Urban pest
IS anyone in the city taking responsibility for the plague of urban gulls?
As you can see from my photograph this is a scene at the newly refurbished Wetherspoon garden. 
They hover and wait until a table is vacated and then devour the leftovers.
The homes and businesses who permit these predators to nest on their roofs should be heavily fined and named and shamed. 
I’m considering purchasing a drone with an egg-cracking attachment to rid the city of these vile immigrants.
Aylestone Hill 

Kind help
We’d shopped in Hereford. 
VR proposed we meet up in the bus station. 
As I arrived, VR sat squeezed on the bench waiting for the Number 75. 
She hailed me and the woman beside slid sideways to allow me space. 
I fixed my eyes on my benefactor intending to thank her. 
I tripped on the kerb and fell flat on my face. 
My nose resting on the paving stones. 
I considered my injuries. 
Knees abraded despite trousers. 
Left big toe compressed; I must have kicked the kerb. 
Flap of skin hanging from my right little finger. 
Left wrist strained slightly. 
Two women said ‘Oh! Oh! Oh’ and rushed over, their heads appearing inverted from where I lay. 
I assumed a kneeling position and stood up. 
The women said ‘Oh! Oh! Oh!’ albeit more slowly. 
One gave me tissues.
I explained I’d been intending to thank the tissue donater for sliding aside on the bench, looking at her not the kerb, falling as a result. 
“I have that effect on men,” she said. 
That’s pretty good, I thought. VR ordered a taxi. 
I dabbed and said: “Alas, my nose, easily my best feature.” 
The women laughed.

Waste of time
SURELY in the light of recent developments, this should be our plea: OK government, just throw in the towel now, admit Brexit is all a terrible mistake, tell the hard core 30% of leave voters to go and get lost and let’s get sensible again. 
This is all a colossal waste of time, isn’t it? 
Business is going to tell you that it understands Brexit must go ahead, but it doesn’t really mean what it says. 
Look carefully at the proposals - extended period in single market and customs union.... 
Sure, the EU is not perfect, but given the shock of this silly decision, we can work with them to get the changes. 
So let’s all stop this and get on with tackling the real problems this country faces: poverty, inequality, injustices, disappearing public services, the quality of services provided to the most vulnerable, productivity, ensuring workers’ rights and protections, climate change, the environment. 
Lots of very real issues that are 100 times more important than attempting to leave the world’s most effective trading block, which we can work with to tackle that whole list of issues and more.

Is it right?
OUR country recently voted in a referendum, and voted by a narrow majority to leave the European Union. 
There are now indications that, now that people have a better understanding and can now see the possible implications of Brexit, many have possibly changed their mind and if the referendum were to be re-run it could produce the opposite result.
More recently, the government with a workable majority held a general election, and ended up with a much less of majority. 
Indications are that if that election was re-run there could be a different result and they could see that majority turned into a minority.
So the question to be asked is how can a government who may not have the support of the British people negotiate on a policy which also may not have the support of the British people. 
This is possibly the most important negotiation to ever effect our country and we could possibly have a leader that the majority do not want, negotiating on a policy that the majority may not want. 
Surely whatever your politics this can not be right - is it right?

