A correspondent who says cinema-goers were aggressive towards her because of her race is featured in this week’s round-up of the Herald letters page.
CINEMA INCIDENT: ABSURD AND ABRUPT
As racial prejudice is a hot topic in the media at the moment, this letter might raise some awareness about the absurd and abrupt attitude of some individuals in the present times.
No doubt it will also raise a few eyebrows, but that is to be expected.
My two cousins, sister; who is a teacher, aunt; who is a doctor and I, a trainee solicitor visited Odeon, Aylesbury on the evening of Saturday 7th March to watch the film “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”.
We were slightly late into the screen which was not helped by the staff that served us and supposedly seated the 5 of us together but he later realised some of the seats that had been allocated to us had already been taken.
On arrival at the screen, we found the row that we were looking for but could not identify our seat numbers because other persons were sitting on both sides of that row and the only way to identify the seat numbers were by looking at the seat flaps which was an impossible task whilst others were sat.
Then, out of nowhere an elderly man got up out of the first seat nearest to me and said very sarcastically “you can say excuse me”.
He then put his hand on my back and pushed me forward into the row. I was extremely shaken by this.
We turned around and moved to the opposite side of the row in an attempt to find our seats.
We asked to get into the row but even those individuals expected us to climb over them.
We almost immediately discovered that we were still not in the right seats.
At this point, a lady from the row in front of us turned around and shouted “WHAT DOES IT MATTER, JUST SIT DOWN”.
My sister felt it necessary to explain that “we did not want to take up other peoples seats”, when this lady’s partner also turned around and shouted in our faces.
We were shocked and speechless. I decided to go and speak with the manager of the cinema, Michelle who was helpful and moved us to the Premiere seats.
Despite being reluctant to stay and watch the film, we decided that the attitude of a handful of people would not ruin our rare evening out.
Following this incident, we have been highly put off from visiting the Odeon in the future and we feel victimised and hope the individuals who behaved in such a manner read this article and reflect on their ill manners, behaviour and attitude.
I could not believe the hostility and hypocrisy of these individuals towards young Asian women when they had chosen to come and watch a film about integration between two cultures.
What the media is consistently portraying against ethnic minorities nowadays is, in my opinion, influencing people to stereotype all individuals from ethnic minorities and treat them unequally.
We should all be treated as we would like to be treated. I had thought Aylesbury was changing for the better but after this incident I am beginning to question this.
WHY NO NUMBER
Sometime ago I invested in a very handy appliance to block unwanted telephone calls on a landline.
It serves me well in filtering out most of these annoying calls we are now plagued with.
The machine also blocks calls from users who routinely withhold their numbers.
Somewhat surprised then to recently (and rather scaringly) discover that both banks and NHS trusts withhold their numbers, even when making emergency calls.
Rather defeats the object.
What is their motive for withholding numbers, particularly the NHS in a time of personal crisis?
Have other readers encountered this problem?
How do we stop it and encourage a more transparent system?
SHAME ON YOU
I read with dismay the opinion piece by Alex Pratt, in his capacity as chairman of Bucks Business First (Bucks Herald 11/3/2015).
Instead of supporting an initiative that will finally deliver superfast broadband to rural areas of Aylesbury Vale in rapid time, he instead rallies behind the current status quo of not providing superfast broadband.
Is this the same man who in this very publication, in response to the announcement that BT was rolling out superfast to certain areas, said “Of course, this is great news for those that already have access to the fibre optic technology, but for those rural pockets that currently rely on slow broadband or dial-up access, it must feel like, while everyone else is powering along the internet superhighway, they are stuck in the 30mph zone, with no hope of ever getting in the fast lane.”?
What a U-turn a few years makes, next thing we know Alex will be telling us how good HS2 is for Aylesbury Vale.
In case you missed it Alex, most of Aylesbury Vale is a rural pocket relying upon slow broadband with no hope of receiving superfast broadband.
At a recent meeting launching this initiative ONE THIRD of the adult population (who will be impacted by it) showed up to voice their support - they wouldn’t have attended if the current status quo that Alex wants to protect were delivering.
Further if Alex had attended this meeting he would know this initiative is a commercial operation that AVDC are supporting and not running as he suggested (Alex’s opinion piece contained numerous factual errors).
It is a disgrace for a supposedly unbiased organisation to come out in support of one business to the detriment of hundreds, if not thousands, of other businesses in Aylesbury Vale.
Shame on you Alex and shame on Bucks Business First.
POLICE STATION DEMOLITION
I thought I should share my thoughts about the experience I’ve had over the last few months dealing with Bucks County Council and their decision to demolish a key piece of architecture in Aylesbury - the Old Police Station.
It started back in September 2014 when I saw a cry for help on the Aylesbury Society’s website. They had been trying for quite some time to preserve both buildings. After some thought I decided to start a petition. By sharing it on my Facebook page ‘Aylesbury Remembered’ it quickly gathered speed and soon we had 1,000 signatures.
