Two letters about wind turbines are featured in this week’s round-up from the Herald letters page.
I take it that the protesters against the Ford 101m turbine (Bucks Herald January 14) expect the light to go on when they enter their houses?
Surely with all the publicity these last few years every sensible person knows that burning fossil fuels is a finite energy source and nuclear, though clean, is dangerous – every wind powered source is a bonus.
We are talking about one unit, go to Norfolk, Lincolnshire etc, there are hundreds and as a regular visitor one soon gets used to them.
Blot on the landscape? Perhaps but what about Pooleys Pile (county offices), Stokenchurch tower, Didcot power station, in the past Chinnor cement works, Calvert and Pitstone chimneys, of course now demolished – but at the time were seen as great assets for the work they brought at a time of great agricultural depression.
By the same token, if Mr Elgin has proposed this turbine 40 years ago, I could guarantee there would virtually be no local opposition (in fact support).
I attended a couple of meetings and cynically noted that having lived around here for 65 years that I did not recognise any old time villagers.
The countryside has always accepted change, some good, some bad. Could there have been such opposition when windmills were erected? No because the labourers could see an end to the back breaking inefficient use of the flail.
Even I accept the proliferation of four-wheel drives as opposed to the horse and bicycle of the past.
Rosemary Lane, Haddenham
Well done AVDC planning department.
They will now be able to solicit entry into the next edition of the Guinness Book of Records.
Amazingly and without any fanfare or celebration Aylesbury now has probably what is one of the world’s tallest wind turbines.
And if that wasn’t enough to make all the Aylesburians puff out their chests with pride, AVDC planners have also now given the green light to two, yes two, crematoria.
These will give the lucky people of Aylesbury (population circa 70,000) more crematorium facility per capita than anywhere else on the planet. A proud record indeed.
Sensibly, though, AVDC planning has proposed that the two crematoriums should be very close together, presumably to save costs on gas pipe installation etc and so close to existing housing that people perhaps will be able to dispense with undertakers altogether.
Watermea: A private unique housing development of some 1,000 dwellings surrounding a man-made lake with its own piazza and home to a number of community facilities including a private dentist, vet, shop, hairdressers pub and restaurant.
Watermead has evolved over the past 26 years to become one of the most sought after housing developments around.
A very desirable place to live, it has village status with its very own parish council, which it must be said also has a potential entry for the Guinness Book of Records having spent many thousands of taxpayers’ money converting a 9ft by 10ft gatekeepers hut into a state-of-the-art council meeting room.
Could this perhaps be why the parish council has seemed so impotent and ineffective in protecting this beautiful place from the ludicrous excesses of the AVDC planners?
You could not make it up.
WAKE UP CALL
In their publicity for the proposed Kingsbrook estate, Barratts make it clear that the so-called rural section of the Stocklake Link Road, or SLR, will become the main road into Aylesbury from the east.
This is also the intention of the highway authority. Why, then, is it being taken through the middle of a new housing estate?
It will be like Bedgrove, but with much more traffic.
The plans even show a secondary school alongside this main road, which may eventually need to be a dual carriageway.
If our councillors are so easily persuaded by pretty pictures that they approve this idea, one wonders where they are getting their professional advice.
I have pointed out in previous letters (Bucks Herald November 12 and December 17 2014) this fundamental flaw in the design.
It can easily be overcome by changing the alignment of the SLR so that all the development lies to the north of it.
As I said before, wake up, Aylesbury and Bierton, there will be no second chance.
Campion Close, Aylesbury
I would like to respond to the AVDC Labour Group Leader (Robin Stuchbury).
A number of people seem to be rushing to the conclusion that AVDC is about to become a unitary authority.
As the leader of the council has said several times, no decision would be made without the residents of Aylesbury Vale being consulted in a referendum.
In fact, no decision has even been made to consider the unitary path – that is a matter for the council to decide in February.
A council decision is necessary so that resources can be committed to prepare a proper business case, as to whether it would be of benefit to residents.
> In the investigation, all the services that county currently provide would be looked in to and it may be that some services would be commissioned from the ‘independent’ companies the county is already in the process of setting up. I would be surprised, however, if a unitary AVDC would want to replicate the current county council structure.
> AVDC has a track record of achieving change to be more cost efficient and this will continue, whether or not, the unitary path is followed but as the 28th out of 58 in size on the unitary scale, it would be in a good position to control its own destiny in our rapidly changing district.
> After all,Milton Keynes used to be part of Bucks (county council)once and survived the change to unitary in 1997.
So no more scaremongering, let’s wait to see what happens first at council in February when all councillors have a chance to take part in the debate.
AVDC Cabinet Member for Leisure
FIGURES DON’T CUT IT
I enjoy reading Alex Pratt each week and his article of January 7 was so true. Where are the leaders to tell us the simple but hard truth?
The UK government is currently borrowing £8 billion a month and the national debt is now over £1.4 trillion, with interest payments alone of almost £50 billion each year.
All staggering amounts, yet so many people say the government should stop making cuts and spend more on the NHS etc.
Clearly those people, and all our politicians, have never heard of the term ‘living within your means’.
FAILED TO MENTION
Re Open letter from Martin Tett, Leader BCC on work to do in the year ahead.
1. On the one hand, Mr Tett didn’t mention that: children’s social care was not one of BCC’s top two priorities last year; Children’s Services was assessed by Ofsted as inadequate, that failures in safeguarding were widespread and serious and that children were at risk of harm; the Secretary of State for Education has sent in her own advisors to sort the problems out, and it will all cost us about £9 million this year.
