It’s about cash
AS A resident of Holmer Street in Whitecross for the past 13 years, I feel suitably qualified to make informed observations about the proposed plans by Herefordshire Council to introduce residents’ parking and waiting restrictions in this vicinity.
Holmer Street is a busy conduit connecting the main Whitecross Road and Westfaling Street close to the crematorium, complete with its recently refurbished corner shop The Cotterell Stores, the Chinese Takeaway The New Lucky House, and the hairdressers The Hair Lounge.
Of course, given the mix of commercial and residential occupants, there is a healthy to-ing and fro-ing of vehicles. 
As far as the commercial premises are concerned, the vast majority of visitors come and go reasonably swiftly, and as a seasoned resident I, like my neighbours, are content to see them do so, not least because all of us use the excellent facilities we are fortunate enough to have. I would characterise my neighbours as tolerant, reasonable and understanding.
However, when it comes to these new proposals, the patience really does wear thin very quickly. Cars parked for more than an hour are most likely to be the residents themselves. No one is parking there and then walking into town. 
If they wanted to do that, Sainsbury’s have very conveniently extended their limit to three hours, and Aldi offer shoppers 90 minutes. 
Where else might someone be going if they parked in Holmer Street? The Crematorium – plenty of parking space there, Quay House Doctors’ Surgery – plenty of spaces there, the Pharmacy – same applies.
So, in short, the only people most likely to be parking in Holmer Street for more than 60 minutes are the residents. And there is already a Waiting Restriction outside the Chinese Takeaway to a maximum of 2 hours.
So who could possibly benefit from a Residents Parking Scheme in Holmer Street, and indeed, elsewhere in Whitecross? 
The eminent Herefordshire Council, that’s who. By charging all of us an anywhere between £30 to over £100 for the privilege of parking in the same place, with, of course, no guarantee that we will get a space where we would ideally like anyway.
It is the most blatant and transparent attempt by Herefordshire Council to raise funds at a time when their own historic mismanagement of their local authority budget sees them significantly in the red. 
Why should the residents of Whitecross pay for their financial incompetence?
Any councillor who wishes to see the reality of my argument is very welcome to knock on my door and let me show them exactly where the truth lies. 
My only hope is that the publicity generated by this letter galvanises all my neighbours to submit their comments as I have done. I have also attended the drop-in day at the Courtyard on 16 November, only to be met with vacant stares and shallow pleasantries by the Council representative who was taking comments, who singularly failed to write down anything I had to say other than the words “No Residents Parking Permits required in Holmer Street”. 
Perhaps this letter might concentrate the minds of our local councillors to start listening to the views of local residents with some degree of respect.
Holmer Street

They are fools
IT IS with much regret that this week I have read about the new “on street” parking charges and I have to say I am deeply saddened by the council’s decision to adopt this new rule. 
Free parking in our city has been around since the year dot. 
How many of us have stolen that last space in Castle Street and, albeit smugly, walked across the Cathedral Close to get that last-minute Christmas present or just pop and have a coffee? 
I have lived and worked in Hereford all of my life and I love our great city for being different and unique.
Isn’t it a shame, then, that the penny-pinching fools at the council seem determined to spoil our heritage, because whatever they tell you, it is only about making more money. 
Oh and by the way, maybe if they lowered the cost of parking in the car parks to a fair amount, surely people wouldn’t look for free parking.

We thank you
I’M writing to thank everyone on behalf of Westfields Football Club for the unbelievable support and messages of congratulations that we have had from the football family and football followers in Herefordshire.  
Our eight-match Emirates FA Cup run has brought incredible profile to Westfields Football Club, particularly in our 50th anniversary year, and everyone at the club including the committee, players, management and staff really appreciate the support we have received from the Hereford public in what has been a fantastic occasion, not only for Westfields Football Club but for Herefordshire sport. 
While it’s only November and we have still got five months of the season left, I do hope everyone will continue their support towards the club in what has been so far the most historic and best season in the club’s 50-year history.
Once again, thankyou to everybody including press, radio, television, support from across Herefordshire and well beyond and most importantly our sponsors who have been so supportive in this memorable Emirates FA Cup run.
Thank you everyone.
Chief Executive
Westfields Football Club

Don’t fund EU
ANNE MacDougal (October 27, Hereford Times) is, I fear, ignoring the proverbial ‘elephant in the room’ when she implies that the austerity cuts in Herefordshire are the direct result of Conservative government policy. 
Both Conservative and Labour governments have shamefully been giving ever more of our hard-earned tax revenue to the EU for decades (last year’s net sum was around £8.5billion – source Daily Express). 
Our money has been able to help Greece build nice bridges, Poland to expand its rail network and the Spanish bull-fighting industry to breed even more bulls for death in the arena (source UKIP).
Add to this our disproportionate foreign-aid budget and you realise that Britain is haemorrhaging our money to a frightening degree.  
Meanwhile at home, we are told that ‘there is no money’ for local authorities to spend on our own schools, healthcare, libraries, armed forces, police, businesses or even dangerously pot-holed roads. 
Instead, there is even more pressure on them – this time financial – to urbanise our green and pleasant agricultural county to house more incoming council tax payers.
With this, our quality of life is further eroded. 
This madness has got to stop. We want our money back to meet the needs of our own communities and we want it back now.

