Recorder letters: police station closures; King George Hospital; autumn leaves; funeral services; private leasing scheme; festive dress-up day; flu jab; budget and PDSA

PUBLISHED: 12:00 03 December 2017

Autumn leaves can be a hazard on pavements and roads. Picture: PA

Autumn leaves can be a hazard on pavements and roads. Picture: PA

PA Wire/PA Images

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

Please clear leaves from pavements

Carole Beth, Harold Hill Labour Action Team, writes:

Can Havering council’s street cleaning team/management please answer the following question, being raised by residents?

When will the fallen leaves laying on our pavements, roadside kerbs and roads finally be cleared? These leaves are a serious hazard to both pedestrians and motorists, as when wet they become extremely slippery and slimy and therefore can cause people to fall over, and cars to skid. Motorists will also notice during rainy conditions more surface water on the road, due to kerbside drains being blocked by said leaves.

We warned against the tri-borough police pilot

Cllr David Durant, vice chairman, Crime and Disorder committee, writes:

The Independent Residents Group warned the council about supporting the tri-borough pilot without policing guarantees

as we feared we would lose out in any cost-cutting scheme that merged Havering with higher

crime areas.

But council leader, Cllr Ramsey, who volunteered Havering to

take part, reassured council it could be reversed!

However, following the London Mayor’s announcement of station closures, Cllr Ramsey said they were a hidden part of the scheme and if he had known this at the time, he wouldn’t have supported the pilot.

Presumably this means he no longer supports the pilot.

But at November 22 council, Cllr Ramsey said the pilot will be rolled out across London.

How is this possible if he now opposes the pilot which can be reversed?

Or is he saying he was misled about the pilot being reversible as well as not informed about station closures as part of the scheme?

The council leader needs to clarify the situation as his cabinet member for public safety, Cllr Dervish, said at council he still supported the tri-borough, but Cllr Ramsey said he is now opposed due to the station closures.

In particular, will the council leader be informing the London Mayor he is withdrawing Havering support for the tri-borough?

A&E decision good for Havering

Cllr Roger Ramsey, leader of Havering Council, writes:

I thoroughly support Wednesday’s announcement that the existing A&E at King George Hospital is to remain open whilst the service reviews the recommendations from a recent strategic review undertaken by PWC.

I have continually lobbied against the original decision to replace the A&E department with an Urgent Care Centre (UCC).

Even just a few months ago, I wrote to Jeremy Hunt stressing that a new review of the now six-year-old plans to close King George’s A&E department was absolutely essential.

This decision will support local residents across the borough who require emergency treatment.

Since 2011, Havering has

become one of the fastest growing and changing areas in London

and Queen’s A&E alone simply

can’t cope with the additional demand.

This decision means residents will now have access to two A&E facilities during the review, and I will continue to lobby for the A&E at King George to remain open permanently.

Queen’s casualty must be extended

Paul McGeary, former Harold Hill councillor, writes:

Well we have been campaigning since I became a councillor in 2010 with Andy Walker and the team to keep the A&E open at King George Hospital so that Queen’s was not flooded out with 40,000 more attendances each year from the Ilford area.

Andy deserves all the credit for keeping this campaign going through all these years and should be recognised for all his hard work on behalf of our communities.

The campaign still goes on. It is only a review, we need the final decision to be confirmed.

We still need the A&E at Queen’s to be extended to meet the increased needs of our existing boroughs with the increased population brought about by the housing development in the area.

We need additional funding from central government for community services such as the development of St George’s Hospital to enable services to be moved away from Queen’s to free up space to develop the A&E there to meet current demand.

Thank you for dignified funeral

Mr R Webster, Briar Road, Harold Hill, writes:

At the funeral of my later mother-in-law, Mrs Ellen Florence Hazell – who reached the grand old age of 97 – I was very impressed with the way Harold Wood Funeral Services, of Chippenham Road, Harold Hill, carried out their duties on the day at South Essex Crematorium on November 27.

