Letters round-up: Thanks to Old Boys’ tradition, we don’t have a choice this election

Letters stock image
Letters stock image

A reader living in the Buckingham constituency has hit out at not being allowed to vote for any of the main parties.


As the Election gets nearer and, I remember hearing; ‘When you grow up Son, you must vote, you must use the enormous privilege that you have, that you live in a democratic country that allows all to vote and stand together and influence and maybe change the world’.

Now I am an adult I hear people saying that their vote doesn’t count for anything because they live in a very Conservative or Labour area and their single vote wouldn’t move the Jon Snow swingometer.

Those people though still have the opportunity to vote against it and maybe if they all stood up and voted then it would count and encourage more to do the same.

But as an adult, a tax paying adult for 22 years, living in a democratic country although I have a vote, I have very little choice of who to vote for because of ‘Tradition’.

My local MP is Conservative and on May 7th the Labour or Liberal Democratic party will not field a candidate because of ‘Old Boys tradition’.

A tradition that does not allow me to have a choice, and that is the key to my point…choice! I can have choice in a pub, a supermarket a theatre and nearly every part of my life, but when it comes to voting for someone to represent me, to stand up and fight for the little corner of the earth I live in, to spend my hard earned tax…I have no choice!

Allow me to explain, I live in the constituency of Buckingham and my MP for the last 5 years has been John Bercow also known as The Speaker of the House.

Now I am not making any political or personal point on Mr Bercow, but day after day in the endless run up to the election I hear that we ‘all’ have a choice….well I don’t, and no one seems bothered! HELP!

Adam Borzone

Address supplied


The area surrounding the lake on Watermead is a desirable recreation area used by residents from the whole of Aylesbury and surrounding villages, but sadly the proposed Crematorium development on the Riviera site will lead to the permanent loss of enjoyment of the area.

Firstly, there is no legal Right of Way around the lake. Near the Riviera building, the lakeside belongs to the Riviera and will be leased to Westerleigh if the Crematorium development goes ahead.

Access to that part of the footpath is currently on a permissive basis, and could be changed at any time, which would mean there was no longer a lake circuit walk.

You’d only be able to walk a third of the way round in one direction, or a third of the way round from the other direction, but you wouldn’t be able to walk all around the lake as is currently possible.

This would upset the many people who use it on a regular basis. Even on weekdays there is a steady stream of dog walkers and parents with pushchairs using the round-the-lake circuit, and the numbers increase at weekends.

The prevailing wind blows from the Riviera across to Watermead’s houses.

Despite Westerleigh’s claims that their clients will not be permitted to scatter ashes in the lake, it will inevitably happen.

Do you want the ashes of burned bodies blowing in your toddlers’ faces as they feed the ducks on the Piazza?

Do you want your children inhaling fumes from the crematorium chimney as they walk home from school or play in the garden?

A Crematorium adjacent to leisure land, in between two housing estates, is totally inappropriate.

On warm and sunny days, groups of people flock to Watermead’s amenity land to sit on the grass in the sunshine, sit on the Piazza with a drink and gaze across the water, or play games on the balloon meadow.

Who hasn’t brought their family on a hot Sunday afternoon for a walk around the lakes, then a drink at the pub or a picnic?

Will they still want to come, or will the fumes, the ashes in the air and the sight of hearses put them off coming to enjoy the Watermead parkland?

To add to these woes, the Watermead Spine Road, the only route in and out of Watermead, and the Watermead/Buckingham Road junction, will be clogged up all day with slow-moving funeral corteges and batches of mourners leaving afterwards.

The entrance to the site being so near the junction will only make matters worse. And when the Riviera’s car park floods, as it does every winter because it’s a floodplain, all the Crematorium clients will park on the road.This is in imminent danger of happening.

AVDC are about to give the go-ahead for the Crematorium application despite knowing that this is wrong for Watermead and for Aylesbury.

Sadly, Westerleigh, known for its deep pockets, has already taken AVDC to a Judicial Review over their granting of the Bierton Crematorium Application, and AVDC appears to be running scared.

But it’s important to do what’s right, not just what’s easiest. We need to stop this development and keep this amenity land for the purpose for which it was always intended.

Debbie Clarke



Following his letter in the Herald I am surprised that Brian Roberts should indicate that we do not know what democracy is.

The Conservatives wouldn’t know what democracy was if they fell over it.

