Vital arteries
THE roads are the lifeblood of every city. 
They carry the people and the goods to the city. 
When the people are in the city they visit the shops and buy things from the retailers thus keeping trade and employment healthy. 
The children travel to schools along the roads, their parents collect them from the schools.
This vital knowledge seems to be unknown to Herefordshire Council because they close the roads and they are incapable of understanding that if you close road A you cannot close road B at the same time.
If you do you will gridlock the city centre and the villages around the centre. The shops will be starved of customers, the children will be stranded at the schools, because the parents will be unable to get to the schools on time to collect the children. 
The nurses will be unable to reach their patients, many of whom are in desperate need of care and attention.
We all understand the need to mend the potholes and to maintain the roads. However, all the roads and all the potholes cannot be mended at the same time. 
This information must be conveyed to Herefordshire Council at the earliest opportunity to save the county from imminent collapse.
I cannot help but wonder how our MP has allowed this state of affairs to develop. 
He is elected to serve the residents of Herefordshire. Why I wonder is he not doing this? Why is he allowing this disaster to continue?

Slow down!
HOW interesting to read the letter from Liz Langford (October 19) about traffic on the rat run through Callow.
I have been trying to get some attention about speeders through Merryhill at the extreme end, nearest to the Abergavenny road.
We live 400 yards from the junction and have vehicles passing our home at up to 70mph from that direction.
Some drivers kindly giving us a toot in case we haven’t noticed them.
I have asked for the repeater signs (stolen) to be replaced and for larger 40 signs at each end of our terrace.
There is a problem nearer to the Belmont pools where there are three exits onto a blind corner from the country park and the estate.
There are also frequently vehicles parking in this narrow area, causing vehicles to have to brake suddenly as they come the blind bend at excess speed.
The police patrol parks in an area further along the lane, where there are no homes to catch speeders, who are warned by vehicles going in the opposite direction.
I am sure this situation is repeated all over the county but nothing is done to help us or them be free from the ignorance of these speeders.

Loony politics
I HAD thought that the great tradition of loony politics had passed with the demise of the Monster Raving Loony Party.
But no, it is alive and well in the guise of It’s Our County.
Screaming Lord Such of the raving loonies presented himself as a top-hatted vaudeville toff.
The latest wannabe is the Karl Marx lookalike Mathew (bushy whiskers) Bushkers.
The It’s Our County Marxist belief that the country belongs to the proletariat together with their inflammatory language that “there is a huge time-bomb ticking on our doorstep” is proof they are living in a sort of Alice in Wonderland world.
This is all great fun. But there is a serious side to the job of running the council.
We need people in council who are aware of the realities of life, people with a deep-seated interest in running an efficient organisation. 
People who are aware that we must stimulate investment to generate the jobs and wealth in the area. 
For it is the money generated by businesses that provides the tax receipts that allows the provision of services in the county.
It is a seriously difficult juggling act that needs serious people.
Sutton St Nicholas

Care for ears
NO more ear syringing at hospital? 
No matter, this was always a GP responsibility and was never funded directly.
In 38 years of single-handed practice I never referred a patient to hospital for wax removal; I paid my nurse, who was partially funded centrally and her job description included ear toilet. 
Losing the hospital-based facility is no problem; after all, the purse holders are mostly GPs in the clinical commissioning group. 
Some GPs say that it is not a core service and is done out of kindness! 
As the commonest cause of temporary deafness and secondary ear canal infection wax concretion, is a significant problem. 
The end will be when Boots and Specsavers bid for the contract. It won’t be free. What next for privatisation?

Fair welcome
I AM so pleased we see the traditional fair coming to Ledbury for a couple of days a year.
Families with children, the young and the old can sample one of the great traditions of town and village life.
Our towns and villages are dying as they struggle to cope with out-of-town shopping, and the new business rates are causing so many problems.
I counted more shops than I cared to that are recently closed in Ledbury with the possible loss of more before Christmas. 
So maybe its no bad thing that just once a year the town lights up with the fair and all its attractions for everyone to enjoy. Long may it continue.
Lugwardine and Bartestree 

Thanks, Mike
I FEEL sure the swimmers at Tenbury Pool would wish to join me in thanking Mike Webb (Director of TCP) for his enthusiasm and tireless efforts in attempting to secure a £25,000 grant in order to make some improvements at the pool. 
Also Jane Jenner made an appeal for support in an article in a recent issue of Tenbury Advertiser.
The present indications are that we will not be successful in securing the grant but, if this is the case, it will not be due to any lack of effort by Mike and Jane. Our grateful thanks are due to both of them.
Tenbury Wells