I’d like to thank them for their proficiency and dignity.

From all the family.

Abolish private leasing scheme

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

The Havering Council private leasing scheme must be abolished.

It is a nightmare for neighbours because the council never enforce their tenancy agreement.

After seven-plus years of hell, nightmare council tenants have at last gone. Havering Council and Romford Police were totally out of their depth and it was like trudging through treacle trying to get help.

God help their new neighbours – no one else will!

Dress up for Festive Friday

Hannah Vince, fundraiser at The Children’s Trust, writes:

As the festive season approaches, we’re asking readers to help us raise money for some very special children during their Christmas celebrations this year.

The Children’s Trust is asking you to put on your seasonal smile, don your festive socks and frocks and show some Christmas spirit

by getting involved in Festive Friday, a national dress-up day, on December 8.

Haven’t got anything festive? The downloadable Festive Friday toolkit complete with DIY selfie props is the perfect accompaniment for your Christmas party and those festive party photos, in return for a suggested donation of £2.

Each pack includes classic Christmas pudding glasses, Santa’s hat and beard, a trendy holly bowtie and some naughty and nice signs to stir things up a bit! Money raised will help to support children with brain injury from across the UK.

Sign up today at

Thank you.

Diabetics should have flu jab

Roz Rosenblatt, London head, Diabetes UK, writes:

We want everyone with diabetes, including pregnant women, to have a flu vaccination this winter, as illnesses like the flu can be more severe for people with diabetes.

Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of people with diabetes did not have a flu vaccination in England last winter, despite it being free to everyone with the condition.

Flu can be serious for people with diabetes and can make it harder to manage the condition, as it can destabilise blood sugar levels. This can, in turn, increase the risk of developing serious complications, such as amputations, stroke and kidney disease.

If you have any concerns about having the vaccination then please speak to your GP or healthcare professional.

The flu jab is one of 15 healthcare essentials that every person with diabetes is entitled to through the NHS every year. These include having your blood pressure measured, having your eyes screened for signs of retinopathy (disease) and having your feet and legs checked.

Diabetes UK has put together a guide to help people with diabetes avoid the flu, as part of Public Health England’s Stay Well This Winter Campaign.

Budget a missed opportunity

Dr Gary Marlowe, BMA (British Medical Association) London regional council chairman, writes:

With the NHS facing one of the most challenging periods in its history, the budget announcement has fallen short of what is needed to address the long-term funding problems which unfortunately look set to continue.

In north, central and east London, increasing pressure on services means that many waiting time targets haven’t been met for years and patients face longer delays to see their GP as the crisis in general practice has left many surgeries struggling to cope.

As government figures published this week reveal a significant fall in the number of GPs and three in four medical specialities struggling to fill training places, recruitment and retention should be a priority for the NHS, yet the budget offers little solution to this crisis.

The chancellor’s failure to commit to extra funding for public health issues means that the damaging impact of alcohol, tobacco and poor diet will continue to cost the NHS billions each to year to treat.

Whilst the proposals in the budget will go some way towards easing short-term pressures, this was largely a missed opportunity to prioritise patient care and create the sustainable future the NHS needs.

Help pets needing vet treatment

Nicola Martin, PDSA senior vet, writes:

This Christmas, please spare a thought for the thousands of much-loved pets requiring life-saving vet treatment. While most pets will enjoy spending extra time at

home with their families, not all

are so lucky.

Every December, pet wellbeing charity PDSA cares for 50,000 pets in need. Without our dedicated vet teams, many of these pets would have nowhere else to go. For 100 years, we’ve been helping provide critical care and emergency surgery for pets that urgently need us when tragedy strikes. Demand for our vital services never stops.

Animal lovers can help our #SaveAStar campaign at or by texting STAR to 70020 to give a one-off donation of £5 (you’ll also be charged one standard rate message*).

From all of the pets you’ll help to save this Christmas, thank you.

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