Recorder letters: Fairlop Waters, dirty, scruffy Barkingside, Ornamental Water, A&E closure and summer internet use

PUBLISHED: 12:00 12 August 2018

Campaigners fear for the long-eared owls that live at Fairlop Waters. Picture: RON JEFFRIES

Campaigners fear for the long-eared owls that live at Fairlop Waters. Picture: RON JEFFRIES


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

Calculated attempt to mislead

Jenny Chalmers, chairman, Aldborough Hatch Defence Association, writes:

Thank you for highlighting the grave concern of residents on your website (‘This is deplorable’: Wildlife campaigners condemn plans for haulage road through Fairlop Waters nature reserve).

It is outrageous for a council spokeswoman to state that the planning application went through normal procedures.

There was a deliberate and calculated attempt to mislead and hide the fact that a vitally important area of local nature reserve would be crashed through by the haul road.

At no time during the planning committee hearing or the so-called consultations arranged by Brett Tarmac was any mention made of a haul road destroying the habitat of protected species.

Clearly Redbridge Council is more concerned about raking in a few million pounds than preserving the natural heritage of the borough for today’s and future generations.

A councillor once described Fairlop Waters as “the jewel in the crown of Redbridge”. How sad that some of today’s councillors are prepared stand by and do nothing whilst Brett Tarmac ruin the beauty and tranquility of our country park.

Shame on them all!

Overcrowded, scruffy and dirty

Colin Sweeting, full address supplied, writes:

My family have lived in Barkingside for over a hundred years and I am the fourth generation but I will be the last.

My daughters are appalled at the state of this area – for example the footpaths either side of Tesco’s at Barkingside are a positive disgrace.

Having moved away, my daughters would not remotely consider returning to live here.

In your Q & A feature you ask for three words to describe the borough and I would say “Overcrowded, scruffy and dirty”.

Urgent need for lake repairs

John Meehan, chairman, Friends of Wanstead Park writes:

The largest lake, the Ornamental Water, in Wanstead Park looks a very sorry sight at the moment.

It is almost empty and most of it is vast tracts of smelly mud.

At the moment the amount of water that the City of London is licensed to pump from its borehole is clearly inadequate to keep the lakes fully to their designed levels.

Currently pumping water from the River Roding is not possible.

This is why compulsory work to strengthen the dams in the park – which has to be carried out within three years – needs to be linked to wider improvements.

The non-statutory elements in these works could then be used as match funding for a Heritage Lottery bid for £5million.

An integrated plan that repairs the lakes, improves the visitor experience, improves access to all areas of the park and maintains the wildlife of the park is required as a matter of urgency.

I believe the City of London accepts that we cannot go on as we are much longer.

Scrap plans for A&E closure

Bob Archer and Andy Walker, c/o Blythswood Road, Ilford, write:

The Barking Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals Trust (BHRUT) clinical services strategy is a cause of BHRUT’s problems.

This strategy commits to closing King George A&E, even though the plan to close King George A&E is supposed to be under review.

The bed and staffing cuts that have taken place at King George as preparation for the A&E closure have led to a deterioration in care that was called staggering by Cllr Zammett earlier this year.

Yet bewilderingly, BHRUT are sticking with the King George A&E closure plan, prompting Redbridge Council to commit to fighting “tooth and nail” for our A&E per the recent Recorder article.

This has prompted us to book Redbridge Town Hall for a cross party public meeting for November 17 to say BHRUT need to honour their pledge to review the closure of King George A&E.

It is important that Dr Moghal, the BHRUT medical director, gets a grip of the situation and takes the King George closure plan off the BHRUT website and starts making the case for expanding King George and Queen’s.

The evidence for the deterioration in care is at

Be aware of child’s internet use

Lynn Gradwell, director, Barnardo’s London region, writes:

As we start the summer holidays, I would like to make your readers aware of the risks that our children face as they potentially spend more time online – and offer some tips on how to keep them safe.

Sadly, we know that many children are seeing inappropriate content online. It is a deeply disturbing fact that children can stumble across pornography, and the ease with which children can live-stream themselves online is something that all parents should be aware of. Children with phones and tablets are effectively taking a TV crew into their bedroom and being able to broadcast to people they don’t know.

We know that this can leave them open to grooming and abuse and can have an effect on their emotional health and wellbeing. We are particularly worried about grooming and children having contact with strangers online, sometimes being coerced or manipulated into sharing images.

In a bid to tackle on-line abuse and the devastating impact it can have, we would urge parents to try and understand the online world that their child is using.

Learn about the games and apps they are using and make sure that parental controls, privacy setting and online filters are being used. Internet Matters has some great parental guides on everything from live-streaming to the sites, apps and games that your children might want to use.

Start a conversation and find out who they’re talking to online and what they’re talking about.

You can report inappropriate behaviour or material to an organisation like CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection) and we would urge anyone looking for advice or support to go to

It’s worth remembering that the internet can also be a fantastic place for children to develop, to grow and achieve safely.

It’s a place where they can reach out for support if they’re struggling with a particular issue – so there is a good side to the online world.

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