Little time
YOUR claim that a “debate is to be held on wedding blessings for same-sex couples by the Church of England after a motion was put forward by the Diocese of Hereford” (October 26) is rather premature. 
On the October 21 the Church of England issued a press release noting the motion and saying:
“Under the Standing Orders of the General Synod, the motion will fall to be debated at the Synod at a time to be decided by its Business Committee.
“Clergy of the Church of England are unable to marry couples of the same sex and, under the House of Bishops´ Pastoral Statement on Same Sex Marriage, ‘services of blessing’ should not be provided for those who enter into civil partnerships or same-sex marriages.
“It is recognised, however, that there is real and profound disagreement in the Church of England over questions relating to human sexuality and the House of Bishops has recently embarked on the preparation of a major new teaching document on marriage and sexuality.
“We are seeking to find ways forward rooted in scripture and the Christian faith as we have received it and which values everyone, without exception, not as a ‘problem’ or an ‘issue’, but as a person loved and made in the image of God.”
It was unfortunate that due to the number of speakers at Hereford Diocesan synod all speeches were limited to 180 seconds; save for the mover of the motion who had seven minutes. 
There was little, if any, consideration of the theological issues.

Spending it
I COULD hardly believe my eyes as I took in your front-page report on the new NMITE proposed “college” and the proposal that the Shire Hall is to be the main site for it. 
After this administration has just spent some £1.5 million plus on refurbishing it as the county offices, having moved from Brockington. 
They spend many hundreds of thousands on completely new office furniture every time they move and then give perfectly good furniture away. 
I sincerely believe this administration’s prolific spending is entirely out of hand and irresponsible. 
No one seems to be accountable. 
They spent huge sums on Garrick House and then demolished it. 
They have refurbished Franklin Barns House twice and now have abandoned that.
I truly believe they think money grows on trees beside our cider apples!  
We have lived through 10 years of Tory government austerity, and yet this Tory administration seems to have so completely ignored it that they could hardly be recognised as Conservative. 
When are the people going to wake up and challenge this wayward administration?

Lucky escape
YESTERDAY yet another car driven by a disabled person had a narrow escape as it crashed through a wall and fence almost hitting doctors’ consulting rooms. 
Why on earth don’t they relay out the car park so that the doctors, who are both fit and able, can park on the steep slope of the disabled parking area which is on a 25 per cent slope, leaving two nice flat parking areas for less able drivers.
Too much like commonsense thinking, I think! 
Perhaps their health, safety end environment officer doesn’t do risk assessments.

Missed point
I FEAR that your editorial on October 13 has missed the point. 
There maybe a majority of peace-loving Muslims who abhor violence, but a lot of them are quietly trying to force their practices on the rest of us.
In short, many Muslims do not want to integrate, and they want their own laws to be enforced.
Malvern Wells

Map's update
WE have walked along most of the recommended walk in the Hereford Times recommended walk and thought you may find interesting some amendments I have made to your plan. 
The moat shown on the plan was apparently a flood a flood alleviation scheme or perhaps fish ponds to serve Freens Court, the nearby manor house, which was demolished over 50 years ago. 
Offa's palace was not on the flood plain but I have reason to believe it is possibly closer to the east end of Sutton Walls. 
If you look on Google Earth map you can just see the crop marks which may indicate the site. 
Perhaps the archaeology groups could try a dig there it may prove fruitful.
Paul Sant

Film etiquette
Just a quick letter to thank the ignorant people who, without any regard for anyone else, and contrary to the request on screen to switch mobile phones off because the bright screens annoy other peoples vision during the film show. 
I suggest, that if your phone is so important, wait till the DVD comes out so that you can watch your phone and film at home and not annoy any one else. 
People pay to watch the film, not your phone.
Stop being so selfish and self centred and think of other people for a change.
James Stevenson
Coldstone Cross, 

Broiler pains
Intensive broiler production in Herefordshire is making misery of the lives of hundreds or residents (including Dormington where I have lived for over 20 years ) by having to inhale airborne faeces, ammonia (of which 94% comes from agriculture right across Europe), antibiotics and other toxins who through no fault of their own just happen to live in the countryside.
When the Clean Air Act arrived in 1956 it achieved the purpose of reducing premature deaths from lung disease from the 'smog' in London and curtailed factory chimneys belching out black smoke containing toxic particles.
Sixty years on it appears that we will soon be back to square one, but this time in Herefordshire.
Unless this rapid expansion is stopped the adverse effects could add to the already very high figure of 40,000 premature deaths from air pollution in the UK.
Unlike the old smoke and smog days where the pollution was visible, this new pollution cannot be seen but only smelled and unlike the industrial towns and cities of the past, this time it would be the people living in rural communities of Herefordshire.
Phil Palmer