Thursday, 11 August 2022

Your letters....

Time to ban barbed wire

Sir, — For the second time in four months, while walking my dog, I have come across a deer impaled on barbed wire.

The first occasion was on National Trust land at Greys Court. This was reported in the Henley Standard on March 30 with a photograph of the impaled deer.

The deer on that occasion was already dead — impaled, upside down, with one of its hind hoofs trapped in double-stranded barbed wire.

The second occasion was in the middle of Lambridge Wood last month.

A stag was trapped on barbed wire with its neck twisted. Unable to free itself, it lay on the ground trapped on the barbed wire.

When I found it, it was just alive, tormented by flies, and very still. Patiently waiting to die.

The following people were outstanding in the help they so willingly offered:

• Dafni Todd, of the Henley Veterinary Centre in Reading Road, who immediately arranged for a vet to come to Lambridge Wood.

• Kenny Sherwood, the vet from the centre, who arrived within 30 minutes, having walked from his car parked in Broad Plat Lane to the centre of the wood. With the aid of bolt cutters, he was able to move the stag away from the barbed wire.

• Rebecca Smyth, who was also walking her dog in the woods and came upon the scene. She gave invaluable help in that she walked back to her car to collect a bottle of water.

The stag drank all the water and as a result began to revive, although the vet was unable to get it to stand up. Weakened by its ordeal, it kept collapsing.

As a result, the vet called out St Tiggywinkles, the admirable wildlife rescue service.

They also arrived within 30 minutes of being called, bringing a stretcher. It was incredibly difficult to get a large stag on to the stretcher and then to have to haul it over a high stile.

The stag was eventually taken to the animal sanctuary near Aylesbury.

All this took place over three hours in the middle of the morning in intense heat.

The vet and St Tiggywinkles gave their services free.

Another victory for barbed wire and the owners of land who, when there are now plenty of cost-effective alternatives, seem to derive pleasure in using it. — Yours faithfully,

Judy Dinsdale

Northfield End, Henley

Pavements are filthy

Sir, — In answer to Valerie Alasia’s letter (Standard, August 10) expressing surprise at my previous complaints regarding the dirty state of Henley’s pavements, I would simply refer her to page 9 of the same edition.

The article in question was headlined “Streets should be cleaned more often, says trader”.

I congratulate Sandie Harrow, of Stock in Bell Street, for her petition calling for an improvement in the state of Henley’s pavements. The article stated how popular her petition has been and told us that it has been signed by other retailers and by customers.

It seems I am not the only one who thought that the pavements had been allowed to get into a disgusting state.

I commend the fact that funding has been found for three deep cleans and I support the contention that — by some means or other — money needs to be found/allocated in order to maintain a regular schedule of pavement cleaning.

Well done to Jason Dwyer of Dream Cleaners for the two-week stint with a ride-on cleaner and a pressure washer.

Not a salubrious job by any means but one which was very much needed and which I, for one, am very grateful.

The pavements of Henley will once again befit this prestigious town. — Yours faithfully,

Margaret Moola

Sedgefield Close, Sonning Common

New homes before jobs

Sir, — As a young person hoping to be able to one day afford a house near Henley, I do not welcome the news that planning rules could be tightened to make it harder for developers to turn office blocks into flats in the town (Standard, August 10).

The 2013 Town and Country Planning Act’s general permitted development amendment was designed to ameliorate the devastating effects of the nation’s housing crisis and should be allowed to take effect so that it may do so.

I understand the qualms of those concerned about the employment that the site in question presently provides but Henley and the South-East need housing far more desperately than they do employment.

I would contend that more residents may even bolster the local economy.

In the long term, more sweeping policy reform is needed but for now the news that there will be fewer homes in an area where property is both scarce and out of the financial reach of all too many young people, is most unwelcome. — Yours faithfully,

Oliver Riley

Highmoor Cross

What Brexit can deliver

Sir, — Say what you like, Brexit was about the rejection of job-seeking immigrants.

Millions more would have voted for Brexit if they thought something could have been done about this.

In 1967 Sweden drove home one day on the left-hand side of the road and went to work the next day driving on the right-hand side. This just required a national desire for change.

We are in a better position as we have the internet. We can go to bed an edgy nation unsure of multiculturalism and wake up disciples of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who engineered the exodus of British immigrants from India using peaceful non-co-operation.

