It’s fast paced weeks like this that really cement how much I cherish the role that local newspapers play, and I’m sure that you’ll agree that there is plenty of important news to ponder in this week’s Bucks Herald.
Our front page features the news that Thames Water Limited pumped millions of litres of sewage from our homes into the River Thames and its tributaries, complete with all the toe-curling facts from court which make for sobering reading.
And then Vale MP John Bercow made not just local but national news too, by declaring that controversial US president Donald Trump would not be welcome, should he wish to address the House of Commons on his planned state visit to the UK.
I’ve worked at this particular newspaper for three years, and one of the stories I’ve covered very closely is the March 4, 2014 crash on the A421 near Great Missenden, which claimed the lives of two men and seriously injured a passenger.
At the time of the crash The Bucks Herald, and many of our readers who travelled on the road at the time, asked why safety measures had not been taken at the site of the crash to prevent the tragedy.
A breakthrough came early on when a man contacted me to say that he had been in a crash just over an hour before in icy conditions on the same stretch of road.
I went to see him and he told me how from his hospital bed he had felt sick when he was told about the later tragedy, and asked why police who attended to him at the roadside hadn’t stayed on to make sure that other motorists were warned about what he described as a ‘20ft sheet of ice’. Following the tragedy the Independent Police Complaints Commission conducted an investigation, and has found that the police officers from that day have a case to answer for possible gross misconduct.
Only time will tell what the outcome of that, and the inquest will be – but I hope that the families of those beloved victims can rest easier knowing that there are people out there who really cared about finding out the truth, and about ensuring that it never happens again.
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