Letters to the editor in this week’s Bucks Herald newspaper include:
When are the local authorities going to deal with the terrible state of our local roads?
As a local car driver I am sick of continually having to manoeuvre around potholes in and around Buckinghamshire (sometimes at the expense of road safety).
I cannot believe that local authority councillors (Bucks and AVDC) do not notice them when they drive their own cars around the area, or are they too busy looking at the nice flower arrangements on roundabouts they have spent our money on!
This money would be far better spent on doing a better job on repairing the potholes, particularly on roundabouts where lane discipline is important when negotiating them.
In particular I would draw their attention to the Haydon Hill roundabout (on the pub side of the A40 main road from Waddesdon in case you haven’t noticed).
Buckinghamshire roads are definitely the worst in the country (I travel all over) and it’s about time you look after the motorists interests instead of wasting much needed funds on unnecessary window-dressing ( or is the Village in Bloom prize more important to you?).
In September I learned that there was to be a New Year’s Eve Party at the Waterside Theatre.
My wife called the theatre and enquired as to whether there was a dress code and if we would have an allocated table which we were assured there would be.
This event was advertised in your paper as being a Winter white New Year’s Eve Party.
We purchase a total of 17 tickets at £25 each and looked forward to an enjoyable evening.
We arrived with two of our guests at 7.45pm to find a bland room with no decorations - not even a balloon and a guy in a corner with his laptop playing music. Not a disco light in sight. The only white to be seen were the table cloths.
There was a small bar in a corner with three staff to serve the customers. The prices were astronomical as we paid £15 for 4 drinks two of which were soft drinks and the bar staff did not know what they were doing and served all drinks in plastic beakers.
The place was full of responsible adults not a crowd of youngsters at a BBQ in a field. Needless to say these were the only drinks we bought.
There was supposed to a ‘round the world’ buffet. It resembled a selection box from Iceland which had been left in a fridge and then laid out.
All the pastry was ‘soggy’ and really not appetising. The ‘Casino’ was no more than a roulette wheel on a table in the corridor leading to hall. Ideally this should have been in a separate location.
The remainder of our party arrived at 8.30pm but were unable to get a seat. We tried to enjoy ourselves but as there was no atmosphere we left at 10.30pm with two of our party going home and enjoyed the rest of the evening. The rest of our party also left and went to another venue to enjoy the festivities.
I have attended many New Year’s Eve parties over the years but this was the worst I have ever attended. To describe it as a Winter White Party was a misrepresentation.
SAINSBURY’S BENEFIT TO TOWN
With regard to the proposed new Sainsbury’s in Bicester Road, AVDC should not be influenced by the feelings of ‘out of town’ developments such as Berryfields when making their decision as to whether to give the project the go ahead.
They must consider the wellbeing of the ever increasing Aylesbury town population as a whole.
They should remember that an important element of Sainsbury’s proposal is that they will refurbish their existing town centre store, and develop the huge surrounding area in what is, let’s face it, a rather ‘tired’ part of the town centre.
The development will offer new retail units, and hopefully attract other organisations into the town centre, not to mention the construction of retirement homes at the junction of New Street and Cambridge Street, all of which will encourage more people to come into town and hopefully boost the economy.
I wonder, out of curiosity, exactly how many AVDC councillors actually live in the town, or, for that matter, shop there on a regular basis.
If they do, they cannot fail to see the benefits that the new Sainsbury’s, plus the redevelopment of the surrounding town centre site, will bring to Aylesbury town residents.
The Berryfield residents and Saviles needn’t be worried that this project will adversely effect their local shops.
If these units offer the community what they want, they will be used, but inevitably many residents will still choose to jump into their cars to shop in the large chain stores dotted around town, both existing and new.
But you only have to look at Jansel Square, Bedgrove, or Parton Road, off the Tring Road, to see that these stores continue to serve their communities, despite their proximity to Tring Road Tescos. To put it bluntly, if AVDC reject this development they need their combined heads knocked together.
WORSE THEN CHILE
I noticed in the news over the weekend that the World Economic Forum have announced that Britain’s roads have deteriorated to a point where they are worse than those in Cyprus, Chile and Croatia and equal with Namibia.
