Letters round-up: Bucks Herald guilty of biased hypocrisy over EDL coverage

Letters round-up
Letters round-up
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A correspondent criticises the response to the EDL’s planned march in Aylesbury in this week’s round-up from the Herald letters page.

Biased hypocrisy

Your headline article (Bucks Herald, September 23) on the forthcoming demonstration by the English Defence League on October 10 prompts me to ask why your paper has to print such biased hypocrisy.

I am no supporter of the EDL or that matter any other marching protest group, but for goodness sake let’s get some perspective in place.

Look, the demo will come and go – it’s no big deal.

All it is, is a reaction to the poor state of race and religious divisions within our society today.

This is the reality we unfortunately have to deal with.

When I read the comments made by former mayor Niknam Hussain pronouncing that we are lucky to live in Aylesbury because we are ‘integrated’ and ‘quite peaceful’ and ‘our communities are inter-mixed’, I have to shake my head in disbelief.

The same goes for the Lib Dem councillor Steven Lamber’s assertion that we have ‘really good community relations right across the board’.

Why do EDL exist in the first place, when years ago there was no need for such a group?

It is because they, and thousands of other ordinary British citizens who remain tight-lipped and silent, object to having to live in a society where a multitude of different languages are spoken.

I would challenge Steven Lambert to name one major country in the world where total integration between the two faiths exist. It doesn’t.

Actually, out there in the real world the opposite is true.

Right across north Africa and the Middle East sectarianism is rife on a massive scale, with tribal conflict and hatred within Islam itself, with Sunnis and Shi-ites at each other’s throats –not to mention the nightmare of Isis.

In short, we live in a society today where we do not speak to each other, we simply reluctantly tolerate the situation.

So to denigrate the emergence of protest groups like the EDL, which I repeat I do not support, is simply to live in denial of an unfortunate reality which like it or loathe it we are forced to live with and deal with.

Right-wing groups like the EDL are growing on a massive scale right across Europe as we speak, so that here in little old Aylesbury we are simply a microcosm of a much larger problem within a world-wide society, and one which I fear will never be resolved, unless that treasured word ‘respect’ becomes part of human nature.

Peter Vaughan

Buckingham Road, Aylesbury

Link road bribery

I read with interest your expected article relating to the revised plans for the Hampden Fields development

I will concede there are some improvements in the revised scheme, however I cannot see how our councils can in any way support the plans, as development on this scale without the infrastructure to support it is suicidal.

Carole Paternoster is stabbing the residents of Weston Turville and Aylesbury in the back on the promise of a ‘link road’ as a carrot to save the cost of a bypass.

The original scheme was turned down at appeal, with the impact of additional traffic on the gyratory system being the main concern. The new scheme does nothing to alleviate the congestion and could make it far worse.

I attended the exhibition by the developers last Thursday at Weston Turville and asked the specific question “in what way does the new scheme reduce the congestion at the gyratory system”.

The answer I got was that, as the new scheme improves the traffic flow to the east, then more people will choose that route, leaving spare capacity on the A413 for the Hampden Fields additional traffic. I found this to be incredulous, and pointed out to the roads expert that the new link road would almost certainly attract more traffic from the Aston Clinton bypass, to cross directly to the A413 creating even more congestion on the Wendover Road and at the gyratory. He conceded that this was a possibility.

When I suggested this could cause gridlock in the area, I was told ‘if the Wendover Road is heavily congested then this will encourage more people to cycle or use public transport as the prospect of driving becomes less attractive’. Again I found it hard to believe what I was hearing.

Another visitor to the exhibition asked where the developers thought the 6,000 additional cars were supposed to go. She was immediately corrected and told 3,000 houses would only cause an additional 3,000 cars. I do hope this was a mistake on the part of a badly trained representative of the Hampden Fields Development Consortium, if they are basing their calculations on one car per household, then things will be far worse than previously envisaged.

The plans also show a proposed Stoke Mandeville by- pass. Drawing a line on a map and calling it a possible future bypass for Stoke Mandeville counts for nothing, in effect someone else will be paying for another road scheme to sort out the mess this development will cause.

For Aylesbury Vale planning chief Carole Paternoster to say she believes revised proposals are a ‘vast improvement’ on the previous scheme, is outrageous, as the new scheme does nothing to address the congestion on the Wendover Road.

It seems AVDC have succumbed to the bribery of a link road, with total disregard of the effect on their existing residents.

Andrew Barton

Hulbert End, Aylesbury

The other bits too!

I live in Stablebridge Road Aston Clinton near the new housing development taking place at this time.

For eight weeks we had traffic lights and disruption while the sewer and surface water pipes were laid from the development to the old A41 road, these were filled and surfaced over.

Then along came British Gas to put in the gas main along the same route, this too was filled etc, we now have BT excavating along the same route.

Water main pipes have been delivered presumably waiting for BT to finish, we are now anticipating cables to arrive as men with electricity on their backs have been eyeing up the route.

One does wonder why no liaison is done prior to all these services being installed so they are done in one go to save expense also disruption to residents and travellers.

With all the other developments planned in Aston Clinton I feel sorry those living in Weston Road, Twitchell Lane, Brook Street and Green End Street who will have to go through this as building houses is easy but it’s all the ‘other’ bits that drive us mad.

