Recorder letters: election news, special Havering, death registration difficulties, Queen’s Theatre show and diabetes.
PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 April 2018
Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.
Let’s vote to keep Havering special
Cllr Damian White, deputy leader, London Borough of Havering, writes:
Havering is special. It is a unique place with so many wonderful community facilities.
It enjoys a sense of openness and space; a characteristic lost many years ago by most inner London boroughs.
We now have award-winning parks and open spaces – some of the best in London – providing vital open space for us to relax and enjoy in.
Since 2002, the Conservatives have invested heavily within our natural environment, creating a lasting legacy for future generations.
However, this is now being put at risk by the Labour Mayor Khan’s plan to concrete over Havering, depriving us of what makes Havering so special.
The Labour Party, under Mayor Khan, are proposing to increase our housing targets by over 60per cent which, if agreed, would fundamentally change our community over the longer term.
We simply cannot allow this to happen and we must do everything possible to fight against it.
This set of local elections is the most important for a generation, as it will determine the planning arrangements for decades to come.
The choice is clear: either we wake up with a Labour council and their Resident Association friends, taking orders from Jeremy Corbyn and Mayor Khan, or we elect a Conservative council, one which will continue to fight against the Labour plan to turn Havering into a concrete jungle.
Please, let’s vote to keep Havering special and stop Labour’s plan to over-develop Havering – vote Conservative.
Why I’ve left Conservatives to stand as a Resident
Linda Trew, election candidate, writes:
I would like to clarify the fact that I have decided to stand for the Residents Association in the upcoming local elections.
Firstly, on a personal level, there is an ongoing investigation being carried out involving a Conservative colleague, for which the administration, the local MP and the chair of the Romford Conservative Party have given me no support whatsoever.
I am awaiting a decision from the Conservative headquarters.
Secondly, after much thought and requests from local people, just two weeks ago, my husband and I decided to stand. We are very community minded people and would like to continue to help our residents.
Thirdly, for the past four years I have been querying the policies and decisions being made by the administration, the lack of constructive consultation with other parties and also local councillors about crucial decisions resulting in decisions being made by a limited amount of people.
I have always believed in local government for local people and during my eight years of being a councillor have put the residents of my ward, Mawney, first and helped them in any way I can.
We will hold the council to account
Paul Cassidy, Emma Hamblett and Mike Yore, Labour candidates for Romford Town ward, write:
We, the three Labour Party candidates for Romford Town Ward have been canvassing this area for the past six months. We have found that the major issues for the residents are:
• Parking: In a lot of areas, there is no off street parking. Many households have more than one vehicle. In other areas in Romford Town, residents have difficulty parking in their street due to the close proximity of the station and town centre.
Children whose parents take them to school also pose problems during the school runs.
If we get elected, we would survey the whole of the ward and come up with the best interests of the local residents.
One size does not fit all.
• Policing: Havering is now part of the tri-borough policing scheme which includes Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge.
Due to higher crime rates in these two other boroughs, the Havering police officers are responding to those crimes, leaving Romford with less police at busy times.
We feel the police have been under resourced for the past eight years due to austerity and cuts from government funding and they do a fantastic job but they need more resources.
• Regeneration of housing: Over the next few years, a large regeneration programme is taking place across the town centre.
Some residents are being relocated at the moment from the Waterloo Estate.
Some are happily relocated in areas such as Harold Hill but there is a substantial amount of residents who, for many reasons, wish to stay around the town centre, some have lived there for over 40 years.
Romford Town Labour would do all in their power to rehouse these residents close to the town centre, if elected.
We would want to see the regeneration programme benefit, first and foremost, the residents of Romford.
We want to make sure that at least 50 per cent of the properties built are owned by the council or are affordable to families.
With Crossrail coming next year, we don’t want to see Romford gentrified as these properties will become prime targets for landlords to rent back to the council at exorbitant rates.
A vote for Paul, Emma and Mike on May 3, 2018, will be the only way to guarantee that we hold this Tory-led council to account and be a voice for the many, not the few.
Only one realistic choice for voters
Graham Williamson, Independent Residents Group candidate for South Hornchurch ward, writes:
I have the greatest respect for Andrew Rosindell MP and believe him when he says he wishes to keep Havering special and that this election “is the most important he can remember” (Recorder, April 13).
