LETTERS: Comet, September 19
THE letters in the Comet on Thursday, September 19
HOPES THAT PRIVATISED SERVICE IS BETTER
SIR - It has now been decided that the Royal Mail will be privatised. Well, I hope that this will mean a more reliable service. On two occasions my elderly, disabled mother has used the Royal Mail to send money through the post as a gift for me and it has not arrived. As she finds it difficult to leave the house, she has asked a neighbour to post the letters for her. The Royal Mail would advise that valuable items should be sent by special delivery, at a cost of over £6. When it is a relatively small amount of money this cost is very high and as my mother is relying on the goodwill of a neighbour, she does not like to impose on her any more than should be necessary i.e. to put a letter with a first class stamp on it in a post box. I am extremely angry at the service received from Royal Mail and can only hope things will improve in the future.
Name and address
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SIR - May I respond to the letter (Comet, September 12) from Cllr Deborah Segalini, neatly timed for the Hitchin North and Oughton polls.Councillor Segalini is entitled to her own opinions but not to her own facts. Councillor Segalini may not have noticed, but UKIP members were indeed very active in the groups that protested against the Churchgate development proposals put forward by Simons Developments and now rejected as a result of local pressure. Comet readers may recall that Adrianne Smyth, who stood for UKIP in Hitchin South in May, made the Churchgate issue the centrepiece of her campaign as she had done when standing for Highbury Ward in 2011 and for Priory Ward in 2012.Her election leaflets pictured St Mary’s Church and Hitchin Market to highlight the threat that they faced. This made many residents aware for the first time of the possible loss of the market and the open views of the church. Labour councillor Segalini seems to require that UKIP, a rival political party, and its members should communicate their policy concerns directly to her rather than to the electors or to the council as a body. Delusion and grandeur are words that come to mind.
LETTER REQUIRES CORRECTION
SIR - The letter from Councillor Segalini, referring to me, printed in last week’s Comet, requires correction. It is untrue that UKIP has been silent on the appalling damage to the historic Hitchin town centre that would have been caused by the redevelopment schemes put forward by the developer, Simons; shamelessly facilitated by North Hertfordshire District Council. As early as November 2010 UKIP attended the Hitchin Forum public meeting to assess how the proposed development was being received. In the 2011 district council elections, UKIP’s determination to preserve the views of St Mary’s Church, and keeps the traditional market site, was the main focus of our campaign in Hitchin Highbury Ward. (Councillor Segalini should have known this, she was the unsuccessful Labour candidate). And in the 2012 elections, our campaign in the Hitchin Priory Ward again publicly emphasised UKIP’s condemnation of the proposals – indeed it was the main subject of our leaflets. One can only speculate as to why councillor Segalini felt it necessary to write to the Comet. I should have thought it more courteous to have expressed any genuine concerns about my leaflet either to UKIP, or to have contacted me.
UKIP candidate for the Hitchin North Division.
SIR - As a resident of Pixmore Avenue, Letchworth GC, I have been aware for several weeks of unrest and confusion concerning revised bus routes that use Pixmore Avenue and Pixmore Way. To my certain knowledge Arriva was contacted several times and they indicated that times and frequency could be changed but not routes. The new routes and timetables have now been published and they do indeed avoid Pixmore Avenue and Pixmore Way. This seems illogical. Your readers will be aware that these roads pass through significant residential areas such as the Pixmore and Phoenix Park estates and therefore the new routes avoid significant numbers of bus users. No alternative public transport arrangements exist and therefore many residents will need to find approximately £10 per day to visit the town centre or out of town shops to work, go to school, collect pensions, pay bills, buy food, etc. I am amazed that such a significant change in many people’s lives has occurred without any obvious consultation with affected residents.
Letchworth Garden City
SIR - I fail to see why service 94 has been discontinued. The route of 94 through Pixmore Avenue served the residential area of Jackmans Place, Broughton Hill, Boscombe Court and the new estate in Pixmore Avenue. The many elderly people in this area rely on this bus to take them to the town centre for shopping and other services. The new 98 service will travel from the town centre through the industrial area to Sainsbury’s and on to Baldock, leaving residents having to walk down to the industrial area to catch a bus and back up again on their return.
