Have your say

SIR – In their different ways, Hannah Gray in her column and Dr Adrian Emery in his letter, put their fingers on Stevenage s abiding problem – its absentee professional class. I have lived in Stevenage long enough to know that a degree held by a working c

SIR - In their different ways, Hannah Gray in her column and Dr Adrian Emery in his letter, put their fingers on Stevenage's abiding problem - its absentee professional class. I have lived in Stevenage long enough to know that a degree held by a working class person from Stevenage is, apparently, not worth as much as (sorry Hannah) a similar qualification held by a middle class person who lives elsewhere. Dr Emery notes that the Stevenage Town Centre Redevelopment project leader admitted that he does not come from Stevenage.

Unfortunately, the same is also true of too many of our doctors, dentists, teachers, lawyers and college tutors. It is also true of our journalists (sorry Hannah) and indeed our MP. They work here, but not enough of them live here.

I am tired of living in a town which is seen as a source of employment for already comparatively prosperous people, who live somewhere else. SBC's own consultation document, Stevenage 2021, showed that people who work in Stevenage have a markedly better income than the people who live here. It is time that Stevenage is treated as a town, and no longer as an exploitable colony.

People of Stevenage, beware! You may be considered good enough to build the proposed Town Centre refurbishment, but not good enough to plan it or run it. Have your say! Fight, especially for the mind-enriching things embraced by the proposed development, its museum, library facilities and art gallery, Stevenage's greatest asset is its people. Do not let the powers that be waste that resource, now or in the days of future generations.

PAUL SOUTHWOOD

Canterbury Way

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Stevenage

SIR - Stevenage town centre proposals. In my response at the town centre exhibition, I wrote that the sports facilities should be left where they are, next to the theatre, and council offices should be moved next to the swimming pool with a shop used for public access.

Many elderly ladies go to keep-fit classes regularly so they will not want to walk from the bus station to the far side of the town centre.

However, letters that you have published in the last couple of weeks explain why the council does not want to move offices next to the swimming pool, there will be no car parks! Council staff will not want to walk through the spooky underpass after dark wondering if there is a robber round the next corner - but it is OK for elderly ladies doing keep-fit!

As the council is involved with decisions about the town centre, I suppose we should expect it to pinch a prime spot for itself, but I agree with others that the current plan needs a rethink.

DAVID STONEBANKS

Chequers Bridge Road

Stevenage

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