Letters to the Editor (Including ‘Inspector’s open letter to reassure public after gun was fired at house’)

And it was all yellow: Spring has well and truly sprung as this beautiful scene near Gadebridge Park proves.The picture was taken by Mark Batchelor, keep your pictures coming in!
And it was all yellow: Spring has well and truly sprung as this beautiful scene near Gadebridge Park proves.The picture was taken by Mark Batchelor, keep your pictures coming in!
  • Appeal to help distressed lady
  • Duplicitous Koch stretching too far?
  • Hospital is a victim of the bandwagon
  • Don’t burden the public with detail over highways
  • We are footing the bill for YOUR mess
  • Vote and vote for change people
  • Here’s what they do with our £££
  • Woman grateful after car crash
  • There must be an election on the way

A selection of letters to the Gazette this week.


As for the person who has set fire to a medium sized caravan in the lay-by at the foot of the lane, near the A41 – words fail me. Thanks a lot, mate – we will all be footing the bill to clear up your mess.

Diana Woodward, Wigginton

I want to reassure public after gun was fired at house

I am writing to offer some reassurance to the community after the incident that occurred on Monday, March 23, in Coleridge Crescent (reported by the Gazette) in which a firearm was discharged at a house, causing damage but no injury to any person.

Whilst no-one was injured, it was a serious incident that understandably may have caused concern.

Detectives from the Dacorum Local Crime Unit are continuing to actively investigate and pursue all lines of enquiry.

One person has been arrested in connection to this incident. For this reason, as proceedings are active, I cannot go into further details about our investigation; however it is still our belief that this was a targeted incident and therefore there is no indication that any other person is at risk of becoming involved.

We have officers regularly patrolling the local area and have been speaking with residents. We are on hand to address any concerns raised so please do not hesitate to speak with us. Alternatively, you can speak with your Safer Neighbourhood Team officers via the non-emergency number 101 should you wish to.

I would ask anyone who has any information in relation to this incident to contact the investigation team as soon as possible via 101, quoting crime reference D1/15/1847. If you do not feel comfortable speaking directly to officers, please contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Inspector George Holland

Dacorum Safer 
Neighbourhood Team


Can you help out distressed lady?

I live in Warwickshire and visited Tring on Wednesday 25th March.

At approximately 2.30pm I lost my camera in Tring Car Park not far from the entrance to the High Street.

I have repeatedly tried to telephone the police to see if anybody had reported finding it only to find the lines to be engaged and the only one occasion I got through I was cut off.

I have tried to email them on the address given on the telephone computer message but my email was bounced back to me. I have also tried the “Hertsreunited” website but the page does not open for me.

You are my last hope.

I would be grateful if you would put a note in the local newspaper for the Tring area asking if the finder of my Canon camera which is in two black cases would contact me on 01789 601583 and I would offer a reward for its safe return. I am an elderly lady who is very distressed with this loss. I was only in the area for a funeral. Thank you so much.

Mary Randell



Duplicitous Koch stretching too far?

I never cease to be astounded at the apparent duplicity of Howard Koch.

Mr Koch has been campaigning for months as the UKIP Parliamentary candidate for Hemel Hempstead, but now residents are receiving leaflets telling us he is the council candidate for the town centre.

As a councillor, I know how much time and effort it takes to look after the affairs of residents and the needs of the Borough. My friend, the excellent MP for Hemel Mike Penning, has given me some idea of how much time he puts in as an active member in Westminster as well as his tireless efforts locally.

I know that one could not possibly do both, at least not effectively, so if he were elected twice which post would he neglect to commit to? Is this an admission that he has little hope of winning the Parliamentary election in May and so just him hedging his bets?

Mr Koch claims to care deeply about the NHS and its patients. I met him at a rally he was holding a few weeks ago in the town where I asked him why then he doesn’t accept NHS patients at his dental surgery? A guilty smile was my only reply.

Finally he has been in this paper often criticising the quality of the local Conservative councillors. Why then did he ask me to join his party? I choose take it as proof that Mr Koch secretly thinks we’re fantastic, although publicly he is required to decry us!

Time and again Mr Koch’s actions have not been in keeping with his words.

I wonder if I will receive a response to this submission, but as the late Dr Steven Covey said: “You cannot talk your way out of a situation you have acted your way into.”

