Recorder letters: General election, parking restrictions, dementia and bowel cancer

PUBLISHED: 10:13 08 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:16 08 May 2017


Tory parliamentary candidate Hornchurch and Upminster Julia Dockerill

Time to give enthusiastic ‘Essex girl’ Julia a chance

A V Scott, Aspen Grove, Upminster, writes:

With reference to our newly elected parliamentary candidate, Julia Dockerill, I note that in separate pieces in last week’s Recorder, Mr Terence F Matthews (Opinion) and Cllr Lawrence Webb refer to her as being a “careerist” and of not being “local”.

Surely politicians are looking for a career and being an Essex girl working in Tower Hamlets hardly suggests she has been “parachuted in” from the Yorkshire moors or the Cornish Riviera.

Indeed, many people from Upminster and Hornchurch would prefer us to be in Essex rather than be part of the London Borough of Havering.

At the meeting, and I was there, all three candidates were given the chance to present their cases and answer questions and with all due respect to the two unsuccessful candidates, worthy though they were, Julia came across as the most genuine and experienced showing a youthful enthusiasm that, I feel, will be a great asset to our constituency.

She has a background of both local council workings and knows her way around the parliamentary corridors of power and as this country “gave a girl a chance” in 1979 I hope that our constituency will do the same for this young lady.

Candidates should be from the area

Terence F Matthews LL.B(Hons), Clement Way, Upminster, writes:

Whatever the quality or attributes of a candidate, people living outside the local area should be the last resort not the first name on the candidates list.

Romford constituency has elected a local MP since Nubert, who lived outside the borough and did little for the people of Romford.

The last Labour MP in the Hornchurch constituency who lived in the borough was John Cryer and what a good MP he was.

Our last MP in Hornchurch was James Brokenshire who, although he lived outside the borough, was also an excellent MP.

Then somebody at the Electoral Commission had a mad five minutes and we ended up with Hornchurch merging with Upminster and losing Elm Park, South Hornchurch and Rainham to the Dagenham constituency.

For over 50 years we have had Conservative MPs living outside the borough, with a four-year local Labour MP Keith Darvill in between, in Upminster. The practice carried on as Hornchurch and Upminster constituency with an out-of-borough Conservative candidate being elected not because of their local knowledge and love of the area but because of their party colours.

Havering, with its 250,000 residents, can surely find at least two from each constituency from every party to stand.

We have to be very careful about political leaflets and statements as often they have the wrong facts and in some case contain downright lies about their opponents.

It is of course a criminal offence to tell lies about candidates of other parties and it is about time parties had the courage to report such offences. In areas where elected MPs have been found to be telling lies about their opponents, they have lost their seat and have incurred criminal penalties.

Consider Tories’ track record

Chris Purnell, Osborne Road, Hornchurch, writes:

Anyone thinking of voting Conservative in the forthcoming election ought to consider their track record.

For the first time ever we now have beggars in Hornchurch. Two young men outside Sainsbury’s and another one near to Santander. This is in addition to the pleasant young women selling the Big Issue, again outside Sainsbury’s.

Cuts in housing benefit, sky-high property prices and zero hours contracts have brought mayhem to our society.

This is second EU referendum

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

There are many reasons to object to a Conservative government, but as a Leave voter, Brexit isn’t one of them, as restoring parliamentary sovereignty is the way to deliver on the many issues that matter to the British people.

For this reason, I am alarmed by the prime minister’s decision to call a Brexit general election, without any need to do so, as this gives Remain their second referendum on membership of the EU and could result in a new Parliament that seeks to reverse Brexit.

This could happen because the EU referendum was a single issue campaign and Leave won by mobilising left, right and centre in favour of Brexit ie not an exclusively Conservative campaign. Whereas a general election is about many issues, including government cuts to local government funding and disability benefits, whilst the bankers go free. Also the government’s reckless sabre rattling against Russia threatens WWIII.

This is why I think the general election was called for another reason. That is to pre-empt a police investigation, due to report at the end of May, into Conservative over-spending in the last election.

Break with past, empower people

Mr W Ramsay, Stephen Avenue, Rainham, writes:

One thing for which Jeremy Corbyn is to be commended is his recently expressed rejection of the traditional idea of political leadership exercised by a powerful individual, as exemplified by Theresa May’s calling the general election so that she may become more so.

The idea finds its prime instance in the office of prime minister, which, as said previously in the Recorder following the Chilcot report, is in reality just a survival in modified form of the old king and liegemen form of rule, and its doubtful benefits become apparent from recalling the effect of the recent succession of such “kings”.

In order to depose King Major for his unacknowledged mistakes and fiascos, the era of King Blair was ushered in, the consequences of whose reign are still with us, including their occasioning the historic miscalculation of King Cameron.

In his reported speech (April 29) Corbyn for his part envisaged political leadership as an empowering function rather than an exercise of power, but the empowerment mentioned was only that of party supporters. A real break with the past would be for the leader of a political party to wish to empower people in general.

Council needs to enforce restrictions

Ralph Battershall, Ashdown Walk, Romford, writes:

Mr Patel says (letters, last week) I have accused him of not being interested in illegal parking. On the contrary he has shown interest in parking for some time with me but results are what matters.

Of course no one can be everywhere all the time as that is not physically possible. He also has a shop to run and with the backing of his wife and staff makes an excellent job of it.

He further states that he offered to approach the owner of the car that was blocking the path. He most certainly did not.

He told me to go home and if the vehicle was still there to let him know and he would send some one down immediately. I sent him the information as soon as I got home. No one came.

As far as giving me information goes he gave me a contact name.

I did send an email and from that day to this I have not received a reply.

Also, why do the council spend thousand of pounds of the public’s money on restrictions when they have no intention of enforcing them?

I would have thought safety would come before chasing residents’ votes.

Unite with us against dementia

Meera Syal, actress and Alzheimer’s Society ambassador, writes:

Like many of your readers, my family has been affected by dementia. The condition is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer and could affect us all. Someone develops dementia every three minutes and too many are facing it alone, without adequate support. We urgently need to find a cure, improve care and offer help and understanding for people affected.

Together we achieve more, that’s why I’m urging people in London to come together and unite against dementia. Join us and unite now

Activity cuts risk of bowel cancer

Mr Motivator, fitness guru, writes:

We all know by now that maintaining an active lifestyle should be one of our top priorities in life. Only by taking care of ourselves do we stand a chance of being the kind of person we strive to be on the job, at home with our loved ones, and in our communities.

But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

That’s why I’m supporting Bowel Cancer UK Step Up for 30 challenge to encourage people to take up regular physical activity and be more active to reduce their risk of bowel cancer.

It’s really simple, just get sponsored to do 30 minutes of physical activity every day for 30 days in June.

Scientists think around half (54 per cent) of all bowel cancers could be prevented by having a healthier lifestyle such as maintaining a healthy weight, taking more exercise, cutting down on alcohol and stopping smoking.

Every 30 minutes someone dies of bowel cancer in the UK. It’s the second biggest cancer killer in the UK, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.

What are you waiting for? Sign up here

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