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.

Apologies for letter confusion

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a letter about Wycombe District Council’s achievements, in response to Mr William Reid.

In a genuine case of mistaken identity, my response referenced the High Wycombe town clerk, who has the same name.

I have since been advised that Mr Bill Reid was not the author of the original letter and I’d like to apologise unreservedly to him for any confusion, embarrassment or upset that my letter may have caused.

Cllr Katrina Wood, Leader, Wycombe District Council

A response to council leader’s letter

I write in response to the letter from Cllr Katrina Wood in your edition of January 31. There are several points I would like to comment on.

1. Cllr Wood points out that I am being overtly critical of Wycombe District Council then goes ahead to overtly criticise my actions.

2. She states that ‘his office is just down the hallway to mine and I hoped he would have spoken to me directly about his concerns’. The reverse is also relevant. Her office is just down the hallway from mine – and I have a telephone on my desk.

3. Cllr Wood also says that my main concern is he future of the mayoralty in High Wycombe. She is right but I suspect I am as close to the grindstone on this topic as she is.

4. I have never given a view on the subject of a town council as I am too close to the outcome to commit myself. The introduction of a town council would drastically alter the role of the town clerk.

5. I note that I am concerned about air quality, parking, parks etc. I have never voiced my opinions publicly about these elements of WDC control. I am not in a position to influence the decisions so my views wont count for much.

You may have guessed by now that I am not the author of the statement published in the Bucks Free Press on January 17. You may be the only Katrina Wood in town but I am not the only William Reid.

Had you walked down the passage or asked your team to make some enquiries you would have found this out. And if you are disappointed with me, how do you think I feel to have my reputation plastered all over the BFP? Katrina, you should have checked your facts before sending your letter.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the councillors, civic dignitaries and members of the public who have supported me during my seven years as town clerk. It makes arranging civic events so much more justifiable.

I have recently tendered my resignation from the role and the Charter Trustees are now looking for a new town clerk.

The role would suit someone who has an interest in the history of High Wycombe and of the mayoralty and would enjoy arranging public events.

Training can be given on any aspect of this.

Anyone who thinks they may be interested should ring the mayor’s office on 01494 421 134 (office hours 9.30am to 2.30pm) for more details.

William (Bill) Reid, Town Clerk

An attack on important town issues

As the leader of Wycombe District Council (WDC), you would expect that Cllr Katrina Wood understood the democratic and civil makeup of the town, it appears not be the case as Cllr Wood demonstrated in her letter to the BFP last week.

In a bid to respond to a letter written by a local resident of High Wycombe known as William Reid, she failed to reach out to the wrong Mr Reid she thought was the author and sits in an office on the same floor as her in the Wycombe District Council office.

She assumed that that Mr W Reid was Mr Bill Reid who is in fact the Town Clerk for the Charter Trustees and Mayor of High Wycombe.

So, instead of walking along the corridor to see Mr B Reid she launched into a verbal attack on very important town related issues.

After all, due diligence is a key skill expected at all levels of authority and Cllr Wood has clearly demonstrated that she has failed on that account. To think that Cllr Wood is in charge of your finances and makes the decisions for the future of our town is simply mind boggling.

Cllr Wood is not just the leader of WDC but the Deputy Leader of the Shadow Council and the Chairperson of Chepping Wycombe Parish Council also that is denying High Wycombe its own town council.

Ever since the Town and Country Act 1974 which abolished the Wycombe Borough Council and created a district council covering three towns, two of which were given their own town councils from day one, all previous ruling Tory groups have failed to undertake a Community Governance Review (CGR) every 15 years as recommended that would have exposed the need for a Town Council for High Wycombe also.

Even after a CGR was conducted last year, she failed to act on the findings and chose to defer the decision - resulting in Wycombe being deprived of a town council, indefinitely.

Cllr Wood's actions are simply not foolish and irresponsible but raise more serious questions about beliefs she and her cabinet hold about improving the district as a whole without discrimination or unfairness to one part namely High Wycombe town. How can we expect that this senior elected member can be making decisions that will have a positive effect on High Wycombe town in terms of regeneration of our town and services?

The findings of the CGR were crystal clear and it is without doubt that it was in the gift of Cllr Wood and her cabinet to award the town of High Wycombe its own town council along with its assets, yet their selfishness to enjoy benefits of a parish council and deprive High Wycombe of its own town council are there for everyone to see and make their informed decisions in the forthcoming unitary elections.

We want pride to be put back in the heart of the High Wycombe and the only way that could be achieved is by having a voice, a voice which is known as a town council.

Cllr Khalil Ahmed, Trevor Snaith, Nigel Vickery, past mayors of High Wycombe and campaigners for a town council for High Wycombe

Comment on letters mix-up

In response to ‘Long may there be a mayor’ (letters page, BFP January 31).

I was fascinated to read that my husband, William Reid, had an office just down the hallway from Cllr Wood, leader of Wycombe District Council!

I have also long held Mr Reid in high regard but believed that he lived and worked in the same house as I do, some four miles away from Wycombe.

Had I had concerns about his facts I might have been tempted to challenge him directly before making a spectacle of myself in a newspaper.

