Recorder letters: Grenfell donations, fire safety, prayer, local shops, myplace, older generation, Crossrail, dogs and thanks

PUBLISHED: 10:49 26 June 2017 | UPDATED: 10:49 26 June 2017

PA Wire/PA Images

Romford residents came out in force to donate following the Grenfell Tower catastrophe. Picture: PA

Thank you for donations to victims

Angelina Leatherbarrow, chairwoman, Romford Labour Party, writes:

The Romford Labour Party would like to extend a huge thank you to Romford residents who came out in force to donate clothes, food, baby equipment, toys and much more for the families who lost everything in the Grenfell Tower fire.

We opened Labour HQ on Saffron Road on Wednesday evening and put details on social media, with the help of the Romford Recorder and Time FM we got the word out to Romford and wow, did Romford respond!

Within two hours of us opening the doors we were inundated with donations, people having a clear out of things they could spare at home and also lots of brand new underwear, socks, toothbrushes and food that people had bought just to donate.

As many of you will know, the response across the city was enormous so we had to stop taking donations on Thursday evening and we were advised that it could be weeks before the charities local to Grenfell tower could take any more donations.

We have been able to re-distribute food donations to the local food banks with help from Roneo Corner Tesco.

St Francis Hospice in Romford is going to take the surplus clothing, bedding that we cannot store, then when the Grenfell receiving centres are ready we will get the rest to them.

Special thanks to TimeFM for donating two cars full of brand new toys, they are being kept to make sure that when the children of Grenfell Tower are settling in to their new homes they will have lots of new toys to help them fill their new bedrooms.

Once again, thank you to everyone who donated.

We need to know about fire safety in our blocks

Jon Cruddas MP Dagenham and Rainham, writes an open letter to Havering Council:

As an elected MP for the area of Orchard Village I find the points that Trevor makes in a professional capacity deeply disturbing. I would also like to make a number of points/ask a couple of questions:

I suppose the most urgent point is establishing which if any buildings in Havering use the type of cladding which seems to have been combustible at Grenfell Tower, or any other cladding which we now have cause to be less than fully confident about .

Are we now reviewing fire safety risk assessments, in the current circumstances would it not be sensible to review them?

Are we doing doorknocking exercises in tower blocks to provide reassurance to residents in taller buildings (with clear communications provided to people not in)?

Are housing officers checking if the “fire keys” to all blocks are working? I know they can sometimes be faulty

Are we auditing whether there is sufficient access for fire/blue light vehicles near to blocks, and that these are not habitually blocked by cars etc (whether parked legally or illegally) and if illegally are we doing enough to stop it?

I think we should audit whether enough notices are up (and indeed contain the most sensible and timely advice).

More specifically I would be interested to see fire risk assessments for blocks in my constituency.

I would appreciate a response ASAP on this as many constituents are contacting me and are very concerned.

Prayer for London by Madeline, 11

Madeline Wallace, 11, of Hornchurch, writes this poem:

Dear Lord,

May all the people stay safe,

Because it was not them who caused this disgrace.

Help the injured get better,

Because their families love them and they matter.

Tell the people not to be afraid,

Because you are with them so they will be okay.

Keep these people in your prayers,

Because everyone really cares.

Let the people who died rest in peace,

They will never be forgotten at the least.

Bless the people who tried to help,

For they care about others not only themselves.

Please Lord keep all those in your heart,

And let everyone else help be a part.

We all care and want them okay,

we will keep them in our prayers as we say,


Spend £5 a week in local shops

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

Following on from the concerns expressed regarding the perceived decline of local independent shops, perhaps we shouldn’t be waiting until Christmas to launch a “shop local” campaign.

For any business, big or small, the route to success is to have a product which attracts a sustainable customer base with the capacity to grow.

Local businesses already face tough challenges with rents, rates, out-of-town and online competition, however if each of the 18+ population in Havering (192,000) spent just £5 per week in local shops, that would generate some £50m* for the local economy each year.

Also, local independent shops are more likely to source supplies and services locally, such as accountancy, fresh produce, building maintenance, etc, therefore keeping the local pound circulating in the local economy.

Strong local economies thrive on supporting independent shops with a local pound (or a fiver in this case!).

