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Recorder letters: Dartford Crossing, housing, council, FGM, parks, theatre, St George’s and Hexit

PUBLISHED: 10:08 31 July 2017 | UPDATED: 10:08 31 July 2017

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Cllr Clarence Barrett questions whether the Dartford Crossing toll can be removed. Picture: HIGHWAYS ENGLAND

Why can’t the Crossing toll be scrapped?

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

News that the Severn Bridge toll is to be scrapped by the end of 2018 evokes an instant comparison with the continued charge to use the Dartford Crossing. The original toll was used to pay for the construction of the Crossing and was fully met in 2002, thereafter the toll became a congestion charge.

Since the cashless system was introduced, the passage into Kent from Essex has improved, but the passage into Essex through the tunnels is worse than ever.

If the Severn Bridge toll can be scrapped then why not the Dartford toll?

Let’s make sure we benefit from large developments

Residents Action Havering, writes:

We were ‘pleased’ to see awareness being drawn at last to the plight of local families who have suffered under the housing policy of this council.

You correctly make the point that a great number of dwellings were sold under right-to-buy, but you failed to make the next step which was to ask how many of those properties are now in the hands of private landlords?

We have never attempted to contend that there is no need to build new houses in Havering, and these families should be rehomed at the first opportunity.

It is our role, however, as well as the role of the Romford Recorder, to make sure that the quality of life baby is not thrown out with the housing bathwater.

No matter what amount of new homes are built, the financial benefits generated by most of them will largely not be seen by Havering Council, will not be available for local services. Lets make sure then, that when the money train pulls out of the station it does not take everything that was good about this borough, with it.

We must avoid housing black hole

Matthew Stanton writes:

Much comment has been made recently of housing targets, whether they are set by the office of the Mayor of London, or by officers and councillors at the Town Hall.

The debate has several focal points but much of the discussion aimed at lowering the number of intended new buildings seems to lack an understanding of how this situation has arisen or how it can be corrected for in the long term. Leaving aside the long-term legacy of ‘right-to-buy’, since that horse has well and truly bolted, we must deal with the here and now.

It is quite clear that London is acting as a ‘black hole’, which attracts both money and people to it.

If no conscious effort is made to counteract this, we will reinforce social inequalities, ruin the quality of life of many communities, and the black hole will engulf every open space and green area it can, before steadily moving outside of its current boundaries

Brexit will affect housebuilding

Barry Jones, Romford, full address supplied, writes:

Why do we need to keep building houses if we are leaving the institution that is helping people enter this country, namely, the EU?

Haven’t all these numbers got to be reevaluated in light of ‘Brexit’?

If I had wanted a Conservative council I would have voted Tory

Richard Ellis, Hall Lane, Upminster, writes:

With the elections for local councils taking place next year it is time to think about our votes and to wonder if we want the East Havering Residents Association to represent us after they joined forces with the Conservatives last time we had a hung council.

If we wanted to vote for the Conservatives, we surely would have done. All it created was two new cabinet posts that cost the ratepayers a substantial amount when we have cuts to staff.

I suggest they represent the Conservatives and let the Havering Residents Association go back to what they were formed for – representing residents. Failing this, I suggest that a new independent Residents Association is formed like our friends in Rainham.

All we created was an extension to the Conservatives in Havering Town Hall that hasn’t done much for Havering residents.

I am shocked by FGM cases

Angela Gipson, full address supplied, writes:

Regarding Lynn Gradwell’s (director of Barnardo’s) letter highlighting cases of FGM.

I was horrified at the figure of over 2,500 cases reported in the past year. FGM is a criminal offence in this country.

How many of the barbaric ‘cutters’ (usually women) were prosecuted? It’s about time we started bringing these people to justice.

We will protect our parks

Lorraine Moss, Jan Sargent and Rachel Barker, write:

When the proposed wind farms were discussed at the cabinet meeting of July 19. some of the councillors were saying that we had misunderstood the proposed Havering plan and residents don’t really understand.

However, the way we view it is that Havering Council and some of its councillors do not understand residents!

We all fought so hard to save the Manor against the proposed solar farm.

How else did they expect us to react? We were misled about The Manor doubling in size despite it being declared in an official press release.

They think we are ignorant and misinformed, we think that we have done a good job by doing our utmost to safeguard our borough’s nature reserves and parks.

We need to be on our guard for other green belt land and open spaces.

The council is not going to build 30,000 homes

Cllr Damian White, deputy leader of Havering Council, writes:

In recent weeks your paper has carried articles and letters alleging that Havering Council plans to build 30,000 homes over various timescales.

It has now been conclusively established in the draft Local Plan published recently that this is not the case.

The council recognises a need for new housing so that local people, including those in temporary accommodation, have the opportunity to live in decent homes.

We also understand the need to preserve the character of the borough and are committed to protecting the Green Belt.

The draft Local Plan therefore proposes a balanced target for new homes of 1,170 a year.

Fantastic Fiddler on the Roof

Gerald Presland, Cranham, writes:

I would like to congratulate all the cast and production crew, of the Havering Music Makers for a truly exceptional performance of Fiddler on the Roof at the Queen’s Theatre.

You don’t need to spend hundreds of pounds visiting the West End. Pop along and support your local amateur societies.

This production was superbly cast and whilst Daryl Kane was outstanding as Tevye, he was very ably supported by the other cast members.

The standing ovation at the end of the opening night was richly deserved. Well done everyone!

Give my thanks to Queen’s

R M Thomas, Elmhurst Drive, Hornchurch, writes:

I recently spent four days in the Queen’s Hospital in Romford.

The medical service was superb as was the food with a full menu and everything being well cooked.

Thank you Queen’s for a very pleasant stay.

St George’s should be used for healthcare

Mr E F W Dean, Fagus Avenue, Rainham, writes:

Now that approval has been granted to the NHS Property Services to develop the St George’s Hospital for housing, perhaps they will consider using part of the area to provide space for the expansion required for Queen’s Hospital.

There have been demands that Queen’s needs to expand to provide space for when King George Hospital A&E closes.

The current renal dialysis unit at Queen’s Hospital has been under threat to provide more space for the expansion of the A&E unit.

This development at St George’s would be an opportunity for a new renal unit to be built there.

Havering should stay in London

Miss P B Martin, Norwood Avenue, Romford, writes:

Obviously Alan Cauvain (letters, July 14), is a vehicle driver (I am not) and as he drives around encased in his box on wheels he is protected from the emissions of his exhaust pipe (I am not).

Bus routes and shank’s pony will get him from A to B without any worries about parking and the more people who use these modes of transport the less polluting emissions to cause ill health.

Finally, we were not and are not being sucked into London, a democratic vote made Havering a Greater London Borough 50 years ago and I want Havering to stay that way.

Welcome to the 80s birthday

Cllr Stephanie Nunn, Elm Park Ward, writes:

On Tuesday I went with Cllr Barry Mugglestone to the Summer Concert at St Albans School.

The theme was “Welcome to the 80s” and what a lovely occasion to attend on my birthday. As usual a great deal of effort went into the performance from both children and staff. What was particularly moving was when Year 6 sang: “That’s what Friends are for.”

Their faces were full of emotion, happy with expectation as they are about to move on to secondary school, but sad to think things would never be the same again.

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