From the top
IN approximately June 2015, I made enquiries about Neighbourhood Watch after a local initiative promoting the advantages.  
I spotted an article in the Golden Valley News magazine on Neighbourhood Watch with a contact number.  I was told I would have my signs by the beginning of February. I eventually got them in April 2016. 
A WPC came along to a parish council meeting at the end of April 2016 and said she would find out what cables and services could be where we proposed to site the two poles; we are still waiting.
If they are trying to support Neighbourhood Watch then it has to be backed up by support from the top.
Hereford Times, May 19, 2016: Probe into £30k theft from firm ‘called off’.  Another £15,000 worth lost by a business in Kingsland and the third company lost £5,000 of kit. Mr Andrew Williams was told the case was not worth pursuing.  Huh.
Hereford Times, November 17, 2016: Farmers urged to boost crime fight?
Since the county’s new chief constable was appointed, what has he done to pull his squad together and deliver to the public to justify the fee we pay as part of our council tax to the police, or do we all have to consider private firms operating with dogs and they would have more teeth!
It is not the individual on the beat that is at fault - it has to come from the top.

And for us?
IN Hereford Times dated January 26, on page 7, I read that the council tax would be increased. Then on page 18, I read that Hereford City Council agreed to give £30,000 to the cycle circuit for Hereford.
So there are traffic problems now south to north and vice-versa, so what are we going to have in the south?
There is an area near Route 46 which goes to Grafton Lane, it is a wooded area that needs bringing back to life, dead trees and branches to be removed and brambles cut back. Maybe Network Rail could help as a lot of growth is coming from the railway embankment, wood could be chipped and paths put down and small children could run and ride there; we are being told they need to exercise.
The other area runs along the route to Belmont and Country Park. If this was cleared of rubbish, it could be made into a small mountain track for the older children and their dads, then people might find their way to what was some open space before the Country Park but it is now overgrown. I know there is a skate park by the Great Western Way; but have you seen the litter around there?
All the money being spent in the city, is it for empty properties? After all, the majority of rate-payers live around the city on the estates, some look a right mess. There are trees that need cutting back, now the leaves are off, it would be easier. 
Congratulations to Michael Gardiner, page 46, every word is true.

City support
I CAN help S Morgan (Letters, February 9) with his confusion.
Herefordshire Council and Hereford City Council are two completely different bodies, with their own budgets. I cannot speak for Herefordshire Council, although it is undoubtedly true that they have suffered a massive reduction in central government funding this year, as they have in previous years, and there is more to come.
The City Council is funding design work on a project to provide a cycle track for young and not so young to enjoy healthy recreation and exercise. It will be accessible for cyclists with disabilities. 
It is one of many projects we have funded over the years.  We do not get any central government funding and what the Chancellor doesn’t give he can’t cut.  
Our activities are funded solely from the parish precept which you will see at the bottom of your council tax demand when it comes out. 
In the case of Hereford City Council this is not going up next year at all, which S Morgan would have seen in the same edition as the story about the cycle track.
We are supporting the cycle track because of strong evidence from questionnaires and on-line surveys that there is a demand for it.  If we had decided not to support it there would be no difference to Herefordshire’s council tax position or budget, they are not putting any money into it at all. 
I note that although S Morgan states “I expect our council to stop doing some things” he doesn’t say what they are, or which council is supposed to be stopping them.
Town Clerk
Hereford City Council

Which boy
The sweet pea world, from New Zealand to California, is intrigued by the name of a variety as Leominster Boy. 
It is said that the “Boy” had a “life well lived as a soldier, father, husband and gardener”.
Does anyone out there know who he was?
Stanks Lane

AS a long-standing Friend and Patron of the Courtyard, I was disturbed to read your report in December: ‘Hereford’s first Defence and Security Expo’. 
I object to an arts centre, a registered charity to boot, being used for such an event. 
The issues that worry me are:
1 The report was my first inkling that any Expo was planned. To my knowledge, it wasn’t aired during any Patrons’ events. 
2 The MoD’s Defence Suppliers Service role isn’t clarified. Is it involved in supplying equipment to oppressive regimes like Saudi Arabia or torturing their opponents?
3 Is the MoD Solutions Centre involved with organisations dealing with immigrants and refugees? Security services often treat them harshly. 
4 Does HCR’s defence and security team represent defendants in human rights cases?
CEO Ian Archer gave a mealy-mouthed response to someone I know. Certainly, now that Herefordshire Council no longer funds the Courtyard, the theatre must make good the deficit. However, a Defence and Security Expo isn’t the right way to do it. 
More appropriate venues are the Three Counties hotel, which has conference facilities and accommodation; and the Shire Hall is associated with military ceremonies.
Finally, I’m undecided whether to renew my Patron membership in May.
Merryhill Crescent

