Recorder letters: Littering, distracting advertisements, assisted transport and more.
PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 February 2020
Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.
Inflation of fear a modern characteristic
Mr W Ramsay, Stephen Avenue, Rainham, writes:
After the style of Cllr Durant I am prompted, perhaps not prematurely, to raise a different matter, arising from the strange experience last Saturday of coming into the Market Place in Romford and finding the market wasn't there. My first thought was perhaps, having been in well-known decline, it had unannounced been done away with. I then realised it must have been cancelled due to fears of high winds from 'Storm Dennis', which the weather during the day did not justify.
In past times, when the Beaufort scale was used to decide whether windy weather amounted to a storm much stronger wind was required than was either forecast or experienced from this 'named storm' in the London area. It seems we had a cancellation from inflated designation.
The inflation of fears and risk is a modern characteristic, be it to do with weather, terrorism, travel on the Underground or whatever else, and may be attributed to the absence of any real and pervasive danger such as past generations experienced, and the added ingredient of 'media values'.
It's the actions of the selfish few that blight communities
Cllr Osman Dervish, Pettits ward and cabinet member for Environment, writes:
I write in response to a letter in last week's Romford Recorder, "Essex is among the worst counties for disgraceful littering."
It is unfortunate that R Osborne, feels this way, we at the council like many residents, are appalled that people think it is OK to litter our streets. It is not.
Last year, we launched our Cleaner Havering campaign, which saw us invest an extra £400,000 into street cleaning. This extra money has seen the frequency of cleaning in residential streets increased from once every three weeks to fortnightly.
In the first quarter of 2019, we saw a 22 per cent drop in the number of reports of litter compared to the same time the year before.
We remain in the top 10 of boroughs carrying out enforcement action and as a result do have one of the lowest volumes of fly-tipping.
In the last year alone, we carried out over 6,000 enforcement actions, including tackling unlicensed waste carriers with on-the-spot fines and issuing warnings to individuals and companies after tracing the dumped rubbish back to them.
We also launched the Love Havering App making it easier and quicker for residents to report fly-tipping and we also continue to urge them to make sure they are disposing of their own waste legally and responsibly.
We know that the majority of our residents take pride in their borough, many joined us in taking part in community litter-picks last year, something we will be doing again this year as part of the Great British Spring Clean.
We also need them to help us to get the message out there to those who drop litter, throw their chewing gum onto the pavements and dump rubbish wherever they want, that we won't tolerate it.
We ask people to stop and think about how they dispose of a cigarette butt or a crisp packet before they just discard it.
It is the selfish actions of those few people that blight our communities for the majority and prevent us all from keeping our streets cleaner.
By working together, we can continue to make Havering a cleaner and tidier borough.
Distracting ads on roundabouts
Alan Weetch, Rodney Way, Romford, writes:
I fully agree with your featured letter from Tony Wright regarding the concrete skeleton at North Street roundabout.
I know the council threw out new proposals about a year ago, but why can it not be completed to the plans originally approved. Also there is a site to the right of the building which has been cleared also for about a decade. How can it be that they are proceeding with the bridge closure, an inconvenience for businesses and families when empty or incomplete sites already exist.
I also agree with Tony with his observation of selling distracting advertising space on North Street and other roundabouts, but there are other obstructions that should be attended to at this location. Yes, I am in favour of small trees in certain locations, but not close to the edge of a roundabout as when at a certain time of the year, they completely obstruct your view of a section of oncoming traffic. Visibility and timing, especially for large vehicles as I used to drive, are important.
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Anything is better than this eyesore
Gillian Pendreich, Marshalls Drive, Romford, writes:
How I agree with Tony Wright regarding the unfinished flats on the North street roundabout. Also the huge derelict area stretching to the methodist church. This is a total eyesore that greets anybody as they come into Romford.
I often read in the Recorder objections to proposed building on unsuitable sites. Well surely if this was built upon it would bring life to this part of Romford, enhance the town centre and not impinge on green spaces which we must keep or risk upsetting surrounding residents.
I have written to the council several times asking why this area remains derelict. They say there are plans which are awaiting planning permission.
Well, please Havering Council can you grant this permission, it is at least eight years that these unfinished flats have stood there. Anything that was built there would be an improvement on the current site.
