Recorder letters: Policing, road safety, parking charges, emission zone and Valentines Park

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 February 2018

Barkingside police station was closed at the end of last year.

Barkingside police station was closed at the end of last year.


Letters sent in from Recorder readers this week

Policing crisis leads to crime rise

Terry Sykes, Trinity Road, Barkingside, writes:

I refer to the articles by Wes Streeting and Mike Gapes and to the letter from Paul Donovan in last week’s Recorder on the subject of rising crime in Redbridge.

Of course crime is going to rise, not just in Redbridge but on a national level while government cutbacks to our services continue.

There have been a number of police stations that have been closed in Redbridge and the numbers of police officers and community support officers are dwindling on a national scale.

There have also been news reports that, in some areas of the country, the police are very selective about whether or not to attend a report of a burglary.

This crisis in our policing system is effectively giving licence to an increase in crime, and we can all expect this state of affairs to continue until robust measures are taken to remedy the situation.

Vigilante-style groups are not the answer as they are not endowed with police powers and could well be in danger of finding themselves on the wrong side of the law if they take matters into their own hands.

I agree with Wes Streeting when he says that we need more police in our area to help put a stop to rising crime and restore public confidence in their police. Mike Gapes is also right when the states that crime is a “national problem that requires national solutions”.

The government needs to do much more on this issue to allay the fears that must already have been instilled in vast numbers of our citizens.

We need more than 20’s plenty

Scott Wilding, full address supplied, writes:

It was great to see local activists advocating a 20’s plenty’s zone in Wanstead last week. I fully support the aims of lower speeds and safer roads across Wanstead, but we have to consider the argument on balance.

I worked for Redbridge Council’s Highways department for 12 years and saw the benefits of combining 20’s plenty zones with traffic calming, enforcement and road safety education.

Only by combining these elements can we really reduce accidents on our roads.

My concern is that a blanket 20’s plenty zone may not work unless we combine all the above elements together to reduce road danger.

One major issue is that the Labour-run council has slashed the road safety team from three people, to just half of one post.

This is clearly short sighted when child casualty rates are up 28per cent since 2015, and the total number of killed or seriously injured in Redbridge has risen by 33pc since 2014.

By slashing road safety education this council has made the roads less safe. We need a combined approach to improve road safety.

Watch out for pay to park areas

A J Weatherill, Romford, full address supplied, writes:

Recently I visited the Redbridge Sports Centre and had no idea it was a pay to park area.

It was a dark cold day and I left after 1hr 15 mins. I then received a PCN notice for £100.

I have appealed twice and both have been rejected. I feel I want to fight this case to the bitter end but the car is a mobility wheelchair registered to my wife. She is not well and we could do without the aggravation. I feel you need to warn local people. It is all done by stealth hidden cameras and pay by phone signs 50 yards apart.

A friend has also got PCNs at Wetherspoons pub the Fairlop Oak and The Prince Regent. This money-making is now widespread and readers need to be very watchful.

I would like you to let readers know drivers must be extra vigilant these days. RSC is a large site and on a first visit it is easy to end up in the wrong area. We were trying to find The Jack Carter Pavilion.

I cannot have this company sending threatening letters to my wife so after taking further advice I may have to pay up and then carry on the fight.

Emission zone fee hits less well-off

Sheila Matheson, Dale Gardens, Woodford Green, writes:

I just wonder how many of your readers are aware of how they could be clobbered for even more money by our Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan by 2021? 

I am horrified to read that to drive within the A406 North and South Circular Roads, will cost £12.50 or £24 per day within the congestion charge zone because this will be the Ultra Low Emission Zone – ULEZ.

This will be for non-compliant petrol and diesel vehicles, which means older vehicles. These will be the vehicles owned by the older or less well-off people who cannot afford to replace their vehicles. Once again it will be the “just about managing” families or workers who will be hit. I hope that your readers are as appalled as I am that it will cost this sum to drive within this zone.

How well does the mayor know our area, I wonder? How are people who cannot afford to replace their vehicles supposed to travel to work, school, hospital visits, family etc when very often there is not transport for these cross country type of journeys?

The congestion charge within London is different because the Underground and bus routes exist there. Now it is suburbia where families live which will be hit.

Please write to City Hall or or this paper or your MP to have your say, £12.50 or possibly £24 is an outrage!

Council spoiling Valentines Park

Mason Levy, Brancaster Road, Ilford, writes:

Three months ago I wrote to the Recorder to draw attention to the laying of a totally unsuitable gravel path that prevented my father (a wheelchair-user) from enjoying his favourite view of the ornamental lake in Valentines Park (Ditch the gravel paths in park, November 2 2017). Since then we have observed that the beautiful willow trees on the bank have been cut down. Park benches at various locations have been removed (and not replaced), the car park machines are no longer coin-operated (as reported last month) and this week the trees on the island at the far end of the boating lake have been hacked away. What’s next? the island in the ornamental lake? The cricket pitch? The Mansion Café?

My original complaint to the council about the path as yet remains unanswered, so perhaps your reporting team could elicit an explanation from the parks department as to why they seem to be going out of their way to make the park a less enjoyable experience.

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