Letters round-up: Where the dream of modernity went to die

Letters to the editor
Letters to the editor

A letter claiming Aylesbury would be a good place to set a dystopian movie is featured in this week’s round-up.


The 60s were a strange time for architecture in general my good man! (response to a letter from Philip Plotkin).

Aylesbury was just unlucky to be caught up in the fervour for Brutalist buildings of concrete and glass.

As for that giant grey grade two listed tombstone plonked in its centre?

Well, look on the bright side! It’s one of the rare survivors of that era.

As most town planners woke up as if from a night of heavy drinking thinking “Good Grief what have we done!?!”

And proceeded to knock them all down like dominos in the 70s and 80s.

I myself am too young to remember Aylesbury the way you do. Which is a great pity.

But if any budding film crews are looking for the perfect dystopian movie set look no further! Aylesbury, Where the dream of modernity went to die....Or something less depressing maybe?

Bob Baughan

Via email


Included with our new wheelie bins were 52 compostable liners for my existing kitchen caddy which, once full of food waste, are to be tied up and put in the new outside kerb caddy.

In the past I have bought compostable liners from supermarkets which work well, but I thought that, as a trial, I would use one of the new liners to test it’s efficiency.

I find that it is almost completely useless.

The liner is not large enough to fold over the edge of the caddy to hold it firm and, as soon as any waste is put into it, it collapses at the bottom of the bin.

When putting in further waste, it almost invariably spills over creating a mess in the bin and irritation to the user.

I cannot imagine why on earth the officials in the county can have spent so much of taxpayers’ money on such a travesty of a liner.

It is certainly not fit for the purpose for which it is intended and I, for one, will not be using it.

I assume that there will be further expenditure on a similar amount of these useless bags.

Barbara Somerville



At a time of growing obesity and traffic congestion, cycling and walking short, local journeys must be made an easy, safe option, especially for our children to walk or cycle to school. But this takes money.

Our MP currently has a golden opportunity to make this happen.

The Infrastructure Bill being debated by parliament promises billions for roads but at the moment doesn’t prioritise walking and cycling.

Schools encourage pupils to walk, scoot and cycle to school and many would like to but don’t want to risk the busy roads and dodgy pavements.

It seems crazy that on one hand the government want to focus on the roads without a thought to walkers or cyclists and on the other hand they are asking schools to increase the percentage of pupils travelling sustainably.

MPs can change this so that the Bill includes a Cycling & Walking Investment Strategy, like the national strategies we already have for roads and railways.

That would mean a long-term vision to increase walking and cycling levels and a detailed Investment Plan of programmes and schemes.

For example, safe walking and cycling paths along busy roads, safe routes to stations and giving towns and cities public spaces that people actually want to spend time in.

I hope that my local MP will support the amendment and if anyone reading this feels as strongly as I do please visit http://www.sustrans.org.uk/safetoschool to get involved and show your support.

Suzanna Hawkins



What sort of society are we living in?

Answer - one where a local democratic process apparently can be elbowed to one side by greedy landowners and developers in the interests of commercial gain!

I refer to the announcement by AVDC, posted on their website on 19th January, of their intention to recommend approval at their Planning Committee meeting on 28th January of the planning application for 280 houses on the Glebe and agricultural land in Haddenham immediately north of Tiggywinkles, bordered by Aston Road and Stanbridge Road.

This is completely contrary to the conclusions of the draft Haddenham Neighbourhood Plan which, after two years of local consultations with Haddenham residents, is likely to recommend a maximum of 85 dwellings on the site (increased from 50 on the advice of AVDC, as a result of pre-submission consultation).

If this planning application is approved, the Neighbourhood Plan would be undermined to the extent that it would have to be withdrawn - potentially opening the village to further aggressive and unwanted development and the threat of 1,000 plus new houses in the near future.

Rushing through the planning application before the Neighbourhood Plan comes into effect is an act of all-too-believable cynicism and greed.It flouts the democratic process.

The developers and landowners should be ashamed of themselves.

Alan R Watkins

Townside, Haddenham


Yet again we have Mr O.J.Oliver, (Bucks Herald, letter, last week), alerting the residents of Bierton to wake up.

Let me reassure him, we are wide awake to all the threats to our village way of life.

We have, in the past, when AVDC attempted to swamp the village and surrounding area with 14,000 new homes with its ill-founded plan to build on the ‘Eastern Arc’, risen to the occasion and thwarted those plans.

Indeed but for stoic work by the action committee and many villagers we would already be a suburb of Aylesbury.

We were wide awake when, prompted by the Localism Act, to organise a survey of the village to establish an agreeable way forward with regard to expansion.

True, AVDC has ignored the results and instead decided it knows best and lumbered our crowded road system with the Kingbrook development.

We were wide awake to the threat of the Arla development but were assured the ‘very few HGV’s would transit our village’.

