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

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‘We’ll fight for best option for valley’

I read the recent letter from Mr Everson of Penn regarding the Gomm Valley and felt I should correct some inaccuracies in it.

Firstly there is a misconception that the land was reserved to be maintained as it currently is when in fact it was actually reserved for housing for around 50 years.

The title “reserved site” meant reserved for housing in the future. Wycombe District Council (WDC) did try to get the valley put into Green Belt in a previous local plan but this was refused by the Inspector, so it stayed as housing land.

The Gomm Valley is in two parts. The top part called Ashwell’s, was owned by WDC, but has now of course transferred to Bucks Council. The lower part, Gomm Valley is owned by Aviva. The outline planning for Ashwell’s has been approved and the Council, are progressing that application. This part of the land has not been passed to Aviva and is still owned by Bucks Council.

Aviva are in the process of selling the land to Taylor Wimpey and have dispensed with the services of Human + Nature so it is unclear at the moment what will happen to the current planning application.

It should be remembered that the Human + Nature application was for around 1000 houses and had not been approved, and did leave a large part of the valley undeveloped, whereas the approved development brief was for a much lower number.

There are mitigation plans within that and by Human + Nature to address the issues for infrastructure and services. What happens next we wait to see but I and my colleagues Steven Barrett and Nathan Thomas will fight to maintain the best option for local residents that we can.

Cllr Katrina Wood, member for Tylers Green and Loudwater ward, Buckinghamshire Council

Thanks to those who voted for us

Can I say a big thank you to all the voters who supported myself and other Liberal Democrat candidates in the recent elections.

It is some years since we won a seat in Marlow but this time we came within 28 votes of winning a seat on the Town Council – very close indeed. Congratulations to our opponents but they can be sure that Lib Dems will be holding the Tories to account.

In particular we will be looking to see an improvement in the dreadful state of our roads and serious attempts at dealing with the climate emergency. This involves a range of policies including improved facilities for walkers and cyclists, dealing with the major problem of air pollution in our town centre and reducing the reliance on fossil fuels by the County and Town Councils, their contractors and more generally.

We will looking closely at their ongoing failure in Child Protection and the problems schools and parents have with SEN support and funding.

Finally we will be checking on the support provided through Social Care for the Elderly and Disabled – still very inadequate.

Dr Nick Jarrett, Marlow

‘MP has broken his promise’

Wycombe’s MP Steve Baker and others promised, before the 2016 referendum, that people from the rest of Europe in the UK would get automatic rights and would be “treated no less favourably than at present”.

Baker has broken his promise. Those who fail to apply by June 30 could still apply, but in the meantime they face problems getting jobs, renting, and getting married.

The Home Office could get involved. Then being deported becomes a possibility. This is what happened to the Windrush generation. There are also problems caused by the government’s refusal to provide a physical proof of status.

In the3million’s webinar on February 4, there was a story of someone who was rejected by an employer who could not believe that the scheme is online only, and successful applicants do not receive a card. There are problems with access to technology and the skills to use it.

There are three main groups of concern re the unhappily named “settled status” scheme. There are those who:

1) Need to apply and have not;

2) Know that they need to apply but cannot;

3) Are not allowed to get the status.

In group 1, too many are still unaware.

For some, the experience of applying, even successfully, is so demeaning that they then move to another country, broken-hearted. The number of applications is not the same as the number of successful applicants. Some have had to apply twice, after being initially rejected.

In group 2, there are those whose papers from their country of origin have expired, and because of coronavirus, they have been unable to travel to get them renewed. Romania has been mentioned as an example.

There are minors in care who have to rely on local authorities to apply on their behalf. If the authority does not complete the application then there would be reasonable grounds to apply late - but it could cause problems applying to go to university at the age of 18. In group 3, there are people who have been trafficked and cannot apply successfully for that reason.

Phil Jones, member, European Movement UK, Bourne End

Make sure you have your say

The Department of Transport (DfT) is conducting its second night-flights consultation, closing on 31st May, particularly important for residents of West London, Bucks and Berks.

The World Health Organisation strongly recommends that all adults have 8 hours sleep a night, school age children 9 to 11 hours and infants 12 to 15 hours.

“With less than 7 hours, you can measure objective impairments in brain and body”, and lack of sleep is increasingly being associated as leading to slower learning in children, obesity, high blood pressure, dementia, calcification of arteries and a reduction in our bodies’ production of vital cancer-fighting cells!