Brexit should embrace the teachings of Mr Gandhi for we can all imitate his policy of civil disobedience in the UK. Boris Johnson’s diversity teachers should be directed to Mr Gandhi’s compelling arguments for rejection of tolerance of the British in India.

Mr Gandhi’s precedent of non-compliance in pre-partition India can be played out here in the workplace and in public life starting with a Respect Gandhi Day when Brexit kicks in in March 2019.

During this period of civil upheaval we should garland Mr Gandhi’s statue near the Houses of Parliament in gratitude for his policy of rejection of integration.

If successful, this will bring us more jobs. If the native British have been turning their backs on the jobs on offer then it’s because the wages have been poor.

Brexit can deliver — think it over. — Yours faithfully,

Sam Brown

Western Road, Henley

What would founder say?

Sir, — Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the board of Reading Golf Club are pressing ahead with plans to sell off the course for the development of more than 700 houses (Standard, August 10).

The loss of this land for recreation could not be something that the founding members envisaged when the club was formed 108 years ago. Let us hope that the members who voted on the plans were given the full facts and that they gave deep consideration to the long- term effects on the area as well as the loss of one of the best urban courses around. — Yours faithfully,

Julian Ansell

Brooklyn Drive, Emmer Green

BBC should mark itself

Sir, — Might I suggest that 20 to 30 minutes of the Saturday Today programme on Radio 4 be given over to open discussion by listeners of how well (or otherwise) they felt key topics of the preceding week had been handled by the programme?

It could include coverage of the communicating style and suitability of its “basic format” etc, including to its apparently non-existent younger listeners.

There could also be a regular spot entitled “Which absolutely key question failed to be asked?”

Facilitating self-criticism would enhance the reputation of the BBC but dare it be allowed? — Yours faithfully,

Jim Munro

Blandy Road, Henley

We didn’t close paths

Sir, — With reference to the letter from Brenda Armati (Standard, August 3), L & N Golf Management at Greys Green Golf Course does not have any jurisdiction over the footpaths.

Therefore we would like to make it clear that we were not responsible for the closure of the permissive footpaths.

We cannot comment on the reason the paths have been closed because it was not our decision.

In respect of Brenda’s comment about people on the footpaths being hit by a golf ball, we have never had such an incident and would not expect one to happen.

Our development on the white course is approximately a mile away from our red course, so the deliveries do not impact our members or visitors while they play golf.

Brenda would be very welcome to come and view our facilities and play a round on our course, so she can see for herself how the fairways play.

Our full renovation of the 18-hole red course and the nine-hole academy course are coming on well and will be open for play next year. — Yours faithfully,

Lee Rawlings

Director, L & N Golf Management, Greys Green Golf Course, Dog Lane, Peppard

Planter was approved

Sir, — We write in response to the “planter-gate” article (Standard, August 10).

Overall, we have been heartened by the many expressions of support from the local community on social media and in person.

The Fidelity Group is a local Henley business. We celebrate our 10th year in business this year, providing communications solutions.

We are proud to employ local residents and to support Henley businesses and community initiatives.

We are sponsors and supporters of Leander Club, the River & Rowing Museum and the Henley Bowling Club, to name but a few, and we participate in many local events and fund-raisers.

We were somewhat surprised to have to justify our support of the community by sponsoring a Henley in Bloom planter on the Henley Bridge because one or two town councillors didn’t like the size of the logo.

Please note, which the article did not, that the design was approved by the town council before painting and installation. And after the installation, we had a Henley in Bloom member tell us they were very happy with the planter and they apologised for the long, drawn-out process to get it there.

Once again, we would like to thank all the people who positively support local businesses. — Yours faithfully,

Katie Sloan

Marketing manager,
Fidelity Group, Henley

Excellent service

Sir, — I would like to give a mention and recommendation for one of your regular advertisers — Mark at MKR Electrical Services.

On Thursday evening last week, I suffered a loss of power to freezer, fridge, cooker and internet etc.

I found Mark in the Henley Standard and sent him a text detailing my problem and asking for help.

Within minutes he called me to explain that while he could not come out immediately he would talk me through the problem, which he did with patience and understanding.

So clear were his instructions that even I could follow them and soon things were back to normal.

Excellent service! This business deserves success and your support. Highly recommended. — Yours faithfully,

Geoff Luckett

Lime Court, Henley

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