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Recorder letters: Stuart Monro, Aldborough Hatch, Uber, green waste and Meadow Court

PUBLISHED: 08:30 30 September 2017

Stuart Monro died on September 7, 2017. Picture: FRIENDS OF WANSTEAD PARKLANDS

Stuart Monro died on September 7, 2017. Picture: FRIENDS OF WANSTEAD PARKLANDS

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

Stuart’s life made a difference

Paul Donovan writes:

Obit of Stuart Monro

A socialist all of his life, Stuart fought for social justice across the spectrum from Ireland to Wanstead Park and beyond to Lewisham hospital.

Stuart used his gift as a film maker to bring the lives of ordinary people to the attention of millions. He travelled far and wide chronicling the struggle of ordinary people against the powerful.

Back in the 1970s, Stuart, together with his wife and partner, Charlotte, took part in the protests for civil rights in Ireland. Both ended up serving prison sentences for their efforts.

Stuart’s gift for telling stories may have had something to do with being the stepson of popular children’s TV presenter Johnny Morris. Stuart certainly brought the same infectious enthusiasm to his work.

He studied drama at Bristol University and film at the London School of Film. Stuart was a member of the Institute of Videography, and an occasional judge for the Institute of Amateur Cinematographers. In 2016 a retrospective screening of some of the films he had made since the 1970s was held at Morley College.

A resident of Wanstead for more than 20 years, one of Stuart’s great loves was Wanstead Park. Back in 2005, he was central in bringing together a number of people to form the Wanstead Parklands Community Project (WPCP). The individuals came from a wide range of backgrounds, from historians and former policemen to local activists and left wing journalists.

Stuart hosted the meetings at his house, keeping the band of brothers and sisters together, occasionally oiling the wheels with a swift whisky from the kitchen for wavering participants.

The WPCP successfully launched a bid for Heritage Lottery funding, which enabled the group to produce a number of publications and DVDs about the park. These focused on the history, archaelogy and life of the natural world. Stuart produced the DVDs which have sold to thousands, and continue to do so, bringing the good news of the park to more and more generations.

Stuart remained a steadfast supporter of the park to the end, often walking with Charlotte among the centuries old trees and along the picturesque waterways.

In more recent times, Stuart used his film making skills to tell the story of those seeking to protect the NHS. He became part of the campaign to save Lewisham hospital, producing effectively a video diary of the various actions of that successful campaign.

He also played a key role in a campaign closer to home, when Barts Trust sacked Charlotte from her job at Whipps Cross. A two-year campaign ensued that eventually saw Charlotte reinstated.

He also helped publicise the plight of a number of men held without trial over recent years.

Stuart was always someone you could rely on to be in your corner and stand up when the going got tough. In my own case, this amounted to protesting on my behalf when I was unceremoniously sacked as a columnist for a national newspaper back in 2004.

Stuart struggled with heart problems over recent years but kept going, bringing different struggles to public audiences. He was certainly an indomitable spirit, forming a fierce team fighting against injustice alongside Charlotte.

Stuart will be missed, a man whose life made a difference to so many over the years. He is survived by Charlotte and daughter Anna.

RIP: June 15, 1938 to September 7, 2017

Cancer evidence was ignored

Ron Jeffries, chairman of Aldborough Hatch Defence Association, writes:

One major concern that did not come across in my letter last week (Farm decision is disappointing) regarding Redbridge Council’s approval of gravel extraction on fields opposite the Dick Turpin is that the robust medical evidence from two cancer specialists was totally and utterly ignored, and glossed over as of no concern.

Their research evidence made plain that the cancerous dust from the workings will increase cardiovascular disease and mortality in Aldborough Hatch.

No attempt was made to refute this and councillor members of the planning committee were instructed that health issues should not be taken into account in planning decisions. This beggars belief!

All that is left is for me to appeal on behalf of the men, women and children of Aldborough Hatch to developers Brett Tarmac to do the decent thing and leave Fairlop Plain once and for all – or stay and witness the ill health of us all.

Cab users deserve highest standards

Roger Backhouse, Upper Poppleton, York, writes:

Wes Streeting MP is absolutely right to defend TfL’s decision to remove Uber’s operating licence (Ilford Recorder).

In 40 years London living I had no problems getting black cabs or minicabs when needed. Losing Uber is hardly a transport disaster.

The cab-using public deserve the highest standards. Uber have failed to meet them. Thank goodness TfL have applied rules fairly.

There should be no special case for Uber or any other cab operator.

Elderly can’t afford green waste fee

Sadie Levy, full address supplied, writes:

I am disgusted with Redbridge Council. I have five bags of grass in my front garden. They have been there since the middle of July.

I phoned the council and asked them if they would collect them. I was told it would cost me £50. I said I could not afford it as I am 84 years old and disabled.

The woman I spoke to said that that is the charge. Also she said I must take them to the dump. I told her I do not drive and her reply was to to get someone to take them for me. They could not care less.

I think the council think all elderly people have a lot of money.

We’re happy with Meadow Court

A concerned daughter, full name and address supplied, writes:

My mother is a resident of Meadow Court Nursing Home which you did a piece about last week.

Thank you for bringing this proposal to the attention of the population in the Ilford area.

Obviously, as a relative of one of the residents I am determined that this proposal put forward by Redbridge CCG should not be allowed to proceed, especially as my family and I are very happy with the standard of care my mother has received over the last nine years.


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