Letters to the Editor

Quill and Ink Bottle

The Editor welcomes correspondence on any topic which has been in Wendover News or may be of interest to its readers.  Please write to us at Florence Nightingale Hospice Shop, First Floor, 19 High Street, Wendover HP22 6DX or email us at the usual address: editor@wendovernews.co.uk or telephone 01296 624270 or speak to us in the town.  

Letters may be edited and may or may not be published at the Editor's discretion. Material published does not necessarily represent the opinion of the Editor.

We'd love to hear from you.

Sharing Pavements

Name and Address Supplied,   |  Submitted: Feb 7th 2014
I have recently had some eye problems. As a consequence my attention has been drawn to the hazards of our pavements. I have also noticed how many residents are having trouble sharing pavements, particuarly if they have bad sight, need sticks and frames.

Would it be possible for us all to be a bit more aware of each other. Small children on scooters appear to be let loose with little or no pavement instruction, and many bikes are on pavements well away from the cycle paths. On uneven surfaces there is an accident waiting to happen. Perhaps there could be a bit more instruction in the schools for children using bikes and scooters to make them them more aware of people trying to traverse certain areas, mainly when the childrten are going to school and coming back. Apparently people at Bankside are frightened to use Wharf Road at certain times, and they should not be made to feel like that. Cars and buses are also half on and half off the pavement. I do realise the difficultiess, but we just need to be more aware of other people and SHARE.

Bikes Think Lights Revisited

Chris Peeler, Chair, Get Wendover Cycling, Wendover  |  Submitted: Feb 7th 2014
I understand and sympathise strongly with the concern expressed by L Jeffery (in February newsletter) over cyclists having no lights or reflective clothing.
We should like to take this opportunity of appealing to all cyclists to wear reflective clothing and to use good lights both at the front and rear. Such equipment of good quality is readily available.
We would agree that, in general, where cycle paths are available they are the safest option.
However, Mr Jefferey is referring specifically to the cycle path from Wendover to Aylesbury (Amber Way). The reduction in street lighting along that stretch of road has made the cycle path hazardous for cyclists at night since they have to contend with the dazzle from car headlamps if they are coming from Aylesbury. We have tried to persuade Bucks County Council to provide low level lighting but so far we have not had any success. We have also expressed strongly to BCC our concern over the condition of the cycle path which has not been maintained for many years.

Update from Chris Richards

Chris Richards, Wendover  |  Submitted: Jan 21st 2014
Over the past few months, both my wife and myself have been asked occasionally what I am doing with myself now I am no longer a councillor ! Although I came second to UKIP in the County elections, I am still a District Councillor and as busy as ever serving on both Economy and Planning Committees.
That confusion confirmed to me that many people still do not realise that we have two authorities dealing with local matters ( apart from the Parish Council). It was on this platform that I and the other Independents stood at the recent County elections - that we should have just one council dealing with local affairs and spending rate-payers money.
Up to now, councillors have been reluctant to address the possibility of a one-tier ( unitary authority) - sometimes one suspects by those who would gain from maintaining the status quo. However I do believe the Independents are now driving the agenda and slowly succeeding. Last September, my Independent colleague, Peter Cooper, convinced AVDC’s Finance and Services Committee to investigate the costs and benefits of Bucks adopting a one-tier ( unitary) structure. Financial pressures on local authorities are unlikely to improve, so ways must be found to maintain services yet cut the costs of delivering them. Reducing the number of councillors from 250 in the five councils that cover Bucks to around 60 -80 would be a start and save a pound or two !
With all good wishes for 2014 and as ever, if you have any problems, please get in touch.

More about the Fireworks

Frank Alderman, Wendover  |  Submitted: Jan 20th 2014
Having attended the recent gathering I fully understand the concerns regarding the broken glass (there were no fireworks). A way of avoiding or at least reducing this would be for the council/Licensing Officer to try and get the pubs to use only plastic glasses and not serve bottles after a certain time, say after 11pm. Beyond that I would suggest that the council provide an authorised event with some stalls to raise much needed revenue for the council and arrange for the high street to be closed off, for which there are precedents.

Response from the Parish Council about the New Year's Eve Celebrations

Wendover Parish Council,   |  Submitted: Jan 20th 2014
Many of you will have read the article on the front page of the January edition of Wendover News. We appreciate the tradition of the NYE celebration at the Clock Tower and would certainly not have felt the need to write the article if we had not received complaints and concerns over the safety of the previous year’s event. In a meeting with Thames Valley Police and AVDC, it was highlighted to the Parish Council that the New Year’s Eve Anti-Social Behaviour problem is worse in Wendover than in Aylesbury and seems to be increasing each year. AVDC pointed out that they would be acting to prevent fireworks being let off on and into the highway as this is illegal.

It has been suggested that the Parish Council or “Wendover Celebrates” should take the evening under their wings, but it is apparent that the logistics of having an event around the Clock Tower are challenging. A road closure for a couple of hours around midnight, (cost approx £3000) would possibly be the only way to make it safe, but this could be very unpopular with businesses trading on the night and people trying to reach friends and loved ones by midnight as it involves such an important road junction. If an event could logistically be organised around the Clock Tower, it would still not be lawful to set off fireworks on or into the public highway as has happened in recent years. If you have any practical ideas about how the Parish Council can help the community carry on with this tradition safely and lawfully we would be very pleased to hear from you.

