Recorder letters: Garden waste, gravel extraction, bad behaviour and the arts

PUBLISHED: 09:00 15 July 2017


A split green garden waste bag. Picture: Ron Jeffries

Garden waste collection

Ron Jeffries, Spearpoint Gardens, Aldborough Hatch, writes:

The long-running saga of Redbridge Council’s green waste collection continues.

The no longer used green bags stand filled with rotting greenery on many concreted over from gardens, left there by residents who do not realise that the old green waste scheme no longer operates.

This concrete jungle replacing so many tended front gardens increases the flood risk. When the next heavy storm strikes and the drains are unable to take the volume of rainwater away, no doubt the bags will float down Aldborough Road. I, for one, will give them a shove towards the town hall!

I submitted an inquiry under the Freedom of Information Act, learning that as of June 2017, some 6,145 households have paid the £50 fee and subscribed to the Chargeable Garden Waste Scheme. This equates to an income of £307,250.

The cost of running the scheme during 2017-18 is projected to be £500,000 (based on a final total of 10,000 households subscribing to the scheme).

So we council tax payers will be footing the bill for the remaining £200,000 or so of a scheme that was doomed to failure from the start – as I carry yet another split plastic bag through my house for collection.

Meantime, my daughter, who lives in the north of the borough, paid her £50 and has contacted the town hall five times – but still no bags have been delivered!

Council meeting on gravel extraction was a farce

Rev Kate Lovesey, vicar of St Peter’s Church, Aldborough Hatch Vicarage, St Peter’s Close, Ilford, writes:

Thanks for your balanced coverage of the fiasco that was the Redbridge planning committee’s decision to extract sand and gravel from fields within 100 metres of my highly fragile 155-year-old church (‘Anger, despair and horror’ as quarry expansion given green light, Recorder, July 6) and for printing the letter from Howard Berlin which spotlighted the major health concerns.

Some 50 or so residents attended the committee, but much of the proceedings were inaudible due to the archaic sound system in the council chamber and the inability of councillors and officers to use the microphones or to project their voices.

Over 140 residents had submitted written objections, but the chairman declared ruthlessly that time was pressing and debate would be curtailed, whilst only three speakers would be permitted – one of whom was the applicant, Brett Tarmac.

The chairman of the Aldborough Hatch Defence Association (AHDA) and the proprietor of the Busy Bodies Pre-School Day Nursery were given two minutes each to speak.

When I asked to speak on behalf of St Peter’s, this was refused. Residents called on the chairman to allow me to do so, but the chairman looked impatiently at his watch and was heard to comment that time was running out.

Residents chanted “Let the Vicar speak” but the chairman would not budge as he engaged in whispered conversation with the two council officers flanking him.

I have not been contacted regarding a survey of the church prior to any work starting by an expert independent of both the council and Brett Tarmac, nor is it clear who will pay for any repairs or damage – although I suspect it will be we council tax payers and not Brett Tarmac!

The AHDA majored on the health issues, especially the danger of increased mortality from cancer, drawing attention to the evidence of two highly qualified cancer specialists – none of which was rebutted.

Councillors were advised by officers that increased mortality from cancer is not a ground for refusing the planning application. If this is so – and it must be questioned – something is wrong with planning legislation that allows a project to go forward that is potentially harmful to the health, safety and well-being of residents and children.

Brett Tarmac’s representative commented that a liaison group will be set up to include residents, chaired by a councillor. No remit was disclosed.

I would object to the group being chaired by a councillor as LBR has a vested financial interest. An independent chairman is vital for the group’s credibility.

Those who attended the planning committee were saddened by what was a farce of local democracy. Councillors voted on party lines on what was clearly a done deal.

We must fight this yobbish behaviour

An Ilford resident, full name and address supplied, writes:

May I please through your letters pages warn readers of the disgraceful anti social behaviour at Hainault Country Park on the afternoon of Saturday, July 8.

I was picnicking with my wife, daughter and young grandson when we were hassled by three aggressive dogs, not on leads, owned by a group of an older woman and three female teenagers.

The dogs were out of control and alarmed and frightened me (I am seriously disabled in a wheelchair) and my grandson.

They ran across all the food, effectively ruining it. My grandson was distraught. I said for them to keep their dogs under control and that there was food and a child present.

I was shouted at and told to shut my mouth – a really brave thing to say to a wheelchair bound legless man? What a role model this older woman presented to teenage children!

We reported them to the rangers and if we could have got their vehicle registration number would have also reported them to the police. They probably committed two criminal offences – not keeping dogs under control and behaviour likely to cause harm, fear and distress.

If you experience this behaviour get photos of the assailants and their car registration, report it to the rangers and to the police.

We all have to fight back against these sad destructive people who ruin life for law abiding citizens!

We must continue to support arts

Cllr Barbara White, Goodmayes ward, writes:

I was delighted to read two articles supporting the arts in last week’s Ilford Recorder. One was re the Kenneth More Theatre (KMT) and the other about Redbridge Music Lounge.

Every town centre should have a theatre and this is generally recognised as good planning. As a member of the board of the KMT I can assure readers that we are doing everything possible for the continued survival of the theatre which is so important to Redbridge.

Not only does it bring culture at an affordable price but it brings the opportunity for amateur groups, who might be big names one day to perform in the correct location. I could go on singing the praises of the KMT and how valuable it is to Redbridge but I’m sure that many of you already know what these are and long may they continue.

Re our own Glastonbury. Like many of you I love to hear music as it lifts the soul etc but although musicians are usually very generous with their time and skills I do think that they are entitled to be paid for their work.

Yes it is work and not play.

It isn’t always possible to pay more other than expenses but there are times when musicians should be paid for the work they do.

They too have mortgages and bills to pay.

Yes please to our own Glastonbury but with people paying to go as they would if they went to the main one.

Speaking of the arts, I must mention our Central Library.

There are so many things going on there and with the school summer holidays about to begin where could you find anywhere cheaper to go but so rich in value?

In the small display the life of Redbridge’s own Pearly Queen, Peggy Oliver, can be found.

The family recently donated Peggy’s Pearly Queen outfit to the museum and this too is on display.

Commencing on the 20th is On The Move with many activities involved from taking off on a World War II plane to building a new Crossrail Station.

I believe that the arts are essential to a well balanced society so please continue to support them.

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