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Recorder letters: Hainault parks, NHS beds, larger mosque, markets, road humps, KGH and flight paths

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 March 2019

Mock-up plans for temporary accomodation for 30 families in Brocket Way, Hainault. Photo: JDA Architects

Mock-up plans for temporary accomodation for 30 families in Brocket Way, Hainault. Photo: JDA Architects

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

Council has let down Hainault

Les Kaye, Hainault, full address supplied, writes:

I write this letter because of the leader of the council, Jas Athwal’s failure to come back to the Hainault Save Our Green Spaces group, following a meeting at the local council forum on February 6 at Coppice School in Hainault.

There were many impassioned words spoken to Jas asking him not to proceed with the council plans to build on our parks at Manford Way and Brocket Way, and to listen to the residents of Hainault and call these plans back in, which is within his remit to do.

However, there was one speech which stunned both the audience and Jas and it came from 11-year-old Victoria Williams, who made a heartfelt and impassioned plea not to proceed to build on these parks, outlining how important they were not just the local children in the area but the community as a whole and how this would affect the local community and future generations to come. Jas said at the end, and I quote, “not many people leave me speechless, and I need to go away and reflect on what you have said” ( the video of this has been viewed thousands of times on Facebook).

Well that was over three weeks ago and although several requests have been made to the leader of the council by twitter, email, and even on a call-in to BBC Radio London, asking Jas if he has reflected on this stunning oration by this young girl, he refuses to say whether he has reflected on the speech as he said he would, and decided whether to call in these plans. Indeed we cannot even get him to reply to the many requests made for a decision.

There is much anxiety amongst the people of Hainault about these plans and there have been a record number of objections raised on the website, and a 5,000 name petition which has been presented to Downing Street, and I am not sure if he is aware of the strength of feeling amongst his constituents, many of whom voted for his party (Hainault returned three Labour councillors) or indeed if he is aware and just chooses to ignore us.

We ask Jas again, through this newspaper, to do as he promised and listen to the residents of Hainault who feel disenfranchised and let down by him and his party, given that we are the very people who put them into power and are entitled to expect some support in our fight to preserve our green spaces and indeed the well-being of our community.

More beds won’t solve the problem

Chris Bown, interim chief executive officer, BHRUT, writes:

I am writing in response to Cllr Zammett’s recent letter in which he calls for more acute beds at King George Hospital.

The central thrust of his argument is that we need two new wards. I appreciate the sentiment, and we are already looking closely at opportunities which might present themselves for next winter, as we don’t have a spare two wards (or the staff) at the moment.

However, I am concerned that his suggestion comes across somewhat as a silver bullet – more beds and more admitted patients = no more problem.

Most current research and best practice thinking shows that this is far from true. We should be doing everything we can to keep patients out of hospital wherever we can, and when they have come to us, we are doing what we can to discharge them safely, quickly and appropriately to ensure they’re not staying longer than they have to.

We can only do this by working together with colleagues across health and social care, whether that be local GPs, our Clinical Commissioning Groups, other local trusts, and partners in local councils, and we are doing just that.

More broadly, the performance against the four-hour standard is down to a number of factors. Many of these are about the operation of our hospitals and we take full responsibility and ownership for them. However there are a raft of other issues which have a massive impact. The numbers of patients, the underlying health of our population, the acuity (severity) of patients, numbers of ambulances, the lack of availability of support at home, care packages, social care support. It is a complex picture and requires complex solutions.

He describes the service as “dreadful”. I take issue with this on behalf of the 6,500 people in our trust who work tirelessly to provide the best possible care for our patients and their families, and I want to acknowledge their commitment and dedication.

Why treat mosque plan so harshly?

Mrs Qaissra Sheikh writes an open letter to councillors and residents:

Many years ago I had a very difficult time in my life. I was on the brink of a nervous breakdown when I encountered the mosque in South Woodford.

The classes and the community carried me through the most difficult part of my life. Now, I voluntarily teach in the classes (30-40 ladies per week).

A number of the ladies who attend my class are also going through some sort of hardship in their lives. Coming to the classes and having a consoling friendship, is carrying them through, just as it did for me.

Then there are after-school education classes for children. Instead of indulging in all kinds of mischief on the streets, or being glued to their technology, children come to the mosque to learn about their faith, manners, discipline and how to play a role in society, and look after each other.

They are so cramped; curtains are being used to separate classes. Schools and tuition centres wouldn’t be shut down due to traffic. Why is the centre being restricted?

Once a week there is a ladies-only exercise class. Following that, there is a toddler group, where young mothers have some social recreation while toddlers play. Simultaneously, there is a senior citizens’ coffee morning.

In addition, the mosque provides other beneficial services to the community, such as educational meetings about cancer, diabetes, heart disease, tuberculosis and dementia. They have engaged in fundraising for local charities.

We are in a diverse area. There is a Salvation Army hall a few yards away, a church on George Lane, another church on Hermon Hill, a school on the road behind, a pub on the corner, a busy high street both ways, and a train station on our doorstep.

