BSCF reaction to closure of East Herts District Council's offices in Bishop's Stortford

Letter to the Herts and Essex Observer

The Editor,
Herts & Essex Observer,
12 North Street,
Bishop's Stortford,
Herts,
CM23 2LQ
16 March 2009

Dear Sir

Reference: Causeway Site, Bishop's Stortford

I refer to your article on the close down of EHDC offices at the Causeway Site on the 12th of March and I wish to make the following comments on behalf of the Bishop's Stortford Civic Federation.

Bishop's Stortford has been the fastest growing town in East Herts and now has nearly 30% of the district’s population – nearly 50% more than Hertford, the next largest town. During the time that this growth has occurred, there has been a wholesale removal of public services from Bishop's Stortford.

Public Health and Community Affairs

Employment

Law and Order

Education

Transportation

Planning

Housing

Now we read in the news that EHDC are planning to abandon Bishop's Stortford altogether apart from a reception centre and meeting room and decamp to Hertford. In spirit the county and district councils abandoned our town years ago so this latest plan will simply bring appearances into line with reality.

We are being governed by far away people who know little about our town and care even less, except for the money we contribute through taxes. To show just how heedless they are, their suggestion for the site they are abandoning is another shopping centre and multi storey car park. Haven't they noticed the chronic traffic congestion in the town, the empty stores in our main shopping street or the new flats which they approved going straight into moth balls? The last thing the town centre needs is more of the same.

We have got to the point where the local authorities who are elected to represent our interests appear to be incapable of doing anything except trashing the town and relocating their own staff as far away as possible. We think the time may have come to look over the border to Essex and Uttlesford to see whether a transfer to their local control might serve the town's interests better.

To summarise we shall be asking all our residents associations to consult their members about whether they would support a campaign for Bishop's Stortford to abandon Herts County Council and EHDC control, since long ago they abandoned us.

Yours sincerely,
Richard Hannah, BSCF Chairman