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www.romfordrecorder.co.uk

VIEW FROM THE EDITOR’S CHAIR

Dirty end of the stick

I

S IT just me, or has anyone else noticed the anomaly regarding what Havering’s Tory councillors want for Harold Hill and what they want (or, more accurately, don’t want) for Emerson Park?

We are currently witnessing a battle between residents of Harold Hill and Tory deputy leader Steven Kelly over plans to build around 250 new homes on what is – to all intents and purposes – Green Belt land between Gooshays Drive and Petersfield Avenue (see page nine, Romford edition). The Tory administration wants to sell off the land to help pay for the Harold Hill Ambitions programme aimed at smartening up the area. Residents, on the other hand, would much rather retain this open space which has been well-loved and well-used since the estate was created. It is also a vital ‘green lung’ between dense areas of housing. Although there are lots of good things in the Ambitions project, to lose a huge area of green space and bring 250 more families into an already crowded area is rather like giving up a kidney in return for a new set of clothes – the clothes will wear out but you will always be lacking a vital organ. It’s a foolish trade that is likely to be bitterly regretted in the future. Meanwhile, a number of senior Tory councillors – including the aforementioned Steven Kelly – voiced their considerable objections to plans to build a Tesco store in Emerson Park. At a planning meeting (see page 20) they were vociferous in their condemnation of the retailers’ scheme to turn a shop into a new supermarket. I think he may have missed the irony of the situation, but Cllr Kelly even gave a presentation to the meeting stating that it would be an overdevelopment of the area. Now those of you with even a basic grasp of the borough’s political map will probably realise that Harold Hill is not Tory heartland, while Emerson Park probably is. You can make your own minds up about whether that has a bearing on these opposing stances. Neither group of residents want these two schemes to go-ahead, but it is likely to be only the Emerson Park residents toasting success. Good luck to them, if they don’t want a supermarket they shouldn’t have to have one, but in Harold Hill they will perceive it as the Tories looking after their own and the Hill getting the dirty end of the stick once again. Another PR success!

MARK SWEETINGHAM

Recorder, Friday 5th March 2010

Your Letters

I ATTENDED the council meeting on February 24 and I was appalled by the attitude of the Residents’ Association (RA). They seemed to think that the setting of the council’s budget for the coming year was nothing more than a joke. Cllr Ray Morgon, who made the main opposition speech, devoted his energies to incorporating the

Meeting was just a joke names of as many councillors as possible into his ‘humorous’ speech rather than raising any serious challenges to the administration’s budget. I am sure that residents who are worried about their council servic-

es and the level of their council tax do not think the setting of the budget to be a laughing matter. It is time for Havering residents to stop voting for these amateurs and to ensure that enough Conservative councillors are elected to continue

running the council for the benefit of all residents along proper business lines and with the seriousness that such a big responsibility deserves. PAMELA FREER Front Lane Cranham

Confusion on the Story is cards just so inspiring

AS a former client of Paul Connelly’s, I was very interested to read his story (Recorder, February 26); to say it was inspirational does not do the book sufficient justice. I found it harrowing and at times hard to read. In the end Paul’s is a success story, but there are a lot of shades of ● Paul Connelly with his book grey and complexities in there as well. It was just amazing – I read it in less central events of the book are a matter of than a day because it reads like a novel, public record. NAME AND you want to see what happens next – but in fact it is totally factual and indeed the ADDRESS SUPPLIED

I AM unsure whether you will be interested in the following, because, to my knowledge, it has only affected me, but has the potential to affect millions of people up and down the country.

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I sent a birthday card to a friend of ours in Nottingham. The envelope was correctly addressed, clearly written with correct postcode and contained a first class stamp. It was posted in ample time to receive it on or before her birthday. The card took two weeks for it to reach her, but was not posted through her letterbox because the Post Office stated that

Tackling fly-tipping

I’D like to reassure Mr Farnsworth (letter, February 26) that we do take fly-tipping very seriously and have a team of enforcement officers to tackle this issue. The issue Mr Farnsworth refers to has not been ignored – a local business has recently been served with litter clearance and graffiti clearance notices and we are monitoring the situation.

