Letters round up (Including conflicting views over Hemel MP Mike Penning)


A selection of your opinions from this week’s Gazette.


Down to earth MP is man of people

In this age of public servant bashing I thought I would drop a line to congratulate Mike Penning MP for being what appeared to me a thoroughly down to earth man of the people.

I had the good fortune to attend the Help for Heroes Potten End Party on the Green on Sunday.

The sun was shinning, the beer flowing and the music easy listening (especially the Dan’s ).

Throughout the day Mike toiled away; organiser, master of ceremonies, dog show judge, cook and most importantly glass collector to keep me in stock of aforementioned ale!

It was a really nice family event pitched at just the right level for a great cause.

For all the lambasting that our politicians receive I think it’s worth remembering that most of them are just the same as us at heart and don’t do the job just for the lucrative salary/expenses but because they really care for their communities.

Mike’s parting words were “It will be bigger and better next year” so definitely a date for the diary.

Finally I’m from Berkhamsted, Berko or Berchehastede which ever takes your fancy so my question is will David Gauke be picking up my empties at Berkofest this year (if it hopefully goes ahead)?

Gary Cooper



Millions thrown at solving unsolvable

You have to admit our council really does have a sense of humour. It spends millions of pounds trying to ‘improve’ town centres with one cunning plan after another trying to solve the unsolvable.

Hemel High Street was once (in my lifetime) a vibrant shopping centre as was Marlowes.

It played with Berkhamsted and Tring, although managing to leave most of Kings Langley and Markyate alone (including town centre managers).

It tidies everything up and now to add insult to injury, more bins that residents have to find somewhere to put.

One can only suppose that no one will notice all the objects left in residential areas and be really pleased that the walk from the car park to the improved town centre will be a refreshing change.

Our property managed for 66 years with just a bin. Then in 2004, it was changed to two big bins, a couple of smaller bins (designed with drainage holes so any water drains out) and a basket. They still manage to leave bits over the highway.

New homes for the past 10 years have had spaces designed in to hold this collection. The new system (page 6 of the Dacorum Digest) suggests new containers, garden waste not collected in December and January, non-recycled every two weeks (no change), new small ‘caddy’ (indoors I presume), larger ‘caddy’ left out by the kerb (pedestrians can use the public highway as now) and a replacement larger bin for everything than can be recycled.

I can only apologise to everyone as this seems to be the well thought out idea of a Berkhamsted councillor.

Page 10 of the same publication points out changes to how to register to vote by pointing out that you have a choice if you want to register or not. I bet they are hoping most UKIP supporters will take advantage of this!

Norman Cutting



Councillors are full of tired excuses

Much is made by councilors McKay,Adshed and Wyatt-Lowe of how interested they are in hearing from their constituents.

Unfortunately that seems to wane somewhat once they are elected as has been my experience when sending them an email.

No doubt they will have any number of excuses as to why they don’t bother to reply which I am sure all your readers would find most interesting.

Robert Jones

Address supplied

Berkhamsted ‘snobs’

We’re not all rich in dear old Berko

In reference to “Don’t be bitter, embrace change” letter recently, may I also say I support the coming of Lidl.

Not everyone who lives in dear old Berko is a millionaire!

I don’t think Richard Bowan of Ashlyns Estate can possibly know Mr Waller, if he did he would not use words like “bigoted” which according to the Oxford English Dictionary means: ‘obstinate and intollerant adherant of creed or view’.

As Mr Waller’s address is stated in the letter that he wrote to you, why does Mr Bowan not pick up the phone and invite him to meet in one of Berko’s lovely bars, pubs, restaurants, cafes or one of the myriad of coffee chains?

I hope Mr Waller does not mind me suggesting this? When I next see him in the town I will say I have written to the Gazette.

Perhaps your reporter Mr O’Neill would like to be present, take notes and do a report for your paper?

Jane Vane Tempset Stewart



Why nurses had to protest over pay

Over the past three years nursing staff in the NHS have had a cost of living pay freeze.

That pay freeze means nurses have, in real terms, taken a pay cut as the cost of living has gone up.

Now the Government’s proposal not to award nursing staff a one per cent pay rise adds insult to injury.

The Independent Pay Review Body recommended nurses and healthcare assistants should get a one per cent cost of living pay rise.

Last year, the Government said it was affordable. Now there’s been a U-turn and the Government has said it’s not affordable.

