Viewpoint: Why is Maidenhead so unkempt?

Send Viewpoint letters to jamesp@baylismedia.co.uk or write to Viewpoint, 48 Bell Street, Maidenhead, SL6 1HX

Where have all the flowers gone?

I support completely all the views expressed in the letter written by Ralph Jones in your issue of September 2.

To take just two of his points, the amount of litter in and around the town is appalling.

The grass verges, when they are cut, are hacked rather than trimmed.

The grass cuttings spray into the road resulting in large tufts of grass growing at the kerbside and presumably in the drains as well which will impede the flow of water.

And where have all the flowers gone?

How very sad to see nothing but empty boxes instead of the lovely cheering displays of flowers we have enjoyed in previous years.

I have lived in the town for 74 years and have never seen it look so unkempt.

Where is the pride in our town?

Surely we can do better than this?

HELEN BARNES

Lower Cookham Road

Maidenhead


Putting their foot in it to mend potholes

Readers may remember that under Simon Dudley, our previous illustrious leader, we were issued a glossy brochure extolling the council’s excellence in how they were improving our lot.

Banners abounded across the borough to reinforce the message from the great and good.

One of the articles in the propaganda was the professional manner in which they were repairing roads, complete with glossy photographs of potholes having the edges cut out and squared off to prevent creep and then patching and compacting.

In other words, doing it properly.

Commendable – and the repairs should last for a lifetime or at least as long as Dudley did. Ha!

Witness a local repair to a pothole at the edge of a road in Beenhams Heath last week.

A flatbed truck, lights flashing – no sirens – obviously the RBWM special pothole task force (SPTF) in stealth mode. Contact! Pothole spotted starboard quarter, Captain Povey!

Without hesitation the recce group of SPTF leapt into action debussing in a flash.

A road edge crumble confirmed.

Sitrep to Gold Control… wait one… clearance for immediate action sanctioned.

After a couple handfuls of black stuff scraped off the back of the truck in to the hole, (I’m not dirtying my shovel) , one of the crew did the ‘Soft Shoe Scuffle” to smooth it and stood back, apparently filming on his phone, whilst the truck reversed over the tarmac and forward again - job done.

Tick it off the work sheet Leading Asphalter Goldstein!

A professionally compacted repair courtesy of a calibrated Doc Martins and Dunlop (at least until the next heavy horsebox trundles past and it has to be done again)

Report back to Gold ‘pothole down’ .

Well done chaps, mission accomplished, let’s have another gin and tonic.

RALPH JONES

Beenhams Heath


Uncomfortable about who’s sitting on panel

I attended, as a voting member, a planning development meeting on Wednesday, August 18.

There was an application being heard regarding a parcel of land belonging to RBWM.

During the panel members’ technical briefing it was pointed out by Cllr Baldwin that a number of conservative members attending (as substitutes for the regular panel members) were not constitutionally able to sit on the panel as they were from the Ascot area.

The constitution of the council requires the members of the Maidenhead panel to be of Maidenhead and surrounding area.

With the three ineligible Conservative members having been ejected we decided to proceed with the technical briefing with the remaining five panel members, as we need only three members to have a quorum to make binding decisions.

The briefing closed, the public entered for the full planning meeting and to our surprise four Maidenhead Conservative members appeared as if from nowhere.

Why?

Two of these members are designated panel members or substitutes so why weren’t they in attendance anyway?

One member isn’t a designated panel member or substitute member so why was this member in attendance?

Why were members who hadn’t attended the technical briefing and one assumes had little or no time to read the planning papers allowed to vote?

There was, to me, another issue as a couple of the members were also members of the cabinet and the application we were considering would be financially beneficial to the council and would therefore be enabling the wishes of cabinet.

Should members of the RBWM Cabinet be voting on applications that they have already agreed in principal?

Then, to our complete surprise, the planning application 20/03450 land south of 18- 20 and open space to south of Ray Mill Road East – Maidenhead submitted by CALA Homes one of the Borough’s development partners is suddenly withdrawn.

Why?

A resident remarked that the ‘goings on’ echoed the very controversial Vicus Way application.

I have requested that the Monitoring Officer look again at the constitution with regard to the public perception if cabinet members are able to vote on a development partner’s application.

Cllr GEOFF HILL

The Borough First, Oldfield


Don’t force beautiful classic cars off road

Following years of stifling political correctness which has served to suck the life and soul out of every aspect British life as we know it, it now seems one of the last great British institutions of classic cars is now under threat too.

