LETTERS: Comet November 22

THE letters published in the Comet on Thursday, November 22.

CODICOTE QUARRY

SIR - I am writing in reference to the proposal for allowing Codicote quarry to import and process concrete and hardcore materials all year round. I really think you do not understand the implication this would cause within the community to allow 75,000 tons a year to be processed.

Firstly the road could not support the number of lorries going up and down, also there has been no consideration to the time frame associated to lorries going through the village so pontentially they could run through the night. Damage to road surface could cause accidents to cars. Our area could not cope with this and I am 100 per cent in disagreement with this proposal and this should not be allowed because of the impact to the community and the surrounding environment.

As usual all parties are interested in is making a profit at the expense of a small community and not considering the overall risk and impact it has to them.


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Roy Brennan

Address supplied

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TOWN COUNCIL

SIR - The people of Letchworth have voted not once but twice to eliminate the town council, which was an extra tax on them to a body which not only cost them dearly but just handed out money to local causes, something anyone can do with other people’s money.

Despite being out voted twice, (Comet letters November 15) this man thinks that there is an appetite to re-instate the town council and increase local taxes, again. This is one taxpayer who thinks the complete opposite. In the UK we are over-managed by council/local government officials; with parish, town, district, county, metropolitan, regional, assemblies and central government.

As a result we are over taxed and have the perverse situation where the CEO of Herts County Council is paid more than the Prime Minister. What is needed is for these bodies to be rationalised and maybe just maybe we will be all be taxed less.

V F O’Leary

Address supplied

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FIREWORKS THANKS

SIR - On behalf of Letchworth GC & Baldock Lions Club I would like to express our thanks to those who sponsored our annual charity firework display held on Sunday November 4. From the event we were able to donate �5,000 to Garden House Hospice, Keech Hospice Care for children and other charities. Sponsors were as follows: Altro Auto Glym, Alwyn Moss, TD Bridger Packaging, Benchmark, Dr GB and Mrs L Boustead, the Comet, David Carter, David Perks, Carl Ward, Chambers Coaches, Chapman Butchers, Comfort Plus Products, Country Properties, Fenland Windows, Gemini Financial Services, Grays Dry Lining, Nomad Graphique, Hugh Godfrey, Hugh Lumby, J Stoddard, Leadermans, Letchworth GC Heritage Foundation, Martins Furnishings, Mr and Mrs Hendler, Nuffield Health Club, Park St Guns, Professional Dry Cleaners, Progress, Rococo Style, Schottlander, STS Tyre Pros, The Fox Inn, Tony Dowell.

Roy Croft

Letchworth GC & Baldock Lions

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LUTON AIRPORT

SIR - As we know Stevenage Borough Council have now voted to support the Luton Airport Expansion proposal, with the reservation that steps should be taken to minimise the noise disturbance to its residents. While laudable and encouraging this does not really make sense. How do you minimise noise levels by allowing more and more planes to fly over the town? Planes, by their very nature, make a lot of noise and very small reductions, which is all that could be hoped for, won’t be noticed. We will simply get imperceptibly less noise but much more of it.

Distressed residents, especially those living in Chells and Manor, can look forward to more and more suffering in the future, with even the prospect of the introduction of a second noisier flightpath, as was proposed in 2008 and maybe even the eventual expansion of the airport to accommodate 30 not only 18 million passengers per year.

A more caring response would have been to say: “Enough is more than enough’’, so that we can try, with all night flights forbidden or severely curtailed, to sleep more easily in our beds in a stress-free environment.

Don Courtman

Address supplied

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SIR - Many thanks to Conservative Stevenage borough councillor Hearn (Comet Letters November 15) for his interesting letter and explaining why his Tory colleagues all voted in favour of the expansion of Luton Airport at the Stevenage Borough Council meeting on October 10.

He tells us the reason for this strange decision to support the expansion of the airport was that he was on holiday, so follow Conservative councillors did not know all the facts and therefore voted the wrong way. Does the ability of his colleagues to comprehend a simple fact like “a huge increase in aircraft movements over Stevenage means much more noise for Stevenage residents” depend entirely on his presence to guide them through this (for them) intellectual minefield?

All the Conservatives present at the meeting said nothing. Both Liberal Democrat councillors voted against the expansion of Luton Airport, why could not five Tories do the same?

