Recorder letters: Litter, Beam Park, police, Havering Show, Queen’s, exams, GPs, diabetes and fraud

PUBLISHED: 10:08 04 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:08 04 September 2017


Littering and fly-tipping is a blight on our communities. Picture: KEN MEARS

Litter penalties must be consistent

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

It was interesting to note that a proposal to increase the default fixed penalty for littering from £75 to £100 was well supported in a recent government consultation, indeed a doubling of the fine to £150 would have been preferable.

However, the key to effective, coherent and visible levels of enforcement, accompanied by effective education programmes, is to send out a consistent message.

For example, throwing litter out of a car is unacceptable. In London the owner of the vehicle can be fined, no matter who threw the rubbish out, while across the border in Brentwood, and indeed the rest of the country, it needs to be proven who threw the rubbish from the car in order to impose a fine – which is nearly impossible. Clearly, a consistent approach to this behaviour would be sensible and avoid ambiguity across borders.

Littering and fly-tipping costs are a blight on our communities and costs council taxpayers across the country around £780m a year. Effective measures are always welcome but need to be consistent.

We need plans to create a community at Beam Park

Fr Tom Keighley, Associate Priest and Dean for SSMs (Barking Episcopal Area), St Nicholas Avenue, Hornchurch, writes:

I am writing to thank, through you, Jon Cruddas for bringing your readers’ attention to the key stage of development reached in the Beam Park proposals.

These are now being formally consulted upon and the decision will be made on October 27 it appears.

As one of the several Anglican clergy who are involved in trying to respond to this development, I note that there are key improvements in the original suggestions.

However, a major concern remains how the community drawn together in this place will be helped to become exactly that – a community.

It is known from past experience how important it is to actively plan for the community building when attempting such a major development.

Jon Cruddas’s point about the mix of people is central. Until we know who the group will be made up of, it is difficult for other agencies to plan their response.

Further, there is no clear plan for the provision of hospital care when necessary. It seems to be assumed that the current facilities will be able to respond.

As clergy, we know only too well from our parishioners just how badly stretched the services are.

There is no question about the good intent of the health care practitioners of all disciplines, but the elastic is so stretched that unless there are new resources provided then we will be caught up in the sort of human suffering we all want to avoid.

It would be a major social service for the Romford Recorder to continuously bring to the attention of its readers the state of play, and to help lobby for better hospital services, as the Beam Park development occurs.

Police must end tri-borough merger

Cllr Graham Williamson, Independent Residents’ Group, writes:

Havering’s Independent Residents’ Group opposed the Pathfinder trial of the tri-borough police merger due to fears that our borough would be “short changed”.

Whilst crime has presently mushroomed in the area, especially moped related incidents, the response times have now fallen to the lowest in the whole of London.

Local MPs Andrew Rosindell and Jon Cruddas have both expressed their concerns about the lack of police resources given to the area. Even the leader of Barking and Dagenham, Darren Rodwell, has now complained about the poor response times.

Matters are now so bad now that “emergency” measures are having to be taken.

Firstly, the reforming of the emergency response teams back into three sectors – due to the fact that the single police radio channel cannot cope with the emergency police radio traffic of the three boroughs when combined!

Secondly, members of the ward police teams (inc. dedicated ward officers) e.g. from Squirrels Heath, Heaton, Harold Wood and St Andrews are being put into the emergency response teams.

Furthermore, despite previous promises made over the policing of our local neighbourhoods, DWOs are no longer ring-fenced ie can be used “centrally” at any time.

It is time to withdraw Havering from the tri-borough police merger.

Amazing show, fantastic music

Lesley Dunn, Mallard Close, Cranham, writes:

Aren’t we lucky to be living in Havering?

Not only do we live in a lovely area but every year we have the Havering Show which is amazing AND absolutely free.

Our family spent two days there watching the live music and enjoying the activities and entertainment.

The music was fantastic with some amazing bands and our favourites were the talented Band Theft Audio who we had never seen before but they were really good and had everyone joining in with them.

Well done Havering Council, thank you for a great show and of course the weather helped!!

