This is what you have been writing to us about this week. To send your own letter, email or send it to Bucks Free Press, Loudwater Mill, Station Road, Loudwater, HP10 9TY.

Big thanks to Tesco staff

CAN I say a big thank you to the staff member upstairs in High Wycombe Tesco who kindly helped sort out my telephone. Much appreciated. I thought it had died a death and she managed to sort it.

Amanda Green, High Wycombe

Concerns about democracy

I WAS appalled to read in your paper last week – January 24, that the clerk to Taplow Parish Council had said that "social or environmental issues that polarised opinion did not fall within the remit of parish councils".

The remark was made in relation to a motion calling for Taplow Parish Council to declare a climate emergency. From your article it would appear that the person who submitted the motion under the "public forum" part of the agenda did get to present her case - albeit under an "amended" motion.

We do have a climate emergency in this area for many reasons, not least of which is the depletion of our chalk streams and underground aquifers.

Issues which "polarise" public opinion should be discussed openly in order to, inform and to instigate positive change. It is just as important, if not more so, to discuss such issues at a local level so that knowledge can be shared and locally specific solutions made.

Heather Pomroy, address withheld

What is so important about the Royals?

I DO not understand the depth of press coverage and media time devoted to the Royals and our errant Prince who (understandably) wants to step back a bit from the limelight and live his life with his new wife and family with some measure of privacy.

He has inherited a considerable fortune from his grandmother, (something most of us could only ever dream about) and could comfortably live off this for the rest of his life wherever in the world he or his wife chose.

And yet the press/media seem overwhelmed to know and repeat all the intimate details. All this while Australia burns, towns in the north of England flood, not to mention the lower-lying islands in the Indian Ocean disappearing into the sea, this, as a result of us ignoring years of warnings about climate change.

Closer to home One Can our town’s food bank serves between 500-600 clients a month, mainly working families who are trapped by circumstances in most cases beyond their immediate control, and now Brexit looms and I still do not see that our government has yet to get a proper handle on this. Iraq and Iran are on the brink of war, while thousands starve in the hinterlands of Syria and a nutcase is in charge of the most powerful country in the world.

What is so important about one very wealthy family at war with itself and what does it matter? Fine support the Queen, and the present system but this prince, who is now not in the direct line of succession, so what his brother is doing and excellent job.

Or is this all a planned diversion to keep our eyes off the real ballgame?

Anthony Mealing, High Wycombe

Eden gutted the High Street

YOUR report on the possible closure of three pubs in High Wycombe because of proposed mergers of their owners included a lengthy statement from Melanie Williams of HWBIDCo. In this, she referred to the town centre’s “nightlife and vibrant local music scene”. Has Ms Williams ever actually been to High Wycombe in the evening? I’m sorry but the place is a dismal dump, a wasteland that reminds me of a depressed northern town rather than somewhere in the prosperous Chilterns.

The opening of the Eden Centre 10 years ago predictably gutted the old High Street which feels deserted and unsafe after dark. If the wonderful potential space that is Frogmoor was in a continental town, it would have cafes, bars and real nightlife but, again, it is a wasteland.

Ms Williams is right, of course, that the face of retail is changing with physical shops increasingly unable to compete with on-line retailers.

But if town centres are to have any future, they must offer positive experiences for people to enjoy; and that is hardly true of High Wycombe. Things will not improve if HWBIDCo and the council continue to delude themselves about this.

James Cadle, Holmer Green

Our roads are in a terrible state

WHILE I have great sympathy with the residents of Chalfont St Peter over the state of their roads, I fear the problem is much more widespread throughout Wycombe and the surrounding areas.

Our roads are in a terrible state. Even the busy major routes such as the A404 Amersham Hill are like a slalom course as drivers try to avoid potholes and sunken manhole covers.

Contrast this with the Wendover By-Pass which you reported on recently. With funding from HS2, this stretch of road was given a smooth and silent new surface. It’s wonderful although I don’t know why they didn’t do the last quarter mile.

