It will overrun
HIGH voltage cables are mundane but they are an incredible piece of engineering. 
To work unattended for years they need to be laid correctly and I believe WPD used a method known as ‘direct burial’ which is cheaper and quicker than other methods, but can suffer from ‘mechanical aggression’ (a technical term for being rattled by heavy vehicles) if not protected properly and laid on a stable deck.
The Lugg Flats are a floodplain; water often laps either side of the A438 so it shouldn’t be a surprise that the sub-soil is wet and if disturbed will move if not properly reinforced. 
To quote WPD web site ‘There has been some movement in the base of the A438 so we need to repair and strengthen it.’ Is that a surprise!
We commuters, who use the A438, have undergone delays when the cable was laid, delays on at least five occasions when engineers have been staring down holes in the road and delays on the Lugg Bridge for the same reason.
This is truly incompetent engineering, the consequences of which have to be borne by commuters, delivery drivers and businesses that have to use the road regularly. The engineers who planned and implemented this project should be extremely embarrassed. 
I am an electrical engineer and I bet this project overruns by at least a week.

River’s role
THERE are interesting links to be made between recent items in the Hereford Times.
The river party ‘Wye Float’, and Herefordshire Lore’s new project ‘River Voices: Stories from the Wye’ are just two examples of the central role this beautiful river plays in our lives. 
And of course this is the time of year when we see hundreds of tourists enjoying canoeing, birdwatching, and walking the Wye Valley walk. 
Our council promotes the Wye as a prime attraction, and recommends walking from Hereford to Breinton Springs to admire this unspoilt stretch of river, and its surrounding meadows, orchards and woods.
Meanwhile, Tony Johnson, our county council leader, tries to persuade us of the ‘need’ for a massive bridge and road through west Hereford ‘to open up space for new housing’. 
This road is also being promoted by the council as a relief road for the motorway system! More houses and more traffic – not exactly solutions to congestion!
Last week’s item on planning permission being refused for the decking and summerhouse overlooking the river Wye quoted councillors’ views that the construction ‘adversely affected the character and amenity of the landscape’. Following that reasoning, how much would smashing an enormous new bridge and road through Breinton’s unique scenery ‘adversely affect the character and amenity of the landscape’?!
Mr Johnson also appears in the paper making another desperate plea for suggestions on how to save money. 
A good place to start would be to cancel this hare-brained scheme, which, as we know from experience, would end up costing us all a fortune, as well as causing irreparable damage to the precious green lung to the west of our city.
Tower Road

Startling claim
MR A W Johnson, leader of Herefordshire Council writes about the need for a Hereford bypass (letters column July 13 ) citing as reasons, future traffic management and opening up the space for 6,500 houses and businesses which must be built by 2030. 
He goes on to assert: “Our future depends entirely on growing the economy and income.”
This is a startling claim and I think it’s increasingly untrue. 
A desirable future for the people of Herefordshire is definitely possible. But it depends on a whole host of things and unlimited economic growth will ruin everything that’s unique about it.
Since the mid 20th century the world economy has grown by more than five times. However, over recent decades expectations of further growth have created enormous levels of consumer debt. And now growth is increasingly stalled by hard physical limits such as depletion of resources, environmental devastation, financial crises, mountains of debt and the rapidly deteriorating net energy of oil.
Our future, Mr Johnson, does not depend on the fantasy of an ever-growing economy. Our future depends on us clearly seeing the reality of our situation, moving away from growth in consumption and towards improvements in the quality of life. 
Herefordshire is a wonderful county, we can thrive, we can create something better. Growth is over - what about “prosperity without growth”.

Is this fair?
YET again it has been brought to attention that defendants with charges of sexual assault (and assault) are named in the newspaper prior to a conviction.
After seven months of waiting for the case to go to court, the accuser could provide no evidence except to say she “thought” it was him. However this does not pay for the slur against his reputation, the stress caused to his wife who was in jeopardy of losing her career as she works with children, but more importantly the distress caused to his children who had to suffer vitriolic comments from others.
Fortunately justice was done and he was found not guilty on both counts.
The woman who brought the charge walks away without any blemish to her character or business, despite the fact she was proven to be lying in court having been shown overwhelming evidence on CCTV. It shows three incidents where she attacked him three times causing a black eye.
There was no charge of perjury bought against her, no charge of assault, no financial costs, no naming and shaming of her reputation. Is this fair?
Ann Tobin