Heathrow’s existing curfew is from 11.30pm to 6am, but they are also allowed up to 16 “unscheduled” flights per night, i.e. departing late or arriving early. These can and do occur at for example midnight, 1am, and even 2am, with early morning arrivals regularly from 4.30am. What the DfT say is 6 ½ hours respite is in reality only 5 hours for people trying to sleep soundly nearby.

The DfT says “there is growing evidence that exposure to high levels of aircraft noise can adversely affect people’s health”, so we need an 8 hour ban every night from 23.00 to 7.00, and starting from 2022 and not 2024 as proposed.

Covid has prompted a reassessment of priorities not to live by past standards. Let’s create a New Normal, grow back better and protect the health of our children, our families and ourselves, and increase the ban to 8 hours every night.

Please see guidance for responses on the SHE (Stop Heathrow Expansion) website and send your objections, experiences and adverse effects of night time aircraft noise to the consultation at by 31st May. Please also copy your response to

Paul Groves, Maidenhead

‘Miserable night flights must end’

Night flights affect thousands of people across large swathes of Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Surrey and London.

There are major negative health implications of being disturbed by these flights, including to both physical and mental health. We agree with World Health Organisation guidelines which strongly recommend that people get 8 hours sleep per night. However, the current night flights regime for Heathrow, which has been in place for many years, does not allow for this vital break from noise.

Many residents are unable to get to sleep until well after midnight and are being awoken by planes scheduled to arrive from as early as 4.30am. Early arrivals often mean this time is even earlier.

In the immediate area around Heathrow, many residents are kept awake not only by departing and arriving aircraft but also from the noise created by ground operations generated by these night flights. This is an unfair and destructive approach, which must change.

In this consultation, we, along with many other organisations, are asking for night flights to be banned completely to allow for an 8-hour period where residents are not disturbed.

The health implications of being continually disturbed by night flights must be prioritised and were the Government to make such a shift it would be a real, tangible change for everyone affected. It is important for people to make their views known to the Government.

You can send them your views by emailing If you would like to respond in more detail to the consultation, we have produced some guidance you may wish to use that can be viewed on the homepage of our website – The consultation closes on 31st May. Such large numbers of people have put up with night flights for so long – it is time to give people back a good night’s sleep.

Geraldine Nicholson, Stop Heathrow Expansion

Disjointed town centre needs work

I always enjoy “Then & Now”, and mostly recently the May 14, 2021 edition on the ‘Highway’ buildings of the 1920s comprising 65-83 Packhorse Road.

The ‘then’ photo shows the old Midland Bank at 65, latterly HSBC and now vacant. The ‘now’ actually shows the other end of the terrace at 83. Both are prominent corner sites with wraparound frontages as befits banks, and grandly stone detailed in differing house styles. A contrast to the even grander Queen Anne style former Westminster Bank across the road. Despite being in the Centenary Conservation Area the recent HSBC signing and that of the latest estate agent is poor and I hope Gerrards Cross will aspire to improve and enhance its currently disjointed centre, as it has been rebranded from Village to a “Town” for some while.

Patrick Hogan, Historic England Champion for Buckinghamshire, Beaconsfield

My views on voter ID proposals

As a former Buckinghamshire councillor who has been heavily involved with elections, I write regarding government proposals to restrict polling to those with voter ID. Requiring ID at polling stations is not about protecting our democracy, it’s about limiting our democratic freedom. Best for Britain has pointed to data which shows, as of 2015, 3.5 million citizens, or 7.5 per cent of the electorate, did not have access to any photo ID meaning that while the move may stop a dozen complaints of fraud, it could also disenfranchise or disincentivise millions.

The Government also plans to dismantle the Electoral Commission watchdog and defang Judicial Review, which overturned the Prime Minister’s unlawful prorogation of Parliament in 2019. Mayoral elections in England will be returned to First Past the Post – the only countries in Europe which still use this antiquated system for national legislatures are the UK and Belarus.

Taken together, these measures are a coordinated and insidious attack on the fabric of our democracy. They clearly show that the Government wants to avoid accountability, in parliament, in court and at the ballot box, and it is vital that progressive parties work together to stop them.

It’s about time we made our voting system fair so that election results actually reflect the will of the people, every vote is counted and trust is restored in our political system. Until we do, progressive parties must unite to resist this unchecked power grab from those at the top.

David Lyons, Haddenham