Recorder letters: village green application, new houses, parking machines, SEN services, new leisure centre, local pharmacies, Korean War servicemen and private leasing.

PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 November 2017

Work being carried out to complete the Romford Leisure Centre.

Work being carried out to complete the Romford Leisure Centre.


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

Years of fighting finally at an end

Pete Bailey, Poplar Street, Romford, writes:

It is with great interest that I see that the leisure centre is to open in Romford in April next year after many years of waiting.

I think back to the many years that many members of the public and well-respected colleague Eamonn Mahon, a former councillor, sat in the visitors’ gallery at council meetings listening to Michael White, the former leader of the council, promising us all that a leisure centre would be coming to Romford.

Although it was stated that a great deal of the funds required would be coming from a large major company, the company name was never revealed for a long time.

None of us really thought that it would ever be built; it was ages before Morrisons was finally mentioned.

Eamonn Mahon spent many hours of his time arranging a petition, he spent hours of his time collecting signatures, in the shopping areas of Romford as well as local schools.

In addition to this, he made a placard up which said “Romford residents demand a swimming pool for Romford” etc. When he displayed this placard at council meetings, he was always being asked to take it down, as it provoked the leader of the council and other officials of the council, who were threatening to ban him from the council chamber public gallery.

So Eamonn then decided to have the words on the placard printed onto a white T-shirt,

this way at least they would

not request him to remove his T-shirt, but his words were

still on view both in the chamber and also the podcast of the meetings.

Anyway good to see that this man’s efforts were not in vain. Perhaps after all efforts, the leisure centre should really be called The Mahon Leisure Centre.

Editor’s note: The Romford Leisure Centre is now due to open in February

We will continue the fight to preserve village green

Dovers Farm Estate Village Green Committee write:

The community of Dovers Farm Estate has received its official objection from Havering Council, regarding our Village Green application.

It is a long document, which can be neatly paraphrased: as far as they are concerned, we can get stuffed!

This does not mean the death of our application, by any means.

The local authority has to adjudicate between the application by the community and the representation of the landowner.

Let’s gloss over the fact that the landowner is the local authority for now, and delve into the substance of their objection.

Not for the first time, Havering Council wishes to have its cake and eat it.

The Village Green application was brought as a response to a deeply unpopular planning application, and Havering Council cannot deny that it has effectively targeted this land for housing, a policy borne out by its bringing forward a second application while the Village Green application was ongoing.

Part of Havering Council’s objection to the Village Green application is that the land is already dedicated for recreational use and as such does not require Village Green status.

The reason for bringing the Village Green application is precisely to preserve this area for recreational use – for all their legalistic jargon and moralising, Havering Council are unwilling to do so themselves.

When did the councillors and officers of Havering decide that they were not our representatives but our administrators?

Why so slow to fill new houses?

Linda Hoad, Woodview Mews, Romford, writes:

The new build properties in Poplar Street, Romford have been completed for weeks – there are approximately four occupied.

How long does it take the council/housing association to give them to families who need this accommodation and take them out of temporary accommodation?

The council knew approximately when they would be finished; surely they could have got the whole allocation moving without the properties being empty for weeks and months.

Another loss of rent which will never be recouped, plus the money for temporary housing they are subsidising.

We want better parking machines

Paul McGeary, former Harold Hill councillor, Harold Hill Labour action team, writes:

At the full council meeting September, in response to a question raised by Councillor Darvill, the cabinet member Councillor Osman Dervish said he confirmed that he was happy to review parking payment arrangements in the Hilldene shopping area.

However at the council meeting on Wednesday, November 22 he said that there were no plans to improve the payment machines in the Hilldene shopping area.

Why can’t Harold Hill have the same parking machines as in Upminster? They have hard wearing metal keys.

Or is it the Tory view they look after their own voters in the posh well-to-do areas and leave our hard working residents with sub standard machines where the facias wear out through use and then frustrate the residents with machines left not working when they break down (three out of order currently) or unusable when the screens wear out?

It appears that our local Tory administration are very much into U-turns and breaking promises, as are their central government colleagues .

We will continue to push to get fair and equal working service throughout the borough and for our residents in the Harold Hill area.

Listen to parents of SEN children

Fay Hough, Rainham resident and Havering co-ordinator for Jon Cruddas MP, writes:

I write in reply to Councillor Robert Benham’s letter (Recorder, last week).

Firstly, in my original letter I wrote to the Recorder expressing my views about budget cuts, I was speaking of cuts to SEN services as a whole, and used transport as an example.

Cllr Benham stated that Havering Council never refuse SEN children transport because of budget cuts.

I am writing as a mother of a child with a disability, who regularly attends local meetings with the Children and Adults Disability Team.

Over the past two years I have seen SEN charities lose their local authority funding, charities that provide essential support for families with disabled children/adults.

I have listened to countless distressed families after their children, who are unable to walk, have been refused transport.

The council are always saying “things are going to get better” yet we are having the same conversations every year.

Local parents feel like no one is listening.

Will Cllr Benham sit down with, and listen to the desperate situations some families are facing?

Listen to the distress our children have faced down to lack of support?

I’m calling on Cllr Benham to listen to one day in our lives. Then tell us what you feel the money is best spent on.

Support your local pharmacies

Cllr Clarence Barrett, Upminster & Cranham Residents’ Association, writes:

Readers may be aware that a Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment is currently being conducted which seeks to ensure residents are suitably served and have access to a local pharmacy.

At the same time, many households in the area will have received promotional letters from organisations such as Pharmacy2U who offer to handle repeat prescriptions and deliver them to your door, free of charge.

While this may be a service which fits in with some peoples’ circumstances, it is also worth remembering that the local chemist is as much a part of our local economy as the bakers and newsagents.

Indeed, their role is much more than dispensing medicines, it is also about offering advice, providing emergency prescriptions and performs an important role in our public health service.

Our pharmacists rely heavily on repeat prescriptions to remain economically viable, the local chemist is an integral part of our community – let’s support our local pharmacies to keep it that way.

Looking for photos of Korean War dead

Brian Hough, Fields Farm Road, Hyde, writes:

I am acting on behalf of the authorities at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery Busan South Korea, where over 800 British servicemen are buried.

The authorities there wish to obtain photographs of those servicemen interred there, and, also of those who died but have no known grave.

Copies of the photographs will be placed in the man’s records, and will also be displayed on the walls of the Cemetery Hall of Remembrance for all time.

The following names are just a few of the young men from the London area who gave their lives in Korea.

Pte Eric B Barclay; Lt Robert Williams (RN); Capt Ronald F Washbrook; Pte David M J Tranthem; Cpl Richard Pegg; Pte Ronald A J Bennett; Pte Donald A W Anderson; Capt Ralph N Parkinson-Cumine (RM); Lt Robert E Barrett (RN); Sgt Robert A Donald; Pte Derek A Fisher; Rfn Albert E Tice; Cpl Joseph W Pentony; Surg/Lt; Douglas A Knock (RN).

Any family,or friend, who lost a loved one in the Korean War 1950-53, and wish to take part can send the photograph to me - Brian Hough 116 Fields Farm Road, Hyde, Cheshire SK14 3NP.

If more details are required you can phone me on 0161 368 5622 or 07467037742.

You can also email

May I thank you for any help that you can give on this matter.

Abolish private leasing nightmare

A Havering resident (name and address supplied), writes:

Havering Council private leasing scheme must be abolished.

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

After more than seven years of hell, nightmare council tenants have 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!

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