A selection of letters to the Gazette this week.
Liners don’t fit? Maybe you have the wrong caddy
The free liners that were given out with the blue lidded wheeled bin and kerbside caddy were designed to fit the small five litre kitchen caddy with the purpose of making recycling food waste as convenient as possible.
If you are struggling to fit the liners into your kitchen caddy, it is possible that you may still have the old style 10 litre caddy with a metal handle. If this is the case, you can order a free five litre kitchen caddy on our website at www.dacorum.gov.uk/recycling.
Alternatively, you can line your caddy with newspaper.
Collections of food waste have proved extremely popular with 68 tonnes collected in the first week rising to a staggering 141 tonnes over the Christmas week. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the residents of Dacorum for supporting the new service.
Dacorum Borough Council, Group manager of Environmental Services
Customer service at its very best
May I thank London Midland and Virgin for true customer service on last Tuesday.
Severe disruption because of a power outage meant no trains were running from Tring to Euston during the peak morning period.
Coincidentally, a London bound Virgin train was stationary at Platform 2. When power returned with no sign of a London Midland train, waiting passengers were invited to join the Virgin train. Needless to say those of us who were waiting needed no second bidding! Thank you to those involved in the decision, it was great to see customer service at its best.
Peter Moore Aldbury
Councillors are against bus cuts
The Gazette reported last week on the second round of public consultation on bus services being run by Hertfordshire County Council following the overwhelming rejection (30 positive reactions out of over 4,500 responses) to the original proposals.
The second consultation may have marginally massaged the proposals so that the last bus runs at 7.30pm rather than 6.30pm and buses that serve hospitals will run on Sunday; but hidden in the detail is proposal three.
The complete withdrawal of services HCC consider are uneconomic, based on their “value for money” formula.
I would like to alert your readers to one service to be withdrawn under this formula, the 322 bus which enables residents of Hemel Hempstead and Watford to get to work at the industrial estates in the Gade Valley, or conversely transports residents who live in the Gade Valley to and from work, to the shops or to visit friends and relatives.
This service may not transport a huge number of people, but it is vital lifeline to those who use it and for whom there is not an alternative bus service.
Axing bus services is an attack on people who depend on public transport. Young people who may be too young to drive; people who cannot afford their own transport; people who may not be able to drive for health reasons or older people who may have given up driving. The County Council is committing these people to a limited social life and possibly no way to get to work, the shops or even the doctor.
Gade Valley councillors are opposing the withdrawal of the 322 bus and we urge all residents to let the county council know what they think about the cuts to bus services by responding to the consultation on www.hertsdirect.org/busconsult.
Cllr Keith Williams
Gade Valley councillor Three Rivers District Council
Thanks to readers for all the support
I am writing on behalf of CLIC Sargent, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, to thank all of your readers who have given up their time, dug deep in their pockets, and thrown all of their energies into supporting us over the past year.
Last year, more than £60,000 was raised in Hertford- shire through a range activities for CLIC Sargent, which went towards providing clinical, practical, financial and emotional support to help children and young people cope with cancer and get the most out of life.
In 2014, thousands of people wore a gold ribbon, held a bucket collection and took part in gold-themed fundraising events as part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September.
Thousands more took part in Wig Wednesday, donning wigs to show support for children and young people with cancer, and raising an incredible £280,000 – a fantastic amount which will make a huge difference to children with cancer and their families.
Thank you to everyone who took part and supported CLIC Sargent in 2014.
As we move into a new year I very much hope the work of CLIC Sargent will remain in your hearts and look forward to your much needed support.
For more details on the local work of CLIC Sargent, or to find out how you can help please do not hesitate to contact me on 020 8752 2918 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Harriet Young Fundraising manager for Hertfordshire
Resign yourself to ‘non-viable’ future
Response online to Howard Koch’s speaker’s corner column claiming Hemel Hospital could close:
I’m afraid that we have to resign ourselves to the fact that the gradual reduction of services at Hemel Hempstead General Hospital will end up in the facility being, in bureaucratic terms, ‘non-viable’.
This has been an obvious ongoing plan for many, many years as the town-centre hospital site is of enormous monetary value to the health authority and will be sold off for housing development.
