Letters appearing in this week’s Bucks Herald newspaper include:
HOUSING TENANTS NOT TO BLAME
The use of the headline ‘Uncollected rubbish turns road into “Benefits Street”’ in last week’s fly-tipping story may have wrongly led your readers to assume that social housing tenants living in the area were to blame.
On this occasion the person we identified as responsible for the fly tipping at Mason’s Court was a private homeowner - and it’s not the first time that private homeowners have fly tipped on Trust land.
The real story here is that the selfish and antisocial behaviour of some people (whether they are on benefits, homeowners or otherwise) is costing a local charity £100,000 a year to clear up their mess. This is money that should rightly be used to home families in need and provide help and support to the most vulnerable in our society.
Chief executive, Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust
MINI MOTO AGAINST THE LAW?
I refer to your article about the father (Mr Flynn) posing with his five year old son, who is on a mini moto.
The photo accompanying the article appears to depict an area of public land located to the rear of Meadowcroft.
If that is the case, then surely the law is being broken. Obviously I could be totally wrong about the location, but as I walk along a path in that area on most days, I don’t think I am.
Section 34 of The Road Traffic Act 1988 deals with part of the offence committed, however, Thames Valley Police state the following:
It is against the law to use a mini moto in public parks, open spaces, or on footpaths, pavements, cycle routes and bridleways. It is an offence to use a mini moto on a footpath to pass from one piece of private land to another.
Further, if you are under 16 - the only place that you can ride a mini moto is on private land but you must have the permission of the land owner.
If I am wrong, this letter can be treated as advice for other mini moto riders; if I am right (about the location) then maybe your article is inappropriate!
LOCAL PLAN: COUNCIL ERRORS
Many of your readers will no doubt be alarmed, as I am, at the Government Inspector’s decision to throw out the Vale of Aylesbury plan.
There is no doubt that this is government policy in action. Despite all the claims of a localism agenda, the Government want more houses and the local council really don’t get a say.
Having said that it is only fair that people are also aware that we, as a council, have made some errors.
This has allowed the plan to be thrown out at a very early stage under a technicality known as “Duty to Co-operate” - we did not even get over the first hurdle. If it were solely down to the numbers the plan could have still gone forward, albeit with challenges.
I do not pretend to speak for other councillors but feel the public are owed an apology from the Council for our collective failure.
I believe both Councils and Councillors should do more to fight development around Aylesbury. Its not just a question of putting your hand up at a meeting.
Two examples: A motion was recently brought forward to council opposing developer plans to shut the gyratory system in Aylesbury. (After both AVDC and Bucks CC “rolled over” to developer plans on transport) .
It was voted down by the cabinet and others, including by those who will now shout the loudest that “heads should roll”.
The main argument against was that it would put the Vale of Aylesbury Plan in jeopardy when, patently, it did not.
We had the chance to stand against a developer and failed to take it. There is no doubt we are in a very weak position: not having a Local Plan is a monumental blow.
However a bad and wholly inappropriate scheme is still a bad and wholly inappropriate scheme and can be fought on planning grounds.
The Hampden Fields Action Group is still steadfast in its belief that this is the case with Hampden Fields and we intend to fight on believing our planning case is good. Developer chances of success have increased significantly but lets hope we can win one !
Cllr Phil Yerby
Aston Clinton Ward Chairman Hampden Fields Action Group
HS2: NO VALID REASON
There are two things veteran anti HS2 scribe Gordon Findlay in Wendover highlights this week in his letter by implication.
The first is the appalling job this government and its Labour predecessor have done in communicating the concept of HS2.
Another is the absence of any credible public perception research into people’s awareness of HS2.
People just do not know what it is .
Unfortunately, his figures have been shown to have no valid basis which is why Stop HS2 never quotes them of course.
These two factors have been an absolute gift to the StopHS2 misinformation machine.
This is evident in Mr Findlay’s letter castigating poor Mrs J Hoskins this week for her most valid concerns about council spending (letter 16th January).
Earlier Bucks Herald letter writers have pointed out the basic HS2 concept of moving people long distances at high speed to hubs nationwide, then to be dispersed relatively locally.
