LETTERS: North Hertfordshire policy is a risk to recycling

The council is no longer going to provide free compostable bags

The council is no longer going to provide free compostable bags - Credit: Archant

Changes to recycling in North Hertfordshire have come under fire in this week’s letters.

New policy is a risk to recycling

SIR - Stinking brown bins.

So, North Hertfordshire District Council is no longer going to provide free compostable brown bags for recycling waste food in the brown bins.

Their advice is that “food waste should now be placed in the brown bin loose ...”

We were aware that the compostable brown bags are not strong enough, because over the Christmas period, when our brown bin was not collected for four weeks, several bags split. The waste contractors do not check that all the waste in the bottom of the bin has been disposed of, so an unpleasant residue built up, which I have just spent an hour cleaning out of the brown bin.

It is winter, and fairly cold, so waste food does not decompose all that quickly. In the summer, the bottom of the brown bins, into which we are now being told to put loose waste food, will become a breeding ground for smells, maggots and flies, and attractive to vermin such as foxes and rats.

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The council do not offer a cleaning service for the bins, and advise that there are private companies which will do that (for a fee, of course).

The inevitable result of the council’s decision will be that residents will cease recycling waste food altogether, putting it in normal dustbin bags in the purple bins instead. This cannot be the council’s intention.

One concession might be to let residents wrap waste food in newspaper, which would help to stop the brown bins becoming so messy.

Dr John Dawson



Frack future

SIR - With this government – and local MP Peter Lilley, in particular – leading the calls to frack under every conceivable unit of accommodation in our country simply to go for a mad dash for gas that will compound our current climate change problems many times over (notably the stronger winds, more rain, and increasing flooding).

I wonder if Peter Lilley would wish to explain to your readers how much money he gets - and is likely to get - for representing this area of industry, and why he thinks it’s a good thing to change the law so that not one of us will be able to resist the desire of government to frack under the very homes where we live with all the safety problems and environmental issues that this means: Whatever happened to the very personal saying, “every Englishman’s home is his castle!”?

It appears that the Government no longer believes in any human rights at all – especially a very basic and private human right of no trespassing by anyone at anytime for any reason!

In addition, the very benefits of fracking are now coming under further scrutiny from George Osborne who has said – contrary to Messrs Cameron and Lilley – that fracking will not reduce energy bills at all! Does one part of this government now what the other part of this government is doing at any time?

Doug Landman

High Street



Lights left on

SIR - Can someone from Hertfordshire County Council explain why our street lights go off and yet the traffic lights for the A1(M) at junction 7 and 8 for Stevenage are permanently on?

Since these lights have remained on the build-up of traffic at a weekend is dangerous - I have seen so many near misses and a couple of accidents. I will be stopping my council tax until common sense returns.

Bern Ward

Address supplied


Space limit

SIR - Regarding the ‘Space Battle’ letter in last week’s Comet. Stevenage desperately needs more housing in order to meet the housing needs of the town but we’re limited on space to build upon.

Therefore the council is required to identify potential underdeveloped piece of land on which developers, subject to planning permission, can help meet the housing needs of our town and its people. Planning requirements ensure there is an adequate provision of green space for leisure and recreational purposes in our neighbourhoods and we are proud of our Green Flag parks and urban meadows.

I’d like to point out that Mr Glanfield has been misinformed on Section 106 agreements and where the money is spent. Not every proposal warrants a Section 106 agreement and any money that is received through such agreements is then reinvested into the infrastructure of the town by both the borough and county councils.

Councillor John Gardner

Executive Member for Environment and Regeneration, Stevenage Borough Council


Foul action

SIR - I thought I would put pen to paper being a dog owner myself and having just watched my dog suffer an infection possibly caused by other selfish dog owners leaving their dog’s mess everywhere.

It does not seem to matter where I take my dog there is dog poo, I went to Bursland shops in Letchworth GC at the weekend and somebody had let their dog mess at the bottom of the steps leading to the shop. Why not pick it up as it not only looks horrible but it spreads diseases too.

It is not nice to pick it up but there is no need to touch it and it only takes seconds, there are bins provided so there is no excuse. These people who leave their dogs mess are selfish, there is a £1,000 fine but who is going to catch these people as they go out when it is dark so they cannot be seen. I think it is becoming a big problem.

Paul Simmons

Hillcrest Park

Letchworth GC


Kind store

SIR - After doing my shop at Tesco Roebuck area, my car failed to start.