I believe that Hertfordshire County Council has been complicit in this policy by giving its backing into the development of the Watford Campus site on which Watford Hospital stands.
Let us not forget that the Watford Campus site is on an area of valueless land for housing development compared to the prime development site in Hemel Hempstead.
Hertfordshire County Council’s stated development policy is to back development in the north of the county at Stevenage and in the south of the county at Watford. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
Joined up thinking, pah since when?
Response online to Howard Koch’s speaker’s corner column claiming Hemel Hospital could close: My experience in going to the West Herts Trust ‘open meetings’ have been a bit one sided like ‘public consultations’ where decisions have been made and they are just justifying them.
Even today, the West Midlands Trust has been taken to task because it actually made a decision that the ‘independent’ NHS England didn’t like.
The government says it wants decisions made locally, then interferes.
Even the promised road to Watford from the M1 (equal to St Albans Road from Hemel) was buck passed in the late 1990s as it was up to county – like a direct bus service.
Even the Trust-free inter-hospital bus has stopped providing a decent service mainly due to lack of use (or was that publicity?). Joined up thinking? Since when?
They expect the NHS service (government funded) and social services (county funded) to also work together. Oh, look another manager to be paid!
Fredkarno via web
Should have bin grateful for gift
Unlike your Tring correspondent (Gazette letters, Jan 21st) I appreciate the council’s kind present of 52 biodegradable bin liners.
Admittedly they are too short to reach the bottom of the bin, but I fill the gap with an empty egg box.
The bag fits snugly at the top. Of course they don’t hold as much, but not one, unlike the supermarket version, has biodegraded prematurely.
Because they are smaller, I get through about three a week so the supply is dwindling, but at least they are a free gift, not to be looked in the mouth!
Freedom of speech
Remember words of ‘greatest Briton’
Sir Winston Churchill is considered by many as the greatest Briton of all time.
As Prime Minister, he lead Great Britain through the Second World War where his refusal to surrender to Nazi Germany inspired the country.
As the nation reflects on his courage, determination, and leadership of war time Britain, it is also worth knowing that, in December 1942, he wrote about psychiatrists.
An insightful and inspirational leader, he wrote: “I am sure it would be sensible to restrict as much as possible the work of these gentleman, who are capable of doing an immense amount of harm with what may very easily degenerate into charlatanry.
“The tightest hand should be kept over them, and they should not be allowed to quarter themselves in large numbers upon the Fighting Services at the public expense. “There are no doubt easily recognisable cases which may benefit from treatment of this kind, but it is wrong to disturb large numbers of healthy, normal men and women by asking the kind of odd questions in which the psychiatrists specialise.
“There are quite enough hangers-on and camp followers already.” Sir, we salute you.
Brian Daniels National spokesman Citizens Commission on Human Rights (UK)
Daylight saving time
It’s time to stop changing clocks
I know this isn’t a specifically “local” issue like the majority of letters which I enjoy reading in the Gazette each week.
And with all the problems in the world it may seem somewhat trivial.
But having long wondered about the wisdom of changing the clocks twice a year, I think it should be revisited.
What is the attraction to daylight savings time?
Now that research is pointing strongly to the health benefits of leaving the clocks alone, I say ‘it’s time’ if you’ll pardon the pun.
What is the new attraction to this seemingly obvious idea? We want our normal ‘extra’ hour of daylight at the end of the day.
From my research, here are a few health related examples: 1) We will exercise more. Who knew? It seems that leaving the clocks alone adds hundreds of active hours to our year, hours that we will (naturally for some – with conscious effort for others) spend burning calories and getting more exercise. Excellent.
2) We will have fewer car accidents. Why? Studies have shown that leaving the clocks alone significantly decreases the number of accidents we have. Why are we not putting this data to work?
3) One more hour of daylight could hike our levels of vitamin D. Half the population has low of Vitamin D.
4) It would mean 300 extra hours of daylight every year, giving us time to do things we may not be doing now, due to early darkness
Research shows that we feel happier, have more energy and are sick less often in the longer days of summer when we are exposed to more light. Our moods and health may also show decline during the darker days of winter. Isn’t that a great positive psychology based reason to go back to the normal, natural cycle of light our planet has?
Many places on earth follow the natural cycle and always have. So I say stop turning the clock back and forth every six months!