Fly-tipping by gormless idiots scars beauty spot 

A GREAT deal of work has been done in Haugh Wood to turn it into a beautiful predominantly broad-leaf woodland.

As a result, many of us regularly use it, not just for walking (with or without dogs), cycling and riding, but also for the enjoyment of its butterflies (several rare species are abundant), plants (wild orchids and, at this time of year, spectacular foxgloves) and its diversity of bird, insect and mammal life.

My letter is not aimed at any of these people, but rather the gormless, inconsiderate idiot or idiots who use it as a rubbish dump.

There are the occasional remains of a picnic which would be better taken home, but there is now evidence of fly-tipping too.

For example, a pile of broken furniture, children’s toys, electrical equipment and the contents of a domestic rubbish bin, complete with bin have been left on the edge of the car park.

Those responsible have clearly taken the time and trouble to travel all the way to Haugh Wood to dump their rubbish.

Would it be so very hard to take the stuff to the Rotherwas tip which is only a few miles away?

That way the rest of us could enjoy the woods without having to pick our way around unwanted domestic detritus.

ROBERT TURNER Villa Street, Hereford

No medals for those on bronze list

I WAS interested in the article in the Hereford Times which says the waiting time for social housing in Hereford has dropped by 90% (Change sees large cut in waiting list, July 31).

It states that those previously on the waiting list have failed to sign up to the new system.

My son, who is 22, has been on the Home Point waiting list for four years, and he recently did receive two letters as stated. He was told that as he was in bronze band he would be removed from the new system list.

He phoned Home Point and called in personally and was told on both occasions there was no point in him filling in an application form for the new system as he did not qualify as he was in the bronze band , and all bronze band people were going to be removed.

I do not know what percentage of people were in bronze band, but it appears they were just removed from being able to apply for social housing.

So the figure of nearly 90% is a little misleading as it is Home Point that has removed most people on the bronze band.

MRS J PHILLIPSON Old Tram Road, Hunderton, Hereford

How much longer to find a solution?

IN the story ‘Council leader in spat with opposition over market’ (Hereford Times, July 24), you stated that Cllr Tony Johnson shot down Mark Hubbard (It’s Our County) for suggesting the Tory-controlled council had failed to deliver on promises to rejuvenate High Town.

Why was the story not headlined ‘Cllr Johnson avoids answering the question again’, as he surely did by using the old rhetorical trick of changing the subject to the Old Market?

According to Cllr Johnson, the redevelopment of the Butter Market is a “work in progress” and the council is “working on finding a solution” to the burnt-out former Card Factory building in High Town.

It is nearly four years since this building was destroyed. How long does it take to find a solution?

Perhaps Cllr Johnson could explain to the people of Hereford via the Hereford Times why his council has failed to deliver on promises to rejuvenate High Town.

And please, this time, answer the question.

DR IAN ROBERTS Bedford Street, Hereford

Wide impact of bus cuts on villagers

IT will be a very long period of time for some individuals, perhaps young mothers or the elderly in Weobley, without a bus service from 5.15pm on Saturdays until 7am on Monday mornings.

In the winter it may well feel quite isolated. With bank holidays added to that time period, at some times in the year the village may well not have a bus service for up to four days, with the local GP practice closed also.

Local shops also will be affected.

Students travel and access sixth form education and evening classes and activities. If delayed, it costs between £30 and £40 for a taxi home. There are two very good schools in Weobley used by many in the local area.

With the rising cost of petrol, tax and insurance and having no longer any EMA or student subsidies, you will find this will be the limit for some individuals.

JANE HURLEY Unicorn Court, Weobley

Time to rise against ‘dark satanic mills’

HEREFORDSHIRE will soon be 1,300 years old. In the words of William Blake’s short poem And Did Those Feet in Ancient Time, you can see England’s pleasant pastures through St Giles’ simple Norman arch. From here you can follow the AA’s Two Frome Valley Churches walk in a green and pleasant land to St James Stanford Bishop.

There you can touch yews planted by Saxons or sit in a chair used by St Augustine.

Both places are accessible, tangible; go there tomorrow and follow those ancient feet.

But this world may be lost as there is a plan to build a 252ft wind turbine between these two sacred places.

A developer can propose such a structure because we must save the planet. He insists dark satanic mills must be everywhere, nowhere can be spared, the modern commercial world wants to push in the doors of St Giles and St James.

These sacred places cannot protect themselves, only our collective conscience can. We must ask if a wind turbine is more important than the ancient settings of these two lonely places.


