Pulchra terra..
I AM a Herefordian born (a few years ago) and bred and I wrote the following some time ago.
Having read in the Hereford Times about your worthy efforts in praise of our wonderful county, which I really do praise you for, I thought my effort may be of some interest.
The Wye, a sporting river with past
Assumes new life with quite a different sport
Canoes now from the salmon floating past
An interest to which we can all resort
Along the banks are many fertile fields
Where livestock graze, though not so many now
Potatoes, corn and apples - better of yields
(Although aesthetically inferior to the cow)
Our great cathedral sits upon its banks above
Where nearby Elgar lived for quite a while
His wondrous works of Empire, joy and love
The enigma - to make us think and cry and smile
Our glorious countryside has got the lot
Small towns and villages set in lovely land
Each settlement with the reminder which it got
When brave souls died to see that it stayed grand
So there it is - our Shire and river too
Beloved by we the lucky ones who got here by our birth
We must welcome those who we call new
To join us on our favourite place on earth

Get together
I USED to think Jesse Norman is ‘undefeatable’ with such a huge majority, but then Zac Goldsmith, who had a similar majority, lost his seat to the Liberal Democrats. 
It made me realise that in this day and age, anything is possible - you just have to have the BIG issue. 
For me, the BIG issue is to get the Conservatives out of power. 
I know that is not the BIG issue for a number of people I know and respect in this county. 
But, I also know that there are many who realise a better way forward. 
We have to remember environment; we have to remember welfare for those that are less fortunate than us; and we have to remember that wealth is generated by investing in your local communities, your renewable industries and your environment. 
This is not what a Conservative government, at this time, is offering us. 
The only way we could bring change like that to Hereford is for there to be a progressive alliance that puts forward only one candidate in opposition to the Conservatives. 
Surely that is possible, or am I just dreaming of a better future? 
Toni Fagan

So generous
ON behalf of Hereford & District branch of Parkinson’s UK, I would like to thank all those who kindly made donations at the street collection in High Town on World Parkinson’s Day when £136 was raised for the continued welfare work of the Hereford & District branch. 
The collection was from 10am – 12.30pm. 
A group of Nordic walkers from within the branch walked from St Martin’s Church to High Town, Hereford, to join the collectors wearing T-Shirts bearing the slogan ‘Unite for Parkinsons’ which was a worldwide project in which some 170 countries took part with a variety of events. 
This year was particularly special as not only did World Parkinson’s Day fall during Parkinson’s Awareness Week in the UK, it also celebrated not only the birthday of Dr James Parkinson but the 200th Anniversary of the essay written by him entitled ‘The Shaking Palsy’ which was later called Parkinson’s Disease. 
As yet there is still no cure with around 127,000 people living with the condition in the UK.
Anne Downing
Event Promoter
Hereford & District Branch

Elite decision
EVER since we joined our European partners, now the EU, we have had collective discussions with European countries. Each has learned from one another and now we all live together in a reasonably stable collective group and club.
For Britain, there has been a “we can do it better” attitude by the political elite, when introducing EU collective administration (which, may I remind, has been agreed by British Prime Ministers and department Ministers, MEPs, previously while at EU meetings).
The implementation of these agreements has been, in Britain, overzealous, bent to their own political aims. 
Unfortunately, the national press releases from Government as reported, did nothing to inform the public except to blame the EU for the resulting ‘inconveniences’ – to put it mildly – that the majority, or one section of the public, had to suffer, because of the political elite. 
This was not the intention of the original legislation.
Now we have had a stay-in or come-out vote. No information, for or against, given at the same time. 
The public were given a load of ‘porkies’ - a £350m bus comes to mind – but nothing factual to base the vote decision on.
It is my belief that the British public were deliberately kept in the dark so that the ‘political elite’, hiding behind the porkies, would achieve a ‘come-out’ vote.
The difference in voting numbers is, for a country, not really sufficient, it should surely be much more of a majority – say 70% plus - as a minimum, so the country, not half the country, is satisfied with the result.
Britain’s problems are the British political class elite’s running of events.
We were not given the opportunity to vote out the political elite but, in ignorance of the facts, a small majority of the electorate voted out of the EU: the wrong enemy.
Not all Brexit
JESSE Norman will stand again as MP for Hereford. I hope he will tell us when campaigning why he failed as a minister in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to address climate change properly.
Since the last election, the record shows that he voted FOR applying the Climate Change Levy tax to renewable electricity, AGAINST setting a decarbonisation target for the UK by December 2016, and FOR the Treasury to increase VAT on the installation of energy-saving materials.
His department was due to publish a revised Emissions Reduction Plan at the end of last year but it’s nowhere to be seen. The most recent pronouncement is simply, ‘We will publish our Emissions Reduction Plan during 2017’.
Britain was meant to cut carbon emissions by 57% by 2032 but that goal is now in jeopardy. The current forecast is an overshoot by 100 million tonnes of CO2 - the equivalent of all the greenhouse gases produced annually by industry.
Brexit is understandably important in this election, but we ought to be giving at least as much airtime to tackling climate change. 
The consequences of inaction on climate change far outweigh those of a ‘bad’ Brexit. 
Hereford Green Party
How Caple

