Recorder letters: Speed humps, parking fine, Harold Hill, married tax allowance, cats, guards on underground and fancy dress

PUBLISHED: 10:22 02 October 2017

Speed humps in Cross Road, Romford. Picture: GOOGLE STREETVIEW

Speed humps in Cross Road, Romford. Picture: GOOGLE STREETVIEW


Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Speed humps made our road safer

Richard Clements, Cross Road, Mawneys, writes:

D Edwards (letters) asserted that speed humps kill or maim more people than they save.

This is certainly not true with regard to the humps in Cross Road, Mawneys.

In the 1980s and 1990s Cross Road was like a race track. I timed a number of cars travelling at 40mph. Other cars appeared to be going even faster.

The accident waiting to happen happened when an elderly lady was struck down and instantly killed by a motorcycle whose speed was reckoned by the police to have been 70mph.

The motorcyclist and his pillion passenger were also killed.

I organised a petition to Havering Council asking that traffic calming measures be introduced. The council, after consulting the residents, installed speed humps in Cross Road between the junctions with Marlborough Road and White Hart Lane.

Since the humps were installed, traffic speeds have been much lower, there have been no accidents, and Cross Road has become a quiet and peaceful place in which to live.

War veteran bullied into paying unfair parking fine

Mervyn Evans, full address supplied, writes:

My 93-year-old dad was as pleased as punch, and so he should have been. He had been invited to the French embassy to be awarded with the highest French military honour, the Legion d’Honneur (Winston Churchill was a previous recipient).

What could possibly spoil such a splendid day? How about an unfair, bullied parking fine and an ignored appeal?

As part of a special day Dad was collecting his niece from Romford Station in his car. She had rung to tell him that she had already arrived and was waiting outside the station to avoid him having to park up.

Unfortunately, she strayed just a few metres down the road to the edge of the bus layby, where there is a very small notice announcing that it is illegal to stop.

Dad pulled up, his niece got in and they drove off – 30 seconds? During that briefest of times dad’s car was photographed (the photograph actually shows his niece getting in the open car door).

All of which is very petty but forgiveable.

What isn’t forgiveable is the fact that my dad wrote a letter of appeal, but despite sending it in good time, with only one day left before the fine doubled he had received no reply and therefore felt bullied into paying the sixty pound-plus fine.

Wonderful eh? What a wonderful way to treat an heroic war veteran. Oh well – at least the French appreciated him!

All parties work for Harold Hill

Former councillor Keith Wells, Harold Hill, Conservative Action Team, writes:

I feel compelled to respond to last week’s letter by Lorraine Moss and her colleagues in which they state their level of activity in local campaigns.

These concerns are shared by all parties locally and not just their group as they claim.

Likewise on the “Save the Manor” solar project campaign, we as a Conservative group also expressed our disapproval of the proposal and sought the intervention of our elected Assembly Member Cllr Keith Prince and the leader of Havering Council. Through the shared efforts of all, especially friends of Dagnam Park, the proposal was successfully withdrawn.

I notice that no credit has been given to the Conservative administration for the vast improvements in infrastructure in Harold Hill, examples being: Myplace community centre, a brand new library plus the also brand new sports facility situated off Broxhill/Noak Hill area.

Let’s not forget the improvements to the Central Park facility including a new skateboard park, new playground facilities in all local parks in Harold Hill, all benefiting our younger generation.

It seems a pity that the administration have never been given full credit for the provision of these and other facilities. There are many more improvements I could mention which have provided facilities for all Harold Hill residents and not been provided by the Harold Hill Independent Party as implied in their letter.

In regard to the comments in which they claim never to vote with the Conservatives unless a Conservative motion would benefit residents, I am pleased to say the local Conservatives would never implement any motions that would be detrimental to residents or the area, in that regard in the remote chances of their group being elected I will look forward to their support in the Town Hall.

I am also happy to state that literature put out by your Harold Hill Conservative Action Team contain the full contact details of myself and fellow Conservative colleagues and we would invite any Harold Hill resident with an issue to contact us directly. Our aim is to serve our residents which we will do to the best of our ability.

Don’t miss married tax allowance

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

In these times of austerity, it is quite surprising that half of all couples entitled to the married tax allowance are missing out on £230 per year.

Since the introduction of the allowance in April 2015, only 2.2 million of the 4.4 million couples eligible have claimed the extra cash.

You will be entitled to claim the allowance if; a) you are married or in a civil partnership; b) one partner is a non-taxpayer (ie earning less than £11,500pa); c) the other partner is working and paying tax at the basic rate of 20per cent (earners over £45,000pa are not eligible).

If eligible, the partner who doesn’t use their full personal tax allowance (£11,500pa) can transfer 10pc (£1,150) of the allowance to their partner, so saving £230 per year!

Further information and how to claim can be found at

Cats not fashion accessories

Vanessa Howie (BVetMed MRCVS), Cats Protection’s clinical veterinary officer, writes:

I would like to raise my concerns on behalf of Cats Protection about the increased use of claw covers for cats.

This rising trend, which involves directly gluing a cover onto each individual claw, prevents cats from expressing their natural behaviours including claw retraction, scratching objects to keep their claws in good condition and to leave comforting visual marks and scent signals.

Not allowing a cat to exhibit normal behaviour may lead to the development of behavioural problems and place a cat at risk by reducing its natural defences from attack.

This could mean the owner is failing a pet’s welfare needs and could be prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act 2006; should the claw covers injure or harm the cat, they may have also committed the offence of causing “unnecessary suffering”.

The only situation in which it would be appropriate to fit plastic caps to a cat’s claws is short-term for specifically diagnosed medical or behavioural problems while the underlying condition is being addressed.

It is important to remember that cats are sentient animals and not fashion accessories.

We need guards on Underground

Richard Enever, Brentwood Bus and Rail Users Association, Queen’s Road, Brentwood, writes:

The fatality on the District Line at Parsons Green confirms the need for guards to be employed on the London Underground, Crossrail and National Rail networks.

I have repeatedly warned of such fatalities and I have again been proven right.

The incident at Oxford Circus on the Bakerloo Line when smoke poured out of a carriage on August 11 confirmed it also. Driver-only operation is unsafe.

I have written to TfL asking for driver-only operations to be scrapped – to no avail.

Don fancy dress to protect wildlife

Andy Murray OBE, tennis player, writes:

Since 1970, wildlife populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles around the world have more than halved (58 per cent), and sadly at a rate that shows no sign yet of slowing down.

This isn’t just an issue impacting the rest of the world – in the UK, many of our own species are witnessing a shocking decline in numbers, with many at risk of extinction. That’s why, as a WWF global ambassador and a parent, I’m asking everyone to come together and Wear It Wild on Friday, October 20, 2017 to help WWF protect our precious wildlife and their habitats.

For the third year, WWF is challenging the nation to Wear It Wild and don animal-inspired fancy dress and raise money. As little as £5 can help train sniffer dogs to track down tiger poachers. £20 can help researchers better understand the impact of climate change on wildlife like polar bears. While, £120 could pay for a camera to help monitor wild giant pandas.

Everyone can take part in Wear It Wild on Friday, October 20. Simply visit:, dress up and donate.

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