Recorder letters: Crossrail toilets, Air Ambulance, fly-tipping, vaccine, chewing gum, pay cap, TapRoom and police

PUBLISHED: 10:33 10 July 2017


A Crossrail train. Picture: TFL

Crossrail should have toilets on trains

Richard Enever, Queen’s Road, Brentwood, writes:

Over the past few years, I have been complaining about the lack of campaigning for toilets on Crossrail.

Crossrail says there will be toilets at every station. That may be true, but anyone could get taken short on a train without toilets. The journey to Heathrow from Brentwood will be 1¼ hours. Is a family expected to miss their book-in time at Heathrow because someone in their party is incontinent?

In December 2012, members of Brentwood Bus and Rail Users Association, of which I am a committee member, saw a photograph of a Crossrail train going back 20 years showing a toilet. Crossrail have reneged on their word.

Thank you for support of London Air Ambulance

Jonathan Jenkins, CEO of London’s Air Ambulance, writes:

As I come to the end of my first 60 days as CEO of London’s Air Ambulance, I would like to emphasise the importance of local support to our charity and share some words of thanks with the people of Havering.

It’s a great feeling when you find out a company has donated a large sum of money to the charity, but it is vital to never lose sight of our grass-root supporters.

To me, a local cake sale is just as important as a big corporate partnership. This charity was built on community spirit; it’s a service funded by the people of London for the people of London and that’s something I really want to focus on during my time as CEO.

In April, our charity responded to a man who had been involved in a motorbike collision at Gants Hill roundabout.

Our medical team treated the patient on scene, alongside the London Ambulance Service, before he was taken to a nearby hospital. Local support is so important in helping us provide this vital service.

The money raised by communities goes towards delivering our advanced trauma team via helicopter or rapid response car to critically injured people across the capital and it’s thanks to your help that London’s Air Ambulance was able to treat 45 people in Havering last year.

Now we need your help again to raise awareness of our charity status.

Whilst eight out of 10 people have heard of the London’s Air Ambulance service around two-thirds of people in London are not sure or don’t think that London’s Air Ambulance is a charity.

This is a massive hurdle to overcome as we try to gain more support and may be explained by the fact that, on average, people believe 47 per cent of our funding comes from either the NHS, central government or local government.

In reality, we receive the majority of our income from public donations.

People also believe that we exist to transport people to hospital or from hard to access areas, when in actual fact, we deliver a doctor and paramedic to a patient’s side to deliver treatment only usually found in a hospital emergency department – this includes open chest surgery, anaesthesia, blood transfusions and advanced pain relief.

Over the last few years the charity has focused on acquiring a second helicopter and securing extended daylight flying hours, with these aims achieved we will now focus on the challenge of increasing awareness of our charitable status.

It is the work you do promoting, fundraising or volunteering in your local community that helps spread the message that we rely on public donations.

Together, I know we can carry on helping critically injured people in London.

Finally, I would like to say a huge thank you for everything you have already done for London’s Air Ambulance.

It is down to you that we have treated more than 36,000 patients in our 28 years of service and your continued support will help us save lives long into the future.

Make sure waste carrier is licensed

Cllr Clarence Barrett, Upminster and Cranham Residents’ Association, writes:

Part of the strategy in tackling fly-tippers is to beware of anyone who offers a rock bottom price to dispose of your bulky waste or rubbish.

Given the high cost of landfill and disposal charges, if it seems very cheap, then don’t be surprised to see the items reappearing in a country lane or field.

Moreover, if fly-tipped material is traced back to its owner they will be held responsible and subject to a hefty fine, even if they had no idea it was going to be fly-tipped.

It is important that anyone offering to dispose of your waste is a licensed waste carrier. This can easily be checked online here

If you haven’t access to a computer, I will happily check for you!

Why can’t I have shingles vaccine?

A Collier Row resident, full name and address supplied, writes:

I read the article in the Recorder which annoyed me intensely. It is the article about the over 70s to 80s having vaccinations for shingles.

