01:00PM, Friday 15 October 2021
Email Viewpoint letters to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Viewpoint, 48 Bell Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 1HX
Don’t build on green fields or green greens
Boris Johnson has said houses should not be built on ‘green fields’ as ministers abandoned proposals for a vast overhaul of planning rules....
Hoping our local politicians have not buried their heads in the bunker!
Will our Tory leaders heed the PM’s pledge?
Surely the pledge by the Prime Minister at the Conservative Party conference that houses should not be built on ‘green fields’ gives just cause and reason for the Conservative-led council to seriously reconsider the ill-thought plans to redevelop the Maidenhead Golf Course; not withstanding any capitalisation benefits that might accrue although seemingly these won’t materialise for another four years at the earliest.
There is no need to rehearse the countless arguments against these proposals already voiced in this journal but it would seem the council will be in defiance of their leader’s exhortation if they proceed with the desecration of these ‘green fields’.
Admit that golf course sale is all about cash
The BBC series ‘The Earthshot Prize’ highlights so intelligently all the climate, environmental, planet earth issues we face.
Do our councillors watch these type of programmes?
Do they really think 2,000 new flats and houses are more important than 200 acres of biodiverse woodlands?
How can they deny that protecting our last (and only) woodland area in Maidenhead should be a top priority?
Instead it seems top of their agenda is to concrete over it!
The consultation on our council's corporate plan provides a resounding mandate for the council to focus on the environment, climate and biodiversity.
We have enough brownfield sites in Maidenhead to meet our housing needs.
What we need are trees and green space.
How much more evidence do our councillors need to understand that if we remove any of these trees, we will be contributing to de-stablising our climate and increasing flood risk in our town.
If only our council would admit they are selling the golf course to developers is to help them get out of financial difficulties, then we could come up with a plan?
There will certainly be no long term gain for the borough in forcing through this sale.
Just listen to the world leading scientists, Prince Charles, Prince William, and most of all Sir David Attenborough.
Leave it alone before it is too late!
Sign and help save the Town Hall for all
I would like to draw your attention to my Save the Town Hall petition which ends on October 29.
I am only about 145 signatures short of having this debated at the council!
I submitted my petition because I believe the arts and heart of the community should ‘Carry on’ in this historic building – remaining within the public sector.
I am a regular supporter of the arts, having watched or performed in many shows over the years at the Desborough Theatre.
It is a unique venue and many of the theatre audience members, hirers, performers, production crews would love to see the venue continue – yet cannot sign the petition because they do not live in RBWM...
It is all very well saying that only locals can sign local petitions, but when the outcome would affect those from further afield, surely they should be allowed a voice?
Therefore I am trying to be their voice!
The Town Hall is a magnificent backdrop for central events – the Remembrance parade and service, the lantern parade, the Christmas lights switch on event – the fireworks being a ‘celebrity’ in their own right!
This is only one of the many uses of the Town Hall.
I’m sure people married there would equally like to see it remain.
And the council chamber looks perfect for meetings from my perspective.
If the rooms are under-utilised then the council should explain and ask for suggestions.
I am not a member of any political party.
I just want the Town Hall to remain within the RBWM domain – a central place for people be it council business, weddings, shows and even vaccinations!
If you haven’t signed the petition, please consider doing so or world famous cultural community iconic buildings, like this, could disappear without even a discussion.
Don’t destroy this part of Maidenhead life
Regarding the six community groups which could be moved to a new building:
I am a member of the Ivy Leaf Club and was born and worked in St Mark’s Hospital.
I hate the way that we, the Maidenhead families, have no say in the way our lovely town has become an eyesore lately.
Our club is a lifeline to members and their families who enjoying evenings of dance and music for all ages.
Elderly bingo promotes mental wellbeing now we are recovering from the pandemic.
It is located near the medical centre and is walking distance to town, and we have our parking for extra private parties and for families and friends at funeral wakes.
If it’s not broken, no need to relocate.
Eco action should not leave people fuming
I, like many other people, am acutely aware that we are facing a climate change and biodiversity crisis.
As Barack Obama stated: “We are the first generation to feel the effect of climate change and the last generation who can do something about it.”
I have a great admiration and respect to all those eco worriers who actively try to come up with, promote and practise initiatives to create a positive impact on our environment.
