Letters to the editor (Including Council responds to your complaints over new bin collections)

Letters to the editor
Letters to the editor

A selection of this wesk’s letters from our readers.

Waste services

Council responds to letters on new bin collections

In response to the letters about Dacorum Borough Council Waste Services in last week’s Gazette.

A recent change to the quality standard of compostable waste meant that there was a requirement to remove cardboard from the green waste bin by January 2015 as it was no longer deemed fit to be spread to land.

In addition studies showed that 33% of food waste was still being disposed of in the grey bin and therefore ending up in landfill resulting in harmful methane gases being produced.

The new service means that cardboard can now be recycled in your blue lidded bin with all your other “dry recyclables” such as paper, glass, plastics and cans, and food waste can be collected separately and sent to an Anaerobic Digestion plant which produces enough gas to supply 4,500 properties.

The remaining substance, which is extremely rich in nutrients, can then be spread to land.

Both processes result in less cost in terms of collection and disposal costs and will increase diversion from landfill by up to 60%.

The first week of the new service has already proved extremely successful especially with the quality of the co-mingled waste and the amount of food waste collected.

The council does not have a statutory obligation to provide a garden waste collection service however with food waste and cardboard removed from the green bin in the majority of cases one bin should be enough to contain the amount of green waste produced by residents throughout the summer months. It is hoped that residents who do produce more garden waste will take advantage of a subsidised home composter, the details of which can be found on the council’s website www.dacorum.gov.uk

Lou Fuller

Communications & 
Consultation Assistant 
Dacorum Borough Council

Politics

UKIP imitation is a form of flattery

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery but I am concerned that UKIP, writing in last week’s Speaker’s Corner, appear to be stealing Labour’s ideas on rebuilding the Pavillion and opposing the LA3 development at Pouchen End.

Nigel Farage has been caught on camera recently saying he favoured a US-style of health insurance instead of the NHS and also that women in work are worth less than men.

I’d be more than happy for UKIP to steal our ideas on equality, fairness and healthcare but I’m sad to say that I don’t think that will ever happen. I’d be interested to hear what other women in Hemel think?

Mandy Tattershall

Vice Chair Hemel Labour

Politics

Head in the sand is not the way to go

Howard Koch’s electioneering comments in last week’s Speakers Corner need to be challenged.

He claims that ‘UKIP Hemel Hempstead were instrumental in stopping the Little Hay landfill’. Not so!

In fact, as was correctly reported in the Gazette (October 20), it was the efforts of the Bourne Valley Village Association and Bovingdon Action Group supported by groups such as Dacorum Environmental Forum, as well as a petition from 700 people and individual letters from 200 people, that influenced Dacorum Sports Trust reconsider its position and withdraw and reconsider its proposals.

Mr Koch’s sudden interest in Green Belt issues is surprising. His is the party that does not support wind or solar power, sees no point in the UK reducing carbon emissions and does not believe the overwhelming mass of evidence from all over the world which shows that man is significantly changing the world’s climate.

It has even been suggested that his party would ban the teaching about climate change in schools. One wonders what else might be banned! UKIP’s environmental credentials are poor.

He goes on to talk about the cost of being in Europe.

It should be pointed out that this is a very small fraction of our GDP.

I recently received my new annual income tax summary. 
It showed that my contribution to Welfare, Health, Education and State Pensions was £1,671, whilst my contribution to the EU budget was £18.

I think that is pretty good value for all the benefits it provides. Leaders of British industry overwhelmingly agree that opting out of the EU would be a disaster for business and jobs.

Remember that much of the inward investment to the UK, particularly from the Far East, and the jobs it creates, happens because of the access it provides to European markets.

The Liberal Democrats have been part of the Government for the past four years which has done pretty well in bringing the UK economy out of recession.

I do not think that anybody would argue against their key policies, of raising the tax threshold from just over £6,000 to £10,500; helping to raise school standards by introducing the pupil premium; introducing free school lunches for infant children; securing improved old age pensions, as well as promoting a massive increase in apprenticeships, and seeing a reduction in unemployment with the largest ever number of people in work.

Whilst there is no room for complacency, still work to be done and opportunities for all still need to be improved, it would be helpful if people and the media in particular felt able to recognise, give credit and offer continued support for what has been achieved during difficult times.

The UK will only continue to do well and exert influence in the new and changing global order by being part of an important group of countries and certainly not in isolation as Mr Koch’s party would have us be.

Changes can only be made by being in the group, not out of it.

Long ago Darwin showed that evolution through adaptation ensured the strength and continuation of species and failure to do so usually lead to extinction.

Head in the sand isolation would take our country along this route. Let us not go there!