Perhaps Transport for Bucks or the new Unitary Council can persuade HS2 Ltd to donate some more of its incredible £106 billion for the benefit of the residents of Buckinghamshire as we will certainly get no benefits from HS2.

Peter Edwards, Hazlemere

Council understands cemetery concerns

I UNDERSTAND residents’ concern about antisocial behaviour in Chesham Cemetery recently reported in this newspaper (BFP, January 24 and 31). The town council has considered calls to lock the cemetery gates to pedestrians on a number of occasions but as your report last week pointed out, the police have consistently advised that, owing to the number of potential access points, the gates should be kept unlocked to enable patrols to access the cemetery more quickly and in the event of an incident.

As a local councillor, I am privileged to serve as chairman of the Friends of Chesham Cemetery, a group of hard-working volunteers who care deeply about the condition of their local cemetery.

We were pleased to secure funding for the restoration of the old Hearse House where we hold exhibitions two or three times a year on subjects of local historical interest including burials of those who served in the two world wars. We meet three times a year in Chesham Town Hall and organise working parties to maintain graves and a wildflower meadow. However, we would welcome more active volunteers. For further details please contact the Town Hall by email or phone 01494 774842 (Mon-Fri 10am to 4.30pm).

Cllr Roderick McCulloch, deputy mayor of Chesham

Cllrs need to act in our best interests

ON 24TH January there were two very good letters clearly identifying major issues with the new Bucks Unitary Authority’s information availability and reduction in democratic power with the loss of parish and town votes to be derisorily replaced by “advisory” i.e. none voting “Community Boards”.

On 31st January we learn:

- Bucks County has just built two thirds of a “relief” road in Beaconsfield but it is unusable until 2023 as the Inland Homes developer is refusing to complete it until they get housing planning permission. Why was it built?

- Three Bucks hospitals, Wexham, Wycombe, Stoke Mandeville cannot cope and patients were sent elsewhere.

- That Chiltern & South Bucks have approved a Local Plan extending to 2036 but they will cease to exist this April 2020 replaced by the undemocratic Unitary Authority.

- The CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) point out the Plan hugely contravenes UK and the Councils’ own adopted carbon emission targets by increasing by 21 per cent not reducing emissions.

- South Bucks Council reports that the M40 corridor is an Air Quality Management zone caused primarily from diesel lorries not prohibited until 2050 and the health endangering NO2 levels driven by the prevailing winds from the south are at and above legal limits in adjacent towns now.

– The DEFRA show the M40 and a kilometre plus wide band covering its south Bucks adjacent towns is at World Health limits for health endangering 2.5 particulates now, and the A40 takes it way above this level now.

– The Plan’s sustainability report shows that the Burnham Beeches internationally protected woodlands near Farnham Common is dying from NO2 acid overload of 20 per cent and 16 per cent comes from aircraft yet Heathrow is going to expand by 54 per cent from 2023.

- The Plan causes ongoing increased pollution from building on Green Belt which absorbs pollution.

– Traffic in all the Plan’s towns and connecting roads increases by 2 to 4+ times as does motorway access. This will lead to crawling traffic and much more pollution.

- Traffic volume growth will swamp the third better pollution levels of electric cars before they are a requirement in 2030, so pollution will steadily worsen.

– The Plan does not assess the health endangering pollution it will cause.

And yet Councillors Isobel Derby of Chiltern and Nick Naylor, South Bucks, reportedly say they see “no reason” to withdraw the Plan.

Bucks County and Unitary designate leader Martin Tett was against Heathrow expansion but now supports it and does not answer readers’ questions. Also although Bucks County has said there is no need to build on Green Belt and the Oxford to Cambridge arc expressway is the best housing development location causing less traffic growth and less pollution effect, he has not opposed this Plan.

It really is quite clear that our elected and tax paid for Tory councillors both county and district level are acting in direct opposition to our best interest for a healthy environment for us and our children.

There are county unitary and local elections in April - please would the BFP provide us with a good briefing on the Liberal’s manifesto – they appear to have done a good job in Watford.

Dennis Elsey, Beaconsfield