Mr Tett offered no apology to the thousands of vulnerable children who were (and still are) let down by BCC, nor to their families who are still struggling.
2. On the other hand, Mr Tett fully recognised that the grass wasn’t cut as often as it should have been last year. He apologised for not cutting the grass often enough.
3. Says it all, really.
MISSED THE POINT
It was lovely to see more pictures of old Aylesbury (Jan 14th.)
During the 1960s I worked as a Salesman for the BSA company, and , living in Shropshire I travelled the country coast to coast. Every three months I came to Aylesbury and used to park in market square by the clock tower and walk to see my customers, one being the brother and sister business, Jowett’s the ironmongers in Kingsbury square, what a lovely old shop that was , stepping back in time to the early 1900,s.
Years later in the seventies, my job changed and I needed to relocate from Shropshire to Buckinghamshire, I told my wife about Aylesbury, and what a pleasant town it was.
What a shock when we came house hunting!
Dominating the town was the appalling concrete monstrosity of the multi-story car park, adjoining the East German Barrack block known as the council offices.
I often wonder if the people who ripped the heart out of what was supposed to be the capital town of Bucks ever were able to justify what they did, what possible excuse did professional architects and town planners give themselves for this wanton vandalism?
By the time HS2 has been completed, it should finish off completely, what was once a very pleasant part of the country.
Chestnut Close, Waddesdon
How I agree with Giles de Boulay (letters 14 Jan) regarding the ridiculous white elephant outside Aylesbury library.
As he points out, this was built at great expense as an ego trip for someone, using OUR money, and has never been any use since completed.
Why not let various charities use it as a display area?
This could be done on a rota system, each charity making use of it for a week or fortnight at a time.
Maybe someone from the charity could be there on a Friday or Saturday to give more information to the public.
There is excellent footfall by the library and bus station, especially on market days.
At least it would then be of some use at last.
JEWEL OF PEACE
The call for volunteers to restore the Wendover Arm of the Grand Union Canal (BH January 14, p17) may be seen by many as a worthy cause.
I take a different view. The unrestored stretch from Wharf Road to Halton especially is a jewel of tranquil bio-diversity which would surely be a sad loss to the county should it be made navigable again.
Doubtless many boaters would be content with the over 100 miles of navigable waters they already have knowing that they are leaving the abundant flora and fauna of that short unrestored portion of the Arm in peace.
Giles du Boulay
Malvern Road, Aylesbury
Having been resident in Bedfordshire when the Unitary changes occurred a few years ago, where respective Local Authorities fought their corners from a very parochial position, rather than considering what would be best for residents, I see the probability of the same happening in Buckinghamshire.
Instead of taking the lead in a positive way by opening up the debate for Buckinghamshire as a whole to progress to the best unitary solution, AVDC has, it appears, indicated its desire to go it alone.
Undoubtedly, with its four district councils and the county council, Buckinghamshire must strive urgently for a local authority structure suitable for the 21st Century.
What we have currently is not fit for purpose, particularly as government is providing less and less financial subsidy to all authorities forcing cost cutting and efficiencies.
The county has about 213,000 homes of which 35.2% are in Aylesbury Vale, 33.3% in Wycombe District, 18.3% in Chiltern and 13.2% in South Bucks.
Should AVDC become a unitary, it appears to me that inevitably Wycombe District Council will do the same, obliging Chiltern and South Bucks to amalgamate and these three would take over the activities of the county council, which would cease to exist.
A reduction from five authorities to three should bring efficiencies but is it the best solution? Would not two unitary authorities be a better way forward, after all rapidly growing Milton Keynes is a unitary authority with about 100,000 homes?
Well done to AVDC and Councillor Neil Blake in bringing this matter forward into the public domain with the inevitable ensuing lively debate.
My challenge is for you now to convene a meeting of all five of Buckinghamshire’s local authorities to sit down and discuss objectively the best solution for Buckinghamshire.
That would of course mean all the district councils being prepared to put their existing boundaries in the waste paper bin, in order to constructively arrive at the best solution for the residents of Buckinghamshire in terms of the most robust and cost efficient running of our local services in the future.
Roy van de Poll
Langley Close, Winslow
Since the Gatehouse Ward by election at the end of last year won by the Lib Dems under Anders Christensen, and about which an article and photograph was printed in your newspaper at the time, there has been no counter-response in your paper with regard to comments made by Mr Christensen at the time.
In your article derogatory remarks were made by him aimed at UKIP.
These deserve some comeback in order to put the record straight.
I quote from your article in which he states: ‘The fact is I’m an immigrant working hard and I’m the kind of person UKIP tries to portray in a negative light’.
I am sick and tired of the portrayal of us in a false light’.
From the conversations I have had with a great many people locally this was the cornerstone of his campaign to win votes on the door to door-knocking exercise to portray UKIP as opposed to immigrants.
So who is it who is portraying who in a negative light, Mr Christensen?
For his information UKIP are not opposed to immigration. Far from it .
What they are opposed to is the current free for all where no checks or controls are made on immigrants regarding numbers entering the UK under EU Freedom of movement legislation.
And so Mr Christenesen, get your facts right and stop labelling UKIP as a party opposed to immigrants per se.
He should not be allowed to hoodwink ordinary folk without receiving a stern reply to his false claims in order to win votes for the Lib Dems.
Buckingham Road, Aylesbury