Wider picture
WHEN your writer of the ‘Comment’ column in your July 27 issue suggests that buy-to-let sales of new-build properties will result in further house-building, they appear to be missing the wider picture.
This country is currently experiencing an unprecedented population explosion.
Literally millions of people have moved here in only a handful of years and they all require housing. According to an article in the Daily Mail last year, we had to build the equivalent of a city the size of Coventry in the three years up to 2016 to house them. 
This is continuing while we remain under the thumb of the EU. 
This house-building free-for-all is continuing nationwide, not just here, and as it does so, our farmland and natural environment are being permanently lost and our own quality of life is eroded.
It is a fundamental economic truth that when supply does not match demand, prices go up. Add to this the fall in the value of wages as a result of a glut in the labour market and, yes, many of our young people cannot now afford to buy.
However, buy-to-let purchases (which, incidentally, are currently on the decline following tax disincentives) would die a natural death without the pressure of demand from those wanting somewhere to live.
The answer is that we must urgently move out of the EU to stem the flow of people into this country. There is no need for those who come to work here to also have the permanent rights of residence, for instance. Like other developed countries such as America, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, they can come here on renewable, time-limited work visas.

Helpful hint
JUST a few weeks ago Herefordshire council were asking readers for suggestions to save money.
I felt like telling them to stop wasting money moving offices. 
Now they are asking themselves to approve a £1m overspend on a refurbishment of the old planning office. 
I think now is the time to really question the validity of the council in their ability to manage a business using our money. Surely enough is enough and they should be held to account for total mismanagement of affairs which impacts each and every one who pays council tax.

No change 
AFTER a 20 year break, I have recently revisited Switzerland , driving down from Dieppe to Zweisimmen. 
One thing stood out starkly. During that 20 years, huge investment has gone in to schemes to reroute traffic around many towns and even the smallest villages. 
Innovative designs meant that tunnels went under some areas (especially Switzerland) to avoid disrupting the local area or long flowing bridges took roads over flood plains or sensitive areas. 
This contrasts enormously with the area around Hereford. 
What has happened in 20 years, very little, just endless discussions and consultations. 
Perhaps Herefordshire Council could adopt the vision and determination that has been demonstrated in other countries.
Derek Spooner
Canon Pyon

Slow growth
IT is increasingly clear that the council is floundering in its attempts to justify both relief road and new housing developments.  
Thousands of new homes in the Whitecross area will generate much increased rush-hour traffic into schools and businesses in the city – traffic that will not benefit from a Western Relief Road and which will make existing traffic problems a whole lot worse. 
If some sort of bypass really is needed (and this has not been properly proved) it should be constructed where it is needed: on the eastern side of the city.  
Floodplain and SSSI issues should not become sacred cows.  
Having read about the £1 million overspend on the quite small Blueschool Street council building, one would struggle to trust this council with a major project like a relief road – wherever it went.  
Does this beautiful county really need to be further industrialised; to have its greatest asset despoiled by vast new housing estates and unaffordable new roads? 
Herefordshire is like it is because it has grown slowly and organically.  
Tourism and quality of environment should be expanded and preserved.  At little cost. Meanwhile, central government should be mindful of its responsibility to assist shire counties like ours with their near impossible essential services’ funding.  
Essential funding should not include relief roads!

It’s arrogance
IN response to letters by Christine Forrester and Roger Shutt, we, the majority, voted to leave the EU, a most corrupt, money-wasting, anti-democratic, over-ruling system that there ever was, and the total ineffectiveness of the EU leaders. 
Because the above-mentioned people think that we who voted to leave are just to be ignored, or told to go to hell, we can see just how self-centred and self-righteous they are.
Tony Blair carried out his own poll to see just how much public opinion had changed, and found out to his horror that the numbers had not changed between the re-moaners, and the leavers.
To have the arrogance to tell the leavers, actually it was more than 30% who voted to leave, to go to hell, what a wonderful school playground mentality, if you can’t get your own way, shout and stamp your feet, just grow up, and accept that you lost.
And to keep saying that we should keep having votes until it suits the liberal wrist-wringers, is also nonsense, remember they did this to the Irish people, kept having votes until the elite got their own way.

Top occasion
I WOULD like to heartily thank everyone involved in the organisation of the special presentation to the former Rotherwas Munitions workers at the Herefordshire Country Fair on the King George V Playing Fields on Sunday, August 6. 
In particular, I would like to thank Nicola Goodwin and the team at BBC Hereford & Worcester for their dedication and hard work in leading the campaign to have our work recognised.
It was a wonderful occasion and so lovely to see and meet up with munitions workers who toiled through the World War 2 years at the Rotherwas factory.
It was, of course, a long time ago but it is very gratifying to know that our contribution has not been forgotten.
DOROTHY KNIGHT (nee Sparrow)

Stick around
Improving our nation’s the aim,
But cash is a prob we can’t tame.
Any trouble at all –
Hand the job to Town Hall:
Local councils can then take the blame.
We’re a party that listens and hears –
I think we can quieten your fears.
We have the solution
To that air-pollution:
It’s going to take twenty-three years
 I think I might well not be here!