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Recorder letters: Regeneration, general election, Thames Crossing and PCN

PUBLISHED: 09:35 15 May 2017

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Gallows Corner flyover is often closed for repairs or because of bad weather. Picture: KEN MEARS

These new homes will create gridlock

A concerned Briar Road resident writes:

I am writing again about the regeneration that is happening not only on the Briar Road Esate but all over Havering with the building of new homes and housing.

I am mainly concerned about the infrastructure to these areas where the new buildings are being built.

As you know, Gallows Corner flyover was built in the late ‘60s and was a temporary structure at the time. It has not been improved apart from a few traffic calming measures.

Also, in winter time it is either closed for repairs or due to snow and ice hazards.

As for Cllr Damian White, who thinks it is a good idea for the whole of Havering to undergo this regeneration – what is going to happen with the influx of all these people living here?

I can tell you – it will be grid-locked.

You will not be able to move on the estates where all this is going on as the roads and such are not being improved along with all this building and so-called Havering regeneration scheme being done.

Voters must consider local issues at the ballot box

Colin Nickless, full address supplied, writes:

With the election in full swing we have seen both of the local candidates, Andrew Rosindell and Jon Cruddas, raise the issue of the amount of housing being proposed in the borough.

Havering Council recently announced plans for 30,000 homes throughout the borough, mainly targeted for the south.

Jon Cruddas, representing Labour, has raised the concerns that these developments, which are mainly focused on Rainham and South Hornchurch, are being pushed through without proper thought for the impact on parking, infrastructure, services and the quality of life for current residents of the borough.

As chairman of Orchard Village Resident Association, I have seen first-hand the impact on the lives of residents, that have had to endure the mistakes by the council building control, a lack of protection of NHBC warranties and developers who have built homes quickly, cutting corners, safe in the knowledge they are free from council scrutiny.

Only last week we saw a 10ft piece of metal fall from the roof, which was attached using double-sided tape.

In the land opposite Orchard Village, south of New Road, the council plans to build 3,500 homes as part of 10,000 planned along the strip between Dagenham and Rainham village, together with the new Beam Park train station and medical facility.

The planning stipulation for parking is 0.5 spaces per property, meaning 1,750 homes will be built without a space.

This is to support the drive to push people to give up cars and use public transport, driven by the Mayor of London.

But people need cars, for daily life, and with the overcrowding already seen on the c2c, surely it doesn’t make sense to adopt this approach. Not every commute taken by Havering residents is into London.

The impact that this decision alone will have on the surrounding neighbourhoods could be catastrophic, and existing residents will fight to park their own vehicles, competing with new residents and commuters using the new station.

Voters need to be aware of how these council plans affect their families’ future. Imagine how 30,000 homes will impact on services, school places, class sizes, the ability to be seen quickly by a GP, the impact on an already overcrowded transport system and the effect on traffic and parking.

Mr Cruddas has recently supported the campaign against plans by developers to build on the Dovers Farm Estate village green. Residents have tried to push through village green status to protect this valuable asset.

Andrew Rosindell, representing the Conservatives, has recently spoken out about his worries of development creating a “concrete jungle”, however it is a council controlled by the Conservatives that are pushing through these plans. We have seen how initial numbers of homes are increased during the planning process. If we are not careful 30,000 homes will become 50,000.

It is important that residents consider local issues when making their mark at the ballot box.

Our quality of life must be protected

Cllr Graham Williamson, South Hornchurch, Independent Residents’ Group, writes:

I read your first Election 2017 coverage (Recorder, May 5) and noted prospective MP Jon Cruddas’s comment about the implications to the south of the borough of Havering Council’s threat to build 30,000 properties.

I quite agree with Jon’s concerns but I would like to flesh out the facts. Presently, the council plan to build 3,500 properties on municipal land throughout the borough. They have/are producing master plans for two housing zones in South Hornchurch and Romford to allow the building of 3,500 and 3,300 properties respectively.

Whilst these will inevitably be over-developments the total is only (sic) around 10k.

Thus the council has not identified where the extra 20,000 would be built! Since there is little fallow brownfield land it would have to be tower blocks, existing retail parks or green belt!

Jon is also quite right to flag up the lack of infrastructure ie health, education, roads and police etc, that would leave existing and new residents living in “hell”. In reality, the necessary funding is simply not available.

The government maintains its austerity plans and council funding has been/is the first casualty.