He talked about 404 MPs voting for HS2 as being democratic.

Nearly all those MP’s are with the three main parties and they support HS2 but what is important to note that they have to vote the way they are told so it is not surprising how the vote went.

Our local MP chose to be out of the country when the last debate took place - Surprise! Surprise!!

I am glad that I am free to vote how I want so I can truly represent the community I serve and this applies to any UKIP member who is elected as a councillor.

Andy Huxley

UKIP Town, District and

County Councillor


Re the article in (8 April) Bucks Herald entitled ‘Chilterns tunnel could ruin town’

My response is this: I believe that the AONB, which was designated as such, by the Government of 1965, should be treated as such, and therefore should be protected by means of a fully bored tunnel.

I believe that the construction works for HS2 are likely to have a major impact on the economies of Aylesbury, Stoke Mandeville, and Wendover, regardless of whether that construction includes a fully bored tunnel or not.

Please would you provide evidence, of the prediction of 5,000 traffic movements per day during construction, as this is not a statistic that I, as an anti-HS2 activist of five years’ standing, am aware of.

I believe, furthermore, that a fully bored tunnel is a significant piece of ‘local mitigation’ as Keith Gray, Clerk for Aylesbury Town and Coldharbour Parish Councils has expressed it.

Rosemary Chisholm

London Road, Wendover


Brian Roberts’ response to Sue Hetherington’s letter is typical of a politician justifying his position.

How many of those 404 MP’s actually agree with HS2 and only voted in favour because they were whipped into doing so?

The current Government have no democratic mandate to plough on with this scheme knowing that all of the published reports show it’s lack of benefits.

If we were truly democratic we would have an MP who actually represented his constituents and voted against rather than abstaining, disgracefully clinging on to his job and justifying it by claiming he’s in a better position to help.

Individual liberty is a fundemental of true democracy and should not be punished because of not following the party line.

Mike Knight



This lane was the original way from Aylesbury to St Peter’s church, now resting in ruins in the fields of Quarrendon.

Branching off the Bicester Road, it went in a basically northerly direction through the fields before the prefabs were built, crossed the Thame by means of a wooden bridge and onto the church.

The part in question was left by the building of the ‘Janes estate’ in the mid 1930’s and originally never had any connection with the back lane provided by Janes to the houses in Abbey Road/Bicester Road.

It was only when the original factories of Merx and Antiference were built in the late 50’s that the workers, eager to get home for lunch made a hole in the hedge through which they gained access to the back lane.

It never was anything other than a bridleway and should never have been used for vehicular access.


My name is Alicia Marie Hopkins. I’m the granddaughter of Leon Augustus de Fraine born in Wandsworth, UK on April 6th 1914. and died August 6, 1990 in Norwalk, Ohio.

I know I have relatives out there and I seek to find them. I believe that there are many no outlet streets in my search for my family because here in the U.S. they have spelled the last name incorrect several times.

They have made it DeFraine instead of de Fraine and even on my grandfather’s headstones it’s combined.

I saw in a genealogy forum that John de Fraine was searching for my grandfather’s information.

I believe I hold the key to information if anyone knows him or could help me with my family history.

I would very much like to connect with them.

If anyone out there knows information please email me alicia.hopkins85@gmail.com

Thank you for opportunity hope to find someone. what are the chances of anyone responding?

I appreciate the help in my search. I know that since letters name swapped around lot even from his birth name, to where he got Naturalized citizen in Cleveland, Ohio to his obituary to grave stone to web. I still hope to find someone to connect me.

Alicia Marie Hopkins

Address supplied


Response to plans to extend Right to Buy to housing association properties.

Britain has a shortage of social housing, the type that housing associations like the Trust provide at affordable rents, to those in housing need.

Our residents come from all walks of life: young families who can’t afford private rents; single people wanting their independence; older people who want to move into more secure or supported accommodation.

If the homes that we have are sold off, who will help those families and individuals who are desperately in housing need?

How many of you who are reading this will at some point in your life know of someone who needs a decent home to live in?

A friend or maybe a relative – perhaps even a son or daughter, or an elderly mother or father.

Housing Associations are legally constituted as ‘community benefit organisations’ and in many cases are registered charities.

They exist to provide benefit to the community and hold their homes in trust for the community.