While the big chains do provide a vital role in regional economies by providing employment, they are less likely to source local supplies and services, instead being delivered from a central source.

So, the message is not to stop using the big chains such as Starbucks, Tesco or Amazon, but just to spare a fiver a week to support our local independent shops.

That fiver not only purchases what you need, but it also provides local jobs, variety and a diverse High Street that becomes a destination for shoppers.

A fiver may seem small to some, but collectively it can make a big difference to our local economy and independent traders.

*192,000 x £5 x 52 = £49.9m

Wonderful show at myplace

H M Lennyson, Chudleigh Road, Harold Hill, writes:

I have just been to see a show of children and young adults at myplace, Harold Hill.

The show was fantastic! About 60 children performed in real professional style with 24 different costume changes and the costumes were beautiful and stylish.

The parents of these children supply pay for a costume designer.

The dedication by people who taught these kids, Starshine dancing and entertainment, was fabulous.

Two hours of pure joy. Thanks to Starshine for a wonderful evening.

Check facts before knocking elders

Angela Gipson, Romford, full address supplied, writes:

I am absolutely sick of the young “knocking” the older generation.

A letter in the Metro summed it up when he said “If Jeremy Corbyn promises an iPad and an iPhone to all under -25s, he’ll win a landslide at the next general election”.

I started work at 15 in a toilet roll factory handling very heavy machinery in very poor working conditions.

We didn’t have the chance of carrying on in further education until we were in our 20s. I have just stopped working after 56 years.

One letter writer even had the cheek to say that we “took all the goods going then pulled the ladder up behind you to stop the next group from benefiting. You have had your fun. We are here to right the ship now”.

What goods did we take or what fun did we have?

I despair that people like him have the vote without checking facts or history.

Future is bright for Romford

Andrew Rosindell MP for Romford, writes:

I am glad to the see the state-of-the-art Elizabeth Line trains were rolled out on the Liverpool Street to Shenfield route yesterday (Thursday, June 22). By working with Crossrail and Transport for London, we are improving our transport links and making Romford a more attractive place to live.

We will also witness an upgraded railway station, new lifts, platform extensions and increased passenger capacity.

As these improvements are implemented, we will hopefully see businesses locate themselves in this corner in Essex, it is truly a gateway to a more prosperous town.

Many constituents have complained about poor service from TFL Rail lately, but we will see the back of this due to the investment, and expect much better reliability.

Havering Council are fully committed to fully reap the benefits from Crossrail, set for full completion in 2019.”

Look after your dog in heatwave

Dave Leicester, of Vets Now, writes:

Vets see a lot of blistered paw pads during heatwaves.

These injuries can be very painful yet they’re easily avoided if owners simply exercise their dogs at night or early in the morning or check the temperature of the surface they’re planning to walk on.

Hot pavements are the biggest cause of paw pad burns in summer but artificial grass may also play a part as very few people probably realise how hot it can become.”

Several studies have shown that artificial grass retains heat far more than natural grass.

On a day when the average outside air temperature was 27.5C (81.5F), it found the average temperature of artificial grass was 47C (117F).

The average temperature of its natural alternative, on the other hand, was recorded as 26C (78F).

During hot spells we would advise owners to exercise their dogs before 8am and after 8pm when temperatures are no longer as high.

We would also urge them to place the back of their hand on any surface they’re planning to walk on before letting their dog step on it.

If they cannot hold their hand down for up to seven seconds it’s too hot for their dog’s paws.

Take a million steps for charity

Roz Rosenblatt, Diabetes UK head of London, writes:

The One Million Step Challenge for Diabetes UK starts on July 1 to raise funds to combat diabetes.

It will run until September 30 and invites people to push themselves out of their comfort zone by taking one million steps over three months and get sponsored for every stride.

Taking an average of 10,000 steps a day (four miles) will see participants reach the million step mark. People can walk it, jog it or dance it! There is so much choice about how people can achieve one million steps.

Every penny raised will help us to support the millions of people living with diabetes in the UK.

You can take on the challenge alone, or better still, get your family, friends and colleagues involved. You can even split the million steps between a team.

If you would like to take part, email or visit website

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