Recorder letters: Pompadours, fire safety GLA, building, train timetables, mental health, diabetes, dementia and NHS

PUBLISHED: 10:46 15 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:46 15 August 2017


The former Pompadours pub has become an eyesore. Picture: KEN MEARS

Let’s build homes on old Pompadours

Cllr Denis O’Flynn, Harold Hill, writes:

Fly-tipping has been a headache in all parts of the borough of Havering and it is an expensive practice and extremely anti-social.

The most blatant must surely be the recently abandoned public house The Pompadours.

The present site is an eyesore for the residents in Bridgewater Road, Hilldene Avenue and Edenhall Road.

It junctions with all three areas and is rapidly becoming a health hazard as a result of the rubbish being dumped there, which in turn is becoming a breeding ground for all forms of vermin.

The site of the former public house is now an eyesore with broken windows, demolished fences and an open invitation to dump rubbish.

The question that now needs to be asked is can we as a local authority exercise the right to a compulsory purchase order and build some much needed homes for our residents on the housing waiting list before some outside greedy speculator gets his or her hands on it for private development?

Frustrated at landlords’ attitude to fire concerns

Colin Nickless, chairman, Orchard Village Residents Association, writes:

Last week Orchard Village residents played host to a delegation of parties involved in the construction and management of the estate, including the leader of the council Roger Ramsey, chief executive Andrew Blake Herbert, delegations from both the landlords, Clarion Housing Group, builders Willmott Dixon together with ward councillors.

Top of the agenda was fire safety, to which residents’ concerns were discussed at great length.

With the items of discussion set long in advance it was frustrating and unsettling that the representatives of our landlord came to the meeting so unprepared.

Surely it was obvious, particularly in the light of Grenfell, and widely circulated images of Orchard Village construction, that residents would be concerned over fire safety but too many important questions were not answered, or met with “we will get back to you”. Once again I requested the fire risk assessments, only to be told that they wouldn’t be provided to residents.

On Wednesday of this week the information commissioner has written an open letter to councils and organisations urging them to release assessments and safety reports instead of waiting for freedom of information requests.

In a time when fire safety should be paramount and openness with residents a priority, our landlords choose to withhold information that could be used to allay fears.

And this is who the council had advertised as its chosen developer!

We should have say on being in GLA

Alan Cauvain, St Andrews Avenue, Elm Park, writes:

I would like to say to Miss P B Martin (letters, July 28) that I am self employed and need a vehicle to carry materials and tools and travel over 100 miles, often to jobs in the construction industry.

I could not do this on a bike or public transport.

The stupid road humps and bus stands only keep motorists on the road longer, this is the point I tried to make, which increases emissions.

As for Havering coming out of the GLA, I think we should because as a borough we pay far more into it than we receive back – which is bad economics as far a I am concerned.

Havering was formed as an amalgamation with Romford and Hornchurch UDCs in 1965 and was transferred into the GLC by a Government Act of 1963 so the people of Havering were not given a choice, which to me stinks.

The people of Havering are and were entitled to make the choice but were never given the opportunity. I do not want the Mayor of London making decisions for the people of Havering to have to live by.

I have not seen the police in my area for many months. They do not do foot patrols and I cannot remember the last time I saw a police car in Elm Park but travel into London and see the difference.

How will MP stop overdevelopment?

Mr W Ramsay, Stephen Avenue, Rainham, writes:

I was surprised that Jon Cruddas in his piece in the Recorder, July, did not take the opportunity to explain how he was going to fulfil his election pledge to stop the borough being concreted over with 30,000 homes, rather than merely repeating that this is what the council plans to do.

That the figure has apparently been reduced to 23,400 over 20 years at a rate of 1,170 per year does not make things much better, nor should it absolve him from his commitment.

However, some assistance may be offered in his task by the matter raised by Barry Jones in Letters of whether the effect of Brexit was included in the reckoning of this housing need.

It may for instance be that a lot of “buy to lets” will come onto the market, or at least fewer will be attracted by this form of investment.

