Letters round up (Including ‘Man of the people? There’s a lot more to being an MP Mike)

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A selection of your opinions from this week’s Gazette.


Man of the people? There’s a lot more to being an MP...

Gary Cooper’s letter praising Hemel MP Mike Penning as a “down to earth man of the people” ( Gazette, June 18) made me wonder which people in his constituency Mr Penning is representing.

While it is good to note that Mr. Penning was at local event supporting a worthy cause, being an effective MP involves a lot more than buying a few pints of beer.

Mr Penning was first elected to Parliament in 2005 on a promise that he would restore a full range of services to Hemel Hospital. Following decisions by the NHS about health care in Hertfordshire that was never likely to happen, and it has not happened. A promise made, and a promise broken.

Like all MPs, I am sure Mr Penning expects to be judged on his voting record in Parliament.

This includes him voting for increases in student tuition fees; voting in favour of the “bedroom tax”; voting for reductions in benefits for disabled people; voting for increases in VAT; voting against reductions in fuel duty; and voting against same sex marriage.

Taken together, there is probably no-one in Hemel who has not been adversely affected in some way by Mr Penning’s actions in Parliament.

As recently as last autumn, he voted for military intervention in Syria, on which he was out of step with the majority of his own party.

Locally, people may ask what Mr Penning did to help avert the collapse of the Tory borough council’s town centre regeneration scheme, which wasted millions of pounds of public money.

Or perhaps what he did to prevent the council raising Council Tax, against the recommendations of the Tory-led Government ?

These are the types of things an effective MP would be doing. Small beer perhaps, but with Mr Penning the glass is half empty not half full.

Paul Eastwood

Address supplied
but not for publication


Do the decent thing and own up

On Saturday June 14 between 9am-10am I parked my car down Granville Road towards Darrs Lane.

When I came to pick my car up on my driver’s side the bumper had been damaged.

Would the person who was responsible be decent and get in touch with me on 
01442 384473 to reimburse with me the money that I have got to spend to get it mended.

It as an offence not to report an accident.

Andrea Brown

Address supplied

Noise pollution

You’re scaring the birds and humans!

One of the units on the industrial estate close to the council recycling plant has a more or less continuous stream of alarms going off, starting with an early morning (4.30am) call for local residents, and continuing until maybe 10pm.

These noises are believed to be bird scarers!

However they do a very good job of disturbing not only the birds but the local residents as well.

Janet Roy Harris

Address supplied

Town pride

Thank you for this vision of beauty

I too should like to congratulate the departmental manager who came up with the wonderful idea of sewing wild flowers on the roundabouts at Piccotts End and Grove Hill and the verge approaching the M1.

They are an absolute delight.

They are alive with bees and beautiful to behold.

Please can we have more for years to come. They must be easier and cheaper to maintain than fixed flower beds and now we have so few flower beds in Hemel these are a welcome sight.

Wish it was done years ago. WELL DONE!

Mary Wiedman

Picotts End


Praise for Mayor’s ‘joined up thinking’

What a shame that Anthony Fogden (Letters June 11) did not take the trouble to fully appraise himself of the facts before writing his ill-conceived letter.

Had he done so he would have found out just how much vitally needed support is provided by the Chilterns MS Centre to many Dacorum residents.

My wife has had MS for over 30 years and has lived in Dacorum since 1974.

The Chilterns MS Centre is second to none in this area and doesn’t seek to differentiate between those who live in its immediate area and those who reside further afield.

Well done to the centre and well done to the Mayor, Allan Lawson, for recognising the very real service the centre provides for Dacorum residents.

The geographical location of the centre is an irrelevance in this context.

The alternative for Mr Fogden could be to ask Dacorum to put its hand in its pocket to provide a comparable facility in Dacorum itself.

This would be a significant financial burden on the coffers of Dacorum.

In the meantime, we enjoy the benefit of a facility provided from another area’s resources. It is not an unattractive option for Dacorum residents and I totally support the Mayor in his joined up thinking.

David Blayney



Come on people take pride in town

I’ve been a Hemel resident all my life and I take my dogs out every evening for a couple of hours.

I live in Bennetts End and I will walk to town or go through the industrial estate. The amount of litter on the floor is disgusting no wonder this town has rats.

The grass is never cut and when it is no one bothers to pick up the litter so it gets chopped up with the grass .

And I don’t understand when people complain about the price of food.

Either buy smaller portions or eat at home don’t throw what you don’t eat on the floor!

OK I know we don’t seem to have many bins but come on surely the people of Hemel have some pride in there town . A fed up local resident.

Mike Palmer

Bennetts End, Hemel

Grass cutting

Machete needed to enjoy public field

Why is the grass being cut on Keens Field and not on the field between Adeyfield Road, Mountfield Road, Seymour Crescent, Turners Hill and Hillfield Road?

The grass on Keens Field is a couple of inches high, on our field it’s a couple of feet!

It is impossible for children to play ball games or anything else and dog walkers cannot throw a ball for the dog because the dog will not be able to find it.

This field is supposed to be for the use of the public but at the moment you need to use a machete.

I hope the kids around here don’t catch World Cup fever before it gets cut.

I did phone the relevant department at the council on Thursday morning to be told that there is a rota! Apparently this does not appear to be the same for all fields? If not why not?

Doreen Coburn

Seymour Crescent


I really must start getting out ... less

I had the misfortune to have to work in the town today and someone must have spotted the wonderful increase in obstructions in the public highway called motor vehicles.

The two new roads in both Berkhamsted and Northchurch are now single file for some distance.

The High Street between Highfield Road and Robertson Road has vehicles parked/driven along the footpath as well as parked on the side of the road.

The ‘traffic calming’ at the top of Ravens Lane coupled with the Holliday Street/Manor Street one way system is anything but calming.

Bridgewater Road – where I was trying to actually do some work – is single line from brow to brow and I had to park and carry tools/steps etc from South Park Gardens.

As an aside, Durrants Lane was being used by a ‘pre-mix concrete’ lorry with the obvious width problems and the ‘dust cart’ was adding to the queues in Northchurch.

I really must go out less!

Norman Cutting



Diabetic Muslims act smart and fast

As Ramadan approaches, your Muslims readers who have diabetes may be thinking about whether or not they should fast.

This year, fasting periods could last more than 17 hours, which can be dangerous or cause health problems for people with diabetes, particularly if they manage their condition with insulin or certain medicine as they may be at increased risk of dehydration and extreme high and low blood glucose levels.

We want to spread the message that if people with diabetes do decide to fast during this period – and they don’t have to – then they should eat food that is absorbed relatively slowly, such as basmati rice, pitta bread chapattis and dhal, before they begin the fast.

These types of foods and fruits and vegetables can help keep blood glucose levels more even during the fast. It’s important to check blood glucose levels more frequently than usual so that people can, if necessary, break the fast if their blood glucose level drops too low.

Many Muslims think that testing blood is considered breaking the fast, but this is not the case.

It’s also a good idea to break the fast with a handful of dates and a glass of milk or water and to choose healthier options such as vegetables and fruit.

People should also try to eat these kinds of foods again towards the end of the feasting period, just before sunrise, and they should drink plenty of sugar free fluids to avoid dehydration.

Muslims with diabetes who are deciding whether to fast during Ramadan should speak to their Imam and healthcare professional or call the Diabetes UK Careline on 0845 120 2960.

They can also download information on fasting safely throughout Ramadan at www.diabetes.org.uk/ramadan – This will help them get the information they need to make the decision that is right for them.

Sharon Roberts

Diabetes UK
Eastern Regional Manager