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Recorder letters: Fairlop Waters, Brexit, police and EU citizens

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 February 2019

Protester Ron Jeffries of theAldborough Hatch Defence Association has vowed to block the haul road if it does not change from its current route.  Photo: KEN MEARS

Protester Ron Jeffries of theAldborough Hatch Defence Association has vowed to block the haul road if it does not change from its current route. Photo: KEN MEARS

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

An open letter to council leader

Diana Korchien, Waltham Forest & Redbridge Green Party, wrote an open letter to Cllr Athwal:

Would you please clarify Redbridge Council’s policy concerning the proposed route for developers Brett Tarmac’s gravel haul road from Aldborough Hatch Farm?

At a full council meeting on November 22, 2018, you agreed to change the planned route of a road set to be built by construction firm Brett Tarmac to transport gravel extracted from Fairlop Quarry, in Hainault Road.

Your decision, supported unanimously by the rest of the council, took place after a protracted campaign by the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association (AHDA), the London Wildlife Trust (LWT), and Fairlop Birders, it was also reported in the Ilford Recorder at the time.

On January 28, two months later, Brett Tarmac invited these same campaigners to view the proposed route of the haul road.

To their surprise, shock and disgust, the route had in no way been moved.

It was exactly the same as before the November 22 full council meeting.

Instead of moving to nearby open land, this route - to be used by up to 180 Brett Tarmac gravel trucks per day - will crash through the area of shrubs and trees on Fairlop Waters Country Park side of the boundary, permanently destroying the habitat of diverse wildlife, including the long-eared owl and badgers – both protected species.

The road construction work is scheduled by BTL to start in the next two weeks.

We strongly urge you and the rest of the council to stand by your decision to change the route of this gravel haul road.

Brexit is all about big business

Will Podmore, Clavering Road, Wanstead, writes:

The EU is primarily about big business.

The Daily Telegraph of January 17 published the full transcript, intended to be kept secret, of Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Conference Call with a cabal of international businessmen.

Straight after MPs voted down the EU-May deal, heads of foreign-based multinationals (Siemens, Amazon, and Spanish-owned Scottish Power) demanded assurances that parliament would not be prevented from blocking a No Deal exit on March 29.

The multinationals are pulling the strings of the British government.

And who is up there in league with these capitalists?

Jeremy Corbyn and most of his party.

They deny the opportunities afforded by trade outside the EU.

They do not speak for ordinary people and will be punished at the ballot box.

Public deserve better policing

Terry Sykes, Trinity Road, Barkingside, writes:

With regard to Wes Streeting’s comments in last week’s View from the House, he is right to draw attention to the fact that there is rising crime in our community.

Burglaries are certainly on the increase (there have been several in recent times in the area I live in) and violent crime has become commonplace.

People are living in fear that they will be targeted next.

Uniformed police are rarely seen patrolling our streets and, of course, the situation has been exacerbated by the closure of a number of police stations in the borough.

It is difficult to imagine why central government ever thought it would be a good idea to cut police numbers and funding to the police service, without, it seems, paying much regard to what the obvious consequences would be: a rise in the crime rate.

It is sending out the wrong message to potential criminals: you are less likely to be caught if you commit a crime.

The public deserve better than that.

Cuts to police funding and numbers are not the only reasons for this increase in crime.

There has also been a cut in the number of centres where young people can go, where they might be able to spend their time in a more productive way rather than roam the streets carrying knives or even guns.

Knife crime among young men, particularly in London, is at an all-time high.

While a ‘tough’ approach needs to be taken in relation to crime, we should not lose sight of the causes of crime and much more needs to done to redress that unacceptable situation.

Crime should not be seen as some sort of alternative lifestyle and much more time and money needs to be spent on addressing the issue.

We can do our bit in this area by supporting Wes’s campaign. Redbridge needs more bobbies on the beat, and sign his petition.

Digital Brexit advice available

Syed Kamall, Conservative MEP for London, writes:

The many citizens of EU countries living here in London have been understandably concerned about what Brexit will mean for them, but I hope they can take comfort from a document published recently telling them how things will work.

The government’s advice confirms that much will remain the same for EU citizens, regardless of the outcome of negotiations.

They will, for example, continue to be able to access services and benefits as a comparable UK national.

It explains that there will be some necessary changes.

For example, only EU citizens living here by March 29, 2019 will be able to obtain settled status and they must do so by December 31, 2020.

The prime minister has recently announced that no fee will be payable.

After a three year transition period, EU citizens’ rights to family reunion will be brought into line with those of UK nationals and non-EU nationals.

Notably, the advice promises a digital service to provide help for applicants completing their application form online - and later a telephone and face-to-face service.

Details will be published on the government website at gov.uk/government/publications

I hope anyone who may be worried will check the advice.

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