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Recorder letters: Gants Hill library, cashless parking, Tube strikes and Remembrance 2018

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 November 2018

Police officers lay wreaths at Ilford War Memorial on Sunday, November 11 2018. Photo: Aaron Walawalkar

Police officers lay wreaths at Ilford War Memorial on Sunday, November 11 2018. Photo: Aaron Walawalkar

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

Horror at redevelopment plan

Michael Green, Headley Drive, Gants Hill, writes:

I am horrified, appalled, disgusted and frightened by the news of a redevelopment of Gants Hill Library and car park.

Whatever the financial implications of running the council, the proposed change of usage will do irreplaceable damage to Gants Hill centre and the whole surrounding area.

The potential loss of all or any part of the library and its amazing staff, who work so very hard for our community, is unthinkable and an obscenity to my way of thinking.

The shops, restaurants and ease of access to the station are only part of the potential. The additional load to parking in the nearby streets will add to local residents’ loss of environment, and for what...

The council is here to look after the place and I cannot see how any of the proposed will be of use, but could do much harm.

All of this is not withstanding the damage that may occur with the loss of the St Georgio Hotel and its change of use, of which the redevelopment is I understand proceeding.

Perhaps the council might have been better to have sorted the problems of crime, anti-social activities in the rear alley parking area behind the St Georgio site, before closing the hotel over a year ago.

Rethink cashless parking scheme

Cllrs Howard Berlin, Joyce Ryan and Ruth Clark, Fairlop Conservative Councillors, write:

Well done to David Stephens, chairman of Seven Kings and Newbury Park Residents Association for highlighting a report that councils are forcing residents to pay via electronic means for parking.

We make the point just because other councils are in the wrong should not mean that we must follow.

We have been raising this issue in council by asking questions and have been campaigning on this issue since Redbridge Labour administration introduced cashless parking in the parks in January 2018.

It is outrageous that the council are marginalising residents who have no access to smart phones and who do not wish to talk to a robot.

Doesn’t Redbridge Council understand that many elderly people struggle with modern day technology and require some form of cash payment option?

Don’t the powers that be also understand that only 20per cent of people aged between 65 and 74 have a smart phone? Or is the answer they do not care?

We believe in “freedom of choice” and we say using smart phones is good although it should be stated that drivers are hit with a sneaky unexpected service charge added to the basic parking charge.

However, it’s 2018 and can’t we find a simple way for residents to have the option of paying by cash. That’s our latest message to the leader of Redbridge Council!!

The fact is that our council have denied access to our parks to many residents and because of their payment scheme are effectively charging people for healthy exercise.

Our Redbridge Conservative policy is two hours’ free parking in our parks. We call for this change immediately and have already tabled a question about this issue to be asked at full council on November 22. All welcome to come along and hear this administration’s response.

Ban strikes on public transport

Keith Prince AM, London Assembly Member for Havering and Redbridge, writes:

The recent strike on the Central Line saw journeys disputed for hundreds of thousands of Londoners, including Redbridge residents. We desperately need to act to stop these strikes happening all too frequently.

I’ve long called for the banning of strikes on public transport and their replacement with binding pendulum arbitration.

This would mean that transport workers would still have an avenue to seek redress if they feel they are being asked to do something unreasonable, but ordinary Londoners would be taken out of the firing line.

If a majority of eligible union members wished to seek arbitration on a decision then an independent judge would decide between the transport body’s position and the union’s.

Sadly Sadiq Khan doesn’t back this change, but I call on the government to bring forward legislation that would protect Londoners from the ridiculous posturing of militant trade unions.

Thanks to David for Fairlop service

Wes Streeting MP, patron, Fairlop Heritage Group, writes:

People turned out in great numbers last weekend to pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces, particularly on the centenary of the Armistice that brought an end to World War One.

Our thanks must go to all those who organised events across our borough, but I wanted to pay particular tribute to David Martin and the Fairlop Heritage Group.

David has been organising memorial events at Fairlop Waters for the past decade, with a personal and poignant focus on those pilots who flew from RAF Fairlop and never returned.

He also visits schools and has produced an excellent range of educational resources. This ongoing commitment to educating new generations about an important chapter of our local history is an outstanding example of community spirit and I am sure I speak for many in expressing enormous thanks to David and the team for their efforts.

Heritage Group organised ceremony

David Martin, Fairlop Heritage Group, Hanover Gardens, Barkingside, writes:

I am writing about the graveside ceremony to mark the centenary of the death of Harry Jassby on November 6, partial details of which appeared on your History and Heritage page last week.

My friend Ron Jeffries attended the ceremony to take photographs on behalf of the Ilford Recorder. The article, although not inaccurate, fails to mention that the ceremony was organised by Fairlop Heritage Group, to commemorate the centenary of Harry Jassby’s death in 1918. David attended as a representative of the Jassby family in Canada.

David Martin read a poignant message from Carolyn Steinman, Harry’s great niece, from Montreal, Canada and afterwards laid a wreath on behalf of the family and placed stones on his grave.

Other recent unpublished events organised by Fairlop Heritage Group – thanks are due to the headteachers of Fairlop, John Bramston and Mossford primary schools for allowing us to speak about Zeppelin airship attacks.

Also thanks to valued co-operation and assistance from all at Vision RCL, especially those from Fairlop Waters for our tenth remembrance ceremony held there on Sunday last. Although we have confidence and perhaps expertise to organise a public event, none of this would be possible without them.

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