Keep library
LEOMINSTER Library is just 23 years old. 
It was opened in 1993, when we were part of Hereford & Worcester. 
It is a bright, well-lit and welcoming building and when it first opened it drew readers from Ludlow, Presteigne and Hereford, as well as the neighbouring towns of Kington, Bromyard and surrounding villages. It had a deserved reputation as the best library in the north of the county and beyond.
Not only did it have an excellent stock of books, sound recordings and videos, and helpful and knowledgeable staff, it also boasted a wonderful exhibition room, a reference and local history section, and an attractive and colourful children’s area.
There are now, of course, several computers for use by the public and they are very well used. Not everyone can afford their own computer.
The exhibition room was booked up 12 months in advance, not only by local artists but also with shows from the V & A, the Ikon Gallery in Birmingham and other galleries in the UK. 
The library itself was designed as a flexible space, easily used for talks, readings (RS Thomas, the famous Welsh poet read here!), concerts, dramatic performances and a wide variety of evening classes. Reading groups and poetry groups meet here, and there are regular children’s activities.
Where else in Leominster can such a range of services, activities and events take place?
The library has a good, easily accessible, central position in the town, with a large car park adjacent to it. To think of moving this, a purpose-built library, to an alternative site as part of the leisure centre some distance away, seems to me foolish in the extreme! 
And to consider closing an open, free, cultural centre such as Leominster Library represents at a time when Herefordshire is considering a bid to be “county of culture in 2021” defies belief! This town, the second largest in the county and due for expansion, needs and deserves a proper library.

Great service
I RECENTLY had to spend a couple of days and a night in the CAU at Hereford hospital. 
The staff in there were wonderful, so reassuring and kind. All tests and investigations were done quickly and I was just amazed at the service it provides.
Thank you to everyone on the unit.
Hereford is very lucky to have such a facility.
Ashford Carbonel

Photo woe
I WAS extremely surprised when flicking through the HT, to find a half-page photo on the letters page of my husband.
Not only did the photo surprise me – but the comments underneath also did. At 61, I suppose he could reasonably be described as ‘older’ and, admittedly, he is a Scot but is Hereford so parochial that even after 39 years living here he is still classed a ‘visitor’?!
Ok – I am jesting – but this doesn’t alter the fact that we both found it extremely disconcerting to open the paper and find a picture he had not even known was being taken with such impersonal and inaccurate comments.
Andrew came to Hereford 39 years ago after passing selection. He served here for 11 years during which time, by the way, he saved a local person from drowning in the river and received a Humanitarian award for Bravery. 
He then started a security company (AKE Ltd) which he ran for over 20 years employing many local people. He was also chairman of the governors of The Margaret Allen Preparatory School. So a random ‘older visitor’ he is not!
I am baffled that you can publish a picture and make comments without permission and baffled that you would do so without having the first idea who that person was and in a town where that person might be known!!
n Editor’s note: We meant visitor to the city centre (rather than someone from outside the area). The picture was an innocent street scene which we believe we have every right to publish, but we meant no offence and we regret if we caused any.

Fine threat 
CAN someone please explain/advise why I am being threatened with a fine/surcharge of £85 and if I don’t pay immediately then a council tax demand of £122.94?
I have over the past seven/eight years paid my council tax in two yearly payments which I understand is still a legally appropriate method to comply with the council tax law.
I have hitherto never heard from the council that this two half-yearly payment method has now legally been withdrawn by any recent Parliamentary legislation. I have never before had a threat of a fine from the council tax office notifying me that my method of payment was illegal. There should be a little more efficiency of the council tax office system and the staff obviously only recently added my address to the system that encompasses only these council taxpayers who pay by ten monthly instalments.
I was informed, when I telephoned the council tax office today, that it was a system error.
Who are these council staff pen pushers who blame their human errors on the computer or the system?
Hinton Road

Worrying plan
IT IS WORRYING to read that Herefordshire Council is wanting to get into bed with ONE developer partner “for new housing in the county. “Working with one dedicated developer ensures a strategic approach to housing development and a consistent working partnership,” said Cllr Bramer as quoted in your paper of October 6. 
While not quite understanding what that means, it is somewhat frightening to read one of the proposed developers is Capita – the outsourcing behemoth – famous for messing up government contracts – which will just sub-contract the work out and cream off a profit. (and last week suffered a one day 28 per cent fall in share price).
The deal with Stanhope was a big enough sell-out as we failed to get our boulevard in Newmarket Street with the development essentially backing the thoroughfare – a project that could have been so much more attractive for the city. 
We fear Capita might sub the housing out to G4S and the county will get a rash of gated estates! 
This current administration appears to want to rid itself of responsibility and ignoring what is best for the city. Local people contribute and get involved when they see they can have an influence creating a bigger and better environment. A FTSE 100 company wants profit above all else and probably think they are bidding for a deal in Hertford.
Hereford Civic Society
Caring people 
LAST week in town, I was feeling unwell, cold and frightened. I had lost my purse and was unable to get home. 
I went to the police station and the kind and efficient police helped me to get home to warmth and security.
My very good neighbours, friends and the people in our caring community continued to give me the help I needed. 
Despite the terrible news we are hearing – let us all remember that there remains an abundance of love and caring in the world.
Hampton Bishop 

