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

To send your own letter, email Please note, any letters sent to the Bucks Free Press office are only being picked up periodically during lockdown.

'Give us a town council'
Dear Cllr Martin Tett,

High Wycombe Community Governance Review Steering Group was formed in December 2018 by a group of ex-mayors of High Wycombe and local residents backed by the Bucks Free Press following a refusal by Wycombe District Council to a motion proposed by Cllr Khalil Ahmed to hold a Community Governance Review (CGR) under the Local Government Act 1972.

Despite government guidance to undertake a CGR every 15 years, Wycombe District Council had persistently failed to conduct a CGR. Therefore, the steering group obtained the required number of signatures on a petition to trigger a CGR. This was completed in December 2019.

The result of the Community Governance Review was in favour of a new town council being formed for the unparished area of High Wycombe. Over 60 per cent of those consulted were in favour of our town to be given the same level of democratic representation as all other towns and indeed villages throughout Buckinghamshire.

As you are also aware that High Wycombe is the largest unparished area in Buckinghamshire if not the UK, which makes it even more important that so many people are not deprived of their statutory right to local democratic representation like everyone else.

We would therefore request an update on what your cabinet and officers are doing to progress the implementation of the results of consultations and surveys carried out by Wycombe District Council at a cost of over £30k.

My understanding is the Community Governance Review was carried out as per the petition with signatures from over 5,000 local people and its findings are legally binding on the local authority to implement.

Wycombe District Council fell short of implementing the findings. Therefore we call upon you as leader of Buckinghamshire Council to give the people of High Wycombe what they have requested and bring them in line with the towns such as Marlow, Princes Risborough, Aylesbury and Buckingham.

As unitary council elections will now be taking place in May next year, I would suggest that this is a good time as any to call for a local election for a town council which should also give adequate time to properly implement the structure of the new town council.
Nigel Vickery, High Wycombe

Councillors are not listening
While the government is talking about “Build Back Better” and “Build Back Greener”, it may interest your readers to know that there are a few councillors (they know who they are) in Buckinghamshire Council who are still determined to press on with the woefully inadequate and outdated proposed Chiltern and South Bucks Local Plan.

It is neither "Better", nor "Greener", as the overwhelming evidence continues to demonstrate.

Now the government-appointed Inspectors have given their views in the very first stage of the inspection phase of the plan, and it is that they are inclined to ask for the plan’s withdrawal.

Many of us have been saying that for a long time now, but those councillors are not listening.

The worst aspect of their intransigence is that it is costing us, the taxpayers, a lot of money to keep flogging this very dead horse.

Readers may want to take account of their willingness to waste public money (our money) when they come up for election next year.
Neil Salisbury, trustee and head of planning at CPRE, the countryside charity

Fly-tipping a disgrace
You may like to send a photographer to the old Shell Station on the A413 opposite Deep Mill Diner.

The fly tipping here is an absolute disgrace and appears to grow daily!

Also the amount of litter dropped locally by people during the pandemic has been a disgrace. Bags and bags of rubbish have been collected from public open spaces by the council and volunteers including broken camping chairs.

What is the matter with people? If the bins are full why can’t they take their litter home? I thought people were concerned about the planet or do they think that only applies to damage done by vehicle emissions!
Name and address withheld

Let’s all tackle litter together
Litter has always hacked me off in a big way… stick it in your pocket, fill up your car footwell, put it in the bag you brought it in… it seems so mindless just to throw it on the ground. We are fortunate to have a good number of bins around!

Recently I’ve found the situation made excruciatingly worse by the ever increasing number of blue, clear and black plastic gloves and a variety of mostly single use facemasks, to the point where I felt compelled to start litter picking in my local area.

Better late than never to the litter picking party I am inspired by people like Georgina of the Chesham Environmental Group, who has been diligently litter picking in her local area of Pond Park for several years.

Inspired by this long-term dedication to tackle litter, I think it’s time that the number of people picking up litter outnumbered those dropping it.