Assisted Transport plans are shocking
An exhausted, frustrated, SEN mum, writes:
I feel compelled to write this letter in response to Havering Council's Assisted Transport consultation.
The content of the proposed policy revision is simply shocking to say the least. I completely understand that savings need to be made due to cutbacks from central government, but why is it always the most vulnerable people that are impacted by this?
Assisted Transport is a lifeline to many families who rely on this service for various individual and personal reasons. As a parent of a disabled child myself I am constantly made to feel guilty for applying for services to help my child. Life is difficult enough when you are a parent and/or carer without having to fight for every single, much-needed council service that is meant to be there to support us.
In the current Assisted Transport policy for Havering residents, it clearly states that the child needs to be "eligible" for this service. Not all children are entitled to Assisted Transport and there is a high percentage of children who are, quite rightly, unable to use this system. The eligibility criteria are already stringent and, if read properly, the new terms for this will make it difficult for any child to be considered "eligible". So, my question is, why is Havering Council trying to penalise our children and families further by effectively removing the success rate of applicants? Come on Havering Council work with us not against us!
We risk losing new bus service
D Ainsworth, Angmering House, Barnstaple Road, writes:
A fortnight ago Transport for London commenced a new Havering bus route - the 497, which operates from very early in the mornings until gone midnight from Harold Wood Station to-and-from Harold Hill (Gooshays Drive roundabout) every 30 minutes from Monday-to-Saturday/hourly on Sundays.
Alas in its opening two weeks most buses have passed with only a handful of passengers on board, and on many occasions none. If more interest isn't generated, this new initiative could easily fold resulting in a service being lost to these two communities. This route covers Hilldene Avenue Shopping Centre, then along Chatteris Avenue so serving areas never previously benefitting from buses and, before this route commenced, meant long walks to reach existing services. It runs alongside Broadford School before going through the industrial estate (the first bus service doing so), a major superstore near Gallows Corner then through Kings Park Estate (never before served by buses) and also passes within sight of Harold Wood Polyclinic. Previously this clinic was a long walk, for those ill and infirm, from Harold Wood Station. One hopes more will and give the 497 a try - so we can retain it.
Sadly Havering Council's lack of traffic management had provided concerns, as it's difficult to get buses by parked vehicles at the south end of Chatteris Avenue, especially at school times, and through an industrial estate. Havering Council ought to have worked out that industrial properties, offices and retail units require much parking spaces for employees and customers alike - but nowhere near got such provision right.
I've made three trips, and this route suffers from an old Harold Hill concern in that it attracts those holding up progress by having multifarious reasons for not wanting to pay fares! But other than that, give Route 497 a go. In the days of infamous Dr Beeching's railway cuts the words "Use it or lose it" were often heard. Over to the readers.
The silent majority must have their say
William Swain, Barnstaple Road, Harold Hill, writes:
I write in response to Andrew Rosindell's letter "Universal Credit is working", Recorder, February 14.
The somewhat callous and insensitive Mr Rosindell conveniently failed to mention the growing number of claimants who have committed suicide as a result of serious flaws and failures in delivering that new welfare benefit.
It is true that this government has made more money available and changes and improvements to the system, but they were forced to do so as a result of growing pressure from church leaders and campaigns in the national press.
I have a friend who works as an unpaid volunteer for several charities and she has seen for herself the hardship and distress that Universal Credit has inflicted on hard-working families, the disabled and unemployed. I can assure you Mr Rosindell, you and your government has nothing to crow about! There was a time when the weak and vulnerable in society and those unable to work could look to a compassionate Labour Party to provide a decent standard of living, but sadly those halcyon days are long past.
Today's Labour Party has far too many political extremists and vile anti-Semites within its ranks. It currently has a leader who has some very strange and unorthodox views and opinions with regard to proscribed terrorist organisations and the Salisbury poisonings. Moreover, a female Labour MP who thought it was perfectly OK to attend the House of Commons in an outfit that made her look like a woman of easy virtue.
It gives me no pleasure, no pleasure at all, to write this castigatory letter of censure, but the silent majority must have their say and hopefully the Labour Party will listen and act so we can all go forward and build a brand new future for everyone.