Letters: Ilford mural too bleak, planning latest on Mill Road

The mural in Ilford by street artists Ben Eine and Dotmaster

Street artists Ben Eine and Dotmaster unveiled this new artwork as part of efforts to regenerate Ilford town centre. - Credit: Louis Thornton

Mural too bleak and dystopian

An Ilford resident, full name and address supplied, writes:
I was excited to read your headline that a new mural had been unveiled in Ilford. However, when I saw the mural I was dismayed that this has been allowed to go ahead.

While I’m sure some people will enjoy the pretty colours and patterns, the message of both pieces is bleak and dystopian.

In Redbridge, a borough where we have experienced a number of fatalities in and around the town centre, well-paid artists coming to the borough while we are all in quarantine and writing “survival” on the wall seems like a patronising slap in the face for residents.

I am sure that the local couple who organised this had good intentions to bring an artist of note to the area but I would question whether enough due diligence was done in regards to the message of the piece. 

In my view this work does not represent hope or the resilience of communities, it glamorises an outsider’s view of east London - one in which we are all in a constant state of violent struggle. 

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The visual of the two children playing tug of war together with lettering reeks of “survival of the fittest”. Not to mention the disrespectful title “end of the line”. In the artist’s words a “playful” representation of Covid images. There is nothing playful about Covid.

I have high hopes that the cultural quarter will bring opportunities for local artists to showcase their art and engage with renowned artists. 

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However, I don’t welcome the idea that the area will become like Shoreditch, a hot spot for wealthy “poverty tourists” to voyeuristically cock a snook at our realities. 

There are many children in Redbridge who, despite the challenges, enjoy the amazing resources in this borough, the excellent education, the green spaces and most importantly each other’s company. This painting does not represent them - they deserve more than to “survive”.

Planning decision on Mill Road site

Paul Scott, Arundel Gardens, Ilford, writes:
Re Mill Road Car Park Site EIA Planning Application Decision: 0215/21.

The council have now made their decision that no Environmental Impact Assessment is needed for this planning application despite having three or more objectors.

If any application has that number of objectors or more then it should legally and democratically have to go to a planning committee meeting for a decision.

They incorrectly claim that this particular site is not in an environmentally sensitive enough location to warrant having a full Environmental Impact Assessment when it is clearly within a highly congested and polluted area in the Ilford town centre next to the A406 road junction. 

In our current public health and overall environmental as well as social and economic situation there ought to always be an absolute duty of care shown to local residents by having an EIA carried out for large scale applications such as the Mill Road Car Park site. 

Redbridge Council also recently made the same decision not to do an Environmental Impact Assessment for a similar housing development on the Homebase Goodmayes site as well due to the fact that they wrongly claimed this location was not sensitive enough a location either. 

Something needs to be done about these types of decisions being made without being referred to the planning committee as residents ought to have every democratic right to speak against these high-density housing development schemes which create greater levels of congestion and pollution as well as putting a larger strain on local services too. 

We are being ignored by council

Name and address supplied writes:
Redbridge planning say they take into account objections but I also have a local councillor’s written confirmation that objections are ignored. I refer to a planning application in Tomswood Hill.

Hardly democratic. There were no advertising notices posted; no public enquiry; I have been ignored along with other neighbours by Redbridge. 

I am an elderly man with health issues, unable to escape the noise, dirt, disruption and worry.  

The London Borough of Redbridge deem that I have to live next door to this huge project that includes demolition of an existing bungalow; then to excavate a basement right next door to my house; needing about 120 piles to be driven in to secure, before rebuilding with a two-storey building with loft extension.

I ask for a review of this case.

Help shape future of stroke research

Chris Tarrant, radio and TV broadcaster, writes: 
Six years ago, completely out of the blue I had a sudden and life-changing stroke. I’m not alone in this: stroke strikes every five minutes in the UK, and around 1.2 million survivors are living with its devastating effects. 

Yet, despite this research into stroke is severely underfunded. Just 1 per cent of the total UK public and third sector health research spend goes towards stroke research.

When I had my stroke I was incredibly frightened and I thought I was going to die. But three weeks later, I was out of hospital and started physiotherapy. Within months I was able to start working again. My recovery has been made possible thanks to stroke research, which continues to improve care and find new ways to rebuild lives.

The Stroke Association have launched a unique opportunity for stroke survivors, like myself, and those who care for stroke survivors, both informally and as health and social care professionals, to have our say on the future of stroke research.

Partnered with the James Lind Alliance, the charity will find out what matters to us most so research can make the biggest difference to our lives.

With such limited funds for stroke research, worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s vital that we come together and make our voices heard. If you’re a stroke survivor, or you care for or work with someone affected by stroke, join me and speak up for stroke. Visit: stroke.org.uk/jla by the deadline of 21 March. 

Ban use of whip in horse racing

Fiona Pereira, campaigns manager, Animal Aid, writes:
Animal Aid is at the forefront in campaigning for race horses. We expose disturbing issues that affect their welfare. Figures just released by Animal Aid for 2020 show shocking deaths and whip abuse across racecourses in Great Britain.

Readers may be surprised to know that 130 race horses were killed as a result of racing in 2020 – all of the horses suffered horrific deaths.

To find out more about our horse racing campaign, visit animalaid.org.uk/banwhip

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