Member of the North Herts Bus Users Group
SIR - My daughter’s bike was stolen from her, in broad daylight, by a 30-year-old skinhead from the Grange estate, Letchworth GC. Should we not be operating a zero crime tolerance? These subhuman types go on to commit further crimes and need to know how fragile the fabric of our society is. If they do not think we need facilities like the NHS then perhaps they should do without them. At best estimate 2% of our population cause 99% of the problems. That means that if 1.2m people were accommodated in an army camp, then the rest of us could go about our business making a better world. This is how policing worked in the 1950’s. Why can we not do that today with our greater facilities? Are security cameras just to spy on us? Watch out. One day you might have political police commissioners in control, and you know how that ends up in any totalitarian state.
SIR - I live close to the recreation ground on The Grange Estate in Letchworth GC and today while walking through it I couldn’t fail to notice that a football team had left a line of empty water and sports drink bottles along the edge of the pitch nearest the changing hut. It’s ironic that grown men can run around with enthusiasm for 90 minutes yet cannot bend down and pick up the bottles they have used. They must know who they are and perhaps might like to consider the people who come and use the fields after them.
SIR - I would like to thank the people of Hitchin North for electing me as their new county councillor at the by-election last Thursday.Despite many years as a district councillor this is a new role for me. I will learn as quickly as I can how to deal with the many issues that have been raised with me on the doorsteps. I will also do my best to represent all the people of Hitchin North both here in the town and at county hall. My Herts County Council Email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Labour County Councillor
SIR - Thank you for placing an article in the Comet on August 22 regarding the fundraising disco held at Hitchin Town Football Club on September 7. We had a sell-out crowd on the night, with all tickets sold a week before the event. In total we raised £1,337. Barclays Bank has said that they will double this amount as well giving us a total of £2,674. All proceeds went to the Charities Cancer Research and British Heart Foundation. The next event is on December 7 at Hitchin Town Football Club with tickets on sale at the beginning of October.
SIR - While I have been somewhat bemused by the recent correspondence in respect of Letchworth Golf Club’s proposed new ‘golf academy’ project, I must admit I have not been amused. The manifest concern of some writers registers a complete unawareness of what actually is being proposed and the degree of inconvenience which might impact thereby upon nearby residents. The level of panic, which would appear to have been maliciously stirred up by some, is akin to that caused by
Al Gore’s book, An Inconvenient Truth, which deliberately sought to alarm people who know little, if anything, about climate science, such as, indeed, gore himself. Little would appear to have been said so far about the considerable improvement that the project will bring, viz., a beautifully landscaped area, which will improve the visual appearance of the area considerably, while much has been said about haulage traffic and typical golf range lights. To clarify the true situation, then,1. Lorry and associated traffic will not be even remotely approaching excessive amounts and should impinge only minimally upon anyone, including those in Queenswood Drive, Walsworth. A temporary entrance to the site will be from Willian Road, which will necessitate temporary traffic lights that will be set to red only when a lorry or other site vehicle is entering or leaving the site.2. There will be no driving range lights and therefore no usage of the practice and driving areas in times of darkness. I hope this will help to clarify the situation and allay some fears.
SIR -Further to Mr Gary Hammond’s subsequent letter in last week’s Comet regarding floodlights on Letchworth Golf Course. I shall not reiterate the extract from the officially approved planning application which gives a very clear position that no floodlights shall be used on the site during construction or as part of any final landscaping, or on the driving range following completion. What the golf club wanted to do, and included in their planning application (and perhaps their website), may not be what was approved by the Development Control Committee of Herts County Council and subsequently signed off by the Secretary of State which can be seen at http://www.hertsdirect.org/yourcouncil/civic calendar/devcontrolcomm/17440316/
Herts County Councillor and resident
Of Letchworth South
SIR -I am writing in response to Mr Phelan concerning the blue badge situation at the railway station. I have read the blue badge holders’ booklet and nowhere in there does it state I cannot as a disabled person use a disabled bay to collect an able-bodied person. It clearly states that as either a driver or a passenger I have use of these bays and my badge. It is not a misuse of the badge to collect an able-bodied person at all. I would never abuse my badge as I find it an essential part of everyday life, whereas taxi drivers have no need of the bays as they have their own rank. I’m pretty sure I would be asked to move if I parked on their taxi rank, but it seems it’s acceptable for them to park in the disabled bays.