Viewpoint: Litter in Maidenhead and Queen Street barriers

This week's Viewpoint includes discussion on coverage of Prince Philip's funeral, complaints about littering in Maidenhead and questions over the barriers in Queen Street.

Coverage of Prince’s funeral was correct

Thank you for your photos and covering articles in last week’s Advertiser of the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh on April 17.

How wonderful Windsor looked on the day of this sombre occasion.

Like your paper, the daily national papers covered the event on the following day with equally moving pictures, and the BBC and ITV were both sited in Windsor for much of Saturday to cover the four-hour ceremony, from the military bands to the service itself and with the poignancy and professionalism we would expect; to allow those of us who in normal non-COVID days, would have lined the streets of Windsor in our thousands to give the Royals our support , but who were now asked to stay at home to watch it in entirety on our televisions.

And yet, we now learn from the BBC that they received complaints about their coverage of the funeral why? Have we now turned into such a nation of woke cancel culture that some were unable to accept the fact that a total of 13.5million viewers disagreed with them and actually we did want to join the Royal Family and pay our respects or for whatever personal reasons we may have had?

The BBC quite rightly defended their decision to cover the service.

PAMELA SMITH

Shifford Crescent

Maidenhead


Barriers queries and, er, beautifications

In Queen Street, between York Road and King Street on the left-hand side, there have been barriers for several months.

Why are they there? Are they so that a cycle lane can be installed?

If so the only cyclists that I have seen in the town centre are young lads cycling the wrong way past the Colonnade or cycling on the High Street which is supposed to be for pedestrians only.

An answer from the council would be appreciated, otherwise take the things away as they are serving no useful purpose.

At the junction of Marlow Road (A308) and Castle Hill roundabout a large kerb has appeared jutting out into the road whose only purpose seems to be to restrict traffic flow rather than improve it.

Is this some form of beautification?

Are plants and shrubs to be planted?

Bridge Road/Oldfield Road – problems on Bridge Road do not improve.

The queues both on Berks and Bucks sides seem to get worse.

What a waste of money.

Why not just leave things alone?

Also the roundabout at Maidenhead Bridge, junction of Bridge Road and Ray Mead Road was supposed to be ‘improved’ and work was to be completed by February 19. What work? It was never started!

The future of the Town Hall is now up for discussion and I know that many Maidonians love it and it brings back happy memories of the ‘Carry On’ films.

However it is now nearly 60 years old and not really ‘fit for purpose’.

People can go to the library for council information, pay bills etc. Or of course they can get information and pay bills online.

Several neighbourhood councils have invested in new purpose-built offices which are more compact.

Our council has been successful in building new schools and a new leisure centre.

Why not a new smaller town hall with meeting rooms to hire out to organisations, a theatre, a restaurant/cafe and a new ‘home’ for Maidenhead Heritage Centre?

I have just read in my free local glossy monthly magazine that Londoners are leaving the city and Maidenhead is attractive because it is a ‘thriving market town’! Really!? You do surprise me!

I stay here because I have many friends and belong to several local organisations.

And thank goodness Norden Farm has been saved.

GEORGINA MADGE

Boulters Court

Maidenhead


Another block, another blot on the landscape

The RBWM, planners and architects should be ‘congratulated’ on yet another blot on the landscape in Maidenhead with the completion of the block of flats in Park Street.

Their obvious attempt to replicate the Eastern Bloc look has been achieved without doubt and once the Trabants arrive the picture will be complete.

Hopefully the ‘inmates’ won't be compelled to wear a uniform.

The amount of amazing looking Victorian architecture that has been demolished over the years to make way for unimaginative boxes and architectural blots is a travesty.

I would suspect if Betjeman was still around his famed poem would read ‘Oh come friendly bombs and drop on Maidenhead’, with suitable rhyming adjustments…

DAVID BARRY COX

Bath Road

Maidenhead


Groups working to help the environment

In last week’s Viewpoint (April 22) Councillor Donna Stimson was encouraging us all to ‘do something positive for the planet’.

There are a lot of people and groups already doing lots to help address our climate emergency.

The Climate Emergency Coalition (CEC) is an alliance of community groups in The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead working in partnership to address the climate and ecological emergency.

