Recorder letters: Ilford zoo, KMT, Momentum and Meadow Court

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 October 2017

The zoo is planned for Hainault Forest. Picture: RON JEFFRIES

The zoo is planned for Hainault Forest. Picture: RON JEFFRIES

(c) copyright

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

Feed housebound, not zoo animals

An Ilford resident, full name and address suppiled, writes:

The decision by this authority to invest £1.5million in a zoo for endangered species in Hainault, plus the undoubted care costs for rare and exotic animals, beggars belief.

When community care such as meals-on-wheels has been cast aside? When social care and social housing  in this borough is at an all-time low, this authority decides to pay for food and 24/7 care for animals.

Not even my local councillors were aware of this decision before your lead story. And why was that?

This is a “vanity project” and deserves unbridled scorn, criticism and ridicule.

On behalf of those housebound whose lifeline was a daily meal and personal support, I will ask how they will benefit from this bizarre decision? Pick up their beds and walk to Hainault?

The endangered species which should be prioritised is the “cash cow”. Also known as local ratepayers.

Borough of culture needs the KMT

Malcolm Pearce, Trinity Road, Barkingside, writes:

On Saturday, October 14, I went to the Kenneth More Theatre and joined an enthusiastic audience of about 300 people to see a performance of Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty performed by the Vienna Festival Ballet Company.

The theatre is the only venue in the borough with facilities necessary to stage such a lavish production. The costumes and sets were excellent and the performers were dazzling. West End theatres regularly charge exorbitant sums to see productions of this quality.

There were two articles in last week’s Recorder regarding Redbridge Council’s intentions. One related to £1.5million it is going to add to the £4.5million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to breed endangered species in a new zoo in Hainault Forest (a very commendable project).

The other concerned a bid to become the London Borough of Culture. One definition of culture is the artistic and social pursuits, expression and tastes valued by a society or class.

The Kenneth More Theatre produces plays and concerts and also gives opportunities to young people at local drama, music and dancing schools who have the opportunity to show their skills to the public in a real theatre and not a local church hall.

The council has (or is going to) withdraw its grant to the theatre. This step is hardly consistent with a desire to be a borough of culture, particularly when Redbridge Council owns the theatre!

Skulduggery or democracy?

An Ilford resident, full name and address supplied, writes:

I read with interest your story about Councillor Lloyd Dudderidge “Labour councillor ‘deselected by Redbridge Momentum’ from standing in 2018 election”, October 12, 2017.

I do not know Cllr Duddridge well but I have had the pleasure of working with him a couple of times. I have found him to be enthusiastic and dedicated. I can also say that I have gained from our brief encounters.

What puzzles me is the role of Momentum in the de-selection. It should be noted that your story uses the work “claimed”. As Cllr Dudderidge says “I’ve always been on the left of the party”. So could there be other reasons for his de-selection?

There is an implication is that Momentum used underhand means to deselect councillor Duddridge. If, and this is a big if, Momentum was involved, what was their modus operandi? Where is the evidence of skulduggery?

However, if reason and argument were used, then that is what we call a democratic process.

Lloyd not left-wing enough for Corbyn

Martyn Lee, Cranley Road, Ilford, writes:

Once upon a time Jeremy Corbyn said that, if elected leader, he would not bring back the mandatory reselection practices that blighted the Labour movement during the 1980s.

Having now witnessed the pernicious and seemingly unstoppable takeover of moderate Labour by Marxist ideologues, I suppose it was inevitable for us to read in this week’s edition the headline, “Labour councillor ‘deselected by Momentum’ for next year’s election,” (Recorder).

Lloyd Duddridge is a thoroughly decent person who not only gives valuable service to his community but was the driving force behind halting a decade of Conservative/Liberal Democrat domination of Roding ward.

His only “crime” would appear to be that he is simply not left-wing enough to fit into Jeremy Corbyn’s narrow-minded political box.

We rightly decry extreme right-wing politics (and even legislate against membership of those movements), so could someone please explain why there is apparently so much support for a party that is prepared to go to such extreme lengths to ensure that a democratically elected councillor “...was not able to stand”?

I also find it instructive (though hardly surprising) that Redbridge Momentum ignored your publication’s request for comment.

What this unsavoury episode clearly demonstrates is that a Labour government under Corbyn will not be a government of democracy but a government of control, and he is simply using Momentum as a new front for an old fight.

Next year’s local elections are only seven months away: I would urge all the residents of the borough to think very carefully before making their vote, and soundly reject those candidates whose sole motivation for gaining office is to tell you what to think.

Keep fighting for Meadow Court

Loraine Sladden, Downshall Avenue, Ilford, writes:

With regard to the article in the Ilford Recorder, outlining the council’s concern over the future of Meadow Court Nursing Home in the grounds of KGH.

I am not one bit surprised that our councillors feel that it is a done deal to close the nursing home. The CCG have always done and always will do what suits them financially without any concern for care of our residents.

Stick fast Redbridge councillors and dig deep and embarrass this sorry excuse of representatives from the CCG until you get what is best for the residents of Redbridge.

You have to continually bombard them with investigations.

Please don’t give up without a fight – we need Meadow Court!

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