This, I thought, should be more than enough to attract some attention when it was presented. Emails were sent back and forth to BCC, trying to arrange a presentation date.
By Christmas time a date was set. By this time we had almost 2,000 signatures and on presentation the total had reached 2,169 - a significant number of people.
Martin Tett, Leader of BCC received the petition on Jan 6th and I heard nothing from him in the days afterwards.
A couple of weeks passed and then I sent an email to Chris Williams the Chief Exec asking when a formal response would be made.
Days passed and then I get a brief answer saying that one was being prepared. Eventually a draft response was sent by Nick Henstock. I should not have had to chase them for a response as it states in BCC’s petition guidelines that they are supposed contact me within 7 days of receiving the petition firstly to confirm they received it and then in 20 working days should give a response. This didn’t happen.
The whole thing has been treated with very badly. It is like the petition was a minor inconvenience and was something they wanted to quietly sweep under the carpet.
I, and many other Aylesbury folk who signed the petition don’t appreciate being treated like this. I had put a lot of time and effort into gathering information and spreading the word, as did a few others.
The decision to demolish this building will not go down well with the voting public.
When I posted their decision on Aylesbury Remembered at least 10,000 people saw it and there were many angry comments.
In closing I will say that BCC had a golden opportunity here to do something bold by preserving a part of the town that most people know and love and converting the site into something to cherish.
There are some who call it an eyesore - some councillors do for that matter but one has to see past the grime and realise what a striking pair of buildings they are.
This is the 1960s all over again. BCC deciding what they will do and disregarding anyone who objects.
They should hang their heads in shame.
Save the planet from pollution.
Does anyone have the solution?
Save your soul and find redemption,
Lord deliver us from temptation.
Save our world from the bomb,
Who else has the atom?
War in Syria; live in fear.
Is it true the end is near?
Save the foxes from the dogs,
Is anyone interested in saving frogs?
Elephants, tigers, pandas and whales,
Does anyone care about the snails?
Save us from fast drivers in our village,
What next rape and pillage?
Crime and violence in our street.
Where are the police? In retreat.
Phew! It’s getting hotter!
Global warming does it matter?
Climate change the new quasi religion,
with high prices that give you indigestion.
Just pay up and don’t question.
Save us from these gloomy thoughts,
I’m sure it will all come to nought.
It’s not yet time for the requiem,
So let’s enjoy life until then
By Simon Icke
Like most drivers, I go to some lengths to avoid the many potholes on our roads.
Driving into Tring last week was no exception and, like most folk, I have come to accept that the ongoing tightening of belts and financial austerity in our region are making it hard for councils to carry out the necessary work.
Imagine my astonishment as I drove into the large Pay and Display car park off the High Street in Tring by the market site to see the entire car park had been completely resurfaced and relined to a high standard.
My astonishment turned to a degree of anger when it dawned on me that someone at the council had decided that the maintenance of the car park was of a higher priority than sorting out the poor condition of some of our roads.
Would someone like to explain to the Council Tax payers of Tring and elsewhere the logic of such a decision and how much it cost.
No doubt we will be told that the monies came out of a pot specifically for car parks and not for road maintenance.
If true, this will be yet another example of a lack of joined-up thinking and poor allocation of scarce resources.
Contact a Family – a national charity that supports UK families with disabled children whatever their disability - is worried that local families could be missing out on a potential £21.55 - £138.05 extra each week because they wrongly think they’re not entitled to Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
DLA is the main benefit for disabled children and can transform a family’s income by helping to meet the extra costs of raising a disabled child like transport, heating, special food and clothing.
It also helps families feel less alone by giving disabled children the chance to have fun at local activities.
It can cost three times more to raise a disabled child than a non disabled child and our latest research has found that more than a quarter of families with disabled children have additional expenses of over £300 every month.
Despite this, many parents tell us they don’t claim DLA because they believe their child’s disability isn’t severe enough, their child needs a diagnosis first before they can make a claim or they aren’t eligible because their child has a learning disability, autistic spectrum disorder or behaviour problems.
These are myths and not true.
Contact a Family is here to help. Make sure your family isn’t missing out on this potentially life-saving extra income.
Visit www.cafamily.org.uk or call our free helpline on 0808 808 3555 so we can talk you through the rules for getting DLA and send you our DLA guide which includes tips for filling in the claim form.
Head of Policy and campaigns
Contact a Family
Lying and cheating seems to be becoming a way of life more and more in our society.
I read the story last week in the Bucks Herald of the woman who lied over speeding tickets.
She is rightly now facing prison for perjury.
I don’t know what was in her mind when she lied but one thing is for certain she now has a criminal record - all because she wouldn’t face up to a couple of speeding tickets. Absolute madness
As my dad always said, ‘honesty is the best policy’ Name and address supplied