New Year Celebrations

Gary Thorne, Wendover  |  Submitted: Jan 6th 2014
I am writing to comment on the New Years Eve Celebrations, which for many years in Wendover, have always been a wonderful celebration. Before fireworks took centre stage people used to congregate at the Clock Tower to sing 'Auld Lang Syne.’ More recently fireworks became more prominent.

Unfortunately, due to various concerns raised by 'some people’ reference the concept of what is occurring, this year, due to these outside pressures, the evening was a bit of a 'damp squib.’ We all fully appreciate the H & S regulations regarding 'safety of the individual’, but to date over the last 30yrs no-one has been hurt, to my knowledge, & 300+ people stood in the road normally calms traffic. The recent firework suppliers, allegedly, were put under pressure, affecting their business, not to supply them.

I fully appreciate that any Council has 'full duty of care’ for its residents therefore can never actively be seen to support any 'Meeting of People' that does not follow the due regulations.

With regard to the other issues raised previously, including street cleanliness, I feel quite disappointed as I know that there is always a section of the community, usually the White Swan, who will always attend & assist, funnily enough having got up at 6am these are not the ones who complain.

This is not an organised event, it just happens, and I like to think it is because we are a true community, supported by all residents. I only hope that through the next year the situation can be resolved & the people of Wendover can again celebrate New Year.

Bah Humbug!!

Mark Lawrance, Wendover  |  Submitted: Jan 2nd 2014
I was looking forward to reading the January issue of the Wendover News but immediately saw that the front page had been hi-jacked by the “Bah Humbug” brigade! Under the title “Happy New Year – New Year Celebrations”, our Parish Clerk had decided that the good people of Wendover actually needed a bit of a lecture on the personal risk involved of attending an unauthorised event at the Clock Tower on New Year’s Eve and the possibility of landing a personal fine of up to £5,000 if they decided to use fireworks.

Maybe the Parish Council’s “To Do” list has been scattered with Health & Safety issues during 2013 bearing in mind the litigious society we now live in or maybe Ebeneezer Scrooge has now become the Parish Council’s role model. Either way, I really despair! The Clock Tower celebrations on New Year’s Eve sit at the heart of the community and make Wendover the delightfully unique place that it is. Without this event, unofficial as it is, Wendover would be a poorer place and any organisation that goes out of its way to discourage people from attending by threatening them with words such as “completely at their own risk” should hang its head in shame. And even once we had been lectured on the risk of attending this event, we were then asked if we were prepared to volunteer for the clear-up. If that was the purpose of the article then why not ask us that in a way that is genuinely supportive of the enjoyment that this event provides for so many – I’m sure volunteers will come forward, after all, the people of Wendover genuinely care about their village and the traditions we have.

New Year's Eve

Michaela Bolt, Wendover  |  Submitted: Jan 2nd 2014
I am a Wendover resident and we moved here 6 years ago when our son was 3 months old. As he is still very young a big new year’s eve has seemed out of the question.

I have just read the latest Wendover News and seen all these warnings against people congregating around the clock tower on New Year’s Eve and I felt sad for two reasons: firstly because I had not known that people congregate around the clock tower on new years eve and secondly because you so clearly damn this activity! Would it not be more appropriate to facilitate this activity and make it safe rather than damn the people who wish to celebrate in their locality to being arrested or hurt???

There is “Wendover Celebrates” which has picked up momentum in the last couple of years. Why could this not be extended to New Year’s Eve???

I am a busy Mum who works full time in London, but I would be willing to offer some time if it would mean a family new year celebration in Wendover!

Dismay

Emily Jane Clark, Wendover  |  Submitted: Jan 2nd 2014
I have to inform you of my dismay.

Under the Large 'Happy New Year' banner in the January edition was ironically a rather killjoy and anti festive tirade about the New Year firework display at the clock tower.

The article notes that the event is 'unauthorised' and implies that if the Parish Council had their way, the event would be banned altogether.

Having lived in Wendover for almost 20 years, I find the firework festivities a wonderful opportunity for people of all ages to come together to celebrate new beginnings.

Of course there comes risk with fireworks, but I suggest that rather than quash the fun surrounding the event, the Parish Council could take the opportunity to use the gathering in a positive way?

Perhaps the event could be used as a platform to fundraise for Parish Council projects, such as the restoration of the Clock Tower, which I read in your last issue needs financial contribution.

I would be really grateful if you could publish my response in your next edition, or perhaps more suitably on your website, as I feel the issue is an important topic to be debated amongst the people of Wendover.

Costa Comments

Name and address supplied,   |  Submitted: Dec 31st 2013
Did anyone think that giving permission for Costa Coffee to come to Wendover would be beneficial to the community? Anyone living on the Aylesbury Road between the Clock Tower and St. Annes Close without a garage or secure parking space must be by now very frustrated with the lack of parking. Having to pay to keep your car in the communal car park because of the public need for coffee on the way through Wendover must be very aggravating at the end of the day, or indeed at anytime of the day. There is now more or less no parking for those residents, or for anybody wanting to come to Wendover and frequent the other businesses at this end of the town. It is transient traffic, they come and go fairly quickly, park in people's driveways, and none of their cash is spent anywhere else in Wendover.

Bins are left out nightly, apparently to be collected during the early hours, but not collected until after opening time and often left outside all day empty nor full! The collection of this rubbish frequently coincides with school buses and ensues in a great deal of congestion.

It is too late now for objections to Costa Coffee but perhaps this might serve to highlight the need for something to be done about the parking in this area of the Aylesbury Road so that we can encourage people to shop in Wendover and also help residents to be able to park near their homes.
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