Recorder letters: body paint fundraising, new homes, dangerous road, hate crime and more.

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 October 2019

A group of women volunteered for body painting at the Havering Beauty Academy in Hornchurch to raise money for charities. Picture: Gander Photography

A group of women volunteered for body painting at the Havering Beauty Academy in Hornchurch to raise money for charities. Picture: Gander Photography

Gander Photography

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

'Brave fundraisers a real inspiration'

Sarah Harper, Romford, writes:

The women who were painted head to toe as mythical creatures are very brave indeed (page 2-3 in last week's paper).

You often hear about fundraisers for the country's main charities but to do something so brave and unique for more local

charities - having an impact daily on the lives of local people - is really inspiring.

They are a credit to the community and an inspiration. I'm sure the Rainbow Trust, Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, Brentwood,

and Crohns and Colitis UK charities are extremely grateful for all their efforts and bravery.

We must build new homes and protect green spaces

Cllr Damian White, leader, Havering Council, writes:

This is a very exciting time for our borough. We have big ambitions to deliver council and affordable housing for thousands of local people over the next 12 - 15 years. However, the regeneration of our borough must complement the character, heritage, open spaces and uniqueness we are fortunate to have here in Havering.

Regeneration is not just about building homes, it is about the wider benefits these schemes can offer, including education and training for our residents, and opportunities for our local businesses.

Ultimately, regeneration is about creating communities and places for generations to enjoy.

It is for this reason that we always welcome residents' views and opinions on development opportunities. They are vital to helping us build such communities.

At the full council meeting on Wednesday, September 25, we announced that we have withdrawn development plans for both New Zealand Way and Gooshays Gardens.

We have a responsibility to explore each development opportunity to ensure we are able to provide much-needed high-quality housing for all of our residents. However, we must also protect our existing spaces and value the concerns of our residents. We will be exploring options to include the social housing within our other developments.

I believe that we can accomplish great things by working collaboratively and listening to one another. That way we can achieve the very best for our borough, together.

The decision to withdraw our plans for these two developments proves that we do listen.

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their thoughts on these proposals.

The high cost of super-towers

Cllr David Durant, Rainham and Wennington Independent Residents Group, writes:

Local councils are told to meet housing targets that can never be met.

Even if we got close the targets would be increased because they are based on a government business model called Ponzi immigration of an ever increasing population.

That means all the funding and planning rules are in place to facilitate an ever increasing population by building super-towers throughout inner and outer-London.

Therefore, do we attempt to meet government and GLA targets or do we try to mitigate the targets with some common sense that serves the residents of Havering.

Alas both Labour and Conservative agree meeting housing targets come what may, is more important than defending the interests of Havering residents. For example:-

I attended the October 10 Strategic Planning Committee meeting to object to revised council plans P0751.19 to go 10 high at Dovers Corner (north-side).

Initially the plans were to knock down Napier House and New Plymouth House and go low rise over a wider area, but I pointed out the revised council plans would set a precedent to go at least 10 high all along New Road from Dovers Corner to the proposed Beam Park station and adversely impact on infrastructure, amenity and the Rainham Village Conservation Area.

The original Beam Reach Masterplan envisaged no more than five high along New Road, but the London Mayor has already intervened to raise heights to 16 at Beam Park station and the council leader attended the meeting to support raising heights to 10 at Dovers Corner (north-side).

In other words both the London Mayor (Lab) and council leader (Con) are colluding to sabotage the previously approved masterplan to build a new garden suburb in the south of the borough and this collusion was illustrated by the Labour and Conservative committee members combining to approve the application.

Crossing is too dangerous to use

Marilyn Edwards, Shaftesbury Road, Romford, writes:

Pedestrians beware - do not use the crossing Eastern Road/Mercury Gardens (town side).

The road tarmac has collapsed and is undulating in waves. I nearly went flying yesterday, luckily a man walking beside me caught me before I went completely over.

There could be a nasty accident as cars speed there and I've often seen them go through red lights.

I've reported this and, hopefully, urgent repairs will be carried out.

Until then I will avoid that crossing.

We are all affected by hate crime rise

Superintendent Waheed Khan, The Met's Lead Responsible Officer (LRO) for hate crime, writes:

Hate Crime Awareness Week (October 12 - 19) is a national week of action, which takes place every October to raise awareness of hate crime.

It aims to bring people together to stand in solidarity with those affected by hate crime, support them and raise awareness, as well as prevent hate crime with our communities across London and challenge hate crime in all its forms.

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London is such a diverse and tolerant city, but too many still feel marginalised, or worse intimidated to go about their daily lives due to their race, faith, sexual orientation, gender or disability.

Hate crime incidents may involve a physical attack, damage to property, bullying, harassment, verbal abuse, insults or online abuse using social media and it is a scourge on our communities.

It can be deeply upsetting and humiliating for the victim, and sometimes victims don't believe they'll be taken seriously, however, I would like to remind victims that we (the Met) take a zero tolerance approach and that every report will be taken seriously.

