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Recorder letters: Monkhams playground, Brexit and police cuts

PUBLISHED: 12:00 22 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:42 25 April 2018

Monkhams Playground CIC is bidding to create a play area. Picture: MONKHAMS PLAYGROUND CIC

Monkhams Playground CIC is bidding to create a play area. Picture: MONKHAMS PLAYGROUND CIC

Archant

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

Green already natural playground

Sheila Matheson, Dale Gardens, Woodford Green, writes:

We are Monkhams residents who are campaigning against the idea of having a natural playground built on Woodford Green itself! It is an absolutely ludicrous idea because generations of children have played on the Green.

The Green is a natural playground, why import logs and balancing structures and waste Council Tax payers’ money?

Now according to their website, they want a clean patch for the children because of the dogs’ mess on the Green and we are told the dogs can run on the rest of the Green. If there is no fence, how can the dogs be kept out?

These campaigners seek an exclusive area on the Green for a playground for under 11 year olds. How do you keep out older children?

The Green is part of ancient Epping Forest and it should not be turned into a park. Please help us Save Woodford Green!

We are not against change for the good but not when it is detrimental to the natural environment when it affects the many.

Epping Forest acts as a lung for outings from more built-up areas, it always has done, we must preserve it because we do not want to live in a soulless concrete jungle.

Our council has set aside £1.6million for playgrounds and equipment in Redbridge, a huge sum. Funds for play should be spent on more urban parts of Redbridge where it is needed. We are fortunate to live in this part of Woodford Green where we have green, green grass and we do not want a natural playground put on top of our existing natural playground.

Anyway, playing in a natural environment is said to be far better for a child’s imagination than structured play, and children learn about nature at the same time. This is not an area for first time buyers and there is not a huge percentage of young families in the area.

Could our council please act in a commonsense way and perhaps realise that with limited resources they should immediately throw out any idea of a natural playground being constructed on an already natural playground.

Funding issues regarding Brexit

Crispin Acton, Liberal Democrat candidate for Wanstead Village ward, writes:

As we approach local council elections on May 3, voters will want to be aware of some of the difficult issues which will face Redbridge in the coming four years.

One important issue concerns the likely ending of European Union regional grants and social funding in this borough, should Brexit go ahead. Central government has indicated that most current projects will continue to be funded, but has kept silence on what will happen after the current programme ends in late 2020.

This matters to Redbridge, as it does to other London boroughs. For 2014-20, London is part of England’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and European Social Fund (ESF) programmes with about 746 million euros of EU funding.

The London ESF programme supports training and employment for young people and adults. The ERDF supports innovation by small businesses and sustainable and environmentally efficient growth in London.

We should be thinking ahead about the serious impact on local residents and the economy if this funding ceases.

It will be vital that Redbridge Council fights for local interests so that Brexit does not result in less industrial innovation - the UK already has a problem of poor productivity. The poor must not suffer from further cuts in public spending, with Brexit as an excuse or an accidental cause. The Conservative and Labour parties locally seem reluctant to talk openly about these issues, but there will be no excuse for being taken by surprise at these problems a couple of years from now.

What are Tories’ view on police cuts?

Tim Harris, full address supplied, writes:

Well it’s good to see Scott Wilding declaring that there will not be a new swimming pool in Wanstead if he is elected. People know where they stand.

Fixing pot holes and other revenue spending does, of course, have nothing to do with the funding of a new pool, which will come from capital spending.

What is of great concern is the damage that his Conservative government has done with its cuts to public services. Some 44per cent has been cut from Redbridge Council’s budget by the ruling Conservative government over recent years. In my opinion, the Labour council has done a remarkable job in the circumstances – not only to keep services going but also to make improvements in some areas, for example the refurbishment of Wanstead Library.

It has also been a scandal to witness the cuts to police budgets, resulting in rising levels of crime, which have affected Wanstead and the wider borough.

I am sure the electorate would like to know where Mr Wilding and his fellow Conservative candidates stand regarding government cuts to police budgets?

Think carefully about Met funding

Paul Donovan, Dangan Road, Wanstead, writes:

Crime is an issue of growing concern in London. There have been the headlines recently about the number of deaths, particularly of young people in the capital over the past year.

At local level there has been a myriad of crimes, varying from theft to violence against the person.

The cry goes up what can be done about it? Well, it is not a coincidence that as the government continues along a road that seems to be about decimating the police as a public service, this must have some effect.

There has been £1billion cut from the Metropolitan Police budgets, with 20,000 police officers being removed from the streets. This reduction in police resources, has come at a time when the population is increasing, with the demands on the police growing.

Some might suspect an idealogical motivation on behalf of the Conservative Party regarding cutting the police. It is an approach they seem to take to a number of our most precious public services. Keep cutting resources, so that that service becomes so poor that the option to privatise can be more easily sold.

In the case of policing, this agenda is something people really do need to think carefully about. Do we want a society where those with wealth live in gated communities patrolled by private security firms, whilst a sort of law of the jungle operates outside those gates? It is certainly not the sort of community that I would want to live in.


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