The Mr Reid who wrote the letter knows Wycombe well having led very popular walks there for a few years now but he has never worked at Wycombe District Council.

I suggest that face to face talking works much better with a colleague who must now be feeling somewhat aggrieved at her misjudgement and unjustified criticism.

The disappointment she feels is echoed by many of us who do not share her pride in the supposed ‘regeneration’ of High Wycombe.

Janet Reid, address withheld

The emotional impact of Brexit

Suppose you came to the UK from another EU country. The UK may have seemed rather strange, not in the euro and not in Schengen, but still a fellow EU country.

Imagine you are from a family that remembers what it is like to have soldiers in your home who don't speak your language.

Your grandparents hoarded empty jam jars expecting another war, but the EU brought peace instead.

You feel the EU is a vital guarantor saving people from themselves so they will never again fight over a piece of land or a bridge. Anything that threatens it reminds you of your grandparents living in camps.

You notice that this country suffered in the war but differently because it was never occupied.

You may have welcomed it that unlike many EU countries, you didn't have to register at the town hall or police station if you were staying for more than three months. Or, it may have made you feel unsafe, because no-one would know where you were.

What could you say to your children, on the morning of the referendum result, when they were crying and asking if mummy is going to be deported?

The emotional impact? An almost physical pain. Difficulty sleeping. Crying easily. Even weird digestive problems. Where is home?

Having to justify your existence in this country? If you are Dutch it may uncomfortably remind you of your grandparents being put on lists during the war.

At the3million rally in Parliament Square there was a noticeable lack of journalists.

Phil Jones, Member, European Movement UK

Sadness at disappearing banks

The Barclays Branch at Booker is, very sadly, shortly to close, it is a branch I have used for many years, easy to get to and free parking and very friendly and helpful ladies to serve you.

This is the third Barclays branch to close locally since I have lived in the town just leaving the one branch now in the High Street. Now I am one of the older generation that likes to deal direct with another person, so counter service is important to me.

To add insult to injury I recently visited the branch in the High Street to be welcomed by signs saying that counter service hours there are now restricted every day.

I guess after being a loyal Barclays customer of over 50 years I now need to find a more person friendly bank.

Dave Scott, address withheld

My comments to Mr Baker

In today’s BFP (February 7) Steve Baker says of our exit from the EU that he feels like the Duke of Wellington regarding his ‘victory’, and he urges his fellow-victors to adopt the Churchillian virtue of magnanimity. Last June I pointed out that Baker was the first person, in a leaked email quoted on 17 February 2016 by the Times, to suggest Leave should: ‘spend as much money as is necessary to win’ by creating a series of front organisations that would each enjoy additional spending limits. Baker has since disowned this, saying it was suggested to him by an individual he refuses to name, and that he did not realise at the time that it was illegal.

Baker has ignored questions from ‘JohnRadical’ and Linda Derrick here and elsewhere, about what he knew of the financing of the Leave campaign. After the Referendum, in May 2018, Leave.EU was fined £70,000 after the Electoral Commission found multiple breaches of electoral law during the Referendum, with Leave.EU unlawfully exceeding its statutory spending limit by over 10% and delivering incomplete and inaccurate spending and transaction returns. Leave.EU was founded by Arron Banks who has never convincingly explained publicly the source of his wealth, which suddenly appeared before a record-breaking donation to Leave.EU. He was famously challenged by Andrew Marr to account for his wealth, and said it was from Rock Services, a company he had previously said was a services company not a wealth-creating one. Last September the NCA eventually reached the limited conclusions: ‘Banks took a loan from Rock Holdings Ltd, [not Rock Services as Banks had told Andrew Marr] which he owned, and was legally entitled to do. He was also allowed as an individual to then give the money to Better for the Country Ltd, which administered the Leave.EU campaign.’ Banks has denied this but there have been persistent rumours that he was the beneficiary of ‘a traditional process of Russian state espionage…’

A parliamentary report into possible Russian interference in the Referendum and Russian payments to the Conservative Party was ready to be published before the last election but this was delayed by Boris Johnson on ‘national security grounds’despite the protests of leading members of the defence and intelligence communities (including former cabinet secretary Lord Butler, former national security advisor and chair of the Joint Intelligence Committee Lord Ricketts, and Lord Anderson, the former independent reviewer of terrorism legislation). This report has still not seen the light and will probably be released the day after some national disaster so it is drowned in a deluge of other news, unless it remains under covers until it is too late to do anything about its findings in practical terms.

I will say nothing about the micro-targeting of adverts through Facebook, by Cambridge Analytica, to possibly mislead individual voters.

Until the election victory last December Conservatives like Steve Baker claimed to be acting on a referendum ‘mandate’ based on promises that were not, and are not, going to be kept, and which supposedly made a second referendum unnecessary and even anti-democratic. We are now out of the EU because of a more plausible, fig leaf, election mandate to ‘get Brexit done’.

Steve Baker should stop implicitly comparing himself to figures like Churchill and Wellington, and instead cultivate the Christ-like values of gratitude, humility and relief, that he and the other people associated with manipulating the democratic process during the referendum are never going to face any consequences.

Lawrence Linehan, Wooburn Green