Recorder letters: Park access, garden waste, Sainsbury’s, A&E, nurses and halal.

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 November 2017

Gravel paths in Valentines Park. Picture: DHARAM SAHDEV

Gravel paths in Valentines Park. Picture: DHARAM SAHDEV


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

Ditch the gravel paths in park

Harold and Mason Levy, Brancaster Road, Ilford, write:

What does Redbridge Parks Department have against wheelchair users?

We ask this question because of the lunatic decision to introduce gravel paths in Valentines Park.

Our disabled father loves the park and we take him there in his wheelchair twice a week, but last Sunday the difficulties we encountered whilst attempting to negotiate recently laid gravel paths were such that a whole area of the park was rendered inaccessible to us, and prevented us from reaching our favourite spot.

We completely understand why paths have to be maintained (some have been slowly crumbling away at the edges for years) and I also understand that using gravel was very probably the least worst, quickest and cheapest option, but we have observed several other paths in the park that will almost certainly need attention in the future.

Take it from us that it is no joke trying to push a person in a wheelchair up an incline through gravel, and if the use of this material becomes widespread then there is a very real risk that this wonderful park will become a no-go area for a large section of our disabled community.

Please think again, Redbridge Council, and consider an alternative, wheelchair-friendly, solution.

Composting solves garden waste

Jane Mortimer, Brian Road, Chadwell Heath, writes:

It’s obvious just from the letters page over the past few months that the £50 charge for green waste collection and the flimsy bags have amounted to an epic fail, and it’s great that there’s been a U-turn, but I just thought I’d write in with a positive angle that others might find encouraging.

I too, baulked at the idea of spending £50 of my state pension on a roll of bags. Instead I spent the money on a ‘silent’ garden shredder.

I’d already bought a reasonably priced leaf vac/shredder, and many years ago I took advantage of Redbridge Council’s heavily subsidised compost bins.

Over the last year I have amassed six large sacks of sieved leaf mould and a couple of dozen sacks of black gold after sieving the finished product of the compost bins.

Any woody material that’s too thick to shred gets sawn up and put in sheltered nooks and crannies for wildlife to live in. Sieving and bagging compost and leaf mould is very relaxing and satisfying, and I look on the gathering of leaves, weeds and grass as a harvest, rather than a chore. It also saves a lot of money by greatly reducing the need for bought compost and soil improvers.

I begrudge parting with any of my garden waste and wish the practice of home composting could be publicised and encouraged more.

Boycott store over housing insult

Wendy Taylor, (NOISE Supporter), Cowley Road, Ilford, writes:

Instead of being a responsible supermarket serving the local community, Sainsbury’s has now become a greedy profit-driven developer.

It is ignoring the wishes of the 780-plus local residents who signed a petition against the monstrous development of 683 flats which will add to the destruction of Ilford.

To add insult to injury, just 27 or 4per cent of flats will be called “affordable” whereas the council‘s target for affordable homes is 35pc.

Over 2,300 local homeless families’ stranded in temporary accommodation will be waiting for a decent home for decades to come whilst Sainsbury’s will be selling off 656 flats at around £400,000 or more, making a 20pc profit on the scheme. The site will have no residential parking except for 42 disabled residents so parked cars will clog the surrounding roads adding to congestion and pollution.

We are therefore calling upon local residents and supporters to stop shopping at Sainsbury’s as they no longer deserve our custom.

Thanks for A&E meeting success

Bob Archer and Andy Walker,, write:

We write to thank everyone for attending Redbridge Town Hall on October 14 for the save King George A&E meeting. A video of the speeches by Cllr Athwal and MPs Mike Gapes and Wes Streeting is at

The aim of the meeting to unite north east London around the call for the government to review the A&E closure plan was a success. Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Redbridge and Waltham Forest councils all now support a review.

Nurses need your support over pay

Catherine Hunt, retired nurse practitioner and bereavement/cancer counsellor, Stapleford Avenue, Newbury Park, writes:

In spite of all the hard work done by the Royal College of Nursing and numerous others and in spite of the governmental promise, if you think the public sector pay cap has been scrapped, then I am afraid you are wrong. No date, amount of pay rise or any other pertinent information has been given. It is not only nurses who have to pay for their training but paramedics too.

Those readers who can afford private treatment might think that the resulting staff shortages won’t affect them but whether one is an NHS or private patient, nurses and ambulance personnel are needed.

So please support your health workers. Take leaflets, sign petitions, write to the press, attend public meetings and just think, whenever you see an ambulance with its blue lights flashing, one day, it could be YOU in there.

Halal or not halal – we need choice

Patricia McCarthy, Ilford, full address supplied, writes:

I welcome the decision taken by Lancashire County Council to ban the use of all unstunned halal meat in the county’s schools.

I accept that people who consider the use of this meat to be in accordance with their beliefs should be able to access it. However, I think that in many settings, others who would be in total opposition to eating animals killed in this cruel way, should have an obvious choice to eat meat killed in accordance with their consciences.

It is only by scrutinising the windows of restaurants and cafes and their menus that these days it is possible to work out the retailer’s attitude to animal welfare.

Even some “big name” fast food outlets are selling halal meat to, I suspect, totally unaware teenagers and adults.

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