Stirring it up
NOTHING like having a  letters section in a newspaper to stir up emotions is there. 
I think the press need to be just a little bit careful or we will all turn out to be our own version of Donald Trump, screaming out to society whenever we get angry about this or that. But what seriously worries me, and here I go, in reading various comments is we seem to be having some sort of national nervous breakdown. It’s the blame game all round, the older are blaming the young  for being misled into to a vote for  labour, the young blaming the older generation for screwing up their future, we blame these ‘johnny foreigners’ for taking our jobs, the EU for taking our money, China for taking our manufacturing - for goodness sake, where is this going to end? 
If we have, as it appears, become such a fractured society then we are in big trouble and this opens the way for the most distasteful political opportunists to rule. 
Read your history, is all I can say. Is it not about time for all political leaders of whatever leaning to stop jockeying for position, show some maturity and find some common ground for we live in a fast changing world and the next few years are going to be extremely difficult for us as a nation. 
We must not allow ourselves to become an even more divided country than we already are, the consequences of doing so are disastrous.  
Just look around at the problems we have, homelessness, children in care, cuts after cuts to our services we hold so dear.  
Make our politicians accountable and do not vote for them ever again if they are not fighting for us,  not there to vote with the government. 
And are we not just sick and tired of the old argument ‘where’s the money to come from’, for when you examine the amount the government spends on failed projects and hired consultants, there’s no problem in finding the money is there.  
Much Birch

Not ‘Vichy’
ROY Mack is mistaken (Letters, August 3) in claiming that 51% of the UK population voted to leave the EU. 
Looking at the official result of the Referendum, out of an electorate of 45.5 million, 17.5m (38%) voted Leave, 16m (34%) Remain and 12m (28%) did not bother to vote at all. 
I fear he has swallowed the lies of Farage, Gove and Johnson that “The British People Have Spoken.” 
He is probably still expecting £350m will be channelled into the NHS every week after Brexit.
As for “recent developments” over Brexit, it appears he is not keeping up with the news. Even the Tory government, suddenly aware of the financial crash looming in 2019, is now desperate for a transitional period where we are still part of the single market.
I voted Remain but I love this country and resent his term “Vichy British”. 
I assume he has as little knowledge of history to use such a disgusting term as he is of the danger this country is now in.

So the facts...
ROY Mack (August 3) was incensed by Christine Forrester’s letter referring to “a hard core 30% of leave voters”, which led him to accuse her of “quoting lies and not facts.”
The facts are these (source: Electoral Commission):-
• In 2016 the UK had a population of 65.64M
• 51.36M were eligible to vote
• But only 46.5M had registered to do so
• 33.58M actually voted in the referendum
• 17.41M voted to leave
• 16.14M voted to stay
Slightly more than a quarter of the population voted to leave, and slightly less than a quarter voted to remain.
This excludes those Britons living in the EU but outside the UK (900K), who for some unaccountable reason were given no say in the outcome, though very much affected by it.
The Leavers’ vote on June 23, 2016 exceeded Remainers’ by 1.27M (2% of the population). It is against this background that Brexiteers talk of “the will of the people”. 
Many are surprised to learn that, from a legal point of view, the referendum was “advisory”. Let’s remember that we live in a parliamentary democracy, in which decisions are taken in our Parliament, not directly by “the people”. 
Allan Johnson

Not silenced
I READ with some amusement attempts by the Herefordshire Labour Party to ingratiate themselves with the electorate. 
The Corbyn Bounce had some effect during the recent General Election and it was good to have a genuine choice between free market and socialist policies. 
But at local level, I would remind readers that the Labour Party in Herefordshire would suffer from the same handicap that the Conservative Party suffers. That is the fact that they are slaves to their national party offices. 
With two sitting Conservative party MPs and a local authority where they have a majority, one would be forgiven for thinking that Herefordshire would glean some benefit. 
The fact is that our county does not because in reality, the Conservatives think they do not have to try very hard to gain a majority. After all, what has the Labour Party EVER done for Herefordshire?
It’s OUR County (Herefordshire) is the largest opposition group on Herefordshire Council. We take some pride in the fact that the ruling Conservative group have excluded us from all meaningful scrutiny. That must mean that we are a real threat and they need to do everything to silence us rather than working with us to run an open and transparent administration. 
However, we will not be silenced. We will continue to lead the charge on the things we think are wrong and where we think there are attempts to cover things up. The sale of the smallholdings and the overspend on Blueschool House are but only two of the travesties perpetrated by the administration. 
We will continue to examine the case for a road-building programme around western Hereford. We will continue to represent all the people of Herefordshire and not just the ‘party faithful’.
It’s OUR Country are the only Independent political party with the organisation and the will to make a difference. (The Herefordshire Independents take great pleasure in saying that they are not a political party so for what they actually stand is shrouded in mystery). Our members are free to vote in the best interests of their communities. Within ourselves we disagree sometimes but we handle this like grown-ups. 
It is a great honour to have been elected as Deputy Leader of IOC and I look forward to challenging in the Council Chamber.
Alan Seldon
Ward Member for Bromyard West
Deputy Leader, It’s OUR County (Herefordshire)

