A selection of letters to the editor this week.
My tee-riffic idea to raise money for a new Pavilion
In response to Councillor Andrew Williams comments that he is open to suggestions in how to fund a replacement for the Pavilion theatre, I would like to suggest that Dacorum Borough Council seriously look at selling the Little Hay Golf Course in Bovingdon.
The land alone must be worth millions and the council could use the money they would get from the sale of the land to fund a replacement for the Pavilion and also use whatever subsidy this golf course has been getting and put that towards the running of the Pavilion’s replacement.
I’m also wondering why the council never considered this option before closing the Pavilion too.
I have never used this golf course and I wouldn’t be surprised a lot of people in Hemel Hempstead haven’t either but I’m sure most long term residents of Hemel Hempstead used and attended the Pavilion numerous times before the council decided to close it.
I’m also wondering if a golf course should be something that is funded by a council too.
I have never heard of neighbouring authorities providing and running golf courses and I’m sure if the people of Hemel Hempstead were given a choice in what they would rather have, it would be a theatre over a golf course any day.
There is another golf course just down the same road from Little Hay and people who like to play golf can also use the course at Shendish Manor too.
I would also like to suggest that with regard to the empty land at Jarman Park that has been left empty throughout the complex’s history, that the council should use that land to build a replacement for the Pavilion.
I cannot see any sense in allowing more restaurants and cafes being built at Jarman Park when there is plenty up and running there at it is.
Name and address supplied
but not for publication
Pavilion / politics
Time for truths? Time for change!
Re: John Birnie’s letter dated March 4th 2015 in the Gazette: ‘Time For Pavilion Home Truths’.
He stated that having checked with the council that it is not them building the cinema but a private sector scheme.
This may be so, but it is the council which has let them proceed in doing so.
The reason the council demolished the Pavilion was because it was not making a profit.
This was because of the incompetent council and its bad management.
This council has squandered millions ... and has produced nothing to improve Hemel Hempstead all paid for by the ratepayer. Lets face it this Conservative council has been an absolute disaster,and the people have a chance now to rid themselves once and for all on May 7th.
It is now time for a change and it is you the people who can make that change .
Noel Swinford Hemel Hempstead
Time for some local democracy
Following on from the excellent contribution from John Birnie (letters March 4th) where he examined the potential Council Tax impact of a new Pavilion building, it’s surely time do something revolutionary and that is to ask the people of this borough what they want and what they are willing to pay for in respect to footing the bill for something that it seems the majority or residents desire, or do they?
Councillor Williams is good at telling us what we want and what we can and can’t have but it’s not the council’s money it’s ours.
I do not recall that we were ever asked the direct question about whether we wanted the old Pavilion demolished (nor seeing a reduction in our local council taxes for the money saved).
Likewise despite his current position, I do not recall us being asked directly whether we actually want a rebuild and to what extent local people would be willing to pay for it.
It’s easy to say that all this is done via the ballot box but the emotions regarding specific facilities are rarely the headline and local elections are decided on wider political views.
It is now well known what the new Pavilion facility options are in terms of cost and venue type.
Do we want to compete with Aylesbury or do we want a multi-purpose venue that does something for all entertainment and local clubs?
Perhaps Councillor Williams should ask the people of Dacorum if we want a Pavilion re-build, what the facility ambition is and what increase in local tax we would be willing to pay.
They are simple questions from which he could go and negotiate with a private partner that would share the investment risk.
At the moment Councillor Williams has no more idea that I have about the ambition of the people of this borough and we could be surprised either way.
I think we are a mature enough borough to understand that these things don’t come for free.
I hope we are also compassionate enough to realise that a revolving percentage of people will not at a given time pay Council Tax and this would be reflected in the bills of those who do.
Perhaps though the majority does not want such an investment and in which case we can all move on.
So Councillor Williams, have you the courage to ask us about what we actually want in respect of the Pavilion and then act accordingly?
Tony Humphrey Address supplied
Car park problem scratches surface
Like most drivers, I go to some lengths to avoid the many potholes on our roads.
Driving into Tring last week was no exception and, like most folk, I have come to accept that the ongoing tightening of belts and financial austerity in our region are making it hard for councils to carry out the necessary work.
