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Recorder letters: Garden waste, zoo, treets and blood tests

PUBLISHED: 16:01 25 October 2017

Redbridge Council will bring back the free garden waste collection and tougher bags next year. Picture: RON JEFFRIES

Redbridge Council will bring back the free garden waste collection and tougher bags next year. Picture: RON JEFFRIES

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

A fantastic victory for activists

Joel Herga, full address supplied, writes:

I was delighted to hear the recent news that Redbridge Council would be reversing its ridiculous decision to implement an opt-in, pay for green garden waste scheme. The scheme charged those residents who opted into it £50 for a roll of 50 weak and flimsy bags.

Disabled and elderly people were not exempted from the scheme and many people simply didn’t opt into the scheme and took the green waste to the dump themselves, meaning massive traffic jams particularly around Charlie Brown’s Roundabout making the air pollution even worse.

Redbridge Council’s decision to revert back to the old scheme is a fantastic victory for all those residents and activists who mobilised to campaign against the new scheme.

The next stage of the fight is to now ensure that Redbridge Council’s rather cynical decision to only promise to reintroduce the old scheme for one year (that happens to also be the year of the local elections!!) is turned into a full blown commitment to return to the old scheme full stop.

Thanks to council for listening

Loraine Sladden, Downshall Avenue, Newbury Park, writes:

At last the council has seen sense and listened to the residents in Redbridge.

I welcome the return of the “real” green bag collections of garden waste.

Thank you Redbridge Council for listening and I hope it isn’t just a coincidence that this free worthy collection service has been reinstated in time for the forthcoming local elections next year. Cynical? You bet I am!

Garden waste fee hit the elderly

Keith Stanbury, chairman, Goodmayes Residents Association (GRASS), writes:

I was pleased to see that a recommendation to the cabinet at Redbridge from the recycling team is to re-introduce a free garden waste collection facility from spring next year. And new woven bags will be supplied free of charge.

If any cost-cutting scheme was particularly discriminatory against the elderly and those on diminished incomes it has been the £1 per bag scheme introduced this year.

Additionally the quality of the biodegradeable bags supplied was severely criticised by local people, as your frequent letters and complaints from GRASS members have proven.

I’m concerned at zoo proposals

Mr Chris Gannaway, Aldborough Road North, Ilford, writes:

Re the lead article in the Ilford Recorder, October 12, £6million zoo to open, breeding at-risk animals.

I for one am greatly concerned about this development as reported, Hainault Forest Country Park is a jewel in the crown of Redbridge being the remnant of the much greater Hainault Forest that once covered about a quarter of Redbridge.

The thrust of the HLF funding must be in enhancing the whole of the country park with its existing ecology being preserved and where needed enhanced, not the recreation of the menagerie of random selected animals from around the world that will eat up resources in their care and management, and also have no relevance to the forest.

We have seen various incarnations of this menagerie over the last 20 odd years first of all it was rare farm breeds with the odd llama thrown in then a mixture of farm and native species with the odd meerkat thrown in.

In all cases it failed in the aims to breed the animals for reintroduction whether as rare breeds or native species.

The stated aim of breeding red squirrel for reintroduction does not note that to attempt the reintroduction in the south east would lead to the death of the reintroduced squirrels due to squirrel pox transmitted by the non-native grey squirrel. (I would also note that grey squirrels would have to be culled/totally biologically excluded from the red squirrel breeding area in the zoo.)

For any reintroduction to work there is a need to fully survey the habitat and match the ecological requirements of the particular species something that is not fully funded by the HLF grant to cover areas outside of Hainault Forest CP, so the aim for water vole would not be covered.

It’s important to protect our trees

Angela Banner, general secretary, Redbridge Pensioners Forum, writes:

I have heard that among those services facing cuts in this borough, the replacement/maintenance of our street trees is also under threat.

The small department dealing with street trees is very efficient and well organised. The council should appreciate their work.

When considering the poor air quality within Redbridge I think that we need more and more well protected trees.

They soak up the carbon dioxide breathed out by us humans. They also help with traffic fumes and the lessening of traffic noise. In autumn the colourful leaf display lifts the spirits and beautifies our surroundings. In spring the new blossom is a joy to behold.

Young and old alike may suffer respiratory conditions and the council cannot ignore this situation. The knock-on effect on NHS services in with us now. The roundabout at Fulwell Cross is a hot spot of pollution.

Surely the limitations on our street trees will aggravate this situation.

Blood test service needs to be better

Clive Power, Aldersbrook Road, Wanstead, writes:

The blood test service at Wanstead Hospital needs to improve.

My GP doesn’t offer these tests at present (I understand that’s true for many other local surgeries) and they sent me to Hermon Hill.

The service there is advertised as being available until 1.30pm but when I got there at midday no more tickets were being issued. This also happened to me recently when I got there at about noon. There were some 20 people waiting and we were directed to go to Whipps Cross Hospital if we wanted the test that day. I did that and finished there at about 3pm. Many waiting at Whipps were from the queue at Wanstead Hospital.

Barts Health Trust, who run the service, need to either see how they can get GPs to offer this service again, or be more accurate about Wanstead Hospital blood test opening times, e.g. state all patients there by 11.45am will be seen by 1.30pm; later arrivals might not be seen.

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