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Recorder letters: Road safety, KGH, internet access, beds in sheds and Wanstead

PUBLISHED: 12:00 25 March 2018

Protesting outside King George Hospital. Picture: ANDY WALKER

Protesting outside King George Hospital. Picture: ANDY WALKER

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

Road safety should be a priority

Trevor Wilding, Addison Road, Wanstead, writes:

Some years ago, road safety and the need to protect children’s lives was seen as a key priority for the council.

Redbridge had road safety officers that went into schools and provided valuable training to children about the dangers of crossing roads and how to cycle in safety.

School crossing patrols could be seen everywhere in the borough, ensuring that children on their way to school could cross in safety.

The borough became renowned throughout London for its devotion to children’s safety.

Strangely that came to an end at the 2014 local election when Labour took over the borough. School crossing patrols have reduced from 19 in 2014 to nine in 2018.

Since 2015 there has been a significant increase in child accidents. The question has to be asked why?

The answer could be that it has been brought about by the council’s wholesale attack on its own workforce where it has made hundreds of long standing council employees redundant and replaced them with agency staff or interim managers, at a huge cost to council tax payers.

This wholesale massacre of experienced staff has been most pronounced in the road safety, accident reduction and highways sectors where staff with 25 years’ or more experience of the borough have been made redundant and replaced with new people, many of which may not have heard the name Redbridge till the job agency told them that there was a vacancy.

The question must be asked what responsible organisation gets rid of its most valuable asset, the experienced people who know the borough and replaces them with ones who may never even have visited the borough.

Is it that experienced permanent people sometimes challenge politicians about their pet projects, whereas people on temporary contracts keep quiet to protect their jobs?

Councillor Athwal, please make the safety of children a priority over photo calls for swimming pools and put money back into road safety!

Extend KGH rather than build homes

Bob Archer, Jeff and Margaret Godden and Andy Walker, write:

Matthew Hopkins, the chief executive of BHRUT, recently made it clear in the Recorder that he had no intention of selling off King George Hospital land.

So a group of us attended the BHRUT board meeting earlier this month to ask that he stop the plans to take some King George land out of green belt protection to allow housing on it.

Our campaign to extend King George, rather than build a housing estate on so called “surplus” land will continue.

Not all are online or have mobiles

Mrs Barbara Bliss, Chadwell Heath, full address supplied, writes:

One does wonder if it’s worth the effort to write any letter to councillors, newspapers etc as you are called old-fashioned. Why? Because it’s quicker online, even then you are lucky if you get an answer.

No, I don’t have a computer but my granddaughter did something for me and the company never did reply. So my reason for buying the Recorder is to find out about council tax and what is happening in Redbridge.

I got council tax correct, not hard, but why is it so hard to get answers from the council phone?

You get a voice going “push this button”, after five or six times you are told you can go online then told to push this number or hold, “we will put you through”.

It took my husband about 10 minutes to find out why we had not received the new garden waste bags because we had run out and had to reorder.

Please can you do an article on behalf of us who are not online, do not have mobiles (not because we cannot work them but because of the added expense).

I have a landline, if I am not in leave a message.

As for computers, I gave them up on leaving work and if I need something my daughter or grandchildren always want to help.

Growing concern on ‘beds in sheds’

Greta Rene, Newbury ward Conservative candidate, writes:

Large numbers of illegal flat conversions, “beds in sheds” and HMOs (house in multiple occupation) have been allowed to multiply over the last four years in Redbridge and are unchallenged by the council and it is a growing concern expressed frequently by local residents.

Following recent information obtained from the Freedom of Information, over 2,000 cases of suspected breach of planning control were reported from January 2016 to December 2017.

The question is, how many prosecutions were brought by the council over the last two years?

Good to see focus on Wanstead

Paul Donovan, Labour candidate, Wanstead Village, writes:

It is great news about Redbridge Council’s investment in Wanstead High School, with a new humanities block, public swimming pool and gym all set to materialise at the site.

We three Labour candidates for Wanstead Village were recently at the school together with council leader Jas Athwal and cabinet member for finance and support services Kam Rai to see the area where the pool and other developments are going to take place.

As someone who started at the school when the present buildings were new in the 1970s, it seems of particular significance.

In those days, there was a small open air pool based at the school.

Now, we are going to see the structures renewed and extended with a proper public swimming pool to enhance the area.

These are long overdue developments being brought to fruition by Redbridge Council.

It’s good to see the council focusing on facilities at this end of the borough, an area that has sometimes felt forgotten in the past.

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