We no longer have control

SUE Holden ( Countryside now a target, Letters, July 10) calls upon readers to let planners, councillors and MPs know that we value our heritage and our countryside.

I am not sure what MPs can do, because our Westminster MPs have handed control/competency over the environment to the European Union, along with a shared competency over energy, plus accepting the EU directive that 20% of energy consumed in the EU must come from renewables hence wind turbines.

CLIVE HAMILTON Kent Avenue, Ross -on-Wye.

Power in hands of the few comes at a high cost

I REFER to the comments of Bill Wiggin MP (View from Westminster, July 27) where he rightly pointed out the Conservative administration no longer has overall majority on Herefordshire Council, and queried how the opposition groups might respond.

I would like to reassure the public that Herefordshire Independents will support the present administration or anyone else when they propose policies which in our view are right for the future well-being and prosperity of the people of Herefordshire, and when that is not the case, we will work with others for change.

We feel this is the most responsible approach in view of the fact an election is only a few months away.

Mr Wiggin refers to the fact that the present Conservative administration have balanced the budgets over recent years – but at what cost? Many hundreds of staff have lost their jobs and many frontline services have been destroyed. At the same time much of the county’s assets have been sold off and this continues to be the case.

There is no doubt, as we have stated many times before, that this present administration through mis-management and waste have cost the taxpayer of Herefordshire many millions of pounds and a lot of this has been brought about through having a cabinet system which puts far too much power in the hands of a few people, resulting in all major decisions being made behind closed doors.

After the election we would only work with anyone who was prepared to address this issue to provide a more open, transparent and accountable administration.

COUNCILLOR BOB MATTHEWS Leader of Herefordshire Independents

All quiet on fracking

I WAS fascinated to read of my MP Jesse Norman’s strongly held belief that MPs must be accountable to their constituents (View from Westminster, July 10).

I wrote to Jesse Norman twice in June, and once again on July 14, asking him for his views on the government’s proposed changes to the trespass law, in order to facilitate fracking.

This issue was covered in the Hereford Times on May 6, the article reporting that 74% of people (across the political spectrum) oppose the plan to allow fracking companies the legal right to drill under our homes without requiring our consent.

I am yet to receive a reply from Jesse Norman, which leaves me wondering whether he feels accountable to all of his constituents, or just those whose votes he thinks he can rely upon next May.

Perhaps other readers have had more success in contacting their elected representative? I would be interested to know how they managed it.

EMMA TELFORD Penn Grove Road, Hereford

Biggest ever cash boost

HEREFORDSHIRE has just had its biggest ever economic cash boost of £43 million and it appears to have gone unnoticed.

The money was the result of months of hard work by officers and members working with the Local Enterprise Partnership to put a strong bid to the government for three projects – the Inner City Link Road, the road from the A49 to the A465 and the Model Farm at Ross.

These projects are key parts of our plans for economic growth. The roads will facilitate the new houses, businesses and jobs we so badly need.

Our goal of opportunity and rising income for all, especially the young, depends on growing the economy and so this money is wonderful news for Herefordshire.

We have had to make huge savings over the last two years and there are more to be made. But this great news, coming on top of the success of the new retail development and the livestock market, shows that this administration is doing the right things.

For groups set up specifically to oppose these developments it must be galling to see how successful and popular they are. No doubt, like Cassandra, they will now revert to predictions of future gloom and refuse to enjoy the successes. How sad.

Meanwhile, from those of us with a more positive outlook, and on behalf of all Herefordians, I offer my congratulations and thanks to everyone involved in this latest £43 million success.

TONY JOHNSON Herefordshire Council leader

Misleading over care

WITH reference to the story ‘Border battle over care’ (Hereford Times, July 24), thousands of MP Jesse Norman’s constituents have been forced to accept their healthcare within the Welsh system and under Welsh law.

They were not consulted, involved or informed of this discrimination.

Mr Norman is misleading his constituents. Only guideline changes were issued which a devolved Welsh Health Service has no obligation to honour and can change again at will.

The Aneurin Bevan Health Board has a policy of no choice. Mr Norman did not explain that the choice of a hospital in England is limited, even if it were to be offered.

He did not listen. He was requested to help residents in his constituency to regain their rights to choose to receive their healthcare in England within the NHS Constitution England and under English law. This he has not done.

It is the English government who created this problem. Only they can resolve it.

Mr Norman refuses to meet me to discuss this issue or enter into correspondence.

