News in brief…
Power play – In a move that puts her in a position of considerable influence, Beaconsfield MP Joy Morrissey was appointed one of the prime minister’s Parliamentary Private Secretary’s in Boris Johnson’s mini-reshuffle last week.
Wacky races – Plans to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in Penn and Tylers Green include a beacon lighting on the common on the evening of Thursday 2 June, sporting exhibition matches at the football club and a tea dance in the village hall on Friday, 3 June and novelty races on the front common on Saturday, 4 June, followed by an evening barbecue and live bands.
Covid figures – New Covid cases reported in the Penn area in the week to 8 February were 89, a 25 per cent drop on the previous week. In Tylers Green there were 47 new cases reported, a 26 per cent drop; while in Hazlemere there were 92 new cases, a 22 per cent drop.
Surgery stress – Penn’s MP Sarah Green told the House of Commons that at one surgery in her Chesham and Amersham constituency every member of staff was either receiving counselling, on anti-depressants or signed off work with stress. Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the Government was providing extra funding to help GP surgeries through winter.
Housing plan – Housing developers Taylor Wimpey say they expect to submit a planning application in the spring for up to 800 new homes in the Gomm Valley, between Hammersley Lane and Cock Lane, Tylers Green. Meanwhile farmers have begun ploughing fields in the valley for what will probably be the last harvest there.
House blaze – Firefighters were called to The Larchlands, Penn, when a fire in a bin shed spread to an adjoining hedge and set alight the house guttering.
One in 10 speeding – The Community Speed Watch group reported that speed checks on roads in the Penn and Tylers Green area found that ten per cent of motorists were travelling over the speed limit.
Frosty reception for unwelcome visitors
Planned radical overhaul of parliamentary constituencies still keeps Penn and Tylers Green apart but shifts Hazlemere
A MAJOR rejig of parliamentary boundaries in this area is being planned to take account of the extra electors moving into Buckinghamshire as thousands of new homes are built.
Commissioners are proposing a radical shake-up, getting rid of some constituencies and adding new ones. But their plans so far still involve Penn and Tylers Green in different constituencies with separate MPs.
The Boundary Commissioners are proposing moving Hazlemere from the Wycombe constituency to join Penn in the Chesham and Amersham constituency.
They also propose abolishing the Beaconsfield constituency and moving Beaconsfield town into Chesham and Amersham too.
Tylers Green would remain in the renamed High Wycombe constituency, which would be reduced in area to make way for a new Marlow constituency, which takes in Flackwell Heath.
Another new constituency – Princes Risborough – is also envisaged as thousands of new homes are planned there. Aylesbury constituency, which is also taking thousands of new houses, would cover a smaller area.
So far these are just initial proposals awaiting public comment. You can learn more and add your views on this link: https://boundarycommissionforengland.independent.gov.uk/2023-review/south-east/
ALL THIS is not to be confused with the boundary shake up of council wards planned for the new Buckinghamshire Council which is being considered by a separate set of boundary commissioners (you wait 50 years for a boundary review and then two come at once!).
They will be considering, for instance, whether Penn and Tylers Green should be represented by the same county councillors instead of the separate ones we have at present. You have until 4 April to contribute to that debate on https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/have-your-say/29857
Elsewhere the local police are also in boundary twiddling mode. The Chiltern/South Bucks police area will be merged with the Wycombe police area this summer under a single commander. Thames Valley Police say the merger is to increase efficiency and won’t affect the number of front-line police officers.
Lamby joins local cricketers
CRICKET legend Allan Lamb will be joining veteran cricketers in the area in a sponsored walk to raise money for the prostate cancer charity in April.
The 67 year old two time Ashes winner, who hit 14 centuries for England, is fighting prostate cancer himself. He’ll join Ron Hedley of Old Kiln Road, Tylers Green and members of Buckinghamshire Cricket Club over-60s and 70s in a walk starting at High Wycombe Cricket Club.
