Recorder letters: parking tickets, NHS, police, bracelet, roads, uncertainty, independents and explosion
PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 October 2017
Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.
Illegal parking complaints ignored
Ralph Battershall, Ashdown Walk, Romford, writes:
I read the conservative newsletter for Autumn 2017.
It was with some mirth that I read the article about contacting the Parking Team if we saw vehicles parked illegally. I have complained for over ten years including involving three councillors ie Messrs Wallace, Dervish and lately Dilip Patel with no improvement whatsoever.
At one stage I wrote To Andrew Rosindell MP and he involved senior members of the police and fire brigade who, in turn, said that it was dangerous but nothing was done because and I quote, “The residents did not want it”.
I would like to know when the surveys were done in the last 10 years.
We got a parking ticket even though we didn’t overstay
Mr R and Mrs J Gardner, full address supplied, write:
My wife and I are regular readers of your newspaper.
We were outraged on returning to our car after shopping at Pets At Home in Rom Valley Way, Romford, to find a parking ticket on the windscreen.
Rom Valley retail park allows three hours free parking for customers using its shops. We spent 20 minutes in Pets At Home to purchase goods for our one-year-old Cavapoo dog, Charlotte, our prize pooch we’ve owned since both retiring last year.
The ticket states: “driver left site”. As we had not visited any other shop we returned to Pets At Home and showed the ticket to the manageress who recognised we had just been in at the time stated on the ticket.
She claimed it’s a growing problem here, informing us that UKPC are being overzealous and suspect they wait for customers to walk into some shops and ticket them immediately, as indeed my ticket shows was the case here.
Even shop staff are being ticketed, rarely to be overturned on appeal. (To be fair, a sign clearly does state three hour limit.)
I also checked and was assured any space is permissible from which to visit any shop within the retail park.
I confirm neither my wife nor I left the site at any time as the ticket implies, and feel very strongly this is totally unacceptable behaviour from a parking company.
We would appreciate this sharp practice being made public in the hope more customers become aware of it.
Cut managers not NHS services
Fred Osborne, full address supplied, writes:
I read in last week’s Romford Recorder (October 13) that the local Care Commissioning Group are to carry out a survey to cut costs by withdrawing funding for osteopathy and cataracts etc.
Would it not be better to look for cost cutting within the management structure due to the excessive amount of salaries being paid to the top heavy number of managers?
This is just one way they would be able to fund the front line services that are needed for the growing number of elderly people living in the borough who have paid their dues through NI contributions and taxes during and after their working lives.
Another way the finances could be used for front line services is, if for example the same procedure is carried out throughout the NHS.
A couple of months ago a CEO of a health trust in Mid Wales had completed his five year contract on a salary of £200,000 per year and was then given a golden handshake of £163,000 as a goodbye gift.
What a waste of our money.
This could supply several frontline nurses and go a very long way to guarantee the continuation of services to the people who pay for the NHS.
Tories can’t blame Khan over police
Peter Lott, Westmoreland Avenue, Hornchurch, writes:
I recently received a local Conservative newsletter with a petition to sign entitled Stop Khan’s Police Cuts in Havering, relating to the proposed changes throughout the borough by the mayor.
With 20,000 fewer police officers on our streets and the thin blue line getting thinner, with more savings to come, the option was to sell off police stations and not renew the leases when they expire of the safer neighbourhood premises.
After seven years of savage cuts to all our public services, including the police, I think the local Tories have got a nerve sending out this petition.
Perhaps they should direct their energy to sorting out the mess the country is in due to an unnecessary referendum and general election costing taxpayers many millions of pounds which could have gone to our overstretched public services, including the police.
Have you lost a charm bracelet?
Maureen Wheeler (email@example.com) writes:
We found a Pandora charm bracelet in Romford, near the Vue cinema.
It was found a couple of weeks ago and we have tried to find the owner. We are sure it would have sentimental value to someone.
If anyone has any idea who may have lost it and can identify the charms, we would love to return it to its owner.
Bigger slice of road revenue needed
Cllr Clarence Barrett, Upminster & Cranham Residents’ Association, writes:
While car ownership is a desirable, and often essential, part of our lives, the capacity and ability to absorb ever increasing growth is a real challenge for local councils.
Recent government statistics [notes 1,2 &3] reveal that, since 2000, car ownership has increased by 30per cent with 37.3 million vehicles now on our roads.
In turn, the Department of Transport calculate there are now 151 vehicles per mile on our roads compared with 119 in 2000.
But the increase in car ownership has not been matched by a corresponding increase in road capacity or local funding.
Since 2000, the government have benefited by around £420million a year through increased fuel duty and vehicle taxation, however none of that has seen its way into the council’s budget who must deal with growing congestion, wear and tear, pot-holes and air quality – in fact government funding has vastly reduced over the same period.
Bearing in mind that £35billion per annum is raised through Vehicle Excise Duty and fuel tax, local councils need a greater proportion of that revenue to maintain a serviceable and sustainable road network for residents and businesses alike.
Uncertainty is now the new normal
Eamonn Mahon, chairman, Brooklands Residents Association, writes:
To us, the conditions for dictators to flourish are found elsewhere, certainly not in the civilized western world where democratic systems hold everything together and the idea of being ruled by a tyrant is just unthinkable. Or is it?
These conditions are usually brought about by issues that divide people and allow unscrupulous politicians or military to play one side against the other, leading to instability and uncertainty.
We are living in a world that is unrecognisable from even 20 years ago, a time when we thought growth and prosperity would be never ending.
We now know how wrong we were. The western world has changed and uncertainty is now the new normal with Brexit, Catalonia, unrest in many European countries and division in the US, now run by an administration which could seriously threaten world peace.
When we convince ourselves that a better future lies in separation from what we have, it is usually through dissatisfaction, but it sure doesn’t guarantee a new world of prosperity and security.
We should be very careful what we wish for.
I did not say Independents were preferable
Mr W Ramsay, Stephen Avenue, Rainham, writes:
I would have been more gratified by Cllr Barrett’s agreement with the sentiments of my letter of October 6 had they been accurately captured in his letter last week.
But my letter did not say, as he suggests, that Independents were to be preferred at the local level of politics, only that if they are to justify themselves as preferable to the national parties they should dissociate themselves from talk of “representing residents’ interests” or similar such phrases as all politicians typically can and
do, as I showed, say this sort
Instead, I said, independents should make clear they will be guided by residents’ concerns and wishes. This would distinguish them from the traditional approach to politics and identify them with consultative democracy.
Council overreacted after Grenfell
Cllr David Durant, Rainham and Wennington Independent Residents Group, writes:
We are still awaiting an explanation of what caused the Grenfell disaster and hopefully it will be forthcoming, unlike the investigation into the A127 Hornchurch flats explosion which was closed with a remarkable
police statement saying “the exact cause of the fire cannot
be ascertained”– Recorder ‘No Justice’ September 29.
The Grenfell Tower flats were built to self-contain a fire until the fire brigade arrived, so how did the fire get outside the flat to ignite the cladding?
The early reports mentioned a faulty fridge exploding into a powerful fireball, that presumably blew out the windows to ignite the cladding, but as fridges don’t explode into fireballs, this would indicate some proscribed cooking materials or explosives!
My reason for pointing this out is the ridiculous over the top reaction of Havering housing department to the disaster, following a government order to fire check all council and social housing.
No harm checking, but anecdotally I’ve been informed tenants in two storey blocks
with walkway balconies have
been ordered to remove all pots
and foliage as a fire risk, that
has made once colourful places
This must apply elsewhere and I hope readers can highlight where as I think the cabinet member for housing needs to get a grip and reverse this policy.