Sir, — I thought your readers would be interested to see this picture of a large and deep (over 4in) pothole — one of very many in Main Street, Checkendon — that I split a tyre on recently.
My wife was following a cyclist who came off his bike after hitting another pothole full of water.
The road is actually breaking up in parts and I’ve been trying to get initial repairs done and eventually resurfacing.
I have been informed by Oxfordshire County Council’s grandly titled highways area steward, after an inspection by him and the equally grandly titled senior stewardship technician, that this and all the others constitute “minor defects”. He continued: “None of them meet our current investigation and intervention levels and as a result no action is proposed.”
There have been five council people so far involved in this decision and we’re supposed to be watching costs.
So, by definition, this is the standard set by Oxfordshire highways we can all expect to continue and put up with on our roads in this area — or is it?
Residents of Oxfordshire, make your views known strongly whenever you can so that this kind of fobbing-off “service” cannot continue. It belongs to the past. — Yours faithfully,
Richard Cuthbertson, Checkendon
A foggy morning on river
Sir, — Here is a photograph I took of the River Thames in Henley in the fog. — Yours faithfully,
Victoria Page, Henley
Smoke and Mirrors
Sir, — This sign is outside the Smoky (sic) Flame takeaway at the bottom of Greys Road, Henley.
Could anyone please explain what Eliver has done wrong and where he/she is being held? — Yours faithfully,
Dick Fletcher, Mill End, Hambleden
Why do people spoil countryside?
Sir, — Driving through the country, I think how lucky we are to live in such lovely surroundings.
However, I then stumbled across this example of fly-tipping at the side of a pull-in in Chalk Hill, Harpsden.
This mound of rubbish, including children’s toys, had just been dumped.
It’s a shame that people feel the need to do this and ruin the beautiful countryside. I’m sure a charity shop/another child would have been grateful for these items. It’s quite obvious that the owners were too lazy to dispose of the items correctly and feel they can just fly-tip it instead.
I hope the person/persons reading this have a change of heart and go back and collect the items and dispose of them correctly. — Yours faithfully,
Sir, — I write to comment on your article concerning Tovvnlands Hospital and loss of local doctors’ contracts.
Oxford NHS Foundation Trust says it is in the “middle” of a procurement process, which must mean a final determination has not been made and that there is still time for common sense to prevail.
As taxpayers, we are entitled to know how these decisions are arrived at. The usual bureaucratic smokescreen generally described as “commercially confidential” will not do.
If Oxford NHS Foundation Trust does not publically make clear how their decisions concerning cost, liability of service and promptness of delivery are made public, a judicial review may be warranted. — Yours faithfully,
Sir David Thompson, Ravenscroft Road, Henley
Time for an explanation
Sir, — I regard it as daft that our wonderful GPs at the Bell and Hart practices will no longer be visiting Townlands.
Doctors from these practices have given 30 years of wonderful service to patients in Townlands.
These surgeries are less than 50m from the hospital and many of the patients come from Henley.
Dr Philip Unwin states that the decision was not based on service levels or price, so I call upon the Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust to state its reasons for awarding the contract to the Oxford University Trust, which is 25 miles from Henley.
Our local doctors understand and give fantastic service to Henley and the surrounding district and are the best people to serve our locality.
I look forward to the foundation trust’s explanation. — Yours faithfully,
Councillor Stefan Gawrysiak, Henley Town Council, Elizabeth Road, Henley
Sir, — I was astonished to read page 1 of last week’s Henley Standard.
Do we wish to see our Hart and Bell surgery doctors “stripped of hospital work”? Most definitely we do not!
In the event that a patient in Townlands Hospital were to be taken dangerously ill, will one of our excellent GPs be able to be there in three minutes or will the nursing staff have to wait for a doctor 2t miles away at the University Hospital NHS Trust in Oxford? This is illogical.
Our doctors have for many years made regular visits to Townlands patients, many of whom are their patients.
Please let us all ensure that this proposal does not proceed, which will enable our doctors in their two surgeries to care for their patients when in Townlands Hospital as well as those from other areas. — Yours faithfully,
Val Cattlin, Queen Close, Henley
Sir, — Your correspondent M Goodwin noted my commitment to listen to the voters of Henley (Standard, Janiar 23).
In particular, she referred to a need for more housing in and around Henley and a real need to connect with younger voters.
The two are linked — young people believe that this Government has hurt their future by trebling tuition fees and cutting vital education services in the name of deficit reduction, while protecting benefits for older voters.
This is clearest with the desperate housing shortage, which cuts young people out of home ownership.
As Henley’s MP, I would support the Labour Party’s plan to build 200,000 houses a year — one million by 2020 — and I would make sure that young people’s voices are heard in our political system by supporting their right to vote at 16.
The Scottish referendum last September showed that they are as well informed and just as likely to turnout as older voters.
In a similar vein, I know that the cancellation of the GP contract for the Bell and Hart surgeries will be a major concern to your readers.
This dramatic change to an arrangement that has been working well since the Eighties appears to have no discernable benefit. — Yours faithfully,
Sam Juthani, Labour Party prospective parliamentary candidate for Henley, Caversham
Thank you for my prize
Sir, — I was the very fortunate winner of one of your pre-Christmas competions, namely that offering a prize donated by Hare Hatch Sheeplands.
The prize was very welcome and I should like to thank the Henley Standard for organising the competition and Hare Hatch Sheeplands for the generosity of their prize.
Unfortunately, unforeseen circumstances prevented me from enjoying the prize to the full during the Christmas period but I have now made up for lost time. — Yours faithfully,