Housing associations are a huge force for good and carry out their activities because of the social benefit that results. Did you know that in conjunction with our partner AVDC, Vale of Aylesbury Housing has donated almost £4 million (yes four million pounds!) to community groups and organisations within the Vale over the last eight years?

We don’t receive any financial return from these donations, we do it because it funds everything from physiotherapy at the Chilterns MS Centre, repairs to village halls like Mursley and Great Brickhill, to equipment for junior cricketers in Buckingham, things that would otherwise not exist or take place, or would fall out of use, and the Vale would be a poorer place as a result.

Forcing housing associations to sell their homes will have a one off benefit for the resident who can buy it at a huge discount, but then it will be lost to those in housing need forever.

When it is next available it will be at market value, whether that be for rent or sale, and only those who can afford to will be able to secure it.

Our experience of Right to Buy is that the properties that are lost are those that are in greatest demand by individuals and families in housing need – usually those that are largest or those in more rural areas. These are the types of properties that people in Aylesbury Vale most struggle to afford, so where will future generations live when these are gone?

I receive many moving letters from families and individuals in dire need of affordable housing.

The population is 20% bigger now than it was in 1979 (before the advent of Right to Buy) and yet we now have 1.5 million fewer social homes.

At a time when property costs – rent, repairs and mortgage costs – have never been higher, we should be increasing the numbers of affordable housing not drastically reducing them.

The extension of Right to Buy will only make a dire situation even worse.

Matthew Applegate

Chief Executive, Vale of 
Aylesbury Housing Trust


Please may I pass on my thanks to the two angels, Lorraine and David who kindly rescued me with my bike and boots from a fall into the Wendover canal near Aston Clinton last Saturday afternoon (11th April).

I am so grateful , these are kind-hearted people who care. Thank you.

Rosamond Pile

Stoke Mandeville


Not good enough

To follow up on Catherine Stoker’s Education Eye some weeks ago: Beware school league tables.

By ‘less academically selective’, I am assuming the sensitive Ms Stoker means Bucks Secondary Modern schools.

I agree, virtually all of these deliver beyond expectation. Despite these schools having been given the majority of the demotivated, the SEN and the poorer Pupil Premium cohorts.

Question is how long can this be sustained? This overachievement is enabled by a huge and selfless effort by Secondary Moderns staff.

This is simply not sustainable. Unless we start funding Secondary Moderns fully and properly according to their high level of needs.

I have a different view on the delivery by ‘Highly competitive schools’, I assume this means Grammar Schools.

We are all sophisticated enough say aloud, almost all the children that pass the New 11+ Exam are tutored, though I accept only roughly 40-50% of tutored and privately educated children actually pass the New 11+.

For parents to have made this enormous investment in finance, time and hope, the best rewards must be virtually guaranteed A or A* in the majority of subjects. Only fair and equitable reward.

I am afraid Grammars (and private schools) may not be doing this.

According to Guardian, in 2013, the best Grammar School in Bucks came in at No. 33 out of the top 100!

This is simply not good enough. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/leaguetables/10590130/Top-100-secondary-schools-by-GCSE-results-2013.html

Iam Patel

via email


I was surprised to read the horrifying story an elderly lady who had to be left on a trolley for 16 hours at the Accident and Emergency department at Milton Keynes Hospital.

I listen a lot to interactive radio, such as 5 live, where alas such stories crop up regularly and they make me very angry, but I was under the illusion that here in MK we were one of the lucky ones who avoided these problems.

The state of the hospitals today and of the health service in general is disgraceful.

The last coalition government detached itself from responsibly for public healthcare through the 2012 Health and Social Care Act.

This amounted to an outrageous dereliction of their duty. I suspect the current situation is no accident but is part of a calculated plan to soften us up for some nasty changes which are going to appear over the next year or two

Anyone who expects to have to rely on public health care in the future should understand what to expect.

All you need to know is available on your computer. Just enter “NHS reinstatement bill 2015” into your search engine such as Google, click on the website www.nhsbill2015.org .

On the site there is a lot to take in so give yourself plenty of time to view the videos and read some of the text.

Most probably you will be shocked and very angry by what you learn. (There are plenty more sources available thru Google search if your are interested).

All is not lost however. The website tells you of actions they are taking and what you can do to help.

There are a lot of groups around the country campaigning for the NHS in one way or another, but time is running out.

All those affected - and that must be the majority of us- should be fully informed before making a decision on 
how to vote in the coming election.

Name and address supplied