Recorder letters: Residents’ Association, Crossrail, memorial service and more.

PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 November 2019


Crossrail... "The London taxpayer will have to foot the bill until its completion." Picture: Mike Brooke

Mike Brooke

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

Will Crossrail and HS2 be worth it?

Claire Adams, Gilbert Road, Romford, writes:

I hope when Crossrail is finally delivered in full it really makes a difference to the journey times and passenger experience for commuters.

It's a project that appears to have been hit by problems, delays and a ballooning budget - now a few billion over the initial £15.9billion (Crossrail 'will not open next year', CEO confirms: Romford Recorder, Nov 15)

I understand it's a huge project but it doesn't bode well for HS2 - another project likely to go over budget and over time. The true pain will be felt by taxpayers and commuters - with rising fares.

Association councillors all perform vital role in communities

Terence F Matthews LL B (Hons), retired police officer, Hacton ward, Hornchurch, writes:

The letter by Mr W Ramsay in the November 1 issue was obviously written by somebody who has no idea how a residents association is run.

For a start councillors supported by an association actually speak to their ward members and cooperate with councillors and ward team members from other wards through the association. The RA group on Havering council are elected representatives and once elected, by law, become Havering councillors charged with the wellbeing of all of our residents, with special responsibility to their ward.

As with most organisations and associations there are elected officers (at the AGM) and an executive committee which is responsible for the running of the association, in a legal manner.

If Mr Ramsay is so worried about the running of his local association, I suggest that, if he is a paid-up member, he can always put his name forward to be considered for an officer or EC post.

The only qualification is that the person concerned must have a history of helping residents, is a paid-up member of the association and is not an officer or activist of a political party.

An AGM is held to elect officers for the following year and to inform members what the association is doing and there is a chance for members to give their views to the officers and EC of the association.

I can assure him and others that share his views, that the association is one of the most democratic organisations I have ever served on and that members' views are listened to all year and not just for two hours a year.

No organisation can have a system of everybody being asked what to do before something is carried out. All rely on EC's or boards for efficiency and sense. Only obtuse people would think that all members of any organisation would have to be consulted before any actions, on behalf of the association, were taken. That is why there are elected officers and ECs made up of members.

There are no shareholders in voluntary organisations but volunteers' working for the community.

The reason RAs do not undertake online consultations is that anybody in the world can influence the outcome. The best way to find out members' views is to use the associations publications to inform members and other ward members that a consultation is being carried out by the association, such as that carried out regarding the new medical facility on the St Georges hospital site.

That consultation had four times more replies from four wards than the CCG consultation of 18 wards. That surely shows that a local RA knows the views of their residents more than any official body.

Mr Ramsay obviously believes that the Tory online parking consultation is acceptable. I do not as only one person from a house is able to give their views.

What happened to democracy where everybody on the voters register gets a vote? Come to that, where are the letters that Mr White promised would be sent to every household affected? This administration needs to carry out its promises to our residents.

Considering the government, of the same colour as our administration, are demanding that our town centres get help, doing away with the 30-minute free parking is helping in what way? For the benefit of those who may think I live in Upminster because of my RM14 postcode, I don't, I live in Hacton ward, Hornchurch.

One offer on table for leisure centre

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

The council proposals to build a new "modular" leisure centre on the Rainham Villlage Recreation Ground. Option 2 has understandably drawn strong criticism from residents at the further loss of green open space. (Recorder letters Mr D F Gibson, November 15).

The dilemma for local councillors is it's the only offer on the table that can deliver a new centre in the near future following the council leader's disgraceful closure of Chafford leisure centre.

Officially there are two options on offer, but option 1, in New Road, is not serious because it depends on the council being able to buy the site on the open market in two years time for over £2million and then you have the build costs!

The recreation ground is council owned requiring only the building costs at this central location.

That said both sites are on flood plain and would require approval from the Environment Agency to proceed. Local councillors had discussions with officers about using the land at the back of recreation ground beyond the multi-use games area and school playing field but this is high-risk flood plain and acts as a

sink to protect the village from flooding.