It is non-partisan and was originally formed to convince the council to declare an Environment and Climate Emergency.

This was achieved on June 25, 2019.

The coalition partners are The RBWM Climate Community, CESA (Climate Emergency Sunnings and Ascot), Filling Good Cooperative, MaidEnergy, Plastic Free Maidenhead, Windsor & Maidenhead Cycling Action Group, Wild Cookham, Wild about Datchet and Wild Maidenhead.

The issues are wide ranging and impact everyone and I recognise that there are many other individuals and community groups that are also contributing towards addressing the emergencies and the CEC would love to hear from them.

Please join and get involved with one of them.

We can achieve more working together!

I am part of ‘The RBWM Climate Community’ – local people in RBWM with a passion to address the climate crisis through making real change.

Our mission is to:

  • Educate & inspire residents, schools and businesses to act
  • Encourage & support local environmental groups to work together for maximum impact and assist & facilitate the council in its endeavours to execute the Climate Emergency plan.

DAVE SCARBROUGH

Bridle Road

Maidenhead


Time to review the need for flats

I have lived in Maidenhead all my life and over the last couple of years, and especially during lockdown, I have noticed more and more litter has been dropped.

This appears to be primarily food wrappers and drinks cartons and cans.

Added to that now there are masks, gloves, tissues and wipes.

I know there are a lot of local individuals litter picking including myself.

Some councillors also organise local litter picks eg. Phil Haseler and Ross McWilliams in Cox Green.

I am finding that it is impossible to keep on top of it in my patch and I wondered if anyone know of any initiatives, support or organisations who would be willing to help with Maidenhead’s litter problem?

Secondly, there are a lot of flats being built in Maidenhead at the moment, I am assuming that plans were all approved pre-pandemic and on the back of Crossrail and the premise of workers commuting into London.

It seems likely in a post-pandemic world, commuting will decrease and working from home increase.

While I accept that Maidenhead probably does need more housing, are flats the right sort?

Would terraced or town houses with outside space be more appropriate.

Is anyone looking at this and reviewing and rethinking planning policy in the light of the last 18 months?

JANE MACPHERSON

Church View

White Waltham


Fast food and booze packaging in litter

I am writing to raise my concerns about the amount of litter that is in and around Maidenhead.

I applaud the endless number of volunteers who go around the area picking up the ever-increasing amounts of litter.

However, I do feel there seems to be no strategy in action to stop the amount of rubbish that is polluting our open spaces.

I appreciate that dealing with this has been difficult during the pandemic but would like to know what kind of steps are now being taken to combat this issue.

I myself have been doing litter pick sessions and I have noticed that the majority of the rubbish is alcohol based and takeaway packaging, which continues to be dumped. I would also like to mention that the A404 is a disgrace, however of course this area cannot be tackled by volunteers as it is a dangerous area.

MARY WATT

Thurlby Way

Cox Green


Why is the PCC a political appointment?

Recently BBC Radio’s Andrew Peach has interviewed four candidates for the forthcoming election for the post of Police and Crime Commissioner for Thames Valley.

From the brief extracts which I heard re-broadcast on Tuesday, April 27, I gather that three of the four candidates are standing as ‘Conservative’, ‘Labour’, or ‘Liberal Democrat’.

Is not this trumpeting of political allegiance simply a naked appeal to tribalism? What on earth does the political party of a candidate have to do with their ability to fulfil the potentially quite tedious and painstaking work of a PCC?

As I said in a recent letter, ‘While the nitty-gritty of police spending and performance against priorities set out in Local Plans may be less exciting than going on radio shows, it is what PCCs are being paid for’.

A ‘Local Plan’ is not a euphemism for a ‘PCC’s pet concerns’: it is a plan which is to follow local consultation on what the local people see as their policing priorities.

Why, then, did the PCC leaflet which recently accompanied the council tax statement say, “The police funding settlement enables us to invest ...in those areas of most concern to ourselves and the public as a whole...”?

Who does the PCC think he is?

What is, ‘... of most concern to ourselves ...’ is neither here nor there to council tax payers, or the electorate.