The GLA spends much of its funds on Crossrail 1 and Crossrail 2 looms.

The council is cash-strapped and it will only get worse, yet half the cost of the largest infrastructure project ie the construction of a new (unnecessary) station at Beam Park, will have to be funded by Havering Council taxpayers.

Put simply there is NO money available but Havering will be expected to be dumped upon to help a mayor who sees no problem with London’s rising population.

We desperately need representatives who value and will preserve Havering’s quality of life.

I’ll seek review of Thames Crossing

Peter Caton, Green Party Candidate for Hornchurch and Upminster, writes:

We must not allow Brexit to dominate the general election campaign at the expense of local issues which also affect us all.

As Green Party candidate for Hornchurch and Upminster, I will be campaigning for protection of our precious green belt, more social housing to help alleviate the homelessness that we see on our streets, for improved bus services and reduced business rates to help local shops and businesses.

If elected I would seek a review of the government’s decision to select Option C for a new Lower Thames Crossing, which will result in loss of green belt land and homes but will be of questionable effectiveness in relieving both congestion and air pollution.

A review must ensure that all factors are fully considered, including switching of freight to rail and improved road layouts and traffic management either side of the existing crossing. It needs to be based on up to date traffic data and include Option A14, a tunnel from junction 30, an option that was not put to the public in the recent consultation.

Whilst I believe we need a fairer electoral system so that the make-up of Parliament more accurately reflects the share of the, no vote is wasted and every vote the Green Party receives is important as a demonstration of concern for our environment and social justice.

Education is being ignored in election

Rocky Gill, Labour’s candidate for Hornchurch and Upminster, writes:

This general election was called unnecessarily and most of the time is now taken up with Brexit and the leadership of the Labour Party.

Important issues such as education are being ignored but the Conservative government will be implementing many reactionary educational policies which will be very damaging for many young people.

Theresa May wants grammar schools in every area of the country but seems oblivious that it will mean most young people will have to attend secondary modern schools. Standards will fall and Britain will not be able to educate and train people to have the necessary skills they will need in tomorrow’s society.

Many Conservative councils oppose a grammar school in every town because of the damage it does but Theresa May ignores their views.

Labour has developed a different approach, with changes which will help young people to develop the skills they need in today’s society.

Schools and colleges are facing severe cuts in their budgets and the Conservative government remains oblivious to this.

GCSE needs to be replaced by a curriculum which helps to give young people the skills they will need in modern society and the country needs to develop a lifelong learning approach in a fast changing world.

Why do so many young people leave school in the UK unable to be fluent in any other language other than English and why do they know so little about the world of industry?

The election campaign has hardly dealt with education and skills but the future of the country depends on this country having an educational and training system which opens up new opportunities for everyone.

The Labour Party needs to take a lead on this and if it did it would gain considerable support from the electorate.

Reforms will need a proper debate

H E Carless, Wedlake Close, Hornchurch, writes:

Re the opportunist call by the prime minister, Theresa May for reform of mental health hot on the heels of Prince Harry’s genuine concerns.

Are we to receive further rhetoric only from Theresa in this matter in the future, after her earlier concerns for helping those “just about managing”, under the austerity policies of her administration?

If reforms do eventually take place within the long drawn out procedures of the House of Commons, before such changes become law can we expect such legislation to be properly debated beforehand and to encompass contributions to the effects on mental health that past government attempts to cover up injustices to protect wrongdoing by authority have inflicted on victims?

The long pursuits of justice that victims have experienced with these situations and the effects on their lives and that of their families, and the likely effects on the mental health of those involved, can only remain a cause for consideration in any future reforms – as prominent past injustices often reported in the public domain have shown.

Fined for lack of intelligence

A Clarke, a Romford resident (address supplied), writes:

I recently received a Penalty Charge Notice for parking in the Romford Town Hall car park and displaying a parking ticket where I had mistakenly entered my registration number incorrectly. I appealed, pointing out it was a mistake and I was displaying an otherwise valid ticket. My appeal was rejected and I have since paid the fine.

So why has this become an offence? I paid my parking that was never in dispute but the fact that I was incapable of correctly entering my registration is the problem.

So are we talking of a parking violation or an intelligence issue, after all Havering Council advise that I had opportunity to notice my mistake. So this now rests on the fact I am being penalised because of my lack of intelligence and I thought Havering Council supported all round equality for everyone!

I wonder if any other of your readers have come across the parking penalty issue and just how much a revenue generator it is.

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