Letters to the editor appearing in this week’s Bucks Herald newspaper include:
I am writing in relation to an article that appeared in the Bucks Herald in which the manager of the Community Space department at Aylesbury Vale District Council claims that the decision to leave the gates at the Alfred Rose Park open overnight was due to a person being impaled whilst climbing over the fence.
The truth is that the gates to this park have not been closed since Autumn last year following a staffing issue and mismanagement by AVDC and not due to a person being locked in as stated by Gareth Bird, manager of Community spaces.
The Alfred Rose park is unlike other parks Aylesbury, in that it has a fence around the whole of the perimeter and it’s surrounded by housing and access to the park involves using Tindal road, Manor road, Dunsham Lane, Crown Leys, Fairfax Crescent and Rainborough Gardens.
Unlike the Vale park, the Alfred Rose park is not an “open” space which is fully illuminated. It has many trees, hedges etc where people with ill intent can hide and it has no lighting whatsoever, indeed, you would have to be extremely foolish to venture into the park at night as it is pitch black.
I note that AVDC claim that no anti-social incidents have been reported to date, but this is possibly due to the fact that the public, up until now, have been unaware that the gates were being left open and also due to the fact that the gates have been left open during the Autumn and winter period when people tend to stay indoors.
In addition to this, home owners are always reluctant to report incidents to the police as this has to be disclosed on any future house sales.
Over 20 years ago AVDC decided not to lock up the park gates at night and residents suffered from noise from late night revellers, increased rubbish from take aways, damage to their vehicles, and many home owners experienced house break ins from the increased number of people using the streets to access the park.
Drug dealing and antisocial behaviour were rife in the park, play equipment was frequently damaged. Motorcycles were driven around the park at night causing damage to the grass and noise.
A pressure group was formed by the residents and the decision was eventually reversed by AVDC.
We all accept that local councils are now under greater pressure to c ut public expenditure, but as a council tax payer, I would have liked to have seen AVDC making a well considered decision after carrying out a full risk assessment and consulting the public who live in the area.
I am particularly angered that AVDC have used the press to try to justify their claim that the gates are to remain open because of this mysterious person who was supposedly impaled on the fence, when I am fully aware that it is an unconsidered decision following mis management by AVDC of their staff.
Name and address supplied
My daughter is 5 and she as given £100 by her Granny & Granddad, which she refused to let us (her way too sensible parents) look after.
She put it in her little silver kitty-face handbag, and wore it non-stop, everywhere she went, while we tried our best to keep an eagle-eye on it!
Then, we went swimming at the Aylesbury Aquavale Pool, where sadly, the bag was finally lost…
It broke my heart to tell her the bag would probably not ever be found.
Then it occurred to us to call the Aquavale Swimming Pools (against our better judgement). Of course we realised this would probably be a waste of time, so it took us a good few weeks to find time to do this.
Unbelievably, they immediately said that they had the bag! It had been handed in, with all the cash inside!
We asked if anyone knew who had handed it in, so we could send them a reward, but they couldn’t give us any details at all.
So I would like to thank the very kind, honest, wonderful person that gave in this obviously childish bag - when it would’ve been so tempting to keep the serious amount of cash inside!
People DO have a heart & this incident has restored my faith in humanity. I would also like to thank the lovely people at the Aquavale for keeping hold of the bag for so long. What a wonderful lot they are!
It would be lovely if you could put a little thank you in your paper, in the hope that the relevant people read it!
I totally agree with your correspondent Dianna Moylan about the dreadful standard of driving in our region but if it is bad in town it is as bad if not worse in the country.
I do not drive slowly but I find that on our narrow winding roads I am continually being overtaken by other motorists driving too fast for the conditions.
Many of them must be exceeding the speed limit. How they avoid the potholes I do not know.
These people seem to be obsessed with the need to shave thirty seconds off their record for getting from A to B and courtesy and consideration for other road users goes out of the window.