This example is very typical of many issues at Stevenage council. The only real opposition comes from Liberal Democrats, whilst regrettably the Tories say little and do nothing of any real merit and if anything usually vote with Labour.

Perhaps Stephen McPartland, the Conservative MP for Stevenage, who is reportedly opposed to the expansion, should have explained to his Tory councillors how they should have voted or perhaps he was on holiday as well?

Andrew McGuinness

Address supplied

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ELECTION THANKS

SIR - I would like to thank everyone who turned out in the recent Letchworth South East by-election and especially of course those who voted for me and allowed me to win the seat with over 50 per cent of the votes cast. The election was fought primarily on local issues and demonstrates that when sensible arguments are made to the public then the public will engage. Is there a wider message here?

Thanks must also go to David Scholes, the returning officer, and his staff at NHDC for their efficient conduct of the election. Thanks are also due to Michael Paterson my tireless agent for the campaign. I would like to ensure your readers that I will now do my utmost to represent the interests of the ward and its electors at council, irrespective of who they voted for.

Julian Cunningham

Conservative councillor

Letchworth South East

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SIR - On November 15 a by-election was held to elect a new district councillor in Hitchwood, Offa and Hoo Ward after the sad loss of Cllr David Miller. I would like to personally thank everyone who went along and voted in the by-election.

As the newly elected district councillor, I look forward to working as part of a team alongside Cllr David Barnard and Cllr Claire Strong. I pledge to represent the constituents of Hitchwood, Offa and Hoo ward at North Herts District Council and will ensure the voice of our rural community is clearly heard and counted.

I will be holding regular surgeries across the ward for constituents to drop in and meet with me. The first surgery will be held at Cockernhoe Memorial Hall on the December 5 2012, 6.30pm – 7.30pm.

Cllr Faye Barnard

Address supplied

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REMEMBRANCE DAY

SIR - I would like to thank the many thousands of Stevenage people who attended the Remembrance Day Service at the Bowling Green, in Stevenage. I would also like to thank the staff of Stevenage Borough Council, the Royal British Legion, Stevenage Scouts and the Rev. Dave Brown of St Nicholas Church, for organising such a moving service. No Remembrance Day would be complete without the representatives of our uniformed organisations, the Territorial Army and the many other youth groups within Stevenage who want to show their respects to our war dead.

Every year the attendance at these events gets bigger. This is due to the ever-increasing news coverage of recent and still continuing battles. It brings home to all of us in our living rooms and newspapers the utter brutality of war. Veterans today can be teenagers whose lives have barely begun but whose future has been blighted by the conflict. All Veterans young and old will always need our support and I hope that we will continue to give, both financially and practically as generously as we can to support all of them.

Cllr John Lloyd CC

Mayor of Stevenage

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PRIME MINISTER VISIT

Sir - I was one of 22 residents invited to meet David Cameron. The Prime Minister was promoting the first ever election of police commissioners and the importance of going out to vote. We were a mixture of Arlesey Residents’ Association, neighbourhood watch and Arlesey Safety Group, all of which are non political. I can safely say the members of all groups are from a broad political church and do not promote any political idealogy, Conservative or otherwise. If they did they would never want me for a member.

Yes, the PM was accompanied by the Tory candidate and both listened to our views on local crime and safety issues and answered questions on the same. We would have said the same things to Mr Milliband too had he come instead.

I am not a member of any political party, never will be and bitterly resent anyone who infers otherwise. If anyone suggests I am I will happily send them (one way ticket though) to join Nadine Dorries and it couldn’t happen to nicer people.

I am a member of the Women’s Institute, again non political just ask Tony Blair and the town council have no influence in the running of the WI or its premises (thank heavens). The WI hall is frequently hired by others and raises much needed funds towards its running costs. This occasion was just another commercial let.

Rita Page

Arlesey

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SIR - Re your letters page (November 15 Comet) on the PM visit.

I was a former independent elected councillor on Arlesey Town Council and am not a member of the Conservative Party or the Arlesey Residents’ Association and wish an apology for printing the assertion made by Ann Brown that I am.

I was invited to attend as a long serving member of the Neighbourhood Watch (previously Home Watch) as I was informed that a government minister wished to meet people associated with the scheme as crime had been reduced in Arlesey. I was only told at the meeting it would be the Prime Minister. I only counted six members of the ARA there.

