This week’s letters to the editor - including sheep racing, and a missing cat update

Swanbourne Sheep Race.Maisey Moo leads the way to win the second race.
Swanbourne Sheep Race.Maisey Moo leads the way to win the second race.

I totally agree with your Editor’s comment last week about sheep racing and the proposed event at The Betsy Wynne in Swanbourne.

And well done to the group Lambentations who have organized a petition against such races.

They are quite right when they say sheep are quiet creatures and, indeed they can be easily stressed. It’s no good the CEO of Oakman Inns saying the event has taken place many times over the years and as far as he is aware, no animals have been harmed – how does he know what stress the sheep have suffered?

The fact that these races have taken place before is no excuse to carry on – we are becoming and certainly should be, more enlightened when it comes to using sheep and other animals for such outdated entertainment.

By all means have fun but why not let the human beings dress up and have a race – it will be their choice whereas the sheep have none?

Not only is it up to the owners of The Betsy Wynne to stop this sheep race but the owners of the sheep should be caring for their animals and not 
allowing them to be used for such a 
disrespectful event.

Please, leave the sheep alone!

Maureen Bartlett

Via email

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Louise Johannes said she feels that the UK is “subservient” to the European Union (letters, 13 June).

Again, I am sorry she feels that way. But it is hard to understand, when you look at what the European Commission does.

The Commission has to think about what is good for all the EU countries as a whole. It has to be loyal, impartial, and independent.

The job of the Commission is to find the common interest. What there is a good chance everyone will agree to. That is why only the Commission can propose new EU law, or changes to EU law.

The Commission has been given some jobs by the EU countries. Such as: managing fish catches; ensuring fair competition across Europe; and negotiating a favourable trade policy with countries like Canada.

Members of the European Parliament can put forward their own ideas to the Commission. The Commission can decline, but it has to give a reason. The Commission sets minimum standards for consultation.

May I encourage Louise Johanne to look at the way EU law is made. It has to be approved by the Council of Ministers - the national governments of the EU.

In most cases, it requires 16 out of 28 EU countries in favour, representing 65% of the population. This is called a double majority.

And then, in most cases, it also requires a vote of the European Parliament. The UK has 73 out of 751 seats.

Every major national political party has a sister party in the European Parliament. Would Louise Johannes like to join the ALDE Party: the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe?

Phil Jones

Member - European 
Movement UK

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After my warning a couple of weeks ago about something other than fluoride being put into the local water supply, It is disappointing that The Bucks Herald seems to have done nothing to investigate this menace to the mental well being of our citizens.

The result is only to clear to see, another letter from poor Mr Neville Westerman, and this time it is getting worse!

Last time he raved about “evil Tories” starving the third child of “Poor Mothers” (becoming a bit Biblical?) This time, He has swivelled his Guns to “Brexit”.

To be fair to Mr. Westerman, he has now included attacks on the “Working Class” which he has cleverly identified as “Ex Labour Voters”!

So he doesn’t want to upset the Labour party members in his Tirade, this could be a clue to Mr. Westermans politics? However , We are all grouped together in his view of Brexit, Neo-fascist, Right wing Tory Politicians, American Blue collar “Redneck” Workers, Russian Billionaires, and of course, The American Republican Party!

I do wish he could name a few of the “Right Wing Tory Politicians” he raves about.

He can not mean the utterly useless bunch of has-beens that pretend to govern us at the moment, can he?

So my plea to The Bucks Herald, is to launch a genuine investigation into the possible adulteration of our water supplies. Without delay!

Something along the lines of the “Washington Post” investigation of “Watergate” (no pun intended!)

The consequences of doing nothing are only to horrific to contemplate.

Even more letters from Mr.Westerman.

This could spread!

Philip Plotkin

Via email

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Just to let know that Archie (the cat who went missing in Pets At Home car park on the way to a trip to the vet - and featured in last week’s Herald) is home now safe and sound although a little lighter in weight.

He was missing for 17 hot nights in all and is very happy to be home. He was found on Rowland Way Hartwell Sunday 1st July by Aylesbury Cat Rescue to who I will be eternally grateful.

I couldn’t believe it when I got the call from Brenda Bateman saying she had Archie, I feel like I have won the lottery!!

Many thanks for your help.

Jean Smithies

Via email

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We would like to send a massive thank you to everyone that was involved in Tring 
Carnival 2018.

We had four glorious days of fantastic events, with the added advantage of raising large amounts of money for local charities.

Carnival day itself saw the biggest crowds yet on Pound Meadow; thank you all for coming and thank you to over 100 volunteers that made the day possible.

This year, for the 1st time in 25 years, we had a lorry float in the parade, which is what Tring has been asking for.

Tring is a very special place and we are very proud of everything that happens here!

