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Recorder letters: Bus stop, Queen’s hospital, Brucie, infrastructure, Tapestry, Hexit, pension fraud, scouts and energy

PUBLISHED: 11:34 29 August 2017

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David Durant and fellow councillors at the bus stop last year. Picture: STEVE POSTON

Good news - TfL to relocate bus stop

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

Prompted by safety fears due to its narrow pavement, local councillors and GLA Member Keith Prince, called on TfL to relocate the 372 Wennington Road bus stop opposite Rainham Library to outside Rainham station where there is already a fully accessible bus stop with shelter.

We pointed out, as most passengers using the stop use the station the relocation would improve their service to customers. But TfL rejected this due to cost!

However, during a site visit local councillors noticed the poor condition of the adjacent National Trust wall, which was deteriorating with pointing turning to dust and was being damaged by passengers innocently resting on the wall as they waited for their bus.

Large holes had appeared and this was brought to the attention of heritage officers and plans were progressed to repair the historic wall.

And the good news is the repair is scheduled for later this year and as it involves closing the bus stop, TfL have agreed to bite the bullet and relocate the stop to outside the station.

Excellent patient care at Queen’s after heart attack

Maggie Macdonald, Urafirth, Shetland, writes:

We are from Shetland and while we on a caravanning holiday at Kelvedon Hatch in July my husband, Grant, had some bad chest pains.

We went to the A&E at Queen’s as it seemed to be the closest one.

I’m so glad we did because everyone was so helpful and kind. It was discovered that he had had a heart attack and was kept in the Cardiac Care Centre.

I am disabled and the staff asked porters to take me from the ward to the exit in a wheelchair – no easy task as I am a large lady!

The information desk also arranged this when I arrived for visiting time.

While Grant was in there they kept him informed about messages and were always helpful with information for me.

After three days he was transferred to Bart’s for an angiogram etc.

That was when we realised just how good Queen’s was!

Bart’s may be a centre for clinical excellence but it has not forgotten that it is the patient that is at the heart of treatment. Talking to people living locally we were quite surprised to hear that Queen’s didn’t have a great reputation locally.

We would like to thank Queen’s and cannot speak highly enough of them.

Fond memory of meeting Brucie

Eric Willson, of Romford, writes: Re the death of Bruce Forsyth.

This was one of the greatest entertainers in the world. I met him on Play Your Cards Right in 1983, which was broadcast on January 1, 1984 .

Unfortunately before the show was televised my wife and I split up (Romford Recorder did a story).

When we met him he was exactly as you see him – he made everyone feel comfortable and was very interested in talking to us as we were great fans of Johnny Mathis and had met him and had dinner with him in Canada and New York and saw him so many times and he asked us to take our photograph albums with us.

We didn’t win but what a memory. What a man.

Infrastructure must be financed

Cllr Graham Williamson, Independent Residents Group, South Hornchurch, writes:

I feel I must clarify some of the council’s responses to my infrastructure concerns in last week’s Recorder (Fears raised).

The council is quoted as saying that “key infrastructure requirements needed to support the additional homers to support the additional homes are set out in the draft plan”. That however is clearly not my point and is a straw man.

The problem is how these “requirements” will be financed?

Presently, developers will only be required to pay a community infrastructure levy that is only 20-30 per cent of what our own council say is required to meet boroughwide costs.

Any other contributions, if at all, will only cover very specific costs eg traffic lights/management measures around the immediate vicinity development.

But don’t take my word for it. In the draft Local Plan (14.0.21) it states “The council acknowledges however that CIL, on its own, will be insufficient to fund big new capital projects and it will remain necessary for other funding sources and regimes to be explored and considered”.

There is no guarantee such sources either exist or will cough up!

In our mad rush to meet unsustainable housing targets we are taking massive risks with the quality of life of existing and, frankly, new to be residents. Without ensuring that the infrastructure costs are fully funded/guaranteed I have no doubt there will be massive gaps and shortfalls. I urge this demand/restriction is introduced into pending Local Plan.