The timeline for all electric vehicles has been brought forward with astonishing speed, in addition to the phasing out of E5 petrol – supposedly starting on September 1 albeit, available for a further five years this is already being sold as ‘supreme’ and at the supreme price of around £1.55 a litre; for a good month now in addition to all petrol prices going through the roof!

I run two classic vehicles, one for work and one for pleasure – both of which attract considerable and daily interest and smiles from all age groups, yet I fear this is yet another quaint part of life in this country to be forced out in the name of going green.

It has to be noted too that these vehicles typically cover a fraction of the annual mileage of their modern counterparts and are generally in excellent condition.

It would be a crying shame to see a future without classic car fairs and seeing these gems on the road occasionally, only to be replaced with soulless anonymous electric cars gliding around soundlessly and dangerously.

TONY BECK

Brownfield Gardens

Maidenhead


Cashless, digital library is inaccessible to some

Your readers may be interested to know the Royal Borough is not merely cashless because a previous administration oversaw an unaccountable loss of taxpayers’ money but also because we can no longer use cash in any of the borough’s libraries.

Under the pretext of saving from not paying Securicor to pick up money from the tills, technocratic and commercial interests are shaping society to be regulated increasingly by artificial intelligence.

While the officially ruling Right are obsessed with saving money regardless of the social consequences, the unofficial Left rule more surreptitiously via management courses and human resources manuals.

In both cases ideology triumphs over common sense and we are left feeling increasingly ignored, powerless, and living in an uncaring and impersonal world.

Seemingly not intelligent enough to realise that people use library computers because they have no internet access of their own and were completely cut off during lockdown, the library carried out its recent consultation and modernisation exercise by email and now wonders where its users have gone.

Meanwhile, I am still awaiting a rational explanation as to why reception librarians are cruelly obliged to stand on their feet all day, and why librarians in general are no longer encouraged to enforce silence or prevent badly behaved children from running around and shouting while their elders are engaged in study.

BEVIS BEAUVAIS

Horton


Cakes and volunteers helped make our show

The committee of the Cox Green Horticultural and Craft Show would like to thank everyone who helped making this year’s event, in spite of all the difficulties due to the pandemic, a great success.

A particular heartfelt thank you to The Handmade Cake Company for donating their delicious cakes which, once again, proved very popular and sold out.

They are such a fantastic local business helping out, year after year, numerous local charities and their support is very much appreciated.

Also a very big thank you to Cox Green Councillor Phil Haseler for being our guest of honour and presenting the prizes.

Those who live in Cox Green know the commitment and dedication that Phil has for his local community and his work is valued very much by all the residents.

Last but not least, the show is run entirely by volunteers who dedicate their time throughout the year to deliver such high quality show and without whom it would not be possible.

We are determined to carry on the tradition of this wonderful local show and we’ll be back next year on September 10.

SILVIA LITTLE

Heywood Avenue

Maidenhead


UK agreement on ‘goods not at risk’

Dr Cooper does not seem to have read the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland (Viewpoint, September 2).

The European Commission has shown the admirable courtesy of translating its summary into Irish Gaelic, as well as the 23 official languages of the EU.

The summary says: “The Protocol contains a presumption that all goods entering Northern Ireland from a third country (i.e. from any other part of the United Kingdom or from other third countries) are at risk of moving on to the [European] Union.”

It continues: “Such goods may only exceptionally be considered ‘not at risk’ of moving on to the Union, if the goods concerned are (i) not subject to commercial processing in Northern Ireland and (ii) fulfil additional conditions for being considered ‘not at risk’ set out in the Joint Committee Decision on ‘goods not at risk.”

The UK has agreed to it.

The UK has committed to implement it.

PHIL JONES

Member, European Movement UK


Brexit minister ‘must’ have fallen into trap

If insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, as some claim, then I am afraid that our Prime Minister and his Brexit minister Lord Frost must be off their rockers.

In a recent letter I pointed out how Theresa May had effectively put the UK at the mercy of the EU and the Irish government by openly saying that we ‘must’ secure an agreement over the Irish land border (Viewpoint, August 19).

Now Lord Frost has given an otherwise sensible speech but has fallen into the same trap with these words:

“It is obvious there will always need to be a dedicated UK-EU Treaty relationship covering Northern Ireland.”

Having ruled out unilateral action by the UK he must now wait for his interlocutors to set their price for any changes to the Irish protocol that he may propose, and given that they have publicly declared that there can be no changes at all we may expect that price to be exorbitant.

Dr D R COOPER

Belmont Park Avenue

Maidenhead

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