The Wokingham Paper

READERS LETTERS: As seen in Wokingham.Today of July 23, 2020

Litter left in Wokingham

Take your litter home

WHILE walking around the Woosehill recreational field with two dogs and a buggy I sadly came across a carrier bag of litter.

It looks like the result of a picnic.

There were several going on over the weekend.

Why go to the bother of bagging the rubbish and tossing it into the bushes when there is a litter bin 20 metres away. Or why not just take it home.            

A Harvey, Wokingham

When will we finally learn the truth?

THE people who voted for Brexit quickly found that instead of voting for a better deal, their votes went instead to justify the Tories’ preferred outcome of no deal: the worst of all possible outcomes for the country.

MPs in the party trying to prevent no deal had the whip withdrawn and their voices silenced. The result has been that anyone wanting to progress in the party now must be a diehard Brexiter: full speed ahead and damn the damage to the country.

 Most insidious of all has been their manoeuvrings around the report into Russian interference in British political life. The government blocked the publication of this report before the last election, presumably because an informed electorate might make different decisions.

There was, however, a rare moment of hope recently. The publication of the report is controlled by parliament’s intelligence and security committee, where Downing Street had planned to install Chris Grayling as chair.

Chris Grayling is one of the most incompetent Tory ministers in a very competitive field, with a track record of wasting vast amounts of taxpayers’ money. He has no background in security or indeed intelligence, but he is of course a staunch Brexiter — and that’s what matters most.

Fortunately, his nomination to chair the committee was thwarted by another Tory MP, Julian Lewis —
so Downing Street has made an example of Lewis to any other MPs thinking of putting the country ahead of the party, by withdrawing the whip and so scuppering his chances of standing as a Tory MP in the next election.

It will be interesting to see how much longer the report remains hidden from the British public, and if we’re finally allowed to learn the truth.

Dr Peter Hornsby, Wokingham

Let’s get through the agenda

IN MY opinion, Wokingham Borough Council as a democratic organisation is a failure but it’s you the residents who pay the very high price that comes with their plans to stifle democracy.

The majority of council meetings fail to deal with the business in hand. The question is why? 

The answer is simple:  the Conservative-controlled administration manage the agenda business, so by the use of political interference they can ensure any embarrassing opposition is negated
and stifled.

As I saw it also they used the pandemic to force changes on members and residents by concentrating some decision making to a core  group designed to get their ideologically-driven policies past the post while confining opposition.

The outcome of this blatant political gerrymandering of the business also means many residents issues raised ends up in the long grass.

To try and change this I submitted a motion to tonight’s council meeting, asking that extra meetings are set up to get the backlog sorted out. The chances of even debating my motion – number seven – is zero as it’s the last item of business on an agenda with 164 pages.

Any motions not debated are just dumped in the long grass where all the other residents good intentions usually end up.

The Conservative leader of Wokingham Borough Council is of the  opinion that to complete the business at hand then meetings would have to go on until 2am or 3 am in the following morning or even until 6am the next day.

He is right of course but what a deliberately narrow-minded opinion when the simple solution is obvious:  that is to hold more meetings while reviewing how business is conducted.

This simple solution would allow time to re-examine the current working system with a view to find a better way to conduct business that would  fully represent all members and their residents.

Why does he not see the simple solution or has he got another (anti-opposition/anti-residents) agenda I wonder? 

As long as the Conservatives run Wokingham Borough Council residents can kiss democracy goodbye as Conservative-driven ideology and democracy is not in their DNA. I hope residents remember this next May when they will have an opportunity to express themselves when local elections are held.

Cllr Gary Cowan, independent councillor for Arborfield at Wokingham Borough Council

Let them eat cake

TWO of us were having coffee at The Blue Orchid on Tuesday and were joined by a couple of friends.

 We had a chat with Luke, who’s running the cafe, and he generously proposed giving us 30 pieces of cake for distribution locally as we’re linked to a charity, The Mothers’ Union. 

So Liz and I spent a busy couple of hours on Thursday distributing cake to people who’d been isolating during lockdown and brought smiles to lots of faces.

Many thanks to Luke and his staff for spreading the love around our town.

Jean Vaughan, Wokingham

The good, the bad, and other odds

I HEAR something good, even from this government for which I sadly have no respect. It concerns apprenticeships being made available to 50% of youngsters – at last the realisation of such an education which if applied correctly can lead to trainees having real life experience of a skill or skills;
a practical knowledge of working, using materials, producing goods; applying their understanding of design, product quality and making life easier for product users or installers, et al.

