Recorder letter: ‘False accusation I threatened a councillor has caused me much grief’, Hainault campaigner says

Mock-up plans for temporary accomodation for 60 families in Woodman Road, near Manford Way, Hainault

Mock-up plans for temporary accomodation for 60 families in Woodman Road, near Manford Way, Hainault. Photo: JDA Architects - Credit: Archant

A 66-year-old campaigner who works at a dementia care home says a false accusation that he threatened a councillor has caused him “much grief”.

Les Kaye, full address supplied, writes:

Dear Recorder,

I am writing in respect of your online story of 22/3 headlined “man accused of threatening councillor over controversial Hainault housing plan” because the person you are referring to is me, and both councillor Santos’s accusation and your reporting of it has caused me much grief.

The post which caused the issue with Cllr Santos contained one line he objected to and this said “I hope I don’t bump into you down Manford Way“ (I only used this because the previous Saturday they had been campaigning in this very road) a post which he took as a threat towards him personally, nothing could be further from the truth.

When I said this I simply meant that due to his inaction in supporting our campaign to stop these building plans, if I met him in the street, I would have to ignore him or even cross the road to avoid him, such is the level of frustration from myself and most Hainault residents over these plans, there was never any intention or threat of anything untoward and only someone looking to make mischief would interpret in this way.

In fact, since this blew up I have since emailed him asking to meet to clarify and clear the air but he has ignored my request.

The level of anxiety the council plans have caused to Hainault residents is off the scale, a petition of nearly 4000 signatures has been accepted by Redbridge council, the local Tory councillors are backing us fully, but we are receiving little or no support from Cllr Santos and the other Hainault councillors.

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At the end of my post I said in capital letters “WE WILL NOT FORGET”. This a reference to when the next local elections come round as very few people in their constituency will ever support them again, this line along with your headline had no other meaning, and was never intended to be taken in an aggressive way.

Finally, some perspective to your headline, I have been accused, and you have printed a headline accusing me of behaviour of the worst kind. Just to give clarity you are referring to someone who is approaching age of 67, works in the local care home where I am supporting people who are at the end of their lives living with dementia, a job that demands you have love, compassion, a caring nature. Does anyone seriously think that given that, I am capable or likely to make such implied or veiled threats in that post, really ?

Thank you for giving me the platform to reply.

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