Alan’s Second World War memories were moving
It was interesting, and rather moving, to read the wartime memories of your reader, Alan Sandall, now 94. (Wokingham.Today, March 25)
As a 12-year-old Boy Scout, Alan did so much to help others in those early years of the war, when everything must have been so frightening for many.
He continued volunteering throughout the war, including joining the Auxiliary Fire Service at aged 14, and then started a varied career at 16.
What a wonderful young man.
Jan Frances, Lower Earley
Voting stations dismay
It is with dismay that I note parents of Oaklands School pupils in Crowthorne have found it necessary to petition WBC to stop using their school as a polling station for Wokingham Without.
After all the disruption to schooling in the last year, Conservative led WBC considers it appropriate to cause further loss to learning, despite threats to fine parents for not sending their children to school at other times.
Despite the Conservatives believing that using schools as polling stations is an education for children, the reality is they learn nothing since the school is closed and they are not there.
Many schools, such as Oaklands, cannot use the day as an INSET day for training teachers since there are not enough trainers for all the schools used as polling stations.
It also causes yet more disruption for working parents.
This need not have been the case since local Liberal Democrats are clear that Wokingham Borough Council must stop using schools as polling stations.
In February 2019, while I was a Lib Dem councillor for a neighbouring ward, I made our position clear in council and proposed an alternative to the use of Oaklands school.
This was to send one-third of voters to Sebastian’s Hall and two-thirds to Pinewood, both within walking distance for many, while those who would drive would have done so to Oaklands anyway.
There are a few minor issues to do with lighting and road crossings, but these are easily improved and should be regardless given that residents need access to the parish council office at Pinewood.
Conservatives on Wokingham Borough Council ridiculed the proposal to stop using Oaklands School.
In February this year, the Conservatives were again asked if they wanted to change current arrangements, but declined to include Oaklands in changes.
I note that Wokingham Without Conservatives are now beginning to suggest they might be amenable to changing their view now they are faced with a petition coinciding with an imminent election.
There is now not enough time to change the polling station for this May’s election, that is the result of two years being wasted by the Conservatives.
No, this is not me seeking votes
as I stepped down as a WBC Borough Councillor last year in preparation for relocation to another nation last summer, but then Covid hit us causing a temporary delay, which is nothing compared to 150,000 excess deaths.
Remember that Lib Dems have long supported moving this polling station and, unlike the Conservatives, are not now jumping on the band-wagon.
I say to residents that if you want change then consider changing the way you vote.
Ian Pittock, Finchampstead
Napoleon est arrivé
We are apparently blessed to find that arrogant little man by the name of Macron, is in fact Napoleon – one can tell by his attitude of superiority, especially to us.
It is in view of this and not related to this being April 1, that if I were the prime minister, I would make contact with Madam Marine La Pen, who with a little luck may be able to get rid of him next year.
What I would suggest is that as our countries are really quite close, why do we not agree a Trade Agreement between us, and ensure we look after each other’s interests, especially in technology, manufacturing to reduce Chinese intentions, no borders between us for our nationals, encouraging visiting each other and so on.
Basically as it used to be prior to the EU taking control.
Now that would drive Macron mad, and help him to make himself even more unpopular.
My target would be Italy, Spain, Portugal together with France, as a new group.
Brussels would disappear later if a new group made it clear how Europe could be a close-knit collection of individual nations and ‘live happily ever after’.
A note about the anti-virus care we still need to take for the next few months.
As has been noted by letter writers, there are still too many virus spreaders in our area.
Due to the threat in the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch area as summer approaches, they have introduced Covid Marshals to get tough with transgressors.
It would certainly benefit our area if we had a similar discipline structure – volunteers could be invited – but I have to stress they would have to have the power of the Law behind them.
Happy Summer to Readers.
Reg Clifton, Wokingham
Much has been written about lack of accountability at Wokingham Borough Council and unfortunately I have another example to add to the list.
At the full council meeting on February 18, I asked the executive member for regeneration, Cllr Charlotte Haitham Taylor (CHT), “as the asking price on the five houses built in Rose Street as part of the Peach Place development has twice been reduced would she please enlighten us as to the amount of the paper loss to date on these properties?”
At the time she said she didn’t know but would send me a written reply.
To date I’ve not received a reply despite contacting WBC’s Democratic Services on three occasions and reminding CHT at the subsequent full council meeting on March 18.
At that meeting following a long pause she again promised to provide a written reply but hasn’t done so.
I realise that CHT is standing down at the May elections having been deposed as the Leader of the Council but surely she should remain professional while still in office and not deliberately avoid awkward and embarrassing questions.
I asked the current Leader of Wokingham Borough Council, Cllr Halsall, if he would intervene but he replied “this is not a question for me. The Leader has no jurisdiction in Council meetings”.
If the Leader is not in control who is?
Peter Humphreys, Wokingham