All good things must come to an end sometime

I AM responding to Mr Perrow s letter (H&H letters August 23) concerning Dennis Fletcher. Mr Fletcher has certainly made a considerable contribution to Highgate Wood during his over 30 years work there, and the City – in addition to everyone else – is ve

I AM responding to Mr Perrow's letter (H&H letters August 23) concerning Dennis Fletcher. Mr Fletcher has certainly made a considerable contribution to Highgate Wood during his over 30 years' work there, and the City - in addition to everyone else - is very grateful to him.

Regrettably the years have passed, and Mr Fletcher's time with the City inevitably draws to a close. An 18-month extension of working in the Wood has already been agreed, and it is that period which is now coming to an end.

Although I have not been involved with the establishment committee (which deals with employee matters such as retirement), I understand that the retirement policy for all employees was changed in November 2006 to reflect the provisions in the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006.

Under that policy, every member of staff is expected to retire at 65 unless it can be shown that there is an operational or organisational need for that particular individual to work beyond that age. I am sorry to say that for Mr Fletcher that is unfortunately not the case in Highgate Wood.


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Some of Mr Perrow's observations are a little wide of the mark. However, if Mr Fletcher feels that the City has been "uncivilised" or "offensive" in the way his retirement has been handled, I apologise to him. It is the City's hope that it does conduct itself as an employer with good employment practices, applied fairly and even-handedly.

Bob Hall

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Chairman, Queen's Park and Highgate Wood Management Committee

Readers, I am sure, will have noticed the ironic juxtaposition: on the right hand side of the same page, Bob Hall extols the virtues of Highgate Wood and recommends a Summer Guided Walk led by Dennis Fletcher, one of the keepers.

On the left, an article by John Perrow details the shabby treatment of the same Dennis Fletcher by City of London, forcing him into retirement despite previous promises.Who will lead our seasonal and bird walks now, I wonder? An own goal', City of London?

Alison McLean

Muswell Hill Road, N10

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