Letters to the Editor

Quill and Ink Bottle

The Editor welcomes correspondence on any topic which has been in Wendover News or may be of interest to its readers.  Please write to us at Florence Nightingale Hospice Shop, First Floor, 19 High Street, Wendover HP22 6DX or email us at the usual address: editor@wendovernews.co.uk or telephone 01296 624270 or speak to us in the town.  Letters may be edited and may or may not be published at the Editor's discretion.

We'd love to hear from you.

Lights on the Clock Tower

Odile Pollard,   |  Submitted: Jan 31st 2013
As it had been snowing, I went to work by bus and returned on the number 55, 19.50 from Stoke Mandeville Hospital which dropped me at the Clock Tower. What a beautiful sight! It made my day! It was 'lights switching on' and late night opening and I was welcomed despite the time! Thank you so much.

Snow Clearing

D Jones,   |  Submitted: Jan 18th 2013
Earlier today I saw something that I haven't seen for a while; someone putting themselves out to help others and for no acknowledgement, well not till now.
Travelling along the Aylesbury Road in the middle of the whiteout today (Friday) was a guy whom I assume was from ADH Window Cleaning (as the van was parked with lights flashing) shovelling grit onto the main road and the dangerous junction of Grenville Ave. He was obviously freezing cold but he kept shovelling and was still there on my return journey 45 minutes later. I stopped to ask him why he was doing it and he just said it was a job that needed to be done and thanked me for my interest and the fact I'd noticed. Apparently, very few people had and he'd even been accused of ruining the kids' fun from the school as they walked past. He was also narrowly missed by a few people using mobile phones while driving in the bad weather.

There are few people around these days that will do a job like that for nothing and as such I felt he deserved recognition.

Wendover Pool

C McLintock, Head Teacher, John Colet School, Wendover  |  Submitted: Jan 14th 2013
The school is reviewing the complex situation at the pool which has arisen due to the boiler failure and other facility issues. This will be discussed at a forthcoming Governors' meeting. The Governors' discussion will also take into account the likelihood of continuing reductions of government funding for schools.

Wendover Pool

A Smith, Wendover  |  Submitted: Jan 11th 2013
No bathing in the Olympic Legacy in Wendover
As a member of Wendover Swimming Association (WSA) it is disappointing not to be able to access the Wendover pool during the waste-band expanding season.
The John Colet School (JCS) closed the pool to pupils in September, and then completely on 12th October. This was because in June the gas boilers heating the pool water had ceased working, not a problem in the summer, but with the onset of winter the pool water was deemed too cold to swim in. Therefore, all schools on the JCS campus, together with JCS’s feeder schools in surrounding villages are now denied swimming lessons in their own pool; just when they should be ‘bathing’ in the Olympic Legacy.
Numerous clubs and several hundred members of WSA are also denied use of this much valued community facility. The WSA and its members generate a revenue close on £1,000 a month, most of which contributes to the pool upkeep and maintenance. This revenue is being lost. Although the WSA’s website has some relevant information and considers the situation to be temporary, there is a distinct lack of specific details as what is being done to put things right.
Bucks County Council claim to have resolved any gas supply problems and have provided JCS with 2 quoted schemes for replacing the water heating systems, and WSA are ready with financial assistance. So why are we waiting, whoever needs to extract the proverbial digit, please do so quickly?

Gary Thorne,   |  Submitted: Jan 8th 2013
Hampden Lodge would like to thank the proprietors of the Village Gate, Robina’s, The George & Dragon, The King & Queen and The Raj for their recent support in donating towards our Christmas Supper raffle. Hampden Lodge this year will be supporting ‘Riding for the Disabled (Halton Centre) and The Warrior Programme’ as well as many other local causes, including assisting as required at St Mary’s Graveyard, when the weather is a bit better!

Wendover Arm

Name and Address Supplied,   |  Submitted: Nov 22nd 2012
In response to Oliver Statham's article on the Wendover Arm of the canal, in fact the restoration would actually be very detrimental for Wendover's wildlife. He says that people's fears about the canal restoration adversely affecting the long term wildlife of the rest of the canal are unfounded, I strongly disagree.

As a professional, freshwater ecologist of 20 years standing, who has often assessed the consequences of development on rivers and wetlands and as an advisor to government and planning authorities, I can assure readers that if the restoration works join the two wet sections of the canal, then the long term ecological health of the Wendover section is at grave risk and the canal as we know it will no longer exist. His comments on "habitation (sic) and wildlife" are incorrect, as any basic environmental assessment would reveal. No independent environmental assessment of the impact of the works would support his view and none has been undertaken.

