01:00PM, Friday 27 May 2022
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It’s time to free the Desborough Theatre
Daily vaccinations against COVID in the UK over the past seven days (up to Tuesday, May 17) were as follows:
First (V1) – 10,411
Second (V2) – 9,167
Third and boosters (V3) – 18,477
A total of 266,399 vaccinations were administered over the week in the entire United Kingdom (average jabs per day = 38,057).
At the start of this pandemic the UK population stood at 67.8 million of which 150,906 lived in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. This works out at some 0.22 percent of the UK population.
It is reasonable to extrapolate from the above that, of the daily jab total in the UK, around 0.22 per cent related to RBWM which means that of the 38,057 daily jabs our borough accounted for about 83.7.
Allow me to be over-generous and assume that the Desborough Suite in Maidenhead is the only RBWM site for the administration of these vaccinations.
I am certain there must be others but a fast search this morning was only able to locate the patronising information that I would be told exactly where to go once I applied for my next jab. Pun intended.
It has been announced that vaccinations will continue to effectively block the use of the Desborough Theatre for the next 12 months through May 2023, thus denying use of this brilliant facility to the many thousands of other users each year who would bring life to the heart of Maidenhead which it so desperately needs.
This, remember, is solely to administer a maximum of 83.7 jabs per day which could easily be served by the use of other health facilities, surgeries, pharmacies etc. The situation is a total disgrace and alternatives should be explored immediately.
ROGER LE CLERCQ
Placement of EV charging points
We are all aware of the growing need to enable electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in support of reducing carbon emissions.
RBWM has recently installed a half-dozen pilot EV charging sites, including one in College Road in Maidenhead. Despite claims in the press release that ‘The points will be installed at the edge of the footway’, this particular charge point is over half a metre away from the edge of the kerb.
Surely this rather stretches the definition of ‘edge’.
Whilst the pavement is fairly wide at this point (assuming the neighbouring hedge remains trimmed), this shrinks the remaining pedestrian space by approximately one-quarter.
Pedestrians are routinely obstructed by pavement parking in the borough, so it seems thoughtless for the pavement space to be further curtailed for the benefit of (no more than two) car drivers.
The better approach would be a kerb extension or build out, which would not intrude any further into the road than if parked cars were already present.
In its recent response to the council’s draft LCWIP (Local Walking and Cycling Infrastructure Plan), Windsor Ascot Maidenhead Active Travel (WAMACT) noted that the document made no reference to EV chargers and their siting.
We would expect a revised LCWIP to adhere to the recently published Government EV infrastructure strategy which states: “Charge points must be incorporated into existing street furniture or parking bays wherever possible. In circumstances where it is not possible, priority must be given to ensuring that access to, and use of, pavements is not impeded and safety of pedestrians is not jeopardised.”
It is early days for EV charging in the borough.
Whilst WAMACT would prefer fewer cars, not newer cars, we recognise that EVs are an inevitability.
It is essential that RBWM adopt a cohesive and inclusive approach to EV charger deployment that accounts for the needs of all local street users, motorised or not.
Chair, Windsor Ascot Maidenhead Active Travel
Planting seems pitiful as mature trees felled
Prince Charles made a speech on May 1 requesting that all nature lovers plant a tree for the Queen’s Jubilee.
Has he not been advised that his own Royal Borough council is planning to destroy 50 acres of mature woodlands and about 1,000 trees, not to mention the destruction of the wildlife habitat?
Maidenhead has already become a blight on the Berkshire landscape, to be bypassed en route to the unscathed towns of Marlow, Windsor and Henley.
The golf club plan is the final nail in the coffin .
Beautiful statue is an important reminder
I have just attended one of the last events in the Cookham festival – and perhaps one of the most important.
It was basically the story of Hope – the wonderful statue which stands outside the Elizabeth House day centre in Cookham, and the talk, as well as the statue, was given by Lady Aurelia Young.
‘Hope’ was sculpted by Oscar Nemon, a world famous sculptor, and Aurelia’s father.
She told the story of a young, penniless, Jewish artist from the former Yugoslavia, who rose to such prominence he was commissioned to sculpt statues and heads of the rich and famous, including our own Queen and Sir Winston Churchill.
The statue, renamed Hope – was originally called Humanity, a mother tenderly holds her child aloft – and was his hope for the future.
It was a reaction to his own mother being imprisoned and shot by a firing squad for being Jewish. How much do we hope for this humanity today in the world?
How fortunate are we to have this work here in Cookham – it should become a symbol for the world we find ourselves in today.
Without humanity there is no hope.
We must look after and treasure this extraordinary art work which is passed, unnoticed by so many each day, and perhaps we should organise to send a copy to the people of Ukraine.
Should flights be allowed over castle?
With the Jubilee celebrations in progress, it is welcome news that a ‘No Fly Zone’, over Windsor Castle, was established last year.
Despite this, a recent flight from Heathrow departed from its planned route, flew below the required altitude and flew through the castle ‘no fly’ zone.
The devil is in the detail.
The AERONAUTICAL INFORMATION CIRCULAR M 101/2021 exempts Heathrow flights from the no fly zone restriction.
Do you think that low overflights, directly over Windsor Castle, should be allowed?
Swathes of laws and a long, sorry story
Six years ago we were embroiled in the EU referendum campaign, with some people on both sides straying from the truth.
But it was George Osborne who did most harm, with ‘Project Fear’ predictions.
His warning that a vote to leave the EU could collapse the economy proved false, but his forecasts of long term economic disaster if we left without a special trade deal still coloured subsequent debate.
The EU said the ‘four freedoms’ of its Single Market were inseparable, with uncontrolled movement applying to people as well as goods, and a customs union meant the EU running our trade policy.
Too much for Theresa May, until Irish politicians discovered that a molehill on the land border was in fact a mountain, which could only be overcome if the UK stayed largely under EU economic control.
Mrs May could have given that small pile of soil a kick and shown that it was just a molehill, but it suited business lobby groups that she went along with the pretence that it posed an intractable problem.
When she could not get her proposals through Parliament Boris Johnson took over, but he too was constrained by false fears of economic catastrophe if the UK left the EU without a special trade deal.
However the EU would only grant such a deal if he agreed to leave Northern Ireland behind under swathes of EU laws, which he did agree while declaring that it would only happen over his dead body.
So here we are now, with the EU refusing to change a word in the Irish protocol, true to form, and threatening to get its retaliation in first if Parliament passes an Act to allow ministers to ignore parts of it.
What a sorry story; and to be clear no blame attaches to those who voted to leave the EU, only to those who would not accept the result and set out to sabotage, and as they hoped prevent, our withdrawal.
Dr D R COOPER
Belmont Park Avenue
It’s a 90-day maximum stay for most of us
On May 19 I was wrong to say that UK nationals cannot buy property in France, because UK nationals have lost their EU freedom of movement.
UK nationals can still buy property in France without needing additional permissions.
The new difficulty is staying there.
Without a visa, UK nationals are restricted to 90 days out of 180.
UK nationals now need a French business visa to register a business in France.
On exports, it is GB goods that now face two lots of customs charges to be taken to the Netherlands. Northern Ireland is partially protected by the Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland.
Member, European Movement UK
Paramedics were called to the scene of a medical emergency in Maidenhead on Monday morning (June 27).
A teenager who died after getting into difficulty in the Jubilee River has been described as a ‘gentle giant’ in a tribute from his school.