LETTERS: Anger over Stevenage cat hit and run

The injured cat

The injured cat - Credit: Archant

A pet owner has voiced her anger in this week’s letters after her cat was run over and “left to die”.

Cat injured by motorist

SIR – I would like to find the person that ran over my cat last Saturday between 3 and 4 o clock on The Paddocks, Shephall, Stevenage, and left her to die.

I would like you to know that Rosie is fine. She is on the mend thanks to Roebuck Vets, who I would like to thank for saving her and doing all they can to aid a speedy recovery. But that person has left me with a bill for £700.

How could you have been so cold hearted to have left her there in agony to die?

Karen Triggs

via email

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Majority being penalised

SIR – I too am dismayed to discover the free replacement brown bin bag scheme for our food caddies is being abandoned after 12 months (‘Bin policy a health threat’, Letters, June 5).

On Saturday in Letchworth I discovered why and I was angry enough to want others to also know – hence my first ever letter to the paper. Apparently a significant minority has abused the hand out of the ‘free’ bags and started to use them for their own purposes such as dog poo or nappies. The council cannot afford to hand out the rolls on a weekly basis. Now the conscientious majority is being penalised.

Surely with all our data technology it must be possible to allocate an annual quota of bags per household?

Perhaps the quota could be linked to council tax bands or more simply, if the council has to do the same for everyone, say, a maximum of three rolls per household per year? They could be delivered all at once at the start of the year.

After that, if households run out, it’s up to them to purchase replacements.

With 52 bags on a roll the council clearly expected the rolls to be used responsibly and that they were providing a significant supply.

The council should not allow the minority to create the health hazard and penalise the majority.

Name and address supplied


Lewis fuss?

SIR – Why all the fuss over Lewis Hamilton’s comments? I certainly don’t believe he was being disrespectful, just realistic, nor was he forgetting his roots.

Compared to Monaco, Stevenage is “no great place”, but even that can be open to different interpretations. Just what is a ‘great place’ to be brought up in or to live in? With all the money in the world, I doubt Monaco would fit my criteria.

Hamilton was saying he came from ‘working class’ whereas Rosberg came from ‘privileged class’. This, therefore, gave Hamilton a greater desire to succeed. I can see nothing wrong with expressing that sentiment.

Owen Welch

Archer Road



SIR – I would expect the Stevenage councillors concerned to either take or have taken a factfinding mission to the said tin pot Monte Carlo before lambasting Lewis Hamilton on the principality of Stevenage.

Or, as some of last week’s comments stated, understood the comments word for word.

Lewis is not embarassed by his roots, or he wouldn’t return or mention his life in it.

Derek Underwood

via email


SIR – On close scrutiny, it appears that Lewis Hamilton was referring to the home in which he grew up, rather than to Stevenage as a town, and it should be seen in that context.

Certainly the statement appears to paint a bad picture, but it is of the home he grew up in - compared to where Nico Rosberg is from!

Lewis can be asked to put it better.


via email


Cycle danger

SIR – I wrote in about a year ago about the cyclists around Stevenage.

Stevenage has spent millions of pounds making cycle paths which mean you can literally get almost anywhere by cycle path, but still people seem to ride on the road. I have no idea why.

They are not only putting there life in danger but also others. I saw one on Friday, June 6, on the dual carriageway at rush hour when just to the left of him was a cycle path. People just need to think a bit more before they act I would say.

Mr Heaps



Vote thanks

SIR – I wish to thank all those in the Hitchin Highbury ward for voting me as their council on North Hertfordshire District Council.

I look forward to serving as a Hitchin councillor and representing all residents of the ward. I look forward to engaging with those residents who should choose to reach out to me as needed.

Cllr Simon Harwood

Dale Close



SIR – I would like to say huge thank you to all those in the Grange Ward who voted for myself and the Labour Party during the local elections.

I feel it an honour you have elected me to represent you on North Herts District Council.

I would also like to thank all those who helped during my successful campaign. I couldn’t have done it without you!

Thank you!

Cllr Sandra Lunn


Election calls

SIR – Until I saw the names of the candidates in the Comet, with one exception, I didn’t know who was running.

In local elections I often prefer to vote for someone I think I can trust although I am aware that voting for a minority party can mean a party I do not want can win.

Just before the election I did have a call from someone running for the Labour Party. I think I left the impression that I did not support the Conservatives and had sometimes voted Liberal Democrat, but I had not made up my mind. Although I knew nothing of the person who phoned or his views on local issues, I did decide to vote for him.

Then, a week after the election, I received a card from the Labour Party asking me to vote for them on May 22, and advising me that ‘the Conservatives and Lib Dems are like two peas in a pod’ and pointing out three promises the Lib Dems made in the national elections which had not been kept.

It is not really rocket science to appreciate that in a coalition the minority party is in a most unfortunate situation as they will be dominated by the majority. I doubt if it would have been different if the coalition had been with Labour.

I think my pet hate is politicians who concentrate on running down the opposition rather than any positive indication of where they stand personally – local and national issues are not always synonymous.