Cycle hazard
LIKE your correspondent Jeff Hancorn (Letters February 2), I am becoming increasingly annoyed by arrogant pavement-cycling idiots.  
At a time when we are all being encouraged to walk more, my regular walks around town are a serious hazard at times because of them.
My most recent close call was with a fool in a cycling helmet, padded jacket with reflective stripes, on a bike with lights, hurtling down the pavement at dusk - well protected for his illegal activity whilst I had no protection from him at all.
I am totally in favour of cycling, but not on footpaths - so is there a solution ?
Aylestone Drive

Skilled artist
EVERYONE should see the amazing new exhibition of Brian Hatton paintings and sketches at the newly re-opened library.
What talent this local young man had. 
It’s a real treat, and for free! And it’s so great to be able to use the whole “re-furbished” Hereford Library building again, I’ve really missed it. 
Just a note of unease, though. 
After all these months, why are the upstairs areas left so battered and grimy? 
Couldn’t there have been a lick of paint, or at least a better clean? 
I was dismayed to see that the Hatton masterpieces are mounted on dirty walls with remains of old blu-tack visible. Your library could still be on ‘borrowed time’, re-opened now to support Hereford’s bid for ‘City of Culture’. 
I fear that unless we do make sure to remember and support its invaluable assets, and use it, we will lose it for good.
Kings Acre Road

Use our talent
WITH regard the Skylon project, no doubt it will be constructed and re-designed by an artist from outside our county? 
Why not honour and use internationally renowned Walenty Pytel to create something.
He has resided all his life in Herefordshire, has his work outside the Houses of Parliament and in other international and national cities.
We should use home-grown talent in our own back-yard.

So generous
ON behalf of the committee of Hereford Open Door, I would like to thank the amazing generosity of the people of Hereford over the Christmas period.
As in previous years, we offered bacon rolls for breakfast and a two-course cooked lunch to those who wanted to take up this service.
Again we were overwhelmed by individuals’, clubs’, societies’ and companies’ generosity in donating food, toiletries, clothes and money. 
As chairman, I personally would like to thank those who donated their time to help cook, serve and wash up after every meal. Without them we would not operate. 
Also Hereford Open Door provides cooked breakfasts two mornings per week, 52 weeks of the year.
Once again, many, many thanks. 
Hereford Open Door

Standards slip
SADLY newspapers today, local and national, do not uphold, or make any effort to use good English. 
I usually sigh with irritation and regret, and then get on with the reading. 
However, I cannot let the Kington Market report on page 93 of the January 26 issue go without protesting at the use of apostrophes with the word hoggets. 
The writer happily uses the standard plural with hogs, lambs, ewes, tups and wethers, but every time the word hoggets is used an apostrophy (‘s ) is applied.
In modern English there are two standard uses of an apostrophe. 
One for a possessive noun, ie dog’s dinner, boy’s cap; and the other to denote a missing letter, usually combining two words to form one, ie wasn’t for was not, where’s for where is.
Perhaps the report was written by a member of McCartney’s staff. 
If this was the case your paper is less at fault.
However, it is surely the job of the editor to correct serious grammatical or spelling mistakes.
The misuse of the apostrophe is one of the most common faults, seen regularly on posters, shop fronts and markets so I do hope that my letter will get published to help those who find it difficult.

Protest protest
I MUST express great displeasure at the fact that someone thinks that Hereford is the appropriate place to hold a ‘Stop Donald, Defend Migrants’ protest. 
While they claim to be holding it in solidarity with the migrants living in the county, it’s clear they are mainly holding it to rage against Trump. 
And they must not be allowed to have a monopoly on this issue because their anti-Trump rhetoric stems from the same place as anti-Brexit rhetoric does. 
It stems from a hatred of those who want to put their nation and their people first. And they use all the usual insults that were flung at anyone who supported Brexit. 
As such, any patriot who cares deeply for his fellow citizens must speak up and I shall be doing just that. 
I will be attending the protest, to protest the protest. 
My mantra shall be just as simple as theirs but far more in line with the thoughts of ordinary Brits. 
‘Stop Protesting, Defend Britons’.

Unequal share
I FEEL I must write to express my anger when I read your newspaper, listen to BBC Hereford and Worcester and sometimes watch the TV.
All there seems to be is Worcester, Worcester, Worcester.
They have just had a new fire station, new offices, new workshops, new road-widening scheme from Worcester out to M5 junction seven, new firestation in Malvern, new firestation in Evesham, new railway station out by M5 junction seven. 
What are we going to get in Hereford? 
The link road that goes nowhere, we can’t get a bypass. 
What is wrong with our councillors, are they a load of robots with no push on fighting power.
In 1974, when we joined Worcestershire, in Hereford we had some of the most up-to-date and finest firefighting equipment in the world. 
Within four weeks, it had gone over to Worcester and Hereford finished up with a load of worn-out rubbish and the councillors at that time let it happen.
Kings Acre