That’s why it does not stop here. Actually, Stop HS2 know that of course.
This week we also learn that yet again, the StopHS2 Alliance people have failed in the High Court.
The sum of £150,00 miss spent so far, with a promise apparently up to £500,000 in future is rather more than a few pence each Mr Findlay.
Our grandchildren deserve the long term vision of an infrastructure for the future.
People have also pointed out tha HS2 project offers the prospect of the related education, planning, manufacturing and construction to the country as a whole. Bucks could be part of this if the movers and shakers got off their backsides.
Even Gordon could help them out if he put his ‘be constructive’ hat on. This paper could do the same.
Upper Street, Quainton
PENN ROAD MESS
Further to your occasional articles re ‘Grot Spots’ in Aylesbury, I would like to nominate a particular pet hate of mine.
I am a Southcourt resident and as such use the Bourg Walk Bridge daily. So far so good, until you turn left into Penn Road and walk towards More Avenue/ Coxhill Way.
The Housing Association has spent millions of pounds renovating the properties and installing new railings to improve the appearance of the front gardens.
I feel this was a complete waste of money in a lot of cases,as most of the gardens are very uncared for and seem to be used only as a dumping ground for rubbish and old furniture,electrical goods and mattresses etc.
It really is not a welcoming sight if you have the misfortune to use this road, as I do, and most of the time I have to walk in the road to avoid pavements covered in dog mess.
Many years ago,when I first became a council tenant, properties were inspected on a regular basis to ensure they were being looked after,why is this no longer the case?
Mrs J King
I am writing on behalf of Marie Curie Cancer Care to thank everyone in Aylesbury Vale District for their generous support of the Marie Curie Cancer Care Christmas collection, through the street collection held in December.
Your support raised a fantastic £784.03 for the local Marie Curie nurses who provide free high quality nursing, to give terminally ill people the choice of being cared for at home supported by their families.
This fantastic amount will mean that local Marie Curie Nurses will be able to provide 39 hours of nursing care.
If you would like more information about Marie Curie Cancer Care please visit our website
If you would like more information about Marie Curie Cancer Care, please visit our website at www.mariecurie.org.uk or call me on 01604 258758.
Buckinghamshire community fundraiser
LOOK AT THE ROUTE
HS2 Route 3 has now been examined to a level of detail that should have been carried out before it was selected as the preferred route.
Great problems with huge costs have been highlighted such as the Euston Terminus, impacts on Camden, Chiltern tunnelling, many local environmental issues and no connectivity with east/west Rail.
Cost control can only be achieved with insufficient tunnelling, unsatisfactory weak levels of mitigation and termination at Old Oak Common with the poor road and LUL connections.
Surely other routes should be reassessed and subject to the same level of detailed examination before a choice of a route for such a massive investment is finalised.
The Environment Impact Statement whilst important is not a sufficient concluding basis to enable the Hybrid Bill second reading to proceed to grant consequential planning permission.
Surely alternatives to Route 3 should be compared in depth before the second reading of the Hybrid Bill is actioned.
The current largest risk is that Route 3 Phase 1 is granted powers and that this takes place without the necessary intense technical and planning scrutiny.
The Treasury Select Committee Chair questioned the cost benefit and in effect the viability of the project. Route 3 HS2 will continue to be unsound in the minds of the public and specialists and some MPs.
I hope I have expressed politely that the Hybrid Bill is an unsatisfactory process for a large and difficult project. Furthermore you know very well that the nation has many other urgent priorities.
Is it right that the country should risk having a legacy from HS2 Route 3 earlier work that is so questioned and may be the subject to such a flawed planning outcome compared to a route developed and assessed against alternatives?
There is so little time to get to the heart of the matter and Parliament to properly assess the national priorities. I suggest that the Standing Orders Committee in both Houses, also the Treasury Select Committee, the Public Accounts Committee and of course the Transport Select Committee should be encouraged to assess this unsatisfactory situation. How else will the doubts and quality of the present route be resolved?
Lower South Farm, Doddershall, Quainton