A selection of letters sent in to the Gazette this week.
Police are taking speeding seriously
I share the concerns of Michael Wilson and Gill Jeffrey about speeding in their recent letters “Police must put the brakes on speeding” (Sept 10) and “Speed most be top of the agenda” (Sept 17).
Time and time again people raise speeding and anti-social driving where they live as a concern and it is something I was determined to tackle when I was elected Police and Crime Commissioner.
Many of us can relate to both correspondents’ frustration of regularly seeing people driving over the speed limit and being powerless to do anything about it.
I believe police do take the matter seriously. The Beds, Cambs and Herts Road Policing Unit have run campaigns encouraging people to slow down and in Dacorum the Safer Neighbourhood Team regularly conduct speed enforcement checks throughout the borough.
However, as much as we would like it, police cannot be everywhere all of the time.
As a result, I set up my Community DriveSafe scheme which empowers residents who are concerned about speeding to help do something about it themselves.
Anyone can set up a scheme on an appropriate road in their area as long as it has a 30mph speed limit and they can get ten signatures on a petition.
The schemes are supported by police who provide training and equipment to the volunteers. For more info and to download a petition form please visit my website www.hertscommisioner.org
Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire
NIMBY-ism from council leader?
I listened to (Dacorum Borough Council leader) Andrew Williams on Three Counties Radio telling us how many hundreds of houses are going to built on Green Belt in our area just as I drove past the old Lucas site in the industrial area that is now level and has been empty for about 20 years.
We hear on the news that there isn’t enough land to feed the millions of people in the world and in our small country we are bowing down to the developers and allowing them to build on farmland that once it’s gone it’s gone and can never be got back.
Why for a start weren’t the travellers’ sites amalgated and put on the Lucas site or are they going to be given pristine areas of beauty where people who have worked hard and saved to buy a house live only to see their properties drop in value. I know developers don’t like brownfield sites as they have to clean it out, poor dears. Mr Williams doesn’t live in the country but I wonder if he would be quite so keen if he had a travellers’ site near his own house.
Doo poo near town school is shameful
I am a dog owner and I always pick up my dog’s poo.
But so many don’t so I agree with the letter in last week’s Gazette that suggested to fine owners who don’t!
Name and shame them.
I live near to Tudor School
and the amount of fouling
taking place there is beyond belief and right near a school, shameful .
Dog owner Hemel Hempstead
MP incompatible to defect to UKIP
In response to Mr John Eardley’s letter recently, I fully accept his points, especially that the promise of a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU (now at the end of 2017) is just fantasy.
However, neither my committee nor I would support (Hemel MP) Mike Penning if he defected to UKIP.
Mr Penning’s voting history on EU matters within the Houses of Parliament would raise serious doubts about any genuine Eurosceptic stance and as such would be totally incompatible with UKIP’s political position.
Chairman & PPC UKIP Hemel Hempstead
Link Road chaos will only worsen
Sitting in the stationery traffic on the Link Road every morning drivers can admire the beautiful views across the fields of Marchmont Farm.
According to the latest Dacorum Digest it’s here that planners propose to build 350 new homes.
These will be serviced by a single road off a new roundabout about half way up the hill.
Apart from carving another chunk out of our countryside, and brining urban sprawl to within a stone’s throw of picturesque Piccotts End, this latest example of green belt vandalism will bring further traffic chaos.
Imagine an additional 500 cars now queuing to get on to Link Road at 8.30 every morning.
And as for the poor residents of this new enclave, there will be no shops and no schools, but there will be a bus. If I were they, I’d be on the first one out.
A tragedy yes, but why such delays?
Our Hemel Hempstead paper carries details of a nine hour hold up on the M1 recently.
There was a fatality but it beggars belief that such a delay is necessary.
I have been involved in similar hold ups and my impression at the time was that the police make little or no effort to get traffic moving.
In one case all it required was a brush to sweep away glass.
Surely traffic police carry cameras to record the scene.
Where the road surface is burnt a length of heavy duty material could be brought in.
I would not have got to my brother’s funeral had it been a day later when the M25 was closed for most of the day.
Scotland votes no, now for church
Now that a clear majority north of the border has comprehensively rejected Scottishness, surely it is time for us to have an Established Church in North Britain?