Sadly however, not all his council colleagues would agree with him.
This is a Conservative administration that has spent over £100,000 trying to build upon and deny a Village Green application on a much loved Green (an “open space”), one that offered to support the building of 30,000 properties over 18 years (higher than the mayor’s or government demands), one that rarely objects to developer applications (of “high density”), and one that headlines itself as “For a Greater London” (no mention of its Essex roots).
Whilst it is true that the Labour mayor is threatening unstainable housing targets so is the Conservative government.
Talking of a Labour controlled council is also disingenuous since they only won one seat out of 54 at the last election and would have to win a further 26 to take over!
Creating bogeymen to frighten the voter to vote for the “lesser evil” may have worked a few years ago but I suspect the electorate will no longer fall for it.
On May 3 they will only have a realistic choice between a Conservative or Independent/Resident Association council.
The former have been in power for the last 16 years and have now run out of steam.
The latter, however, is raring to go to meet the growing threats and challenges Havering faces over the next few years. You choose!
Difficulties trying to register death
Mr R A Webster, Harold Hill, writes:
I am writing to explain what happened when I went to register the death of my late wife.
I collected the Cause of Death Certificate from my GP’s surgery and a note on the letter said I had to take it to Langtons, Billet Lane, Hornchurch.
When I got there I found them not very helpful.
The woman took the letter off me and took it away. When she returned with it, she said I was to ring the number on the front of the envelope to book a slot to register.
When I got home I phoned that number and was told every time I tried to get connected that the number was unavailable.
So, I rang the council number and asked for them to connect, this also came up as unavailable.
The operator said she would try to find out why this was happening. When she came back to me she said that quite a few people were trying to get through on the number with Council Tax queries and wheelie bin collections so the phone was taken offline.
Why didn’t they have a number just for registering a death on instead of one line?
In the end I had to phone to register the death at South Essex Crematorium when I found the number in a Saint Francis Hospice leaflet.
A borough full of young talent
Elizabeth Preston, South End Road, Elm Park, writes:
Bombings, shootings, stabbings, muggings, and more bad news seems to be the norm in every local and national papers these days.
But last night, once again we were treated to a magical night by Hewitt Performing Arts rendering of A Spoonful of Sugar at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch.
This marvellous troupe of dancers/singers opened their show with another mind blowing performance by INFUSION dance team who have performed in many venues including the West End and Disney!
This was followed by a show based on the Mary Poppins story, featuring 25 dances from tap, ballet, jazz to street and modern by performers from two years to 88 years of age regardless of gender/race/creed or colour.
This outfit are a credit to their founder and especially Suzanne Hewitt and her teaching staff.
Also credit to the production team led by stage manager Barrie Dennis and Lynne Cooper.
The imagination used on the backdrops and lighting, together with beautiful costumes ranging from butterflies to penguins, was brilliant.
The two youngsters playing the Banks children, Maddie Bates and Devon Adam, are surely destined for greater things.
Do we have another Jessie J or Olly Murs in the making?
Our borough is full of young talent.
Get a ticket for Lennox Productions’ show coming up, My Fair Lady, also at the Queen’s Theatre, or the three young lads in a group called 3 in a Bar.
We also have the Haverettes, going since 1965, and Romford Drum & Trumpet, who have been around since 1957.
Both have represented our community nationally and internationally.
And the Sea Cadets of TS Hurricane.
All these youngsters have raised hundreds of pounds for charities.
There is also the Elm Park Boxing club, open to both boys and girls, and Junior Park Run, free Sunday morning in Harrow Lodge and numerous other sports clubs.
It is great to see so many parents supporting their children and as a community we should support these events which may help build a better future for us all.
Diabetes: Find out your rights at work
Roz Rosenblatt, head of London, Diabetes UK, writes:
Research from Diabetes UK has found that one in six (16 per cent) people with diabetes who work feel that they’ve been discriminated against by their employer because of their condition.
To find out more about your rights at work if you have diabetes or for information about supporting people with diabetes in the workplace if you are an employer visit diabetes.org.uk/work