For that matter, why did the second page of that leaflet, under the heading ‘Your PCC’ carry at the end of the page the name and photograph (centre stage, beside someone looking much like the Prime Minister), of one of the present candidates for PCC – Matthew Barber, who has not been elected to the role – as well as the name and image of the present incumbent?

The role of the PCC – at considerable taxpayer expense – is not to give his or her opinions on party-political matters, but to do more humdrum things such as hold the Chief Constable to account and to act as appropriate authority for complaints which may be made about the Chief Constable.

Since this gravy train was first invented, has any Annual Report of the Office for PCC of Thames Valley given details of any specific questions they have raised with Chief Constables over force performance, or why Chief Constables spent funds?

When, for instance, the then Chief Constable went to the High Court on a failed attempt at Judicial Review, seeking to overturn the decision of an independent, qualified panel in a disciplinary case - see ‘Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police v Police Misconduct Panel [2017] EWHC 923 (Admin)’ - did the PCC report on how much that cost council tax payers, or whether or not he had questioned this expense?

Before casting your vote for Thames Valley’s next PCC, is it not important to consider whether or not person X is from your political ‘tribe’, but rather does person X show any skills and experience suited (as well as the desire) to hold to account the Chief Constable - even though appointed by the PCC to be elected now?

JAY FLYNN

Moneyrow Green

Holyport


What was the origin of Bradleys Bottom?

I was very interested to hear about the possible naming of the alley between Grenfell Road and Boyn Valley/Clare Road.

Many years ago this was known on various maps as ‘Bradleys Bottom’!

I have always wondered where this name came from as I’m sure it wasn’t anything to do with my family who lived in Clare Road from the 1930s until the 1980s!

Do any of your readers have any knowledge of this?

JENNIFER ATTWOOD (nee BRADLEY)

Norreys Drive

Maidenhead


Mysteries in the Maidenhead Advertiser

I was a little confused by the title attributed to my column last week about celebrities – still pondering its meaning, as I have neither uncles or a budgie.

However, I was much more confused when I skimmed the classifieds and came across ‘Potpourri Bowels’. Shouldn’t that have been in the Spare Parts section?

HELEN MACDONALD

Shirley Road

Maidenhead

Editor’s note: The title was a bit of fun with celebrity reality shows and the ‘stars’ who have tenuous claims to fame.

As for the bowels typo – that one has left us feeling a little flushed.


Betrayed – unless you are one of PM’s cronies

The civil war raging in Downing Street is a gift to comedians, but at least it has made the Prime Minister’s character and his denigration of standards in public life a real issue at last.

No longer should we accept that ‘Boris is Boris’ or that all politicians tell us lies.

Mr Johnson fails to meet the Nolan ‘principles of public life’ on almost all counts: Honesty, Openness, Objectivity, Selflessness, Integrity, Accountability, Leadership.

They are all lacking in his and his government’s actions.

He told countless lies in the Brexit referendum campaign, was far from open with the electorate about the consequences of his hard Brexit deal (ask our fishermen or the people of Northern Ireland), seems to have no beliefs beyond his own right to govern, met the CEO of Manchester United three days before the announcement of the Europe Super league which he immediately condemned in a piece of populist posturing, and leads a government incapable of accepting the blame for anything.

Thank goodness the NHS has been running the vaccination programme, despite the earlier mess made by PPE contracts going to a VIP list of companies with connections to ministers.

Have we got the kind of politicians we deserve?

NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED


Cracks showing in the United Kingdom

Those baffled by much of D R Cooper’s letter (Viewpoint, April 22) should concentrate on his final paragraph where he mentions risking the integrity of the country for a slight GDP gain.

Assuming the country to which he refers is the United Kingdom, consisting of four separate countries, the integrity thereof is under severe strain.

The terms of the Brexit negotiations have led to a strengthening of support for Scottish and Welsh independence and for a united Ireland.

Although that was perhaps natural with the gradual demise of older people and with many of the younger electorate happier to have a pro European identity, the acceleration of the process can be laid at the feet government malfeasance.

Evidently, belonging to a big, powerful and successful trading bloc where every country has equal weight is preferable to being in a smaller regime where unpopular orders flow unchecked from Westminster.

JAMES AIDAN

Sutton Road

Cookham

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