Ron, who also has prostate cancer, is organising a number of sponsored walks and has so far raised over £5,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.
You can find out more, join the walks, or simply donate at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ronald-hedley1
School’s new image
Sir William Ramsay School in Rose Avenue has introduced a new logo as part of a rebranding of the school, its image and its values. The logo, it says, is a stylised version of the four noble gases – neon, argon, krypton and xenon – which were discovered by the eminent scientist Sir William Ramsay, who lived in Hazlemere.
Children’s services on the up, but still under the cosh
BUCKINGHAMSHIRE Council’s Children’s Services department, which looks after the needs of vulnerable children, is slowly improving after a devastating Ofsted inspection four years ago which ruled it “inadequate” and put the service into ‘special measures’.
Inspectors who carried out a new inspection in December said the service still required improvement but was no longer inadequate.
They acknowledged that the pandemic greatly increased demand and pressure on the service while at the same time the county had problems recruiting and retaining social workers.
“Many children … have too many changes of social worker,” says the report. “This means that the help they receive is fragmented and episodic rather than carefully planned and underpinned by continuous strong professional relationships.” The inspectors said more support was needed for 16 and 17 year olds in Bucks who are homeless.
Simple question. Why no answer?
SIX WEEKS ago a reader sent me this email:
In your 1st January update the subject of the road surface in Witheridge Lane/Church Road, Penn was raised. The council said it couldn’t be repaired because of the possibility of inclemental weather. To put this in perspective the council repaired Cock Lane again (not sure how many agains to use) in December, and now they are relaying Orchard Road, which runs between Cock Lane and Gomm Road.
My question is : how come they can make the statement they did and then carry on repairing other roads? It’s a mystery to me and as Witheridge Lane is the main road between Penn and Beaconsfield it seems as though they have their priorities all wrong. Perhaps I’m missing something obvious here.
It seemed a fair question so I asked Buckinghamshire Council for a response. Three times. So far no comment. I’ll let you know if they ever do get round to replying.
Meanwhile, as you will see in the updated response below, work on that stretch is scheduled for April.
On 16 February the council responded in detail:
“The product we are using at a number of our sites, including Witheridge Lane in Penn, is known as Rejuvophalt. This is a cost-effective treatment for road defects and is used as an overlay surface treatment in areas of light traffic.
“Rejuvophalt is certified to be laid under certain conditions, based on controlled tests and site trials. If the correct conditions aren’t met when the road surface is laid, the product is deemed to be out of specification, and therefore no warranty can be held against our supplier.
“Unfortunately, prior to undertaking the work on Witheridge Lane, the site conditions didn’t meet the required parameters and therefore, we had to postpone the treatment. While we always aim to complete schemes as planned, this doesn’t always happen due to conditions that are outside of our control.
“During the design stage, the material for our carriageway schemes is chosen based on multiple aspects, such as the depth of the potholes or road surface defects, the length of the problem, the type of road, road material and cost. As a result, a decision was made for Witheridge Lane to use Rejuvophalt. Unfortunately, however, we were unable to undertake the repairs due to colder temperatures than we originally anticipated.
“All schemes, including both Witheridge Lane and Orchard Road, are assessed by a Design Engineer to ascertain the condition of the existing carriageway and identify the failure mechanisms in order to design the relevant repairs that provide the best value treatment option available to us.
“Orchard Road was identified to be beyond overlay or patch repairs and required renewal of the surface and binder course layers by way of conventional resurfacing. The materials and process for conventional resurfacing allow for works to be undertaken with different site conditions that wouldn’t be suitable for other process such as Rejuvophalt.
“We have received a new date from our contractor for works at Witheridge Lane, which have now provisionally been scheduled to take place from Monday 4 April to Wednesday 27 April 2022.
“In the meantime, any sites which have had their works rescheduled will continue to be monitored, and if necessary, we will address any defects in accordance with our Highway Safety Inspection Policy to ensure the roads remain safe.”
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