Apparently we now rank 28th in the world on road quality and there is maintenance backlog of some £10.5 billion.
To ‘celebrate’ this new achievement could I suggest that your newspaper runs a competition to discover the worst road in the County.
My own nomination would be the road through the village of Bishopstone, where even the patches on the patches have patches and there seem to be more on the way. I could offer a whole lot more but it would probably take up most of this page.
Old Post Office Cottage, Dinton
A few years ago, as I’m sure you all know,
If Aylesbury was viewed from above,
Had roundabouts scattered everywhere,
Just dumped by the council we love,
I thought they worked well but you never can tell,
Because the council is busy taking them away,
Traffic lights are the thing, as they put hundreds in,
And cause traffic chaos each day.
Last week you reported the good work done by people like Ruth Dearnley and James Rothwell.
I would like to encourage them and others by quoting JS Mill in 1861.
‘There is and incessant current of human affairs towards the worse, consisting of all the follies, vices, and negligences of mankind, which is only controlled and kept from sweeping all before it by the exertions which some people put forth in the direction of good and worthy objects.... a small diminution of those exertions would not only put a stop to improvement but would turn the general tendency of things towards deterioration: which, once begun, would proceed with increasing rapidity and become more and more difficult to check’ (Rep Govt, Chap2)
WHAT’S GOING ON?
What is the council doing with regard to improving the roads? Or not.
Is it that having received praise for their pothole work that they think they can now rest on their laurels?
Meanwhile my car like many others probably, is being wrecked by the fast deteorating road surface on the A41 at Kingswood, where they are misspending our money this time.
Bicester Road, Kingswood
BACK IN TIME
Karl Vaughan’s Back in Time pieces are always of interest. However, I suspect there is a slight inaccuracy in the caption to his 1951 photograph in your edition of January 8.
The Old Berks is a foxhound packbased in Oxfordshire and the picture shows beagle hounds at The Bugle Horn.
These are almost certainly from the Old Berkely Beagles, a pack that was formed in 1926 from the disbanded RAF Uxbridge Beagle, and shows regularly at the Buckinghamshire County Show, much to the delight of the children.
Station Cottages, Winslow
Your piece this week about traffic chaos in the construction of HS2 is worrying reading.
But does it not suggest that this is the time for all politicians to support the Bucks County Council in getting bypasses for both Aylesbury and Waddesdon with HS2?
With existing jams we know we need a bypass now. But if the Government is already predicting a traffic increase of 19% even without HS2, then surely that means extra urgent action.?
Hideaway Farm, Stoke Mandeville
District Council Leader Neil Blake thinks ‘specialist shops’ would be a good idea for the cattlemarket car park site.
Just what planet is he from? Does he ever walk around the town and see all the empty shops?
The cattlemarket car park is very well used by shoppers as it is close to the High Street, Market Square and cinema.
He states that ‘there shouldn’t be a lot of parking spaces there because there will be alternative arrangements’.
However, he is unable to state what these ‘arrangements are.
He also says that more people buy on line and do not need shops!! A very confused man is Mr Blake.
Pity poor Aylesbury, once the proud county town of Buckinghamshire, it had the heart taken out of it by a brutal redevelopment in the 60’s and has been messed about with ever since.
Lower business rates and rents for the shops we already have plus a decent road system and we might get somewhere.
I was saddened to read of the impending closure of the Renaissance project, a centre which has been supporting people with mental health problems in the Aylesbury area for the past 17 years.
About 30 years ago I attended a meeting at St Johns psychiatric hospital in Stone where the staff were told that the hospital would be closing.
We were anxious about what this would mean for the people in our care. It seemed then however that there would be ample provision for both medical and social care in the community.
Sadly over the last few years a number of local facilities which had provided valuable support for vulnerable people in our community and their families have been closed.
Last summer the excellent recycling centre at Hampden Hall ( ARRC) closed. This unit provided employment and support for adults with learning difficulties.
On a National level we have seen the recent closure of the last Remploy factories. Remploy provided work and an income for over 3,000 disabled people nationwide.
It seems that lack of profitability was the reason given for all these closures. Community care should not be a matter of profit and loss, it is a social responsibility.
If our society is to be judged by the way it treats its most vulnerable members then we are currently doing shamefully badly.