Catching fly-tippers and getting enough evidence to secure convictions is difficult and enforcement action can be more legally problematic when eyesores build up on private property. However, we use all the powers the law allows us and we have had many successful prosecutions. Several individuals and businesses have received heavy fines of up to

£2,000 for dumping rubbish. Many of these prosecutions have resulted from crucial evidence from covert CCTV cameras that we place in fly-tipping hotspots. We hope the message will get through that fly-tipping in Havering can be a very expensive mistake. BOB WENMAN Head of StreetCare London Borough of Havering

Taxpayer likes to be Views on beside the seaside immigrants AS you will see from the address I now live in Frinton-on-Sea. I find that I am comparing what Tendring Council spends its taxpayer’s money on with what Havering Council spends theirs on. I have found that where Havering spent an absolute fortune on so called ‘traff ic calming’ (I know that the money usually comes from the Mayor’s Office but the traffic calming punishes even the slow drivers) and very little on toilets around the town. I have been told that lots of shops in Romford have closed and that if you need the toilet you have to go into one of the big shops, and that the market is just for mobile phone stalls, and not a lot else. Tendring, however, spend no money on traffic calming (if we get

speeders in the summer we have cameras which pay for themselves) so that you can drive around the area without road humps shaking your bones and damaging your suspension. Wherever you go in Frinton or Clacton there are plenty of toilets, some even with attendants in. The shops in Clacton and Frinton are thriving (perhaps they don’t have to pay the council so much). All in all it would appear that Tendring Council does much better for its inhabitants than Havering does. So I am very glad I moved. BRIAN NASH Pightle Way Frinton Homelands Walton-on-the-Naze

IN his letter Bricks and Mortar in the Recorder, Mr G. Arnold asked me (at least I think he means me) my views on immigrants. As this has nothing to do with my opposition to the council’s proposal to build on a large part of Central Park and the two football pitches that have been played on continously for the past 40 years, I can’t see the connection, and I have never had cause to seek the information on immigration he asks me to supply. So I can’t help, except to say the immigrants I have met, when for ten years I was a member of the parents’ association of my children’s primary school, were on the whole very nice and as far as I can tell my children have always benefitted by mixing with people from different backgrounds. DENNIS COOK Dagnam Park Drive Harold Hill

because it was oversize it would have to be collected from the main sorting office. When she arrived at the sorting office, she was informed that the envelope was 3cm too large. I do not know whether that meant length or width, but it could not be detected visually, and for her to retrieve it the Post Office wanted £1 extra postage plus a further £1 for a handling charge. The card was purchased in a well known Romford store with thousands of other cards present of similar size, but no mention of them being “oversize”. Now, if the Post Office wish to go along these lines, then card shops should be made to place stickers on cards of this size, stating they are “oversize and will require additional postage” then see how many they sell. BRIAN RICHARDSON Merlin Road Romford

Cut total of wards FOLLOWING my recent attempts to get some action from the council regarding the appalling state of the rear ofCherry Tree public house and the adjacent shops, Cllr Burton has attempted to get the area tidied and is pressing for the alleyway at the rear of the shops to be cleared. However, the public house car park is not council land and he can take no action. I thank him for his attempts at help and for Cllr Tucker who first intervened to get some action. No action or contact has been received from the other ward councillors. I think in these times with significant cuts looming in council services and increases in Council Tax after the elections, it is now time to consider the number of councillors enjoying salaries from the Council Tax payer. We simply do not need three per ward. Maybe twinning the wards and halving the number of councillors is the answer. ROBERT FARNSWORTH Cherry Tree Close Rainham


Against All Odds - letter to the paper