Increase funds
REGARDING the Bill Wiggin letter of ‘Priceless NHS, December 8’ and his attempt to portray himself as a champion of the NHS, takes some believing if you look at his parliamentary voting record on the NHS. 
He voted for the enforced £22bn NHS saving, which is really a cut in their budget, as well as the NHS act that created clinical commissioning groups and gave them the right to direct 49 per cent of their local NHS budget into private profit-making medical companies.
This has led to numerous contracts being handed to private sectors. 
On any criteria, this is privatisation. 
It needs to be remembered that a leading Tory said that a Tory government with a majority vote would, in five years, end the NHS. 
Jeremy Hunt is on record as stating that he believes the NHS should be privatised. 
The overwhelming majority of local people are completely reliant upon a fully funded NHS for comprehensive medical care. 
Like me, they do not belong to a political party but are aware of the politics of the current government. 
Our local GP surgeries and Hereford County Hospital do a very good job despite severe underfunding. 
Bill Wiggin needs to provide more than warm words for our local NHS. 
He needs to act to bring about increased NHS funding. 
One way would be to introduce a parliamentary private members’ bill to include the use of money created under the Quantitative Easing Programme. 
Over £400 billion has been made available by the Bank of England, much of it used to bail out private banking. 
There is no legal reason why the money cannot be used on public institutions, so we await Bill Wiggin’s parliamentary action.
Thanks to all
I WISH to thank everyone who helped my husband when he fell on Whitecross Road on Friday, December 16. 
An unknown gentleman phoned for an ambulance. 
While waiting, staff from the cafe obtained a chair and blanket from the St Michael’s Hospice shop.
Thanks to the ambulance crew and the staff of A&E at Hereford County Hospital for their sympathetic care he was able to return home after treatment. 
As he suffers from Alzheimer’s dementia this was a confusing time for him. 
It is reassuring to have such good samaritans and an excellent hospital in Hereford.

Story choice
WHILE we do not deny your duty in include sad news within the Hereford Times, we feel it to be singularly unfortunate that you chose, as your page1 highlights, to report the sad story of a road fatality in the December 22 issue, just three days before Christmas. 
Should not that necessary material have been placed further within the paper, and the headlines been devoted to items of love and good cheer ?

Traffic thought
IT is very obvious that Tenbury and the western part of Worcestershire suffer from poor roads. 
A nice town but once there, all roads out of the area are awful. 
It hits the casual observer that authorities blithely closed the rail line there 50 years ago but they did not improve the road links. 
Maybe traffic was light in the 1960s but many roads in similar areas of the UK suffer the same fate. 
Many of those off the A49 have no rail links and roads still following the routes of Drover Cattle from the pre industrial era!
Tenbury has got much larger, along with Burford, yet road bureaucrats divert traffic, perhaps for good from the A4112 (off the A49)  directing vehicles to Woofferton junction which is a ghastly intersection. 
It should be improved dramatically as, of course, should the whole of the A49 from Shrewsbury to Ross
Additionally, if Tenbury citizens want to travel via train, the journey to a station is awful, rather as though Beeching ‘forgot’ the many people living in the catchment area of Woofferton station, and so it made it more awkward for access to trains for the long-suffering tax-payers and families of that area.
Tenbury and rural surroundings must have a very nice population, most of “us” would have complained vociferously about the winding tortuous routes to and from the area a long time ago.
The Government of course is at fault, a programme of road improvement for those affected by rail closures should never have been instituted by successive Governments a long time ago! 
Some areas benefited eventually but the area east of A49 lost more than one rail link. 
All suffer from unimproved historic meandering routes which farmers ambled along in days of yore with sheep and cows.
Trunk-road agencies seem to have ‘rested on their laurels’ by doing a ‘bit’ on the horrid A49, but it cries out and has done for more than 20 years for a new dualling route from Hereford to Shrewsbury, to include a bypass of course!
At very least, the concept of providing good lay-bys on the older ‘A’ roads seems to have been missed by the same overpaid servants; slow vehicles with thoughtful drivers have very few chances to pull in to a lay-by to allow faster, ‘busier’ traffic to pass!
Llandrindod Wells

Grateful too
I WOULD like to add my name to Sue Lindsay’s as a fan of the Victoria Eye Unit at Hereford County Hospital. 
As something of a season-ticket holder, I am always amazed and treasured by the patience and quiet professionalism of all the staff – often dealing with emergencies or with frightened patients (I’m one of those!).
Thank you and long may you flourish.

