Save the shop
I HAVE just heard that we are due to lose our main Eign Gate Oxfam shop in Hereford largely because their landlord is requiring them sign up for a 10-year lease to continue in the same premises. The excellent Broad St book shop is unaffected.
It seems astonishing that a city the size of Hereford should be without a traditional Oxfam shop, ours is particularly well-run and welcoming with a warm atmosphere, well supported volunteers and pleasant shopping environment. It offers for sale a wide range of ethically produced and environmentally responsible foods, toiletries, household items etc of which many are just not available elsewhere in Hereford.
Having the trading link with M&S who collect donated items in store for them helps ensure their second-hand clothes are of great quality also. 
Being committed to ethical trading means that the shop does not buy in imported cheap items to resell as many of the other charity shops have started to do.
Oxfam is more than a shop - a visit can help educate us about what is happening in the wider world, with plenty of opportunities to see what benefits our purchases and donations make to real people’s lives, world-wide.
Any support for the shop would be gratefully received and could encourage Oxfam bosses to reconsider this difficult decision. If you would like to write to Head Office, the address is Supporter Relations, Oxfam House, John Smith Drive, Cowley, Oxford, OX4 2JY or email or call 0300 200 1333.
Offers or suggestions of suitable alternative premises available would also be very useful - I am sure other Oxfam supporters like myself would be very happy to help with any necessary move.
Villa St

Pub needed
WHEN are a brewery going to have some foresight and build a new large family pub south of the city beyond the Three Counties hotel with sport, food etc.
We have no facilities of this nature and it would be, I am sure, a most welcome and popular addition to a continually growing community, which at present appears to be starved of any such amenity. 

East is better
I NOTE with interest the issue of the east versus west Hereford by-pass again. 
The proposals for the western by-pass are totally unrealistic and costly. 
The proposal to intersect a link between Ross and Abergavenny roads is a total waste of money and will not solve any problems.
Part of the eastern by-pass has already been constructed in the relief road to Rotherwas. Lugg meadows are said to be sacrosanct. What would be affected would be about 4% of 380 acres.
It is said that the western bypass will not be completed for another 10 years. This is totally ridiculous. Hereford is called Disaster City by road haulage operators. It is a nightmare to proceed through the city especially during the morning and evening.
What have our council and MPs been doing? Their ineptitude lets everybody down and they lack leadership and determination. Grasp the nettle and proceed with the work.
The eastern bypass is the correct route, it will save precious farmland which would be lost forever.
Councillors please look at this matter from a common-sense point and change the route to the eastern route. It should result in the bypass being completed in less than 10 years.

Not giving up
I AM British (of mongrel Irish, German, Welsh and English descent) married to a British man.
In 2006 we moved to France with our four children for a year (just because we could) and stayed for four and a half years.
We were sustained financially by our UK business and initially had only EHIC health cover and gladly paid the 21 euros if we needed health care.
My children attended the local schools and were supported by the Primo Arrivant scheme (providing little bits of extra support). They rapidly became totally integrated and fluent in French.
We made French friends and lived in a small, friendly community. My husband became ill with progressive kidney disease. We had the joy of having another child.
Our French friends helped us negotiate the systems to access French Healthcare with Carte Vitale and very affordable additional insurance. My husband started on dialysis three times a week.
We were never made to feel that we were taking anything from anyone.
In 2010, my mother became ill so we decided to return to UK. We came back to a business that didn’t survive the financial downturn and had to fall back on the welfare state while we regrouped and re-established ourselves. 
Our eldest son stayed on in France to finish his BAC (he left Lycée with a Mention Bien - top of the class).
I always assumed that at some point we would return to mainland Europe, that my youngest daughter (French born) would also have that wonderful opportunity to think in another language, to understand how language shapes culture and see how life isn’t binary and that one plus one isn’t always two. 
I am passionate about Freedom of Movement and our ability to roam across Europe with eyes and hearts wide open. This is my loss. This is what Brexit will take away from me and future generations who have no idea what they are losing. Money cannot buy this. 
Yesterday Helena Kennedy said ‘what will you say that you did when Brexit was happening’. 
I will say I stood up for what I believed in.
That on February 1 at 7pm when MPs were voting on triggering Article 50 that I stood outside with my eight-year-old and a small group of defiant protestors from Movement for Justice and we begged ‘No Trump, No Brexit, No Racist EU Exit’. 
That we walked up the road with our Hard Boiled Brexit banner (made by 20-year-old daughter in mockery of the ridiculous situation) and stopped Dennis Skinner on the way to the Lobbies to ask him to consider how he would vote. 
I will say that I didn’t give up and I won’t give up. We will transform this situation. One by one we are powerful and when we come together with one mind we can bring about good. Love and action will overcome hate and apathy. 

