Recorder letters: Andy Walker, private leaseholders, Boris Johnson, London Plan, local business, GLC, PDSA, stamps for charity and thank you.
PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 December 2017
Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.
Is it time to drop the dropped kerbs?
An Upminster resident, full address supplied, writes:
In recent weeks I have noticed a worrying rise in the amount of dropped kerbs being installed down leafy suburban roads throughout the borough.
I would be interested to discover if any more of your readers have noticed this?
It seems to me that grass verges appear to be disappearing at an alarming rate, and, when combined with recent news of the Mayor of London’s new housing targets for Havering, this makes me worry about the direction our council, and indeed City Hall, is taking us in.
Long-running fight to save our A&E is not won yet
Paul McGeary, former Harold Hill councillor, writes:
Well we have been campaigning since I became a councillor in 2010 with Andy Walker and the team to keep the A&E open at King George Hospital so that Queen’s was not flooded out with 40,000 more attendances each year from the Ilford area.
Andy deserves all the credit for keeping this campaign going through all these years and should be recognised for all his hard work on behalf of our communities.
The campaign still goes on it is only a review we need the final decision to be confirmed.
We still need the A&E at Queen’s to be extended to meet the increased needs of our existing boroughs with the increased population brought about by the Housing development in the area.
We need additional funding from central government for community services such as the development of St George’s hospital to enable services to be moved away from Queen’s to free up space to develop the A&E there to meet current demand.
Stop private leaseholders
A Romford resident, full name and address suppiled, writes:
I wholeheartedly agree with the person who wrote that Havering Council should not have private leaseholders.
I too have suffered for years just the same and agree nothing so far has been done to successfully rectify problems that go on and on and on.
I am prepared to move just for some peace and downsize but there is nowhere to transfer to either.
According to the Haart Magazine Leaseholders have a leasehold agreement similar to tenants so I don’t understand why it isn’t enforced.
Why did we not know about BoJo?
Terence F Matthews LL B (Hons) - Focus Editor, Hornchurch Residents Association, writes:
The visit by Boris Johnson to Hornchurch may have had some good affect; if instead of being surrounded by local Conservatives and the MP for Hornchurch & Upminster he had been able to speak to members of the public and members of local organisations/associations.
I wonder why his visit was not notified to non-Tory members? All it needed was a email to all local organisations/associations.
What is the point in preaching to the converted when you can get the views of those who are not members of the Tory Party?
I should also point out that your report showed Julia Lopez as the Upminster MP when in fact she is the MP for Hornchurch & Upminster.
Let’s get it right people!
Have your say on new London Plan
Cllr Graham Williamson, Independent Residents Group, South Hornchurch, writes:
The latest housing demands of the mayor in his recently unveiled draft London Plan are as shocking as they are unsustainable.
He is suggesting a full 60 per cent increase in our target from 1,170 to 1,875 new properties per year to sort out London’s problem of a mushrooming population.
This figure is as bad as the council’s original target of 30k and the government’s own excessive ‘target’ for Havering.
In order to achieve that we would have to reintroduce un-social tower blocks, back garden developments (everywhere), loss of greenbelt and flats placed on top of existing properties.
Furthermore there will be insufficient infrastructure eg doctors, dentists, transport and retail, to service the new and old residents because in these continual days of austerity there is no money available.
He is also demanding that outer-boroughs should fall in line with inner-London in his attempt to minimise or even remove parking from new developments.
His affordable housing target of 35-50pc will not be tested for economic viability and will inevitably force some developers/builders to cut corners on quality to maintain profits. We do not want another Orchard Village to put right!
This London Plan is nothing short of an existential threat to our existing quality of life and must be resisted at every turn.
I urge all your readers to oppose these suggestions by going to london.gov.uk. and taking part in the consultation.
Please buy local this Christmas
Cllr Clarence Barrett, Upminster & Cranham Residents’ Association, writes:
Christmas is the busiest time of the year for our High Streets and shopping parades and a crucial time for local businesses to tap into the extra demand.
I was interested to read of an initiative in Preston where the council launched a scheme promoting the use, where possible, of local suppliers.
This is something I would like to see rolled out more extensively, providing that it also demonstrates good value for money, as it will help keep the local pound in the local economy.
This not only creates growth and jobs, but instils a sense of value in supporting our local economy.
Shoppers are long used to inspecting ‘use by’ dates when buying produce, the next step will be to inspect the ‘where from’ label with equal scrutiny.
Beware threat of development
Cllr David Durant, Rainham and Wennington Independent Residents Group, writes:
In 1965, the old London County Council doubled its size and became the Greater London Council, but for many years there remained a distinct cultural and environmental difference between inner and outer London.
Now the Labour London Mayor’s new London Plan seeks to end that difference with mass housebuilding in suburbia, including infill on a massive scale that if approved threatens all our small high value green spaces and acts as a green light for back-garden development.
This in turn threatens the future of the green belt as local groups will be encouraged to say “build on the Green Belt rather than in our back yard”.
Already I am aware of a cabinet member who promotes this ‘solution’ despite it being contrary to official council policy.
In truth it wouldn’t be a solution, just an addition to the housing planned for Havering.
If the London Plan is progressed, the areas outside London, or more accurately outside the Greater London Authority (GLA) area, will become the new ‘suburbia’ and this in turn explains a recent proposal by the GLA Conservative Group to expand London still further, to include all land within the M25.
Help a poorly pet at Christmas time
Nicola Martin, PDSA, senior vet, writes:
This Christmas, please spare a thought for the thousands of much-loved pets requiring life-saving vet treatment.
While most pets will enjoy spending extra time at home with their families, not all are so lucky.
Every December, pet wellbeing charity PDSA cares for 50,000 pets in need.
Without our dedicated vet teams, many of these pets would have nowhere else to go. For 100 years, we’ve been helping provide critical care and emergency surgery for pets that urgently need us when tragedy strikes. Demand for our vital services never stops.
Every pet is a star in our eyes, and we want to give them all a fighting chance.
When PDSA saves a pet, another family stays together. But we can only continue helping with your support.
Animal lovers can help our #SaveAStar campaign at pdsa.org.uk/star or by texting STAR to 70020 to give a one-off donation of £5 (you’ll also be charged one standard rate message*).
From all of the pets you’ll help to save this Christmas, thank you.
*Over 16s only. Must have bill payer’s permission. Full terms at pdsa.org.uk/star
Donate stamps to help Kidney care
Paddy Tabor MVO, chief executive, Kidney Care UK, writes:
I wanted to appeal to your readers to ask them their used stamps this Christmas and donate them to Kidney Care UK to help us raise much needed funds for kidney patients.
Every Christmas more than one billion cards are sent in the UK and for every 1kg of used stamps donated we can raise as much as £20 to help people with chronic kidney disease.
There are 64,000 people being treated for kidney failure in the UK right now and 1,254 people are currently waiting for a transplant in Greater London.
Your support will help us to provide practical, financial and emotional support for kidney patients and their families when they need it most; we believe no-one should face kidney disease alone, and especially to hold on to not at Christmas.
You can read and download our step by step guide to collecting and donating used stamps at kidneycareuk.org
Finally, we hope all of your readers have a wonderful Christmas and a fantastic New Year.
A big thank you
Cllr Linda Hawthorn, Upminster & Cranham Residents Association, writes:
My council colleague Ron Ower and I would like to thank all of you who attended the Upminster ‘Christmas Lights Switch on Event’ at the end of November in record numbers once again.