I LIKE the tone of your July 1 editorial comment, Wounds of the bypass debate must be healed, while you also publish five letters opposing my friend Amelia Washbourne’s June 24 pro-congestion charge letter.

My way of looking at ‘healing of wounds’ is largely that there is or should be a process of 1) thesis,  2) antithesis, 3) synthesis, to put it in its most simple forms.

Regarding the bypass, the pro-bypass lobby are by nature road vehicle owners, the anti-bypass lobby are mainly peopled by car-owners with a variety of motivations including staving off climate change and exercise being better for public health than being what could be called ‘car potatoes’, while I have no car and am not a cyclist.

Attempting to integrate these viewpoints are a county council and Hereford Times as a ‘sounding board’.

Amelia’s letter was an introduction to a more urgent debate on how to fund better public transport while cutting private emissions.

By contrast, the much earlier welfare reform debate excluded benefit users and involved a Labour government that promoted ‘Targeting benefit fraud’ manufacture of consent while the general public were largely kept in the dark about such issues as Jobcentre Plus call centre meltdown that left many benefit claimants – including myself – at risk of homelessness while working part-time.

So, when I'm backing Amelia’s ‘fresh start for Newton Farm’ campaign, I’m glad the HT gives us a platform as the much deeper social wounds of David Freud and co’s welfare and housing reforms that have led to burgeoning homelessness, smaller housing units, and deaths get deeper and deeper.

Alan Wheatley

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