I am writing to you in response to a number of comments that have been made about the future of the Metropolitan Line Extension and indeed about me in your paper by the leader of the Hertfordshire County Council Liberal Democrat group. He refers to me only by title, not my name, and makes offensive remarks about my competence and motives.

First of all my name is Judi Billing, I am leader of the county Labour group and I represent the division of Hitchin North.

The first thing I would like to say is that the Labour Group is fully committed to the project and will do all it can to ensure sensible negotiations take place, mediation is used and common sense re-established on all sides to ensure that this happens. Our Watford and Three Rivers county councillors Nigel Bell, Asif Khan and Joan King are on the case.

If at any point we had felt that the County Liberal Democrats had welcomed our co-operation and discussion then we would have pursued this energetically. Unfortunately the only impression that they have given is that they relish the opportunity to behave politically, disgracefully, and somewhat crudely in their desperate pursuit of electoral success. I think this is best illustrated by their use of the most negative door to door leaflets I have ever seen where they make no positive points, pledges or declarations, don¹t declare openly who has written the leaflet or for which political party, and use it entirely for negative slurs most of which are simply untrue.

I do hope that this will stop. I hope that the the leader of the Hertfordshire Lib Dems will realise that that ferociously criticising the Mayor of London is not a route to solving difficult problems, that insulting those he should be working with like me and my Watford colleagues, and that generally speaking this kind of aggressive politics does damage to us all. The public reputation of local government isn’t all that brilliant as it is. This will certainly not help.

How sad that as I write this I am anticipating the next round of his aggression.

Cllr Judi Billing

Leader, Hertfordshire County Council Labour group