Recorder letters: Cut doctors some slack, Dovers Green and the National Anthem

PUBLISHED: 10:59 26 January 2018 | UPDATED: 10:59 26 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.


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

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

The news that Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Trust have paid out £80m over the last five years in negligence payments is an obvious cause for concern (Recorder, January 19).

But of greater concern is the enormous stress, strain and pressure that our nurses, doctors and healthcare staff have to contend with.

With such great pressures, which can be linked to years of underfunding, it is not perhaps surprising that errors and mistakes are made.

The further news that 33,000 nurses left the NHS last year only accentuates the need to provide our health service with the funding it needs to function effectively, efficiently and competently.

With money a key driver, a substantial source of additional funding could be made available by reducing our Foreign Aid Budget of 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income (equates to £13bn) down to 0.35pc, thereby releasing £6.5bn a year into our healthcare services, which could also deliver much needed resources for adult and children’s social care.

While the distribution of funding is always a contentious issue, sometimes the answer is not always seeking additional money through taxation but reprioritising the money we already have.

Inconsistent inspector raises some eyebrows

C Barne, Launceston Close, Harold Hill, writes:

I think it is strange than an inspector bases his reason for demolishing Hare Lodge on factors such as “the building’s different characteristics” compared to the rest of the area.

What about the new ice rink? It’s probably amazing inside but it certainly has characteristics different to the rest of the area. IT degrades the area. It sticks out like a sore thumb. How was it passed?

Refurbished hut opening this week

Cllr Keith Roberts, writes:

The Rainham Horticultural Society’s refurbished Hut will be officially open to the public on Saturday, January 27 at 10.15am. Their address is 300 Upminster Road, North Rainham.

New members can be signed up on the day and old members can come and look at the improvements done by the loyal few.

The RHS hut has been on this site for many years and has a vast collection of seeds and other items for sale at the Hut, many at much reduced prices. Also some very reliable guidance and expertise on problems in the Garden. Let’s try and make it a good turnout, the Hut Staff will be happy to see you. See you all there.

Don’t blame Sadiq for Boris’s crimes

Mark Whiley, Roseberry Gardens, Upminster, writes:

Your letter’s page featured correspondence from two local councillors commenting on the disturbing rise of knife crime in the borough and local policing.

According to the council’s own Serious Group Violence and Knife Crime Strategy 2017-2021 report, the steep rise in knife crime began from the year ending June 2014 until year ending June 2016.

There’s no disputing that knife crime is still high, as of now Havering remains in same league as neighbouring boroughs Redbridge, Barking and Dagenham, and Waltham Forest, yet it’s a trend across all East London boroughs except for Barking and Dagenham.

Unfortunately for Conservative Cllr Jason Frost that does put the largest increase in knife crime figures under the period that Conservative Boris Johnson was London mayor rather than Labour’s Sadiq Khan.

Cllr Williamson is right to restate the link between Havering Council’s participation in resettlement strategies and the rise since 2013, these strategies deployed nationwide were an attempt to break the cycle of reoffending by taking youngsters out of the reach of these gangs and conditions that may influence violent behaviour – wanting young people to contribute to society rather than jailing them for long periods in our overcrowded, under-funded prisons.

Sadiq Khan has repeatedly asked Theresa May, formerly in charge of policing in the Home Office from 2010 till she became prime minister, to appropriately fund the Metropolitan Police. She hasn’t.

Hornchurch Police Station and neighbourhood team police offices are threatened with closure across the borough, and not for the first time as some may remember Hornchurch being threatened with closure in 2012-2013 under Boris Johnson. Back then we (luckily?) only lost the fire station. From London-wide statistics provided by the mayor’s office, 114 police station front counters and 120 police buildings have closed since 2010. In addition, the government’s funding of the MET has declined by nearly 40 per cent in real terms since 2010.

If we are to get serious on knife crime and moped crime in Havering then the Havering Conservatives will need to try harder than pin the blame on one of many mayors and crime commissioners that have been dealt funding cuts year-on-year by this national Conservative government.

Cllr Mylod should call by-election

Georgie Brind, Upper Rainham Road, Romford, writes:

Reading the last edition of the Recorder I read a gentleman’s letter that expressed his anger over Cllr Mylod.

I agree with him, this is an attack on democracy and British values. This comes as a great shock as in the past Mr Mylod was mayor and still is now a long-time servant to the borough.

As a ‘respected’ councillor I was shocked as it’s customary when swapping parties to call a by-election and let residents choose what candidate and party they wish to represent them in the council.

I urge the councillor to consider what’s right and call a by-election and respect his constituents.

National Anthem and flag at school

Ewan Newall, Lynton Avenue, Collier Row, writes:

Andrew Rosindell has once again taken it upon himself to embarrass the majority of Romford and make sweeping statements on national television.

The flag is flown at my school, every day, often without fail. Quite where Andrew sourced his information, I do not know. The National Anthem, however, should not be taught in schools, and will most certainly not unify in the way that Rosindell somehow thinks that it would.

It may not cost ‘a single penny’ to have children sing the National Anthem in schools, but as Ash Sarkar rightfully alluded to on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, it is highly telling of where Andrew’s priorities lie.

And that is not on the side of us students.

One-in-six schools is forced to crowdfund for basic equipment, four-in-ten have had cuts to SEN services and Havering is the worst London borough for social mobility.

What exactly do we have to be proud of, Andrew?

When my school is not struggling to pay for textbooks, – for a new GCSE introduced by Michael Gove, a fellow Conservative – when we are not running out of time to teach the aforementioned new GCSE and when we finally have enough teaching staff to reduce the often overwhelming workload they have, then, and only then, can such a proposal even be discussed.

Again, as Ash rightly said, not everyone likes the idea of a monarchy (though I do not mind it), and not everyone believes in just one god, or any god. That is why it will not unify. It will only divide further.

Routinely rolling off the party line is typically synonymous with communist countries, those with ‘democratic’ in their name.

If it was the ‘politically correct’ left that suggested children were taught a National Anthem with more left wing views, then Andrew would not cease in his fight against such a proposal. So why should we?

Sorry saga of Dover Green

A Rainham resident, full address supplied, writes:

I would like to refer to article in the Romford Recorder dated January 12, 2018 which mentions Havering Local authority currently has a budget gap of £4.26 million in 2018/19.

Last year there were two failed attempts to get planning permission granted to allow “The Green” to be built on.

The Green is a small green space bounded by New Zealand Way, Gisbourn Gardens and Queenstown Gardens. Anyone in their right mind would see that this little gem of a green space is not suitable for a housing development; this has been argued to great lengths by residents. After the failure of the first planning application, a village green application was made, by the residence.

Havering Council were the only objectors to this application. MP Jon Cruddas has branded the council’s action as contemptible. Council leader Roger Ramsey stated he encourages all residents to give them their thoughts.

Here are some suggestions to reduce their £4.26 million budget gap.

Havering spent some of their budget on employing a London City barrister, and appointed an inspector to try and throw out a village green application. What a disgraceful waste of money for a budget strapped council. This hearing took place at Romford Town Hall at 10am Thursday January 11, 2018.

This is a very sorry saga from Havering Council to date, whoever instructed some deluded sole to go round the borough and seek out any small green space for building as many residential properties as they can. With a total disregard for the communities who live there and rely on these small green spaces which open up their communities.

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