The Episcopal Church of Scotland would be ideal for this role and it would be only fitting were the Queen to appoint one of their Bishops to sit in the House of Lords alongside their Anglican colleagues.
John Eoin Douglas
Address supplied but not for publication
Share memories of hero Sir Trevor
I was intrigued last week to read in the Berkhamsted & Tring Gazette about Berkhamsted sporting legend Sir Trevor Hoblin.
I was wondering if your readers had any recollections of Sir Trevor and his exploits. I recall a stranger telling me about a swashbuckling, hard drinking, suave gentlemen who had a penchant for fast Maserati sports cars.
He sounds quite a character and I would love to know more.
After the hysteria we got it anyway
So, following all the hysteria about Lidl proposing to come to Berkhamsted, the development has been passed by the borough planning meeting.
Personally I have never been opposed to Lidl per se.
Like most people I believe competition is good and the idea that we have ‘enough food stores’ is one that is easily dismissed.
Do we yet have enough hairdressers, nail bars, estate agents or restaurants for the size of population?
Like Lidl, all businesses setting up in Berkhamsted, or anywhere, must assess if there is a demand sufficient to make a profit and invest based on this.
Lidl, I assume, have done their sums. I did not hear objections when yet another of the above establishments put their money where their mouth is.
I too would like more accessible health services and other public amenities, but, before Lidl , I heard no-one suggest this site for this purpose.
As far as I know there were no attempts to make an offer to the present owners. This is just, therefore, pie in the sky.
My concerns about Lidl are purely about whether the infrastructure will be able to accommodate the store on this site.
Since the plan to link Springfield Road to New Road, Northchurch was shelved, the many hundred of us living in the area commonly known as Chiltern Park, above Northchurch, have had only two realistic ways of getting anywhere.
These are down Bridgewater Road and either under the railway or towards Potten End, or via the Billet Lane/Gossoms End traffic lights, where the new store will be.
Often traffic in the morning can be queued back from these lights a good distance down Bridgewater Road towards the station or up Springfield Road, as well as up from the lights into Bridgewater Road.
We all know how congested the main road through Berkhamsted can be at any time.
It is stated in the Gazette of 10th September 2014 that £56,000 ‘will be set aside for improvements to nearby roads’. That sounds a lot, but in real terms is a pittance at a junction already under strain.
Lidl state in their proposal that the store and residential development ‘would be expected to generate only around 60 vehicle movements per hour.
This will be unnoticeable in reality’. I agree that if the traffic is moving well, that is not significant, but if these vehicles just further block the junction and make the queues even longer, that would be unacceptable.
Berkhamsted has a limit on road traffic due to its location in a valley, with a canal and railway running through it.
I recently made a midweek visit to Apsley, which has similar restrictions.
It took me 20 minutes to get from Two Waters Crossroads to Sainsburys and the same on the way back. At weekends it is best to avoid Apsley at all costs.
If we are not careful Berkhamsted will also become a no-go area, so I would urge the planners to make sure Lidl’s plans will help, not hinder traffic flow.
I have little confidence, having seen what has happened to Apsley, post A41 bypass, as well as the traffic chaos caused by Aldi in Redbourn Road, Hemel, after it opened at the end of last year.
No doubt the people authorising these are the same people who thought the location of Dominoes Pizza in Berkhamsted was a good idea, not considering that client parking and deliveries by large lorries would make the road outside effectively one way much of the time.
All I ask is that Lidl’s road ‘improvements’ are assessed fully and not taken at face value without further appraisal.
The Lidl concept is based on low costs, whether these be in having a small number of checkouts and staff, or in initial costs of setting up the store. One other comment about your article. If 11 of the 30 new homes on the Lidl site are ‘affordably priced’, does that make the remaining 19 unaffordably priced? If so, how will these be sold?!
CLIC Sargent’s ‘thanks’ to Hemel
As Childhood Cancer Awareness Month came to an end yesterday, CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity, for children and young people, held its Thanks to you day.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to you and your readers for helping us to raise awareness of the impact of childhood cancer and for everything you do for children and young people with cancer, and their families, not only during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, but all year round too.
Whether you’ve held a bucket collection to raise funds at a local shopping centre, bought a gold ribbon, or taken part in one of our flagship events, CLIC Sargent wants to thank you all.
Chief Executive, CLIC Sargent