Steve Wilson

West Herts Lib Dem chairman

Development

Time to improve the Cinderella end

It is good to see some improvements taking place in the Marlowes at Hemel Hempstead, let’s hope the work is not being managed by the same team who did the recent Old Town renovation which was a 22 week project that took over a year.

I wonder if the other end of town will see any improvements, the Cinderella end of town.

Considering it is a gateway to Hemel Hempstead this end of town is badly neglected with rubbish and shopping trolleys regularly on show.

Will there perhaps be some rubbish bins installed along the walk from the shopping centre to the Corner Hall area and will the wall that was badly damaged many years ago be repaired, or should we wait for a small child to be seriously injured or worse when parts of the wall collapse.

We have a fine pedestrian crossing of the dual carriageway but when one reaches the next crossing into town you have to take your life in your hands, to make matters worse there are crossing studs painted on the road suggesting this is a pedestrian crossing, but no pedestrians are left to take their chances.

It would be nice to have the exit from Lawn Lane onto the Magic roundabout widened, as has just been done in the Red Lion Lane area, getting out during busy times is a challenge that causes drivers to use the hatched part of this road. There is ample space that can be used such as the strip of grass which if used could give a dedicated left and right turn exit of Lawn Lane and ease a serious bottle neck.

But perhaps the powers that be like bottle necks as not too many years ago the bridge crossing the river on Durrents Hill was made single track with traffic lights controlling it, this is now a regular cause of serious traffic problems in Apsley as the traffic approaching the bridge gets jammed both ways.

Then there was the complete and expensive farce at Moore End where hundreds of drivers were fined for entering the bus lane which was then proved to be a mistake and the fines had to be repaid, although you can bet the private company operating the system did not return their fees.

You do wonder who makes these bad planning decisions which waste so much hard pressed cash, obviously the answer is our elected councils both local and county.

Trevor Smith
Address supplied

Anti-social behaviour

Fireworks driving town crackers

Can people not remember that fireworks were for November 5th celebrating Guy Fawkes Day, we here in Tring have had fireworks every night up to last night (November 20th), where are people affording all these fireworks and where are they buying them from?

Surely would it not be better if shops only sold them on November 4 and not after the November 5, all this money going up in smoke and all these people pleading poverty. The poor animals are terrified with these BANGERS my dog goes to the back door last night to empty his bladder with another banger going off and him flying in upstairs hiding under the stairs at least he has somewhere to hide but think of these poor animals that have nowhere to hide. Come on stop selling fireworks from October to December surely there is some legal rules about letting off fireworks.

Judy Jones
Tring

Consumer

I’m sick of town’s culture of coffee

What is going on at Waitrose in Berkhamsted?

There are now five coffee/eating areas including the original cafe. Are they really necessary, is that all Berkhamsted residents and visitors do?

Maybe it is, as looking at people in the town they seem incapable of driving, walking, shopping, pushing buggies etc without a coffee cup clutched in one hand. Our small town is already bursting at the seams with restaurants, pubs and tea shops and another restaurant on the way next to Costa and M&S. Let’s call the old Waitrose Supermarket The New Waitrose Cafe and be done with it.

Sandra Taylor
Berkhamsted

Community event

Carol concert is a Christmas cracker

Many people say that Christmas would not be Christmas in Hemel Hempstead without The Salvation Army’s annual carol concert.

Before the Pavilion was demolished it hosted two sell-out performances of this popular event for 36 years, raising thousands of pounds for local charities.

This year’s concert, the 46th, will again be held in the Army’s own building in Waterhouse Street, on Sunday, December 14, at 5pm.

There is expected to be a big demand for tickets and it is advisable to obtain these in advance either by post, enclosing a stamped addressed envelope, to the Citadel, Waterhouse Street Hemel Hempstead, HP1 1ES, or call at the Cafe lounge next to the bus station, open Monday to Friday 9.30 am to 12.30 pm. Tickets are £3.00, £ 2.50 concessions.

There will be a special collection and all proceeds will be shared between the Mayor’s Charity, Chilterns MS Centre, and Salvation Army Community Work in Hemel.

We look forward to the tremendous support always given by local people , and celebrating the true meaning of Christmas.

Len Roberts
Address supplied

Front page story

God rest the souls of father and son

It was with great sadness that I read the inquest report and tributes to Charles and Paul Barrett on last week’s Hemel Gazette front page.
I didn’t now either of them but found it very upsetting that the abscence of two people was not noticed for over a month.
In my opinion it is a reflection of the fast-moving society we live in today where people have less and less time for others.
God rest their souls.

Gail Leonard
Address supplied