Letters round-up (Including ‘Good deed restores woman’s faith in human kindness’)

A selection of letters from our readers this week.

Saturday, 3rd January 2015, 8:15 am
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Good deed

There are caring people left in this world of ours!

Two weeks ago I left my handbag on the hook of my trolley in Tesco’s car park at the Jarman Centre in Hemmel Hempstead. 
I didn’t discover I’d left it behind until arriving home in Aldbury. Of course I returned immediately to Tesco.

The handbag had been handed in with all it’s contents by a gentleman, I was informed.

Relieved goes no where to describing my feelings!

He had left no contact number and I so much want to thank him. A cash donation has been given to Save the Children charity in lieu.

I have retold this story to a number of people and all said, without hesitation, that they would have handed the bag to security as this gentleman did and I would have done.

The point is, that at the time,I did not expect this to happen. Shame on me!

I now know that there are many, many kind and caring people in this world of ours.

Janet Joynson



New festival for town doesn’t have local at its heart

My name is Jake and I’m a guitarist in a band from Hemel called Thrones.

I’ve just read your article on FestHemel and I wanted to bring something to your attention. I note that there’s emphasis on the festival featuring local acts and this is what I and many other local musicians originally believed.

I’m afraid that’s just not the case. Having been playing gigs in and around Hemel for a number of years now, I’ve made a lot of friends in a lot of bands that are on the Juicebox roster and we’ve all been told the same thing. Only one local band will get a slot at FestHemel and it will be an early slot at that. Furthermore, to be booked for this slot you must enter into a battle of the bands competition comprising of 64 bands and 20 gigs and only the winner shall be offered the slot.

Of course part of the criteria for winning is bringing as many paying fans as possible.

Local bands have been the bread and butter that kept Juicebox alive.

We play the shows, we bring the fans, and we work our bums off. As do Juicebox but the fact of the matter is, without the bands there would be no show, and without the show there is no money.

Money that’s being used to fund a festival that local bands can’t play in.

Luke describes the bands that he’s booked for FestHemel as ‘having local connections where possible’ and quite frankly myself and the rest of the music community are outraged by this move.

For too long artists have had no voice, nobody to stand up for local talent and speak about the painstaking journey being in a band takes you through.

I want to draw some attention to the disregard for those that have helped Juicebox become the brilliant events company that they are today.

Jake Meldrum
Guitarist, Thrones
Hemel Hempstead

Nostalgia appeal

Glis glis pretty? More like pretty annoying!

This ‘pretty little squirrel-like animal ‘ (to quote your article – Gazette Heritage article on Lord Rothschild’s animal December 10 in which there was an appeal for anyone that had seen or come across a glis glis) is a PEST to anyone who is unfortunate enough to have them.

Chewing through everything and anything they leave a trail of destruction.

In our case a freezer full of food had to be thrown out on our return from holiday.

I have heard of house sales falling through, tenants moving out and untold damage.

As they are protected only licensed pest controllers can trap and remove them.

Sarah Tricks

By email

Public transport

Time has come to admit failure and hand over reins

Dear Mr (Patrick) Verwer (managing director of London Midland), I think you were well advised to make amendments to your original reply and I now believe that it is fair to say that we broadly agree on most points (re: complaint over London Midland train services), notably the praise that is due to the train crew on the evening in question.

However, you seem to have overlooked the apology that myself and other passengers feel is due.

Regarding the train cancellations themselves I may have misunderstood your advice but are you suggesting that all passengers wishing to travel with London Midland should first go to the expense of arming themselves with a smartphone or tablet in order to be aware of any problems which London Midland staff at Euston or any other station are unable to explain?

I’m also unclear as to what your alternative transport solution would be in the event that a number of trains are cancelled and, as in this case, no effort is made by London Midland to help the situation.

I agree that the delays and cancellations brought about by the Network Rail works may have been publicised on your website well in advance of the evening in question but, forgive me if I am mistaken, does that not make the failure of London Midland to provide an adequate replacement even more reprehensible? It comes as a bit of a surprise to learn that in the view of London Midland it is the passengers and not the Senior Management who are expected to check the website for possible disruptions to the service and make other arrangements.

I still have a great deal of difficulty in understanding why your managers would have consciously replaced three busy trains with one single, shorter, totally inadequate four carriage train on a late night service.

Can I suggest that you instruct your management teams to make themselves equally aware of possible disruptions to service and work with their staff and customers in order to avoid the sort of debacle which occurred on November 12th?

It might also be prudent to liaise with London Transport Police in order to provide some extra security on these occasions, not least for your own employees?

In terms of statistics, whilst you may have achieved a 78.7% reliable service in the past month in terms of length of journey, if not in length of trains, I think you should be looking more at the fact that London Midland actually surpassed it’s previous ratings and managed to achieve a 100% dissatisfaction amongst your fare paying passengers on November 12th.

I can also assure you that none of the other passengers I spoke to on that evening were aware that the service had become any less reliable. The impression I came away with was that this type of event and the appalling disrespect that London Midland shows to its passengers is considered normal amongst those who regularly use the service.

If London Midland really is doing all it can to provide a reliable punctual service then I think the time has come to admit failure and hand the franchise over to a more experienced company who can perhaps do just a little bit more and actually succeed in that objective while showing some consideration for the people who use it.

Geoff Cummins

By email


Why do politicians make promises they won’t keep?

Why do our politician make promises they have no intension of keeping?

David Cameron our PM lied to us on giving us a referendum before the last election and now he said a referendum in 2017. Yet again our prime minister promised a house of commons vote on the European arrest warrant but he lied again.

This government has consistently treated the British people with contempt.

Even the conservative party’s own members of parliament accused it of deception and the speaker Bercow called it a sorry saga,and he was right.

Constantly lying to its people shows he will say anything to stay in power and that he has no honour to the people that he serves. Another who seems to be looking after his own interests is the President of the CBI who wants the UK to stay in the European Union, who is the president? It is Sir Michael Rake, is a director of the advisory council for business for New Europe.

This was set up to promote the benefits of the United Kingdom’s membership of the European union, BNE provides a platform for debate on the European issues to business leaders and policy makers, seeking to ensure that a reasoned pro-European voice is heard in the UK. This looks to me like a conflict of interest, how can he be impartial when he is holding both jobs?

Then there is the European Parliament budget committee. Jonathan Arnoll said the auditor’s report shows that the last year’s massive increase in the errors and fraud in the EU budget was no one-off but part of a systemic failure. We’ve got multinationals claiming small business relief, farms claiming buildings as grazing land and officials pocketing five times the going rate for their jobs. The EU accounts have failed the audit for the last 19 years. This in itself shows that we should get out of this rotten club as soon as possible after the next election.

Noel Swinford

By email