Recorder letters: Dovers Farm Estate, police merger, Pride flag, suffragettes, private leasing, voluntary tax, crime poem and parking machines.

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 February 2018

L-R: Councillor Linda Van den Hende, Mayor of Havering joins celebrations with ward councillors and residents.

L-R: Councillor Linda Van den Hende, Mayor of Havering joins celebrations with ward councillors and residents.


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

Fly an inclusive, not exclusive flag

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

My motto is “live and let live”, based on English fair play, rather than Marxist equality theory. But Labour’s promotion of gender and sexual liberation politics, to replace the old class politics, is divisive and plays into the hands of those who want to ban free speech and reverse Brexit.

Hence it’s highly irregular for the Conservative council leader, on a whim, to agree to replace the inclusive Havering flag, and for a month, with the exclusive LGBT flag, which only represents one section/s of the community, particularly as it coincides with our annual budget setting meeting at the Town Hall.

Perhaps we need a new guest flag pole to accommodate all different pressure groups flags, for a day, but it seems the council leader has abandoned all procedural rules and flag protocols, simply to avoid a threatened Labour party LGBT demonstration outside the Town Hall, which I understand will still go ahead anyway.

For me we all have rights and different interests that need to be negotiated with other rights and interests and we are all entitled to representation to ensure a law-abiding and cohesive society.

But at the end of the day, this is best achieved by flying inclusive rather than exclusive flags.

Councillors and officers should meet our wishes

Alan Cauvain, St Andrews Avenue, Hornchurch, writes:

Havering Council does not work for its residents, in my view, especially when the mighty Sadiq Khan (London mayor) cracks his whip and says build more properties in the borough. And that obviously means anywhere and everywhere.

The so-called top brass and councillors seem to totally disregard the residents of the borough and carry out Khan’s commands.

These people, whoever they are, have ignored the local people around Dovers Farm Estate who want to have a village green on a small piece of ground in the estate.

The residents have fought the council to keep the area for local events for local people but the council have turned them down so they can build 30-32 properties (maybe this will solve the housing problem of Havering, ha ha).

The councillors and top brass at Havering Council are paid to run and organise the services of the borough to meet the wishes of its residents and if they cannot or will not do this then they need to be kicked out, they are no good to us. It is not for them to decide what we want, it’s for us to tell them what they should do for us (we do not live in a dictatorship).

If the people of the Dovers Farm Estate want the small piece of land as a village green then it is for the so-called top brass to make it happen.

Remember there are local elections coming up so we need to vote in councillors who will work for us. We Pay the Bills!

Seeking judicial review at Dovers

Trevor Mckeever, South Hornchurch Labour Action Team, writes:

Whilst the outcome of the inquiry for village green status did not go in favour of Dover’s Green, this is not the end, or even the beginning of the end of this fight.

South Hornchurch Labour Action Team, working in conjunction with local Labour MP Jon Cruddas, have secured the services of a solicitor and barrister on a pro-bono basis. This means that we can now go forward at no cost to South Hornchurch Residents, to seek grounds for a judicial review.

South Hornchurch Labour Action Team will be meeting with the solicitor on February 22 to discuss the details of the findings and investigate grounds for a judicial review.

I must point out at this time that there seems to be an urban myth being created that the proposed building on the Dover’s Green is down to the current Mayor of London. The first application to build on this green was before the current Labour mayor was in office. This was defeated, as was the second application to build.

The application to build on the green has been mainly driven by Havering Council’s Tory administration.

Rollout of police merger no surprise

Cllr Graham Williamson, South Hornchurch Independent Residents Group, writes:

The news that the tri-borough merger is now to be rolled out across London by merging boroughs into larger units is disappointing but not surprising.

Our own council stated that our merger was reversible. Of course at the time response rates in Havering collapsed and were only rescued, partly by previously ring-fenced SNT officers that we were promised would never be taken outside their wards.

Few however believed that the merger would be reversed and our own council or the GLA were “economical with the truth”!

Since the reason for the merger(s) is purely driven by cost-cutting it was inevitable that it would be a permanent feature.

