Jones’ Jesting continues.

Local resident Leo Jones continues his thoughts and views on the Havering Daily stories over the last week in his unique sense of Jones’ jesting to provide an entertaining view on weekly goings on in Havering.

As expected, it’s been a quiet week for most of our MPs and councillors.

Messrs Rosindell and Prince have been sitting back resting on their laurels, (posh word for butts), no doubt contemplating their oranges, (posh word for navels), whilst letting Julia Lopez take over their mantel for a short period of time. Just a quick question, who’s the Head Cabinet Member for Business Recovery?

Mr White managed to get out of his deck chair to make a comment about the consultations taking place regarding the regeneration of the Farnham and Hilldene estates, (see below), before sitting back down to take a long break from the long hours he has to put into his role.Violins at the ready! Being paid just short of £46K, (what’s £99 between friends), just for his Special Responsibilities, i.e., Leader of the Council. It’s fairly indicative that long hours will be a part of that job. There are also many responsibilities that go with the job too.

No doubt, the biggest crisis to hit, not just Havering, but the entire world, is the current pandemic. Mr White is a member of Havering’s Health and Wellbeing Board. Set up so Directors of the Council, Officers of the Council, local GPs and the NHS, can discuss the consequences in Havering, caused by the pandemic. Mr White has managed to attend just two of the eight meetings. Those long hours eating Fish & Chips in Harold Wood on National Fish and Chip Day have finally taken their toll. God forbid, if he had been elected as an MP. Mr White would never have slept as he was adamant he could successfully carry out both roles at the same time. If, Mr White, you are struggling with those responsibilities by taking on more than you can chew, perhaps it’s time to hand over to someone else.

Don’t get me wrong, our MPs and councillors are just as much entitled to holidays as we, the minions are. What is most galling, is the fact that they get paid handsomely to be part of, or Chair committees that many never, or rarely attend. And, if they do, there might be three or four a year which may last a couple of hours at the most. Good money for a few of the councillor turncoats who were promised ‘the world’ for their treachery to the voters who elected them. The rest of us, we only get paid when we actually turn up for work.

What a brilliant opportunity for the residents and businesses of Farnham and Hilldene to be able to put forward their ideas at the proposed consultation meetings for the regeneration of their estates. We all know what consultations are. “We, those in charge, let you, the peasants, have your say, then we, those in charge, do it our way anyway. To ‘hell’ with you the peasants.” There will always be the platitude changes based on the comment, “We listened to everyone’s views and made sweeping changes to our proposals”. Yeah… Right!As our beloved Leader said, quote, “It is an exciting time for Harold Hill, and we welcome all your views. Your feedback will help shape the future of this project, providing high-quality homes for local people, and a thriving community for future generations.” unquote.

Well, Mr White, here are a few ‘views’ that you and your building partner might like to consider….  How about a Waterloo and Queen Street approach? The heart of the scheme could be high-quality public open spaces, with a village garden, 159 trees, bat and bird boxes, bug hotels, and all buildings to enjoy green and brown roofs. And to top it all off, workspaces and technology solutions for residents working from home. Finally, as a special ‘kick in the teeth’ for the residents of Rainham, how about a Garden Suburb as well. Personally, I think these are absolutely brilliant views that will go a long way to create a thriving community for future generations. Alas, they are probably not the ones you were wanting to hear. And, as Harold Hill is not con controlled, we’ll just gloss over those and build the high rises we were planning to all along.

One thing that astounds me, the press release was issued on the same day the first consultation was due to take place. Whoever puts these together needs to up their game considerably? Such stupid errors only serve to reinforce the contempt the readers hold for those in charge.

Another big thank you to Julia Lopez for getting a meeting together to try and resolve the issues of flooding on Abbs Cross Lane, as well in Harold Wood and Harold Hill. It’s been a long time coming and needs to be progressed with the utmost urgency. In reality, what’s actuallyhappening next? A site visit for mid-August, then a meeting after that to share the information. Then what…? Another meeting to decide the best way forward. We don’t need meeting after meeting, after meeting. Why do we have to wait till mid-August for a site visit? Stakeholders can get out there now on their own initiatives to survey the situations. That way they could report back before mid-August saving nearlythree weeks of wasted opportunity. Sadly, common sense is seriously lacking in some of those supposedly ‘in charge’. What we need is action, the physical type, NOW! Just get out there and stop the problems from reoccurring. Hopefully before the residents have to suffer the same fate again.

Whilst the amount of misery caused by the flooding is immeasurable, the flooding itself is not entirely unexpected. Network Rail have advised that they will be reviewing the condition of culverts along the River Ingrebourne. Then we have the council, who, only after Julia had raised concerns about the cleaning of gullies in Taunton Road, Ramsay Gardens and Noak Hill Road, scampers off to clear those gullies, together with the ditches in Hitchin Close and the south side of Noak Hill Road. Why now? It should be done regularly. It’s called ‘Planned Preventative Maintenance’. Talk about pulling the plug out after the sink has overflowed. Regrettably, this is the culture of today. “Don’t do today what we can put off till we really have too. A penny saved today is a pound spent tomorrow, but it’s saving the penny today that’s more important”.

Saving money in the short term proves to be a false economy. When Mr White tells us how he has saved millions this year, he will still have to raise our Council Tax to pay for the extra money required to fix this year’s problems next year.

It’s been nearly two weeks since the inception of the new Romford Town Centre Team. I am expecting great things from this Team. Fat pay packets for those on board, plenty of words with little action, andgushing reports on our former Mayor. Romford Town Centre will be all the better for it. What will be interesting to see, will be how manyattend the first meeting and just what ideas will be put forward. TheTeam will also be supporting the former Mayor, and one of the best Mayor’s Havering has ever had. Unfortunately, the finer details as to the name of the former Mayor were inadvertently missing from the original article. However, given the Town Centre Team are all conservatives and there have only been three Mayors of London, two Labour and one Conservative, a reasonably intelligent guess would be to assume that the Mayor referred to, is Conservative.

As part of the first meeting of the new Team, could they please tell ushow supporting the former Mayor will make any difference to the improvements of Romford‘s Town Centre Market Place? And, if Mr Rosindell can find five minutes to stop reflecting on his ‘orange’, perhaps he could tell us exactly how the Mayor was one of the best, (of three), Mayor’s, Havering has ever had. Adding of course, what he actually did for Havering during his tenure. Don’t forget to mention his failed Gallows Corner promise, failed Garden Bridge and egotistical ‘Gondola over the Thames’. I’ve just realised, that’s why Rainham isn’t getting their Garden Suburb. It’s a vanity project to far for our Leader.

Yes, only three Mayors of London. I doubt whether the Team would be supporting any of the other previous Mayors considering the last one was back in 1353. The role changed to Lord Mayor of London, a separate post which continues to this day.

2 thoughts on “Jones’ Jesting continues.

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