Letters published in today’s (Thursday) Comet

New GP surgery will be a major improvement

SIR – When I first heard about the proposed new surgery at Ridlins End replacing the Shephall Way one in Stevenage I was pleased as the current one is very tired and has been in need of building work for some time.

It also has a tiny car park only allowing for three to six patient cars at a time with no real parking nearby except in a busy small residential street.

It has also become too small for the area of Shephall since the closure of other surgeries and at times it can take weeks to see a GP due to the sheer amount of people who use it.

So a new surgery has been approved, close to the current one and with 40 parking spaces, 10 consulting rooms and two nurse stations. I expect an influx of new doctors, nurses and receptionists to cope with the very full patient list.

The only concern I have is that there is no bus stop near Ridlins End. I would hope that the residents of Shephall could all ask Hertfordshire County Council to put a new pair on the junction of Shephall Way and Ridlins End so the SB4 and SB5 could stop outside like it does currently for Shephall Way Surgery.

You would have thought that everybody would be pleased with this arrangement? How wrong I was when I was to read in the Comet on Thursday, June 19, that residents in Gonville Cresent and Shephall Way have the cheek to start naysaying it due to current concerns that the local garages currently serve as a gathering point for local youths.

I would say that youths currently gather there as there is little or no security in the form of CCTV and they have the playing fields to escape to if anybody comes down there.

Once the surgery has been built I would expect some very hefty security including modern CCTV and if anybody started gathering there after hours I would expect the police to identify and stop the individuals concerned.

As for the loss of play area, looking at the proposal it is a very small amount being lost and if it is like where I live which is a few seconds walk from Peartree Park, the local children seem more intent on playing in the street and on my front lawn rather than the park.

I wonder if residents just don’t want the prospect of having building works near them rather than having a major improvement to an important local service.

I would be only too happy to have the surgery near me and given the current cuts everywhere we should count our blessings that the community is getting this rather that complain about it.

Name and Address Supplied


Move a boost for centre

SIR – As the manager of the community centre in Archer Road I was stunned to see the comments in your article last week, from local residents who say the council is “ripping the heart out of the community.”

I have worked here for seven years and spent hundreds of pounds on advertising yet I still have local people come in and tell me they didn’t know we were here.

Our FREE bi-monthly coffee morning gets about six people, three of whom live outside Pin Green. Many of the people who come to lunch do not live in walking distance. In a recent survey taken over a week, 63% of users did not live in the Pin Green ward. Most of the activities at the centre are run by people living outside the neighbourhood.

For any centre to be the heart of its community, the community has to use it! Our move to Hampson Park will place the ‘heart’ into the ‘lungs’ of the community. The park is a beautiful open space which will be on our doorstep, to be enjoyed by our users. We will also be opening a high quality community coffee shop when we move, that not only local residents can use but all the users of the centre and park.

I for one am looking forward to the move and hope the local residents will come and enjoy using the new centre.

Helen Henry

via email


Town reflects people in it

SIR – You know, I think Lewis Hamilton, without knowing it, has probably got it right.

Despite there being many upright and decent citizens living in and around Stevenage, there are growing numbers of those whose disregard for an acceptable standard of behaviour which latterly has become more marked during my 30-year residency in Stevenage.

The grass verges, once a feature of the town, are now rutted and muddy off-road parking. Motorists, (but maybe some of whom are visitors) who only signal their intention to manoeuvre during or after the manoeuvre has occurred. Speed limits broken, use of mobile telephones whilst driving, reading maps/paper/letters whilst moving and general disregard for other road users. And you only have to stand outside some of our schools to hear language which would make a sergeant major blush.

And we have the case, reported in your publication, of the young lady abused by our local pond life because of her disability. (My son, himself learning disabled, has also been abused by people who refuse to acknowledge that there are those who cannot make sense of the world around them – he is not the only one who has been attacked in this way.)

I have been spat at for remonstrating with young people outside local shops about inappropriate behaviour. And I have had messages left on my car windscreen about my driving/parking skills. (Unfortunately – or fortunately – at the time the message was left it was raining and the message was unreadable. Perhaps the author could contact me and advise me to what he/she/it objected.)

No, we are not Monte Carlo, or indeed anywhere else, but the town – any town or conurbation – is not only the physical facilities; shops, amusements, entertainment, but is a reflection of the people who live there.

