Recorder letters: Stabbings, general election, Manchester, family search and housing.

PUBLISHED: 10:19 30 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:19 30 May 2017


Police cordoned off Waterloo Road after a stabbing. Picture: KEN MEARS

Poem to highlight needless stabbings

Terry Bickell, of Hornchurch, writes:

I wrote a poem around three years ago trying to highlight the spate of needless stabbings and shootings throughout both our country and many others. Yet still today we are hearing of more, with two more in our wonderful town of Romford in the last week.

I just wanted to share my thoughts with probably many others who feel the same as me

Death of a Stranger

He was black, he was white

It was day, it was night

He was shot, he was knifed

What was lost, was a life

He was young, he was old

There he lays icy cold

So senseless it is too

What’s frightening is it’s true

Why is it getting worse?

This modern city curse

Every day we hear

A news item filled with fear

But because it’s every day

We just let it fade away

A small snippet in our papers

As though it’s just a silly caper

What can we all though do?

To stop more news from coming through

Of a stranger we don’t know

A victim of a blow

A statistic to file with all the rest

A stranger with a bloodstain on his vest

Conservatives penalising pensioners for a long life

Brian Jagger, Gidea Park, writes:

Well pensioners now we know. When you place an X against your Conservative candidate it is going to cost you and your partner £25 per month.

What our annual increase will be – well your guess is as good as mine. Yes, the country is in a dire state but it was not put there by the elderly.

Politicians, bankers, civil servants and others by their mishandling of the economy have done that all by themselves. Now who is being called upon to get us out of trouble?

Not the unelected House of Lords – their £300 per day is safe. Not the lawyers, because a great many MPs are lawyers or have friends who are, so Legal Aid is safe.

No one must be allowed to query the International Development Fund – Priti Patel, the lady responsible for giving £250million of our money away each and every week of the year sat on Question Time with a smirk on her face most of the time and seemed happy for the elderly to be means tested. Of course that money is also safe.

No, let us go for those in their 70s, 80s and 90s. Serves them right for living so long.

We are told our bus passes and TV licences are safe. For how long?

I’ll tell you what really sticks in the throat. These decisions are being made by people who are on salaries of well over £100,000 a year.

All my life, with the exception of ‘97, I have voted Conservative –never again. Mrs May once said the Conservative Party is regarded as The Nasty Party – she really has set out to prove it.

There has been talk in the papers that Jeremy Corbyn is taking us back to the ‘70s, well I am old enough to associate means testing with the ‘20s and ‘30s so it appears we have gone full circle.

My heart goes out to Manchester

A Romford resident, full name and address supplied, writes:

I listened to Jeremy Corbyn’s words after the tragedy at Manchester Arena and thought how insincere were his words.

I was working at The Ideal Home Exhibition in 1976 the day the IRA detonated a bomb there, in the food hall.

There were many children at this exhibition.

Many of us older generation still remember the indiscriminate bombing by the IRA.

I have grandchildren that regularly attend concerts and my heart goes out to all those affected by this tragedy.

Put constituents above your party

Cllr Denis O ‘Flynn, Heaton ward and Romford resident, writes:

I have just received a letter from the Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Romford and the contents both puzzled me and frightened me for the future of our more senior citizens as the letter seemed to show the candidate had not read his own party’s manifesto or kept abreast of local affairs by reading the Romford Recorder.

Something like 75 per cent of the constituents of this community own their homes and they have worked very hard over the years to achieve that ownership.

And the intention of many of those people is to be able to leave something for their children when they pass on.

With the policy advocated by Theresa May many of them, if they are taken seriously ill, could suffer the loss of their homes. Equally many enjoy the benefits of the freedom pass and many also look forward to the winter fuel allowance to help with the winter heating bills.

I accept that many do not need it, like pop stars and many others in that financial setting, but again many residents in Havering who do own their homes but do not have large bank accounts could be victims of certain aspects of the Conservative policy.

Mrs May, as a result of an outcry from both the public and some of her own parliamentary candidates, is now rewriting her manifesto to appease many of her own members who know they will lose their seats as a result of the draconian policy of their leader.

The Romford candidate seems to content himself with personal acclaim and a warning not to vote Labour.

The Conservative candidate claims he is working for Romford, working for Britain and we all know who he is working hardest for –HIMSELF.

Many residents in our community detest blood sports and the barbaric way in which a mindless minority get pleasure from watching an animal being torn to pieces just for their idea of fun.

