Letters to the Editor (Including ‘Stop blaming us dog owners and get more poo bins!’)

A selection of letters sent to the Gazette this week.

Saturday, 28th March 2015, 8:30 am
This beautifully atmospheric picture smacks of spring. Steve Jones captures quite brilliantly these tiny fungi he found growing in one of the canal lock gates down by the Paper Mill. Keep the pictures coming in!

Dog waste

Stop blaming the dog owners and give us more bins for our dog poo

I’m writing in reply to a article I read in last week’s Gazette about dog walkers hanging bags of waste from trees.

I am a dog owner and dispose of my dog’s waste in the right way. But I disagree with the dog walker and Ashridge.

I would like to know where the poo bins are as there are hardly any bins around Ashridge so yes people are going to leave them lying around.

You can’t be expected to walk around with bags of poo or would Ashridge prefer us to let our dogs do their business and leave it there?

Most public places have poo bins around which we use, it seems Ashridge don’t want to employ someone to empty them. In fact I think they are against any form of bin.

I recently, and in the past, have been on a walk and stop to have a rest along the walk near the monument and in the woods by the log cabin where I’ve seen people and children leave their rubbish and cans and bottles lying around.

I’ve even seen a mother leave a dirty nappy. Surely these items can cause more harm to wildlife than dog poo?

Plus I keep my dogs on leads as it says but many walkers and their dogs do not.

People should respect the wildlife and other people and keep dogs on leads as this can cause a lot of serious problems.

I helped am owner whose dog was off lead, sadly it chased a deer and was hard to get hold of. The owner had no idea where her dog was but luckily I spotted it near the monument it then ran into the car park.

Thankfully I always have a spare lead in my car as a dog handler and was able to catch it. So both dog walkers and people need to respect the countryside. Plus Ashridge needs to provide more bins for our waste and dog waste.

Susie Tower
Address supplied

Road improvements

Car park not done at expense of roads

In response to the letter in the Gazette: Car park problem scratches the surface:

The letter in last week’s Gazette questioned why car park resurfacing was being given priority over repairing roads in the area.

I would like to clarify for readers that roads are maintained by Hertfordshire County Council, not DBC, so the refurbishment of our car parks is not carried out at the expense of road improvements.

Highway faults can be reported either through the Hertfordshire County Council website www.hertsdirect.org/faultreporting or by calling 0300 123 4047.

The work at The Forge car park is part of the council’s programme of investing in our car parks to ensure that we continue to improve our customers’ experience in the long-term.

The Forge is the third site that we have improved in Tring. Frogmore Street (East) and Church Yard car parks were refurbished two years ago and other sites including two car parks in Berkhamsted and one in Hemel Hempstead have also benefited from this programme.

I anticipate that the work undertaken to The Forge and other Tring car parks will improve the town’s environment in the medium and long term, and will continue to attract visitors to Tring.

Julie Laws

Councillor and
Portfolio Holder 
Environmental Services & 
Sustainability at 
Dacorum Borough Council

Road improvements

Letter got it wrong on responsibilities

I would like to put a fellow Tring resident, namely Roger Wyborn, right about his article in the Gazette entitled ‘Car park problem scratches surface’.

Roger is correct to say ‘someone in Dacorum Borough Council had decided that the maintenance of the car park’.

He is right because Dacorum Borough Council isn’t responsible for property where some other body has a duty of care.

In this case Hertfordshire County Council is responsible for highways and DBC look after property in their ownership namely car parks.

Two different pots of money from two different sources.

Roger is not alone in his thinking because I have heard many people talk about Tring car park in so many ways.

However, I hope this will help them understand a little about how local government works.

Stan Mills

Good Samaritan

Man grateful for person’s good deed

Through the columns of the Gazette may I extend heartfelt thanks to the kind person who handed in my mislaid credit card wallet at the BP Service Station on Breakspear Way, Hemel Hempstead.

This was on Friday 13 March, and I am so grateful!

Michael Poppleston


In defence of the Conservatives

To refer to Paul Eastwood’s recent letter first; Conservative councillors do hold surgeries.

My local councillors have offered this service on Woodhall Farm ward in the recent past.

Despite being well advertised, conveniently located and timed, no one visited whilst they were held.

This is due to the superb home visits that our councillors make whenever a resident raises an issue. Our councillors regularly visit the streets of the ward and talk to people and make sure residents have a chance to speak with their elected representatives.

They deal with emergency calls on their mobiles and are available by email and telephone between 7am and 9.30pm.

