Recorder letters: Hare Lodge, council leader, A&E, food waste and MP being Scrooge

PUBLISHED: 12:00 31 December 2017

Hare Lodge, Upper Brentwood Road, Gidea Park.

Hare Lodge, Upper Brentwood Road, Gidea Park.

Greg Campbell

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

Still hope for Hare Lodge

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

I was outside Hare Lodge when the inspector arrived for his site visit and had a sense of foreboding, because his inspection appeared perfunctory and because he drove onto the site behind one developer and in front of another which just appeared to confirm an apprehension.

Also later, when residents and local councillors attended an arranged photoshoot, the developer arrived too, as if he’d been tipped off!

The developer invited people inside to inspect Hare Lodge and I’m informed it added to their dismay at the prospect of demolition, because the property had been extensively and very impressively refurbished for sale, subject to the inspector’s decision.

Previously two applications to demolish Hare Lodge had been refused and another two attempts to build a property next to Hare Lodge were refused too on appeal.

In normal times and with a Local Plan worthy of the name, that should be it, but alas in the era of housing targets, Hare Lodge would always attract attention from property speculators as it sits on a big plot of land by Gidea Park station.

And once the inspector approved demolition it was always wishful thinking to believe the coalition administration, who want to make Havering part of a greater inner London, would appeal.

And any remaining doubts were dispelled when even a ward councillor said an appeal would cost over a preposterous £500,000!

However it’s not over until it’s over and I was encouraged by Andrew Rosindell’s comment (Recorder, last week), that he would be contacting the developer to see if Hare Lodge can yet be saved.

This too may appear wishful thinking unless somehow it’s in their financial interests to do so. That is, are alternative plans possible that save Hare Lodge and allow some development to take place?

I don’t know, but it’s possible a smaller scheme may be more profitable than a bigger scheme, due to various interested parties involved and potential construction problems.

For example, Hare Lodge was being advertised for nearly £900,000 and there is a large utility pipe and perhaps other things under the land.

Is it time to change council leader?

Georgie Brind, Upper Rainham Road, Hornchurch, writes:

Due to the lack of good leadership in our local government, stupid and rash decisions are being made regularly that hugely affect local people like you and me.

For instance, the catastrophic police merger of Havering, Barking & Dagenham and Redbridge police forces is one of them and is one of the worst ideas the council has implemented with no idea of what it would entail.

In a recent report carried out by the Metropolitan Police, it revealed that since the police merger, crime in Havering has risen 173pc higher than the national average and 75pc of those crimes were not investigated nor done so in a satisfactory ending. Wasn’t the merger meant to keep us safe?

This decision was and is a joke and someone needs to be responsible for this.

Looking at the stats it’s clear that we no longer can trust our leader of the council to keep the borough safe nor make the right decisions for it. So, I urge the council and leader to seriously consider whether he is fit to stand/serve us and this beloved borough.

A&E waiting times absolute disgrace

Linda Hoad, Wood View Mews, Romford, writes:

When are the patients of Queen’s Hospital going to make a stand about the suffering and anxiety – and I mean suffering because there is no other word for it – being caused by the long and unacceptable waits to be seen at this hospital?

I have had to attend this hospital as an emergency on the last five nights and all I can say is it is hell.

The staff are good – kind and helpful – but the waits are totally unacceptable. The chief executive and the management have not cut the waiting times and clearly are not fit for the job for which they are paid thousands of pounds a year – plus the perks and massive pension pots.

The ambulance reception area is far too small, the hand overs take a long time and there are not enough cubicles – there is no privacy when procedures are being performed. It is hell. The icing on the cake is sitting in the reception area for four hours being force fed on online poker and roulette programmes.

The waiting times are an absolute disgrace and action should be taken to stop the distress and anxiety caused by these waits.

Make resolution to cut food waste

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

I read with interest about the commitment by Tesco that no food fit for human consumption will be wasted by the end of February 2018.

One way this may be achieved is through donating (rather than chucking away) excess food to charities and food banks at the end of the day which not only benefit those in need, but reduces the burden of costs for charities.

In Havering we produce some 110,000 tonnes of waste per year, and much of it is food. Disposal not only has an environmental impact but is very expensive, some £15m for this year alone.

However, it is not so much the volume of what we throw away which determines the cost but the weight, as this is the metric used to calculate the £15m. Bearing in mind that nearly half of all waste is food, and food is usually quite heavy, it may be useful to think twice about not only what we throw away, but what we buy in the first place. If we can throw away less food, it will not only reduce disposal costs but save on household bills.

“Love food, hate waste” sounds a pretty good resolution for 2018!

MP should stop being a Scrooge

Mark Whiley​​, Upminster, writes:

Contributing to Friday December 15’s edition of The Sun, Romford MP Andrew Rosindell was quick to call out a parent with a chronic illness as exhibiting a “flagrant abuse of the generosity of our benefits system”.

The woman in question, ​​being cared for by her husband since her long term illness, had saved a small amount from her social security each week since the start of the year to spend around £300 on each of her kids.

Like any parent that loves her kids dearly she didn’t want them to miss out compared to their classmates on Christmas Day and so forgave any luxuries for herself to give them the best Christmas she could.

Would Mr Rosindell stop being such a Scrooge​, ​making political capital out of hard working carers and those with long term illnesses?​ ​

It’s evident that this is yet another attempt ​​to ​justify the case for ​your​party’s cuts to child tax credits and other child benefits in the past seven years, particularly when the majority of benefit claimants are like Claire Young or in-work and trying to make ends meet.

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