Peter Sharp

Stablebridge Road, Aston Clinton

It will hit Square

A tremendous thank you to the 2,200 people who signed the petition against the closure of the NatWest branch in Jansel Square, also to Budgens, McCoys and The Coffee Bean, who helped to collect the signatures.

The petition, together with a list of reasons why the branch should not be closed, was presented to the Area Bank Manager, and a copy sent to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NatWest at Edinburgh.

Despite our best efforts, and a photo of Josie (from Budgens) wearing her Save Our Bank T-shirt, I regret that the branch will still close in November.

The manager was not prepared to allow the cashiers to count the number of customers entering the branch, therefore we carried out our own survey. This showed that the average footfall at the branch was 200 per day.

The CEO conceded that the number using the branch would suggest that the branch does not deserve to be closed.

However, he stated that the number of regular customers was low, and the number of users had dropped since 2011, also there are now many alternative ways to carry out banking transactions.

Many people now use digital, and mobile methods of banking, but banks should not abandon their regular customers who are not online, or prefer to visit their local branch, and have face to face contact.

If shopping centres are to thrive and survive, there should be a range of other services available to attract visitors.

The closure of the branch will have an adverse effect on the retail outlets in the Square, as many bank customers will be forced to visit the town centre bank, and do their shopping elsewhere.

Despite the lack of success, it was encouraging that so many people were prepared to respond, and make their voices heard.

Ken Evans

Northumberland Ave, 
Aylesbury

Garage refurbs

I’d like to respond to the ‘What’s happened’ (Letters, 23 September) regarding the development of Trust garage sites.

Notice was issued on the garages not in haste, but in accordance with the terms of the leases (although we have since reviewed our approach and no longer shut down garage sites until we are ready to develop them).

Anyone who is concerned by Mr Head’s comment about security of tenure is welcome to speak to a member of our Garage team on 01296 732600 or email .

Small individual builds like this are carefully grouped together and tendered as one contract to ensure that we maximise value for money.

This sometimes seems like it is taking longer than expected, but ultimately we will save a significant amount by taking this approach – money which we can re-invest in the Vale.

Mr Head may be talking about one property in Edgcott, but it is part of a much bigger programme for the Trust.

On a more general point we have recently invested almost £500,000 in refurbishing our garage sites around the Vale.

This has an obvious community benefit in improving the areas in which they are based, but it has also enabled us to review licences to include storage as acceptable use, thereby enhancing the services which we can provide for our customers. Yes, we do speak up for and support social housing tenants and those on the housing waiting list.

Often these are vulnerable people who are missing from the discussion and debate about housing, and in particular its availability and affordability.

Dean Gill

Director of Property and Development

HS2: Route it via Bicester

RE: East West Rail and HS2: This essential line from Oxford via Bicester to Bletchley and Bedford could be hugely enhanced.

HS2 routed via Bicester would achieve essential connectivity with not only EW rail but also M40, A41, A34 for a rapidly expanding area and save Aylesbury from severe degradation.

HS1 was subjected to major route changes at the design stage.

The proposed HS2 route 3 must also be subjected to full scrutiny of the facts not known three years ago.

C J Prideaux

Lower South Farm, Quainton

They don’t care

Today (23/9) we were awoken on the Hartwell Estate by the sound of tree surgeons going about their work at the behest of our wonderful caring AVDC, at the rear of Ditchingham Close our greenery was rapidly disappearing.

True, some of the trees were in need of work but why did our council decide that a couple of cherry trees fitted this all embracing catch-all?

They did not hang over the path or the wall behind them so why destroy them?

Or is the policy of AVDC ‘let’s destroy all of of our trees after all they are untidy and people could walk into them!’

Its about time that our councillors in the vastly expensive edifice on Gatehouse started to consult its voters. They should have contacted the residents affected by this cull on Hartwell.

Okay they are not trees owned by us but we appreciate the pleasant surroundings we live in but AVDC do not seem to care about us.

All right I am complaining about two cherry trees and other work carried out today but this is yet another example of AVDC’s attitude to the environment and its residents.

We need our pavements resurfacing ,work carried out at a junction on Fowler Road /Oxford Rd yet they can come along and massacre the flora .

I trust that the few councillors who actually live in Aylesbury will respond but the answer is for Aylesbury to have a council just for the town.

Oh we have one an excellent body who work for residents – it’s the Town Council .

This event and many others show that an all-embracing body does not work and local governance does .

Aylesbury Vale District Council is hopeless as is Bucks County Council.

They are too big and unable to respond to local problems let alone countywide ones, it’s time for change.

Christopher Lowe

Address supplied

Well done us!

On behalf of the Buckingham Society I would like to thank all of those people who supported the YES campaign last week and voted by a huge majority in favour of the Buckingham Neighbourhood Development Plan.

This is vitally important as it should provide some protection to Buckingham against inappropriate housing development and, perhaps more importantly, provides a planned way forward for new building and infrastructure development to take place. Buckingham is a great place in which to live and the Development Plan should go a long way to ensuring that it stays that way. Nobody would pretend that the plan is going to solve all of Buckingham’s problems and in fact items in your paper last week seemed to suggest that AVDC may still seek to circumvent local plans.

However we should perhaps leave that to one side for now and celebrate the fact that, after a long and fairly tortuous process, the Buckingham Neighbourhood Development Plan is at last in place.

Well done Buckingham!

Roger Edwards

Chair of the Buckingham Society