Recorder letters: Hexit, Tapestry stroke services, business refund, police, Crossrail, water safety, have a picnic and walk the bridges

PUBLISHED: 10:28 21 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:28 21 August 2017


Upminster Windmill. Picture: ARCHANT ARCHIVE

Return to Essex, the sooner the better

Mr L Bernard, Orsett Village, full address supplied, writes:

I have been following the “Hexit” debate that has been going on regarding Havering removing itself from the control of the GLA.

As an outsider I completely support this decision. Time and again outer London boroughs like Havering and Redbridge have had to subsidise the traditionally poorer inner London boroughs with very little in return.

The Mayor of London and the GLA see Havering as nothing more than a cash cow and a place with lots of open space which can be built upon to provide homes for the influx of people that Mr Khan’s party so enthusiastically encouraged.

Havering’s future is with Essex and Havering Borough Council and should consult its residents on whether they would support a move back into the county of Essex, albeit as a unitary authority.

I see no need to lose freedom passes or bus services etc as long as the council has the budget to keep up some of the subsidies.

A future returning Havering to Essex would ease the burden to build houses on every spare bit of land, would allow council homes to go to genuine local people and would help stop the running down of the borough that seems to happen in so many outer London boroughs.

Romford, Hornchurch, Upminster and Rainham are Essex towns and the sooner they are returned the better.

Don’t withdraw funding for Tapestry’s stroke services

Users of the Havering Stroke Services have written to Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford, and Havering Council:

We, as a group, would like to formally express our disapproval at the council’s decision to end their funding to Tapestry for the Havering Stroke Services in August, 2017.

All members have suffered a stroke in the last nine years and they and their carers have greatly benefited from the help and advice received from this service. This has extended from advisory visits during hospital stay to home visits and follow-up calls.

This service allows sufferers and their carers to have access to a central contact point for all help and information needed – even if just for a chat when you are feeling down.

Joining the group has improved the sufferers’ confidence and health enabling them to live more comfortably within the community.

Without this service, many would live in isolation, which often leads to depression (often experienced by sufferers) and extra costs to the NHS.

The service provides a platform to socialise and exercise with others with similar medical problems and discuss and resolve issues. Without this service, many would have no idea of how to access any services or benefits available.

As we understand it, there are approximately 120 people in Havering a year who suffer strokes, and obviously depending on the severity of the stroke, the number rolls over from year to year within the group.

This service helps sufferers lead a more fulfilling, and hopefully, longer life.

We therefore urge the council to reconsider withdrawing the funding to this service as the benefits greatly outweigh the costs.

Businesses must apply for refund

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

In the March 8 budget, the chancellor announced plans to provide £300m to refund small business most adversely affected by the recent revaluation of commercial properties.

Havering has received £1,696,000 to “hand back” over a four year period to businesses with a

rateable value between £15,000 and £50,999.

Council proposals have identified 1,114 eligible businesses, but due to “state aid” rules the refund will need to be officially applied for, rather than automatically credited to accounts and any unpaid refund cannot be carried forward to the next year.

If you receive a letter saying “provide bank details and collect your refund” many will consider it a scam and so the council will need to consider ways to prove the scheme is genuine, beyond merely advertising the scheme in the local and trade press.

One way would be by ensuring the letters sent contain the Town Hall switchboard number and an extension number.

The Town Hall number is easily verifiable and would impart the genuineness needed for people to seek clarification and fill out the claim form.

And due to poor delivery nationwide, I shall be asking for regular performance updates to ensure effective local delivery of the scheme to assist our small businesses.

More police are needed on streets

Councillor Jeff Tucker writes:

It is with the greatest regret that I have need to inform our local residents regarding our current police force.

It is a fact that, due to government cutbacks, our police are unable to cope with the crime of today.

As a councillor, I am on a daily basis, without the powers to take action, constantly receiving complaints regarding matters that need to be addressed by our police.

Due to the fact that we have less police officers on our streets and with the increase in local crime, the only solution I can see coming will be the return of vigilante groups.

This is the word on our streets and it’s more than just rumours.