We are all in it together, not just the Government, the police or the wealth creators.
We each have to do our small part to salvage our planet together!
I therefore find it difficult to understand the tremendous disruption being caused by pressure groups such as Extinction Rebellion and Insulate Britain.
Can someone please tell us how travelling to specific locations to block roads would promote or be of benefit to the environment, when more fuel is used to get there and have vehicles diverted, all causing increased pollution?
How can creating more emissions and preventing emergency services from conducting their business of saving lives through such actions be justified?
This in my mind is no different from injuring a family member or setting your house on fire to highlight the need to strengthen the NHS or police services, which is doing precisely the opposite!
So, why not let each one of us do our bit in a peaceful non-disruptive and thoughtful manner in order for us together to make a huge difference to our world?
Throw them a parking sweetener, old bean
“Hello Rodney…” “Hello Charles”
“Had any more spiffing ideas, Rodney?”
“As a matter of fact, old chum. I have.”
“Well, Charles, remember we made Maidenhead a virtual no-go area for the great unwashed who have to drive their own cars?”
“Yes, Rodney I do. Tabatha and Tarquin were most grateful to be able to cycle around unhindered, but I must admit the sight of Great Aunt Maude in Lycra still haunts me.”
“Now we have almost eliminated free parking, we can throw the motorists a sprat but at the same time increase the income to the jolly old coffers.”
“So, what’s the master plan?”
“We are going to bring back the residents’ parking discount, so they will think we are good eggs and use the car parks more. Bingo! More readies in the pot, no free parking and they will be so grateful and vote for us again.”
“You do come up with them, Rodney, hats off to you, and I suppose the flat dwellers in the town centre will have to pay as well.
“Excellent, the gins and tonics are on you?”
Endless cones and still no bin replacement
“Lane closures are set to be in place mainly between 9am and 3.30pm Monday to
Friday, with the borough saying it would take steps to mitigate delays as much as possible.”
A quote from your edition of September 16, so why are we blighted with cones left out all day and night and weekends?
Traffic tails back to Reform Road in the evenings.
The OED defines ‘mitigate’ as ‘making something less severe!’
Residents have expressed concern over traffic cones and restrictions outside of these hours and it is obvious the contractors have not been told to remove the cones when they have finished work for the day.
The extent of coning is also questionable, stretching for almost half-a-mile along Bad Godesberg Way and adjoining roundabouts.
The council are now also considering a devolution proposal for the six unitary authorities in the county, which must be a good idea considering that our immediate neighbours, Slough Borough Council, has gone bust and RBWM has borrowings of £203million!
This does not seem like a very sound proposal.
Perhaps Mr Duncan Sharkey, our managing director, can provide a date for the replacement of the waste bin at the bottom of High Town Road, and what happened to the bin outside the Travelodge/ Sainsbury’s and on the corner of Bell Street?
The one outside the council house was being used for post, but I am told residents can use the one outside the library instead.
Why not reposition it as there are plenty of alternative locations outside the council house?
Come on Mr Sharkey, a challenge, give me a date for the replacement of the bin in High Town Road, removed on April 22, as you and I know that it is not going to be replaced whatever Simon Dale says?
Collection changes are to drive more recycling
I am delighted that Clive Bowman (Viewpoint, October 7) is one of our many residents who recycle to the maximum but unfortunately many do not.
When this council declared a climate emergency, we knew that we would have to make many difficult decisions on the way to achieve the result.
The move to fortnightly black bin collections is but just one of these.
Many councils, including neighbouring Bracknell, collect black bins every three weeks so we are still maintaining an above average service.
So how much money are we saving?
The answer is precisely nothing because we will still be going to every property every week and collecting the same amount of recycling and waste.
This is being done to help drive recycling, especially food waste.
We expect to increase our revenue because we sell both the blue bin and food waste contents, but we will not be saving money. In fact, there is another advantage for many residents in that we are stopping Saturday collections and moving back to a normal five-day week.
D Day (or is it B Day?) is next Monday October 18 and every household should have received a card giving them their new delivery days.
If there are any issues, then please use the ’report it’ function on the website as this is the quickest way to enable our contractors to react.
Cllr DAVID COPPINGER
Cabinet member for Planning, Environmental Services and Maidenhead