Recorder letters: Litter, hospitals, sports centre, Aladdin and more.
PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 April 2019
Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.
Expand KGH to ease Queen's pressure
Bob Archer, Cllr Nic Dodin and Andy Walker, c/o Blytheswood Road, Seven Kings, write:
We are baffled that leading politicians are saying that it is “disappointing” that the government turned down £70m for King George and Queen's.
Within the £70m is a £49m bid for works to close King George A&E.
The bid document is at savekinggeorgehospital.blogspot.co.uk so that readers can view the plans to close King George A&E.
The Save King George A&E/Don't Overload Queen's campaign team go to 10 Downing Street on May 3 to say the new plan to close KGH A&E, for which PFI funding is being considered, must be the subject of public consultation before funding is sought.
Whilst we would prefer the 2018 plan to be withdrawn immediately, NHS bosses are keen to proceed with it.
An in-depth consultation with greater information about bed numbers, staffing and projected patient numbers will, we believe, lead to the closure bid being withdrawn.
Instead we argue that King George must be expanded to relieve the pressure on Queen's.
There is no excuse for the attitude of litter droppers
Richard Loveard, Romford (full address supplied) writes:
Havering Council is facilitating and encouraging community clean-ups to help to deal with this important and pressing issue.
The Havering-atte-Bower Conservation Society (HABCOS) organised one such clean-up on Sunday, with much appreciated support, effort and help in the preceding months from a couple of office-based council staff, and another one who delivered the equipment on the day and collected it, together with the filled sacks, later.
Altogether in excess of 40 sacks of litter were collected. One which I filled consisted almost entirely of drinks cans within a 15 metre length of verge and hedge, where it seemed that a passing driver had stopped and emptied a car boot or van.
And there are more which cannot be reached until vegetation dies back next winter. It did not take long to fill a further two sacks from the North Road area.
It was very frustrating to see two bags of dogs' mess which could not be removed – one stuck on a barbed wire fence and the other three metres or so up in a tree!
This is completely unacceptable.
As I said last year, we can all help by clearing the area outside our properties and elsewhere, and we need to find a way to encourage everyone to dispose of their litter in the correct and responsible way; there is no excuse for the current attitude of some people, and, in this time of great pressure on local authority budgets, councils could put the money used to clear litter to good use elsewhere.
Hopefully in the coming months we can make a positive difference.
Ill-informed over sports centre
Cllr Viddy Persaud, cabinet member for public protection and safety, Havering, writes:
Sharar Ali (letters, April 12) makes a number of ill-informed points about Havering Council's decision to close the 50-year old Chafford sports complex, a fine illustration of which is his incorrect assumption that I am a man!
I would urge Mr Ali to check his facts out on this and on many other points he seeks to make.
The residents of the south of our borough deserve excellent sports facilities and our administration will provide them.
I am not satisfied that residents of Rainham should put up with rusty old facilities that cannot meet the needs of the community and our decision was to close Chafford so that we can build a brand new facility.
I recently went to visit just such a centre in a neighbouring borough and having done so am more convinced than ever that we will deliver the leisure centre with all the equipment that Rainham residents deserve.
Aladdin another HPA success
Elizabeth Preston, South End Road, Hornchurch, writes:
When it's cold outside it was great to be in the Queen's Theatre to see the latest show from Hewitt's Performing Arts, this time it was Aladdin.
Before the show started we saw a video showing the 'back stage' work done by the teachers with dancers promoting HPA, apparently done by Leah Denis in house, not a professional outside company.
This professionalism is also reflected in the costumes, hair, scenery, effects, routines etc...The parents and teachers should be very proud of themselves in producing such a vibrant production here in Hornchurch.
They opened with routines by INFUSION, a mixture of ages and generic dancing which set the pace for the evening.
The show was based on Aladdin with Asian themed music combined with modern, tap, ballet, street etc. Excellent solos from Princess Jazmine, Ebeneezer, the Genie and the smaller members of the troop benefited from Daisy ever smiling as she helped them with their steps.
Another successful show which sells out very quickly so look out for tickets next year.
My critics are upset by truth
Terence F Matthews LL B (Hons) Clement Way, Upminster, writes:
Not one but two attacks on me, in the April 12 edition by Keith Darvill and Chris Purnell, both Labour Party supporters and are or have been Havering councillors.
There is nothing like the truth to upset these people. Yes Keith, I was involved in politics before you were born.
I helped my father, a paid-up union member, in 1946 when I was 11, delivering Labour leaflets and other work such as envelope stuffing, in Harefield, Middlesex.You know full well that I have been involved in local politics before you were a councillor. Remember civic conferences for instance.
Yes, I was a serving police officer 40 years ago but that is not the time I left.
I have also been involved in local policing, including five years as a SN Panel chairman and two years as a panel member. I was also a member of the Havering CPC before it was abolished and the SN Board taking over. I still talk to senior police officers regarding Havering policing. What have you done Keith and Chris?
