Letters round up (Including this is just the start of a renaissance for Hemel)


A selection of this week’s letters from our readers.

Town pride

This is just the start for Hemel

Attending the recent Old Town Festival I was delighted to see so many people enjoying the new look area.

Everyone I spoke to was in great spirits and agreed that the result looks fantastic, even residents who were dubious when they first heard of the plans.

I personally have no doubt that this regeneration will rejuvenate the fortunes of this important area of Hemel, and I am looking forward to the new dedicated monthly markets which will drive footfall to the High Street.

It is worth remembering though that this is not the end of the project but the start. The works to the pedestrianism area of Marlowes are due to begin in autumn and carry on into next year (with a break for Christmas), whilst the Water Gardens will also be getting its refurbishment next year following the recent successful Heritage Lottery Fund bid.

In addition the new civic centre which will also incorporate the new library and police station, as well as a number of other community facilities will begin construction in 2015.

On top of this the new market square and bus interchange are coming forward which means that the whole town centre from the Magic Roundabout to the Old Town will have been renewed for the next generation.

I am sure that the next couple of years will be very exciting for Hemel Hempstead and I for one cannot wait to see the result!

Cllr Graham Adshead

Hemel Town Ward

Town pride

Dacorum has lots to offer everyone

Re : Letter, Gazette July 30: ‘Thinking of moving from boring Hemel’

Hemel Hempstead, and Dacorum as a whole, is far from boring. The area has so much to offer, from sports facilities at the XC and the snow centre, to areas of outstanding natural beauty.

The Box Moor Trust manages some 480 acres of land, there’s the Grand Union Canal, and 5000 acres of the Ashridge Estate, and organised cycle rides and walks.

Then there’s theatre, music, comedy and film at the Old Town Hall, community events across the borough, four free adventure playgrounds, and the finish line of stage six of The Tour of Britain in Gadebridge Park in September.

There are bars, clubs and restaurants, the Natural History Museum at Tring, parks and gardens, heritage trails, skate parks, The Rex Cinema, art groups, dance classes, Quasar, health spas, sports clubs, volunteering opportunities, unique shopping, Frogmore Paper Mill, breweries, and a vineyard.

And if that’s not enough, our £30m Hemel Evolution regeneration project will bring even more places to visit and things to do, as will the redevelopment of the Leisure World site.

For ideas on what to do in the area, visit www.dacorumlooknofurther.co.uk/enjoy

Sue Lea

Tourism Officer
Dacorum Borough Council

Summer activities

Skatepark is great but works too late

It is a great sight to see the young boys in Gadebridge Park practising their skate board skills and interacting with other boys of all ages.

With the summer holidays just starting I knew it would be a very popular area for the summer. However I was stunned when I saw that the new extension to the skate park has commenced right at the beginning of the summer holidays and it looks as if the work is to continue throughout the summer therefore making the skate park out of bounds for the entire summer holidays.

Could the powers that be not have organised for this work to be carried out either before the holidays or immediately afterwards. Really it is quite crazy.

Tricia Turner

Hemel Hempstead


Traffic lights are a bit unnecessary

Is it just me, or does anyone else think the temporary traffic lights set up in Berkhamsted High Street near the junction with Castle Street are unnecessary.

Waiting at the lights, having moved snail-like from near the Esso Garage, I realised that there is no work actually taking place in the High Street; the lights are there solely to allow vehicles out of Castle Street, where the road is being dug up.

With Berkhamsted School having broken up and so no need for the usual coaches to go down Castle Street, could not someone have come up with a better plan than putting the three-way lights in the High Street, bringing the town centre to a standstill?

This could possibly have used diversions via Chapel Street/Manor Street or Lower Kings Road/Station Road.

I appreciate these are not all roads best-suited to large vehicles, but as someone who has been stuck behind many a coach and refuse vehicle in Castle Street, I can vouch that neither is that thoroughfare.

