Recorder letters: Town centre planning, Dagenham & Redbridge FC, children in poverty, dance studio, religion and more

PUBLISHED: 09:53 30 October 2020 | UPDATED: 09:53 30 October 2020

A computer generated image outlining what the Waterloo Estate redevelopment could look like. Picture: Havering Council/Wates Regeneration LLP

A computer generated image outlining what the Waterloo Estate redevelopment could look like. Picture: Havering Council/Wates Regeneration LLP

Havering Council/Wates Regeneration LLP

Letters sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Case of double standards on big town centre projects?

Adam Grace, Amanda McKiernan, Andrew Curtin, Michael Armstrong, Shauna Holmes and Tim Howson, executive committee, Romford Civic Society, write:

Like many, we suspect, we are giddy with lack of oxygen at the new heights of cynical hypocrisy scaled by Romford councillors in their supposed opposition to the proposed development in Rom Valley Way.

For, at the same time as professing outrage at the scale of the scheme, they themselves are proposing a much bigger development on the council’s own nearby land at Waterloo Road Estate!!

Guys, if you’re really bothered, then reduce the scale of the eye-wateringly over-powering development which you have applied to shoehorn into your own site at Waterloo Road, and all the other developments along Rom Valley Way would have to follow suit proportionally.

That you won’t do this, and won’t even explain why you have applied for permission to cram 300 more flats onto the Waterloo Road site than the developer wants on Rom Valley Way, feeds the suspicion that it is not concern for the environment and social infrastructure of Romford which is fuelling your new-found apoplexy at the scheme in Rom Valley Way.

Thanks to MPs for helping football club

S R Thompson MBE, managing director, Dagenham & Redbridge Football Club, writes:

I write to let your readers know of the tremendous support given to Dagenham & Redbridge FC by two of our local MPs. Jon Cruddas MP, for Dagenham & Rainham, and Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford.

Many of your readers will be aware that, like all football throughout the country our season stopped in March this year.

The new season was due to start on the 8th August but without spectators and no lucrative TV deal that was not viable. When the Prime Minster announced on the 17th July that a limited number of spectators would be allowed from the 1st October following on from several pilot games the National League announced it would start on the 3rd October.

Following a request from the club Jon and Andrew wrote to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport requesting that we should be allowed to be one of the pilot events and indeed we held a Covid secure game on the 22nd September with just over 600 supporters in attendance.

However, that same day the Prime Minister announced that due to the rise in coronavirus infections that the planned return of supporters for elite sport, in which the National League is classed as, was suspended for up to six months.

Whilst everyone at our clubs fully appreciated the need to help stop the spread of the virus it was nevertheless a severe blow.

Without any matchday income many clubs faced folding and certainly others were unable to commit to the start of the season on the 3rd October.

On learning of our plight both Jon and Andrew, recognising the value of clubs like ours to their local communities, both petitioned The Rt. Hon. Oliver Dowden C.B.E. M.P. Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and were joined by other Members of Parliament throughout the country.

Subsequently I am pleased to report that the DCMS have announced an aid package and although the final details are still to be decided the total amount is £10,000,000 spread over three months. For most clubs this will mean a substantial five figure sum each month and ensure their survival.

Through your pages I would publicly like to thank both Jon and Andrew for speedily and efficiently taking up our case and to thank the DCMS for not only recognising our plight but in quickly stepping in to ensure the survival of the National League and its 66 clubs.

Investing to help young in poverty

Cllr Damian White, leader of Havering Council, writes:

I am writing in response to the article ‘Almost 20,000 children in poverty in Havering, study shows’ published on the Recorder website on October 19.

The demographics of Havering has changed significantly since the last End Child Poverty findings.

Over the past four years Havering has seen the largest number of families and young people in London move into the borough as inner London has become more expensive. This has no doubt skewed our figures.

We’ve invested heavily in our services so that we can support our children every step of the way from birth through to leaving education. We run a range of services from getting children ready for school to providing training opportunities for young people leaving education.

On Friday we announced that we would be providing free school meals for all eligible children during half-term.

Children aren’t born poor, they just happen to be born into more socially and economically deprived homes, so to help families, we run parenting and support programmes as well retraining and re-skilling programmes to help adults back into work.