Last year, however, the NHS under spent by £3 billion and that money was handed back to the Treasury. 
It would have been much better spent on NHS services and staff.

The RCN has written to MPs to raise the issue and highlight what an insult this is.

On June 5 Royal College of Nursing members and staff took part in Fair Pay for the NHS protests because our nurses, health visitors and healthcare assistants all deserve better.

Karen Webb

Regional director
Royal College of 
Nursing Eastern


Some rhyming verse on potholes

I’m just an ordinary car I don’t travel very far Just on local route’s around the neighbourhood.

But my job is getting harder I’m glad I don’t go further for I don’t move quite as smoothly as I should.

I’m getting quite discouraged and my owners getting worried about a problem that is getting out of hand.

For no matter where I go I find the roads are full of holes and I feel it’s time that I should take a stand.

For when we’re out together it feels like stormy weather my metal starts to shudder, creak and shake.

My wheels they are a turning and the pressure it’s a burning my drivers foot is always on the brake.

For the roads they are a crumbling in the potholes I am tumbling no matter how much care my driver takes.

All the dodging and the swerving my steering is still turning but I’m concerned about the noise it sometimes makes.

My tyres they are ripping at the garage I am sitting and my driver she has to pay the bill.

So I had to write this letter to make myself feel better and tell you just exactly how I feel.

The potholes they are spreading like a disease across the town for some decent stuff to mend them you have tried but haven’t found.

For all to soon they re-appear the problems never ending if you did them right the first time they wouldn’t need re-mending. Sadly, at your job your failing the whole town is now complaining I feel the need to put you in your place.

So get your act in gear all the motorists do cheer we rely on you to keep our highways safe.

My owner she insures me, MOT’s me and she cleans me, she does her best to keep me on the road.

The tax is getting dearer but what I need to be made clearer, is where does all the road tax money go.

The roads they are appalling can you hear my engine calling is there someone who will listen to my woe.

I can’t be the only car in trouble, for my suspension it’s a struggle and the scratches on my paintwork are on show.

To my owner I am precious, reliable and safe my mileage is also very low, and whenever she may need me she turns my key and knows that I will go.

I’m unhappy and in pain and I want someone to blame borough council it is you who needs to see. Do you really not care less about the damage and the mess and my dream about a town that’s pothole free.

So council I implore you don’t give up without a fight, take pride and be determined to make the bad roads right.

So once more I can travel with a smile upon my face delivering all my passengers comfortable and safe. And you will know as I drive around happy and carefree for every pothole you patch up you’ll get a big thumbs up from me.


Hemel Hempstead


Come what May it could be your D-Day

Re: Hemel MP Mike Penning’s Speaker’s Corner column in last week’s Gazette (June 11).

Come next May it will be your D-Day unless you get your finger out.

It is the second week that this space has been afforded to a conservative MP and for the second week running the issues their electors face on a day to day basis, of course we all remember our fallen, but we need to address today’s problems and quickly. The old town parking fiasco, business in the old town is on its knees, our local hospital is in urgent need of re-opening,the town centre project has come off the rails, there is a huge increase in migrant workers at a time when your government are cutting benefits,let’s face today’s world and see some action Mr Penning or face the electors at your peril come may 2015.

It is now time for action not words so you will be judged by the good folk of Hertfordshire come May, we are watching!

The Enforcer

hemeltoday.co.uk user

Town Pride

Roundabouts look blooming brilliant

I wanted to say how wonderful the two roundabouts look down the link road from Grove Hill End to the Marchmont.

The flowers are red, white and blue meadow flowers and I just wanted to say thank you to the Dacorum gardeners for 
making me smile. They look so, so wonderful. Some of the other flowers locally are beautiful too well done Dacorum.

Maureen Kinnear


Voice of the Paper

Patriotism seems dead for World Cup

I wholeheartedly agree with Damien Lucas in last week’s Voice of the Paper column about a lack of buzz around England’s involvement in the World Cup in Brazil.
While I’m certainly not the biggest football fan there is a definite lack of support for our nation. 
There is nowhere near as many flags around as usual and none of the usual fanfare.
How ironic that patriotism seems dead only a matter of weeks after the so-called “rise of the right” with UKIP on the up. As Damien says I think it could well be simply lower expectations and having our hearts broken so many times before. Let’s hope we fall in love with our great country all over again.Shane Jarvis

Hemel Hempstead