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Recorder letters: Rainham, Brexit, blood tests and more.

PUBLISHED: 12:00 14 April 2019

Prime Minister Theresa May. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Images.

Prime Minister Theresa May. Photograph: Aaron Chown/PA Images.

PA Wire/PA Images

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

Time for May to hand over to a Leaver

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

The inability of our government to bring the UK’s exit from the EU to a speedy and satisfactory conclusion tells me they are taking the British people for a ride and that their heart is not in fulfilling the clear instruction in the Referendum result.

I have no doubt Leavers would have been prepared to accept some short-term knocks in return for no longer being subject to the diktats of Brussels bureaucrats over whom the public has no control.

It certainly hasn’t helped having a Remainer leading our negotiations!

Perhaps the time has come for Mrs May to fall on her sword and hand over to someone who actually believes in, and agrees with, the British public’s decision.

Wonderful part of borough is getting better

Cllr Damian White, leader of Havering Council, writes:

I am writing in response to Eileen Drew’s letter published on April 5 titled: Does Cinderella Rainham not interest the council?

It saddens me that the suggestion has been made that Havering Council does not care about Rainham. On the contrary, she could not be further from the truth. Rainham may have been neglected in the past, but this is not happening on my watch.

Yes, we have agreed to stop funding a tired and rusty leisure centre that is not fit for use. But at the same time we are looking at building a new one to cater for all the community.

Yes we are funding buses for children while the options for the new leisure centre are being looked at, but the cost does not equate to the £232,000 a year to keep the centre running, not to mention the £1million it would take to bring it back up to par.

At the same time we have plenty of other things happening for local people.

For adults this includes Zumba at Rainham Parish Hall, weekly walking for health at Rainham Marshes and Hornchurch Country Park, dodgeball at Rainham Royals. For young people we also have Kicks Football, Para Football, West Ham football camps, summer sports camps and American football - all at The Brittons Academy.

And let’s look at the wider picture.

Rainham is also receiving unprecedented investment with new homes being built for local people which will be supported by new local facilities.

Working with partners, there is also greater investment in new training and job creation and a new C2C train station will be built in Beam Park.

And while this is happening we are also investing £40million in improving roads and pavements, increased street cleaning and continued weekly bin collections across the whole borough, which Rainham will also benefit from.

So I would not describe Rainham as forgotten, but rather as a wonderful part of Havering that is getting even better.

Vote for WTO Brexit or lose at election

Cllr Bob Perry, deputy chairman, political; Keith Wells, president, Hornchurch & Upminster Conservative Association, Cllr Graham Williamson; Robert Flunder, Joanne Peake, Alan Jenkins and Jack Haywood, Hornchurch & Upminster Conservatives, wrote to Conservative Parliamentarians:

Your actions this week will have far reaching implications for the United Kingdom for generations to come.

Have any of you seriously thought about what you have done to this once great nation of ours? Do you really believe that by turning the UK into a vassal state of the corrupt European Union that you are serving your country?

Your duplicitous and cowardly behaviour in denying the will of 17.4 million voters who took the brave decision leave to the EU will not go unpunished.

Collectively you have sounded the death knell for democracy in this country as we know it.

Have you considered the implications this will have for you at the ballot box, do you honestly believe that you will be forgiven for your betrayal?

If so, it shows how entirely out of touch you are with the British people.

Whenever the next election comes, we suspect it will be sooner rather than later, the electorate will seize the opportunity to vent their wrath upon you.

It is not too late to redeem yourselves and to save not only your seats but your reputations.

You need to reverse the disastrous decision you took to betray the electorate.

All it will take is for one of you to table a motion to put leaving on WTO terms back on the table and for the rest of you to have the backbone to vote it through.

You may dismiss us as those stupid Brexiteers that didn’t know what they were voting for but we assure you that we absolutely did and we would do it again in a heartbeat.

Ignore us at your peril but let us be clear, if you do, come the next general election the great British people will deliver you the P45 you will so richly deserve.

We deserve decent blood test service

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

I am writing in response to the letter about expecting a decent blood test service.

I had to go for a blood test a few weeks ago and went to the health centre at Gooshays.

The first time I had to come away as it was fully attended. There was no notice as you went in, the only note was where you collect your ticket and it was a little note stating it as full and no more tickets were available for appointments.

The second time I went to the same place we had to queue at the entrance before we got a ticket, blocking the doorway.

We got our tickets, sat down to wait when this man came out in a hurry carrying a bag.

He told us all sitting there that he had to go to another test centre venue. There were only two technicians there to start with, leaving only one to the blood tests. There were quite a few of us left seated waiting, some elderly.

I think this is not the service we should be expecting from the NHS and we deserve better in these modern times.