Cllr Graham Adshead

Hemel Hempstead

Hemel Hospital

Hospital is a victim of the bandwagon

It would appear that the MP for Hemel Hempstead has missed one very important detail in his appeal to the local electorate and that concerns our Hemel Hempstead hospital.

It is a tragedy that so much taxpayers’ money was spent on improvements in years gone by to see it all go to waste.

One only has to take a walk around the hospital grounds to see how much of it lies desolate when at one time it was a bustling area of activity.

An even greater tragedy is the fact that, as our MP has declared, more housing and business is coming to town yet those who will be moving in will have to rely on emergency treatment at Watford General Hospital.

Our ever expanding town would be good news if we could rely on retaining all the services that a large town needs. I can recall the time when Mike Penning, when in opposition, joined the bed run from Hemel to Watford on a campaign to stop the closure of our much needed hospital.

The then Labour government was obviously not influenced by such a gesture and now, five years later, under the Conservatives we are no further ahead and Mike doesn’t even mention the hospital in his latest bulletin.

As we have all come to learn, it seems politicians jump on the bandwagon of campaigns for worthy causes when in opposition but once they’re in they seem to forget those all important issues!

Terry and Dawn Trayton
Hemel Hempstead


Don’t burden the public with detail

I am writing in response to Stan Mill’s and Cllr Julie Law’s letters in last week’s Gazette, concerning the recent car park refurbishment in Tring.

Both letters miss the point.

The point is the lack of joined up thinking. Yes, we all understand that highways and car parks are different pots, but the responsibility of those in charge is to make things as seamless as possible from the perspective of the general public.

I accept that this is an ideal that cannot be fully achieved, but the letters do not even acknowledge a desire to ensure that the most pressing needs are met first.

This shows a lack of understanding of the basic decision making process that we must apply when trying to decide what to do with public money.

Cllr Law’s answer of, in effect, ‘not my responsibility’, is not appropriate in my opinion.

The broader perspective should be taken – Highways needs to get its act together, and if that means moving money from borough to county, so be it. The general public should not be burdened with the detail; councillors should work together and cooperate more effectively for the common good.

Cllr Christopher Townsend

Borough councillor, Tring, happy to work with County to sort the roads out


We are footing the bill for YOUR mess

Rossway Lane, between Wigginton and Northchurch, is an archetypal Chilterns lane, with distant rural views, overhanging beech trees and, at this time of year, violets, primroses, wood anemones and celandines in flower.

Soon the banks will be covered in bluebells.

This weekend Wigginton villagers have been litter-picking and I did Rossway Lane, for the second time in several weeks, generating in all over a dozen sacks of rubbish from a mile of roadway.

As the lower end of the lane is quite narrow and dangerous for pedestrians, I hope that I won’t need to do this unpleasant job again for a while.

Most of the litter comprises discarded convenience food and drink packaging, including drinks bottles and cans, sandwich wrappers, crisp bags, and cigarette packs, together with a few empty wine and spirits bottles.

To the guy who regularly throws his empty Stella cans out of his vehicle as he descends the hill (I retrieved nine of them this time), I ask please could he take his litter home?

To the Yodel driver whose ‘Missed Call’ slips start with the number 3006, please keep your slips in your van. We have found dozens of them.

Who dropped the Choice taxis receipt for Term 3, to collect someone from 1 Berkeley Court, Mill Street at 5.30am? To the guy who placed a £20 bet with William Hill at 1.32 pm on March 21, on no. 3 in the 3.25 race at Kelso at 11/4 – I’m glad that your horse didn’t win. As for the person who has set fire to a medium sized caravan in the lay-by at the foot of the lane, near the A41 – words fail me.

Thanks a lot, mate – we will all be footing the bill to clear up your mess.

Diana Woodward 

Council tax / politics

Here’s what they do with our £££

The annual rates demand plopped onto our doormats over the past couple of weeks and despite the heehaw about value for money, I find, as will most of your readers that Dacorum Borough Council has quietly hiked up the rates by the maximum allowed by David Cameron.

What do they do with our money? The council doesn’t even collect our waste – another green bin left un-emptied this week and I pay over £40 a week for this non-service - £2,120 plus, a year!

The council decides what I’ll pay, and decides what services they won’t do any more.