Railway worker given white feather

Peter Ray, Romford, full address supplied, writes:

In her letter in last week’s Recorder, Mary Griffiths commented, amongst other things, that suffragettes’ main contribution to the Great War effort was the handing out of white feathers to shame young men into joining the fighting forces whatever their age or fitness for service.

I can confirm that what she said was certainly true in the case of my father.

At the outset of the conflict, he was an employee of the Great Eastern Railway. In 1915, in response to Lord Kitcheners’ appeal, he had volunteered his services and was attested. However, he was later told that he could not be embodied as railway workers were not permitted to join the Army because of the importance of the railway system to the war effort.

It then came about one evening when alighting at Romford Station at the end of his day’s work at Stratford, that he was given a white feather by two young women.

My mother told me that he could never forget the incident and that the bitter experience of it was the motivation for his decision on the commencement of the hostilities in 1939 to again offer his services, even though he was by then 51.

He was embodied in January 1940 and was discharged medically unfit in 1941 having served with the British Expeditionary Force in France, which included the retreat and the Dunkirk evacuation. On return to civilian life he served throughout the rest of the war with the Heavy Rescue Section of the ARP.

His medals, together with the Dunkirk medal instituted in September 1948 under the Patronage of the Town of Dunkirk, are in the safe keeping of the Romford Museum.

Private leasing is a nightmare

Marilyn Edwards, Shaftesbury Road, Romford, writes:

Havering Council Private Leasing Scheme is a nightmare for neighbours.

The last benefit fraud council tenants finally departed after seven years of hell. The hope was the house would be sold to owner/occupiers who would carry out the essential building works required but this seems a pipe dream.

The council have refused to do the works and the buy-to-let shark also so where does that leave the neighbours? I don’t want a chimney stack coming through my roof.

As for the new council tenants – it looks as if it’s a case of deja vu.

Thanks Havering Council. Here we go again!

Funding of council is flawed

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

The flawed concept of asking wealthy residents in Westminster to pay a voluntary tax to help out the council is only matched by the flawed way in which local councils are funded.

While Westminster residents in the highest council tax band (Band H) need only pay £833 per year, residents in the same band in Havering must pay £3,195 per year.

This ridiculous imbalance only underlines the desperate need to fund local authorities properly and not leave it to charity or a random lottery of postcodes.

Poem on rising tide of crime

Terry Bickell, Albany Road, Hornchurch, writes

“What is the Answer?”

We don’t want to hear statistics

We don’t need a list of names

What we need are answers

As to what and who’s to blame

Every day we hear now

Of another tragic story

The government won’t help us

Be it Liberal, Labour, Tory

Moped gangs with acid

Changing lives forever

Stabbings, shooting, muggings

We need to use that word, ‘Endeavour’

A solution to our problem

Is so hard to find I know

But surely there are ways and means

To stop this trend to grow

Much tougher we must treat them

And name them all whatever age

When I hear, can’t be named for legal reasons

It throws me in a rage

Bring back the birch tomorrow

Is one thing that springs to mind

National service should return

That would make them toe the line

If they are out of work, on benefit

Then make them earn their crust

Compulsory work in the community

I believe should be a must

There are so many youngsters

That are just brilliant we all know

But unfortunately the minority

Are the ones that are on show

Come on let’s find some answers

Let’s not have to live in fear

Of another fatal stabbing

And a home that’s full of tears

Making difference in Harold Hill

Paul McGeary, Gooshays Labour action team, writes:

The Labour action team in Harold Hill have had another successful campaign for the benefit of our residents.

In my letter of November 24 last year “We want better parking machines” in the Hilldene Shopping Area we said we would continue to push to get fair and equal service for the residents of the Harold Hill area.

The Tory administration said at the council meeting on November 22 that there were no plans to improve the payment machines.

Then after our questions raised at the full council meetings, lead member meetings with local councillors and letters to the Recorder they have gradually been forced to act.

Firstly they put a number of the old machines out of action, then they replaced them all with new machines which are similar to the machines in Upminster.

Due to our pressure we now have this week new parking machines with metal push button keys instead of the worn out plastic fascias on the old machines.

So if others say where have Labour been and what have they done, here is one of many examples of how Labour in Harold Hill do make a difference.

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