LETTERS: Comet, January 9

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband - Credit: Archant

Criticism of Ed Miliband and praise for Lister Hospital are among the subjects discussed on our letters page published today (Thursday).

Opposition to the building of ‘Lutonage’:

SIR - Ed Miliband is incorrect in his assertion that North Herts District Council (NHDC) is a “stick in the mud” council that has/is “blocking thousands of desperately needed houses”.

Communities around Stevenage are strongly opposed to its further expansion, as indeed are many Stevenage residents. On the BBC’s Look East programme Ed Miliband stated Stevenage was in need of 10,000 homes, why? Stevenage has only 5,518 people on its waiting list and in its own consultation document, dated June 2013 council officers estimated that Stevenage could build 5,300 within the town’s boundary.

Secondly Mr Miliband said: “Of course it is right that local communities have a say about where housing goes. But councils cannot be allowed to frustrate continually the efforts of other councils to get homes built.”

What of the local communities where proposed development is to take place, their views by implication are irrelevant. Labour is proposing an independent arbitrator from the planning inspectorate to examine different local plans and allocate housing based on need, however it is the government who will determine the guidelines which the inspector will have to follow – not really independent then!

Cllr Brindley has stated NHDC is actively pursuing co-operation with adjoining authorities to establish how cross boundary issues can be progressed. Given the above perhaps NHDC should reconsider the location of any housing it might have been planning to build to the north and west of Stevenage, to meet NHDC’s own target of 10,700, as if implemented Stevenage would then need to seek development sites further into North Herts to satisfy its demands. The proposed changes by Mr Miliband recognise the strong opposition to the further expansion of Stevenage and therefore he is proposing to change the rules so that local communities wishes can be ignored, i.e. he is proposing to disenfranchise North Herts voters on this issue so that Stevenage can bully through whatever housing proposals it wants, wherever it likes.

Most Read

J Rigg



Right road:

SIR - Letters on these pages record real traffic collisions because drivers who have used the straight-on lane to turn left into Letchworth.

If you’re unlucky enough to be hit by someone turning left off the A1(M) - often at speed, often without signaling - while you obediently take the left lane, well the Highway Code might help you. Remembering that this is a long-established problem, take a look at c134 “... You should follow the signs and road markings and get into the lane as directed”.

Chris Jones

Letchworth GC


Tidy trip:

SIR - My three-year-old son and I celebrated the New Year by walking round Letchworth’s Greenway on the section adjacent to Standalone Farm and by filling a black bin bag with, amongst other things, a polystyrene box, discarded drinks cans, cigarette and crisp packets and a dozen plastic bags that had been left hanging on bushes in anticipation of the dog poo fairy making an unlikely appearance.

I would like to take the opportunity of encouraging others do as we have on other sections of the Greenway and might I tentatively suggest that anyone who’s ever dropped litter think of some suitable New Year’s resolutions.

Team A & O


Letchworth GC


Great A&E:

SIR - My elderly mum and I would like to send our heartfelt thanks to all of the lovely kind people who stopped to help us when I had a nasty fall recently on Monkswood Way.

I went down with such a crash, face first, knocking my mum’s wheelie walker into her leg causing a nasty skin tear.

We were both in shock and naturally she was in a panic. All at once we were surrounded by passing motorists who came to our aid, they were three young soldiers, an off duty policeman, a paramedic and lady doctor, a lovely South African lady, a first aider and several members of the public. They looked after us until an ambulance arrived. Once in A&E it was discovered that I had broken my arm and badly bruised ribs amongst other cuts and bruises. My mum’s injury was nasty but treated quickly.

Thank you again to everyone who helped us, we are on the mend.

Caroline and Maud

Address supplied


SIR - I would like to thank all the team at children’s A&E at Lister Hospital.

While in my care my 16-month-old grandson became unwell. The prompt action of our GP began a seamless and positive experience involving a number of different specialists and a wonderful team of dedicated nurses. Some are quick to complain about the NHS but in my experience if you have a genuine medical emergency you will get the best of care. My grandson has now recovered and is full of mischief. Thank you Lister Hospital.

Maggie Hackney

Address supplied


SIR - Following taking my daughter to the Lister Hospital Children’s A&E on Sunday afternoon with a fishbone lodged in her throat, causing her pain, distress and putting her at risk of choking, I wish to thank and publicly acknowledge the staff for how they dealt with this.

Despite how busy they were, they worked with us step by step and with the radiology and ENT team to establish the situation and how it could be resolved.

Our daughter was then admitted to Bluebell Ward overnight, to be operated on on Monday whenever a slot became free. On Monday afternoon the object was removed and we left later that night. From walking in to children’s A&E to leaving on Monday night, we could not have been treated with more care, kindness and kept informed of the plans and risks.

I also want to commend Bluebell children’s ward for it’s cleanliness, attention to the children’s needs (eg play, toys, DVDs available) and the friendly, supportive but always professional attitude of the nursing staff - day or night.

Finally thanks also to the surgical team who - again - kept me informed and ensured all was in order before starting the procedure. Thank you to all of you for doing a great job. I don’t think it’s said enough to the hospital staff.

Sian and Michael Hingston

Address supplied


Story error:

SIR - It was indeed good to read in your paper that Winifred Swingler and Betty Leete had lived to their 100th year and beyond; but I doubt seriously if either of them were Centurions, commanders of between 200 and 1,000 Roman Legionary Soldiers; indeed, I guess they are more likely to be Centenarians, people who have lived beyond a hundred years. I hope your poor command of the English language is due to a genuine mistake and not a reflection of falling English education standards in the UK.

Steve Mason

Address supplied

EDITOR’S COMMENT: Many thanks for pointing this out and of course this was a mistake. We are sorry if it spoilt the enjoyment of what was a lovely story.


Shop praise:

SIR - I would like to say a huge thank you to Bob, Edie and all the staff at Shopmobility in Stevenage for all the help and suupport given to me, my sister and all my family over the past few months. Their kindness during what has been a very traumatic time has been invaluable. I cannot praise this service highly enough.

Barbara Saunders

Penn Road