Letters to the editor (Including Hemel should take historic opportunity)

Letters to the editor
Letters to the editor

A selection of this week’s letters to the editor.

Dacorum Museum

Hemel should take historic chance

This year is the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.

All over Europe towns and cities have created museums to record events that occurred at that time.

The 100th anniversary of the Second World War will create as much interest in 2039.

Hemel Hempstead was the third new town developed to give housing to British people after the war.

The town is unique in the world and won awards for its planning in so many areas. Pictures of these successful designs are hidden away in libraries and civic centres.

The town has become neglected, covered in tack and in one case an innovatively designed public building has been demolished.

To say there is no suitable building for a museum in Dacorum is ridiculous.

Use the opportunity to take one of these new homes built for people after the war. Fill it with the furniture and fittings and photos of the time. Ask people to record their memories.

Visitors to the house/museum can press a button to listen to people talking about their memories of moving to Hemel.

These must be collected now or they will be lost forever.

Using this framework Hemel Hempstead could choose any one of those new homes and bring it alive as a museum for future generations to look at.

It is not long ago that people called for St Pancras (ugly Victorian) to be pulled down and then the same for the Festival Hall (ugly concrete) and they are both big money spinners now. Is Hemel Hempstead going to take this opportunity?

Eleanor Streeter

Hemel Hempstead

Hemel ‘beast’

Help poor fox with beastly condition

I recently read your article about the ‘mystery beast’ seen near Bucnefield and from looking at the video this ‘beast’ appears to be a fox with severe mange.

Please look at images for reference on Google by searching ‘fox with severe mange’.

Could you please ensure your readers are aware of this and request that if they see this fox again, could they call St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital on 01844 292292 or other appropriate wildlife charity to capture and treat the animal as mange can be a very painful skin disease. Thank you.

Miss Bigger

Address supplied

Driving standards

Speeding must be top of the agenda

I read Michael Wilson’s letter in last week’s Gazette with much interest and sympathy.

I live just off Midland Road where speeding traffic is a daily issue. Between the bottom of Midland Road and the mini roundabouts at Broadfield Road there are 11 junctions.

There is nothing, not even a 30 mile maximum speed sign to slow drivers down.

I have contacted our local councillors whose interest only was to tell me to contact our County Councillor.

Having done this, he did arrange for a speed audit camera to be placed on Midland Road albeit for only about one week.

I then had to chase the results and was eventually told that the speeding “did not reveal anything exceptional.”

Speeding is against the law and extremely dangerous.

As expressed by Mr Wilson, do we have to wait for someone to be killed before something is done!?

Gill Jeffrey

Hemel Hempstead


Don’t spoil town’s fine countryside

The wonderful rural shot of Little Hay published in last week’s Gazette shows the local countryside at its beautiful best.

Dacorum Borough Council is seriously thinking about breaking Policy No 78 of their Core Strategy to send 75 lorries a day in and out of Little Hay Golf Course using Upper Bourne End Lane in order to dump building waste and turn Little Hay Golf Course into a landfill site.

What an environmentally switched-on council it is!

How about it councillor (leader Andrew) Williams?

Gordon Rolfe

Bourne End Village Association

Bus cuts

Travel Smart is not so clever now is it?

Faced with the prospect of further cuts to bus services bus travellers are becoming more aware that asking their local Member of Parliament to restore a bus route is a waste of time.

The responsibility for allocating subsidies lies with Hertfordshire County Council but to ask your County Councillor for help is pointless because they are also borough councillors and Dacorum Borough Council stopped bus subsidies sometime ago.

Last year the County Council and Dacorum conducted a survey titled Travel Smart.

This work was undertaken by consultants and pollsters. The report of the survey consisting of more than 60 pages revealed that 9% of travellers used public transport and that the aim of the exercise was to increase the use of buses in place of travelling by car.

The cost of the Travel Smart survey was £491,991.

Beyond credibility, having expressed the wish to increase bus travel, Herts County Council has now launched a public consultation aiming to cut bus services in order to save £700,000 from the annual bus subsidy budget.

It is fair to presume that the cost of the county-wide survey would equal the Travel Smart survey covering 14 wards of Hemel Hempstead and would be of similar cost as the Travel Smart scheme and the two surveys together would come to £983,982.

If the County and Dacorum Councils had asked Arriva for their passenger figures they could have enough money to keep the present bus services running for a further 18 months.

Transport is the key to economic activity but Dacorum Council is spending hundreds of thousand pounds to attract shoppers to the town centre while at the same time seeking to reduce the bus services to town shopping venues.

