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Viewpoint: Vaccines in Maidenhead and the NHS pay rise

Featuring discussion on the vaccine rollout at the Desborough Suite, flats being built in Maidenhead and the one per cent NHS pay increase.

Car still most practical way of going from A-B

Recently I heard a vaccination organiser say that they were surprised that the 75 to 80 group, unlike the extremely elderly, arrived for their vaccinations mobile, and mostly driving their own cars.

This shows how younger people, and it seems the RBWM council, perceive older people.

Most retired people use a car, even if they live in the town centre, in order to visit friends and family and for sports clubs and activities and voluntary work.

Those who are unfortunately no longer mobile may need car park spaces for carers and other visitors.

The RBWM council seems to love the phrase that they ‘need to promote sustainable forms of transport’.

The trouble is that they do not and cannot let us know what other forms of transport are available.

Unless travelling to London, a car is the most practical way of going from A to B.

Perhaps an independent analysis survey of what residents require should be made.

My findings are that more parking spaces must be made.

In analysing the parking being made available at new development sites we have the following.

The new Nicholson’s Centre proposes 364 residential units and 104 car parking spaces, equivalent to 0.28 car space per residential unit

And 307 retirement units and 116 car parking spaces, equivalent to 0.37 car space per residential unit

At the Moorbridge Court and Liberty House development 129 units and 66 car parking spaces, equivalent to 0.51 car space per residential unit

The Magnet Centre site proposes 439 flats and 350 car parking spaces, equivalent to 0.80 car space per residential unit

This is quite surprising so I wonder whether the car parking spaces include public spaces for the nearby doctors’ surgeries?

Last week’s Advertiser said that there will be only one parking space for every three retirement living apartments on the Nicholsons centre.

This is completely inadequate and for most of the flats being built in Maidenhead there has been inadequate parking, not only for the residents but also for the shoppers and commercial operators in Maidenhead.

Why is the RBWM allowing such a shortfall of parking needs?

BRUCE ADAMS

Cox Green Lane

Maidenhead


‘Quick and painless’ at vaccination centre

Angela Smith and her family members (Viewpoint, March 4) were really very unlucky with their visits to the vaccination centre at the Desborough Suite, Maidenhead.

I too attended the location twice in a period of two or three weeks, once as a chauffeur and once as a vaccine recipient.

In both cases the process went without a hitch.

I parked in the specially allocated free parking just across the road from the Desborough Suite (adjacent to the Grove Road Car Park) and walked straight into the vaccination centre.

There was a small queue of five or six people.

Everybody was most pleasant and there was certainly no waiting outside in the cold.

On my second visit, I arrived 55 minutes early and offered to walk round the town to kill time.

This however was not necessary as the steward on the door ushered me inside without a second thought.

I would like to thank and congratulate everybody involved with the Desborough Suite vaccination centre for the quick and painless experience.

KEN ELVIN

Tithe Barn Drive

Maidenhead


Speak out to support our NHS professionals

Our NHS is held together by nurses, doctors and other healthcare professionals whose dedication is beyond question.

This was true before the pandemic but is especially so now.

They have been in the front line in the battle against COVID-19 and have put their lives on hold during these unprecedented times to provide care for our loved ones.

NHS staff have stepped up to the challenge in every way. It is now time for the Government, who were so quick to clap them last year, to pay more than the 1 per cent increase proposed.

I have written to Theresa May to do her bit in pressing the Government to give NHS staff a fair increase and the recognition they deserve.

I hope that others reading this feel likewise and ask that, if you do, to add your voice in protest to the Government, via your MP.

IAN SMITH

Belmont Crescent

Maidenhead


NHS pay rise looks like rank hypocrisy

How could the Government have got it so wrong with the derisory one per cent pay offer to NHS staff who have lost hundreds of colleagues from the virus, often working without adequate PPE, despite billions wasted by Government spending?

After a summer of clapping for the NHS, led by the Prime Minister and Chancellor, it now looks like rank hypocrisy on their behalf to treat NHS workers so contemptuously.

This is in reality a pay cut and not an increase.

After the First World War, our soldiers were said to be lions led by donkeys.

Today our true heroes are angels led by those more interested in restoring profits to their cronies rather than acknowledging those who have truly supported this country.

The people who have worked throughout the pandemic, the emergency services, social and health care workers, and all those in the industries who have kept food on our tables, are those who need rewarding.

