Letters to the Editor (Including ‘Actions speak louder than words ... and photographs over Hemel Hospital’)

This breathtaking shot of rarely seen deer was taken by Melanie Eckert from Berkhamsted during a walk around Potten End and Bourne End with her husband. Melanie took a number of fabulous pictures which will be featuring in the coming week. Keep all your great pictures coming in
This breathtaking shot of rarely seen deer was taken by Melanie Eckert from Berkhamsted during a walk around Potten End and Bourne End with her husband. Melanie took a number of fabulous pictures which will be featuring in the coming week. Keep all your great pictures coming in

A selection of letters to this week’s Gazette.


Actions speak louder than words and photographs

Re: article ‘MP says he is ‘determined’ to see more services provided at Hemel Hempstead hospital site’.

I was very pleased to read that our MP Mike Penning is finally taking an interest in our hospital, it has only taken four years for him to realise that this is a much needed service for the people of Hemel Hempstead, however I then woke up and realised it was an election year, and of course what a chance for a photo opportunity for our MP Mike Penning to convince the voting public he cares.

I would be minded to remind that in 2010 Mike Penning and the Tories exploited the transfer of the A&E Unit from Hemel Hempstead to Watford saying the closure of acute services at the hospital was Labour’s fault and promised us if we voted Conservative we would get our hospital back.

You only have to see MP Mike Penning’s voting records which are public knowledge to see the truth.

I can say with hand on heart that I have never seen MP Mike Penning at any of the NHS meetings with the then chief executive of the West Hertfordshire Hospital Trust Samantha Jones, and the general public trying to sort this issue out.

I will also inform the readers I myself am being sent to south London for treatment because there are no hospitals in the area now that could treat my condition.

I would only say to your readers that actions speak louder than words or photographs.

Rooster Cogburn

Address supplied


I prompted MP’s panicked response

Another victory for UKIP Hemel Hempstead.

The news from Mr Penning and the hospital trust, that Hemel Hospital is not only to be saved but invested in, is very welcome news.

The sense of panic was palpable! Now we have the promises in writing it will be very interesting to see if they are kept, after all we are coming up to a general election!

What is most interesting, is that these promises only came about after my Speaker’s Corner piece on the future of Hemel Hospital.

This is yet another example (our victory over the Little Hay landfill being another), of the power that UKIP has locally.

Anyone in any doubt just how much influence we have in local politics must surely now have their doubts cast aside.

If this is what we can achieve when not even elected, just imagine what we can do if we are elected! Now do you want a Pavilion?

Dr Howard Koch
Parliamentary party 
candidate UKIP 
Hemel Hempstead

Hemel Hospital

Lack of hospital is costing us lives

We need a full running hospital in Hemel.

My dad had an ambulance after collapsing at home. The ambulance had to take him to The Lister Hospital in Stevenage.

Hemel, St Albans no A&E, Watford and Luton hospitals no room for him.

My dad was at deaths’ door, thankfully for the ambulance crew and nursing staff at Lister, my dad is still here.

This could well have been a different story due to the unnecessary time my dad had to be on the road in the ambulance.

I don’t understand all the politics of why hospitals have to be shut or cutbacks made.

All I know is I class myself as fortunate to have my dad, sadly others will not be as fortunate.

If they continue building houses (which I am in agreement with) they need to also have community buildings for these people like hospitals, doctors, police, libraries etc.

Everything is straining with so many people needing facilities at the moment, how much more can the people that work in these environments take?

Mrs Burgerking

Commenting online

Hemel Hospital

Public must make their voices heard

With reference to the Gazette article February 4, in which Mike Penning pledged to fight for the retention of those health services which remain on the Hemel Hempstead Hospital site, the Dacorum Hospital Action Group (DHAG) fully support his views.

Whilst keeping in mind the primary aim of the DHAG is the reinstatement of our hospital which was so cruelly and mistakenly taken from us, we must nevertheless fight not only to retain all the services we have left but indeed add to them.

One of the most essential services are those that provide intermediate care beds for those patients who no longer need an acute setting but who are unable to return home immediately.

West Herts Hospital Trust (WHHT) have recently opened a new 34 bedded Tudor ward in Watford ‘to alleviate the pressure’ on Hemel Hempstead wards. If this is for Dacorum residents why not in Hemel Hempstead we have the space.

I would urge residents to make their voice heard.

