Recorder letters: Armed Forces Day, Lower Thames Crossing, parking charges, climate change and more.
PUBLISHED: 12:00 11 August 2019
Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.
Meeting to discuss crossing concerns
Cllrs Linda Hawthorn, Ron Ower and Chris Wilkins, Upminster & Cranham Residents Association, write:
We understand from Highways England they had over 28,000 responses to their proposals for a Lower Thames Crossing which was a record for a consultation of this type .
More than 15,000 attended their various consultation events where their proposed route was on display. Many Havering residents attended several of these .
Highways England have published that they intend to submit their "Development Consent Order" to the government in the summer of 2020 with a target of opening the Lower Thames Crossing in 2027.
There are a number of concerns locally on the visual impact of the road and increased noise.
Highways England will have a further event locally in Upminster on Thursday, August 15 outside Upminster Library, Corbets Tey Road from 10 am to 5pm.
We urge you to go along if you have any questions.
Is now the time to merge Armed Forces Day events?
D Ainsworth (ex-Royal Air Force regular), Barnstaple Road, Romford, writes:
Now the dust has well settled on Havering's roads following two Armed Forces Day events, is it time to look at our format?
Again, we had two such events. Our official and now well-established Havering Armed Forces Day Parade drew large crowds along the route of its march (led by a band) from South Street passing through the Market Place towards our town hall, where inspections, speeches and presentations were made followed by a complimentary buffet and drinks in a marquee on the lawn.
The borough's official march saw attendances by dignitaries who took the salute in the South Street pedestrian precinct.
These included the deputy lieutenant (Queen's representative), Havering's mayor, MPs for Romford & Hornchurch/Upminster Constituencies, the council leader and the tri-borough metropolitan police commander.
There was also a presence of smartly turnout out police personnel along the route. Much planning and organisation had been needed to ensure such obvious success.
The ethos of the Armed Forces is uniting for the good of the cause or campaign. Yet we had another Armed Forces Day event in Hornchurch, held in the presence of our deputy mayor.
I've spoken to a couple of its participants who were annoyed that, again, their turnout achieved no publicity.
It's time all Havering's Armed Forces cadet units and ex-service personnel again united on one march.
Perhaps a way forward towards unity could be to stage Havering's official Armed Forces Day celebration in Romford and Hornchurch on alternate years? If that option is pursued the Hornchurch event would need a much longer parade route plus a large enough space for inspections, speeches and presentations.
Food for thought?
Do you agree? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Clear guidance for motorists needed
H E Carless, Wedlake Close, Romford, writes:
Apparent levels of contempt have been shown to residents and communities in the administrative standards of the London Borough of Havering with the extension of parking charges, following the earlier introduction of the dropped kerb parking conditions.
Would a notice informing drivers of these obligations who use Wedlake Close be of considerable public assistance and interest?
I forward this in the hope that fair and impartial consideration of public comments by the Recorder may see it's publication.
The problems have been caused to date in Wedlake Close, behind Hornchurch library, by such omissions of the local authority.
Council opposition not strong enough
A Harold Wood resident, full name and address supplied, writes:
From the letters published each week there is obviously widespread discontent about our local Tory administration and particularly about how our budget is being gathered and spent.
This is because there is no effective opposition so they can do precisely as they please - and do in spite of "public consultations".
This situation is likely to continue until the Residents Association get their act together and overcome their various differences.
It must work together so that normal service can be resumed and they can act on our behalf which is what many of us would like.
Climate change and extra police
Cllr David Durant, Rainham and Wennington Independent Residents Group, writes:
Havering Friends of the Earth co-ordinator, Ian Pirie says man made carbon dioxide emissions determine climate and are a threat to the planet as it will raise global temperature by one degree celsius (Recorder, August 2)
However, it's a bizarre fear because it's the sun which determines climate and because carbon dioxide is essential to life on earth which in turn prefers a warmer climate!
The sun is billions of years old and expected to burn for many millions more. It's a giant ball of gas and a million times the size of earth and burns at a remarkably constant temperature, but does vary, hence earlier ice ages.
The sun determines climate and to talk about climate forgetting to mention the sun is a bit like discussing religion but ignoring God.
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Take a look at the solar system, Venus is too close to the sun and is a furnace and Mars is too far and is a freezer, but Earth is just the right location to sustain life. Life the Universe and everything is beyond the imagination really but it's human vanity to believe the puny efforts of man determine climate. It's based on the same human vanity that once led the early church to believe the sun revolved around Earth due to the belief humans were God's special creation so everything must revolve around us.
I appreciate an end of the world is nigh message appeals to the religious minded, in this case dressed up as science, but the matter is completely out of our hands as we can only manage rather than stop changes in climate which is how mankind has progressed throughout the ages.
And here are my observations on policing.
Few doubt the need for more "bobbies on the beat", but they should be funded by government and GLA precept not by council tax payers, particularly in Havering which is already penalised with poor staffing levels and funding compared to inner-London boroughs.