The aim of Travel Smart is to reduce car usage but they are now seeking to cut bus services that the car driver would want to use.

Having been screwed for parking charges one would think that the revenue raised would be used to meet the anticipated demand for bus travel.

The transport policies of the HCC and DBC are nothing short of a dog’s dinner, saving money while at the same time spending it on counter measures.

May well a group of pensioners wait at a bus stop for a bus that will never arrive because Dacorum Council has spent £6,000 on bus advertising in London. Our only hope is in the Roman proverb “Whom the Gods would destroy they first make mad.”

Les Taber

Hemel Hempstead


MP Penning should force by-election

Mr Swinford was spot on when saying that we now are part of a ‘United States of Europe’ which nobody ever asked whether we wanted join; the main political parties broke their promises to ask.

Ireland, Netherlands and France were asked, and actually voted against in referendums.

That we and they are ignored by the political classes, and the fact that Jean-Claude Juncker is appointed as president, should tell us a lot about how the EU is run and how it will develop.

The Lisbon treaty (so ashamed were they that Brown and Miliband signed it in secret) now ties the UK to ever closer union with the other member states.

It’s very simple really, this is never going to change and we will never be allowed to vote on our relationship with the EU. “It’s a done deal, move on, nothing to see here.”

Mr Penning must realise the Conservative promise of a referendum will never happen.

If he really is against a federal Europe he should do the honourable thing like Mr Carswell in Clacton, resign from the Conservative party and stand in a by-election as a UKIP candidate.

I am sure he will win overwhelming support and the eternal gratitude of his constituents.

John Eardley

Hemel Hempstead


Pay rises will add insult to injury

Contrast the news that MPs are to receive the 10% pay rise recommended by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority with the Government’s refusal to implement the 1% pay rise recommended for nursing staff by the independent NHS Pay Review Body.

Talk about adding insult to injury.

MPs’ pay will go up from £67,000 to £74,000. The average salary for a nurse working in the NHS is £23,038.

Over the past three years nursing staff in the NHS have had a cost of living pay freeze. That pay freeze means nurses have, in real terms, taken pay cuts as the cost of living has gone up.
The Government has argued that it’s not affordable to award NHS staff a 1% pay rise.

Last year, however, the NHS under spent by £3 billion and that money was handed back to the Treasury. It would have been much better spent on NHS services and staff. Nurses need support to protect patient care and quality and safety.

On October 18, Royal College of Nursing Eastern region members and staff will be taking part in the TUC’s Britain Needs a Pay Rise march and demonstration in London. Any nursing staff who want to join us on the March can visit www.rcn.org.uk/eastern for more details.

Anne Wells

RCN Council member
Eastern region


Time to weed out town’s old name

I think it amusing what the town name Hemel Hempstead means.

A hempstead was a cannabis farm. Hemp is cannabis, cannabis is hemp.

I think under the plain English campaign we should have the town renamed so there is no confusion.

One night it will happen and be all over social media.

To raise awareness of the

stupidity of prohibition.

Nigel Outten

Address supplied


Did reporter sleep through feminism?

When Fanny Blankers-Koen won four gold medals at the 1948 London Olympics one newspaper headlined its report ‘Fastest Woman in the World is an Expert Cook’.

The writer of your report on a photography competition in a recent paper clearly shares the same style of journalism.

Did they sleep through the three waves of feminism we have had since 1948 ? We are told that the winner and the third-placed entrant are ‘mums’. (We are given no information at all on the non-mum who came second.)

Reading the report, it turns out that the winner is a finance and administration manager and the ‘mum’ who came third is a conflict mediation consultant and author. Is there no house style guide for reports, or any editorial scrutiny of stories before publication ?

I can only think that you asked a work experience trainee reporter to come up with a provocative story intended to elicit angry readers’ letters.

I look forward to reading a report on ‘Dad-of-three Council Leader announces plans for a new road’.

Diana Woodward

Address supplied

Scottish referendum

Not paying the piper for anthem

What price a National Anthem for an independent Scotland?

Clearly the impoverished nation predicted by Better Together could never afford to pay royalties for “Flower of Scotland” to The Corries (Music) Ltd who must be laughing all the way to the bank after its frequent outings at the Commonwealth Games recently.

Perhaps it’s time for Alex Salmond to announce “Scots Wha Hae” as Plan B?

This, in addition to having far superior words and tune to Roy Williamson’s kailyard dirge, has the advantage of being long out of copyright!

John Eoin Douglas

Address supplied