Recorder letters: Temple toilets, women’s safety, The Doctor Johnson, parking, police, mental illness and armed forces

PUBLISHED: 09:00 18 February 2017

The Temple in Wanstead Park.

The Temple in Wanstead Park.


The Temple at Wanstead Park

Dog walkers need Temple toilets open

Paul Donovan, Dangan Road, Wanstead, writes:

At a recent public meeting about open spaces, the Superintendent of Epping Forest, Paul Thomson, assured that problems in Wanstead Park are being dealt with but it will take time.

Some of the more cynical in the audience saw this as another case of jam tomorrow, with the City of London Corporation constantly kicking problems down the road.

The water emptying out of the lakes was one example raised – it was suggested that as well as restoring water supplies, that the debris now clogging up the waterways could be removed. To date, nothing has happened.

On another level, there is the issue of the shut toilets at The Temple. The toilets were vandalised a few months ago and apparently this means the toilets now remain permanently shut.

We now have the bizarre situation of dog walkers running around clearing up after their animals but having nowhere to go to the toilet themselves.

Newsflash for the corporation, human beings still need somewhere to go to the toilet in the winter.

A local builder could have sorted out the toilet problem in days. How much longer are the City of London Corporation going to get away with this ongoing failure to manage our precious open space?

Women just don’t feel safe when they come to Ilford

Rosalind Bader, South Woodford, full address supplied, writes:

I was both very angry and very distressed to read Clive Power’s suggestion to turn Ilford into a major Asian shopping centre.

What about all the other ethnic groups in the area both major and minor ie white, Afro-Caribbean, Middle Eastern, Far Eastern, etc? Why can’t we have a major shopping area for us?

The first thing Ilford needs is money to clean it up, make it look modern and welcoming. Where is the park proposed years ago behind the town hall?

Unfortunately, access is a nightmare as Cranbrook Road is far too narrow for the amount of traffic attempting to get in all day, which is made worse by the buses and heavy traffic coming through and the fact that parking is still allowed on the road, blocking it even further.

Most of the shops and businesses look tired and old and in serious need of a facelift.

There are far too many fly-by-night shops. There should be good incentives for smaller shops to open and stay open. The Exchange should also offer the same incentives to fill all their empty units.

However, the most important thing to my mind keeping people away is safety.

I know so many women who will not come to Ilford any more as they do not feel safe unless they are with a man. This is not helped by the people allowed to hang around The Exchange and the station and those who take over the tables outside the coffee shop opposite the station. This was reported some time ago, but nothing has been done to rectify this situation.

As to Mr Power’s suggestion to remove the roundabout, what will this achieve? There is access from Ilford Lane to the shopping centre via zebra crossings and underpasses and the buses coming up Ilford Lane all go to the station.

Turn the pub into a community hub

Paul Scott, Sandhurst Drive, Ilford, writes:

I must say that having read Ellena Cruse’s recent article regarding the present look of The Doctor Johnson public house, there remains a massive need for the site to either be bought by a pub company or community group such as the South West Essex branch of Camra.

The best outcome for the residents in Longwood Gardens would be for the historic building to become a worthy social and community hub again, rather than being left in its current derelict and messy state.

The people in the neighbourhood could also try to have it listed as an asset of community value, which ought to stop the former public house from being lost altogether.

We still have a reasonable number of pubs remaining in the Redbridge borough which ought to be protected by the council like they are in Barking and Dagenham, where a policy has been put in place with a degree of success after a public consultation was held to safeguard these venues.

We wish you well on parking issue

Robert Rush, chairman, Monega (Residents’) Association, Newham, full address supplied, writes:

From your neighbours in Forest Gate suffering under the yoke of “resident parking controls”, we have messsage to the WeWantSay, Wanstead group (letters, February 2) and that is we wish you well in your endeavours to get your council to listen.

In Newham, we are faced with a council (as is Redbridge), driven by EU pollution targets, to impose a straitjacket on car use over the entire borough.

In our own neighbourhood a mere 13 per cent of residents voted in favour of “controlled parking”, but as this was more than the number voting against it gave the council the green light to impose the scheme.

Eighty-seven per cent of residents either voted against or did not cast a vote.

Oh yes, there were “consultations” and “tweaking” but there was no going back. The supine obedience from all the Labour Party councillors was nauseating.

In Redbridge, of course, there are 27 opposition councillors (in Newham there are none) so your best bet is to galvanise cross-party opposition, and knock on doors and get people to vote on the matter.

Police quick to answer 999 call

Laurence Payne, Farnham Road, Ilford, writes:

A burglar alarm was going off, and a man was visible inside the house.

Seemed worth a 999 call.

Within three minutes four men and a dog arrived. It turned out to be a false alarm, but if it hadn’t been they’d very likely have got him.

Well done, police. I appreciate you can’t do much about a “cold” burglary, but there WAS response when it could do some good.

Anyone can suffer mental illness

Catherine Hunt, retired nurse practitioner and bereavement and cancer counseller, writes:

Who can help to destigmatise mental illness?

YOU can !

I was once asked by a vicar to give a talk about counselling to a group who he knew had a bad attitude to mental illness. They stated some of the following:

In my day you just had to get on with it. People who have depression or anxiety states are weak. All this therapy and stuff is a load of rubbish

I am not the nervous breakdown type.

Concerning the latter I state that there is a type! I take out a mirror, look into it and ask people to do the same. Then I tell them they are looking at the type as it could be anyone!

So if you know someone who was once happy and no longer is, ask what’s wrong.

However, they might be reluctant to reply as they are wary of the stigma still attached to nervous breakdowns, depression, panic attacks etc. So lose any negative thoughts you may have.

Mental illness is just as bad, if not worse, than any physical illness,and remember: One day it could be YOU who suffers!!!

You can help armed forces

Lieutenant General (retired), Sir Andrew Gregory KBE CB, chief executive, SSAFA, the Armed Forces, writes:

SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity, has been providing vital support for our troops, veterans and their families for 131 years.

To continue this essential work, SSAFA is in real need of more volunteers in your local area.

Please contact us at or call 0800 032 5612.

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