It may seem like an endless task, but it can also be satisfying, help protect wildlife and many hands make light work!

Luckily, my co-shop owner, neighbour and ally in the cause to minimise our negative impacts on the environment, Kate, fully agrees and has been joining me for litter picking Sunday mornings.

We decided that we would like to invest in 10 litter pickers which we would make available for borrowing from our shop.

We were able to do this very quickly with funds kindly granted from Sustainable Chesham, for which we are incredibly grateful.

They are available now for anyone to borrow from The Cupboard and The Refill Project, 1 Blucher Street, Chesham.

Both businesses started on the Chesham and Amersham Market with The Refill Project having been trading for one year, it quickly gained popularity with those looking to reduce their single use plastic.

By simply taking along your empty shampoo, washing up liquid, anti-bac spray or white wine vinegar bottle for a refill, you could easily reduce your plastic purchasing.

Kate Wright, owner of The Refill Project also spends time researching companies to ensure they and their products are truly ethical as well as environmentally friendly and not just ‘green washed’, appearing to the eco conscious shopper in marketing alone.

Moving into the shop premises has meant Kate can expand her range to include nuts, pulses, spices, herbs, grains, dried fruits, and amazing vegan friendly gummy sweets, as well as plastic free alternatives to toothbrushes, deodorant and clingfilm.

The Cupboard followed on to the market about six months later, having spent two years immersing myself in the world of hemp and CBD, I felt ready to share my newfound knowledge.

It is with gratitude to Sustainable Chesham that we can invite you to borrow a litter picker from The Cupboard and The Refill Project premises during opening hours. Please see the advice about wearing gloves (mandatory), sensible footwear and what to leave alone.

Where possible separate recycling and general rubbish and tie up bags securely to be left next to council bins so they can be easily collected. We will endeavour to provide you with bin bags but where possible try to bring one along with you.

We hope to enable a dedicated army of people of all ages to pick up litter and lead by example when it comes to caring for the place you live in.
Deborah Wilbee, The Cupboard, Chesham

Thousands of extra kittens could be born
Cats Protection is asking cat owners to help prevent a kitten crisis this year.

Due to fewer vets doing neutering during Covid-19, the charity estimates as many as 84,000 extra kittens could be born this summer.

This is why we are urging people to keep their unneutered cats indoors, and also unneutered males and females and siblings apart, until vet practices can become fully operational and resume neutering.

Cats Protection has produced an infographic with useful tips on how to stop cats becoming pregnant:

The charity can also support owners on limited incomes with the costs of neutering when vet practices are fully operational again. Call Cats Protection’s Neutering Line on 03000 12 12 12 (option 2) or visit the charity’s website at

A survey of 1,000 cat owners has highlighted many are unaware of the importance of neutering and the consequences for not neutering cats at the earliest opportunity. Seventy seven per cent were unaware that a female cat can become pregnant from four months old and 86 per cent didn’t know that an unneutered female cat can have as many as 18 kittens in a year.

Our fear is that many kittens born will be left on the streets. Cats Protection is full up with cats and, owing to Covid-19, is unable to admit many more except in emergencies.

We hope your readers can help do their bit and help to prevent a kitten crisis.
Sarah Reid, Acting Head of Neutering, Cats Protection

Free advice line to help families
Although lockdown is finally beginning to ease, everyone is still grappling with the continuing challenges of Covid-19 and many of us could use some additional practical help or emotional support from time to time.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the charity Family Action’s FamilyLine service has done just that, helping more than 2,000 people and their families.

FamilyLine is a free, confidential advice and support service on family issues for family members over the age of 18.

We provide a listening ear, answer particular parenting questions or help with guidance around more complex family issues. Our trained volunteers can help via phone, text, email and web chat.

If you need help or advice, please get in touch, Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm by telephone: 0808 802 6666, text message: 07537 404 282, email: or by live web chat.

You can find out more on our website
David Holmes, CEO of Family Action