Betty Harris 
Chairman DHAG

New pavilion

Response demands cinema rethink

An open letter to Councillor Andrew Williams:

You may be aware that a petition is currently being conducted asking DBC to reconsider proposals for a multiplex cinema in the centre of Hemel Hempstead.

Proposals to enliven the town centre are much appreciated, and indeed long overdue.

However, the overwhelming response to this petition is that there is little support among residents for another multiplex, but there is considerable long standing enthusiasm for a more flexible use venue that could offer even more than the former pavilion; not necessarily as large, but having adaptable facilities that could be modified to a host of different styles of events and clients as required.

The petition will include a dossier containing constructive comments and suggestions from people taking part in the petition, from other social media, and from the council’s own consultation on this matter.

DBC’s proposal to include restaurants and the bars in the development is in any case excellent, and will bring extra life and vibrancy to the town.

Currently we have over 1,000 signatures, including on paper and online.

We earnestly request a meeting at which the petition can be formally handed to you.

At this meeting we would like to discuss setting up a working party of concerned Dacorum residents, representatives from business, cultural and social organisations and councillors who could engage in creatively thinking as to how such a venue could be delivered without being an unacceptable drain on the borough’s finances.

If the borough is to derive any benefit at all from the increased wealth that will be brought in by the new housing estates, a new venue is surely high on the list of priorities.

Perhaps a social or “not for profit enterprise” has not yet been considered by the Council for such a venue, but it is noted that “Sportspace” is now run as a “Not for profit” enterprise, as are some of the horticultural services.

Discussions could also include ideas for economies that might be achieved by integrating the building with other developments that will take place at the Gade Zone site.

It is not hard to find performance venues that are combined with conference facilities, libraries, civic or commercial offices that could be used as a model for developments on this site.

In view of the overwhelming response to our petition, the residents of Hemel deserve an indepth rethink of the current proposal.

Mike Ridley

Chris Ridley

Carolyn Nicholls

And over 1,000 signatures online and on paper

Please note, this petition is a non party campaign 
initiated solely by the three named signatories above, having a variety of different political allegiances

Nostalgia appeal

Do you remember Bowie’s Hemel gig?

I am currently writing/compiling a book about David Bowie’s connection to the three counties of Herts, Beds and Bucks and wonder if you would include the following:

It is about Bowie’s activity in the three counties over the years.

I would be most interested to hear from anybody who attended the concert of David Bowie at the Pavillion, Hemel Hempstead on May 7 1972.

If any readers have any recollections (or even photos) I will be very keen to hear from them.

Kevin Macan-Lind
Email: kevin@

Waste services

Council is making recycling harder

When the refuse and recycling collections were reorganised late in 2014, we were informed that the green bin garden waste collections would be suspended (which was bad enough in itself) but that we would be told in late January 2015 when they would resume.

In the absence of any information in the form of a leaflet on the bins as far as the end of January, I have just looked on the relevant page of the Dacorum website, and discovered that: no information will be generally released until 2 February (which, in case it has escaped your notice, is not late January).

As if that’s not bad enough, on entering my postcode, that the first collection at my 
address will not take place until 20 February.

Over three months without a green bin collection is unacceptable in itself, but the lack of information from Dacorum is despicable and deplorable.

You manage to send texts to my mobile telephone about changes to regular collection dates, but can’t get it 
together to use the same avenue of communication to keep me up to date about the green bin collections.

Why not? We want to recycle, and the encouragement from Dacorum is that we should recycle, but you are not really being helpful in this particular area, are you?

Marin Cotton
Piccotts End

Waste services

Key to permits is being prepared

In response to story ‘Resident’s anger at ‘unbelievably’ rigid recycling centre permits’:

I think the only real problem here was lack of information given, and therefore not being able to be prepared.

I would be annoyed if I had tried to help a neighbour or for myself and got there and couldn’t use the site, but now knowing the solution, that seems reasonable, or is the complaint about a free, renewable permit?

If permits had been in use last year, you would simply have got a permit and had it stamped four times.

Here is the link to the permit site which hopefully saves others from a wasted triphertsdirect.org/services/envplan/waste/wasteaware/hwrc1/vanperm

Commenting online

Waste services

I assume borough will bill county?

In response to story ‘Resident’s anger at ‘unbelievably’ rigid recycling centre permits’:

Here in snowy Berkhamsted, we still get trees and other ‘household’ rubbish dumped in the lanes, so one supposes that Dacorum will bill County after collecting it, particularly as the ‘green bin’ is not collected during December and January i.e. middle of November and late February.

That’s not two months but nearly THREE months.


Commenting online