Great place
THANK you for your ‘We’re Backing Herefordshire’ campaign – it wonderfully expresses my feelings of being privileged to live in Herefordshire, enlarged by my experiences this weekend. 
It started on Friday with a performance of ‘River Song if these stones could speak’. 
It was a most imaginative and beautiful performance by Lord Scudamore pupils – local professionals and students were responsible for every detail of the production, words, music, direction and design in a splendid collaboration with the RNC and Left Bank. 
Just one example of the great spirit and culture of Herefordshire.
The River Festival itself saw crowds of people and dogs mingling through the various venues filled with different music, activities, arts and creativity, all enhanced by quality local food and drink. 
I’m just sorry I wasn’t able attend the Mappa Mundi event too!
Coming together on projects such as these connects us to our heritage and wider humanity. 
We not only have our wellies firmly booting us on our way – we have the community heart of a Great Place.
I hope that in this time of electioneering and consultations on area and traffic plans for Herefordshire, we can keep this positive energy and vision. 
Thank you all involved.

Tell us more
YESTERDAY I received an email from Bill Wiggin’s office (An update from Bill Wiggin, 2 May 2017) mainly about Brexit.
In stark contrast to the information that Mr Wiggin shared ahead of the EU referendum last year, this email listed many of the areas that will be impacted by a decision to leave the EU. 
It is a shame that he could not have provided people with more such information on which to base perhaps the most significant decision of our lifetimes. 
In this email, he spells out clearly that the much vaunted claim ‘we send £350m a week to Brussels’ is not actually true – something he still stood by as late as June last year (as Mr Wiggin well knows the headline figure took no account of Mrs Thatcher’s beloved rebate which is not sent to Brussels). 
This, of course, is water under the bridge.
In his final paragraph Mr Wiggin states: “If we were excluded from accessing the single market, we would be free to change the basis of Britain’s economic model.”
There is an increasing chance that we will indeed fail to secure a deal and the Government is apparently determined to remove the UK from the single market so can Mr Wiggin please spell out what he envisages the UK’s economic model should be? 
During the referendum campaign Patrick Minford (Economists for Brexit), one of very few economists arguing for Brexit, outlined a vision for a free market, low tax, low regulation, low welfare, privatised economy which he said “would mostly eliminate manufacturing” in the UK. 
I find myself wondering what it would do for agriculture. 
Such an approach would fundamentally change how the UK worked, signal a destructive race to the bottom and would serve to increase inequality and serve the interests of the few. Mr Wiggin owes it to the electorate of North Herefordshire to tell us before we vote.

Pub’s history
I WONDER if some entry could be put into your paper asking for assistance with a project I am doing for The Green Dragon Inn, Bishops Frome,WR6 5BP.
I am trying to put together a history of this c.17th century pub with old photos. notable events etc.
But most importantly as complete a list as I can make of all the past owners/licensees.
I am particularly sparse in the period 1965-1985, I have some names but not the order or date they were there. 
This is for a permanent display.
Any assistance you or your readers could give would be appreciated.

READING the letter ‘Get together’, on the Hereford Times’ letters page of May 4, by Polly Ernest, I might suggest that Polly could follow her own advice, ie get together. 
That is exactly what the Prime Minister is asking us to do, ie work together in order to secure the best deal for Britain on leaving the European Union. 
Polly writes “all I care for right now is denying Teresa May that mandate she covets” that is a contradiction of her advice “of getting together” and also of her second statement “let’s put aside tribal loyalties and stand up to hatred and division”.  
By putting aside tribal loyalties, hatred and division, ie “getting together”, we will all be able to give our Prime Minister our full support, by backing her up completely and helping her to secure a better deal and future for our country .
M J Linnane MBE

Old with new
I READ with interest in the April 27 edition of the Hereford Times of Herefordshire Council’s 2020 vision to merge old and new in the city of Hereford.
Does the council have a vision of the reconstruction of the fire-damaged building in High Town and an upgrade of the Butter Market by 2020?
Brian Hubbard
COUNCILLOR Bob Matthews has asked us to point out that the letter he submitted jointly with Councillor Pauline Crockett in last week’s (May 4) edition of the Hereford Times contained an error.
Councillors Matthews and Crockett said in their letter that the rent for Elgar House in Holmer Road was £800,000 per annum. This is, in fact, incorrect - the rent for Elgar House is actually £80,000 per annum.