Ideas for next year’s theme or for volunteer organisations to organise a lorry float in the 2019 parade are always welcome.

Steffi Buse, Ben Cartwright and Vivianne Child (Tring Together) and Richard Shardlow of Tring Brewery

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The community of Haddenham is experiencing a massive increase in house building and a consequent increase in road traffic on the congested roads in our historic village with its many listed properties and narrow streets. This is causing great concern amongst our residents. The parish council has recognised the need for a traffic management plan that assesses the impact of this, but is not the road authority.

As the authority responsible for roads in Buckinghamshire, please would you tell me whether Buckinghamshire County Council has a plan in place to assess the changes needed to the road system of the village to enable our residents of all ages to live, work and play in a pleasant healthy environment, and if so, when it will be carried out.

David Lyons

Aylesbury Vale Green Party

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Are you 16 or 17 or do you have memories of life at this often challenging age?

If so, you may be interested in entering a creative writing competition being run by The Children’s Society as part of our charity’s Seriously Awkward campaign.

The campaign aims to improve life for vulnerable 16 and 17-year-olds by securing more sustained help for them as they move into adulthood with issues like mental health, housing and access to employment.

For the competition - run in partnership with Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House - we are looking for 
fictional stories by unpublished writers of up to 2,000 words about this awkward age, with categories for both young people aged 16-25 and adults aged 26 and over.

Whether you are an aspiring writer or have never before written, why not think about what life can be like for 16 and 17-year-olds and craft your own story?

The prospect of adulthood and greater independence can be both exciting and terrifying. For the most vulnerable young people this emotional rollercoaster can come with significant risks including child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health problems.

Writing experts including international best-selling author Emma Healey, who has just published her second novel, Whistle in the Dark, will judge the competition, and the winners will be offered expert advice and feedback by top literary agencies Darley Anderson and David Higham Associates.

Your story can highlight the ups and downs of this age, be in any fiction genre and be written from any perspective.

Could it be about a 16-year-old making daunting decisions about their future, or falling in love and making new friends at 17?

A parent terrified about their child leaving home? Or a social worker trying to protect a young person from harm?

So if you’re feeling inspired, please visit www.childrenssociety.org.uk/writing to find out more and enter by 31 August 2018. Good luck!

Matthew Reed

Chief executive - The 
Childrens Society

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Unfortunately at this time of year it’s typical to see a rise in cases of Female Genital Mutilation and Buckinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board and its partners are urging people to speak out about this horrific crime.

Cases of female genital mutilation (FGM) tend to rise ahead of and during the school summer holidays when girls are taken abroad to undergo the procedure so that they can ‘heal’ while away from school.

Buckinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board alongside Thames Valley Police, the Safer and Stronger Bucks Partnership Board and the children and adult Safeguarding Boards want to highlight the issue to give people confidence to speak out about any concerns they may have, particularly in communities where people may find it difficult to raise their fears.

Martin Tett, Chair of the Buckinghamshire Health and Wellbeing Board said,

“We want to make sure people are not afraid to speak up about FGM and to know there are safe and supportive channels through which they can report any fears. We want to do everything we can to stop this happening to vulnerable women in our local area – it’s also really important that we all know what signs to look for and how to raise the alarm if need be.”

Fran Gosling-Thomas, Chair of Buckinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board said,

“There are some warning signs that we want to raise awareness of and we’d like people to find out a bit more about this subject so that they can help spot the danger before it happens. Of course, it’s horrible to think about the detail of this terrible crime which is why we want to do all we can to eliminate from the county and to protect local girls from going through this ordeal.”

Detective Superintendent Nick John, Head of Thames Valley Police’s Protecting Vulnerable People Unit said,

“Tackling and preventing this awful crime is a priority for Thames Valley Police. I especially urge people who work closely with girls and young women to learn about what signs to look out for. Rest assured you can report any concerns in a safe and confidential way and we will act quickly and robustly on any information we receive.”

Signs to be aware of ahead of the school summer holidays include:

A girl’s parents originating from an FGM practising country and she is taken abroad for a prolonged period of time.

A girl referring to a ‘special procedure’ or ‘special occasion’ or ‘becoming a woman’

The girl and her family having a low level of integration into the local community

There are also indicators a girl may have experienced FGM which include showing signs of being in pain, having restricted movement, absence from school, prolonged time in the bathroom and toilet and a reluctance to take part in physical activity.

If you think a child is at risk of FGM you can report it to the Buckinghamshire Children Safeguarding Board. If you think a child is at immediate risk of FGM, for example, if she’s about to be taken out of the country, you can report your concerns to the police via the non-emergency number 101 or by dialling 999 in an emergency.

Multi agency partnership - for the protection of 
children in Bucks

Via email