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Our roads are dilapidated

MY WIFE and I have just returned from a holiday in Wales and I have to say, although the weather was a bit unkind, it was a pleasure to drive on roads that were properly maintained - even the side roads were good.

There were, of course, one or two roads where they are in need of attention, but on the whole, the surfaces were good.

However, on our return, we are not impressed with the disgraceful, dilapidated, third-world quality surfaces that masquerade as roads in and around Wycombe.

We motorists are fleeced left, right and centre by governments and councils, but have to put up with roads that are not up to standard.

Instead of wasting money on hare-brained schemes in places like Easton Street, Suffield Road and Cressex, perhaps it would be more prudent to see our money being invested in maintaining our existing roads properly.

Alan J. Vere, High Wycombe

Insurance woes are revealed

RAC fails to update accident incident three weeks after insured has had a no-fault confirmation letter and car has been repaired on such basis – in spite of this supposedly being the age on one-stop IT, rather than horse and trap post.

Husband and wife are unlucky to suffer as victims of two non-fault accidents in just over six months, and although reported to RAC through whom both are insured, it transpires that each is not insured as the second named driver on the other’s car because RAC fail to ensure driver information follows the driver.

As we’re not so important that we’re likely to be unique, this could be happening to numerous drivers expecting that once an incident has been reported they don’t need to report it numerous times.

Incidents: September 2018 – husband is waiting, stationary, at traffic lights and is rammed by a woman doing a reckless U-turn which leaves burnt tyre rubber tracks on the highway, at 08:40 with school children walking to school, on pavements either side of the road – so she misses the coach-length gap behind husband’s car. Police uninterested.

May 2019 wife is following a car passing a parked car, when the car in front suddenly stops and starts reversing – just like criminals do to try to knock out a police car in hot pursuit.

Wife miraculously manages to reverse out of the way until thwarted by another vehicle coming up behind her and so gets reversed-into by the vehicle she was following - even though they’ve both returned to behind the parked car.

In both cases, the damage was minor so both cars were driveable, but we were still nonetheless offered hire cars at £140/week covered by the insurance company. Such unnecessary car hire is unnecessarily inflating all our premiums.

Even 100 per cent non-fault accidents such as these inflate the blameless driver’s premium, ‘justified’ on the dubious ground that if you’ve been hit once you could be hit again – defying the mathematical science of probability upon which we’re told insurance is calculated.

To explain, if the chances of experiencing a replica of my wife’s extraordinary incident is say one in 10 million, because you’ve already had that one we’re talking about the chances of it happening twice which is one over 10 million multiplied by 9,999,999 – which is far ;ess likely, not more likely. Just how thick are these insurance companies?!

It appears that any non-fault accident which has not been fully concluded at the time of premium renewal will result in an increased premium as insurance company hasn’t yet had its costs reimbursed – even though they will be reimbursed.

Apparently we would then have some of our insurance premium refunded at a later date – unnecessary administration for which we’re all paying through inflated premiums.

Time all this corruption wasting our money is exposed.

David Meacock, Chalfont St Peter

‘Say no to Boris Johnson’

FELLOW Conservative Party members must shortly decide who will be the next Prime Minister of our great United Kingdom.

It will not be a popularity contest for the title "Jack the lad" with Nigel Farage but a vote for one of the most important roles in the Free World.

We therefore have to ask ourselves five questions:

1. Which candidate offers the most effective top level (ie Cabinet) experience? Does nine years beat a brief and controversial sojourn in office?

2. Who is the most likely to negotiate successfully some amendments to our exit deal (if any) for Brexit? Will a reasoned approach to the EU triumph over threats to welsh on the UK's financial commitments to the EU?

3. Whose personal experience of success in business will encourage the treatment of this sector of our economy as vital? Or should the needs of business be dismissed as irrelevant?

4. Should personal loyalty to family be treated as more important than philandering?

5. Do the answers to these questions clearly indicate that we should follow the Hunt and "Say No to Bo-Jo"?

Peter J Harper, Chesham Bois

Shocked at EU referendum response

I AM sorry to tell you I am still shocked by the flippant tone of Adebowale Michel Granger's reply on February 1 to Hélène Lens on January 25.

Lens wrote she is French and sad and upset and got no vote in the EU referendum. I met Lens when she came to Wycombe's Pulse of Europe meeting.

Granger seemed not to appreciate that there are different types of legal residence in the UK. Such as permanent residence, leave to remain, indefinite leave to remain and citizenship of another European Union member country.

It costs over £1000 to get British nationality. If you can apply. It's not "free".

Nor is it an option for everyone. Not all EU countries allow dual nationality.

The books "In Limbo" and "In Limbo too", compiled by Elena Remigi, are full of personal testimonies of the invidious choices that some people find themselves faced with.

Being married to a British citizen does not count. Theresa May changed the rules on family immigration in 2012.

To get "indefinite leave to remain" takes 10 years and costs over £10,000 per person.

Eastern Eye newspaper has told the story of two young people originally from Pakistan. The constant worry around the process gets in the way of university studies ("High price for becoming British", Eastern Eye, 25 January 2019 - page 5

Is misinformation on residence and migration a handicap to a realistic debate?