None of these other amenities are asked to relocate because of usage. Why is this one being treated so harshly? We provide a valuable service to the community, of all ages. We are tax-paying citizens of the borough, who work and live and contribute here. Do we not have a right to have a place where we can meet, learn, exercise, and pull our spiritual life together to combat the pressures of life?

We are short of space for all the activities we provide due to ongoing need. We therefore ask for your support in enabling the expansion.

Barking a better site for markets

Jenny Chalmers, chairwoman, Aldborough Hatch Defence Association, writes: Further to your front page (Bid to bring 3 iconic markets to the borough, Recorder) regarding the re-location of the London markets to farmland off Hainault Road, Redbridge Council’s press release contains so much spin I felt quite dizzy after reading it!

I have nothing against relocating the markets but NOT ON GREEN BELT LAND! Have the council forgotten why the green belt is so important in stopping urban sprawl, reducing pollution and providing invaluable open space for people, wildlife and agriculture? If this is passed and goes ahead, would it then set a precedent for more development on green belt?

I spoke to Redbridge Council’s planners who admitted that the 3,500 jobs were the number already employed by the markets. So are current employees all getting the sack to give the jobs to Redbridge people?

The planners agreed that traffic congestion would be a major problem. It is already a major problem in this area with surrounding roads being used as ratruns and long traffic build-up at junctions onto the A12. Can you imagine the impact of all the extra lorries and cars going into the area?

The planners talked about turning part of Hainault Road into dual carriageway. That might eat up their revenue a bit and destroy even more green belt!

There are four other locations in the running for this development. All are brown field sites and the land at the lead contender, the old Barking Power Station, has already been bought up by the Corporation of London. This seems to be a much more sensible location to me.


Road humps don’t slow traffic

David Martin, Ron and Pat Samuels, Paul Harper, Lee Kenton, Norman Hagger, Eileen Smith and Edward Barnes, full addresses supplied, write:

Tomswood Hill, always subjected to speeding vehicles, now has road humps and kerb extensions. It should as no surprise that the effect on reducing speed is absolute zero.

No road hump slows traffic, up or down the hill. Humps should go across the whole road, as they do in Snakes Lane - also on a 275 bus route. Where there are three in a line, some drivers tend to go for the middle one with the possibility of a head-on crash. Between Mossford Lane and Fencepiece Road, one set of humps are too close together, another potential collision spot. These humps also affect those on bicycles.

Kerb extensions are badly designed. The council have admitted Mossford Lane left turn is bad design, as the pavement is marked for modification.

All left turn kerb extensions are of a poor design, as can be seen by vehicles crossing the middle white line or mounting the kerb as they turn. All kerb extensions must be modified for safety reasons.

A site visit will confirm that the speed restriction measures are a complete waste of ratepayers’ money.

Provide ambulatory care for all ages at KGH

Bob Archer, secretary, Redbridge Trades Council; Cllr Nic Dodin, Havering; Pete Mason, Socialist Party and RoseMary Warrington, prospective Parliamentary Candidate, write:

The Ambulatory Care Unit at King George Hospital, which provides same day emergency care for the elderly frail discriminates against the younger patients who are transferred to Queen’s.

When challenged about this, NHS managers say that the “low levels of admitted adult patients” at King George justify this discrimination.

This argument does not stand scrutiny. Other hospitals in east London provide ambulatory care for all ages. Worthing Hospital, with a high proportion of elderly residents, provides ambulatory care for all residents. NHS managers have failed to deliver on a promise to provide a briefing on January 21.

Without this briefing, it seems reasonable to believe that the discrimination is motivated by the new plan to close King George A&E and turn King George into a centre of excellence for the elderly published in October 2018. Local NHS managers sought £49m funding to implement this new plan to close King George A&E despite committing to a review of the closure in 2017.

There is a walk from King George Hospital at 2pm for a meeting at 3pm Ilford Town Hall on March 30 to say this new plan to close King George A&E needs to be scrapped and that local NHS managers are not suited to carry out the review into King George as they are biased in favour of closing King George A&E.

Petition against concentrated flight paths

Mark Dawes, campaigns officer, Waltham Forest & Redbridge Green Party, writes:

There is a new petition regarding the concentrated flight paths from City Airport which everyone affected by the continual airplane noise can sign.

It is at change.org/p/sadiq-khan-stop-the-concentrated-flight-paths-from-city-airport-over-east-london.

Back on February 4, 2016, concentrated flight paths were brought in to City Airport that have created noise ghettos in Bow, Leyton, Leytonstone, Wanstead, Redbridge, Barkingside and Collier Row. It has significantly decreased the quality of life of the affected residents.

Consultations have revealed blanket opposition to the scheme, but City Airport have shown contempt to the local residents their business so severely affects and ignored calls for change.

The petition calls for London Mayor Sadiq Khan to take steps to stop the concentrated flight paths. He has spoken out against the concentrated flight paths that are making some Londoners’ lives’ a misery but he needs to take action rather than just words.

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