Recorder letters: Heathrow Airport expansion, neglected Havering projects, recyclying, local democracy, Brexit, council leader, phone masts, Queen’s Hospital and women’s abortion rights.

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 June 2018

The Beam Reach site in Rainham where the council are bidding to create a construction hub for the Heathrow Airport expansion. Photo: Liam Coleman

The Beam Reach site in Rainham where the council are bidding to create a construction hub for the Heathrow Airport expansion. Photo: Liam Coleman

Liam Coleman

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

Airport expansion plan indefensible

Jean Lambert, London’s Green Party MEP, writes:

It’s a sick joke that the government would choose World Environment Day to confirm its plans to expand Heathrow Airport.

Air pollution in the Heathrow area already breaches EU safety limits. Adding another 700 planes a day to the mix is only going to exacerbate the problem – as well as bringing a surge in noise pollution, and an influx of new local traffic.

In its desperation to show that the UK is “open for business”, the government is prepared to throw money at this project. The promise of private capital does not mean there is no public cost. But right now it can’t even guarantee that flights won’t be grounded after Brexit day in March 2019 – let alone that the UK will need a significantly increased airport capacity.

Given the current state of play, there is no evidence to suggest this flight of fancy is economically or environmentally viable. To proceed would be indefensible.

Money wasted on projects that are now neglected

Dennis Gibson, Rainham, full address supplied, writes:

I wish to highlight the mess the London Borough of Havering is becoming.

Throughout the borough frontline services continue to be cut to the detriment of our amenity spaces.

Specifically I am annoyed that projects that cost thousands of pounds, that were sold to us as significant improvements for the people of the borough, have now been totally ignored and left unusable.

Three examples of this are in Rainham.

Firstly, the Creekside path, said to celebrate the history of John Harle who owned Rainham Hall and used the creek to bring in goods. This is now uncared for, with overgrown hedges and rubbish everywhere as bins are not emptied.

The next example is the Riverside car park and access road which is becoming unusable due to encroaching hedgerow. The car park is now a fly-tippers’ haven.

The third, which also cost thousands to construct, is the cycle path across the marshes to Purfleet, now unnavigable by bike due to neglect.

This is just a few of the projects across the borough that were sold to the residents as improvements to make our lives richer and encourage us to enjoy the variety of amenity spaces Havering has to offer.

Why spend all this money then leave them unusable?

When we tried to volunteer to care for these areas we had a very negative response.

More orange sacks will help recycling

A Hornchurch resident, full name and address supplied, writes:

I, for one, was not surprised that in Havering just over 37per cent of household waste was recycled last year (Recorder, June 15).

The rolls of orange sacks delivered to homes are not enough! Even just putting two out a week they run out weeks before the next delivery.

Yes, we can get some from the library but many elderly or less able-bodied cannot make the trek to the library.

Those who work full-time also struggle to get there during library opening hours.

Despite appealing to Street Care and the MP for Romford on their paper requests for feedback or actions we would like taken, nothing has been done.

Either more orange sacks per roll or two lots of sacks per delivery please!

Local democracy being undermined

H E Carless, Wedlake Close, Hornchurch, writes:

Helpful staff at Havering Town Hall now advise they are unable to give receipts for a letter delivered by hand or other items apparently left at reception.

And simultaneously to meet an unnecessary delay to receive a reply in writing requesting the employment status – and to whom they are responsible – of a full-time departmental official.

Can we now expect scrutiny of democracy in the council to be made by our newly elected councillors in St Andrew’s ward?

Or is the above referred to examples of undermining of democracy at local level now to become a regular and increasing course in the LBH?

And what further future restrictions can we now expect to furtively take place in the governance of the borough?

If this is the interpretation of transparency and openness by the present administration and the direction to be followed, could great oaks of authoritative local government from little acorns of initial unnoticed restrictions become a reality?

With the rule of law at national level increasingly appearing to be replaced by the rule of authority and our presently infirm democracy appearing to be subordinated to government policy!

UK no longer in control of destiny

Michael J Frost, Peartree Gardens, Collier Row, writes:

As a self-confessed “Little Englander”, I voted for Brexit on the basis that I have never, ever, been in favour of the UK’s membership of a politically-based organisation whereby our citizens are subject to the whim of unelected foreign bureaucrats over whom we have little or no control, nor who can be removed from power should there be substantial disagreement with their decision-making.

I have felt all along that the UK has been emasculated, its sovereignty eroded ; that when Brussels says “jump” our response, instead of being “on your bike”, has to be “how high?”

Am I alone in feeling that the UK is no longer in control of its own destiny?

Over 17 million citizens voted for Brexit, yet some politicians appear to be promoting their own personal Remain views and doing their best to undermine us rather than supporting that majority. To oppose the will of the people might be construed as treason!

Perhaps Remainer MPs could explain in words of one syllable why they think over 17 million people are wrong!

Concentrate on leading council

Cllr Linda Hawthorn, Upminster and Cranham Resdidents Association, writes:

I can not help but feel that Cllr Damian White was being a little unfair to your readers in his assumptions that they must think there is only one resident group of councillors at the town hall.

I am sure that they realise that there are four groups, three who are in opposition, and the one who has done deals and votes with the Conservatives – if it was not for them, we could well have had a residents administration.

To talk about Brighton, and the problems they had when they had an administration of Green councillors is not relevant.

We have many experienced councillors in our ranks, and it’s experience which counts, and the ability to sit down and talk things through.

The sly dig about the previous parties some of the residents group have belonged to is also unnecessary – especially as his own party has just accepted a previous Resident councillor, and one who stood as an independent in this year’s elections.

I think Cllr White should concentrate on what he was elected to do – lead the council. We never had these sort of letters from his predecessor.

Phone firm forced to paint mast

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

Mobile phone companies have extensive “permitted development” rights to install mobile furniture on the highway, but should still consider colour, design and location to minimise impact.

In practice they often do as they please and ignore local objections, with a proliferation of boxes in Upminster Road North opposite Lake Avenue, Rainham.

However, local councillors have succeeded in getting two saplings planted (by council) and the white box and bottom of mast repainted green to better camouflage the furniture as a goodwill gesture by the company after we threatened to object to new applications in the area, that required planning permission!

Visit to Queen’s A&E a misery

Linda Hoad, Wood View Mews, Romford, writes:

If the new funding for the NHS as suggested by Theresa May, and possibly a tax increase for the public, does happen, perhaps it might filter through to Queen’s Hospital where Mr Matthew Hopkins could use some of the funds to improve the A&E waiting times and the misery a visit to this department currently entails.

PM should speak up for women

Eamonn Mahon, Sheila Road, Romford, writes:

Theresa May is putting her party needs ahead of common decency over the question of legalising abortion in Northern Ireland.

There was an overwhelming vote in favour of legal abortion in the Republic, but in Northern Ireland even women raped have to give birth.

The contemptible Mrs May, who relies on the support of ten reactionary Democratic Unionist MPs, does not want to rock the boat.

Women should be free to choose and control their own bodies everywhere in the UK. In my opinion, Mrs May is leading a Tory party with no moral compass.

It would be good if she would speak up for what is right for women and the UK, not just for the Tory party.

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