When will this Government learn to value the people who really matter!?

NIGEL SMITH

Australia Avenue

Maidenhead


Why not keep golf course just as it is?

I was having a pleasant walk across Maidenhead Golf Course recently.

It seems to me why not keep the golf course as it is?

Then there would be no need to worry of where to park the thousands of cars and getting rid of the effluent.

JOHN STEVENSON

Boyn Hill Road

Maidenhead

Berating opposition is ‘deflection and spin’

To ignore the opposition for 10 years then berate them for not putting forward an alternative budget, when it is too late to put in place the mitigations needed, is just deflection and spin.

The Conservative administration have been in charge, they have dropped the ball and the residents are paying for it.

So much for the new era of transparency.

Cllr LYNNE JONES

Leader, Local Independents

OWRA, Old Windsor


Where are houses for families being built?

Has anyone in the planning department ever counted up how many individual flats/ apartments there will be in Maidenhead and wondered where all the people are going to come from to live in these?

I dread to think what the town of my birth is going to end up looking like with all the proposals for flats, flats and more flats.

My daughter and family would love the chance to buy a house in Maidenhead, nothing big, just enough room for the four of them with a back garden – could someone in the council kindly sit down and think this through?

Where are the houses being built for people such as her?

Families with small children need gardens and surely this last year has proved how soul destroying some people’s lives have been when stuck in a flat with nowhere for their children to go.

Please stop allowing any more planning permission for the building of flats immediately.

Enough is enough.

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED


More benefits than costs of a town council

Last week RBWM voted to proceed to the next stage of the consultation for a Windsor Town Council.

This has been a long campaign to empower the local community and ensure our standing as an internationally renowned town is enhanced in a post-COVID era.

Yet the myth continues to be perpetuated by those opposed to local democracy that the precept for Windsor taxpayers would double, this is being weaponised and is highly misleading.

The fledgling town council will take on the existing precept in the first year, plus the costs of administration which can be limited through virtual meetings, friendly clerks and the use of existing meeting spaces.

After this only the competencies that can be afforded will be taken on by the new council, unless they vote to raise or even lower the precept in year two.

The level of precept is therefore set by the community, for the community.

In other towns where the precept has risen overall council tax has reduced as the primary council do not have those services to run.

Another myth is that this is an extra level of bureaucracy, well try telling that to the existing 15 town and parish councils across RBWM which already exist.

These operate very successfully with extra councillors, all of whom are unpaid, therefore adding no extra cost to the taxpayer, yet adding huge benefits to the community for whom they serve.

The benefits to Windsor residents far outweigh any potential costs, whether that be through responding more effectively to local community needs, such as the maintenance of local play areas or representing the views of Windsor residents to external bodies through planning applications or consultations which affect the whole town, such as Heathrow expansion.

The greatest benefit however is the mobilisation of community activity, organising and sponsoring community events and co-ordinating charity fundraising across the town.

Taking the pressure off our community volunteers and ensuring they can maximise their impact through their events.

It is a very exciting time to be a Windsor resident and I would urge residents and businesses to engage positively with the consultation, please visit www.windsortowncouncil.uk for more information and to join the campaign for local representation.

RICHARD ENDACOTT MA

Windsor Town Council Steering Group


EU deal ‘crass betrayal’ of Northern Ireland

For months Boris Johnson banged on about getting a ‘Canada style’ free trade deal with the EU.

The template for this UK-EU deal would be CETA, the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada, which has yet to come unto full force, but with the UK taking the place of Canada as the counterparty to the EU.

But he never said how much that kind of treaty might be worth to us, or what the risks might be.

That there are seen to be risks is evident from the levels of opposition to the deal on both sides.

However as far as I know nobody has suggested that it has the potential to split Canada apart.

It does not require one of the Canadian provinces, let us say British Columbia, to live under swathes EU laws in perpetuity, with EU customs officers standing behind Canadian customs officers to oversee their work as they check incoming goods.

Yet that is the crass betrayal that Boris Johnson has agreed with the EU for Northern Ireland.

He has given the EU a trade deal which is of marginal economic value to both parties but about twice as valuable to them as to us, he has consigned part of the UK to continued EU domination, and he has put at risk the integrity of the UK.

Perhaps his idea was that he could sign up to all this but later renege on the deal; it is certainly beginning to look like that, and it is not a good look.

Dr D R COOPER

Belmont Park Avenue

Maidenhead

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