blatantly breach numerous planning conditions, with the meek acquiescence of a seriously compromised planning department, but to leave the stumps there for about a month, in the green belt within the conservation area, looking like the set for a film of the battle of the Somme is quite sickening.

Now the school holidays are upon us and the weather has been fine and warm, many tourists must have seen this sight and must have wondered just how little care or respect we have for a well-loved gateway to our city.

As some of those responsible face the electorate, perhaps they too might suffer more than a light pruning in the ballot box for their appalling abuse of power.


Tennyson Road, St Albans