I did not say I had the solution to knife and gun crime. I made a suggestion regarding the use of arches to the commissioner, that could reduce the carrying of offensive weapons. When Keith has been involved in serious wounding cases, as I have and seen the results first hand, he can talk about the subject with knowledge.
I want the offence of carrying a knife with over four inch blade, without legal authority, to result in a prison sentence.
If such a weapon is used the sentence must be a real deterrent ie at least 10 years. If found carrying twice, at least five years imprisonment. I can guarantee Keith that violent crime involving the use of a weapon will drastically reduce.
I believe that the majority of law abiding citizens will agree with me.
Keith says I am wrong to state that imprisonment works and multi-agency methods have failed. In that case can he tell me how his dream of a multi-agency approach has ended up with the present horrendous killings and wounding?
The only thing that will work is more police on the beat with a massive increase in 'Stops'. I would remind Keith and his sycophant that it was Labour who are responsible for reducing stops. It may be under a Tory government but it was their MPs who went on and on about 'Stops' being racist. In Brixton a lot of black youths were stopped but in Havering virtually none. It all depends where somebody lives and the crime rate that decides, not racism.
I am called offensive names by Purnell because my knowledge is far more than his narrow outlook. He just had to jump on Keith's bandwagon as he has nothing intelligent to say.
Both of these Labour members are following the present Labour Party policies ie bully and insult those who do not agree with theirs and Corbyn's policies. Neither of them have the courage to face me, although they know full well where I live and my contact details.
Is it true Keith; that you got a chairmanship from the Tory administration? Can you tell us why, if true, as the official opposition got none and the leaders allowance cut by 50per cent?
Shameful move by Conservatives
Cllr Tele Lawal, Heaton ward, writes:
There has been a lot of discussion about what happened at the town hall, where several residents were turned away, and a request was made for no opposition to be heard regarding the development on our precious green spaces in Harold Hill.
What happened that evening is really simple. The Conservatives used an ancient rule, which has never been used before at this board meeting. The Conservatives demanded that during the meeting there should be no discussion and questions relating to the 64 homes planned to be built on our green space in Gooshays.
This was a shameful move by the Conservatives to prevent democracy and good scrutiny, particularly when the board only have powers to make the Conservative cabinet reconsider its earlier decision with the concerns raised from that meeting.
What is wrong in asking the Conservatives to reconsider a decision, especially when the Conservatives promised to protect our green spaces if they got into power?
It would seem the Conservatives are fearful of some real opposition from members and happy to silence the genuine concerns of Harold Hill residents.
Cllr Darren Wise published a public letter, which was shared everywhere on social media - viciously objecting the development in Goohays. He even attended the public meeting held one late evening to hear residents' concerns.
As the chairman of the board, Cllr Darren Wise had the final say. It was tied 7:7 and he sat there and allowed the Conservatives to prevent any concern of Gooshays being heard, and for it to automatically move to the next stage.
I welcome Harold Wood Cllr Darren Wise to clarify why he opposed the development to the community (I have copies of his letter upon request), and then didn't vote to allow real opposition for Gooshays? I'll wait. We could have had this decision delayed and returned back to the cabinet if he was brave enough to stand up to the Conservatives.
The disgraceful way the Conservatives have used this rule to avoid facing the public and allowing scrutiny, underlines the need to change these rules so that they are not used in a way to avoid examination of their policies. Labour Councillors will be working with other opposition groups to ensure this does not happen again.
Future generations won't forgive us
Eamonn Mahon, chairman, Brooklands Residents Association, writes:
This country has had many public services dismantled in the past nine years owing to this Tory government's austerity programme and despite PM Thersea May's assurances that more money is being made available many public services are now at breaking point.
The UK is the fifth biggest economy with a record number of people in work, depending who you believe, so why are we allowing this government to dismantle the services that made this country one of the most admired nations on earth?
The Brexit debacle has, for the past three years, dominated the headlines and poisoned political debate at the expense of everything else in our country, resulting in a complete loss of faith in the political system, as seen in the Newport West by-elections' 37per cent turnout.
We live in a great nation which in recent years has been riven by intolerance and division and will do incalculable damage to our country if not addressed urgently, so it is up to us all to demand action by politicians to bring our country together, before it is too late.
Personally, I am so concerned what we are leaving for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren to deal with. We won't be forgiven.
Making London dementia-friendly
Linda O'Sullivan, head of London Region, Alzheimer's Society, writes:
I'm sure many of your readers will know of someone or are directly affected by dementia – in Havering there are 3,493 people living with the condition.
Despite almost all of us knowing someone affected, two-thirds of people living with dementia report feeling isolated and lonely.
Alzheimer's Society is working with the Mayor of London and the GLA to make London dementia-friendly. We want to make our vibrant capital a place where people living with dementia feel supported and able to take part in all that London has to offer But we need everyone to get involved, to take an action and support those living in their local communities.
To find out more about dementia and events taking place across London visit alzheimers.org.uk/DAW