In safe hands
AT 4.30 pm on Friday, August 11 the clutch went on my car.  
Owing to the failure of the rescue service to arrive, I was, a pensioner, stuck in my car for a total of four hours on the road between Hereford and Bodenham just north of the Aylestone Hill roundabout.  
I was struck by the fact that of most of the drivers who stopped to offer help, most were young men or women. A young woman in a smart outfit even stopped and came to offer me a snack!  
I was eventually rescued by a Mr Powell of Burmarsh and two young men he had called to assist. They took me and my car home without fuss.  
I would like to thank all those people who did show concern.  Many older people have no good opinion of the younger generation but from my experience that day I have been reassured that there is nothing much wrong with our younger generation.  It gives me much hope that the future of our country is in safe hands.
Edward Dilley
Sutton St Nicholas

Thanks to all
I WOULD like to thank all the people who came to my aid after I fell on the kerb on Widemarsh street. Especially the gentleman who got me a chair and tried to help me up and the young woman who called an ambulance. Her little children were a credit to her.
Luckily nothing was broken but I’m on crutches because of the pain in my knee.
Sutton St Nicholas

Keep it simple
I WRITE as a born and bred Herefordian who has visited the city after living away for over 50 years. 
The first place I made for was the Cathedral Close to view the mighty and magnificent cathedral which is the icon of Hereford. It was while inside that I came to see up-close the stained glass window dedicated to the SAS and was immediately struck by how incongruous it looked in the church setting. 
In my opinion, a blue window does not sit well in a church and having read the blurb by the artist John Maine the words ‘over-thought’ and ‘esoteric’ came to mind. 
I wonder what the past and present boys who fell out of the skies over burning deserts and the steaming jungles of the tropics would make of it. 
Surely the composition should have been centred around the regimental ‘Who Dares Wins’ would have made more sense to them and to me. 
As Leonardo d’Vinci must had said to himself when painting the ‘Mona Lisa’....”keep it simple lad”.
Brod Wheeler

Break the CAP
A YEAR ago, Chancellor Philip Hammond promised that our government would match the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy payments until 2020. 
Given that during 2016 Herefordshire received more than £19 million (source DEFRA’s website CAP calculator), I cannot believe that Jesse Norman MP, Bill Wiggin MP and our government will be able to match CAP payments past that date.
With our rural economy so reliant on farming and subsidies, this requires urgent attention and renewed reassurance.
Herefordshire for Europe 

Superb care
WE, the Teale family, would like to say what an exceptional experience we recently had at Hereford Hospital, when we lost our dear mother.  
The care she was given in both the Frome and Lugg wards was first class. 
The doctors and nurses were all very kind to her and also to the family.  
We don’t often hear of the positive care that we receive, only the negatives.
We are very fortunate to have such and excellent hospital in our county.

Stunning shot
I MUST congratulate Mike Thornbury for the stunning and unusual photograph he took of the hanging flower baskets in St Peter’s Square which was the Big Picture featured in the Hereford Times on August 10.
What a joy it must be for everyone – shoppers and visitors alike – to be welcomed in the city centre by a wonderful and colourful display of flowers in the beds, three-tier planters and the tall ‘iron trees’ each carrying nine baskets plus dozens of shops and offices who join in the campaign to make Hereford a flower-friendly city.
But let’s remind ourselves that three years ago Hereford could just as well have become known for its weed-infested beds and planters when Herefordshire Council abandoned them to their fate. 
Luckily, Hereford in Bloom, a group of volunteers who had worked closely with the county council since 1999 and each year entered the city in the prestigious Britain in Bloom competition achieving Gold medal status on several occasions, stepped into the breach.
A new partnership of Bloom, City Council and BID has kept Hereford’s civic pride intact with Bloom buying and planting the flowers, City Council funding the vital watering and BID organising the successful hanging basket scheme for shops and offices. 
It’s a fact that a city earning a Gold medal in Britain in Bloom can expect its visitor numbers to rise by 17%. 
Equally, a flower-free zone could lose Hereford just as many cash spending visitors. 
That is not a risk the city can afford to take.
Hereford in Bloom

No equality
I WONDERED why the new Cabinet which runs Herefordshire Council is all men.  
My ward councillor, Kema Guthrie, provided the answer in this response she received from Cllr Tony Johnson, the leader of the council.
He said: “Hi Kema, I understand that Jonathan has already had a discussion with you on this subject anyway but just to be sure  -   The only criteria used for selecting cabinet members are:
Irrespective of gender, race, colour, religion, shape, size etc etc, who is the best most qualified person for the job.
Will that person work harmoniously with the cabinet.
I know this sounds simplistic Kema but our prime responsibility to residents and taxpayers and the reason they elected us is the prudent management of their money and assets. 
Selection of cabinet members for quota reasons would not be consistent with that responsibility.
That is the sort of nonsensical excuse that was given decades ago to justify maintaining discrimination against women.  
We deserve much better from our elected representatives today.
Sutton St Nicholas