They are legit
THE British Red Cross would like to reassure members of the public following a story in the Hereford Times last week about Red Cross fundraisers operating in Fownhope
The British Red Cross does fundraise door-to-door and can confirm we had fundraisers working in the Fownhope area at this time. 
We received a call from a member of the public expressing a concern about our fundraisers. 
We investigated this and are satisfied our fundraisers were operating professionally, according to the Institute of Fundraising’s code of conduct.
All our fundraisers wear jackets or t-shirts bearing British Red Cross branding and display ID badges carrying their name and their ID number. 
Visits are not pre-arranged and fundraisers may approach people all day until 8.30pm. A list of the areas we are currently working in is also available on our website
We will contact the police accordingly to reassure them of the legitimacy of our fundraisers in this case.
The British Red Cross relies on face-to-face fundraising campaigns to recruit new regular givers. The money raised helps fund our lifesaving work, reaching even more people in crisis both in the UK and overseas. 
If anyone has any concerns or would like to check the legitimacy of one of our fundraisers, please contact our supporter care team on 0300 456 1155 or email:
Head of fundraising supporter services
British Red Cross

How bigoted
IT was with disbelief that I read the article on life drawings in an exhibition at Glasbury (November 10). 
The narrow-minded and ignorant self-proclaimed critics should at least make an attempt to conceal or, preferably, repair their bigoted ways. 
The problem is that bigots resist reasoned discussion and carry on in their bitter little ways. 
As they say up in Yorkshire “there’s nowt so queer as folk”. 
The actions of some pitiful people in Glasbury seem to be proof of that assessment. 
How unreasonable and perverse that some people boycotted the exhibition but still felt it was acceptable to do so merely on the basis of hearsay! 
All the hallmarks of gossips and evil little tongues in full spate. 
I wonder if these obnoxious culprits really understand the crucial differences between pornography and art?
Are they not aware of the paintings and sculpture produced over the centuries which depict the human form, many showing unclothed people created in the image of God (as some believe)? 
It would not surprise me if some Glasbury residents, when preparing to go to bed, switch off the light for fear of their husbands or wives seeing them in the flesh!
Good heavens, whatever next? 
To verbally abuse the exhibition organiser was, at the very least, disgraceful and shameful. 
Such people need to have their mind sets examined and treated. 
Sadly, some are probably too far gone. 
I think it’s likely that sticking to their church coffee group where all things are bright and beautiful would be best - apart from the gossip and self-righteous indignation about all those awful perverts who depict human bodies. 
It’s about time babies were born fully dressed. 
We demand decency in Glasbury!!! 

It wasn’t porn
I WAS amazed that in the 21st century that some people consider life drawings as pornography. 
Do these narrow minded people also consider the Statue of David, the Thinker or the Venus de Milo as pornographic?
Victoria Street

Let’s say sorry
WOULD the four young people who thought it was funny to insult my learning disabled non-verbal daughter in Foley Street (by the Chinese restaurant and red telephone box) on Saturday, November 12 like to show some courage and come forward to apologise to her. 
Our daughter was handing back the mobile phone to me, signing and vocalising to attract my attention, as we passed the four mentioned. 
They proceeded to imitate her and were frankly extremely insulting. 
Herefordshire Council, Making it Real and other organisations have spent a lot of time working with the local police to make people aware of hate crime against vulnerable groups.
Such a pity that the message does not appear to have percolated through to all elements of our society!

Good lay-out
THIS is to say I very much appreciate the new lay-out for the feature by Garth Lawson for the monthly walk. 
I suspect others will also like the new lay-out. 
The map and walk description, when cut out of the paper, the A4 size fits nicely into my map case, making it easy to carry and refer to when walking.

NHS is at risk
IT’S good to read in Bill Wiggin’s ‘Talking Point’ last week that he wants to stop our money being wasted on agency staff in the NHS.  
I agree with him that ‘it is important that the NHS is able to manage its staffing budget and is not privatised by agencies who pay far higher rates’. However, it is not agencies who are privatising the NHS, it is his own party!  
Many Herefordians are disappointed to see the support Bill, and Jesse Norman, have given over the years to the government’s starving of our precious health service, and encouragement of wasteful internal markets.
Do we want Herefordshire to go the way of Bath and North East Somerset, where Virgin Care are now running NHS and social care services?  
Where do we want our taxes to end up - in a nurse’s pocket or in Richard Branson’s tax haven?  
The NHS is in serious danger, and to protect it as a public service, not a profit opportunity for big business, we have to challenge this Conservative obsession with breaking up and selling off our assets and services. 
It’s sad to see Bill and Jesse sharing this ideology, and I would like to remind them that Herefordshire is not for sale, the UK is not a business, and we are citizens, not consumers. 
Some things, like the NHS, are priceless. 
Tower Road

Share services
AS police and crime commissioner, I am committed to playing my part in delivering efficient public services for our communities and ensuring local priorities are joined up, whilst making sure your money is well spent.
If fire and police services in Herefordshire and Worcestershire are to continue to keep our community safe then they have to do more seamless collaboration. 
The police and fire services have worked together on a number of initiatives, but I believe there is considerable as yet untapped potential which we must explore – going beyond simply collaborating and co-locating on specific projects, to actually integrating the services and back office functions where it is practical and beneficial to do so.
The services share a lot of common ground and I do not believe the current situation is delivering the best possible results that our communities would expect or deserve. 
I’ve already started to work closely with my counterparts in the fire service but the pace of change must increase if we are to continue to keep our communities safe.
Police and Crime Commissioner
West Mercia