Many will agree this is not the answer, but without police contact or the numbers to tackle and attend issues of crime and without the much needed dedicated police support on our streets, what is the solution?

Sadly with the increase in knife crime, acid attacks, motorbike muggers, card fraud, pickpockets, motor theft and house burglars, to name just a few, and with the prisons bursting at the seams and powers increasingly being taken away from our police, I am sorry to report this problem is not going away anytime soon.

We desperately need to call upon our government for more police with more powers.

Guards essential on Crossrail trains

Richard Enever, Brentwood Bus and Rail Users Association, writes:

The latest incident on the Bakerloo Line when passengers were evacuated at Oxford Circus on August 11 made me realise how essential it is to employ guards on Crossrail.

Carriages went up in smoke at Oxford Circus and the train was driver-only operated. Can a driver honestly evacuate 1,500 people from a train on Crossrail on his own?

Another driver is on trial when his train dragged a passenger with her clothing trapped between the doors at Hayes and Hartington (soon to be a Crossrail station). Can a driver be expected to operate the doors, look after the passengers and drive the train all at the same time?

Think TfL.

Stay safe in water during summer

Tye Shuttleworth, head of Inshore Boating, Sea Cadets, writes:

The school holidays are now well under way, and Sea Cadets – a national youth charity with 400 units across the UK – is urging people to stay safe as it launches its Water Savvy campaign.

More than 300 people drowned in the UK last year, and more suffered life-changing injuries through near-drowning. But many of these tragic incidents could be avoided through good knowledge of water safety.

Sea Cadets’ Water Savvy campaign highlights the importance of staying safe in, on and around the water, and making others aware of the dangers. We offer water-based adventure to 14,000 young people aged 10 to 18 across the country who – along with our 9,000 volunteers – undergo specialist water-safety training. But we want to spread the message further.

There are a number of things you can do to ensure you, your family and your friends stay safe. When swimming in open water, stay close to the shore, make sure you are appropriately dressed, and let someone know where you are going. If you fall in accidentally, cold water shock can be deadly and it is vital you do not swim or try to get out. Instead, focus on floating and keeping your airway above the water.

You can find lots more tips and information by downloading our free Water Savvy guide

Host a picnic for Rainbow Trust

Emma Haines, Rainbow Trust director of marketing and fundraising, writes:

Now that the summer holidays are here, parents (and grandparents) everywhere are hunting out activities to keep the children occupied – me included!

Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity has launched a fun, simple, summer activity called the Summertime Picnic. The idea is straightforward – host a picnic and ask friends and family to make a donation to Rainbow Trust. It can be a picnic in the garden, the park or even inside on a carpet, weather depending.

The Summertime Picnic is about enjoying quality time with your family and Rainbow Trust understands just how precious time can be as we support families who have a child with a life threatening or terminal illness. We match families with a family support worker who provides emotional and practical support amid the chaos of medicines, hospitals and endless appointments.

Rainbow Trust has a free online Picnic Pack as well as ideas, recipes and games for a wonderful afternoon with friends and families.

Thank you for your support.

Walk the London Bridges Challenge

Roz Rosenblatt, head of London Diabetes UK, writes:

The fantastic London Bridges Challenge is looking for people to take part, have a wonderful day and help raise money for a good cause.

On Sunday, October 1, thousands of people will walk 10 miles across 12 of London’s most iconic bridges including London Bridge, Waterloo Bridge and, finally, crossing Tower Bridge to raise money for Diabetes UK.

The walk will start in beautiful Battersea Park and the route will take walkers past Big Ben and the London Eye, St Paul’s and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

It’s a family occasion and everyone is welcome. Join us and walk towards a future without diabetes.

Diabetes UK supports people across London who are living with diabetes – a serious condition which, left undiagnosed or poorly managed, can lead to devastating long term complications, including blindness, heart disease and stroke.

Walking is also a great way to keep physically active and combined with a healthy diet, can help people maintain a healthy weight and reduce their chance of getting Type 2 diabetes. For people already living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, getting plenty of exercise and following a healthy diet helps manage their condition.

Find out more, email or call our events fundraising team on 0345 123 2399.

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