Letters round-up: Dog owners will no longer be told if their pet is killed on the roads

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A letter arguing that owners of missing dogs need the closure of knowing what happened to their pet is featured in this week’s round-up.

STRAY DOGS

This is a sad subject for Bucks dog owners.

Under new rules being started, they will no longer be told if their straying dog is killed on a road.

Until now dogs found dead on a motorway or A-road have usually been examined by roads maintenance workers for ID such as collar tag or microchip and, where possible, the owners are traced and informed.

The rule change means that dead dogs will be disposed of with no effort to identify them.

This decision has upset dog lovers who say the authorities should relay the sad news.

Umpteen dog owners who have lost their dogs have said that if they get that news at least it will be “closure.”

The pain is never knowing what happened to your missing pet, in the same way as if it was a missing child.

Now an MP, Jason McCartney, has managed to arrange a parliamentary debate.

It will be considered by the Backbench Business Committee and dog owners are urged to contact him to give extra support

Highways Agency officials have partly blamed the change of policy on government budget cuts.

Also, the situation will come more into focus soon when new legislation will demand that microchipping all dogs will be compulsory.

Meanwhile there is a petition to the Government, so far signed by well over 100,000 people, which calls for legislation to enforce the full process ensuring that the Highways Agency does not end the reporting policy and it should apply to all domestic animals found.

Anyone concerned about the change of policy can contact Jason McCartney at the Commons or via his website www.jasonmccartney.com

Geoff Perfitt

Stokenchurch Dog Reascue, Oxford Road, Stokenchurch

FISH AND CHIPS

For the second time I tried the new McCoy’s Fish & Chips on Wendover high street and once again they were excellent: Medium cod cooked to perfection, chips just right with mushy peas & curry sauce; the best in the area for miles around I would say.

The last time I visited during the day I ate inside the dinning area, paid a little bit more for eating in but it was a great experience with everything cooked fresh and very tasty indeed, served with a hot pot of tea and with a smile by very friendly staff.

I would give them ten out of ten and wish them success. ... but no wonder it is so good as realised the owner is Atila, ( From Northern Cyprus originally I think) he is the same guy who owns Bedgrove Fish & Chip Shop which is also good, but not quite as good as the new shop...maybe it is the fryer or the spacious shop with the big windows (used to be the Peking Chinese I believe) ...whatever Wendover has got a traditional fish & chip shop that can’t be ‘battered’ ( bettered LOL).

So what you waiting for folks give it a try

Simon Icke

Aston Clinton

ASK MORE QUESTIONS

I have been chiefly concerned about the Kingsbrook section of the Stocklake Link Road.

Fortunately, most people who will be affected by the urban section (Park St to Douglas Rd), seem to favour the County’s proposals.

The scheme as a whole is intended to provide much-needed relief to Tring Road and Bierton by constructing a good quality road form the east.

I think you are aware that Mr Tett has asked Mrs Vigor-Hedderly to investigate the requirements issued to the developers about the appropriate design standards. I do not know how far this has gone, but a few things are fairly clear.

Firstly, Barratts knew what the road was for and yet they have designed it as a village street.

This would replicate the inadequacies of all the other main roads into Aylesbury and would be the only bottleneck between the M25 and the town centre. Mr Tett clearly expects that the road will eventually be a dual carriageway.

AVDC have not made it easy to find what views have been expressed in response to the consultation on the planning application.

Bucks CC has had a sequence of Cabinet Members and senior technical staff and they are currently recruiting five senior posts in Transport.

It seems likely, and this can only be an assumption of course, that a lack of continuity has led to an inadequate level of communication between the parties.

I had suspected for a while that members were not being adequately advised on the significance of this development from the highway standpoint.

Finally, as things stand, there is a proposal for an elaborate signal-controlled junction at the point where Stocklake Link crosses the ring road (Douglas Rd). This seems unnecessarily complicated.

Experience with other similar junctions in Aylesbury gives no confidence that signals are the right answer.

I think questions need to be asked - and answered!

O J Oliver

Address supplied

HELP HEAL THE HURT

There is no doubt the legacy of Jimmy Savile will now be forever seen as a vile paedophile who took advantage and manipulated his celebrity and powerful position within Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

Many it seems still want to believe otherwise, but the reality is that he was a criminal of the worst kind and that should never be forgotten.

Those of us who worked there and never heard or saw anything at all [I trained as a Registered General Nurse there from 1990 – 1993], probably feel duped and let down beyond belief, I know I do.

It was a great privilege to work at such a world renowned hospital, especially at the time I worked there, there was pride and joy at knowing it was at the edge of great change within the sphere of Spinal Injury treatment and Care.

It was a renaissance period, not seen since the days of Ludwig Guttman, where the whole genre of life of a person with a spinal disability was being transformed beyond belief.

We should not forget it was mainly due to the part played by Guttman, dedicated staff and those people with spinal injuries, who pushed for a greater independence in life and work within the speciality, which in itself put the hospital and its influence at the forefront of research and promoting independence for people with disabilities and spinal disabilities in particular.

If anything, the focus has to be on all those brave patients who gained from that period of care/treatment, who were assisted by an array of many good and dedicated health care professionals, pooling resources on mass, as a team, for everyone involved.

The days of anybody feeling it was one man Jimmy Savile, who did ‘everything’, must and should go forever and ever amen.

Yes he brought money in, that is a reality, but it was how it was used by others, not Jimmy, that is the success story of this great hospital.