Phil Jones, European Movement UK, High Wycombe

Massive deceit of the electorate

IN TODAY’S BFP (June 21) Mr Laurance Reed says various things to me. I’m curious, rather than anxious, as he says, to know his answers to my questions and I do accuse him of not answering them.

If you read our correspondence, and look for questions you will find a growing number from me, including five about his election defeat in 1974 in a letter sent to the BFP on 9 June and there are no answers to any of them – there are firm-sounding pronouncements, anecdotes about Yorkshiremen and barely relevant references to Bagehot and A.V. Dicey, but no direct replies to direct questions.

Mr Reed’s conduct during our exchanges is misleading. He has repeatedly made claims and failed to justify them when challenged, or made further inaccurate claims on the few occasions he has responded.

His attempts at answers included a denial that the electorate in the referendum were misled by Leave, saying: ‘The truth is that exaggerated claims were made by both sides’ (BFP 24 May).

He then justified this by dismissing the massive deceit of the electorate by the Leave campaign, and its massively illegal overspending, as just: ‘a slogan on the side of a bus’ (14 June BFP). Why are Brexit politicians so careless with the truth?

This week Mr Reed fails to answer my question again when he says, without quoting any example, his source for saying Dominic Grieve believed referenda were purely advisory was: ‘… that man himself on the radio and in the newspapers’. (This from a man who refers pseudo-modestly to the fact that he is a graduate in law!)

I originally asked Mr Reed where he found justification for saying Grieve and others believed the referendum was not binding because it was won by a small majority. Mr Reed ignored this but now has said Grieve claimed the referendum was void because it was only advisory.

I have quoted web locations here to Mr Reed where Mr Grieve has, since the 2017 election, expressed the wish to carry Brexit into force – all apparently ignored by Mr Reed. In October 2016 Grieve said: "The referendum was an advisory referendum and in that sense it has no legal force at all, and for Parliament to be by-passed by the administration because there's been a referendum seems to me to be a very undesirable step to embark on …"( ).

This was an MP, also a barrister, advocating, on constitutional grounds, a vote in Parliament rather than a government diktat on the terms of the leaving Bill - not that we should abandon such a Bill and ignore the referendum.

Can Mr Reed quote any source to show Dominic Grieve has advocated completely ignoring the 2016 referendum as it was ‘only advisory’?

(By the way Grieve is right about this – see, however, if leading politicians irresponsibly promised any result would be treated as mandatory, then there is some obligation to implement the result.)

My grievance (no pun intended) - and a lot of other people’s - is the fact that the ‘democratic mandate’ given by the referendum was a corrupt one based on massive misinformation and illegality and – as Mr Reed would agree if he were a genuine democrat – the electorate whose astuteness he so admires deserves a second opportunity to state its wishes in the light of what we have since learnt.

Mr Reed says: ‘The meaning of the pro-Brexit vote in the Euro (sic) elections should be clearly understood. It was also about democracy.’

The total number of votes in the EU elections for Remain parties outnumbered the votes for the Brexit party by a substantial margin.

Nonetheless some Brexiters interpret this as a sign that ‘people want us to get on with Brexit’ - why? I suspect some Conservatives like Brexit as it removes EU oversight of workers’ rights (Conservatives refused to implement the Social Chapter) and also of tax evasion – see:

Mr Reed repeats his assertion that MP’s have spent ‘two years trying to delay, frustrate and overturn the decision they asked the country to make’.

This a perverse view of the facts – no one, including me, could know what the hell we were voting for in 2016, and trying to sort that out has caused the shameful chaos we have seen since.

Does Mr Reed think 17.4 million people asked Parliament to produce the same Brexit (which was also the one wanted by millionaires like Jacob Rees-Mogg, and by Steve Baker and the rest of the ERG).

This correspondence started seven weeks ago with Mr Reed telling an anecdote about his experience in the 1974 election, and recommending we all copy his behaviour – since then he has wasted a lot of words and avoided answering a direct question, so I will repeat to him my first questions.

‘… Can Mr Reed name one of the promises made by the Leave side that have turned out to be capable of being kept – how about the £350m or the 40 trade deals by 29 March?

Was there reason to believe Russian money was used to finance Mr Reed’s political opponents? Were any of (them) … found guilty of the serious breaches of electoral law for which Vote Leave, Leave.EU, Arron Banks, and Darren Grimes have been fined the maximum and/or referred to the National Crime Agency?

Would Mr Reed have felt he was genuinely beaten in such circumstances?’

Dear Mr Reed please do not respond by ‘reminding’ me of anything or saying how things or people ‘seem’ or ‘appear’ to you or mentioning your distinguished past – just answer the questions factually – a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ will suffice for most of them. If you can’t do this then we will know you have no good case.

Lawrence Linehan, Wooburn Green

Too much talk of Brexit on these pages?

I HAVE been a BFP reader for many years so that I can read about local news and events.

Your ‘Letters to the Editor’ page has, in my opinion, too much coverage of items on Brexit and national politics.

All of these are more than adequately covered by national newspapers and TV news. So please let’s keep the readers’ letters to local subjects. Thanks.

E.J Cooper, High Wycombe