We’ve made a commitment to growing the economy and providing affordable housing as part of our regeneration plan so that all residents can feel the benefit of this work. Our teams have worked tirelessly to help companies of all sizes, but especially smaller businesses with less than 10 employees, as we are aware of the impact work or the lack of it, has on families.

These have included many one-person businesses for whom the last few months have presented a real challenge.

What was Edie and Lou’s studio called?

James, Brentwood, full address supplied, writes:

Some friends and I were reminiscing about the dance studios where we learnt to dance in our teens. We had reached the conclusion that the best place to meet girls was a dance hall and so we needed to learn to dance.

Although we can remember the names of the couple who taught us (Edie and Lou) we can’t remember the name of the studio. Can you help please? It was above the shops in Hornchurch Road on the same side as the bus station.

Thank you in anticipation.

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Empty your post box regularly

Cllr Ron Ower, Derham Gardens, Upminster, writes:

More and more properties have post boxes outside their dwellings.

Please try and empty them regularly – they can be a gift for thieves.

If you are travelling get the neighbours, family or friends to empty it for you.

You do not want your personal details being used by criminals.

No applause for Mr Rosindell?

Mr W Ramsay, Stephen Avenue, Rainham, writes:

Cllr Durant should surely have taken the opportunity in his latest Covid letter, last week, to applaud Andrew Rosindell for joining with those Conservatives, rightly so called, who voted against the latest government restrictions - particularly as he previously urged local MPs to such actions, and as Mr Rosindell has done so at some personal cost, having lost a minor government preferment through it.

Whether, however, it is something to be applauded by the Covid zealots among the leading Conservatives on Havering Council for whom letters at the back of a local newspaper pose a danger to public health, is another matter, presumably to be passed over in silence.

We must be free to choose our beliefs

Michael J Frost, Peartree Gardens, Romford, writes:

As a Doubting Thomas agnostic, I often wonder at the mindset of those who are so brainwashed that they appear incapable of making up their own minds as to the existence, or otherwise, of an omnipotent being called by various names, be it God, Allah or whatever.

History tells us that many conflicts between nations were caused by religious differences.

What sort of deity is so self-centred and scared of competition that it accepts its opponents be slaughtered like the recent beheading carried out in the name of Islam?

Do the elders within that religion truly believe that this sort of atrocity furthers its cause?

Surely, only the most fervent, unthinking followers believe such action is justifiable!

These are not the Dark Ages! We live at a time where we should be able to hold whatever belief we choose without recrimination.

If comfort is obtained from a religious belief, who has the right to say that belief is wrong simply because it differs from others? Whilst such attitudes persist, it will ever be thus.

Dissatisfied over boundary decision

Gerald Presland, Cranham, writes:

As a lifetime supporter and voter of the Conservative Party, I find myself in a very sad situation in having to write to express my deep dissatisfaction at Councillors Sutton and Best’s decision to block the investigation into the boundaries dispute.

They went against officer advice, banned public and press from the meeting and also banned the Recorder from challenging the decision.

Using the three month limit is simply appalling bearing in mind the complaint was made as soon as the recording came to light.

Rainham MP Mr Cruddas is right to be angry as, I expect, many of the electorate are.

By your actions all you have done is to confirm in peoples’ minds that there was wrongdoing in the first place. Remember, the people of Havering elected you into office, they can easily elect you out of office too.

Only independent panel will do

Terence F Matthews LL B (Hons ), Clement Way, Romford, writes:

You cannot have members of the administration looking into a complaint about the leader of their party. It is impossible for them not to be biased.

A bit of free legal advice. When a matter is time limited, the actual time starts when a complainant becomes aware of the matter NOT when the act took place.

For example a fail to stop accident and the driver is found after a year. All time limiting provisions start when the driver is identified.

Only a truly independent panel, with no connection with the Havering Council can be accepted. The Local Government Ombudsman should be informed. Consideration of Judicial Review should be a way forward.

The Electoral Commission is wrong to say, “it has nothing to do with them” - of course it has. It is their review that would be affected by the political motivated actions of the leader and other councillors.

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