We have too many accidents on our roads already but quite frankly I am amazed that there are not more.
Hill End Farm, Hogshaw
GIVING THE MIDDLE FINGER
I quite understand how stressful it must be for mothers to drive their children to school.
Indeed, on these busy mornings, perhaps we should forgive the odd lapse of concentration.
However, it does seem to me that we are becoming a very sad race and our actions not particularly becoming.
So, at around 8am last Friday at the mini roundabout near the Aylesbury Road, Aston Clinton, and Weston Road (near the garage) I was driving and indicating to turn right onto the old A41 towards Tring.
My right of way. But, a mother clearly fixated to getting her children to school ignored the rules of the road (give way to traffic from the right) and proceeded to turn right across my path, causing me to brake. I tooted as a gentle reminder.
I of course expected a gentle “wave of apology”. No such luck.
The index finger of her right hand gesticulated in the most obscene fashion. Then, to add insult to the injury, her lad in the back followed suit.
Well, well! What a role model she is. No wonder there is no respect and no discipline from the younger generation if parents act like that. Quite sad!
Meadow Park , Stoke Mandeville
This has been asked before but what is it hat causes politicians to be held in such poor public teem.
Your headline this week goes to show just how out of touch local politicians are in terms of the real concerns in our lives. For most of us HS2 is not a major concern. But roads are.
With local and EU elections looming, clearly the Tories are scared of UKIP, the party of no credible policies. So the HS2 stoppers want to take it out on David Lidington.
Par for the course, they are merely thinking of themselves. And the StopHS2 PR machined feeds on this.
Instead of demanding that Mr Lidington examine conscience, these characters could be better looking at what the construction of HS2 can do for their local communities.
Then they could start developing usual plans for the valuable spin offs and telling use the benefits to us, the general public.
Since they are completely incapable of working out what that means to us, let’s send a few pointers.
What about inspiration for teachers and children in schools and colleges, what about job training and what about the abundant work opportunities in construction and infrastructure? What about building the bypasses we so desperately need?
David Lidington is a good constituency MP and sees these opportunities. He deserves support even from us non Tories, for his responsibility to vote yes to HS2.
The nation needs HS2 and Bucks needs to share the vision and the work this scheme can create.
High Street, Waddesdon
AQUA VALE MUST DO BETTER
Copy of a letter sent to Aqua Vale.
I have been a member of the Aqua Vale for two years and regularly take my two grandchildren, age 4 and 8, to the pool for lessons.
I have, since first joining, commented to staff including duty managers about the lack of cleanliness and hygiene at the pool, only to be told that they have seen a lot dirtier pools than Aylesbury and that their concern is for safety.
I understand that the prevention of anyone drowning must be the number one priority but surely hygiene is also a matter of safety.
Following the closure of the pool the other week, I was hoping that standards of hygiene might be improved and certainly when I visited last week it was evident that there was an improvement in cleanliness around the pool and in the changing rooms.
However, things seemed to have slipped back again in my view.
Pool surround and changing rooms were dirty and littered with rubbish but my main concern, which has been the case for the past 2 years, is that following swimming lessons parents are in the shower area wearing outdoor shoes.
Anything carried in on their shoes can presumably be transferred to the pool!
There is a small black typed notice stating that outdoor shoes should not be worn in this area and plastic overshoes should be worn, however, when I pointed this out to the 8 or so people in the showers today, I was told that I did not understand that they needed to ensure their children rinsed the shampoo out of their hair properly!
When I pointed out that they could have trodden in anything outside and be bringing in heaven only knows what into the area being used by people with bare feet, I was just told that I did not understand their need to supervise their children.
Unfortunately these parents need to be educated and this can only be done by your staff as I only receive abuse from them.
It is possible to do this by placing more prominent and visible signs in the area and for a member of staff for a few weeks to ensure it is adhered to, as was done at Thame pool (where I continue to swim due to the fact the pool is kept in a much cleaner and hygienic state than Aqua Vale).
