Recorder letters: Mill Road development, Quiet Streets, resident forums, Covid-rules and nuclear weapons

PUBLISHED: 12:30 01 November 2020

An artist's impression of the proposed Mill Road development in Ilford. Picture: Telford Homes

An artist's impression of the proposed Mill Road development in Ilford. Picture: Telford Homes


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

High rise flats pose safety issues

Paul Scott, Arundel Gardens, Ilford, writes:

I believe that on behalf of many locally concerned residents we totally disagree with the very idea of having yet another high-rise residential development in this location [Mill Road, Ilford] for valid social, environmental, heritage, public health and safety planning reasons.

The coronavirus pandemic that we have been struggling to cope with over the past few months has highlighted the fact that in terms of public health this disease spreads more quickly amongst people living within high density tower blocks that are also in places with greater amounts of air pollution and that have a lack of close access to open green spaces.

Also, disasters involving high rise flats such as the Grenfell Tower fire and other ones previously, have proved the public safety issues associated with high rise living.

Therefore, it is in the best safety interests that the Mill Road car park site is not converted into another unaffordable high-density block of flats which we have more than enough of in Ilford town centre already.

The planned tower blocks of up to 28 storeys are in close proximity to the busy and highly polluted A406 and the Ilford Hill area whose residents are suffering enough from the noise and congestion there now.

We wanted Quiet Streets scheme

A Clementswood ward resident, full name and address supplied, writes:

I’m hugely disappointed that the council has cancelled the Quiet Streets Scheme after only three weeks.

Given proper bed-in time, the schemes would have really improved people’s health, their safety and cut traffic and pollution – it was absolutely the right thing to do.

If the Barkingside and Cranbrook schemes weren’t working, modifications should have first been made and tested to deal with residents’ concerns but they shouldn’t have been scrapped outright after only three weeks.

The schemes were not fully in and they take time to work – this should have been clearly explained up-front.

What’s really upsetting is that three further schemes (Ilford South, Valentines and Mayfield) are now not even being given a chance to be trialled.

The Ilford South scheme would have helped to keep out kerb crawlers, rat runners and vehicles bringing anti-social behaviour which have plagued the streets off Ilford Lane for years and brought misery to residents.

Barkingside residents were able to have their say, why is the same right not being afforded to residents who live in the three further schemes? Lots of us wanted the Quieter Streets!

We needed stronger leadership from Redbridge on this, and people’s safety and health should have been the deciding factor. Now we’ll be left with more dangerous, more congested and more polluted streets.

This was a golden opportunity and it’s very likely that we now won’t get any further funding from TfL for cycling infrastructure after this U-turn – they’ll just give further funding to boroughs that have actually delivered.

The council declared a Climate Emergency Declaration almost two years ago but I’m sorry to say their words ring hollow.

I believe they have removed in haste, but will repent in leisure.

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New forums to be applauded

Morris Hickey, Long Green, Chigwell, writes:

I have seen on your website the report about the new community forums to be set up by Redbridge Conservatives.

They are to be heartily applauded for this initiative. The new rules set up at the behest of Cllr Jas Athwal would not seem out of place in North Korea.

But gone are the days when the rulers rule and the serfs have to be grateful for it, and Redbridge’s Labour council would do well to remember that.

So full marks to Redbridge Conservatives, ably led by Cllr Linda Huggett. This initiative should serve well to fill a void left by the anti-democratic Labour council.

Anti-social not to comply with rules

Will Podmore, Clavering Road, Wanstead, writes:

In the current health crisis, we should all comply with the rules of our public health authorities.

Whatever we think of the government, whatever we think about its policies on Covid or anything else, we should comply. Just as in World War II, people complied with the blackout rules whatever they thought of the government and its conduct of the war.

For example, not wearing a protective mask on public transport is not cool or proof of independence of mind; it is just anti-social.

To use high-profile instances of people flouting the rules to justify not following the rules is absurd. When someone breaks a rule, how could that possibly justify anybody else breaking that rule? When they are wrong to break the rule, how could that make it right for me to break it?

If you condemn the rule-breaking, you are obliged to follow that rule. It would be ridiculous to practise what you preach against.

Time UK banned nuclear weapons

Nigel Norman, Redbridge CND, writes:

In this dark time of global pandemic it’s good to hear some news which offers hope for the future.

On Saturday, Honduras became the 50th state to ratify the global ban on nuclear weapons (TPNW).

It means that from January 22, 2021 nuclear weapons will be illegal under international law – their making, storage, use and threat of use will be outlawed like cluster bombs and chemical and biological weapons.

CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) and ICAN (International Campaign Against Nuclear weapons) have campaigned for many years against these weapons of mass destruction whose use could destroy the whole world.

We need the help of people in Redbridge to get our government to engage with the treaty. The UK is one of only eight states with these WMD – the majority of the world’s 206 nations are opposed.

Ask your councillor to get Redbridge to join the nuclear-ban communities around the world.

When we rid the world of nuclear weapons we can begin to tackle the real security issues in the world – poverty, global climate breakdown and pandemics.

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