01:00PM, Thursday 30 September 2021
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This green land was a given to us as a gift
In the Advertiser of September 16 we learned about the council’s offer of £16million to the MGC for the land which will be used to build 2,600 homes.
This is against the wishes of over 4,448 residents expressed in a petition set up by the ‘Maidenhead Great Park’ campaign to save this magnificent green space in our town which was originally gifted to us and whose voices have been ignored.
And it seems that the members of the golf club did not give up the land willingly.
Cllr Geoffrey Hill is quoted as confirming that ‘The borough and the Conservative group held a big gun to golf club members’ heads in terms of a compulsory purchase order which would have plunged them into a very expensive legal battle’.
On page 6 of this same edition of the paper we read that another wonderful amenity in our town, the Norden Farm Arts Centre is once more in serious jeopardy due to the council’s decision to reduce the funding the centre has received from the council since its opening in 2000.
Those who benefit hugely from the activities organised include everyone living here from babes-in-arms to the elderly right across the social spectrum.
£16million would go a long way to keeping Norden Farm running.
According to Richard Norden’s letter on p20 of that edition of the paper: ‘The council is currently launching a public survey on what they can do to encourage more cycling and pedestrians in town.’
Surveys cost money; surely the members of the council can come to conclusions themselves using their own powers of research and thinking and not having to waste precious funds from our council tax engaging others to do that for them.
We read of one survey after another being commissioned by them.
So this is the calibre of those we’ve elected to run our town for the benefit of the citizens: they are forcefully acquiring a beautiful green space which will be concreted over despite their stated intention of considering climate change in all they do; they are reneging on a commitment to provide us with another important facility which offers so much for the mental health and well-being of our community; and they hand over funds to survey companies to answer such simple questions as ‘what they can do to encourage more cycling and pedestrians in the town.’
The Maidenhead Great Park group promises to continue to oppose the council’s plan for the Golf Club land and will be organising a series of events and campaigns to oppose it.
The people of Maidenhead have the opportunity to support them as forcefully as possible and they can also take every opportunity to support Norden Farm which is rallying against the economic blows of both COVID and council cuts.
We need to put up a fight to preserve some of the important advantages of our town.
St Marks Crescent
Obscenity to lose this stretch of greenbelt
Well, contrary to the letters in this week’s Advertiser, I welcomed Gavin Ames comments (Opinion, September 16).
For too long the members of the MCG have been silent and Gavin’s article has got them talking at last. I think we can now see who the villains in this sad affair really are – the Conservative-led council of RBWM.
It is obscene that this beautiful part of the greenbelt is going to be lost to housing that we may not need. It is just common sense and our council seems sadly lacking in that.
Tithe Barn Drive
MP seems silent on golf course controversy
Where is Mrs May? It would be interesting to know her view on the change of use of the Maidenhead Golf Club.
And what she thinks of the building site which is her constituency.
Council is axeing the funding for Norden
I was very disappointed to read that all RBWM funding for the wonderful Norden Farm Centre for the Arts will cease from 2022/23 (Maidenhead Advertiser, September 16).
On top of the already announced cuts to other services which include community wardens and libraries, this is very hard to swallow given RBWM has managed to finance the purchase of Maidenhead Golf Club for £16million.
More homes, more cars and more queues
So, 2,000 new homes?
I guess that alone will equate to at least 3,000 more cars in Maidenhead.
What the hell is wrong with the people who are supposed to be running RBWM?
They claim they have reduced the black bin collection in the name of ‘climate change’ and then proceed to sanction the building of 2,000 more homes on what is currently green land used by MGC!
All this is in addition to the ubiquitous new blocks of flats with lovely bathrooms that are constantly popping up all the time in Maidenhead.
So where will all these extra people and their cars go?
Where will all the extra schoolchildren go, the extra GP and hospital patients?
Already Maidenhead is becoming choked with traffic.
And now we see what Cllr Clark meant by ‘future proofing’ when he fronted up the council’s ludicrous decision to convert the perfectly functioning Oldfield Road mini roundabout into a traffic light controlled junction.
He knew there were these stupid plans to massively increase the population and car use in Maidenhead.
But amazingly, even though these plans will severely damage the quality of life here, people will still keep on voting for them, won’t they?
MALCOLM JAMES STRETTEN
Chance for councillors to help wildlife habitat
The RBWM Cabinet will decide this evening (Thursday) on whether a new public path will be opened across the priority habitat at Battlemead.
It is, to say the least, perplexing that the four options offered to cabinet members to consider do not include the one that has consistently been proposed by expert local and national bodies as well as residents concerned for the other life at Battlemead beyond our own – namely, that public access should be possible but only after the ecological plan agreed by the council has had time to take effect.
Human impatience must clearly face no barriers, even when we now know, beyond a shadow of doubt, that our biodiversity is under extreme threat, an issue which will be aired next month at COP26 where our Government will be pressing us all to take immediate action to halt further decline.
Fortunately cabinet members can assuage their guilt at the end of the month (October 30) when local residents who care about Battlemead will be at work implementing the ecological plan: they would be welcome to join us.
Just contact email@example.com
Who’s in for a syndicate of councils?
“Hello Charles. How are you?”
“Fine thank you, I have just had a spiffing idea!”
‘Tell me, tell me”
“Well I thought if we, the council, formed a syndicate with the adjacent councils it will solve all our problems”
“Too deep for me Charles, explain s’il vous plait”
“Think about it, Rodney. We could take it in turns to have a top dog Mayor every couple of years in rotation, like the Kings of Malaysia – and none of this election malarkey. We should be able to stiff the Government for extra spondoolies, and better still, if we mess anything up we can blame the other members of the syndicate so all of us can claim to be doing a grand job”
“Charles, m’boy, that sounds like a winner.
Let’s have another gin and tonic………………… “
Find out more about the Chapel Arches
Congratulations to all involved in the Waterways Fun Day on September 25.
As I watched people of all ages having a great time on the water, it seemed that the vision of a regenerated Maidenhead was starting to be fulfilled.
It was also true that many of the spectators who looked at our Heritage Centre display about the history of Chapel Arches knew very little about the history of the town in which they live and showed great interest in hearing more about it.
For readers who missed the Fun Day, the Chapel Arches display has been installed at the Heritage Centre in Park Street, where a free leaflet about Chapel Arches is also available.
Chairman, Maidenhead Heritage Centre
Is UK on a collision course over border?
I find that an internet search for [uk eu collision course] throws up over 9million hits, but it seems that the final smash is really about to happen with the UK planning to invoke Article 16 to suspend the Irish protocol and the EU already planning its retaliation.
To help win over world public opinion it would be wise for the UK Parliament to rush through the legislation required to underpin an alternative, necessarily unilateral, arrangement for controlling goods exports across the land border into the Irish Republic.
That it would likely have to be unilateral is clear from the reactions from some Irish politicians two years ago when alternative arrangements were proposed, with one even saying that check sites anywhere on the island would amount to a ‘hard border’.
It beggars belief that the new UK government under Boris Johnson allowed itself to be swayed by such nonsense, and of course by surrendering to that stupidity he merely encouraged further stupidity, but as he himself has said this cannot go on forever.
Dr D R COOPER
Belmont Park Avenue
The UK has voted to leave the European Union in yesterday's referendum - and while the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead fell into the remain camp, Slough voted to support a Brexit.