At Thame pool the majority of people now take off their shoes before entering the changing area and I have never seen anyone poolside or in the shower areas wearing outdoor shoes.
I realise that the layout of the Aqua Vale does make it very difficult to discourage people from walking in outdoor shoes in shower and poolside areas but I feel this is a challenge for your staff and once people realise it is just not allowed/acceptable due to reasons of hygiene, they will comply, as has been proved in Thame.
It is a pity that when work was carried out on the pool last year that some of the funds were not utilised to reorganise the layout to ensure that it was not possible to enter the pool areas without going through foot bath and shower areas.
Regrettably, as I live very near to Aqua Vale, I will not be renewing my membership again and will myself continue swimming at Thame unless I witness some improvement in the hygiene, cleanliness and attitude by Aqua Vale staff towards this.
Your comments would be welcome.
The saga goes on but what a disgrace our local MP - David Lidington has become. He was missing, conveniently, yet again when the hybrid HS2 bill second reading was discussed in parliament on Monday 28th April. He was in Estonia! The HS2 group against indicated “Between Midday and 8pm (on the day) a team will provide guidance on how to lobby your MP. For details visit www.hs2aa.org.” Unfortunately he wasn’t there!
On 20th Nov. 2010 it was reported that “many backbenchers of all parties, plus the speaker John Bercow, have also pledged to fight the plan. David Lidington, the Foreign Office minister and our local MP, said “if it came down to it I would vote against the route as proposed. I am personally against it.”
In 2011 David Lidington said that he would vote against a bill to build proposed route and said “At this stage I would consult with my constituents.” He added that he would vote against the route as proposed and admitted losing his ministerial job “might be the choice I face”
Bucks County Council cabinet member Patricia Birchley lives just 225 meters from the proposed HS2 line. She said “he’s explained that he is able to do more behind the scenes, but HS2 still looks like it’s going to go ahead.” Even the leader of Bucks County Council and chairman of HS2 51 Group Martin Tett has all but thrown the towel in.
We will continue to fight against this ridiculous proposal and just ask David Lidington to resign full stop if he cannot support the wishes of his constituents.
UKIP and Independent Group
Bucks County Council
REMEMBER WHAT WE ALREADY HAVE
We have enjoyed such a week of glorious music in Aylesbury; we are so fortunate!
On Thursday’s Music at lunchtime, the guitar and violin duo of Laura Snowden and Joo
Yeon Sir delighted the audience in St Mary’s Church with their own inventive arrangements and compositions.
Then what a pleasure to hear the Aylesbury Choral Society on Radio 3 last Saturday singing Thomas Attwood’s anthem for the 1821 coronation of George IV while drinking my early morning tea, looking across to St Mary’s where they sang it in April 2011. Next, in the evening, a concert of spell-binding music with the piano-duo Dina Duisen and Gamal Khamis sponsored by the Friends of St Mary’s.
Then on Sunday morning, the BBC broadcast, an extract from “The Immortal Hour” by Aylesbury’s very own composer Rutland Boughton. Born in Buckingham Street on 23 Jan 1878, he founded the first Glastonbury Festival exactly 100 years ago, which included 3 performances of the Immortal Hour just after war was declared in August 1914. After the war, however it achieved the amazing world record for the greatest number of consecutive performances of any serious opera!
What a week for demonstrating Aylesbury’s standing and achievements in the arts of music... Sadly, these qualities were not recognised in the first draft presented last summer by Aylesbury Vale District Council about Aylesbury as a “Centre for Entertainment and the Arts’’.
When AVDC’s revised draft is placed in the library on Wednesday 30 April, we will see if the amendments adequately reflect the comments which were submitted about past achievements,
Aylesbury’s current offerings and their potential for even more enjoyment.
Graham Aylett, St Mary’s Square, Aylesbury