Fully costed
I DON’T particularly mind Jeff Hancorn’s views (letters 6.7.17) on my ‘triumphalism’ after coming second with nearly 12,000 votes in the recent general election. 
I do mind his characterisation of Labour, and by inference me, as guilty of telling lies to the electorate. 
Labour’s manifesto, unlike that of the Conservatives, was fully costed showing how much our promises would cost and how we would raise the money.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies said that the sums added up.  
We even included a contingency amount in the tax calculation.
I also need to correct Jeff’s historical analysis.  
Far from having a ‘cavalier attitude with our money’ the last Labour Government paid down the deficit it inherited in 1997, then ran a budget surplus for three years before running modest (by historical standards) budget deficits.  
Only after 2008, when it was felt necessary to save the banks and much of the financial sector from financial meltdown of its own making, did the deficit significantly rise.  
The sale of sub-prime mortgages and other dodgy financial deals that ‘so called’ investment banks indulged in had more resemblance to giant Ponzi schemes rather than the high street banking most of us are familiar with.  
It looked as if the Western world’s banking system would collapse starting in the US.  
Has everyone forgotten the queues outside Northern Rock as people thought that they were going to lose their savings?
All this information is readily available to anyone who wishes to check it but why let facts intrude on one’s mistaken assumptions?
Meanwhile, the Conservatives in their reduced circumstance still seem determined to continue with cuts, aka austerity; sticking with 1% public sector pay cap and the in-work benefits freeze as well as starving vital public services of funding while cutting corporation tax again.

Going east
ON Wednesday, July 5, The Times newspaper’s front-page headline read “£1bn roads revolution launched - Scores of bypasses to tackle traffic congestion”. 
It continued: “There are about 30 bypasses under construction at present.”
Today we have a Conservative government and two Conservative MPs, one of whom is to be congratulated on his appointment as roads minister. 
Both will be aware we are the only community with no bypass along the entire corridor from Chepstow to Liverpool or Manchester. 
They both oppose the western traffic route for our city so surely it is time for a proper government-funded bypass to the east of the city that serves the growing industrial hub of Skylon Park.
No excuses anymore. 
Scrap the Western route and make us number 31 on the list going east.
Much Birch.

Action time
I AM really grateful that the controversial decision to sell all the council’s small holdings is being legally examined, HTimes July 6 ‘Legal action begins’. 
Having the power to push that sale through does not make it right or responsible. 
We need answers with detail and substance with publication of evidence. 
A new council consultation, Budget Priorities, starts with the aspiration: “People, organisations and businesses working together to bring sustainable prosperity and well-being for all, in the outstanding natural enviroment of Herefordshire.” 
I do not believe that bears examination in the way ‘they’ operate. 
I can’t see a process driving that forward.
We all need to pay attention if we care – whether it is for the countryside or the people who inhabit it. 
We need councillors who can grasp the figures and account for their decisions. 
Perhaps more of us could attend our parish meetings and ensure ward councillors know we want no more wasted money – or words. 
Action is needed – by us all.

Get involved
I WRITE with regard to the recent letter from Mr Swartz published in the Hereford Times. 
I am pleased to say that, working together with the parish council, we have achieved a great deal in Belmont.
There have been several community action days which have brought together some of the parish councillors and their families, members of the public and myself to work on specific projects around the area including litter picking, bush cutting, reclaiming paths, rubbish removal and lots and lots of mowing using the new equipment purchased by the parish council.
I have spoken to lots of residents who have thanked us and the overall feeling has been very positive. 
Residents are pleased that additional cuts are taking place and the whole area looks well maintained and welcoming. 
As Helen Keller once said ‘Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much’. 
I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved in the community, whether it be helping to keep the estate tidy or volunteering at one of our fantastic community centres. 
County Councillor

Idle threat?
IN November, I parked in an unregulated parking space but received a fine notice from Corporate Services Parking Management who manage restricted parking spaces nearby. 
I appealed, having won an earlier appeal for parking in the same spot. 
This time the appeal was dismissed, and I was asked to pay £100. I refused. 
I have received no less than ten threatening letters from the company’s various debt collectors trying to wear me down, (the demand has somehow increased to £160) and have given up replying as my replies are ignored. 
The first time I parked in this spot and the same company tried to fine me, they suggested I had committed a criminal offence in order to lever me into paying, which was not true of course, and was extremely questionable conduct on their part. 
I shall continue to ignore their monthly demands/threats, but then perhaps less stubborn people might give in to such harassing conduct - is this the way to run a business? 
In any event if you make a threat you should b e prepared to carry it out, otherwise it becomes laughable.