Recorder letters: Rats, crime, chicanes, Bodgers and the single market

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 February 2018

Recent London Assembly figures say Redbridge has the sixth highest number of rats in London.					Picture: Steve Adams

Recent London Assembly figures say Redbridge has the sixth highest number of rats in London. Picture: Steve Adams

Letters sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Council must act to beat the rats

Trevor Wilding, Addison Road, Wanstead, writes:

It is not very often that Redbridge is high up in any of the league tables that are published to say how well London boroughs are performing.

But Redbridge can now rightly claim its place as being 6th out of all 33 London authorities [according to the London Assembly] for its rat population.

And if the increase in rats keeps up its current pace we will soon be number 1!

Why has our borough got to such a position?

The reason is that since 2014 the current Labour administration has been drastically cutting staff and services whilst spending vast amounts of money, £400,000+ last year, on consultants and temporary staff.

It recently cut back its road safety team, as it considers these people too expensive and no longer necessary, while it has spent thousands on new civic regalia.

Not long ago Councillor Athwal was promoting Redbridge as a candidate for borough of culture, which people should visit to experience vibrancy and entertainment.

Unless he employs the Pied Piper of Hamelin the only entertainment people will see is the Rat Olympics in our streets!

Come on Councillor Athwal, stop acting like Nero when Rome burned and do something before your voters catch the “black death”.

Tory cuts to blame for rise in crime

Paul Donovan, Labour candidate for Wanstead Village, Dangan Road, Wanstead, writes:

It is a bit rich of the Tories to be raising the issue of rising crime in the local area. This is the party that has so savagely cut the Met’s budget by £1billion since 2010.

Yet, at local level it is as though what head office is up to doesn’t matter, with Tory candidates busying themselves vocalising against crime.

The real contempt of the Tory Party for ordinary working people hit by crime was shown recently when the latest justice minister David Gauke came to Redbridge.

The minister did not even tell council leader Jas Athwal he was in town. If he had, he would have learnt of the very real local concerns about crime.

Instead, Mr Gauke was rallying the Tory troops ready for the council elections in May.

The Tories don’t care about crime, indeed they are destabilising our communities with the cuts to police budgets. Recently, Tory councillors voted against a council motion calling for more police funding.

People are rightly concerned, as was recently evidenced by the huge rally on the subject, addressed by Labour MP Wes Streeting, in Clayhall.

Raise tax to pay for more police

Mr A Still, York Road, Ilford, writes:

If you are rich/well off, then there’s a chance thugs will smash your door down, walk in, beat you and rob you. Like it was in Russia just after Gorbachev stood down and chaos reigned.

Reason? Simple, not enough cops. If we can’t afford it via the present system then taxes must rise to have more police.

Of course, a truly bold step would be to supplement our police with our troops but our leaders are scared to do that.

They think it shows weakness on their part. It does, but our safety comes before the upset of government feelings.

Let’s have some action as this scenario will only get worse.

New chicanes are waste of money

Alfred Levy, Heybridge Drive, Ilford, writes:

I understand that Redbridge Council is about to raise our council tax by 4.3per cent.

If they are so strapped for cash why are they spending many thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on constructing totally unnecessary chicanes all the way down Clayhall Avenue?

Memories of Bodgers store

Mrs J Robinson, address supplied, writes:

In a few days’ time, another landmark of Ilford will be closing its doors for the last time, after more than 125 years – Bodgers store.

It is the first name that you see as you emerge from the station, as many of its regular customers from afar did.

Mr J T Burchell & Mr A W Green were early directors, followed by Mr John Burchell (jnr) & Mr Desmond Green. It was always a real family store.

People who have lived in the area for some time may remember that Bodgers had another store in the High Road and during those early days some of the staff lived above that store.

Later that area was used as stock rooms. Many of the former staff will remember happy times they had while working there, when everyone helped each other. During WW11, they would have had stories to tell about their lives, being bombed out of their homes & some having lost loved ones.

People did not have much but were prepared to share with one another. The world would be a better place if there were more of that friendship sharing today.

We don’t need to be in single market

Will Podmore, Clavering Road, Wanstead, writes:

Ilford North MP Wes Streeting calls for us to stay in the EU’s single market and customs union.

One, we voted in 2016 to leave the EU and its single market and customs union. Two, we don’t have to be in the EU’s single market to sell to it. Three, the single market helps multinational companies dodge tax.

The USA isn’t in the single market – does it sell nothing to member countries?

China, Switzerland, Brazil, Singapore, and another 150-plus countries are also not in the single market but still somehow sell to single market members. So can we!

China, the USA, Japan, Australia and many other countries have increased their exports to customers in countries in the single market faster from outside than we have from inside.

The single market allows multinationals to engage in legal but aggressive cross-border tax avoidance.

These companies exploit the EU’s freedom of establishment to trade within the single market out of these companies incorporated within the EU states with favourable tax regimes like Ireland, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

So these firms then steer their Britain-derived income away from Britain, as tax-deductible costs of a separate company, so minimal tax is paid.

Single market membership facilitates this tax avoidance.

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