I will look into stroke funding

Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford, writes:

May I address the “Users of Havering Strokes Services” letter in the Romford Recorder regarding the decision to end Tapestry’s funding for Havering Stroke Services.

I respect the work that Tapestry does, and I passionately believe in the provision of affordable social and health care, especially for the elderly.

Having been in much contact with Tapestry for some years, I know first-hand how effective the project is.

The council know the way care is delivered needs to be changed to meet future demand, and through the Sustainable Care in Havering plan, providers such as Tapestry delivered as part of the important initiative.

I recall some years ago when the Care Quality Commission had a damning report into Havering’s after-stroke services, citing poor performing rates in several areas.

However, NHS Havering have made major improvements in recent years, which has reduced rehabilitation waiting times and provided more support for stroke patients and carers.

With this in mind, I will be contacting the chief executive of Havering Council to ensure they have not reached a short-sighted decision.

Get us out of London now

Lisa Rajack, Harold Wood, writes:

Regarding Mr L Bernard’s letter in Friday’s Romford Recorder – I absolutely agree with what he says, Havering should go back to being an Essex county, and not part of greedy London.

He is correct that Sadiq Khan is just using us as a cash cow.

That is obvious when he said he would do something about Gallows Corner roundabout but now he is mayor he isn’t interested.

All he wants to do is build on our lovely green areas and for us to take yet more immigrants! I say NO.

This MUST stop, we will be swamped like London... Is that what the people of Havering really want? Stand up to him and get us out of London!

Beware out of the blue cash advice

Cllr Clarence Barrett, Upminster and Cranham Residents’ Association, writes:

Since the freedom to access pension funds was introduced in April 2015, scammers and fraudsters wasted no time in dreaming up elaborate non-existent investment schemes designed only to defraud savers out of their money.

It is calculated that, in 2016, fraudsters tricked pensioners out of nearly £9.4m – and this is likely to be an understated figure.

In response, a recent announcement by the government that cold calling in relation to pensions, including emails and texts, is to be banned is most welcome.

Whilst we await the implementation of this new regulation, if someone makes contact out of the blue to discuss pension investment “opportunities”, the best thing to do is hang up – if unsolicited texts or emails are received, just delete them.

Advice on pensions can be obtained from the Pensions Advisory Service on 0300 123 1047, while incidents of fraud can be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or their website

Romford scouts do amazing things

Helen Glover, double Olympic champion and scout ambassador, writes:

This time last year I was in Rio winning my second Olympic Gold medal.

This year I’m taking on a new challenge, I’m volunteering with The Scout Association as a scout ambassador.

In Romford, there are dozens of scouts who are spending the summer having adventures and learning new skills.

We have challenged scouts in Romford to learn 50 new skills over the summer holiday.

But we think every child in the UK should have a go too.

The skills they learn this summer may well help them save a life, get a job in years to come or maybe go on to become an Olympic Champion!

The scouts in Romford are doing amazing things, but none of it would be possible without our amazing team of volunteers.

Some of the most influential people in my whole childhood were my scout leaders, who I’m still in touch with now.

In scouting, young people develop independence, resilience and initiative – in short, essential life skills, employability skills and practical skills that will help them enjoy a brighter future.

To take on the challenge yourself visit

Alernative needed to rip-off prices

Caroline Russell, Green Party member of the London Assembly, writes:

It’s a blow for Londoners that despite the mayor telling me it was ‘the idea’ that his mayoral energy company would be publically owned – it’s now up for sale.

Londoners need an alternative to the rip-off prices of the big six energy companies – the mayor had lost this brilliant opportunity to make a real difference as he won’t be able to control tariffs.

A fully licensed Energy for Londoners company could have provided schools, hospitals

and businesses with affordable energy and lifted people out of fuel poverty.

It would also provide a massive opportunity to reinvest profits from the sales revenues in generating more renewable energy.

The mayor told me he would release the report that led to this choice and I will be holding him to account so this decision can be properly scrutinised.

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