Recorder letters: Loxford Park, road works, rising crime, care workers and school fears

PUBLISHED: 12:30 06 September 2020

Autumn colours in Loxford Park. Some leaves have hit the floor and making a carpet of colour, whilst others are still hanging on giving a mixture of oranges, browns, reds and green

Autumn colours in Loxford Park. Some leaves have hit the floor and making a carpet of colour, whilst others are still hanging on giving a mixture of oranges, browns, reds and green

(c) copyright

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

A plea to keep Loxford Park a pleasant place for all. Picture: Steve PlastowA plea to keep Loxford Park a pleasant place for all. Picture: Steve Plastow

Rule-breakers spoiling our parks

Kertna Nallakumar, 11, Ilford, full address supplied, writes:

I am writing to you regarding my concerns of Loxford Park, and some flaws I would like to improve.

I did not feel the extent of the situation or the impact until July when we began taking our Labrador puppy to the park.

Research shows the Labrador retriever is most likely to feast on dangerous things: this is where our struggles began...

Due to the heatwave, many members of the public spend their time in the park: picnicking, meeting friends and whatnot! This increases the amount of food waste and rubbish around the park.

Not only is this bad for the natural environment, but this is also a strain for dog walkers – especially as our Labrador is young, inquisitive, and doesn’t know right from wrong.

Just a few days ago, he picked up an old bone and ran right up to the road, worried we would take it off him.

When he had stomach problems, that bone was one of the things we believed could be the issue – this shouldn’t have one of our concerns.

Furthermore, people have started playing cricket in the tennis court, despite a notice informing them not to play any other sports there.

Along with this, I have noticed some other things.

People have been hosting barbecues in the park, which is not only a hazard but against Redbridge park rules too!

How to fix this? Over the matter of a few days, observation shows the target field seems to have the most litter. Why? There are no bins there: this could be a simple solution with a significant impact.

Making amends to this one problem also helps the environment. Two birds with one stone!

On-the-spot penalty notices would be desirable.

If you put all the data together, you will see the pattern that all of the problems I have listed are against the rules.

Littering, unpermitted barbecues, the list goes on.

I hope that this letter has raised some awareness.

I trust the council will do their fair share of enforcing these by-laws, for the sake of a better future environment.

Road works synchronisation

Chris Roper, Chadwell Heath, full address supplied, writes:

I would like to congratulate whoever is responsible for the exquisite synchronisation of the road works, closures and single file traffic lights affecting Forest Road and New North Road.

Didn’t they do well!?!?

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Blame Tories for rise in crime

Terry Sykes, Trinity Road, Barkingside, writes:

With reference to Keith Prince’s letter, on the subject of the Metropolitan Police’s budget being, according to him, “slashed by nearly £110 million” by Sadiq Khan. I think Prince is the one with the “brass neck”.

Since the Tories have been in power, all public services have been badly affected by underfunding and understaffing.

Police stations have been closed all over the country, not just in London, and there has been a rapid decline in the numbers of police officers visible on the street (I thought Boris Johnson was going to address that issue by recruiting 20,000 extra officers).

Those facts have already led to an increase in crime.

Not so long ago, some very violent burglaries were carried out in Redbridge, which led to vigilante groups touring certain parts of the borough.

Of course, there are going to be increases in crime in Redbridge, and elsewhere, when police stations have been closed at an alarming rate: we have lost police stations in Barkingside, Wanstead and Woodford Bridge (Chigwell closed many years ago).

The result of this is that residents do not feel safe, at home or in the streets, and criminals are more likely to commit all sorts of offences, in the knowledge that they are less likely to be caught.

In addition to that, the court system is failing because of long-term underfunding; courts are desperately understaffed and court premises are poorly maintained (as I witnessed last year when I did a stint on jury service at Snaresbrook, a court I worked at in the 80s, when it was run much better than it is now), and legal aid to defendants has been drastically cut under this government.

In ordinary times, there is always a huge backlog of cases waiting to be heard in the Crown Court, because the crumbling system is unable to cope with the pressure.

Keith Prince needs to look at the damage his party has done over the years before making accusations against Labour.

Care workers need better pay

Vic Rayner, executive director, National Care Forum, writes:

This week (September 1 - 4) marks Professional Care Workers Week. It feels very timely to have a week dedicated to recognising the efforts of care workers and acknowledging the extraordinary work they do.

Care and support workers have a challenging and rewarding job that is different every day and over the past months, in the face of Covid-19, they have shown how exceptional they are.

Together we clapped for our NHS, and our carers were included in that outpouring of public gratitude.

Our research shows that three quarters (74 per cent) of adults in England believe care home staff do a brilliant job, they also overwhelmingly agree they are undervalued (81pc) and should be paid better (80pc).

It’s great to see society recognise them for their invaluable contribution – it’s time that government does too, and that they are rewarded adequately.

We can help ease school fears

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

Returning to school for the first time in months will undoubtedly be nerve-wracking for many children, their parents and their teachers.

At Barnardo’s we have continued to support vulnerable children and families in Redbridge with our Wellbeing Hub throughout the pandemic.

From its building in Ilford the hub provides a range of services to enhance the quality of life for children and young people with disabilities and also support young carers.

Our new See, Hear, Respond service is available to support teachers and parents to help children address feelings of trauma, bereavement and anxiety, and readjust to being in the classroom.

Any teacher, child, young person, parent or carer can call the support line on 08001 577015 to request help.

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