Locally the council leader has announced plans to employ five Metropolitan Police officers for three years for over £900,000 and even before contracts are signed has been advertising this in Conservative leaflets with headlines saying the council are supporting "bobbies on the beat" to protect the public!
This sounds worthy, but the headline isn't entirely accurate because they wont be "bobbies on the beat" but more likely deployed elsewhere! Also will they be good value for money once all the extraction days, training, holidays and sick leave have been factored in.
This matters because during a period of cuts priorities matter and it's odd the council leader has suddenly found over £900,000 after the February budget meeting in which he declared there was no money to keep Chafford Leisure Centre open, despite all the health and social benefits of doing so, particularly as last year there were nearly 60,000 visits to the centre.
However, the new prime minister has announced plans to employ 20,000 more police officers, which presumably includes some for Havering.
The contract for the five officers can be terminated with six months notice. And in view of the new announcement most of the newly found £900,000 should be reassigned and used in part to re-open Chafford Leisure Centre for another year or preferably until the new leisure centre the council leader has promised is built in the south of the borough.
Charity event to support refugees
Janine Thomas, refugee services manager, British Red Cross, writes:
Would you get involved in a physical challenge if you knew it would help some of the most vulnerable people in the UK?
Here at the British Red Cross we believe that every refugee matters. That's why we are asking everyone to get active and take part in Miles for Refugees, our brand new fundraising challenge that will help refugees and people seeking asylum in the UK to get the support they need to rebuild their lives.
People make desperate journeys because they are truly desperate. In the face of conflict or persecution, refugees are often forced to travel hundreds, if not thousands of miles to reach a place of safety.
Miles for Refugees allows you to pick the distance of one of these journeys and cover the miles during the month of September.
You can cycle the distance of Damascus to Athens (1,000 miles), run the distance between Calais and London (108 miles) or select another one of the journeys you'd like to complete, either individually, or part of a team.
Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton is backing the challenge. You can visit our website and watch Victoria's video to find out how to get involved.
Whether you choose to walk, run, cycle or swim, the money you raise will help the British Red Cross to ensure that all refugees are made to feel welcome in their communities and are given the support they need to rebuild their lives in safety.
Your miles can change the lives of refugees this September.
Learn more and sign up at miles.redcross.org.uk
Young people are worried about Brexit and jobs
Lynn Gradwell, director, Barnardo's in London, writes:
Over the past three years it's been hard to escape news about Brexit, but young people in London have been worrying about more than just leaving the EU.
Many children and young people in our capital today feel there is little or no possibility of a positive future, what Barnardo's calls a "poverty of hope".
Our new report Overcoming the Poverty of Hope reveals two thirds (67 per cent) of young people believe their generation will be worse off than their parents.
While 85pc were optimistic that their physical health and life expectancy will be better than their parents, 69pc fear they will have worse mental health.
They're worried about a whole range of issues from a lack of jobs or careers to high house prices, from mental health to climate change and from poor finances to increased knife crime.
What's most concerning is they feel they are not being listened to. The voices of young people are missing from debates about the challenges facing the country.
These are not issues that can be put off until Brexit is solved.
Their concerns are very real and very relevant to their lives - here and now.
So how can we - as adults, leaders, educators, parents, decision makers and politicians - help them overcome this poverty of hope that is hanging over their generation?
We need to work together, believe in young people, nurturing their talents, provide opportunities, knock down barriers, and listen to them when it comes to decisions that affect their futures.
Dietary advice and support after kidney transplant
Paul Bristow, acting chief executive, Kidney Care UK, writes:
Did you know that there are currently 1,129 people in need of a kidney transplant in Greater London whose diet will be restricted due to kidney disease?
It is likely that they will be on fluid restrictions of around just 500ml of liquid a day (including liquid found in foods like sauces and ice cream). That's roughly the equivalent of only being able to have a small cup of tea and one can of soft drink for the whole day.
In addition, they are likely to have to limit the potassium and phosphate in their diet which means missing out on enjoying foods like chocolate, bananas and tomatoes.
Sadly a lot of the advice given to patients focuses on the foods to avoid but we want to make the kidney diet about all the things kidney patients can eat and to bring enjoyment back into food which is why we've launched the Kidney Kitchen.
Research shows that only 53 per cent of the general public in the Greater London area are aware that kidney disease can restrict your diet, and just 33pc are aware that having kidney disease can restrict the amount of liquid you can consume every day.
We hope that the Kidney Kitchen will help raise awareness amongst your readers so that everyone living with kidney disease in Bedfordshire can enjoy healthy and delicious food with their family and friends.
All of the recipes have been developed with the support of renal dieticians and each recipe comes with facts to help those cooking and/or eating the food how the recipes fit into their diet.
If you are, or if you know a kidney patient, make sure you check outkidneykitchen.org