But we have the Gazette, thank God! Readers might just be interested, as we head towards the elections – yes this is political, Mrs Hollinghurst – in just how much councillors (local and county) have put into their own pockets over the past year.

This is readily available on both the council website, and the county council website.

Last year, Dacorum Councillors paid themselves – they’ve done nothing wrong, you understand - a total of £373,867: eight of them trousered more than £10,000 apiece.

In passing, the LibDems weren’t slow to grab their share: the Hollinghursts, for example, trousered over £27,500 between the two of ‘em. Very liberal, with our money then!

Some Dacorum councillors double up as county councillors and double up on the take – in all the county councillors paid themselves £1,196,408, no wonder our roads are crumbling!

Interestingly, our “Value-for-Money” Dacorum Council leader totted up a total of almost £38,000 last year – all perfectly legal, but roughly the council rates on 18 nice detached houses in a nice part of the town. Nice work if you can get it. Roll on May 7.

Joe Norton
Hemel Hempstead


Vote and vote for change people

Norman Cook makes a vain attempt to defend the Conservatives ( Gazette, 25 March ). His problem is, locally, and nationally, the facts are against him.

The underlying point of my letter about Conservative councillors not holding ward surgeries was this.

In 2012, a leading Conservative councillor was convicted of having 400,000 indecent images of children on his computer.

As a councillor, this man would have visited people in their homes, and through his public duties had access to vulnerable people. It is inconceivable that anyone would have allowed this man into their home if they were aware of his private activities.

Since this scandal broke, this Tory council has done nothing to ensure that such a situation never occurs again.

This Tory council has blatantly failed to put in place measures to protect the public it is elected to serve.

As a former councillor, I felt it was my duty to hold regular ward surgeries, and be accessible to the public, in a place of safety. I was also accessible by telephone and by e mail, but ward surgeries are an important part of accountability.

For councillors across England, surgeries are the “norm” not the exception. Local Tories obviously feel no need to be accountable.

Their contempt towards their constituents may well be their undoing.

Nationally, we now have the fiasco of the Tory Party Chairman, Grant Shapps, using the alternative name Michael Green, to further his business interests, but deny he did so.

He also threatened legal action against one of his constituents, but it now seems Shapps will be held to account.

On 7 May, the public can vote for a new council. The message is simple: If you want an accountable council, that puts public safety first and respects the public, vote for a new administration.

Paul Eastwood

Address supplied but not for publication

Dog mess

It is your dog, so it is your dog poo!

I am writing in response to the letter regarding the lack of bins for dog poo at Ashridge (March 25).

I live next to the canal and there are two disposal bins at the end of the footpath which lead on to the canal next to my property which are used by responsible dog walkers yet other lazy dog owners allow their pets to leave their ‘calling card’ on the lawn in my front garden.

So, yes, it is up to the owners to carry the bags of poo.

Surely they could utilise a large plastic bottle with screw on top and handle to pop over their shoulder for ease of carrying or, better still, get the dog to carry it on its back via straps or a dog coat. Your dog, your dog poo.

And please, please, please – no more letters banging on about the lack of the Pavilion! It is not going to happen. Get over it!

Sandra Taylor

Thank you

Woman grateful after car crash

Thank you to all who looked after me,after my (car) accident on Tuesday lunchtime March 10th.

Two girls who I think came across from Boxmoor Hall, the girl from the cricket pavillion, the police and firefighters were all so kind especially the young PC holding my head for what seemed like hours.

Off to Watford sirens going, there again wonderful treatment and again I must say thank you.

When my phone rang on Sunday five days later it was the young PC who had held my head in his hands, just to ask how I was. His name is Paul.Thank you Paul.

I always wanted a convertible car!

Mrs Kath Reeve
Address supplied


There must be an election on the way

It is hard to believe there is an election in the offing. Mike Penning MP has even got round to producing a four page spread of all the supposedly good things this Tory Government has achieved.

Not that one was pushed through my letter box you understand, somebody gave me their copy, (the Tories do not believe in democracy either at National or Local level).

No mention of the bedroom tax, the privatisation of the NHS by stealth the fact that many many people are having to rely on food banks (I could go on). Mr Penning doesn’t tell you that he voted for them all.

As Tory councillors they voted for tax and rents rises. They didn’t tell you that in their leaflet. There must be an election in the offing.

Margaret Coxage

Hemel Hempstead