THE letters published in the Comet on Thursday, August 30.


SIR - Milo went missing on July 23 from his home in Webb Rise Stevenage. Myself and my boyfriend were absolutely heartbroken. We searched constantly for him for four weeks. We put posters up all over Stevenage, posted leaflets through doors, put two adverts in the Comet newspaper and went on search every time we had a sighting call, one call even led us to a forest at 5.30am in the morning. I called all the local vets, the RSPCA and the council almost every day to check if they had taken him in but we had no luck, it was as if he had just disappeared.

On Saturday August 18 I got a phone call from someone who had seen a cat just like Milo the night before in the park behind the Pets at Home store, with posters and Milo’s favourite treats in hand I drove to the spot straight away.

When I got to the spot I could not find him, I walked up the road to the park where two girls saw me putting up a poster, they told me they had seen a white cat just like Milo in that area also.

I began walking back down the road and decided to have a look in the front garden of an empty house, the house was all boarded up and the garden was overgrown, I shook his treats and called his name and he came running out of the bushes towards me.

I picked him up and he was purring in my arms, he was so happy to see me, I had found him.

We never gave up on our Milo we just knew he was out there somewhere, we persevered and we found him. He is now back home safe and sound and enjoying his home comforts and many treats.

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped us in the search for Milo, we are very thankful to you all and so happy to have him home.



SIR – Reading the recent article regarding rail fare increases, it was interesting that local MP Stephen McPartland failed to answer the question regarding his opinion on the Government’s approval of these rail fare increases.

This is apart from, as he says, sharing the pain with other commuters. Really? while on his �65,000 a year?

Then he diverts to discussing car park charges, a subject on which he is, in my opinion, even less well informed.

Just compare Stevenage charges alongside St Albans, Welwyn Garden City and many other Tory authorities. Unlike privately operated car parks, any surplus achieved from our car parks is used to support council services for Stevenage people.

Maybe Stephen also shares the pain with the mounting thousands on housing waiting lists up and down the country, or the diminishing number of young people going to university and forced to borrow �9,000 a year for student fees and the ever growing number of young people including graduates denied work by his government.

As for working hard to promote the town as good place to live and work, we would like to know when he will join us in fighting for both economic and housing growth rather than supporting the anti-growth policies of Herts County Council and North Herts District Council?

This, taken in conjunction with his continued reluctance to join in common cause with Stevenage Borough Council on any major issues of local importance, as previous Tory MPs for the constituency have done, sadly reflects poorly on his commitment to our town.

John Gardner

deputy leader

Stevenage Borough Council



SIR – I am confused by this article on the front page of last week’s of the Stevenage edition of the Comet ‘Fight to stop newsagent selling alcohol’.

Has no one from the Comet visited the shops prior to placing the article? If you had, you would have realised there is not only a pub opposite the shop, but next door is Londis who already sell alcohol.

How could an extra shop selling alcohol suddenly increase the number of youngsters hanging around and increase the crime rate when it is already there?

I believe the people objecting most are probabaly the pub and Londis as it would mean direct competition for them. If Martins are to be refused their licence for the reasons stated then I do hope those objecting equally put in a petition to stop the sale of alcohol in the other establishments. Perhaps then the crime rate would drop completely, though I doubt it as I’m sure those wishing to purchase alcohol won’t mind the extra journey to either of Tesco nearby, Sainsbury’s or even the shops at the Oval or on Great Ashby.

All this is is a bit of extra competition.


by email



Sir – Further to the letter ‘Road Woe’ (Comet, August 16) Hitchin councillors have been made well aware of the St John’s Road traffic and parking problems at the Town Talk prior to Hitchin Committee meetings.

Of particular concern is the regular all day parking, blocking access to the recycling bins and preventing those bringing items of rubbish from parking.

Congestion where St John’s Road joins London Road could be resolved by parking being prevented on such a dangerous corner.

It is not only Highbury Mixed Infants where parents are inconsiderate over their parking since the same applies to Whitehill School where parking opposite the school entrance to Broadmead should not be allowed.

Many a near miss has occurred here.

It is surely time to assess all potential blackspots in North Herts, as prevention has to be better than the cure.

Brian J Foreman





SIR – I had lost my purse on the train last week, and a kind couple from St Neots had found it on the seat.

To ensure it came back to me as quickly as possibly, they took the time to post it to my home address which they found on my driving licence inside the purse. It was returned to me with all the contents intact which I am so grateful for.

I really would like to take this opportunity to emphasise how these good people in the world should be appreciated and recognised by everyone. Sadie and Paul, I would like to say a massive ‘thank you’ for all you have done for me. Thank you.

Sylvia Poon

Letchworth GC



SIR – On Sunday, August 12, I fell off my bike into the road near Graveley, and jarred my back, so I was in a lot of pain.

Two very kind people stopped to help me, loaded my bike into their car and drove me home to Letchworth. I did not get their names or a contact number, but wanted to say a huge ‘thank you’ for being so helpful. I am so grateful to them.

Gillian Leeper

By email



SIR - It is reported that both Hitchin and Letchworth Museums are to close forthwith and the contents catalogued.

We are assured by NHDC that these will be put into a new Museum in Hitchin in 2014.

With NHDC’s recent track record (e.g Churchgate and the considerable question mark over Top Field) one might be more confident of there being a museum in North Herts in the future if the existing two had been closed AFTER the new one was available to be furnished with our treasures.

One thing of which we may be confident is that the existing building will be disposed of well before the new museum is opened. (And what of the herbal garden?)

