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Recorder letters: Manford Way park, prostitution, Kristis, KMT and Hainault Forest Nature Reserve

PUBLISHED: 12:30 11 August 2019

Campaigners lost their fight to stop units being built in Manford Way Park. Picture: JIM BENNETT

Campaigners lost their fight to stop units being built in Manford Way Park. Picture: JIM BENNETT

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

Units are driving away residents

Daniel Green, Manford Way Park Community Park Group, Hainault, wrote an open letter to Jas Athwal - leader of Redbridge Council:

As a member of the Manford Way Park Community Group, in Hainault, I was bitterly disappointed this week to learn that a deputy judge of the High Court ordered that our claim for a judicial review should not proceed, based on his interpretation of the facts.

The net result of this decision is that Redbridge Council will now proceed to act upon the questionable decision to grant planning permission to build 60 converted shipping container homes on the small community park on Manford Way.

Mr Athwal has on many occasions chosen very carefully to state that the people these converted containers are designed to house are "homeless" and that they do not have the luxury of having a roof over their heads.

This is total and utter nonsense. The people these units have been designed for are already housed temporarily by Redbridge Council.

This project is not designed to offer any better living conditions for those people, merely to act as a vehicle to reduce the long term spending the council make on paying private landlords of B&Bs and hostels to house their residents on a temporary basis, by providing their own version.

Mr Athwal and his colleagues at Redbridge Council have also been very quick to play the sympathy card.

Stating that it is a terrible tragedy that some families have been moved outside the borough in to temporary accommodation.

I would like to state that due to the plans to decimate Manford Way Park with the ugly and overbearing container homes is already driving long standing Hainault residents away from the area and out of the borough.

Illegal sex trade is heavily promoted

An Ilford Lane resident, full address supplied, writes:

I welcomed your article dated July 26 which stated Redbridge Council had won £460k to tackle prostitution.

I hope this funding will finally create the long-term change Ilford needs.

The council and police have worked hard on this issue and the visibility of sex workers on the streets has indeed drastically reduced.

However, as the girls on the corners have disappeared, the quantity of (often graphic) 'massage' calling cards has spiralled tenfold. For the last two weeks on my 15-minute walk to Barking Station, or a similar walk to Ilford town centre, I have seen dozens if not hundreds of these disgusting cards littering pavements, green spaces, gutters and front gardens. New cards are deposited daily. I hope that with the funding, the authorities will be as adaptable as the pimps, or I fear this may only be the beginning of our troubles.

I'm sad that as a young, outgoing woman in my 20s, I feel vulnerable living in Ilford while the illegal sex trade is being promoted all around us.

Wishing luck to Jimmy from Kristis

Mark Finkletaub, Ilford, full address supplied, writes:

I would like to say a few words in tribute to Jimmy who ran 'Kristis', the tiny shoe-repair and key-cutting shop adjacent to Ilford Station, which finally closed at the end of July.

You may also want to watch:

He had a long struggle with TfL who are going to revamp the Cranbrook Road entrance to the station.

There was nothing he would not do for his customers who formed an orderly queue outside his minute premises all day long.

Jimmy states on the notice on the door of his shop that he hopes to find nearby premises soon to resume trading, and I wish him success in his search.

Let's hope that he is successful, so that the good people of Ilford will not miss out on his excellent services for too long.

How will new KMT managers manage?

Ken Gaunt, Greenslade Road, Barking, writes:

I was interested to read in the Recorder that the council Vision Redbridge Culture and Leisure will be now taking over running the KMT from September 1 (Recorder).

Will this be run similar and on the same basis as the previous KMT Theatre with amateur theater companies still using it for example Ilford Operatic and Drama, The Forest Players, Havering Music Makers, Wanstead Players, Barking Mad and The Academy Dance School to name just a few.

If this is the case obviously Vision will need some sort of funding to run the theatre.

So, to save some funding will it be run like the KMT has been for over 45 years with volunteers helping to save money greeting and showing patrons to their seats, running the kiosk and bar plus many other duties, which would save vision over the course of a year quite a tidy sum of money.

Please could you give us any idea how Vision are prepared to carry on running the KMT and what changes they are prepared to make including the cost of shows.

Will they similar to the present KMT prices which the patrons find affordable and on the same scale?

Also will brochures be on display informing patrons what is showing throughout the year?

Well done for our 'natural beauty'

Raymond Small, Huntsman Road, Ilford, writes:

Allowing grass areas in certain parts of Hainault Forest Nature Reserve to grow longer has produced a wonderful range of butterflies this year, including green hairstreaks and marble white butterflies.

The chirping of grasshoppers is the loudest heard in years and skylarks are becoming a familiar sight in the meadows.

I would like to thank conservation manager Francis Castro, head ranger Claire Oliverio, staff members and volunteers at Redbridge Vision that have all contributed to make this happen.

It is great to see flowers being allowed to grow by the kerbside which in the past became bare brown patches due to over-attention from external teams.

Long grass with paths cut through on Lesser Cabin Hill and the uncut border next to the fence near Foxburrow Zoo is superb.

Well done to Redbridge Vision for gaining the Green Flag Award at Hainault Forest for 2019/20.

It proves the award doesn't depend of mowing and strimming everything into extinction to make everything look so-called 'neat'.

I am sure Mr Buxton, who opened the forest up for public in 1906, would approve because he believed in allowing the forest to create its own natural beauty.

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