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Recorder letters: Bus stop works, Briar Road Estate, thanks, Havering’s talent, PCNs, GP appointments, parking and NMC verdict

PUBLISHED: 10:00 18 April 2017 | UPDATED: 10:00 18 April 2017

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Works outside Romford station in March. Picture: HAVERING COUNCIL

Bus stops: What’s taking so long?

D Ainsworth, Barnstaple Road, Romford, writes:

As construction sites go, an area of bus stops in South Street by Romford Railway Station is of relative postage stamp size.

Yet seemingly straightforward work is taking ages – now over a month. Often little seems to be going on and frequently nothing is happening at all.

As work is at a proverbial snail’s pace, there is continuing bus stop chaos. Already Romford has chaotic bus stop arrangements, without dilatory work adding to such concerns.

I’ve requested our elected London Assembly Member to use his influence to get things moving. Perhaps the way forward is to find new contractors who’ll give it some welly?

Work not as simple as it may seem

Cllr Dervish Osman, cabinet member for economic development, responds:

Sometimes things aren’t quite what they seem. The bus stop area outside Romford station may be relatively small but it’s a vital cog in the local transport infrastructure.

That’s why, with the help of TfL funding, Havering Council is making significant improvements to the area around what will soon be an Elizabeth Line/Crossrail station.

Work has been phased to minimise inconvenience to station users and local businesses and, of course, is co-ordinated with TfL Buses. At present we have a team of six contractors working on-site five days a week (weather permitting).

Sometimes things take a little longer than you may imagine. For example, concrete was poured yesterday (Thurs, April 13) that will take two weeks to harden in order to be suitable for a long future traversed by heavy buses all day, every day.

We expect to have the new bus stands open from mid-May. This is ahead of schedule for a programme of works that was expected to take 20 weeks after it resumed in January following a break for the festive season in order to assist Christmas shoppers.

Coupled with the works that Network Rail will carry out on the station itself I am confident that we will soon have a much-improved transport hub.

Suspension of restrictions in Briar Road were planned

Cllr Denis O’Flynn, Heaton ward, writes:

I read with interest the letter in the Romford Recorder (April, 7) from a concerned resident on the Briar Road Estate and I share their concern, so much so that I have paid visits to the estate on several occasions and spoke to residents.

Cllr Keith Darvill and myself have had a couple of meetings on the Briar and the last one was on Wednesday, April 5, in the church near the Betty Whiting hall. A small number of residents were also in attendance.

Neighbours raised similar points at the meeting that were highlighted in the letter and received full statements from various representatives of the contractors and a promise that a phone number would be put on the hoardings around the site for residents to make direct contact with the building firm’s offices called Allenbuild.

I have asked for an email contact to be put up with a phone number as an email might be more convenient for some residents.

Cllr Darvill gave a full account of a meeting he attended in the town hall the previous evening and answered questions from residents.

Parking facilities for residents with disabilities I raised and in view of so many broken promises made last time, I promised I would write to Street Care and request residents parking restrictions be suspended until the work was completed and residents would hopefully resume normal parking arrangement.

During the last period of meetings with Notting Hill builders and the representative of Havering housing it now transpires that Street Care was never informed of the promises made to residents relating to parking restrictions being suspended.

I hope my letter will help residents understand the present situation better and my thanks to those residents who attended the meeting and thanks also to the Romford Recorder for publishing the resident’s letter and giving them details of our meeting.

Thanks Neil, for looking after Dad

Janice Hope, Warrnambool, VIC 3280, Australia, writes:

Whilst visiting family in Romford my father, who has a neurodegenerative disease, became separated from us in the town centre. We spent hours looking for him even to the point of contacting the emergency services.

Then I received a telephone call from a man saying that he had found my father in a distressed state and gave me his location. On arrival, I found him waiting with my father and he had got him some water to drink.

Without his actions, I dread to think what could have happened.

I want to say a massive thank you to Neil, who works at Romford Tesco, for taking the time to look after my father.

Hewitt’s got talent in abundance

Elizabeth Preston, South End Road, Elm Park, writes:

Britain’s Got Talent, well Havering certainly has!

I went along to see the latest show from Hewitt Performing Arts, which included Infusion, their dance troupe that performs in the West End theatres and other places. This year’s production was the Prince and the Frog, and for an amateur production, the professionalism and enthusiasm in the the songs, dancing, costumes, lighting, effects, everything was excellent.

