Why UKIP was on to a loser

I must reply to the incredible letter from the a nameless UKIP supporter (Comet, July 24) regarding the recent North Herts District Council by-election in Hitchwood, Offa and Hoo ward.

Faye Barnard, now married as Faye Frost, conducted her campaign in the same diligent and hardworking manner as she has in representing her constituents in the ward, prior to being re-elected.

Faye has worked hard on behalf of all of the electorate to ensure that the many threats to our area are defeated, and she constantly represents the aspirations and best interests of all in North Herts, but especially in our villages.

She was the only candidate to distribute a leaflet to all households, telling them of her commitment to them, and promising to continue to work hard on their behalf.

So why did UKIP fail to engage with our electorate, and explain their policies for local government?

The answer is simple. They simply have no policies to advertise!

The councillors who are elected to represent Hitchwood, Offa, and Hoo will always work hard in, and for, the community, irrespective of political bias, and I am also proud to be one.

So the simple message to UKIP is: Put up, or shut up!

Could it be that the national UKIP rantings are recognised and dismissed by the intelligent voters in North Herts, as was demonstrated in the recent EU polls?

Our electorate recognise proper, honest, hardworking representatives, and will always vote for them, as was emphatically demonstrated at the ballot box.

Councillor David Barnard North Herts District Council (Hitchwood, Offa & Hoo) Herts County Council (Hitchin Rural)

UKIP has its finger on pulse

As a local UKIP activist, I read the complaint suggesting lack of effort by UKIP in the recent Hitchwood, Offa and Hoo election (Letters, July 24) with disappointment.

Many members of the public, and this may also include your correspondent, seem to regard UKIP as purely fixated on leaving the European Union, and, by implication, hardly interested in local concerns.

This is wrong. Certainly UKIP understands that the immediate threat to our country’s independence, and prosperity in the long term, is membership of the EU.

However, UKIP is increasingly involved in local issues. Hitchin residents will remember UKIP’s participation in the successful campaign to thwart the shameful Churchgate development.

Currently, UKIP opposes the grotesque plan to dump some 1,000 new houses on dedicated Green Belt land just to the north of Grange ward in Letchworth.

As a major political party, UKIP is working to improve its representation in local government, and seeks to make life better for all our countrymen – and women!

John Barry, Letchworth

Why we had to confront the EDL

It’s said that those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Further to your report on the non-appearance of the promised return of the English Defence League to Stevenage, it’s worth remind ourselves of what they found when they came in May.

The Stevenage & District Trade Union Council organised a counter demonstration because it has been shown by history that if bigotry, prejudice and intolerance go unchallenged it can grow to a point when you can’t protest.

By ignoring those who peddle chauvinism, they get away with it, emboldening them to be even more forceful in pursuing their divisive ideas.

The trade union movement has the best interests of the community at heart, and this was endorsed by through the great support for the counter demo.

Unity and solidarity are our tactic. Anything that divides working class people allows the rich to laugh all the way to the bank. It is our duty to uphold those principles.

The National Front and the British National Party both used racism as a political tactic while the EDL uses religious bigotry to achieve that division. It is not a moral or idealist question, it is a practical one.

The counter demo brought more attention to the situation and encouraged debate, rather than allow the EDL to claim that the town is solidly behind them, which it most certainly isn’t.

Steve Glennon, Stevenage & District Trades Union Council

Doors are on the way, swimmers

In response to the letter about facilities at Hitchin Swimming Centre (Comet, July 24), due to customer feedback since the new facilities, Stevenage Leisure Ltd, which manages the centre on behalf of North Herts District Council, will be introducing shower cubicle doors in the female and male wet change area.

There will also be a new removable raised toilet seat as we understand that despite being Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) compliant, some users may have difficulty using the seat as it is currently set up.

We hope users of the pool will be pleased with these changes.

Councillor Jane Gray, North Herts District Council portfolio holder for leisure

Thank you...

I lost my purse in Letchworth last week and one very kind person handed it into Stevenage police station without leaving a name. I wish to thank them very much for their honesty.

Mrs Lucy O’Neill Parkfield, Letchworth

...so very much

I would like to thank the Sainsbury’s employee at the Eastcheap store in Letchworth who helped me on Thursday, July 17, who helped when my young son was unfortunately taken ill in the store.

Unfortunately I did not catch his name but he was a fantastic help and I am very grateful for his efforts.

Name and address supplied

Chilly question

It’s lovely to be able to stroll down Stevenage High Street enjoying the sunshine, but take care if you then step inside Waitrose.

The store seems to be chilled to Arctic levels and I have sympathy for staff who have to cope with the change in climate as they clock on and off each day.

Name and address supplied

Pong problems

I’ve heard lots of people complaining about smells from farmland over the last week. Surely it’s a small price to pay for living so close to the countryside.

Name and address supplied