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OPINION: Letters to the editor of the Newbury Weekly News

Tackle this shameful fuel prices profiteering

It is only recently I was reading in the Newbury Weekly News that our MP Laura Farris had become a champion against rip-off fuel prices in the Newbury area, claiming that she had put pressure on local retailers to bring their prices into line with Reading prices.

Petrol prices are high in Newbury
Petrol prices are high in Newbury

Perhaps she should turn her attention to the Chieveley Services that this week is offering diesel at a whopping 197.9p and petrol at an eye-watering 180.9p.

If ever there was an example of the rip-off Britain we’ve sadly become accustomed to this is it, particularly given the BP garage on the London Road is offering diesel at 159.9p and petrol at 151.9p.

Chieveley services is located only 10 minutes away from the London Road garage and the cost of delivery to Chieveley, which is right next to both the A34 and M4 is doubtless cheaper not having to get caught up in city centre traffic.

It strikes me that in these inflation-fueled times there has never been a more obvious example of abuse to be referred to the competition and markets authority.

I hope our MP can deliver again previous promises and tackle this shameful profiteering head-on otherwise they will merely look like shameless PR ahead of a tricky forthcoming election.

Ben Wood
Donnington Park, Newbury

Looking for memories of working in Newbury

Are you very old? Did you start work in Newbury a long time ago?

The Newbury District Field Club’s new research project is to collect memories of work and leisure in the last century.

We are looking for people who would be prepared to be interviewed.

Perhaps you worked at Plenty’s or Elliotts?

The interview will be recorded and eventually will be lodged with the Royal Berkshire Archives in Reading.

We also want people to carry out the interviews and record them on their smart phones.

It might be a good project for someone who has just retired, or a history student wanting to improve their CV.

If you would like to help, please contact me.

Ros Clow
(01635) 40188
07975 402864

Do the executive have the right experience?

The recently issued list of West Berkshire Council’s executive team together with their ‘portfolios’ was not very helpful.

Of course, it is useful to know their names, but far more important are their CVs and their backgrounds and experience in the areas to which they have been appointed.

May we now have that information so that we can be reassured that they have sufficient experience and knowledge to enable them each to fulfil the expectations of their electors.

Christopher Fallows

Tories have allowed Thames Water to rot

Pleased to hear that Laura Farris is staggered at the Environment Agency’s lack of action against Thames Water (Newbury Weekly News, May 9) but that’s what you get when a toothless Government refuses to take the lead in ensuring critical services are maintained.

As has been stated many times in these pages, TW was loaded up with debt which was in turn paid out in dividends leaving virtually nothing for investment in new sewage treatment works.

It is corruption, benignly tolerated by Tory politicians with financial interests in a system that creams profits off the top of monopolies while letting the foundations rot.

In Oxford it is predicted that at the rate of new build housing, the current sewage system will only be able to service two thirds of the county.

Laura Farris might usefully employ her remaining months as MP in ascertaining that Newbury’ sewage system will be able to service all the new housing projected and not exclaim in some future edition of the NWN how staggered she is that action wasn’t taken sooner against TW.

Meanwhile, her constituents have to stagger through effluent.

Tom Brown
Gore End

Sports Hub enquiry not a waste of cash

The Facebook quote of Ady Roberts made it on to the letters page and on to Opinion at Newburytoday. He feels the Sports Hub enquiry is a waste of time and money.

The site of the proposed Sports Hub in Monks Lane
The site of the proposed Sports Hub in Monks Lane

I’m not sure how much it will cost – probably very little and I think the time spent will be important.

My understanding is that the Conservatives want it and the Lib Dems don’t.

The Government wants sports pitches protected and if they are to be replaced they have to be replaced at an equivalent or better level.

The rules for replacement facilities were not followed, and councillors voted for the same planning application twice, one for the project as a replacement and one for the same project as a non-replacement (well that’s what they told the court).

So which report was misleading and why did some councillors and WBC staff have short-term memory issues?

The purpose (I hope) is to highlight what needs to be done to make sure these things don’t happen again. Not to re-fight past battles.

If people deliberately broke the rules or employees acquiesced in their breaking I think that needs highlighting in order to make sure that mistakes are learned from and not repeated.

One question that may emerge is about supervision and how to protect employees of WBC from potential bullying in order to do their jobs properly or maybe this was coincidence – again?

We have to remember that false case officer reports occurred on Faraday Plaza and Newspaper House as well as the report on the Sports Hub.

To quote the Auditor General of Wales: “Good scrutiny means good legalisation and good legislation pays for itself.”

Ian Hall

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