Imagine my astonishment as I drove into the large Pay and Display car park off the High Street in Tring by the market site to see the entire car park had been completely resurfaced and relined to a high standard.
My astonishment turned to a degree of anger when it dawned on me that someone in Dacorum Borough Council had decided that the maintenance of the car park was of a higher priority than sorting out the poor condition of some of our roads.
Would someone like to explain to the Council Tax payers of Tring and elsewhere the logic of such a decision and how much it cost.
No doubt we will be told that the monies came out of a pot specifically for car parks and not for road maintenance.
If true, this will be yet another example of a lack of joined-up thinking and poor allocation of scarce resources.
Litterbugs lacking respect for town
As a resident of Hemel Hempstead and a council tax payer, I remember a while ago Hemel was voted ungliest town. I think it should have been the ‘throw your rubbish on the floor and uneaten food town’.
If I’m not walking past McDonalds, KFC or any of the other town food outlets’ rubbish it is their actual food half eaten just thrown on the floor.
I’m considering letting my dogs foul the paths in the town centre and the surrounding area but that would be deemed disgusting probably by the same people that just drop litter and food on the floor.
I left school and worked for the council and one of my jobs was a litter picker. I havent seen one of them in my area since I’ve lived there, that is nearly 16 years.
Maybe my generation was brought up differently or maybe it is my generation doing this? I dont know.
I was brought up to be respectful to people and things. I don’t see people of Hemel respecting their town and that is upsetting because the town used to be clean and tidy, well not anymore.
My fault unfriendly dog wasn’t on lead
Today I heard the best excuse from a dog owner with an off lead dog in a public area.
Walking our puppy on lead, suddenly a well built ‘staffy’ charged from behind barking and generally not being exactly friendly.
The owner appeared, obviously wondering what his dog was doing and I suggested he could keep it under control in public spaces.
Apparently, I’m supposed to be aware that ‘unfriendly’ dogs off lead are around and go elsewhere.
New excuse to me, as normally abuse is the order of the day on these occasions.
Norman (no surname provided) Berkhamsted
Join my e-petition to make road safer
Thank you to everyone who supported my e-petition, at consult.hertsdirect.org/petitions, to reduce the speed of vehicles on Shootersway, Berkhamsted to the legal limit of 30mph.
I have suggested reminders on posts and the road, and vehicle activated signs indicating speeds or ‘slow down’.
From the responses I have received, it is clear that residents and schools have raised this problem on numerous occasions, but nothing has been done.
The petition is open until March 31 and hopefully Hertfordshire County Council can be persuaded to take some permanent action.
Shootersway needs to be made safer for pedestrians, who include children at several schools, to walk along without being frightened or splattered with mud on wet days.
What to do about EU? Simply leave
I have just read the Conservative News Sheet, recently delivered to every household, which prompts me to make some comments on the promise of Mr Cameron to renegotiate our membership of the European Union.
The conditions of our membership were set out by the EEC in the Treaty of Rome in 1957 which contains all the Mechanisms for future expansion into a United States of Europe.
In 1972 Prime Minister Edward Heath signed a Treaty of Accession with the EEC to accept all of the provisions of the Treaty of Rome and in addition gave away our traditional Territorial Fishing Rights.
Both these Treaties cannot be changed without unanimous agreement of all the members of the EU, formally the EEC.
These conditions are tantamount to signing a new Treaty to amend the original Treaty of Rome, like the treaties of Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon.
Hence David Cameron must first persuade the EU to draw up a new Treaty if he wishes to change the membership conditions, but remain in the EU, which is well-nigh impossible.
Leaving the EU is already a provision in the original Treaty, and in the recent Treaty of Lisbon without prior agreement, but renegotiation is not. So, we can simply leave!
Can you help find a long lost friend?
We have unfortunately lost touch with Shirley Long (my auntie) and her sisters (Audrey and Sandra) and would really love to make contact again.
I’ve been looking on the internet but had no luck. Shirley’s date of birth is 06/12/1935 and she was married to Lesley Long with two children, Lesley and Michelle and they live in Hemel Hempstead.
Shirley is originally from Sunderland (where we all still live) and her maiden name was Sayers. Can you email me if you can help.