Recorder letters: Hornchurch Post Office, Queen’s hospital, Lidl car park, village green, Queens’ Sapphire Jubilee, BHF and National Lottery

PUBLISHED: 09:41 27 March 2017 | UPDATED: 09:41 27 March 2017


Hornchurch Post Office is becoming a franchise

Forget politics and join the fight to save our post office

Bob Perry, chairman, Hornchurch & Upminster Conservative Association, writes:

I write in response to Cllr John Wood’s letter (last week) in which he states that the “Tories Are Wrong” and the Hornchurch Post Office is not closing. Let me state for the record that we have indeed read the Recorder article and I have personally been in contact with Post Office representatives for clarification and the facts are as follows:

It is true that a watered down version of the post office in the form of a franchise, yet to be announced, will replace the existing building but it will not be the post office as we know it.

When the Romford Post Office closed some years ago it was replaced by a franchised version which has failed to provide the service customers should expect or indeed receive.

Once it has been relocated will the new premises be accessible for elderly folk or wheelchair users?

It is interesting to note that since launching our campaign to save our post office, it has taken any sitting St Andrews ward councillor over a month to voice an opinion on this issue, whilst Conservative Action Teams have been working tirelessly on behalf of local people to reverse it. Over the last few weeks our office has received over a thousand responses from local people offering their support and urging us to carry on the good fight.

Instead of issuing mud-slinging statements accusing Conservatives of employing propaganda, I invite Cllr Wood and his colleagues to put people before politics, cross the political divide, and join us in fighting this badly thought out decision by the Post Office.

By working with us instead of playing politics the battle with the Post Office could well be won.

As for the “New Species” comment, I won’t attempt to dignify it with a response.

Tories right to warn over franchise

Joe Webster, The Chase, Romford, writes:

As Cllr Wood states in his letter last week, the Post Office is looking for a franchisee to take over the running of the post office in Hornchurch.

However this will not be in its current premises, which will be sold off.

In Romford this process occurred some years ago. After a break of several weeks, when there was no post office at all, a franchise was set up in a premises in South Street which was completely inadequate for a town like Romford.

When this venture failed the franchise was taken over by W H Smith.

Where this is satisfactory for most people, it is situated on the first floor, and despite having a lift, is not entirely suitable for the disabled.

W H Smith run a number of post office franchises and presumably have relevant experience. However, they do not have a shop in Hornchurch, which begs the question as to what shop could take this on.

The local Conservatives are right to warn the public of the problems that could arise. They are prepared to canvas on behalf of the status quo if no satisfactory solution can be found.

This is far better than sitting back and hoping that things will just turn out all right in the end as the current St Andrew’s Ward councillors seem prepared to do.

Credit where it’s due at hospital

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

Matthews Hopkins takes a lot of stick, especially from those who have never used Queen’s Hospital.

Whilst A&E needs enlarging as it takes thousands of patients it was not built to cater for, most departments are either good, very good or excellent.

I had an MRI scan recently. Although the X-ray department was very busy, I was dealt with on time and the staff were friendly and helpful to everybody, not just me.

I have been involved in local health watchdogs from the days of the Community Health Council to the present day and have visited the hospital many times in that role.

If something is wrong complain, but for goodness sake give them praise when they do something good, instead of always moaning.

Why not prohibit car park at Lidl?

Mr W Ramsay, Stephen Avenue, Rainham, writes:

The surest way to prevent traffic congestion being caused by the new Lidl store in Hornchurch is to prohibit its having car parking.

But this may be another matter over which the council has no power, or cannot risk the costs of a successful appeal against such a decision.

Village Green is valuable space

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

I have submitted the following message to the land off New Zealand Way, Village Green application in South Hornchurch ward being handled by the council legal department:

Although representing an adjoining ward, I am aware that the green space off New Zealand Way, Rainham has been there ever since the estate was built and put there as a Memorial Green with plaque to First World War New Zealand soldiers – and presumably for amenity, flood sink and utility reasons too.

The Green remains a high value piece of open land and will become of greater value in view of the extensive housing development planned for the south of the borough, including the demolition and redevelopment of the nearby Napier and New Plymouth tower blocks and surrounding open space.

I am aware that the Green has been used for public events and by dog walkers over the years.

I am also aware there has been no restriction on people using the land, until the recent council attempt to build on the land.

But whether the land is claimed, as opposed to actually owned, by the council is another matter!

Don’t overlook Sapphire Jubilee

Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford, writes:

May I address Mervyn Hughes’ letter in the Recorder (March 17, 2017) regarding Her Majesty The Queen’s Sapphire Jubilee.

I met with David Cameron on the topic of the Sapphire Jubilee several years ago when he was prime minister, at which we agreed to set plans for celebrations in motion.

As this was clearly not followed upon, I proposed the day of celebrations two weeks ago to ensure that this momentous milestone is not overlooked.

I remember the Silver Jubilee in 1977 as a child and learnt how important these national occasions are and I hope that we can pass these memories on to the next generation.

It’s the first time that any English or British monarch has celebrated a Sapphire Jubilee and if we let this go by without holding the kind of national of celebrations we did with such pride for the Silver, Golden and Diamond Jubilees, it will be a missed opportunity.

Remember BHF in home clear out

Richard Fletcher, area manager, British Heart Foundation, writes:

With spring here, I wanted to encourage your readers to keep the BHF in mind during their spring clear out and donate any unwanted items to their local BHF shop to help fund life-saving heart research.

It is a sad reality that there are an estimated 716,000 people living with heart and circulatory disease in London.

The BHF funds over £100million of research across the UK each year into fighting these terrible diseases to help create a better future for everyone affected.

It is only down to our generous supporters that we are able to fund this truly ground-breaking heart research.

Donating any good quality items from your spring clear out to the BHF is a really simple way everyone can get involved and help in the fight for every heartbeat.

Each item donated, from books to bags and clothes to CDs, will be much appreciated by your local BHF shop.

To help make the process completely hassle-free, we offer a free home collection service straight to your door which can be booked through your local shop or by calling our freephone number on 0800 915 3000.

If you are a UK taxpayer you can also Gift Aid your donation which helps us to make an extra 25p for each £1 raised from your unwanted items and costs you nothing in return.

I really hope your readers are able to support us this spring – there really are bags of reasons for a clear out! To find your local shop, order free donation bags or find out more about our free collection service, please visit

Nominate projects for Lottery prize

John Barrowman, National Lottery Awards ambassador, The National Lottery Awards, writes:

The National Lottery Awards 2017 are open for entries, giving Lottery-funded projects a chance to shine in the national limelight.

The awards recognise the amazing work done by organisations using National Lottery funding to transform communities and change lives. They celebrate the unsung heroes behind the success of local arts, sports, heritage, and community projects.

Every week National Lottery players raise £30million for good causes and, since 1994, over 500,000 Lottery grants have been awarded.

Seven projects will be recognised at a star-studded awards ceremony broadcast on BBC One later this year and each will win a £3,000 cash prize.

Readers can visit to nominate projects. All entries must be in by midnight on Friday, April 7.

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