Poo dumped
ABOUT a month ago, I contacted the Woodland Trust about the dog poo bags left lying around on Credenhill Woods and they kindly put a notice up asking dog walkers to clean up after their dogs and take the bags home with them. 
Alas, yesterday I picked up seven bags weighing around 3lbs and carried them on my walk in the woods before disposing of them when I returned to the village (not the first time I have done this).
Someone had written on one of the notices saying that the Woodland Trust should provide bins for dog poo! Why should they?
If it’s your dog, it is your responsibility to clean up after it; if you don’t want to do it because it smells in your car when you drive home then don’t keep a dog.
Please, dog owners, don’t leave plastic bags around as they never rot and it spoils my walk to clean up after your dogs. 
If this continues we could lose our privilege of walking our dogs there.
Vicar of Credenhill

Horrific hunt
ON SATURDAY, October 15, I came across terrier men engaged in underground hunting working with my local hunt with approximately 20 people on horseback and 30 hounds present. 
This is the second time I’ve witnessed this horrific and illegal practice. 
On both occasions the exit holes were blocked by men with shovels while the terrier was sent down to molest the fox. 
What happens next I can only guess at as my presence prevented the normal outcomes but I presume that having damaged the fox they then flush it out for the hounds to chase from point blank range.
The only time that it is legal to flush a fox out of a hole is for the protection of game birds (on neither occasion were there any game birds anywhere near the areas) but it is never legal to block the exit holes with shovels. 
The hunts openly flout the law with their packs of hounds but I always thought that the fox at least stood a sporting chance. Now I realize that there is a lot more barbarity going on out of sight which is illegal, inhumane and unsporting but is probably normal practice for all hunts.

Tackle issues
I HAVE a short wish-list I would like to ask our council whether they could give some consideration towards. 
I see these matters every time I make my way around town. 
They are to be seen all over the city. 
It is really unbelievable that someone on this council does not see them for themselves, it is impossible not to. 
I would like to begin with street lighting which is a good start when we are told so often how we need to save energy.
I refer to a point at the Edgar Street roundabout adjacent to Debenhams. 
In the Tesco bus station there are lights covered with green leaf and are lit 24/7, there must be someone paying for this waste of energy.
Maybe it is our council? 
When  I go into town at any time I can see lights on in the centre and surrounding areas. 
Another point in question, water drains choked to road level where, on a bad day’s rainfall, water cannot run away. 
There is a drain on the junction of Kingsway and College Road that is the perfect example to start with. 
There is only one councillor whom I know is the one I should get in touch with, and that is my good friend Brian Wilcox. 
He is seen in the ward often. 
So the burning question really is whom is responsible for these matters? 
The day of reckoning is coming so to those who come around and tell us how well they will deal with these points I say this: ‘now is the time’.
Wrong move
IS IT POSSIBLE to raise a collective howl of protest at the proposed constituency boundary changes as shown on the Boundary Commission Map.
It shows that chunks of the HR9 postcode area, which rely on Ross-on-Wye and Hereford for schools, hospitals, doctors, libraries, police, fire brigade, shopping, waste disposal, etc, will not have an MP who represents Ross and Hereford but one whose main interest will be Ledbury, Malvern, the suburbs of Worcester and vast areas of rural Worcestershire, which have no connection with HR9. 
How can Netherton, Brampton Abbotts, Upton Bishop and other villages reliant on Ross for their services hope to engage the attention of an MP who has no responsibility for the main local centres of population?
Perhaps indicative of how out of touch the commission is, is the invitation to attend public hearings – in Birmingham, Shropshire, Warwickshire and Staffordshire!
Jesse Norman we need your help.
Upton Bishop

Thank you!
I RECENTLY spent two weeks in the Cantilupe ward of the Hereford County Hospital. 
I would like to thank all of the highly skilled doctors and dedicated nurses of the Cantilupe ward for saving my life as it became apparent that I had a tumour on my brain and, had it not been for their swift actions and prompt intervention, I would surely have died. 
From the minute I arrived to the minute I left, everything from the day-to-day care to the cleanliness of the ward was first-class. 
All of  the staff throughout were polite and courteous and could not do enough to help whenever I needed it. 
The NHS is an icon of our society and something that we have come to take for granted. 
We must ensure that it remains a symbol of our nation and that it also remains a part of our society that we all have the right to access. 
We must acknowledge that all the doctors, nurses and staff are recognised accordingly for their unselfish commitment and diligence.