13th July 2021
Campaign Update - 13th July 2021
This week’s update will be focussed on the pressure we wish to continue to put on our MP Laura Farris to support our fight against the development.
Many of us have already written to Ms Farris and I suspect we have all got the same template reply as follows:
A number of my constituents have written to me with their concerns about the potential North East Thatcham development.
I recently went to raise this specifically with Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing,Communities and Local Government. I asked him about the numbers that West Berkshire Council is required to meet when we have so many areas of outstanding natural beauty and flood plain where building is not possible - and the pressure this is placing on local communities.
We discussed numbers, preservation of the countryside and the pressure on public services and facilities in that area. I have since been in touch with elected members of West Berkshire Council and will meet with them properly to discuss the position and his views. After that I will be holding a public meeting with residents (which will be advertised in advance) to talk about how we can progress this issue in a way that reflects the community’s concerns.
As you will be aware, the Council held a consultation on the emerging draft Local Plan Review for 8 weeks between December 2020 and February 2021. It is now rightly in a process of considering all the representations received in order to help inform them when producing a draft Local Plan for publication and consultation. Once the draft plan is published, people will all at that stage have the opportunity to comment further in the resultant consultation period.
We asked you in the last update to send in hard copy letters to her House of Commons address. Hard copy letters are harder to ignore and she is duty bound to respond to them individually. It seems that she, or her team, may be sending pro-forma email replies even to those.
So, for future handwritten or typed letters, let’s not include our email addresses when we sign off. It will require our MP and her staff to put more effort into responding to us if they have to send hard copy replies by post. We’re going for maximum inconvenience to her so we get maximum attention.
If you have received the above generic reply to your own letter, please send a follow up letter asking for more detailed answers. You might ask:
What was the outcome of your meeting with Robert Jenrick? What did he say?
What exactly did you discuss with West Berks Council? What were Mr Jenrick’s views?
When are you meeting with West Berks Council?
When and where will the Public Meeting with residents take place?
Any other questions you’d like to ask her
If you have not written to her yet, can we please urge you to do so? Some of you have asked for a template letter that we initially offered to provide. We decided in end not to draft one as we think individual letters ‘from the heart’ will have more of an impact. We can, however, point you to the main talking points. You can find them on the main Bucklebury Says No page on this website.
Pick and choose the ones that you feel most passionate about and give them your own personal spin in your letter. Again, a handwritten or hard copy typed letter will have a greater impact, but any form of objection letter you can send in will help the cause. The more letters we can get sent the better, so please do not feel you need to limit yourselves to one letter per household!
Please send your letters to:
Laura Farris MP
House of Commons
It would be good to know how many of you are writing to Ms Farris. Please let us know if you have done so and in due course, what kind of response you get from her.
Donations to help fund experts to help us fight this development are still needed. So far, we have raised £5,370. Huge thanks to those who have donated so far. If you haven’t donated but would like to do so, please do so now. We really need every penny and pound you are able to give. Details of how to donate are as follows:
By bank transfer to:
Account name: Bucklebury Parish Council
Account Number: 01688915
Sort Code: 30-95-89
For reference please include your name or Thatcham North East if you prefer to remain anonymous
Or you can write a cheque, made payable to Bucklebury Parish Council and send it to:
Helen Pratt, Clerk to Bucklebury Parish Council
Please find the Say No Poster in the Latest Documents section above that you can print out to put in your windows – the more of these we see around the community the better.
As always, we thank you for your support.
The Working Group.