As an example our councillors were in the ward by 7am on the Sunday morning of the Buncefield explosion to deal with residents’ concerns – which they continued for several days afterwards.

Turning to Ms Margaret Coxage; Margaret Coxage tried to tear a Save Hemel Hospital banner from the hands of Conservative activists during a visit by Harriet Harman to Hemel market.

There is a photo of the occasion showing Ms Coxage, shrieking at them, her face distorted with rage and anger. Please cut your hypocrisy, madam, Labour could not close our hospital fast enough in order to depend on Watford General (which cannot cope) and try and save the Labour MP in Watford. Happily, the Watford residents have booted the Labour MP out to elect hard working Conservative Richard Harrington.

I understand Ms Coxage also lost her council seat as well.

I also wish to mention my support for someone who speaks his mind and is a man of principle – Michael Nidd.

We may not always agree with him, but he states his case regardless of party politics.

So keep going Michael, clearly you rattled the Labour cage this time and I know you will do to other parties if needed!

Norman Cook
Address supplied


Change needed not false statements

Our Conservative Member Of Parliament Mike Penning has delivered a leaflet called: ‘We’re making progress’.

In it he states “Things have been hard for many people as we all suffer the pain of putting our country’s finances right.”

I do not think Mike Penning has “suffered” one little bit.

He tells us that crime has fallen in Hemel Hempstead, but the fact is crime not only went up in the Dacorum, but all over Hertfordshire.

Even the crime commissioner apologised for the figures that had been fiddled.

Now that the election is near Mike Penning is very free with inaccuracies.

There are many people in Dacorum who have suffered because of Mike Penning, who voted for the bedroom tax.

He also states that the Conservatives have been tackling immigration.

I remember David Cameron made a contract with the people of this country. He said if we do not get immigration down to tens of thousands then vote us out.

Over 350,000 have entered this year alone and there has been millions that have entered since he made that contract. This shows that the Conservatives have no idea of keeping our borders safe.

He states that the Conservatives have put the finances right yet they have borrowed more money than the Labour party ever did.

It was the bankers that got this country into this financial mess, yet this Conservative government who bailed out the banks, has not made them pay back the debt and Mike Penning voted against taxing the bankers bonuses.

Mr Penning was voted into Parliament to represent the people, the only thing he has done is look after himself. The views of the people he represents never came into it.

It is now time for a change, we need someone who will look after the interests of the people of the Dacorum and who will not just give us false statements.

Noel Swinford
Hemel Hempstead


Alec is the man to bring true unity

If, as seems increasingly likely, neither the Conservatives nor Labour are able to obtain a Parliamentary majority after the General Election, what better way for Alec Salmond to serve our United Kingdom in its hour of need than by accepting the post of Prime Minister?

He is the only politician of sufficient stature and wisdom to undertake the task and I feel sure that the Queen would be delighted to invite him to form a national government of real unity which would meld our nations together in the spirit of the settled will of the Scottish people as demonstrated through the referendum!

John Eoin Douglas
Address supplied
but not for publication


Efficient, effective? You be the judge

My apologies for re-submitting a letter for publication that previously appeared in The Gazette last March ( Letters, 11 March 2015 ).

However, one year later, and the issues of the Pavilion and the proposed civic zone remain as relevant as ever.

In 2002, this Tory Council promised a multi-purpose facility to replace the Pavilion.

It was only on this basis that this decision was agreed by all parties in the council.

The Tories broke their promise to the public, and for 13 years this prime site has not generated a single penny of income for the council. It is incompetence on a grand scale.

How does this fit with Dacorum’s claim to be ‘efficient and effective’.

The proposed civic zone is a Tory vanity project. In the 21st Century, this type of facility is not needed, yet Council tax payers will be paying for this for the next 60 years.

It is interesting comparing local government in Hertfordshire with that in the City of Manchester. Both have similar sized populations, but whereas Hertfordshire has 10 district councils, with 10 town halls and 10 groups of elected members to pay for, Manchester has 1. 8 of the 10 districts in Hertfordshire are Tory controlled. 9 of the 10 districts in Greater Manchester are Labour controlled.

By working together, Greater Manchester districts are now on the cusp of securing significant devolved powers and control of their own NHS budget.

Cllr. Andrew Williams has stated that a multi purpose venue will only be provided if it is self financing.

It would be helpful to hear Cllr Williams’s explanation of how his civic centre project will be self financing.

In truth, it cannot be. I have asked Cllr Williams the question: I have yet to receive even an acknowledgement of my enquiry.

Paul Eastwood
Address supplied
but not for publication