Letters round up (Including concerns over suspected paedophiles)


A selection of your opinions from this week’s Gazette

Councillors must undergo checks

The report on the proposal by Hertfordshire Constabulary to introduce polygraph tests for suspected paedophiles (Gazette, May 28) has to be welcomed.

However, this action, in itself, needs to be just one initiative within a wider menu designed to identify individuals or groups who are a risk to children.

The community need to know what other public bodies are doing to protect vulnerable people. All of which asks a serious question of Tory controlled Dacorum Borough Council. Two years ago, one of the leading Tory Borough and County Councillors, Stephen Holmes, was convicted of having 400,000 indecent images on his computer.

He quickly resigned his seats on both councils.

The added irony was that he was the county’s lead councillor for child protection.

The situation is all the more serious, as we are now aware of the revelations about Jimmy Savile, and others.

Proper control measures need to be put in place to provide assurance to the public.

I am now asking that the borough council require all councillors to agree to checks under the Disclosure And Barring Service.

Every decent councillor will have nothing to fear, but in the spirit of openness the name of any councillor who refuses to undergo a check should be made public. I am sure the public will wish to see these checks put in place with no further 

Paul Eastwood

Address supplied

town pride

Hemel Hempstead dying of boredom

Open letter to Andrew Williams, leader of Dacorum Borough Council, I have lived in Hemel Hempstead all my life and I feel I have to let you know how disappointed I am with the town centre and the surrounding areas.

Everytime I go into the town another shop is either closing down or has gone we have too many pound shops, pubs, bookies and pawn shops only helping people get further into debt, virtually no facilities to have a good evening out as a family or with friends, the old pavilion site which we were promised ‘would NOT be left empty’ still is, this would be a good place to have something like a bowling alley with a small cinema above it creating jobs and somewhere to have an evening out.

This town is slowly dying of boredom. To have any fun now you need to go out of Hemel to Watford or St Albans which costs money to get to and from which could be spent on a good night out in Hemel.

The old nightclub would be great as a comedy club bringing people into the town, a lot could be done to make this town more people friendly.

I would be interested to hear your views on my comments.

June Rand

Hemel Hempstead


Thanks for your kind donations

Thanks to Tesco kindly allowing the RNLI to collect outside their Tring store for three days last week a quite wonderful £1,401 was donated by customers to this wonderful charity.

The Tring branch is very fortunate in having so many volunteers to man the buckets and put on the yellow outfits but it is the generosity of local residents who yet again have dug deep into their pockets to help the furthest inland branch in the country raise such an impressive total.

The next fundraising event of the Tring branch of the RNLI will be Bly, Brass & Blues – A Family Fun Afternoon on Sunday July 13 in Pound Meadow.

There will be a brass band, Shufflepack and John Bly, the

branch president, hosting an Antiques Roadshow. Tring Brewery is running the bar and a barbecue and other children’s activities will be on hand during the afternoon. More details can be obtained from Tony Wheeler on 01442 382527.

Lisa Cooper

Lisa Cooper


elderly care

Putting the care into care homes

After the recent stories of elderly residents being mistreated in care homes, I thought I would put the other side of the story.

My Mum recently passed away in Lime Tree Manor care home in Adeyfield, having lived there since November.

The standard of care my Mum received was superb. The staff took the time to get to know her as a person and treated her with dignity and respect, showing genuine warmth and affection towards her.

She would have a chat and a laugh with her young carers and became very fond them.

When she became ill, the staff did everything possible so that Mum could stay at Lime Tree Manor, rather than be admitted to hospital, even though she needed constant care.

I have been at the care home at all times of the day and night and have seen nothing but wonderful care and kindness.

The staff also looked after me and my family when we visited, providing comfort, support and endless cups of tea!

Knowing that Mum was so well cared for has been a great comfort to us and we would like to publicly thank the manager and all her staff.

Jenny Hicks

St Albans

old town parking

Council’s behaviour is a real eye-opener

I have just seen the excellent article on the parking confusion in the Old Town High Street.

