This is what you have been writing to us about this week.

If you would like to send us a letter, email or write to Bucks Free Press, Loudwater Mill, Station Road, Loudwater.

Thank you for being kind

I had a nasty fall in High Wycombe on Tuesday, October 8.

I would like to thank everyone who came to my help – I couldn’t get up as I have had two knee replacements.

I would also like to thank Zak very much, who kindly brought me home. Everyone in Wycombe was so kind.

R. T Bacon, High Wycombe

The past should be left in the past

It saddens me when I hear people refer to the past as “the good old days”. I believe we are much better off than our forebears. Our life expectancy is much longer and medicine is greatly advanced. We are mostly housed, fed and educated and although society is not perfect, we try to look after the weak and needy. We are more tolerant and understanding of differences and most of us are caring and responsible enough to try and build a better world for this generation and the next.

Rose Whitehead, Chalfont St Peter

Kind donations are welcome

The Rethink Mental Illness Charity Stall and Street Collection held in Beaconsfield on Saturday October 5th raised £458.38p. Many thanks to all those people who made purchases and donations.

Sally Busby, South Bucks Rethink Mental Illness

Parents should know the truth

Following the recent fiasco of the 11+ test, what will parents make of the results that are due out this coming week? ‘Trust us, we have fixed it’, say the test providers, GL. They are, of course, the very same providers that The Bucks Grammar Schools had earlier ditched as they pursued the magical ‘tutor-proof test’ with another provider. The magic didn’t work and they returned to GL. So how have GL fixed it? They won’t say, but have assured parents that an ‘independent statistician’ has given their ‘solution’ the go ahead. More magic, it seems. In their turn, TBGS have warned parents that since ‘a solution’ has been found, not to bother appealing if they feel the maladministration of the test affected their child’s result. Such lack of transparency, alongside the heavy handed move to try to close down parents’ legitimate avenues of redress, shows what a secret garden this test is.

TBGS and GL must be honest with parents and children. This outcomes of this test can alter the course of lives. Magic solutions won’t do – we need to see how the trick was done.

Parents deserve to know the truth.

Katy Simmons, Burnham

We must talk more about mental health

Young people have been grabbing the headlines, despite Brexit, striking on school days, anxious to press for action on climate change. We hear less about their challenges at school. Last month mental health charity Mind urged that the education system be made to work for pupils with mental health problems. As new students set off for their first term, university counselling services will come under renewed pressure. Spending on public services as a share of GDP has been slashed to its lowest level for many years, while demand has surged, leaving social care and mental health services at breaking point.

The government’s recent announcement to build 6 hospitals made no mention of mental health buildings. In response, Mind was condemnatory of the “inadequate and often dangerous infrastructure which interferes with people’s recovery and puts them at risk.”

A report by the Royal College of Psychiatrists this week reveals 1 in 10 consultant psychiatric roles are vacant. The Liberal Democrats recently announced plans to increase the number of psychiatrists by 4,000 by 2028, more than covering these posts vacant.

Liberal Democrats have a longstanding commitment to the radical improvement of mental health services, to give them equality with those for physical health. This includes ensuring that all frontline public service professionals, including in schools and universities, receive better training in mental health.

This, along with the restoration of properly funded youth services, and a host of other measures, will take time to achieve.

Meanwhile Mind marked World Mental Health Day on 10th October. It may not have grabbed the headlines that Greta Thunberg has, but good mental health is as important to us all individually, as the climate is to us nationally and globally. We can all mark the day, just by talking about it. Tackling the stigma of poor mental health demands means getting it into the headlines.

Daniel Gallagher, Parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats in Chesham and Amersham

MP has suffered nastiness

A BIG pat on the back for Beaconsfield Lib Dem Association for deciding not to have an election candidate against Dominic Grieve and backing him. Good luck to Mr Grieve, the ex-Conservative MP who says he will seek re-election as an Independent. He had the Tory whip removed by his party. Traditional Tory voters like me are also supporting him. He has tolerated a lot of nastiness from right wing Tories who have a blinkered and sour view of him. They believe that once we leave the EU we will be in the Promised Land and Britain will prosper. The truth is that there is no guarantee of all that and we really might be worse off. It seems very likely that a "no deal" outcome will hit our economy, supplies of essentials, stir up Irish problems and weaken Britain.

Name withheld, Tylers Green

Pedestrians must take more care too

You report (October 11) the Department of Transport statistics on accidents in Bucks, commenting on absent-minded car drivers and motorcyclists.

As a car driver and (pedal) cyclist I would make two comments. First, there appears to be an alarming trend of drivers approaching small roundabouts who make no effort to look or judge traffic on their right who have right of way. Perhaps part of the problem is warning road signs which are obscured or dirty, though most likely they simply do not look.

Second, and in my view a worse, is the problem caused by large numbers of pedestrians who simply do not look before they step onto the road, usually at junctions.

This is particularly evident with youngsters, although adults can be equally guilty. I have encountered numerous, teenage, pupils from Dr Challoners and The Amersham School usually gawping at their phones who walk across a road paying no attention to cycle or vehicle traffic.

It would be a good idea if the schools, and parents, took it upon themselves to remind these children that they must be more responsible. It’s a long and painful journey to A&E from Amersham!

Name withheld, Amersham

‘Beware the enemies of aspiration’

It is all too easy (and understandable) to allow a singular focus to develop in our national politics at the moment.

However, as a founder of two local free schools called Holyport College and Forest Bridge School, I am acutely aware of the dangers facing our local education system.

Buckinghamshire has some of the greatest selective state schools in the country.

In fact, they are so good, that over 150 pupils a year come to Buckinghamshire grammar schools from the neighbouring local authority the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. Incredulously, the Labour Party wants to seize the assets of independent schools nationally (confiscating private property), abolish selective grammar schools, abolish free schools and abolish academies.

This all-out assault on aspiration and opportunity is a real and present danger. A vote for any other political party than the Conservatives risks putting Jeremy Corbyn into government.

A Marxist government propped up by an alliance of Liberal Democrats, Scottish and Welsh nationalists and Independents. Whilst the Conservatives are putting an additional £14 billion into schools across the country, the enemies of aspiration are massing.

As we approach the inevitable general election, our thoughts must turn to protecting what is most dear to us. The amazing schools we have locally and the future of these precious institutions. It is these schools locally that are the engines of aspiration and opportunity. Sometimes you don’t really understand what you had until you lose it.

Simon Dudley, senior independent director and acting chair at Homes England and founder of Holyport College

Will Bucks MPs comment?

Have Bucks MPs seen the Electoral Commission's report, "May 2019 European Parliamentary elections and local elections", published on 10 October?

It says, "On 23 May 2019 people across the UK voted in elections to the European Parliament... Trusted election results rely on public confidence in the administration of the polls...

"Among issues which impacted on people’s confidence in the elections, most notable and regrettable were the issues experienced by some citizens of other EU member states living in the UK who wanted to vote in the European Parliament elections in the UK.

"We highlighted similar difficulties to government after the 2014 European Parliamentary elections and made recommendations for change. It is unacceptable that people eligible to vote should be frustrated from doing so, and deeply regrettable that this was not acted on and resolved by the UK government".

Would Bucks MPs like to comment?

Phil Jones, member, European Movement UK