Reinstate printed train timetables

Richard Enever, Brentwood Rail Users Association, writes:

Last month you published a letter from me concerning timetables from Brentwood Station.

I was angered by a reply from TfL on August 5 when I was told they would not print any more timetables to save on their carbon footprint.

I wrote to TfL on July 12 requesting that issuing of timetables be reinstated.

I explained to them that there are many people who are not on email, internet or websites.

On July 28, I received a letter from them with just a timetable. I repeated the request that day to TfL by phone and letter before receiving the latest letter stating, “We are not printing any more timetable booklets for stations in the TfL network to save on carbon footprint”.

This is rubbish, the general pubic need to know what times trains depart from Brentwood.

Don’t assess mental health by phone

H E Carless, Wedlake Close, Hornchurch, writes:

Re the PM’s earlier concerns for increased resources for mental health to be made available within the NHS. And what appears to be further evidence of the duplicity surrounding such statements.

Can we now treat her concerns as solely cosmetic for people requiring this help?

Evidence exists of patients being assessed on their health situation by telephone by our local mental health services from unarranged telephone calls being made out of the blue where the person concerned may be shopping, using the bathroom, in company or even under the effects of medication or drugs. Presumably while the questioner, we hope a professional within this health category, calls from a comfortable office and environment.

Can future help be efficiently given on such a basis? Are such procedures part of a national trend within the mental health field?

If the above represents the further effects of austerity by such means in the NHS, can it support a sound foundation for progress of the mental health patient concerned on subsequent decisions that may be made?

Help us to change future of diabetes

Roz Rosenblatt, head of London, Diabetes UK, writes:

We want people across London to help with a project to change the future of diabetes using an online survey which will help us find out what really matters to people with the condition.

At a time when diabetes is high on everyone’s agenda, this will help tell us about the issues that people with diabetes face in their day-to-day lives.

Then we can make sure we are focusing on the things that really matter and can use this to make changes where it really counts.

Diabetes is one of the UK’s biggest health crises, and it’s on the rise.

Some 4.5 million people in the UK are living with diabetes, and 11.9 million in the UK are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Its impact and complications can be devastating, causing blindness, amputations and even early death.

We want to know the challenges people face and hear their ideas about what needs to change.

Diabetes is a serious condition, so we need as many people as possible to share their knowledge, experience and ideas to help us tackle the diabetes crisis together by improving healthcare and preventing more people from developing Type 2 diabetes this potentially fatal condition.

Diabetes UK will compile the findings along with the results of their survey into a report that can influence decision makers including government and health care providers.

Make sure you have your say by completing the Future of Diabetes online survey by August 31.

Nominations for dementia award

Angela Rippon, Alzheimer’s Society ambassador, writes:

I am delighted to be hosting Alzheimer’s Society’s fourth annual Dementia Friendly Awards this year. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate those people who are making an outstanding contribution towards improving the lives of those affected by dementia.

I feel certain that there will be many individuals in London who should have their work within the dementia community recognised and would be worthy nominees for one of our awards.

Individuals can nominate themselves – or others – and there is a whole range of awards across 10 categories to recognise outstanding work in this area of increasing importance to the whole community.

Further information about the whole list of categories and how to enter can be found at The closing date for entries is midnight on August 21 and I hope to see a diverse array of nominations from the area.

Our finalists will be selected and invited to a ceremony in London on Wednesday, November 29. Wouldn’t it be great if we could honour and recognise someone from your readership?

Investment needed in NHS recruitment

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

With recent figures from NHS digital revealing that more than 86,000 NHS posts in England were vacant in the first quarter of this year, a rise on ten per cent since last year, more must be done to address the recruitment and retention crisis in the NHS.

Despite the best efforts of staff, patient care will continue to deteriorate unless the government take urgent steps to incentivise staff with better working conditions in an environment they feel supported in.

This requires investment in recruitment and resources as failure to do so will only exacerbate what is already a worrying situation.

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