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Recorder letters: Hospital pressures, political defections and fighting for green spaces

PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 January 2018

Queen's Hospital, flagship hospital of the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Queen's Hospital, flagship hospital of the Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.

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Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Matthew Hopkins, chief executive, Barking Havering & Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, writes:

I am writing to respond to Linda Hoad’s letter published recently regarding waits at Queen’s Hospital.

I am pleased to hear that Ms Hoad found our staff kind and helpful. I am proud to say this has been a message we have been hearing consistently.

They are working tirelessly in very difficult circumstances, and I would like to pay tribute to their continued professionalism and commitment to giving our local community the best possible care.

Our top priority is providing safe care, and we have been pleased with positive feedback from recent visits by NHS England and NHS Improvement, who have said they believe we are doing just that.

It is true that on that week we were extremely busy. We would like to apologise to all our patients who were waiting longer than we would like.

It’s well known that across the country, the NHS is under significant pressure.

It’s really important that everyone in our community thinks really carefully this winter about how to stay well, and to be aware of all the good local care options, whether that’s taking medication yourself, visiting your local pharmacist for advice, calling 111 for support, an appointment with your GP, or using the GP hubs offering urgent appointments or out of hours.

We need our staff to be focusing on caring for those patients who are in need of urgent, serious medical attention.

Disappointed by Mylod comments

Cllr Ray Morgon, leader, Residents Group, Town Hall, writes:

As the Leader of the Residents Group in the Town Hall, I was disappointed by the comments made by Cllr John Mylod following the announcement in your publication that he had joined the Conservative Group.

He claims that the Residents Group lacks coherent policies. Perhaps, if he had a better attendance record at Resident Group meetings over the past few years he would be very clear on our policies and priorities, as well as having an opportunity to shape them.

As for the Residents Group considering ourselves just as nit pickers from the side lines, the evidence fails to substantiate these claims. Indeed, the Residents Group has been at the very forefront in challenging and holding to account the Conservative administration.

In fact, it was our close scrutiny and challenge that stopped the Tory council from charging residents to park in many parks across the borough or spending millions in Romford Market on a scheme without a business case that actually stacked up.

Finally, the news of his departure to the Tories was even more surprising given that at the Hornchurch Residents Association annual general meeting early last year he stated to members that in addition to standing down as chairman he would be retiring this year and would not be seeking re-election.

Defection should lead to by-election

Paul Arthur Clements, Weald Way, Romford, writes:

It was with somewhat dismay that I read your article in last week’s Romford Recorder that former Residents Association cllr John Mylod had decided to join the Havering Tory group.

Whilst I am aware Mr Mylod has been a highly respected councillor serving as mayor of our borough, he was in fact elected to represent his constituents as an RA councillor not as a Conservative councillor.

Whilst flipping between parties is nothing new either in local regional or national politics, the individuals who do this need to be reminded that they were elected under a particular party banner by their voters, therefore should be obliged to resign their seats and call a by-election when their constituents can decide if they wish to retain their services as their representative.

This, in my view, should be enshrined in law.

May I also remind Mr Mylod this country very rarely goes for personality politics and his voters may well share this opinion in the local LE’s in May.

We must save high value green space

Cllr David Durant, Rainham and Wennington Independent Residents Group, writes:

The cabinet member for housing has failed in two attempts to build on the green, off New Zealand Way, Rainham, but has refused to accept defeat and win plaudits for himself and Conservative party by self-registering the council land as a Village Green.

Politically, like the failure to appeal Hare Lodge, this is poor politics in view of the extensive housing planned for the borough! That is, even if you can’t halt the tide, at least make a virtue of saving some high value green spaces and buildings.

Last Thursday the public hearing to determine whether the green, off New Zealand Way, Rainham, gets Village Green status was held at the Town Hall.

The decision whether to grant Village Green status hinges on whether the inspector considers the recreational activities that have taken place on the green were “by right” (with permission) or “as of right” (without permission).

The objector, Havering Council, say the activities were mostly by right, but the applicant says they were mostly as of right, because the land’s official designation is “highway, adopted green verge” rather than “recreational land”.

This is a vital difference, because, for example, football played on recreational land is with implied permission, because that’s what recreational land is for, but football played on the highway is without implied permission, because that’s not what highway is for!

To get Village Green status requires the applicant to show people have been using the green, without permission, for 20 years.

And if the inspector recommends Village Green status will the Conservative cabinet member for housing continue to act as the Labour London Mayor’s agent in Havering, or agree to help Keep Havering Special?

Unfair to accuse us over Hare Lodge

Cllr Melvin Wallace, writes:

Cllr Durant keeps making claims about Hare Lodge which are unfair and do not allow the public to know the true position.

When planning permission given by an inspector on appeal is challenged it has to be on a point of law by judicial review to the High Court.

Much as I regret the decision to allow demolition by the inspector, it would have been irresponsible to take such action in the face of advice from leading counsel specialising in this that there was no chance of success.

This would simply have wasted a lot of council taxpayers’ money for no purpose.

The council tried hard to get the building listed without success. We will always fight to preserve our heritage and the character of the borough wherever we can.

Get out of London or lose identity

Alan Cauvain, St Andrews Avenue, Hornchurch, writes:

For some time now I have been going on about getting out of the GLA and after reading Cllr J Frost’s letter in the Romford Recorder headed “Council has no control over Police” I am more convinced more than ever that Havering Council should get away from the GLA.

It is obvious that the local elections for Havering councillors were pointless because they just cave in to Sadiq Khan, the London Mayor.

Over the last year or so our councillors have joined forces with Newham Council supposedly for financial good without proper consultation with the people of Havering.

Now we have the tri-borough command of policing for Havering, Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge – again no proper consultation with the people of Havering.

These issues were just pushed through, our views were obviously of no importance so what else are we going to be pushed into without being consulted?

I did say that Cllr Ramsey (leader) was not strong enough, he has let Sadiq Khan do as he likes with our borough. The councillors should

be organising the services of Havering to suit and meet the people’s needs so if they cannot stand up for what we want then they are pointless.

Why do I pay in my local taxes to Havering Council a contribution to policing when they have no control and as I have not seen a policeman in my street for many months? I feel I am paying for a service that I do not receive.

People of Havering should give serious thought to getting away from Sadiq Khan and the GLA.

A councillor recently wrote it would be very complicated to leave and align with ECC. It was not difficult and complicated to involve Havering with the above issues so let’s get out before we lose our identity and get sucked into London.

Join Nightrider for Combat Stress

Robert Marsh, director income generation, Combat Stress, writes:

On June 9, I will be taking part in Nightrider London, a moonlit charity cycle ride, to raise vital funds for Combat Stress, the UK’s leading charity for veterans’ mental health.

It’s really important that we raise funds for the charity to ensure we can continue to provide support to every veteran who comes to us for help, events like Nightrider are a great way for us to do this.

Readers can sign up or find out more information on our website – combatstress.org.uk/nightrider.

I hope to see some of you there.

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