Well, I saw the adverts in the doctor’s surgery some four years ago and I was not born in the right year to receive it, I was born in 1942.

Had I been born in 1941 or 1943 I would have been eligible for this shingles vaccination, so I assume this insult is still in operation today.

To be singled out because I was born in the wrong year, 1942 and not 1941 or 1943, is an insult too far. Tell me LCCG, what makes me not entitled.

Obviously the NHS and LCCG believe I cannot catch this virus, or is it to save money by singling out those born in 1942 hoping we would not notice being refused this important vaccination.

I assume this has not changed.

Maybe we need gum wardens

Pete Bailey, full address supplied, writes:

I refer to Mrs G Farmer’s letter regarding dirty streets in Romford Town Centre.

Well I totally agree with her comment. Even recently laid paving in the Romford Station and Western Road area near the swimming pool is already coated with muck and a black substance.

It really does not enhance the general appearance of the town. To add to this there are always drinks cans, cigarette packets and lashings of chewing gum all over the pavements.

As soon as new paving is laid, it appears that some people just can’t wait to cover it with chewing gum.

What is wrong with putting gum and rubbish into the many waste bins around the town?

Perhaps we should have wardens in the town looking out for the few offenders who are destroying the appearance of Romford for the majority of us.

Join nurses’ fight to #scrapthecap

Cynthia Davis, Royal College of Nursing (RCN) London board chairmain, writes:

It’s not often that nursing staff feel the need to get “political”. We get on with doing the job we were trained to do. Many of us cannot imagine doing anything else.

But we now find ourselves in a situation that can no longer be tolerated.

Since 2010, pay freezes and the 1 per cent cap on public sector pay increases have left each member of the NHS nursing staff at least £3,000 worse off, with salaries falling 14pc in real-terms.

The pay cap not only leaves nurses struggling financially, it devalues nurses and nursing.

For the first time since 2008, more nurses are now leaving the profession than joining.

Patients cannot get the care they need because there are not enough nurses – in London there are 13,000 unfilled nursing posts, the highest it has ever been.

This means wards across the capital are understaffed and our nursing staff overstretched.

A Royal College of Nursing survey of members last month showed that nine in 10 would support industrial action if the pay cap is not scrapped.

That’s why many nurses are now getting involved in a “summer of protest” to give the government a final chance to remove the cap.

Failure to do so will result in a formal legal ballot on action later in the year.

Readers may see us as we undertake this activity and we hope they will support our aims. Without nursing staff, the NHS cannot survive.

Please support our campaign and call for the government to #scrapthecap so we can continue to be there for the patients who need us now and in the future.

I don’t consider TapRoom ‘recent’

Cllr Linda Hawthorn, Upminster and Cranham’s Residents Association, writes:

I was a little mystified by Mr Connolly’s letter, in your paper last week, in response to mine which detailed a few of the recent new shops which we have in Upminster.

His letter almost answered itself – the TapRoom, which he thinks I should have mentioned, has been there since the end of 2015, over 18 months ago.

I simply do not consider this recent.

Do armed police make us safer?

Cllr David Durant, vice-chairman crime and disorder committee, writes:

The Manchester, Westminster, London Bridge and Finsbury Park attacks were immediately described as terrorist attacks.

But by law terrorism is an act of violence to achieve political objectives and not to be confused with a random act of violence, which would be classed as a form of assault.

For this reason the decision of government and police to immediately call them acts of terrorism is highly irregular, because none of the perpetrators issued any political demands beforehand and because, as most were immediately killed, nor afterwards either.

This matters because after describing the attacks as terrorist the government authorised the deployment of armed police with machine guns in public places, but seriously does such deployment make us more or less safe?

There are many operational and political questions raised by the recent attacks, but I do worry we are being manipulated to excuse over-the-top deployment of armed Robocop police on our streets, which I fear is counterproductive and intended to end our proud record of unarmed policing by consent.

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