Our Conservative candidate claims to stand up for Romford, well, let’s hear you loud and clear through the columns of this community paper, who, over the years have allowed opposing points of view to be published in their letters columns and certainly the Conservative candidate has been given as fair a share in the letter columns as anyone could wish for.

So let’s hear from you now, and all the candidates contesting this election, a pledge if elected to serve the community, the old, the young, the disabled and those who are in need of decent pensions, by pledging to put the interest of your constituents above the political party you represent.

Large majority no guarantee in Brexit

Mr W Ramsay, Stephen Avenue, Rainham, writes:

I have recently had the honour of a personal letter from Theresa May urging me to vote for her in the Dagenham and Rainham constituency where I live.

I do not suppose I am alone in receiving this privilege, and trust the cost involved was not met in a way inviting legal challenge.

What can in any case be challenged is her message that by voting for her, presumably through helping her obtain a large majority, she will have a “‘strong negotiating hand” with Brussels, as if they will thereby be bent to the will of the British people.

It could more plausibly have the opposite effect or none.

It may also meet with the mockery in Europe that has been given the oft repeated “strong and stable leadership” claim that, undeterred by this, is prominent in the letter.

It is an irony of the situation that an unproven leader should make such a boast, particularly when all she has so far proved is a readiness to change her mind, having as we all know originally ruled out an election, and when by calling the election she has denied herself the opportunity to show the boast is no idle one.

Rather than a strong hand in Europe, a large majority will give a strong hand to the prime minister and her party to do as they see fit in this country, as well as relieving them of the fear that at the next election their gaining a majority may be imperilled by voters returning to Ukip if the Brexit terms are not to the liking of those that formerly voted for them.

Those thinking of changing from Ukip to Conservative at this unnecessary election should perhaps consider the latter point.

Better protection for animals needed

Peter Caton, Green Party candidate for Hornchurch and Upminster, Swift Close, Upminster, writes:

As Green Party candidate for Hornchurch and Upminster I have received many emails asking for my views on a range of issues.

More than half of these have been about animal welfare, many prompted by Theresa May’s statement that she backs fox hunting and that a Conservative government would hold a vote on scrapping the Hunting Act.

Animal welfare is a matter which concerns many of us and on which I hold strong views.

I strongly oppose all blood sports and believe that there is absolutely no justification for lifting the fox hunting ban.

The ban needs to be strengthened and properly enforced, not relaxed.

If foxes need to be controlled it can be done humanely. 21st century Britain should not be legalising the killing of animals for people’s enjoyment.

Far too often we see derisory sentences for animal cruelty.

I support increasing penalties for those who wilfully harm or neglect animals, along with properly enforced court orders banning offenders from keeping animals.

I believe that the use of live animals for experimentation should be minimised to only essential medical research.

The animals we breed for food should be treated with respect in their life and slaughter. Factory farming must be phased out, transport to slaughter minimised and live animal exports banned.

We must stop the routine use of preventative antibiotics, which is contributing to an antibiotic-resistance crisis that will put everyone’s health at risk.

Mankind must coexist with all the creatures who share our planet. Commercial whaling should be stopped, the badger cull halted and a ban imposed on all trade in ivory.

Did you work at maternity home?

Miss L Lee, Eastcote, Pinner, HA5 2LJ, writes:

I am looking for anyone who worked in a mother and baby home in Balaam Road, Plaistow. It was next to a church and was run by nuns.

My mother came from Hornchurch, however her sister’s daughter was one of the women who had her baby at the home; her name was S Temple-Palmer. She had her baby on or about May 24, 25, 1961. It was a boy.

I am her cousin and would appreciate anyone with information getting in touch with the Recorder. I am working on my family tree.

Council officers’ role overlooked

Residents Action Havering, write:

There has been much mention in recent editions of your newspaper, and on social media, of the plans championed by the leadership of Havering Council to impose 30,000 homes on the borough, almost exclusively in those areas where the current leadership does not hold its seats.

We feel that another important aspect of this problem has been overlooked - the role of the officers of the council. A councillor’s career may only span a few years, and in that time they will be partly responsible for some important decisions, but the officers of the council will spend decades in their departments, seeing administrations come and go, and aiding and abetting our elected representatives, private developers, and higher governmental authorities, with little thought for the impact they are having on the quality of life of those of us at the sharp end.

They have no fear of our disapproval, since they will never face election. They operate outside of public scrutiny. We call on the Romford Recorder to do more to enlighten the public as to the role played by officers of the council, in the hope that one day we will have a more responsive and transparent council.

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