The responsibility for this is Hertfordshire County Council, it is it which designed the road layout and signage.

Its position is that there are two signs at the entrance to the High Street and these state that there is no parking EXCEPT where there are signs to say you can park.

Now I am someone who drives up the High Street at least once a day, and I tend to look out for pedestrians and other traffic, it is not possible to stop and read these signs.

I put up the friendly notices to try and stop the totally unnecessary stress and fines that motorists would incur, I heard the arguments, now someone has taken the signs down!

I have all the all the emails so I can prove the council is fully aware of this.

The other major issue is that the signage into St Mary’s square implies it is totally disabled parking, but in fact there are only a few disabled spaces.

The issues with the High Street have been a real eye-opener with respect to the way county councils behave.

Let us not forget that this is the 21st Century and we are a G8 country, and the local authority cannot even get parking signs correct.

Dr Howard Koch

Business owner., chairman & PPC UKIP Hemel Hempstead


Howard Koch

Hemel business owner &
chairman & PPC UKIP Hemel

Old town parking

Parking situation is simply pathetic

I drove to the Old Town for the first time yesterday since it reopened, and looked for somewhere ‘short term’ to park while I got a haircut.

There were no road markings (yellow lines etc), but there were tall poles with blue-coloured parking texts along the side of the road – plenty of them, so I pulled in to read them properly and make sense of them.

I had missed the convenient on-road location (I had stopped in a ‘goods vehicles only’ spot) and would have had to back up, so instead I went on, and into the familiar little car park by the Volunteer Bureau.

Here again I was confronted by confusing signage. On either side, it seemed that there were two ‘disabled’ spots, but that the rest of the spaces were OK.

A guy wearing a contractor’s yellow waistcoat wandered up, answered another person’s query, and so I asked him if I was OK where I had parked. He said ‘yes’, but drew my attention to the gold-coloured metal dots – like large coins – set into the paving apparently to delineate parking spaces – which I had simply not noticed, and which were certainly not easy to spot!

I adjusted my car’s positioning between the ‘dotted lines’, and went off to get my hair cut.

When I came back, I found I had a parking ticket – apparently for parking in a ‘disabled’ space!

The enforcement officer was still around, so I challenged him, and was joined by a ‘local’ who agreed with me that the signage was chaotic.

I wondered how the office knew it was a ‘disabled’ space when I didn’t, and nor, apparently, did the helpful contractor guy?

He advised me to challenge the ticket, which I will certainly do!

How come Dacorum Borough Council has got such as basic requirement for a shopping street so dramatically wrong?

It’s pathetic!

Ann Hirst-Smith

Address supplied

town pride

Letters row like bickering children

In response to Mr Bowen, Letters last week, headed: ‘WITH FAME COMES RESPONSIBILTY’.

Dear Sir, Dick, my dad’s bigger than your dad! See you in the playground.

John Waller


dog fouling

Doo poo is not a tree decoration!

The Box Moor Trust is linking with a national campaign to encourage all dog owners to clean up after their pets on the land and to dispose of the faeces in a bin and not as decoration to a nearby hedge or tree.

Recent studies and news coverage have highlighted how parasites found in some dog faeces, which is then eaten or passed onto the livestock, can result in the abortions of cattle and death in sheep with several reports in this country over recent months.

Dog mess can cause very serious ill effects in cattle and sheep and the Trust would urge people to clean up after their dogs.

Dog owners should also be mindful that dogs can cause considerable distress to pregnant animals or cows and sheep with lambs and calves, so they should be kept under control on a lead or avoided all together, both for the protection of the livestock and themselves and their dog.

The vast majority of dog-owners are responsible people but there is a small minority who let their dogs roam freely on farmland and refuse to pick up litter despite the very serious health problems it can cause livestock.

Please remember that the livestock are not pets and should not be approached, stroked or fed.

It is always best to admire them from a distance and then everyone is happy.

For further information visit www.boxmoortrust.org.uk

Ian Richardson

Manager at Box Moor Trust
Hemel Hempstead