Stabbings, SEN children, bus rides expectations, parking issues, ageism in the NHS, councillors betrayed voters, put residents first and Deon-Burton should resign.
PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 June 2018
Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.
SEN children treated like numbers
Fay Hough, Rainham, full address supplied, writes:
Months ago I wrote a letter to the Romford Recorder pleading to the council to take their SEN community in consideration when the 2018 budget was being decided on. I highlighted that our services for SEN children/adults have faced enough cuts in the past and we certainly don’t need anymore.
Last week The Sycamore Trust released a statement that the Romford Recorder later reported on, informing the community that the borough has cut vital funding from two afterschool youth clubs for autistic children and adults.
Here we are again.
As a parent of a special needs child I ask the council, what do we have to do to be taken seriously?
You offer us short breaks YET there is a two year waiting list, you will not allow those on the waiting list to access services, you fund local charities for short breaks services – then you take the funding away when there isn’t enough “heads to fill the room”. I’m sure you can see the vicious circle we live in being an SEN parent in the Havering community.
We constantly have to fight for everything, every service, every benefit, every medical appointment. Nothing comes easy, our children are treated like numbers on a piece of paper.
When are Havering Council going to devote time, energy and passion into our disabled community and do right by them. Because time is running out, and there are many angry parents and carers who want answers.
Brave, honest comic heroes taught us not to stab people
Derek Trayler, Grosvenor Drive, Hornchurch, writes:
When I started work at 14, I had an hour long train journey to work and started to read comics published by DC Thompson.
I used to get the Adventure, Hotspur, Rover and Champion every week.
They were full of exciting stories and DC Thompson insisted that his stories were well written.
His heroes were brave, honest and never went back on their word. They only fought bad guys if it was necessary but were kind to old ladies and animals. They fought fair with a English straight left to defeat filthy knife-carrying foreigners who smoked opium while real heroes never smoked or drunk anything stronger than tea.
They obeyed order unless they were wrong and then they followed the Nelson touch and turned a blind eye to cover up the stupidity of their officers.
Their athletes never cheated nor looked for glory despite provocation by spoilt rich kids or snobby officials in blue blazers.
These stories had a great influence on our generation. We carried knives but never thought of stabbing people.
We played cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians with cap firing guns but we knew the difference between fantasy and real life.
As National Servicemen we learnt to fire guns and kill the enemy before he killed you but never committed violence for the rest of our lives.
There were some bad boys who stole money and goods from shops. They got caught and sent to an approved school.
I don’t know if it did them any good but it put the rest of us in fear of the laws which made it worthwhile.
Too many expect free bus rides
D Ainsworth, Barnstaple Road, Romford, writes:
Recently I was one of eight passengers boarding a 174 bus on Harold Hill, a quarter of whom (ie 2) held up this bus for some time while pleading for free rides.
On refusal, a lady walked off (presumably to try again on arrival of the next bus) and the other, a man, departed with a volley of personal abuse which can’t be repeated in a family newspaper like the Recorder.
Nobody just doing their job should have to face such language!
People must realise such services need income, much of which is from fares.
Bus drivers deserve decent wages, as do those who service, repair and clean these vehicles. There are costs for fuel, insurance, vehicle licences and MOT.
Bus stops and timetables need to be provided, cleaned and repaired when vandalised.
Instructors are required to train newcomers to their positions. Administrative and support staff must be in place to pay so many employees. Buses themselves must be purchased or leased.
Then there’s management and supervision of this organisation, plus a high cost of providing large garage units for many vehicles when not on the road. If we all got on buckshee, the service would end in weeks, if not days.
Havering’s a borough known for its high number of passengers seeking free rides. Yet bus passengers get a great deal, as when seeking election, Mayor Sadiq Khan promised a fares freeze for his entire four years’ term.
It’s a flawed promise, but as far as bus fares goes, it holds up well.
As for the rest, it’s proving hard to maintain - last year 704 staff departed from Transport for London, desperately wanted new Undergound trains on two lines were deferred, bus assistants were terminated on so-called “Boris Buses”, a number of agency staff lost jobs, there was a freeze on all new and popular “Countdown Screens”, some bus schedules were much reduced – some even halved – and so on...and on!
But bus fares stay the same so represent good value as time marches on.
Seeking free rides is now common in Havering. Some are allowed on as it’s often easier to avoid abuse and threats and prevents causing delays to other pasengers.
At Harold Wood recently, I witnessed a passenger board a 496, refuse to pay, before sitting down and challenging its driver to throw him off!
Who should have to endure that in a day’s work serving our general public? Something needs doing.
Don’t pretend we have parking issue
Paul Arthur Clements, Weald Way, Romford, writes:
In early April I received a circular along with my neighbours from a representative of Havering Council’s schemes dept outlining proposals to review parking arrangements along Jutsums Lane and surrounding roads.
The letter claims local councillors and residents have raised concerns regarding parking issues in the area which is somewhat difficult to accept.
Along London Road, within walking distance of Jutsums Lane, are three major employers – the NHS children’s centre, Glyn Hopkin Motors and Crowlands School – all of which have ample parking for their employees.
I would estimate around 75 to 80per cent of households in the immediate area have their own driveways so how can the council claim there have been a number of complaints re parking issues from local residents?