No doubt if they did they would be in the same situation as those they condemn, so it is the coward’s way out.

If that letter had arrived prior to the elections I would not have voted for that candidate. Locally I would like to be able to vote for someone who I thought was honest and competent, and this might be different from the party I would support nationally.

Perhaps I should join the majority who just don’t bother to vote?

Name and address supplied


Phone scams

SIR – I think people should have more warnings of the telephone frauds that are now current.

BBC Radio 4 has a programme, Monday to Friday between midday and 1pm, called You and Yours. They often feature these criminal scams on a Friday and a man was reported to have £28,000 and a lady £49,000 – all through the telephone.

The type of thing used for the scam is to tell people there is a high interest fund to put their pensions in and another is that ‘their’ bank is checking on frauds on their accounts.

These swindles are widespread and it is heartbreaking to hear that people have lost their life savings

Do not do anything over the telephone seems to be the lesson.

Mr A J Hollis


Letchworth GC


Improve our footpaths

SIR – Tony Chapman hits the nail firmly on the head with his comments on Stevenage’s dangerous footpaths.

My poor wife has suffered two painful falls tripping over projecting paving slabs in Elder Way, while myself, in a wheelchair, was deposited into the road in front of an oncoming car after going down an unnoticed slope towards the kerb. Luckily the driver braked just in time.

I also know from experience that anyone on a mobility scooter using a Stevenage pavement is in for a bone-shaking ride with the likelihood of being tipped sideways on the bends.

I spent my childhood practically living on roller skates on a London estate with beautifully smooth pavements. Any child trying to do the same in Stevenage would soon come to harm.

With an ageing population the mobility scooter will soon become commonplace so we need to find a decent surface to ride on. Is pavement laying a lost art?

Never mind spending millions on improving Stevenage town centre, just give us decent payments first and mark the road-crossing ramps more clearly while you’re at it.

P Weston

Shaftesbury Court

Buckthorn Avenue



Grass verges

SIR – As a council we pride ourselves on listening to our residents’ views and thoughts about the town. We are always interested in hearing what people think of the town, and the services we provide, as their views help us shape our plans.

Having listened to our residents’ concerns about the grass cutting schedule, we as a council have decided to go back to the original 15 working days (three weeks) cycle of grass cutting for verges and open spaces. This will not affect the urban meadow areas.

When the grass is cut will depend on the weather and ground conditions. If we have a hot and dry summer, then the grass will grow more slowly and few cuts will be required. In these instances, the teams will undertake other ground maintenance duties.

Cllr John Gardner

Executive Member for Environment and Regeneration

Stevenage Borough Council


SIR – I write to you with deep shame to the state of Stevenage. The once respectable clean and tidy town has gone completely down hill and I blame the council completely, and not a particular political party, as I blame all in charge.

Our grass verges and parks are consistently overgrown and the footpath and cycle paths are laden with weeds galore.

I know services have been cut back but I can’t believe we have cut back so far that the town looks like an overgrown unloved mess.

There appears to be no pride in keeping this town neat and tidy and I am ashamed to say I live here at present.

Mr I Shelford



Not so green

SIR – North Hertfordshire District Council (NHDC) is to provide charging points for electric cars, presumably paid for by our council tax.

Electric cars are not ‘green’ but shift the emission of CO2 from point of use to point of energy generation. There are also losses along the transmission lines which add to CO2 emission.

The battery in the car is heavy and energy is consumed simply in hauling it about. It is expensive to manufacture and more CO2 is generated during the process. The battery is made from expensive and increasingly rare materials, often found in parts of the world where there is conflict or repression. And it will need replacing at considerable expense every few years. Charging time is of course far longer at any of the few points available than simply filling up with petrol or diesel, so not very flexible.

And on top of all this, the range of the average electric car is pretty poor with the overall cost per mile being horrendous if depreciation from a high initial purchase is factored-in.

If we carry on using non-renewables we may survive for somewhat longer but the end result will be the same. Our extinction as a species. Our agriculture is only sustained by huge inputs of fuel and chemistry derived from it. There is a way forward which is ‘green’. it is the hydrogen economy. The highly efficient gas should be produced by electrolysis using deep-sea current or tidal turbines, solar (on roofs not fields) and even some wind turbines ‘off-grid’. Forget nuclear unless the thorium route is adopted, or we will commit our descendants to managing highly radioactive waste for up to 100,000 years.

Hydrogen is no more dangerous as a fuel than petrol and emits only water at the exhaust pipe. It can be used either in conventional I-C engines or in fuel cells.

The energy from non-renewables we consume at present should be invested in developing a viable ‘hydrogen economy’ or we are doomed.

If NHDC feels it needs to spend a bit of my money on ‘green’ matters, it should try cutting back a few hedges to make it safer walking or cycling beside main roads. Although I have been told this is impracticable as there are too many H&S ‘issues’ for operatives to do the job.

Or provide a few cycle tracks between towns in North Herts. Stevenage is an excellent example but the cycleway stops abruptly at Coreys Mill roundabout.

Robert Sunderland

Stevenage Road

Little Wymondley

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