Letters, February 24, 2011, part three

City concerns

SIR – Whilst I have to congratulate the St Albans City Supporters Trust for the brevity and clarity of their manifesto, the words “Gibson Out” are rather lacking in both fiscal policy and forward planning.

The Trust chairman Mr Ian Rogers seems to firmly believe that Mr John Gibson is not a suitable person to be in charge at St Albans City. As the Trust have appointed themselves guardians of the future of football at Clarence Park, just what solutions do they have prepared for the current situation?

Have they spoken to any potential backers for the club? Have they obtained a commitment from any person or persons likely to fund the club? Have they compiled a business plan, showing how the club will be funded in the future? Have they written this up with and presented this as a dossier to Mr Gibson and the other members of the current board? If not, why not?

Bleating two words will not pay the bills. Bleating two words will not encourage the extra 500 people per home game that the club needs.

Bleating two words will not safeguard the future of football at Clarence Park. I refused to join the St Albans City Supporters Trust because I do not believe that they have the knowledge, experience or ability to safeguard the club’s future.

At the moment, I only have the current board to rely on. Until a viable alternative is found, then I am duty bound to support the only viable option.

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Prove to me that there is a credible, real alternative. Show me that the club will be funded properly and sensibly in any proposed “post Gibson era”. Until you can, please keep your negativity to yourself and start looking for a viable, credible and realistic future for your club.


Address supplied

Compensation culture shame

SIR – It was sad to hear of Maisie London’s ‘trauma’ after she fell onto a chain fence in Harpenden (Herts Advertiser, Harpenden edition, February 17 – read it online at www.hertsad24.co.uk).

I understand the anger that Maisie’s mother must be feeling after her daughter has endured such an ordeal, however I feel that her mother’s reaction to the situation does go a little too far.

Ten years ago, when I was only the tender age of six, I tripped in a pub play area and cut my finger on broken glass which was on the ground.

Similarly to Maisie, I also required stitches and I also have a scar, but my parents did not embark on legal action against the pub because of it, nor did they ask for rules to be changed on glass tumblers in every pub in the area. Perhaps they should have pursued the matter and fought for plastic cups in every pub because of this one accident?

Should Harpenden Town Council put bubble wrap around each one of the spikes to stop the same accident happening again in the future? Or should we stop firemen from fighting fires because it is too dangerous? Should we all walk on our hands and knees because the risk of falling is too great?

The country needs to get out of this ‘Health’n’Safety’ culture, because sometimes accidents do just happen.


Harness Way, St Albans

SIR – Whilst feeling sympathy for Maisie, I cannot believe her mother is taking legal action against the council.

What happened to the days when an accident was just that? It is not as if the council left a sheet of plate glass for all and sundry to fall over.

Reading the child’s statement about being scarred, not wearing shorts, etc., one cannot help but wonder if words have not been put into her mouth!

I am sure her mother would be the first to complain about the council having to make cuts to their budget. It is people like her who force the council’s insurance premiums to rise so dramatically because people sue for the slightest incidents.

My son was hit by a cricket bat that was swung by a fellow pupil. The bats should have been cleared away before the children left the field but they were not. He had to have several stitches in his forehead. He is now 25-years-old and yes, he still bears the scar! But no, he did not have nightmares as Maisie professes to have.

I did not sue the school. It was an accident. So please, spare us all from the ‘suing mentality’. Get real, get over it!


Carpenders Close, Harpenden

SIR – Re: the front page of your Harpenden edition, February 17. What was it supposed to achieve as there is no story? According to your article the girl tripped on her own foot and got injured. Hundreds of children fall over every day, some will get scars, some won’t.

So if my child trips on a kerb and falls into a lamppost causing a cut to their head and a scar, does this mean I can sue the council for compensation and ask for all lampposts to be removed?

I can only assume that the mother has to blame someone, obviously not her daughter, because it couldn’t possibly be her child’s fault, because if it was she wouldn’t be able to claim compensation.

If the child is so scared of people starring at her it’s always a good idea to take your story to the press to let even more people know. If people didn’t notice her daughter before they will certainly be looking now, and all for money. I did particularly like how she is still suffering from nightmares. Does this help in getting more compensation?

How long have the railings been in Harpenden? And how many people have injured themselves? But because one person trips on their own foot and injures themselves not only do they have to blame someone, claim compensation, but now go on a quest in the name of H&S to have them removed. But I suppose this helps the claim as well.

I don’t know who is worse, the mother, for exploiting her daughter or the Herts Advertiser for publishing it.

I for one fully support the council decision. There is no case to answer.


Address supplied

SIR – I was disappointed with your editorial judgement in the February 17 edition. Your choice of headline was an item about a girl who tripped on her foot and fell on a spiked chain.

Yet you relegated to a minor news item a report of an 80-year-old pedestrian who sustained serious head and knee injuries following a collision with a car for which the police are appealing for witnesses.

The girl was rushing and tripped on her foot – it was her fault. What would be the reaction had she tripped and fallen under a passing vehicle? Would that have been the motorist’s fault?

The council’s liability is to ensure that the pavement does not present a trip hazard, not to remove any item of street furniture that people, whilst rushing, might trip and fall on. Many items of street furniture are capable of inflicting unpleasant injuries under such circumstances.

As for the attempts by the girl’s mother to obtain compensation from the council (i.e. we the ratepayers), I suggest that before trying to mobilise a campaign so typical of the compensation culture of the day, she teaches her daughter to take more care and not to rush.


The Deerings, Harpenden