However, having walked the site I think option 2 can be improved if the centre is moved back as far as it can go to ensure as much of the recreation ground at the front can be retained, with the play furniture including the multi-use games area repositioned towards the front of the school with a path around the centre towards A1306 for dog walkers so that only some land at the back is lost.

This will improve the openness of the high value area at the front to provide the security people

want to make a play area attractive to users.

Stop moaning and get a grip

Glenn Roach, Gooshays Drive, Romford, writes:

In response to Carole Beth's letter in last week's Romford Recorder, Havering Council must he doing really well if all the Labour councillor can find to moan about is leaves.

You may also want to watch:

Get a grip - you will be moaning that every time you put your washing out to dry it rains and you wait 30 minutes for a bus and then three come along.

Well-attended memorial service

D Ainsworth, Barnstaple Road, Harold Hill, writes:

Readers of your newspaper could be forgiven for thinking there wasn't a Remembrance Day Service on the Harold Hill estate.

Harold Hill's Memorial for the War Dead is an annual service, which was often attended and/or reported on by the Romford Recorder.

This year was no exception as a procession was held from St Georges Church to the memorial for an outdoor service led by the Reverend Shaun Moore.

This procession was headed by an excellent army cadet band and a bagpipe player.

There was a good attendance at the memorial.

Former mayor Cllr Denis O'Flynn gave an address and former MP Keith Darvill read a verse from Laurence Binyon's poignant poem For the Fallen. A bugler played The Last Post before silence was observed.

Wreathes on behalf of the council and then many organisations were laid before all joined in to sing the National Anthem.

Reverend Moore then gave his blessing before leading a procession back to St George's for a well-attended memorial service.

Please don't forget us on Harold Hill

Maureen Whitbread, Grange Road, Harold Wood, writes:

I have just read my Romford Recorder and was hurt and surprised that in spite of a truly wonderful response to our memorial service with the army and navy cadets marching from St George's Church, we were not worthy of a single mention in your paper.

Our service opened with a reminder from ex-serviceman Cllr Denis O'Flynn who mentioned the various sections of our community who gave so much in both world wars over countless campaigns including the British contingent sent into Russia in an effort to restore the Russian monarchy.

Something I and many others knew nothing about or of the men taken prisoner and never heard of again.

Various pictures were taken and at the end of the service the National Anthem was sung.

It was wonderful to see our cadet band and young scouts etc marching down the church with our pipers playing us through.

It is a pity the Romford Recorder did not remember your readers on Harold Hill.

All parties should look beyond Brexit

Sid C Curtis, Brentwood, full address supplied, writes:

During this election campaign, I am concerned with who will represent my constituency in the next parliament.

As a supporter of Catholic aid agency CAFOD, I hope that candidates of all parties will look beyond Brexit to ensure that critical global issues don't fall off the agenda.

We must fight for an outward looking, interconnected society.

I am proud of the difference that UK aid makes, and we must ensure that it continues to be spent on tackling poverty and the needs of the most vulnerable over UK interests.

We are also the last generation that can tackle the global climate crisis. Britain must make this a priority and urgently put in place policies to achieve net zero emissions.

By doing so we can create a world of cleaner water, fresher air and a safer home for all of us to enjoy.

Join fight against pancreatic cancer

Dianne Dobson, specialist nurse, Pancreatic Cancer UK, writes:

Every year nearly a thousand people across London are told they have pancreatic cancer and are suddenly faced with terrifyingly low survival statistics that haven't changed in 50 years.

Currently, the disease has the lowest survival of other common cancer such as prostate, breast or bowel cancer with 93 per cent of people die within five years of diagnosis.

Other cancers have seen huge improvement in survival which is proof that government action, research funding and public awareness can save lives.

This Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, our charity has launched a new campaign to open the public's eyes to pancreatic cancer and call on the next government to create the first dedicated national plan to address this cancer emergency.

I urge your readers to show their support for Pancreatic Cancer UK's campaign by signing our petition and helping us transform the future for everyone diagnosed with this awful disease.

Please take a stand with us by visiting:

If you are affected by pancreatic cancer and need support please visit or you can contact the Pancreatic Cancer UK Support Line and speak to any of our specialist nurses, freecall 0808 801 0707.

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