Sounds a lot, but if I tell you that last Monday I had to install a power shower, only to find the most difficult part being the fault of the designer in not knowing how to install a shower. Enough said.

However, I wonder if this government has any idea where to find companies who can or do train apprentices, as the best period, due to the presence in the country of a huge manufacturing base, rather ended when we sold much of that to foreigners.

Digressing to another farce presented by the home secretary – who on earth would ever refuse
to allow low paid workers to come to our aid and work in care homes?

Does she actually know the tremendous help such people provide to the country? If she had said, you are welcome, and we will make sure you are paid at least the minimum wage, I would have cheered.

From that I shift to the continuing saga of furloughing. Boris wants to get the country working, but too many people and companies are enjoying our chancellor’s financial aid for not working. I can tell you from experience, when I needed some new industrial style gloves, and new knee pads, I called on Screwfix locally. To be told ‘sorry mate, you needed to order yesterday via the internet to be able to pick up today.’

A similar situation applies to many companies who are supposed to supply trades people with a wide range of products – I heard today from a friend that he knows tradesmen who have been unable to work because they cannot get the bits and pieces they need.

So Boris, wake up to the abysmal state of this country, before more of it dies – it is never going to work if companies do not have enough employees to return to their roles as suppliers to the workforce.

Reg Clifton, Wokingham

In memory of my Nana

UNDER normal circumstances, many thousands of people would have by now signed up to take part in an Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk.

These hugely popular events bring people together in a variety of stunning locations to unite against dementia, whilst raising vital funds to support those affected by the condition.

It would have been my 10th year attending such an event. While it saddens me that we can’t all get together this year, I’m determined with my family to walk my own way in memory of my Nana.

People with dementia have been the worst hit by the current crisis and need us more than ever – across the UK a quarter of those who have died of coronavirus had dementia.

Wherever you are, we can all still help make a difference and I encourage you to sign up either with your household – pets included – friends,
or another household in line with current government guidelines. Create your own route, from lapping your garden or local park to revisiting somewhere special.

This year’s Santander-sponsored Memory Walk is free to register.

Walks can be organised anytime between now and October – or you might choose to do it on 20 September to mark World Alzheimer’s Day.

Sign up now at and with every step, you’ll help change the lives of people affected by dementia.

Vicky McClure, Alzheimer’s Society ambassador

Yet another cock-up

I have tried hard, I really have, to find something kind to say about the inmates of Shute end Towers – and believe it or not, very occasionally,I have been able to do just that.

However, yet again following on from a behind schedule, over budget programme of regeneration, leading in reality to the town’s degeneration, its inability to manage or control the borough’s spiralling debt and various other municipal cock-ups,
the council’s latest Denmark Street closure ‘experiment’ (Wokingham.Today, July 16) has was obvious from the very outset been doomed to failure.

Do Wokingham Borough Council have some kind of daft ideas think tank tucked away in a darkened room deep in the bowels of the Civic Offices? And who on earth comes up with some of its flight of fancy pronouncements?

A recent petition organised to support the Denmark Street plan attracted just 207 signatures – just 0.19% of a population of some 170,000.

A result Wokingham Borough Council will no doubt claim as evidence of overwhelming support and proof that the town had indeed, as claimed, become thanks to its efforts, a vibrant, nay, buzzing continental style shoppers paradise.

Pull the other one! 

J W Blaney, Wokingham

Nothing to celebrate

WBC HAVE nothing to congratulate themselves over.

The reopening of a road is not an improvement it’s the end of a disruption.

What actually makes me angry its that they had months to plan and 10 months to execute improvements
to Nine Mile Ride which would have increased safety to pedestrians and reduced noise and danger to all local residents.

Even if the only thing they did was to move the ineffective pink stripe from the middle of the road and placed it alongside the single pavement it would have been worthwhile (This was suggested).

But they have done absolutely  nothing.

Let us not forget that it was Cllr Richards who said that there was
no need for a cycle path or lane along Nine Mile Ride.

Lloyd Watkins, Finchampstead

Shout out to the independents

WE’RE so fortunate to have excellent independent eateries in Wokingham.

Shout out to Joy, Toto, Blue Orchid, Piccolo Arco, Sanpa, Pan and the rest

Timothy Ryan Scott, Wokingham

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