I have spoken to a number of neighbours and the opinion is they are totally opposed to turning the area into a controlled parking zone.
And why have the council failed to advise residents that if a controlled parking zone is imposed on us it will be at cost to local people ie those who do not have their own driveways will be subject to a fee of £35 per vehicle and additional payments of £13 for scratchcards for visitors for a strip of 10 which I believe is for a limited time.
If any person requires regular care, possibly twice daily, it will cost the individual around £20 in additional care costs and will be further demonstrate how Havering Council exploit the most vulnerable in our borough.
I sincerely hope this scheme gets duly kicked into the long grass and the next time the council decide to to come up with a similar money making scheme they at least have the common decency to inform residents of the costs involved and do not hoodwink the citizens of the borough by deceiving us they working in our best interests.
Is there ageism in the NHS?
Carol Gladman, Lennox Close, Romford, writes:
Like many people, I will always praise the NHS staff, but I do wonder if other people feel the same as me.
I’ve seen two elderly people just sent home with medication. Is there a policy now that to save money your case is not looked into thoroughly when you are older?
Is there ageism in the NHS?
Councillors have betrayed voters
Terence F Matthews, Clement Way, Upminster, writes:
I have read the letter by ex Tory councillor Linda Trew and agree 100per cent with her.
Damien White, in my opinion, does not have the qualities, qualifications or knowledge required to be leader of our great borough.
Linda, as a past mayor of Havering is an honourable lady and did not stand for the Tories in the May election as a result of the way she was treated by her then party.
As for Deon Burton switching to the Tories just three weeks after being elected as an independent, what a disgraceful way to act.
The figures of votes alone shows that the residents of South Hornchurch did not want a Tory councillor. Anybody with even a bit of moral fibre would resign and trigger a by-election.
I most sincerely hope that he pays his Council Tax etc on time now
The thought of a mayor or even a deputy mayor being decided by how it would increase the Tory vote in council, rather than on merit and long service, is beyond contempt. It would seem that the recruitment of new Tory members able to stand as a candidate, is the fastest in the world.
John Mylod of St Andrews Ward was a Hornchurch Residents Association (HXRA) councillor for 24 years but suddenly, with no warning, switched to the Tories just three months before the election.
Deon Burton must be the fastest switch in Havering’s history. The Harold Wood three have, once again, agreed to vote with the Tories.
Of course the rot set in when in 2014 when three councillors from Upminster, two from Cranham and three from Harold Wood all joined the Tory administration after being elected as Resident Association councillors.
They also betrayed those who voted for them.
When this occurred it was pretty obvious that the Tories had promised the mayor, cabinet positions and chairmanship of committees, all carrying high financial reward to those who defected from the RA Group. How many pieces of silver did it take this time? Readers can make up their own minds as to the actions taken but I would be surprised if many disagree with me.
My advice to voters in future elections is to get an undertaking, in writing, that those calling themselves RA/independent candidates in these three wards and South Hornchurch, will stay true to the RA principles of honesty and openness and not join any administration, if not in their manifesto. There may be a time when it become necessary to vote with the administration but that will be only if it serves our residents interests.
I am proud to say that the HXRA councillors elected in May and those who were candidates and personally attacked by the Tories in their literature and on the doorstep will remain honest and not stab their residents in the back after being elected and that goes for the future.
Back in the good old days, it did not matter who the administration was as all treated their opposition with respect, shared out chairmanships on a group number of seats numbers ratio.
Not now as the Havering Tories make deals behind closed doors and it is glaringly obvious that those defecting are rewarded with positions that bring them financial benefit.
I think Andrew Rosindell conveniently forgets he is a MP and should not be involved in local elections as a MP. If involved he should be only as a Tory member. To plaster his name and his status as a MP on local election material and on the doorstep is disgraceful and should be banned.
Residents should be put first
Cllr Jeffrey Tucker, leader, Independent Residents Group, writes:
The time has come for me as the opposition group leader for the Independent Resident Group to express my views on the shambles that is on going in Havering council.
How it all works.
The Conservatives have the largest newly elected group, but not the overall majority to run Havering council. The Conservatives have sadly chosen to buy with Council Tax payers money votes from opposition councillors in exchange for paid committee posts and sadly the five Labour Group members, the three North Havering Resident Group members, and the sole Independent councillor took up the bribes in exchange for these paid committee posts.
The Conservatives have now taken full control of Havering Council and in order to help them find the money to pay for the defected councillors’ new paid posts it was voted to take the money from the Havering Council’s loyal opposition group leaders, by cutting the opposition group leaders’ allowances by 50per cent.
These defected councillors are continuing to take the money before loyalty in representing the residents that elected them into office and have now become loyal defectors representing the Conservative group while the money keeps rolling in.
Elected councillors should lead by example. We should proudly be putting our residents first, but it’s sad for me to say, that’s not the case in Havering. Working together for our community.
Deon-Burton should resign
Dr Shahrar Ali, recent Green candidate for South Hornchurch, writes:
Of all the things to suddenly become, Conservative doesn’t seem to cut it.
For Cllr Deon-Burton to defect and to help prop up an otherwise minority administration is a gross betrayal of the electors who put their faith in him as an independent.
Deon-Burton brings politics into disrepute by further eroding public trust in the very institution of democracy. .
We call on Deon-Burton to resign and to put his new found political allegiance to the electoral test.