I quote from the code of conduct for members of parliament: “Duties of members: 5) Members have a duty to uphold the law, including the general law of discrimination. 6) Members have a special duty to their constituents.”

Constituents rightly expect support from their MP; to meet with them, listen and understand precisely the problem presented and act upon it. Mr Norman has failed on these points.

I continue to pursue this matter and I make progress, but without help from him.


Aim to end arms trade

AS we commemorate the outbreak of the First World War, we also need to remember the ambition that this would be “the war to end all wars”.

The horrific bloodshed in Gaza illustrates how urgent it is to make this into more than a pious hope. In all the umpteen wars and violent events of the past 100 years the supply of arms to both sides has been a major component.

The UK is a large supplier of arms worldwide, includ ing to Israel and Arab countries in the Middle East.

These sales have been promoted and subsidised by UK governments over many years and are deemed legal under international arms control agreements.

We urge the UK to lead the way in withdrawing from this trade and to press for steps leading to the elimination of the trade worldwide.

The possession of arms leads nations to turn to their use as a first resort rather than patient diplomacy and inclusive talks between all parties, including those labelled as terrorists. A pious hope? Looking ahead, do we really just want more of the same?

JULIAN RUTHERFORD On behalf of Hereford Quakers

Rose tint to litter view

IN future, before Trevor Swindells gets too gushing about Balfour Beatty “doing a great job” in the litter stakes (Hereford Times Letters, July 31), he should take a trip over here to view the overflowing litter bins.

The particular ones I have in mind are the main contributor to the litter problem nearby when the wind catches the trash.

So who is the culprit there then? Not the public who are using the bins. I would suggest the company who fail to regularly empty the bins.

I have been trying to get a litter-strewn street swept since June 19 but nothing has been done, despite numerous emails and phone calls.

Sorry to mist up Mr Swindells’ rose-tinted glasses, but “doing a great job”

isn’t the impression I get over here.

ROBERT BARTON Orchard Lane, Leominster

Sample bottle of my humour

I WAS taken aback by the letter in last week’s Hereford Times from Georgina Rutherford complaining about having to buy a sample bottle for a urine test. I am sick and tired of hearing moans about the new Kington surgery.

Compared with the old surgery which was far too small and impossible to park at, the new surgery is excellent.

The overstretched doctors and nurses do a wonderful job in pleasant surroundings and if your correspondent did some research she would be surprised to find that with an acute doctor shortage and an ageing population more and more people are being turned away as the capacity of patients outweigh the capability of capacity.

As a diabetic I have to deliver numerous urine samples each year and I take mine down in a washed-out herb bottle marked ‘Chateau Latham 1947’ which always brings a smile to the busy nurse who tells me about the impressive variety of sample bottles they receive.

Having travelled the world on business I have seen the appalling medical conditions in countries such as China, India, Mexico and Africa, where people have to walk many miles to see a doctor, and if your correspondent were to live in America without insurance the test alone would cost £50-£100.

Be grateful for the NHS and support our fantastic doctors, nurses and support staff.

DAVE LATHAM Fairfields, Gladestry

County disappearing from sporting map?

I WRITE as a born and bred Herefordian who is becoming deeply concerned at the rapidly diminishing offering of sport available in the county.

Last weekend’s regatta at Hereford Rowing Club was cancelled, and Hereford Racecourse and Hereford United FC are in the news for the wrong reasons.

The regatta has been a fixture on the county’s calendar for many years, and several family members have taken part in the past.

To lose this along with other sport is the beginning of removing Herefordshire from the sporting map entirely.

The racecourse’s ongoing closure, with apparently nothing the council can do thanks to a badly negotiated lease, is putting the county in a poor light.

United’s plight has also seen national coverage, with the council seemingly unwilling to take firm action.

United is so badly wounded financially, that it is realistically unsalvageable.

The projected income in the proposed CVA is a work of fiction – they expect to increase overall income on half the gates and also pay half the VAT they were due to this season?

But there is huge support for the club and a group of people have already approached the council with a sensible, credible, plan to reform the club and re-establish professional football on a sustainable basis at Edgar Street.

With the racecourse all but gone, and Hereford United now in a semi- professional league, is there any truly professional sport left in the county?

Does Tony Johnson, leader of Herefordshire Council, want that to be his legacy? He has the power to stop it, to put the sporting assets of the county under the safeguard of the county, and forge a way forward where the people living in thousands of new houses actually have something sporting to do with their time.

A MUNSLEY Munderfield