As to the comment made by Ms Brown that only the current voted democratic council has the mandate to run the Women’s Institute facilities (what does she mean?). The council did not actually face a vote at the last election as they were one nomination short anyway. The current council consists of 60 per cent of co-opted members chosen by the 40 per cent who remained in post in September 2011.

I am sure if the Labour party had dug in their pockets and asked to rent the hall the WI would have let them use it too as they own and run their own premises and need the income (I might even have attended if I had been invited).

As to the rest of the letter I am not quite sure what the lady is trying to put across.

Geoffrey Page

Arlesey

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SIR - What a contrast between David Cameron’s surreptitious visit to Arlesey to address just 22 people (letters, November 15) and Nigel Farage’s recent public meeting in Bedford. The 20,000 flyers distributed by UKIP Bedfordshire members drew a packed audience, with 350 seated, and people standing all round the room. Nigel was supported by two other UKIP MEPs, Stuart Agnew, a Norfolk farmer, and Roger Helmer, who set out UKIP’s energy policy. However, it was Nigel who stole the show in his usual charismatic manner. After explaining how much better the UK would be out of the EU, he was more than happy to field no-notice questions from the floor. Then, after the meeting had closed, there he was on the stand autographing “damp-rag” tea towels. Democracy is not just about party policy; it is also to do with engaging the public. In that respect, Nigel Farage and UKIP are the breath of fresh air that this country so desperately needs.

Roger Smith

UKIP Bedfordshire

High Street

Meppershall

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Sir - As a former town and district councillor and a career lady of considerable talent, it seems Ann Brown did not apply her usual diligent approach to the subject matter (letters last week) before putting pen to paper.

I was one of the “22 selected” members invited to attend a meeting which was introducing Jas Parmar as a candidate for the police commissioner’s position. No, I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of the ARA – but I am a founder member of neighbourhood watch, which my late husband set up some 25 years ago, and am a committee member on the safety committee.

These two groups, closely linked with local policing, along with some members of the ARA were invited to a question and answer session on that subject. I don’t recall there being any political discussions.

With regard to the “voted and democratic” town council, at least 60 per cent are co-opted members and there has not been a council election for some 8 years.

In conclusion, I don’t recall any suggestion that the ARA is the only body which provides voluntary support for those in need. It is a public platform for residents to air their concerns and there are many such groups around the country. I fail to see why ATC should feel threatened by ours. To my knowledge, the ARA is recognised by Central Beds and as such receives consultation papers, as do other voluntary organisations.

Betty Joyce (Mrs.)

Address supplied

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FIREWORK HELL

Sir- I would like to echo the sentiments of your reader’s letter, regarding those ignorant people who persist in letting off fireworks from mid October and continue to do so well after November 5. I agree legislation for fireworks in this country is long overdue. But I would also like to shame the person/s who thought having a loud, prolonged firework display on Remembrance Sunday a good idea. Your actions were insensitive, thoughtless and showed a total lack of respect. Myself, friends and neighbours living in Little Wymondley, are still reeling from your disregard towards others and such inappropriate behaviour. Shame on you.

I am not just a pet owner but someone who owes a debt to our fallen heroes.

Name and address supplied

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SCHOOL EXPANSION

SIR - As a local to Hitchin with two sons who attended Samuel Lucas many years ago, I was disappointed to read that despite 59 per cent of the public being against the expansion Herts County Council’s education panel have recommended that this expansion is given the go ahead. So much for a democratic society asking for views of the local community and then confidently disregarding them. Was it just paying lip-service to the local residents as the panel had already made up their mind that this was going ahead.

My son still lives in the area and is strongly opposed to this expansion. He implied that we were wasting our time with objections as the decision had already been made. My father who was the local county surveyor for Hitchin Urban District Council many years ago always stated that he was a strong advocate of open meetings, otherwise the councils would never know what the communities wanted and he would have been bitterly disappointed at this outcome.

Surely 59 per cent is a strong enough opinion to make the panel think again. Obviously not and to date I have seen no evidence of any practical solutions or plans on how you will deal with the increased traffic and footfall in such a restricted/confined area.

Simon Burstow

Stirling Close

Hitchin

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