If we can try and move to remember legacies that way, rather than keep putting Savile at the centre of all things Spinal, then I think it will help to heal the hurt many must feel from the report that has just come out about Savile’s disgusting crimes.

I also hope that Ludwig Guttman comes to the forefront of SMH’s legacy again, a man, whose duty and dedication made SMH into the central focus of local, national and international spinal treatment and care.

Without him there wouldn’t have been any spinal research at all at SMH and Jimmy Savile would have never ever had his day in the sun.

Then again some would say that would have been an advantage not a disadvantage in many respects.

I leave that argument in the court of debate with everything else, all I know is there is more to SMH and it spinal legacy than all Jimmy Savile ever did.

Ian Payne

Walsall

CRISIS POINT?

I am sure every person reading this will have needed the NHS more than once in their lives and needed it for their children, parents and grandparents, (many in life-saving circumstances). It gives help to people from all walks of life whether rich or poor.

It is at crisis point, but it needs to listen to the Doctors and Nurses who have dedicated their working life to what still is a magnificent institution that serves every person in the UK.

Yes, it does need to be run better - but by listening to the dedicated people who helped build it and are still serving the public in the NHS at the frontline in their hour of need.

Don’t let the ‘money makes money’ attitude rule over ‘care for everyone’.

If we don’t fight for this, our children and our children’s children will lose what we ourselves were so very grateful for throughout all our lives.

Annette Burrows

Address supplied

FUND NHS

The NHS represents the most civilised of principles, and should be funded appropriately, the moral of the front line staff can be directly related to their performance, and the experience of those under their care, this should be considered before any interest in profit.

Martin Adams

Via email

REPEAT OFFENDERS

In reply to your article in last week’s Bucks Herald about the penalty points system for taxi and hire car drivers I would like to make the following comments.

The taxi, operators and hire car fraternity were invited to an informal meeting in December where they put their grievances and comments to me, my vice chairman and to AVDC licensing officers.

After a long amenable discussion my officers took away their concerns some of which may be incorporated into a revised licensing policy later this year.

It was interesting to note that in the article immediately underneath this one there were comments from the public about taxis and hire cars.

The taxis (hackney carriages), which do not have to be pre-booked, were praised for their cleanliness and the fact that their drivers were helpful and well presented.

The article went on to say the cleanliness of the private hire vehicles, which have to be pre-booked, was perceived as poor or very poor, although the majority of people felt the drivers were helpful and smart.

The few who don’t come up to scratch let down the many and it is these repeat offenders we are targeting with the penalty points system.

We, as a Council, want to make sure that our travelling public is safe and comfortable.

Judy Brandis

Chairman of the Licensing 
Committee, AVDC

HIGH SPEED RAIL

May I ask Andy Huxley of UKIP what he means by his statement in last weeks issue; “The problem is the Tories do not know their HS2 from High Speed Rail”

Surely the clue is in the prefix ‘HS’ which means HIGH SPEED

In the last UKIP manifesto 3 High Speed Lines were planned plus a 4th from the new airport they planned to build in Kent, therefore I ask why is it that UKIP do not know the difference between High Speed Rail and HS2.

I think your readers deserve an explanation.

Brian Roberts

Councillor for Mandeville and Elm Farm, AVDC

ROADS TO NOWHERE

You made several valid points in last week’s Bucks Herald (editor’s comment) regarding the town’s roads.

Unfortunately with thousands of new houses being built around a town with a very small centre the problems will only get worse.

However, the council has not helped with some bizarre junction layouts and often badly situated traffic lights.

The “two lanes into one” obsession is baffling as this does not improve traffic flow - how could it? - but merely increases the chance of a collision and causes problems where drivers race each other away from traffic lights to try and get to the end of the two lane section first (I would lose so I don’t even try).

Some of the worst examples: Oxford Road either side of the Churchill Avenue / Fowler Road junction, Buckingham Road northbound by the Horse and Jockey (right next to the hotel/pub exit - brilliant!) and Bicester Road westbound just after the Broadfields junction.

I did write to the County Council on this subject a few years ago but they refused to admit there was a problem.

The layout at the gyratory system still causes problems despite the recent repainting of white lines.

When heading along Walton Street from the town centre towards Mandeville Road it is not clear which is the correct lane to be in.

I have always assumed it is correct to approach the first set of lights in the right hand lane, moving towards the centre of the road after the second set of lights, but many drivers approach the junction in the middle lane making it necessary to keep checking the mirrors while at the same 
time watching for the lights changing.

The constant sounding of car horns indicates that this does not work very well.

There are too many traffic lights on some roads while others that need pedestrian crossings have none.

Three crossings in Exchange Street is excessive: two would be perfectly adequate, one at the High Street end (as it is now) and one about midway between the two near the theatre.

The middle crossing has no central island for pedestrians, so the lights have to stay on red against the traffic for longer causing tailbacks often stretching past the other set of lights. And why are there SIX lights for every crossing?

Two roads that really do need pedestrian crossings are Bicester Road near the Rabans Lane junction and Churchill Avenue near Mandeville School where the traffic is often continuous.

No doubt there are other examples.

In the Walton Court area, the four sets of width restrictions on Ellen Road (with three giving priority to traffic in the same direction) causes unnecessary delays and appears to make the road less safe for pedestrians and drivers alike, which I assume is opposite to the original intention.

This is another place where a light controlled crossing would be useful, along with the removal of all the width restrictions.

And as for the state of the surface on Mandeville Road........it’s no wonder there are no cyclists in the “cycle lane”.

David Pooley

Address supplied