Power of stats
Statistics can always be manoeuvred to suit your case, and I feel that is happening with the anti-diesel lobby. 
While it is true that my Diesel Volvo V70 produces 22.58 pounds of CO2 per gallon of fuel, whereas the petrol version produces only 19.64 pounds, my diesel will do at least 14% more mileage per gallon than the petrol model - so for, say, 40 miles, my car produces 22.58 pounds, and the petrol model produces..........25.12 pounds!! 
In other words, for any given mileage, the petrol Volvo produces 11.24% more emissions.
Looking on the internet, a Ford Focus petrol does 44.8 mpg, but diesel does 74.3 mpg. A Vauxhall Corsa petrol does 53.3, but diesel does 76.3. 
So diesel emissions must be lower, or am I missing something?
On top of that, my diesel car has done 160,000 miles and is good for many, many more...whereas a petrol car is on its way out at that mileage. What’s the emission cost of a new car!!
I think the Mayor of London should be told.

Plugged in
YOUR article last week “Electric car drivers will be hit in pocket” is really only a small part of the problem.
Councillor Paul Rone (Transport and roads) really needs to get ahead of the game if Hereford is to welcome electric cars and all the benefits they bring for sustainable transportation. 
Firstly, the council charging stations available are not only in inaccessible corners of car parks with poor signage but the biggest dissatisfaction is the ridiculous trickle charge that they supply to anyone hoping to get a few miles for an onward journey.
I can use the “Tesla Superchargers” and get 250 miles in one hour’s charge . 
Here in Hereford, if I chose to use the municipal chargers, this would take me 24 hours of slow charging to get 250 miles.
Pathetic frankly. 
I stopped in Ledbury recently and after spending 15 minutes searching for the municipal charger then discovered it was broken. 
Come on Herefordshire Council - partner up with someone like Ecotricity or Tesla who are installing fast chargers at motorway service stations and make Hereford an electric-car destination.
Believe me, within 20 years the planet-killing internal combustion engine will be consigned to history.
Jeff Hancorn 
Aylestone Hill 

Thank you
I WISH to thank the paramedics and hospital staff that looked after me on February 7 in the early hours of the morning. 
We are quick to complain but not to praise.
I cannot thank those staff involved enough and praise our local NHS Service.
Val Carpenter

Pothole woes
It was heartening to read that police in Herefordshire will be increasing their efforts to make our road network safer. (HT 16/2/17)
What a shame it is that Herefordshire Council and Highways England do not take a similar approach to road safety by repairing the thousands of potholes that typify this county, some of which can only be described as potentially lethal.
Their answer will almost certainly be that they do not have the funds to do this work, but should we taxpayers be expected to finance such work? Certainly not.
Manufacturers of cars, washing machines, TV sets and 1001 other products, all offer a warranty on their goods, so why doesn’t our council and Highways England demand a warranty from their contractors and others who work on our roads?
The vast majority of potholes I come across are associated with poorly fitted drain covers or sections of roadway that have been dug up for one reason or another, none of which could be said to be the direct responsibility of taxpayers, be they motorists or otherwise.
Oldfields Close

A proud day
THANK you for reporting the recent LOVE TRUMPS HATE march in Hereford High Town this week.
I am proud to say I attended along with my family, and wanted to say what a positive and uplifting event it was. 
There were hundreds of people from a wide range of backgrounds; different ages, different political stances; but all united by a common theme of LOVE and taking positive action to stop hate speech and discrimination.
Although there was one drunken man jeering at us from a pub, there were many, many more people cheering us on and waving from windows, cafes and cars. 
As we walked to the march with our sign, a gentleman thanked us for doing it and said well done.
In these dark times it is easy for a handful of negative trolls online to make their voices seems the loudest and spread fear and hate, but in this instance Love truly did Trump Hate.
A proud moment for Hereford!

One big tax
I THANK Hereford City Council’s Town Clerk for his fine bureaucratic response (Letters, February 16). However, I think he missed my point (Letters, February 9).
I am well aware there are different bodies and budgets, but see council tax and parish council precept as one big local tax.
My point was when there is so much such stress on public finances; we should prioritise spending only on high-priority/must-have projects. Not on nice-to-have new facilities we cannot afford to deliver and maintain, such as a new ‘traffic-free’ cycle track.
I’m pleased the town clerk advises me that the parish council precept is not increasing, but hopefully our town clerk can see the dichotomy in this single example (of which I expect there are many). A 3.9% increase in local taxation and £30,000 to design a new cycle project we can ill afford to deliver or maintain. 
Asked ‘Would I like extra facilities in Hereford’ –I’d say YES! Asked ‘Would I like extra facilities alongside an increase in local taxation’ – I’d say NO!
So my question still stands, when we will have a vote about the size of council tax (and Hereford City Council precept) and what it gets spend upon?
I believe the most Herefordians would prefer a lower council tax (including Hereford City Council precept) than spending our money on nice-to-have projects like a ‘traffic-free’ cycle track.
The town clerk asks what the council(s) should stop doing. I gave a clear example: Hereford City Council should not be funding a ‘traffic-free’ cycle track. Instead this money could help maintain and improve existing infrastructure:
- Play equipment near Cooperation Farm (off Hollywell Gutter Lane), one of many truly dilapidated play-areas.
- Improve existing footpaths and cycle routes around the city.
A radical approach could be to stop hiding behind organisational and budgetary barriers and get Herefordshire Council and Hereford City Council working together, focusing all public money upon high-priority/must-have projects like maintenance of our existing crumbing infrastructure. 
I urge others to write to the Hereford Times with suggestions of ways our Council(s) could use our money more wisely.
S Morgan
Braemar Gardens