Anyway, where are these large vehicles going to/coming from in the school holidays that could not be reached via Lower Kings Road/Station Road, causing much less disruption to everyone else?

If the plan is to eventually dig up the High Street, then by all means put the lights in place at that time, but until then let the traffic flow.

Peter Morgan


Getting to Know

Please share the wealth Mr Penning

I note with interest MP Mike Penning’s favourite quote in the Gazette’s Getting To Know feature (July 23): 
“If it appreciates in value buy it, if it depreciates in value don’t!” – sounds typically Tory!

Perhaps he could share his knowledge with us as to how to tell what things will appreciate and what things won’t?

Pete Greening

Hemel Hempstead

International affairs

What is our MP’s view on this trade?

Democracy is precious. Its enemies can appear in several guises, eg dictatorships imposed by a political party, religious or market fundamentalism.

The secret negotiations taking place at the moment between the European Union and the Unites States propose a “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”, which would lead to a market dictatorship.

This treaty would give transatlantic corporate companies the right to override policies created by elected political representatives whether they be county, regional, state or national politicians.

Under the treaty, companies could go to court and sue elected authorities on the grounds that they are interfering with the workings of the free market.

They could sue a British Government that may want to renationalise the rail industry or halt the spread of privatisation within the National Health Service.

If Hertfordshire County Council decided not to allow fracking within Hertfordshire a company could sue the Council for threatening its profits.

The Dacorum Core Strategy could be under threat as property developers would be able to challenge housing numbers as too low thus reducing their profits due to council policy.

For several years now we have seen the results of unregulated market fundamentalism. Low pay, long hours, zero hour contracts and constant attacks on Trade Unions and workers rights.

Opposition to the treaty is mounting across Europe and the United States.

An international day of action is planned for October.

I would urge all people who believe in democracy to join this day of action.

In conclusion I would like to know our local MP’s views on this treaty.

Paul Harris


Green Party

Driving lessons

We are fed up with driving school cars

I am fully aware that people need to learn to drive, however I am far more concerned with the safety of those who use the footpath. Yesterday (Friday) I was walking up Thames Avenue in Grovehill, Hemel Hempstead, when a driving school car with pupil at the wheel came out of the junction or Medway Road and Thames Avenue, did not stop and came out a speed.

The car which was turning left went across to the wrong side of the road mounted the pavement near to where I was walking, I could see the Instructor trying to gain control and bring the vehicle back to the correct side of the road before stopping down the road. No apology came from the car by either person in it.

At this present time we are in the start of the school holidays so there might have been children walking on the footpath, what would have happened then? Even where it is term time we have three schools in the area. There are also many smaller children who do not go to school who walk with an adult. I hate to think what would happen if someone had been injured or worse.

What can be done before there is an accident? There are many of us who are fed up to the teeth with the driving school cars, parking or doing a turn in the road using forward and reverse gears. If we wait do we get a thank you from the Instructor, very seldom.

Fred Weaving

Hemel Hempstead

Lidl Berkhamsted

Build it and if we don’t use we lose

Maybe not many people turned up for the meeting because “we” assumed that the council would just get the go ahead?

I agree we do have three other supermarkets but I don’t think many of the Berkhamsted residents do a weekly shop in M&S, going with that how many coffee shops do we have?

Or ladies dress shops for that matter, and as for Garrick Stevens saying “you can pop in a car” by the way Mr Stevens some of us don’t have cars, let Lidl’s have the place and build on it, if “we don’t use it” at least it will be a better looking property. As for the traffic no one seems to complain about the traffic jam from lower Kings Road turning into Waitrose,which most weekends goes back to Broadwater.

Any suggestions what to do with that?

Pat Howe



Local police do make me laugh

I am so sick of seeing little runts getting away with antisocial behaviour in Hemel town centre now the holidays have started.
Spitting, swearing, shouting and generally being intimidating. Back in my day the local bobby would have told them in no uncertain terms to pack it in.

Eric Linnard

Hemel Hempstead