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I am writing to alert your readers to the fact that Hertfordshire County Council is currently carrying out a consultation with a view to selling off most of the Hertfordshire schools art collection.
This was started in the 1940s with a view to building up a collection of work by contemporary British artists, which could be loaned out to schools in the county to inspire artistic creativity and to support practical art making.
The collection eventually grew to about 1,500 items, however, in recent years it has been neglected; the school loans programme was suspended in 2014 and the collection is now in store and inaccessible.
The majority of people in Hertfordshire are probably unaware of the collection’s existence, which is no doubt why the county council feels that it can dispose of it without causing an outcry.
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However, this collection is the property of the people of Hertfordshire: it is not irrelevant, as the county council claims.
It contains good quality works by well-known post-war British artists which deserve to be displayed.
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Fortunately, St Albans district council is considering an alternative plan.
Together with the University of Hertfordshire, SADC wants to take over the management of the collection and to display it in the new museum at the Town Hall and in other museums, galleries, schools and public libraries throughout Hertfordshire and elsewhere.
I encourage readers to visit the county council’s consultation at: https://www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/about-the-council/consultations/property/art-collection-consultation.aspx (where you can also see images of the artworks) and to tell them that you do not want the art collection to be dispersed, and also to contact your district and county councillors with the same message.
If the people of St Albans show that they value the art collection and support the proposal for SADC to take over its management, I believe that the county council will back down and suspend the sale.
Albert Street, St Albans
Thanks from family of Jim Rodford
Your paper has done Jim proud. He was loved by so many, and we would like to thank everyone for their kind messages, flowers and cards.
Thank you so much! JEAN RODFORD, STEVE, PAULA AND RUSSELL St Albans
Since when is assaulting a police officer in the execution of his duty a far lesser offence than a very minor infraction of the Road Traffic Act?
This is the question I pose to St Albans Magistrates after reading the latest court reports in the Herts Advertiser where you state that a man was fined just £80 for assaulting a police constable yet a motorist was fined an eye-watering £220 for exceeding a 30mph speed limit by a mere 7mph.
According to your explanation at the bottom of the page ‘magistrates aim to impose a sentence which primarily reflects the seriousness of the particular offence committed’.
If this is true then surely they spectacularly failed to follow these guidelines and so should be relieved of their duties.
Apart from anything else, the incredible leniency shown to the perpetrator of the assault sends out a clear message to every little thug in the town that he or she can assault police officers with little or no risk of being punished appropriately if caught.
No wonder the police officers I know are fast losing what little respect they ever had for magistrates when they continue to hand out such pathetically inadequate sentences.
Hatfield Road, St Albans
You are an OAP. You go for a morning walk. You look both ways before you cross the road. You don’t just trust your hearing because there are silent bikes and silent electric cars and your hearing is now not so good. You think you are safe. Oh no! It’s the dawn of the parent on kiddy scooter.
Going home from seeing the kids to school they silently speed by you on the pavement as though they are on some sort of time trial for the Olympics.
You feel the gush of wind as they pass, but they are silent like a red kite swooping on its prey. You fear for your safety. You consult the internet as to your rights for compensation should you be disabled by a kiddy’s scooter. You decide life’s too short to worry. You sigh. JC Chiswell Green
The birds are singing and spring will soon be here. Can I try and persuade all those keen gardeners to hold back on the grass-cutting particularly on the verges outside their houses.
Many important insects including emerging butterflies rely on the early spring flowers which hopefully will still come up despite being ruthless cut back every year.
If you want to tidy up why not cut paths through your grass or just cut the edge by the roadside leaving a strip by the hedge to protect habitat.
Do not be fooled into thinking there is plenty of vegetation in the countryside for these insects.
Farmers desperately need to use every inch of their land to grow food and although some leave wide margins in their fields, not all do.
The charity Plantlife is begging us to leave our town verges long, so do not complain to the council that it is all untidy. Ask them to spend the money on mending the roads instead.
