Recorder letters: Bodgers tower, lost relative, Wes Streeting and Community Hub
PUBLISHED: 10:39 31 July 2019 | UPDATED: 10:39 31 July 2019
Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.
Bodgers tower scheme criticised
Gurpreet Bhatia, Barking, writes:
It's been an interesting couple of years to follow both the neighbouring London Boroughs of Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge and their developing plans to increase and improve housing stock in their town centres
While both labour-controlled councils have many commonalities including a vibrant demographic of settled communities and excellent road and rail links into the city they seem to differ with contrasting viewpoints on inner city housing strategies.
Barking and Dagenham's tagline "One Borough, One community" has truly been adopted to take all their residents with them on their Barking town centre regeneration journey. Weavers Quarter has been designed with contemporary affordable social housing at its core while Truscott House was completed with primary thought to families that have the highest need for housing or those with disabilities. The recently announced Vicarage Field development also takes into account town centre residents' health and well-being needs with community green-spaces, a health clinic and leisure facilities among other infrastructure needs incorporated into the development for all to use.
As an alternative approach, Redbridge council has just approved a 42-storey, 154m high rise development on the site of the Bodgers store that would make it the tallest building in outer London. While not being sympathetic in design to its environment it more importantly will not provide any possibility of housing to the most needy in the borough or contribute in any infrastructure needs of a growing central community. On the flip-side the same developers have also had their social housing plan accepted outside the town centre on the old Archant Newspapers site. The 13-storey 134 homes proposal site has been cited by many will give some residents no direct sunlight and all to suffer 24/7 noise pollution from the adjacent rail tracks.
It's quite clear that while Barking and Dagenham are forging ahead with an "inclusive" plan for the betterment of all its residents that Redbridge are clearly happy for a "segregation" approach that may increase the social divide and potentially lead to further marginalisation of its communities. It will be interesting to see which strategy is the more successful.
Bodgers Tower is our Gotham City
Mr A Still, York Road, Ilford, writes:
Oh dear! So we are to get Bodgers Tower in Ilford
Another step towards our own Gotham City except we've got no Batman to save us.
Or degeneration continues. If only Marks had kept their café, they could have had a two floor restaurant and still filled it.
You may also want to watch:
Most places are not very nice now, the nice ones are jam packed.
Can anyone help locate our Bert?
Charlotte Horwood (nee Buckley), Bradworthy, Holsworthy, Devon, writes:
I am writing regarding a relative who we have not heard from in some time, we are thinking that sadly he passed away which could have been as far back as 1998.
He lived at 63 Tavistock Gardens, Ilford, Essex.
We knew him as Mr Bert Terry and he is my late father John Buckley's cousin. He always kept in contact but that stopped and we have never found out what happened to him.
Sadly now my father passed away in 2009 but he always wanted to know what happened to Bert.
Apparently he had my father's details down if he ever went to hospital for next of kin purposes.
We know Bert was a toolmaker and a very good musician mainly on the piano.
If anyone has any information could they please contact me either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by letter (to the above address).
It would be much appreciated.
Strong record of asking questions
Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North, writes:
Mr Carter's complaint last week (Recorder letters) about my question to the prime minister more than a month ago seemed to have missed the point.
My question was about the looming constitutional crisis that awaits us when parliament returns if our new prime minister carries out his threat to pull the UK out of the EU without a deal - against the expressed will of a majority of parliament.
The question as to whether the Queen would be obliged to follow the advice of her prime minister or the will of parliament has become a central talking point among constitutional experts and may well become a key flash point before October 31.
He suggested three other issues I could have raised; two of which are outside of my constituency and the other being the responsibility of the local council, not the prime minister. In the short time that's passed since PMQs, I have raised police numbers, NHS pressures, school funding cuts, taxi and private hire reform, funding for colleges and universities, immigration, a range of equalities issue and human rights issues in Saudi Arabia and Iran. I raise a wide range of issues that local residents raise with me, which is why my record of taking part in debates and asking questions of ministers is well above average among MPs.
More information on hub needed
Cllr Linda Huggett, Monkhams ward, Redbridge Conservative group leader and Cllr Howard Berlin, Fairlop ward, Redbridge Conservative deputy group leader, write:
It is very disappointing to read that the leader of Redbridge Council, Cllr Jas Athwal, launching a personal attack on Barkingside resident Kartik Parekh.
As Barkingside residents know Kartik is doing a great job in ensuring that the residents fully understand what the council's plans are for the proposed community hub at Gants Hill Library and Car Park. We say keep up your great work.
The Redbridge Conservative position is that we will support residents in what they want or do not want for their library and car park and this includes the density and design of housing (if any). Cllr Athwal was quite clear in his speech to the local forum in November 2018 that residents have the choice in keeping the existing structure and we quote "if the current building stays in the current format than that's what the local residents choose".
We both attended the community hub consultation meeting and in view of Cllr Athwal's comments were surprised to see that the level of homes was stated as "circa 100". What residents need is transparency, honesty and be given full information on what is proposed.