LETTERS: Comet May 16

THE letters in the Comet on Thursday, May 16.


SIR – One of the reasons why educational aspiration in Stevenage is not all Cllr Robin Parker would like it to be is because the town suffers badly from professional absenteeism. It is quite difficult, for example, to find a teacher in a Stevenage school who actually lives here, among the people who supply their income. There are, of course, honourable exceptions. But is seems to me that if Stevenage schools are cluttered up with teachers from Hertfordshire’s leafier towns, as they generally are, then educational attainment is likely to be retarded by lack of commonality in the backgrounds of tutors and students. It does, unfortunately, seem to be a class issue.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of Stevenage graduates who wish they had never heard of university. For too many working class people in Stevenage and elsewhere, university has become a short cut to unemployment and debt. The ubiquity of university qualifications has led to a society based on patronage rather then merit. Social mobility has undeniably declined since the latest historical round of higher education inflation was initiated by the 1988 Education Act, which also served to incorporate FE colleges.

If people cannot see clear evidence where the educational aspiration Cllr Parker speaks of leads to some sort of economic wellbeing and reasonable career pathway, then it seems to me that subsequent generations will be less likely to follow such an example.

Name and address supplied


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SIR - I was somewhat amazed to get a letter addressed to the occupier as I have requested the Post Office to not deliver unaddressed letters to my address, I can only assume the waste operatives who were emptying the bins in our road delivered this letter.

This brings me to the point of taxpayers’ money being spent in a most inefficient manner. Firstly a letter to the occupier either by post or personal delivery and secondly the North Herts District Council (NHDC) methods of identifying two bin properties, obviously their intelligence by either whistle blowers of their waste operatives is wrong.

I do not have and never have had two bins at my property, these detestable methods of waste disposal are an eyesore in my garden. Yes, my garden is not a waste transfer station for NHDC and their proposal for further waste bins is outrageous. Where do you they think people are going to store all these bins?

Their method of slipping this information out using taxpayer funds to publish their magazine with nothing but propaganda for the council and its departments, further taxpayer funds to collect these rags and recycle the paper that we store in our gardens for you. It would not be quite so bad but a lot of the ‘recycled’ material is returned to landfill, so much for recycling. Any information the council wish to make public could and used to be published in our Comet, I am sure they would be willing to publish articles for you at far less costs.

I thought we were in a recession and the council were supposed to be cutting back on unnecessary expense, I see the councillors’ wages or attendance allowance was recently increased, money is spent altering the refuse collection yet everything else is cut back. Roads are rough tracks that motorists pay to use and cyclists and motorcyclists risk their lives to use due to the general condition of the roads and size of the potholes.

Let us get our priorities correct, let us address essential services first that are inadequate, social service for the elderly/ infirm/sick before we spend more money that we do not have.

Graham Harris

Address supplied



SIR - According to a Herts county councillor friend the cost of disposing household waste is ‘going through the roof’ and will be reflected in a continuing rise of our council tax bills.

Instead of dumping it into holes in the ground, which are becoming increasingly scarce and expensive, the obvious solution is to burn it and produce energy. The proposal for such a plant is near a school for special needs on Green Belt land the other side of Hatfield and is being vigorously opposed by local residents, who are supported by their MP, Grant Shapps. He is probably more concerned about maintaining his voting support than the need to dispose of our waste and to produce the electricity Britain so desperately needs.

Nor, one may suspect, has he detailed knowledge of the modern technology that should ensure that no hazardous fumes are emitted from the plant. He may also think wind farms on valuable farmland are a good idea too.

Those who oppose the plant will be directly responsible for the increase in our council tax bills because of their NIMBY attitude. Presumably none of them creates any household waste. Nor do they consume electricity. Nor do their motor vehicles emit any noxious gases.

‘Those without sin may cast the first stone’.

My daughter lives in Sweden. The Swedes are very environmentally-minded yet have no problem with the clean burning of all their household waste to produce power. In fact they burn so much they actually need to import it as they do not throw away enough of their own.

The NIMBYs will probably win in Herts but we can alleviate their misplaced concerns and cost of our waste disposal by shipping it to Sweden. Certainly cheaper than sending it to China for ‘recycling’.

Who knows, the Swedes may even pay Herts for it.

Robert Sunderland

Oak House

Little Wymondley



SIR - I would just like to warn your readers about the parking charges at the Roaring Meg Stevenage. I got £100 charge reduced to £60 if paid by a certain date and wouldn’t want anyone else falling for the same trap. And feel it right to let people know. I won’t be shopping there any more.

Lee Morrow