It is a pity that while cataloguing is taking place a ‘virtual’ museum could not have been created by scanning in many of the objects presently on display to an NHDC dedicated website. Then we could view online what we have lost physically.

Libraries next? After all, the trend is for e-books.

Robert Sunderland

Oak House

Little Wymondley



SIR - The debate with regard to the dangers of using the Letchworth Gate / A1M junction has without doubt made clear the junction is not working as originally thought, and is not fit for purpose.

All users have difficulty, but imagine a left hand drive HGV; it would be pure pot luck. As an ex-professional driver with 13 gold safety awards from ROSPA I would like to offer an inexpensive alternative. Where lanes one and two split for LGC to the left and Baldock to the right, place no left turn signs on lane 2, thus keeping all traffic turning towards Baldock only or A1(M) north. Place a filter traffic light on lane one at the problem junction LGC, synched to the lights on lane two to Baldock and the problem has been solved with road paint and a filter light. All traffic flows in the same directions upon green with no fear of being hit from the side or driving in to the car in front!

James Paddon



SIR - I always read the letters in The Comet each week and keep thinking about putting in my two pennies worth.

I agree with everything that is said about the poorly constructed junction but feel there is no hope of people leaving the A1 and travelling to Letchworth using the slip road as they should do.when the ambulances do not bother to use the filter. These are ambulances returning to base not ones answering emergency calls I have seen them do it.

Sarah Brookes

Address supplied



SIR - Richard Daniels’ detailed plans to turn Top Field into a giant superstore for Tesco exposes the breathtaking hypocrisy of Hitchin Cow Commoners Trust in this shabby deal which could well sound the death knell for Hitchin as a market town.

The Clifton based developer seems determined to by-pass the general public by submitting a feasibility plan in August which will only be examined by council officers, not councillors who are all too well aware of public opinion.

But in his haste to ignore public opinion, Daniels exposes the hypocrisy of the HCCT who have insisted all along that this giant development is solely dependent on Hitchin Town FC being given a new site in St Ippolyts.

They are swapping Top Field, worth at least �10 million, for a greenfield site in St Ippolyts, worth at most �150,000, for the benefit of the football club. Right. Pull the other one, its got bells on.

If this fairy tale contained a grain of truth, surely Daniels would be submitting two applications at the same time, one for Top Field and one for St Ippolyts as a new football club.

He is only submitting one because he is only interested in making millions from Tesco. He has no interest in the fate of the football club or Hitchin as a successful market town.

He does not pretend to be a philanthropist, as the Hitchin Cow Commoners plainly do.

The real questions here are just how much the Hitchin Cown Commoners will get as their share of the �10 million Top Field deal and do they care at all about the future of the town centre?

Tom Condon

West Hill




SIR - Congratulations to the Royal Mail on their so-called improvements in service. It took two days for them to deliver a first class package from Solicitors in Market Place to Deacons Way, a distance of some one and a half miles by road. Also now my mail seems to be arriving between 1.30pm to 2pm, way after I used to receive my second post in the bad old pre-improvement days. No wonder this communication is being sent by e-mail.

Keith Atkinson

Deacons Way




SIR - I just wanted to comment about car parking charges in Stevenage.

I’m not sure if people are aware that if you park your car before 6pm and then leave the car park after 6pm you get charged twice the day rate plus the night rate. I parked my car last December to take my grandson to the panto at Gordon Craig.

We arrived at about 4pm and left just after 7pm, a total of just over three hours but was charged both day and night rates. When I rang the council to complain I was told that as several people who live in Stevenage used the car parks overnight as they had no garage they had to charge a night rate.

When I said that in this day and age of technology it shouldn’t be difficult to charge the night rate as from, say, midnight so that people using the theatre or whatever in the evening didn’t get charged twice the lady I spoke to told me to put my complaint in writing if I wasn’t happy. I did this, got my money back and was told that something would be done about it.

Last Thursday I went down to London and parked my car in one of the car parks just after noon returning at about 11.15pm. Yet again I was charged both rates, �3.60 for during the day until 6pm and a further �1.20 for the night from 6pm. Obviously no-one from the council has any intention of doing anything about it.

No wonder SBC are making a fortune out of car parking charges.

Barbra Higgins

Old Bourne Way




SIR - What an excellent letter from George Konstantinidis with his definition of modern democracy and the seemingly widespread apathy in England.

Many individuals can be alerted by matters dear to their values and more importantly groups of citizens can be inspired by born leaders such as the neighbourhood community centre manager who gathered together 27 litter pickers to clean up Great Ashby woods and bridlepaths.

Few would do this voluntarily on their own. I feel that our capitulation to the European Union is one of several reasons for our loss of leadership (not the olympics) and why voters have lost faith in the established parties.

I am hoping that the English Democrats will influence our exit from the EU.

John Windebank

St Ippolyts



SIR - The reduction in overnight street lighting in Stevenage has led to an amazing starlit sky over the town, especially on a clear night after the Moon has set, as we just had on Monday.

I haven’t been able to see the ‘Milky Way’ for decades and yet, now, without the yellow glow around the horizon, it is clearly visible. Just to contemplate that it contains up to 400 billion individual stars, many with planets, should inspire awe in anyone.

The sky is again also full of bright individual stars and the major constellations such as Orion, rising in the southeast, Ursa Major to the north and Cassiopeia directly overhead are clearly visible. Many of the fainter constellations are also once again in view over the town, such as the Pleiades or Seven Sisters.

It is now possible for Stevenage residents to once again enjoy the night sky as our grandparents and great grandparents would have seen it. That should be our birth right and that of future generations.

James Melbourne

Address supplied