Rivers and canals are complex and rely on the way the water quality, water quantity, bed and banks interact with channel life. The result is that the "restored" canal's wildlife is likely to be very poor. The section with boats will have little wildlife and is likely to be algae dominated due to increased sediment and nutrients in the water. The upper section, even if it doesn't have boats on it, is likely to be infested by signal crayfish which are already resident in the local catchment. These carry crayfish plague meaning that we will never have the prospect of native crayfish returning. They also remove the submerged water plants (which provide oxygen and the main habitat structure in canals). Fish, fish eggs and invertebrates, which form the main biodiversity within the canal, are also targets for this invasive crayfish. There is no known way to remove signal crayfish once they are in your canal without using a biocide called rotenone which would poison the whole canal. Further, there are resident fish species in the catchment which are officially classed as high impact invasive species, which will keep making the water nutrient rich and continue the loss of plants and animals.

The canal will also be very vulnerable to mink; the main threat to water vole and all the water birds we find on the canal, including the little grebes. It was mink that wiped out our water vole population a few years ago and joining the two parts of the canal again will prevent a stable water vole population being established without constant management.

The large cross sectional area of the canal required for boat movements, coupled with the minimal gradient and a minimal summer flow of between 0.05 and 0.03 cubic metres per second, means that there will be no perceptible flow within the new channel, making it susceptible to algal blooms and oxygenation problems.

There are also many other significant issues which have not been assessed, including the works creating a possible failure of the Water Framework Directive, failure to protect Habitats Directive Annex II species e.g. Bullhead and failure to comply with the Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006. Although it fails to take into account many important ecological issues and is over 10 years old, it's interesting that even British Waterways' own "Environmental Matters" document which was written to support the restoration predicts significant ecological problems.

I realise this won’t be a popular letter, considering the work people have put into the restoration of the Wendover Arm but feel there should be a clearer picture of what will happen, so that decisions can be made as to whether the inevitable long term environmental costs are acceptable when measured against the benefits.

In order for the people of Wendover, the Parish Council and sponsors to decide if they want to carry on supporting the restoration, I think we should at least have an honest environmental assessment and debate about what the restoration will actually mean to our wildlife. What we're moving towards is a wildlife poor canal which we will not be able to put right.

Macmillan Coffee Morning

Julie Needle,   |  Submitted: Nov 22nd 2012
Well, yet again the weather was fine for most of the time and we had a fantastic morning’s fundraising.
I was feeling cautiously optimistic that I might raise over £4,000 and beat last year’s record for my event...Well, I'm delighted to say that the total is an astonishing £4,426.70!! Yet again everyone has been so supportive, with about 60 people attending on the 28 Sept, and many more local businesses, retailers and restaurants giving fantastic raffle prizes, and donations.
Thank you all so very much.

Good Samaritan at Weston Turville

Odile,   |  Submitted: Nov 20th 2012
Struggling along the cycle path on my bike in wet and windy weather at about 6.30pm on October 31, in my hood, helmet and bright yellow PVC cycling cape, after a long day at work at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, I reached the dreaded stretch after the Weston Turville roundabout with no street lights, blinding oncoming traffic and spectacles with no wipers...!

I vaguely saw a shadow about a metre from me, and my very bright front light showed it was a pedestrian so I slowed right down but he walked across the path right in front of me with a dog on a leash who stayed on the other side. My front wheel got caught in the leash and I stopped...The man fell down, very unsteady on his feet, got up and fell several times. By then I realised he had had too many pints. In the beam of my front light, I saw his face was covered in blood, from a probable previous fall? As he tried to steady himself on my bike I could smell his breath and got blood on my cape. I said I would call 999, but he protested. I still tried, but could not hear nor see because of my hood, the traffic and the dark.

Just then, a good Samaritan stopped her car and offered help. Calling 999 she had the gentleman sit on the ground. She managed to stop the bleeding from the man's forehead with her scarf. The ambulance arrived and took over.

I have had many near misses on this bit of road, but this was the worst. Are the authorities waiting for a serious accident?

Amber (is it your name?) from Weston Turville, you did a great job. It was so good of you to stop! I picked your scarf up, gave it a good delicate wash and a long airing. It is as good as new. Please contact me through Wendover News; it would be nice to chat in brighter circumstances!

A Letter To Students:

Jennifer Ballantyne,   |  Submitted: Nov 16th 2012
Home for Christmas? Feeling Poor? Have you expensive books to purchase? Please contact Jennifer Ballantyne, William Hill Charity, 01296 622483 if the answer to any of these questions is yes.

Thank You

Jo Woolf , Chief Executive; Chilterns MS Centre  |  Submitted: Nov 15th 2012
To the wonderful, marvellous and generous people of Wendover,
the good people of  Wendover who bend over backwards to support us and help us
Go head over heels to keep us and treat us
Collect funds to comfort, hold us and heal us

Thank you so much for taking us to your hearts, for supporting us. Your unstinting  generosity and abundant kindness fill us with overwhelming gratitude and admiration.
You can rightfully be proud of the new Chilterns MS Centre, which owes so very much to your kindness.
The staff, the trustees and the volunteers of the Centre all wish you, the good people of Wendover, a truly happy Christmas.    May your festive season be joyful, peaceful and uplifting, and may you all have a terrific New Year.
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