I, too, have a legal qualification

Cllr Keith Darvill, leader Havering Labour Group, writes:

In response to Terry Matthews’ letter of March 29, firstly, I did not in my letter “attack” him but merely drew your readers attention to the inaccuracies in his initial letter; offer a difference of opinion; and, promote an alternative approach which is widely accepted as a way forward to reducing knife crime and youth violence.

In his letter he claims “that the multi agency approach has been tried for years and has not worked”. This is not the case.

In fact public services have been cut back so much in the last nine years that partnership working has reduced significantly.

There is an exception, which is Glasgow where the multi-agency (public health) approach has been implemented successfully and knife crime has reduced.

In Havering, councillors across the political divide appear to support such an approach and there is to be a review (supported by all councillors) of youth services which I believe play a complementary role as do other public services in helping to address the problems of violence.

On a personal level I somewhat doubt Mr Matthews’ remarks that he was involved in politics before I was born, as I was born in 1948!

The point is that I have been involved in politics now for over 56 years and have been elected to public service for more than 20 of those years.

I have not worked in the police service but, like Terry, I do have a legal qualification and have taken an interest in such matters.

I am acutely aware, for example, of the pressure on police officers as a result of mental health related incidents of which I have observed from close proximity.

Terry is wrong to denigrate local councillors, many of who, have a wealth of experience of what goes on in the communities they represent and many attend regularly their Safer Neighbourhood Team meetings.

Where Terry Matthews is right is the need for more officers to support community policing as well as the specialist units and the primary reason for the reduction in police numbers is the reduced funding from central government.

This needs to be reversed so that police number are restored.

Yes the Mayor of London has started that process and yes it is funded through the precept ie by increase in the council tax.

Now central government must do the rest. This has to be revenue funding.

It is not sustainable by stopping for a year a capital project which by its nature is a one-off.

Less eye-catching than I had hoped

Chris Purnell, Osborne Road, Hornchurch, writes:

Regarding Terence Matthews (letters: As ex-police officer I know my subject). Terence is a know-it-all. This week he knows how to solve knife crime in London.

Long prison sentences will do the trick and not spending money on cycle paths. The reason he knows this will work is because 40 years ago he was a policeman and he has a law degree.

After reading many of Terence’s letters over the years I had hoped for something more eye-catching.

Many learned of plan in Recorder

Cllr Denis O’Flynn, Heaton ward, Harold Hill, writes:

A very well attended meeting by residents of Gooshays Gardens and surrounding areas was held in the Harold Hill Community Centre on Friday, March 29.

The purpose of the meeting was to protest at the proposal of Havering Council’s housing company Mercury Land Holdings to build 64 houses and car parking on the site.

Residents were shocked to read of the proposals in the Romford Recorder and many stated they had no knowledge before reading it in the Recorder.

This green space is regarded by residents as amenity grass land by Gooshays Garden residents and comes as another blow following the council’s decision to build houses and flats in what had been regarded by generations as leisure green space.

The meeting was also attended by all Harold Hill councillors plus two Harold Wood councillors.

At last year’s council elections the Tory candidates gave an election pledge to protect the green spaces on the Hill. Unfortunately there was no sign at the meeting that they were going to stand by that pledge. Also conspicuous by his absence was the Tory candidate for London Mayor in next year’s London elections who happens to be a Harold Hill resident.

The mood of the meeting was one of anger at another attempt by Havering Council to turn Harold Hill into a concrete jungle.

We must encourage families to walk

Tanya Braun, Head of Policy and Communications, Living Streets, writes:

One in four cars on our roads at peak times are on the school run. Change this and we’ll improve our children’s health.

The State of Global Air 2019 study (published April 3) shows that air pollution reduces life expectancy by 20 months on average worldwide and is a bigger killer than road incidents. For children, air pollution is more harmful – stunting their lung development and causing lifelong implications.

To reduce the levels of toxic air caused by motor vehicles, we need to encourage and enable more families to walk to school.

Walk to School Week takes place next month and schools across the UK have plans to encourage families to walk more.

It’s a misconception that children are protected from air pollution inside the car. But it is clear that the benefits of being physically active outweigh the air pollution risk and in walking to school, we become part of the clean air solution.

Chafford decision must be reversed

Shahrar Ali, Barking, Dagenham and Havering Green Party, Green Party list candidate for London Assembly, writes:

Cllr Viddy Persaud does a great example of a cabinet member who understands the price of everything but the value of nothing.

He says, “Further investment in the site does not offer good value for money.” (Protesters ‘disheartened’ at sports centre closure, March 22).

The reality is that the current complex offers inestimable, if not indispensable, value and that regular users continue to make good use of it and are prepared to pay fees in order to do so.

I have made friends in the local community over a bout of badminton and have many neighbours who depend upon it for physical exercise in our increasingly time-starved, cash-strapped environment.

This decision needs to be reversed. Our councillors and local MP need to get their act together to safeguard our community from the destruction of our civic spaces with no immediate, comparable replacement in sight.

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