Full marks for care at Queen’s

Mrs C Goode, Pettits Lane, Romford, writes:

I am writing in reply to the letter in the Recorder last week concerning Queen’s Hospital.

My husband had a suspected heart attack two weeks ago. A paramedic arrived within three minutes, closely followed by an ambulance. After checks he was admitted to Queen’s.

The care he got from everyone was fantastic from start to finish. He was transferred to the coronary care unit after tests and sent to Bart’s for an angiogram.

We cannot believe the wonderful care he received from Queen’s. I also observed the cleaning staff constantly cleaning everything.

Staff were so caring to everyone, even when people kept calling they were there to reassure them. It is little touches that mean a lot. The staff were hard working and all worked as a team.

Full marks to Queen’s Hospital, wouldn’t hesitate to give them 100 per cent.

Numbers made little difference

Mr W Ramsay, Stephen Avenue, Rainham, writes:

The seemingly unchanged levels of examination attainment following the introduction of numbered grading, extensively reported in the Recorder, was contrary to the intentions of its originator, the former education secretary Michael Gove, whose object was to turn the clock back on the phenomenon of “grade inflation”, and was a result, as the Times (August 14) reported, of “lowering thresholds” for grades.

This was reportedly decided upon by the exam regulator Ofqual for fear that there would, under the new system, indeed have been a deflation with fewer in particular gaining the highest grades.

Presumably the move had the approval of the present education secretary.

If so, the suggestion is that to a great extent Conservative education policy depends on who the minister happens to be.

This is surely an undesirable concentration of power, but all too common until we have a politics based on obtaining proper consent to what is done, and, which would in this instance seek it regarding what the aims and priorities of school examinations should be.

Reduce workload burden for GPs

Dr Jeeves Wijesuriya, British Medical Association junior doctor committee chairman and GP trainee in London, writes:

Whilst the announcement by the NHS to launch a new pilot in north east London to recruit more GPs from overseas will provide some much-needed relief for general practice in the short term, it does not go far enough to address the recruitment crisis underpinning general practice.

Overseas doctors make a valuable contribution to the NHS and will undoubtedly alleviate some of the pressure on general practice in the region as staff shortages have left many practices struggling to provide enough appointments and services to the public.

Yet despite repeated promises from the government, the latest figures show only a marginal increase of barely one per cent in the GP workforce in England and many that do work in the NHS are considering quitting the profession as the added stress of working under increasing pressure takes its toll.

To turn around this desperate situation, and both attract doctors trained in the UK as well as from overseas, the government must take urgent steps to reduce the unsafe workload burden carried by GPs and support them throughout their career so as to encourage them to stay before GP services are pushed to the brink of collapse.

Run to raise cash for Diabetes UK

Roz Rosenblatt, head of London Diabetes UK, writes:

Are you training for a marathon, half marathon or fun run in the next few months and wondering which good cause to support? If so, Diabetes UK would love your help in raising vital funds for the charity.

As well as a free running vest and other fun props, such as crazy hair, Diabetes UK also offers fundraising support. And we have the loudest cheerleaders in the business!

But best of all, every penny raised by Team Diabetes UK will help us support people living with diabetes in the UK.

Diabetes is one of the UK’s biggest health crises, and it’s on the rise.

Some 4.5 million people in the UK have the condition, meaning that many of us know someone who is affected. A further 11.9 million in the UK are at risk of Type 2 diabetes, which usually develops later in life and can sometimes be prevented with a healthy lifestyle. Diabetes can cause devastating complications, including blindness, amputations, even early death.

For information on signing up to fundraising events for Diabetes UK, visit website or call the Events Fundraising team on 0345 123 2399.

Why should we report fraud?

Marilyn Edwards, full address supplied, writes:

A new Havering Council advertising hoarding in the town screams REPORT FRAUD. Why?

1. They pander to the Lets-pretend-I’m-a-single-mother brigade (and allow the partners to slip under the radar).

2. As for their Private Leasing Scheme, a computer geek should run a comparison check with the B&B websites.

3. It’s a well known fact that housing benefit fraud is at epidemic proportions.

4. And to hell with the neighbours!


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