It would seem that there is an element to be found among the Stevenage population who care about no one but themselves; and as a result of this attitude, and the seeming unwillingness of the appropriate authorities to deal with the excesses, it makes me think that Monte Carlo might indeed be a better bet.

A F Maddren

Hazelmere Road



Snooker hall an eyesore

SIR – My wife and I are so pleased that they are pulling down Rileys snooker hall. This eyesore has been a blight on this area for so long.

It will not only create accomodation for the elderly but it will also create more two, three and four-bedroom homes that they will vacate.

I have seen the plans and I am very impressed with the design which will enhance this area enormously.

Name and address supplied


Advice on phone scams

SIR – I recently heard about another detail of these widespread telephone ‘scams’.

After the lies and deceptions are finished, when the phone is put down by the victim, the criminal holds open his/her phone and it stays connected to the victims for several minutes, allowing the criminal to listen in!

Moves are now being made by the telephone companies to cut this ‘hold time’ to seconds.

The best advice is to use another line at once, and always wait 10 minutes before using the same phone again (the criminal line).

A Hollis


Letchworth GC


Thanks for event support

SIR – Thank you to everyone who supported the Send a Cow coffee morning and plant sale at our house last Friday.

A magnificent £720 was raised to help African farmers grow enough food to feed their families, sell their produce and go on to start sustainable, small businesses.

The Department for International Development will double all donations up to the end of the month, so that was a fantastic effort, thank you to you all.

Name and address supplied


Help was appreciated

SIR – I would like to say a very heartfelt thank you to the two good Samaritans who kindly came to my rescue on Sunday, June 22, in Argos in Hitchin.

I was shopping like most families do at the weekends. However shopping for us has a difference as I have two autistic sons aged nine and 11, the youngest of which is severely autistic, and due to his low toned muscles needs a wheelchair to go any distance.

Unfortunately due to a broken strap on the chair that day I had walked the children to Argos from Portmill Lane car park. The sensory environment was too much for my youngest child and he became extremely upset, collapsing on the floor, thus causing my eldest son to become extremely adjitated.

In 10 seconds we had brought the shop to a standstill. A young man in cycling clothing and a lady called Caroline, recognised the situation and that the children had a disability and under very difficult circumstances they helped me back to my car. It certainly restored my faith in the public’s view to autism.

A big thank you, too, to the lovely staff in Argos, Hitchin.

Name and address supplied


A celebration, but sadness

SIR – 2014 will be an important year of contrasts for the Letchworth GC Central Methodist Church.

The church centenary in the autumn will be a time of rejoicing yet tinged with sadness as the horrors of World War I are remembered. A special service is planned for the morning of Sunday, August 3.

Twenty-three members laid down their lives. Some of their stories are extremely poignant.

Are you by any chance related to one of those named on the memorial? You will be especially welcome on August 3.

The names are listed on the website for Central Methodist Church at www.centralmethodistlgc.org.uk

Perhaps you have been working on linked military records? Your help would be welcomed.

Please contact: -

Helen White

Secretary to the Centenary Committee

Central Methodist Church

Pixmore Way

Letchworth GC SG6 3TR


Anger over rude driver

SIR – To the impatient, disrespectful and rude lady who proceeded to tailgate my 17-year-old daughter who was driving along Greasley Way towards Sainsbury’s on Sunday, June 22, at approximately 5.30pm, while she was adhering to the speed limit of 40mph.

Not only did you intimidate a new young driver, by driving so close, swerving across the white lines attempting to overtake, you put us, yourself and the young child sitting in the front seat of YOUR car at risk.

Given that young drivers already have a bad name for driving irresponsibly, it disgusts me that someone, especially a middle-aged lady driver with a child in the front seat, would be so rude to another driver while they are driving with due care and attention, unlike you.

My daughter has a black box monitor fitted to her car, and this is clearly indicated with a sign in her rear window, just to make other drivers, like you, aware of why she is driving ‘correctly’ so to speak. Being so close to the bumper, surely you should have seen this sign?!

As my daughter indicated to turn left, you then thought it appropriate to sound your horn to indicate your frustration at her driving.

Well thanks for that and you can thank me for passing on your car details and registration number to the local police station for their interest.