Clean it up
I, and I know of many others, have become increasingly concerned, frustrated and finally ashamed at the condition and cleanliness of our pavements, gutters and green areas in our city.
To highlight one of many, the Ledbury Road roundabout is quite disgusting with rotting vegetation and grass that resembles an uncared-for field. 
It has not been maintained for months and gives an appalling entrance travelling into the city.
The flower beds, if they ever could be described as such, at the junction of Eign Road and Ledbury Road are again dirty, overgrown and totally uncared for!
It is no good our council complaining of a lack of funds to carry out basic essential upkeep to the fabric of our city; what is lacking is poor management and the will to motivate the workforce or contractors to do their job properly. 
I dread to think how much worse matters will get in 2017, there has been a noticeable decline in general cleaning and upkeep of these areas all over the city and it is no wonder visitors to the city comment on just how dirty and uncared for we look.
Managers really do need to “roll their sleeves up”, motivate their employees and start to take some pride in their jobs to improve our sad and sorry looking beautiful old city.
Save heritage
We are a group in Ergyng / West Herefordshire which is seeking to protect our Celtic / British/ Welsh history and landscape unique to the once self-governing border state West of the Wye, forcibly incorporated into Herefordshire under the Laws In Wales Act, in breach of Magna Carta. 
Our place names are largely Welsh, as by agreement, self government, and Welsh custom and language was upheld here until the 16th century. 
We have our own patron saint - St Dyfrig - and many connected heroes such as Caradoc, Arthur and Owain Glyndwr. 
However we are forward-looking, and among other things wish to see our heritage and environment, vital to the highly valuable tourist economy, protected (which will be of benefit to all Herefordshire). 
We wish to see an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty declared for our region, and all ancient Welsh place names protected in Ergyng. 
People can help by e-mailing with any old place names they know have been changed to English ones, so they can be recorded.

Callous act
On Friday, December 30, on the A4103 at Whitestone somebody ran over and killed my cat.
I have no idea what time this happened, as a neighbour found her abandoned at the side of the road in the afternoon. 
I do not know how long she was there before somebody found her, or if she had even survived the initial impact. 
However, if the person who did cause this accident had a decent bone in their body they would have pulled over and checked.
They may even have knocked on a door to find out who she belonged to, or even taken her to a vet who would scan her for a chip. 
But no, they just drove off, did they even stop? 
She had a reflective collar on, they would have seen her, they would have known she belonged to somebody. 
She wasn’t just a cat, just an animal, she was part of a family and very much loved.
Please can I urge any drivers that if this happens to them to please stop, check, do the decent thing, instead of just driving away.

Outdated list
THE end of December saw the publication of the New Year Honours List, acknowledging the achievements of outstanding women and men across the United Kingdom. 
This year, 2017, also sees two important anniversaries:  Indian independence (1947), 70 years ago and the return of Hong Kong to the Chinese government (1997), 20 years ago. 
In broad terms, one might argue that the beginning of the end of the British Empire was the first date, and the end of the Empire the second. 
The Commonwealth of Nations – Commonwealth for short, was formed back in 1931 and consists mainly of countries from the British Empire.
There is a connection here, for the recipients of honours are often awarded an MBE, OBE or CBE – Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire or Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. 
Why are we still awarding gongs referring to an organisation that is now part of history, and has been for some time?
Surely it must be possible to come up with titles that recognise well-deserved achievement without recourse to a vanished and somewhat tarnished empire.
A sense of history and continuity is all very well, but this system is just ridiculous. 
Heroes deserve something more appropriate.

Lines needed
CAN someone tell me why vehicles are able to park on the main A49 trunk road along by the leisure centre in Hereford and by a school. 
The road is too narrow when two HGV vehicles meet so then it holds up the traffic while they sort themselves out. 
Most of the vehicles belong to people using the leisure centre. 
I would suggest that the Herefordshire Council wake up and put some double yellow lines down and that would increase their takings in the car park.
The Bargates

Angels all
I WAS not surprised, but definitely comforted and reassured, by the angelic manner and attitude of hospital nursing staff so evident over the past five weeks during my wife’s stay in Frome Ward and Gilwern Assessment Unit. 
Their compassion and care were manifest throughout. 
Here I must mention staff member Dee in Gilwern who proved to be a real saviour for me at a difficult time.
But I was relatively overwhelmed by the kindness and thoughtfulness from an unexpected source in another part of Hereford. 
Here the genuine concern expressed was both comforting and somewhat humbling. 
For some time now, my wife Angela and I have frequented the cafe in Marks and Spencer in High Town on each occasion we have journeyed to Hereford from Kington
During Angela’s stay in hospital, and now very recently in a care home in Hereford, her absence was quickly noticed by the female staff in the cafe, who with total respect and thoughtfulness personally enquired about Angela in such a touching and sincere way – an approach initially led by Julie. 
How good it is to witness and experience such goodness and kind-heartedness in people in such everyday situations. Sometimes there are angels where we least expect them.