Our failings here were that we didn’t quantify what, ‘very few’, meant, thus, the resulting trains of heavy lorries could be down to our naivety and also us not being cynical enough to cry foul.

Likewise with the ‘Arla’ traffic lights at the end of Burcott Lane which, despite three costly modifications, still hinders rather than helps the safe flow of traffic heading from Bierton across to Bedgrove

We are wide awake to the fact that the A 418 has a choke point when going through Bierton because the road is so narrow.

This restriction on road development is caused by two, listed, historical buildings which, much to the chagrin of AVDC, preclude the widening of said road, therefore limiting the amount of traffic it can carry.

It has reached its safety limit now, even without the forthcoming Kingsbrook traffic.

We are wide awake to the fact that there is another proposed housing development that will load even more traffic onto an already frequently grid-locked village road.

These developers speak of traffic being alleviated by the mythical Eastern Link Relief Road which, should construction start tomorrow, would not join the A 41 until final completion in 2020, at best!

In the meantime the proposed extra traffic from Kingsbrook will congest existing traffic even further but then be completely gridlocked should this new further development come to fruition.

We are also awake to the fact that by granting planning permission to two crematoriums, AVDC have reasoned that any proposed by-pass will have to transit to the south of our village, hence their acceptance of the Stocklake Link Road as a way forward.

This of course would leave the way open for the development of land around Watermead(!)

Yes Mr Oliver we are awake to the fact that Aylesbury is desperate for a dual carriageway to link Milton Keynes to the town but it will have to route elsewhere than through our village.

And yes, we are well aware of the failings of our local road system.

Maybe if Bucks County Council had more realistic communication with AVDC about the existing traffic flow to the East of the town there might be a more workable way forward.

Perhaps we should follow the lead of other, more progressive, countries and construct carefully thought out infrastructure before any houses are built.

Deni Denison

Great Lane, Bierton


Concerning the Aylesbury police station proposals, I would prefer to see a restaurant there possibly named The New Aylesbury Duck

Colin Brown

Walton Place, Weston Turville


Can I through the pages of your newspaper, say a big thank you to the two young ladies who stopped to help my friend and I when we had a puncture.

We were near World’s End Garden Centre and they offered to get some of their college friends to help change the wheel.

Before they could get back to us another gentleman had stopped and changed the wheel for us and although I was able to thank the young ladies on the phone when they rang it doesn’t feel enough.

I don’t know which college it was but it was quite nearby.

I would also like to 
thank the gentleman who helped us.

As my friend and I are in our 80s it is refreshing to know that there are such kind people around still.

Molly Sterry



I was thrilled to read that, the Duchess of Cambridge helped to shine the light on fostering and on the urgent need nationally for foster carers.

The Duchess was a special guest at an event hosted by the Fostering Network and Islington Council in London.

Every day in the UK, more than 63,000 children live with over 52,500 foster families while they are unable to live at home.

The sobering fact is that right now there’s a need for at least 8,600 new foster families across the country, particularly to offer homes to teenagers, disabled children and groups of brothers and sisters.

Here in Buckinghamshire, we have more than 430 children in care, also mainly of teenage age, groups of siblings and disabled children.

Currently we don’t have enough foster carers, which means that over 50 per cent of children are being placed outside of the county, away from everything they know, including friends, family and their school.

That’s why I am calling on residents across our county to take the first steps. We need more people to come 
forward to foster in Buckinghamshire.

Many people don’t realise but people can foster regardless of whether they are single, married or unmarried, from any ethnic or religious background, home owner or living in rented accommodation or on benefits.

Fostering is a specialist career choice, where excellent support, brilliant training and a generous allowance will be provided.

Please contact the First Step Team on firststep@buckscc.gov.uk or on 0800 160 1900. For more information, go to www.buckscc.gov.uk/fostering

The Duchess of Cambridge showed how much she cared about fostering on Friday. Now it’s your turn.

Lin Hazell

Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Buckinghamshire County Council


It has come to our notice that a Mr David Johnson is emailing local councils across Britain accusing them of breaking the law by using traditional measurements such as rods and poles to describe gardening allotments. Over 150 councils have been contacted so far.

Theses emails commence under the Freedom of Information Act, asking for allotment prices, but then switch context and use deadlines under the FOI Act to force a change to metric units. Some councils have removed rods and poles as a result of these emails.

We want to assure councils and allotment holders that Mr Johnson is wrong. No legislation has been passed to outlaw traditional units for allotments.

When drafting metric regulations in the mid 1990s, the Government exempted transactions by specification’, ofr which allotment contracts are an example.
Rods, Poles, perches, yards and lugs have existed for hundreds of years in Britain and we hope that councils and allotment holders continue to use them for centuries to come.

John Gardener

Director of British Weights and Measures Association