The two lead roles, Tiana, played by Leah Dennis, who [had an] ability to sing, dance and change costumes with lightning speed, and the Prince, Josh Harrison, who can give Michael Flatley a run for his money, were incredible. The show had performers aged from two-and-a-half to about 70, dancing to Irish, tap, ballet, jazz, street and everything in between!

Special mention to the “senior ladies” for their great rendition of Tina Turner’s Proud Mary and their Holding On for a Hero routine, also Teresa Price for both acting as Lawrence and doing an energetic tap routine.

The late Jean Hewitt, who founded the dance school, should be very proud of her achievements. Watch out for them next year and get your tickets early as it sells out very quickly.

No alternative to stopping in lay-by

David Stolworthy, Windsor Road, Hornchurch, writes:

I have been in correspondence with Havering Council concerning a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) issued to me.

This occurred at Gidea Park station when I stopped in the bus lay-by for about 20 seconds for my wife to alight! At the time, the temporary parking areas outside the station were cordoned off by Crossrail contractors and roadworks with four sets of temporary traffic signals were positioned at the mini-roundabout at the junction of Station Road and Brentwood Road.

These lights caused a considerable tailback into Station Road and when I returned and stopped, a CCTV car was hidden amongst the queuing traffic and must have photographed my car immediately on stopping.

I obviously accept that I should not have stopped at the bus stop and have paid the penalty charge accordingly but what does Havering Council expect motorists to do faced with a situation where there is no alternative available?

I enquired of the council leader, Roger Ramsey, whether he thought a £60 fine was fair, equitable and reasonable for stopping at a bus stop for some 20 seconds? Are Havering’s enforcement officers able to apply discretion and is there an observation period before they issue a PCN? No reply as yet other than to confirm that, having paid, the matter is basically closed as this is an acceptance of liability!

Readers may be interested to know that Cllr Ramsey does, however, confirm that “it is not permissible to charge a £5 fee when paying a PCN via debit or credit card” which is clearly stated on their Parking PCN Payment website page!

Anyone who has paid this fee should contact Traffic and Parking Control to apply for a refund of this fee.

CCG should look at GP appointments

Joan Smith, full address supplied, writes:

On Friday, April 8, at Sainsbury’s in Hornchurch there was a small group of representatives from Havering CCG giving out notices asking public opinion about “spending NHS money wisely”, covering subjects such as: stopping paying for cosmetic procedures and other points.

What immediately sprung to my mind is where is the public engagement on the woeful performance, as has been highlighted nationally, of the CCG in Havering GP services? Such as lack of access for GP appointments.

Surely it is in the CCG’s interest to cover this subject locally rather than what was being asked? It should be of more interest to the population of Havering as to how the lack of access is being addressed.

I have heard nothing nor, more importantly, have I been asked as to how to rectify this serious matter.

I understand that cost-cutting is important but surely it is more serious that people cannot get GP appointments?

Council must act on danger parking

Ralph Battershall, Ashdown Walk, Mawneys, writes:

I have written several times to Havering Council about the illegal parking in Ashdown Walk.

The last letter I sent, to the leader, was given to one of the councillors for him to deal with.

He spoke to me and I told him that a four-wheel drive was parking right on the bend in our street and out of the parking zone. He told me to go home and see if he was still there and if it was to let him know and he would get somebody down immediately.

I did my bit but there was no action from his side.

The next week I saw him in his shop and I told him that the situation was worse. He then gave me a council email address and I was to fax details of all the cars. Needless to say although I did my bit they did not do theirs.

I was then spoken to by the councillor and told he was going on holiday the next day but when he returned I was to give him the registration numbers and also the owner’s name and address.

Not only was he unwilling to stick his neck out but he wanted me to get into trouble with the neighbours. Parking in this road is dangerous, a senior policeman and fire chief have said so.

Three times this year an ambulance has not been able to get down the road when I had collapsed and the ambulance personnel have had to carry me to their vehicle.

Nurse should be banned for life

Linda Hoad, Romford, full address supplied, writes:

Upon reading that an elderly dementia patient had been the victim of a sexual assault in her care home this week I could not believe that the nurse who admitted that he had done this received a six-month ban by the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council).

The NMC taking the stance that this was a one-off incident and that he did not understand the gravity of the offence.

During his training as a nurse he must have been on numerous training courses in the protection of vunerable adults.

He did not even bother to go to the inquiry or apologise or show any remorse and in six months’ time will be able to work with vunerable adults again.

Time after time the NMC are giving nurses who abuse patients physically, sexually or financially or cause injury or death to patients through neglect written warnings and short bans of a few months.

This man should be banned for life from nursing vunerable adults and should have been charged with sexual assault as it is a criminal offence.

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