PS. It is an offence to cut hedges after March 1.
West Common, Harpenden
The rather lobsided opinions reported by the Herts Ad, expressed at the recent meeting of the St Albans for Europe campaign group, whilst being predictable, were at the same time hardly enlightening to those of us who continued to be baffled by arguments that fall far short of clarifying just how reliable are these true’ facts when quoted to us.
For example, the chair of the meeting referred to what she claimed to be “new facts about what leaving the EU really means which are emerging all the time”.
I assume that as she is so well informed she must have read the official Treasury paper ‘The Immediate Economic Impact of Leaving the EU’ dated May 2016, as this was a major feature of the Remain campaign which I joined with others in actively supporting at the referendum .
How can anyone attempt to cloud the behaviour of the Lib Dem party in colluding and congratulating the Tories in a coalition government which agreed and implemented the austerity programme, whose harsh cuts agreed then are increasingly devastating and damaging to the function and future of our NHS?
My message is that although I regret the result of the referendum, it was a democratic legitimate process and the descision to leave the EU has been made.
Instead of obsessing with what is in practice, at present, an irreversible change in our future relationship with the EU, we would surely be more effectively employed in giving the politicians who run our country a clear message at this year’s district elections of our strength of feeling against their refusal to acknowledge the desperate need of increased funding of our NHS.
Langley Crescent, St Albans
I am writing in response to recent articles in the Herts Advertiser regarding the case of the sexual predator Miraz Triggs.
He had been employed as a headmaster and then supply teacher in various schools in Hertfordshire and was then the found guilty of creating, downloading and sharing thousands of indecent images of children.
Marilyn Hawes, whose three sons were sexually groomed and assaulted by their head teacher, has made an admirable step forward by setting up the charity Enough Abuse UK.
I fully support her and understand how enraged she feels about perverts like Triggs who, even though he was found guilty of these hideous crimes, was only given a suspended prison sentence and some hours of unpaid work.
This is absolutely outrageous and totally inappropriate.
I fully agree with Marilyn Hawes that we are far too pro-offender in this country these days; dreadful crimes, even murder, are often only punished by a brief time in prison
Can we be surprised at the massive increase in so many of these crimes?!
Regarding the many indecent images that can be accessed on line, I feel very strongly that far more needs to be done to control what is available in this way. More also needs to be done to track down the monsters that are filmed doing such terrible things to children.
This has been going on for far too long and governments and police forces in all countries should concentrate more time and funding to dealing with these horrendous crimes.
I use Village Vet near the Smallford roundabout and to cross the road to get there is a nightmare.
When I visit I have to cross all four roads and it is a death trap - you need eyes in the back of your head and up your backside!
We need lights and crossings there. There have been numerous crashes at that roundabout and I’ve seen a person knocked off his bike.
Not so long ago there was a crash and the night vet had to perform CPR on a person. Fortunately he lived, but if there were lights and crossings there then the accident would never have happened! MISS MG FOSTER Arundel Grove, St Albans
The Harpenden Trust Christmas Appeal raised a wonderful £53,000 when Gift Aid is included.
Despite the economically straightened times, the people of Harpenden have again dug deeper than ever to support those in the town who need support. We cannot thank those who contributed enough.
The appeal money goes solely to families and individuals via the Trust’s Care Fund, and as the Trust enters its 70th year its presence is needed as much, if not more, than when the first Christmas Appeal in 1952 raised the princely sum of 302.16.10 in pounds, shillings and pence!
Overall the Care Fund has a 2018 budget of about £80,000, the shortfall from the appeal being met by investments.
It has been estimated that 1,000 people in the town were touched in some way last year by the Trust.
Meanwhile thank you also to all our area organisers, collectors and everyone who helps with the Appeal. Without your hard work we would not be able to raise this money.
Appeal organiser, The Harpenden Trust