Hate crime affects people from all walks of life, and impacts on communities across London. The Met does not tolerate any form of discrimination, and is committed to working with partners, such as MOPAC, TruVision, Tell Mama, Galop and Inclusion London, to robustly tackle hate crime by holding offenders to account, bringing prosecutions where appropriate, and in particular, supporting victims.

The Met has seen an increase in the reporting of all types of hate crime, and this rise is in part due to the growing willingness of victims to report crime and improved awareness by police. We have also seen a sharp increase in hate crimes perpetrated online, and the Met works with online platforms to identify offensive content and the people who post it, and progress investigations. We would urge hate crime victims who have not spoken to police to come forward and tell us about incidents so they can be fully investigated."

Anyone who believes that they have been the victim of a hate crime is asked to call police on 101 or by tweeting @MetCC.

Information can also be reported anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or online.

PM missed his chance to shine

Eamonn Mahon, chairman of Brooklands Residents Association, Shelia Road, Romford, writes:

At a critical time for our country Boris Johnson's conference speech was a moment for the prime minister to show some statesmanship, instead he delivered his customary knock-about routine that was insulting in its hollowness and insincerity.

He had nothing of substance to say, he barely mentioned housing and failed to touch upon welfare and there was not a single new policy announcement.

The extra money for schools, hospitals, and police are clearly an election bribe that do not compensate for the horrendous, and ideological Tory cuts since 2010. He has driven moderate Tories (if there is such a thing) from his party and deepened divisions with his incendiary and ill-tempered language.

His priorities are tax-cuts for the rich and the rolling back of workers rights, we want the country to come together, but that will not happen under Johnson' leadership.

We need support to keep air clean

Cllr Julian Bell, chairman, London Councils' Transport and Environment Committee, writes:

We welcome the Environment Bill announced in the Queen's Speech on Monday.

Air pollution in the capital is a silent killer and we need to ensure that producers pay for disposing of the packaging they create.

New legislation that provides London boroughs with improved powers and resources is essential if we are to deal with these challenges.

We want the new Bill to support the boroughs to tackle air pollution more effectively.

Our priorities include introducing powers to tackle idling vehicles and crack down on other sources of harmful emissions such as wood burning stoves.

Join the Reuse Revolution today

Allison Swaine-Hughes, retail director, British Heart Foundation (BHF), writes:

Last year the British Heart Foundation rescued 74,000 tonnes of items from landfill due to the generous donations of our supporters.

But we know there are still many, many more sofas, side boards and beds out there that aren't yet ready for the tip and could provide an ideal and affordable answer for those looking to furnish their home on a budget.

This month we are asking the public to join the Reuse Revolution.

You can shop, upcycle or donate second hand furniture while helping to raise funds for life-saving research in to heart and circulatory disease. You can simply call your local shop to arrange a free donation.

For further information on the Reuse Revolution and information about how to locate your nearest BHF shop, please visit

Climate hypocrites in political parties

Cllr David Durant, Rainham and Wennington Independent Residents Group, writes:

David Hughes (Recorder, October 10) casts oil companies as enemies of the planet and presumably would like to close the oil wells along with the coal mines and return to a pre-industrial nirvana!

It's a religious outlook that believes spiritual purity is undermined by material comfort.

Protesters want to compel everyone to forsake material comfort under the guise of saving the planet. This compulsion based on a lie is bad enough, but it becomes thoroughly insulting when you realise those promoting the message don't practice what they preach and despite sounding holy, dine with the devil.

Political parties just like shopkeepers sell products people want to buy, but Labour's adoption of the climate scam shows how it has forsaken the working class, because once the coal miners where the hinterland of the Labour Movement but are now deemed enemies of the planet. And the Conservatives are also happy to indulge the climate snowflakes as they want to promote an allegedly "carbon free" civil nuclear program to provide the skills and technology to renew the obsolete Trident nuclear deterrent and hide the cost in fuel bills.

Neil Robinson (Recorder, October 10) says many people have neither the time or inclination to extensively research the science behind climate change! True, but there's no need to as its an elementary scam, because many things determine climate and because carbon dioxide is essential to life on earth as we can't breathe without it and it's the food plants breathe to make them grow. The fact is the world is beset by profitable scares, but few as obvious as man made climate change!

Take a tea break and help charity

Natalie Warnock, chief baker, Epilepsy Action, writes:

Have your readers been inspired by the Great British Bake Off? Their time in the kitchen whipping up biscuits, puddings or cakes could make a really difference to people with epilepsy.

Epilepsy Action's Tea Break is on Friday, October 18. People up and down the nation will be popping the kettle on and rolling out their best bakes.

The tea parties will raise money to support people with epilepsy in the UK. One in 100 people live with the condition which can be life-altering.

Every cup of tea and sweet treat sold at an Epilepsy Action Tea Break will raise vital funds to support the charity's vital work.

Whether it's through our experts on the Epilepsy Action Helpline or our network of local support groups, we're here when people with epilepsy need us and to give them a voice.

Visit or call 0113 210 8851.

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