I hadn’t got my mobile with me and went back into the store wondering what to do. Fortunately the first person I saw was an assistant - Sharon - who earlier had helped me find an item. I told her my problem and she immediately went into action. Fortunately I had my RAC card with me and this she took, telephoned them and in no time they said they would be with me but there would be more than over an hour to wait.

Sharon was so kind and offered to get me a cup of tea, as did the duty manager - Lee. I sat by the self serve exit and the man on duty there also offered to bring me tea.

All ended well with only about half-an-hour to wait and after a new battery being fitted, I was off home.

I really do appreciate the kindness and help and would like it known.

Name and address supplied


Good care

SIR - I am writing this for all who read the Comet to see.

My husband has been in Lister Hospital, Stevenage, for the past four weeks.

He had an abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) and was on life support for three weeks.

I wish to thank Mr Selvakumer and his team, the heart doctors and all the staff in critical care.

Their dedication is second to none,without such care i’m sure he would have died.

He is now in the Acute Surgical Care Unit, and is still getting tne best of care.

Anyone reading this who is over 65, especially men, go and get youself screened as it is free amd may save your life. An AAA is a silent killer.

Mrs M Stewart

Address supplied


Bowlers’ bid

SIR - In last week’s edition, Alan Cook, treasurer of Hitchin Bowls Club expressed the club’s concerns about the proposal to exclude cars from a rejuvenated Bancroft Recreation Ground, should a bid for grant aid funding to the Heritage Lottery Fund be successful. I thought it would be useful to clarify the council’s position on this issue.

Hitchin Bowls Club has existed in its present location for many years. The club does not however, have unrestricted rights to park cars in the recreation ground. Indeed, one of the reasons for suggesting the removal of the current parking in the recreation ground was to address the long standing problem caused by a minority of recreation ground users who park in an inconsiderate way, causing significant danger to pedestrians, including young children, in the park.

We have over a number of years sought to limit vehicular access to those who are genuinely in need of assistance i.e. disabled ‘blue badge’ permit holders.

Unfortunately, despite many attempts at negotiations with various parties including Hitchin Bowls Club, users of the area have failed to control parking adequately and the time really has come to act.

At a recent meeting of the council’s cabinet, the over-riding view expressed by councillors was the need to maintain the safety of all recreation ground users, while providing the bowls club with a reassurance that the council would work with them to find a solution to the ‘parking problem’ and this is still our very firm intention.

It would be in nobody’s interest to jeopardise the future of the bowls club or indeed any other group who used the park but, compromises will need to be made by all involved to ensure the safety of all users of the grounds.

We look forward to working positively with the bowls club and others in developing proposals for Bancroft Recreation Ground.

John Robinson

NHDC Strategic Director Customer Services


Road rescue

SIR - I noted with interest the comments of Cllr Lorna Kercher regarding the state of Bedford road in Letchworth GC reported on your front page last week.

It is the case that the state of the road is unacceptable following the incessant rainfall over the last few months. It is also a fact that many other local roads are in a similar condition.

Cllr Kercher criticises Hertfordshire County Council for their failure to immediately address this problem, but the county council must consider the relative priorities of all the roads in the county in assessing where to use the funds available to them.

A glance at the county council’s website however makes it quite clear that Cllr Kercher has access to £90,000 in her locality budget which she can personally allocate to road improvement schemes in her area. Perhaps she can explain to the local voters in the Bedford Road area why she chose not to allocate some of this budget to alleviate the problems she now refers to? Did she also have other priorities at the time? Is it possible that these priorities have now changed with the looming prospect of an election in May?

There is a problem with our local roads but it would be more helpful surely if everyone tried to make the best use of the limited funding available to solve the most pressing problems rather than make political points, or is this too much to ask from our politicians?

Gareth Pugh

Address supplied


SIR - I was not surprised to read about the state of Bedford Road, Letchworth GC, in last week’s Comet. I have also reported the state of the road outside Letchworth Town Hall, where there are deep unavoidable ruts.

The flower beds around the area are tended to almost every day, so that it is nice for visitors to the town, but the visitors are then forced to drive over roads that are worse than in poor South American countries.

I was also told it would be like this for up to a couple of years. I for one won’t be visiting the town centre until it is repaired.

Name and address supplied


Great group

SIR - For the third year running Cheap as Chips and Cortex Transgender Support Group organised a Christmas dinner for the homeless, elderly and people on their own on Christmas Day at the Howard Garden Social Centre in Letchworth GC, free of charge.

We would like to give a very big thanks to the volunteers who gave up their day to wait on tables and do general duties.

Cheap as Chips and Cortex Transgender Support Group

Letchworth GC