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April 2011
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To the Editor
The announcement of the start of the public enquiry into HS2 brought to mind one of my favourite books: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

It starts with the Earth about to be destroyed to make way for an inter-galactic by-pass (see the connection?).
When earthlings complain to the Vogon lords that this is the first they have heard about it, they are met with the response that “the plans have been on display for some time now at the local galactic planning office, stationed at Alpha Centauri, a mere 4.3 light years away... if you can’t be bothered to go have a look then it’s no good complaining when it actually happens!”

A lesson for us all to get involved NOW!

Colin Sully
Swan Bottom

To the Editor
I was talking to a County Councilor the other day and as usual the conversation came round to HS2. During a meeting with Philip Hammond (Transport Minister) he was heard to utter something along the lines of “I don’t know what all the fuss is about, they’re only fields... it’s hardly Constable country”.

So if you haven’t written already (or even if you have), why not send one of the “Stop HS2” postcards by local artist Mark Cowie to him and anyone else you can think of? These are available in the Village Shop and other local outlets, all profits go to the campaign fund.

Trish Swain
The Lee

To the Editor
Margaret and I are the first to say thank you to all who are rallying round to The-Lee Way, the voluntary care group. It gives Margaret a stimulating change of company and me two hours for ‘Walkies’ with family, Steve and Jo and Samson, our dog.

Another arrow in Cupid’s quiver at The Lee.
Vivat the Lee-Way we say!

John Glanfield
Swan Bottom
P.S. Please no goodies.



To the Editor
Another battle to fight! If the local authority gets its way, from September sending your children to the school of their choice could cost anything up to £1,000 a year per child. In the latest round of proposed cuts children will only be entitled to free transport if they attend their nearest school outside the three mile zone.

Currently all children are provided with the free service up to year 11 as long as their chosen school is further than three miles away. From year 12 there is a subsidised charge of approximately £400+, very good value for the service provided.

Whilst I understand the need for reviewing finances at local authority level, I feel very sorry for families who, in future, may have to add the financial element to the difficult choices they have to make when selecting the right schools for their children. We are dependant on this bus service as there are no other local bus services available. I feel these changes will influence patterns and potentially reduce choice of schools for future generations. It appears that we are once again being penalised for living in a rural area. Perhaps this is a more subtle way for the County Council to alter the school catchments again.

I’m sure most parents agree this is a fantastic service providing children with independence, reducing the volume of traffic on the roads, petrol consumption and enabling parents to get younger siblings to nearby schools or to work. Should charges be applied, parents will look for alternative ways to get their children to school, adding congestion to town centres and school drop off points, potentially threatening the viability of a service at all. Please take a few moments to complete the consultation document and add it to your list of correspondence to local councillors and MPs! We don’t want to lose this service.

Kathryn Rice
Lee Common

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Your comments and feedback are welcome, please contact: colin@thelee.org.uk