“Back us Wes or you will lose” was the heading chosen by the Ilford Recorder when publishing my letter in their edition of 27th November. I wrote the letter in my private capacity and not as Chairman of the Association. However, it became very clear at the Annual General Meeting on Friday 28th November that the overwhelming majority of residents present supported fully the sentiments expressed in the letter and for this reason I have asked our Webmaster to include the letter here.
"When Yvonne and I married in the late 1950s, many of our friends were not as fortunate as us and could not raise a mortgage on Ilford’s house prices. They had to move out of the borough to buy a home.
Today Redbridge is full to overflowing, with schools, hospital and services stretched to absolute bursting point. You can’t get a quart into a pint pot. Once brownfield sites and defunct shopping parades are built upon, folk will have to look outside the borough for their homes. It was hard in the 1950s for many who had to do so and it will be hard again.
I note that Caroline Flint MP believes that Ilford North is “a crucial seat in Labour’s general election campaign” (Green spaces should be ‘utilised properly’, Recorder, last week). I do not declare how I vote in our secret ballot elections, but Wes Streeting will have an unwinnable fight on his hands in Ilford North unless he nails his colours to the mast by refusing to promote house building on the precious green belt and supports the Enough is Enough campaign to stop further sand and gravel extraction on Fairlop Plain.
Once building encroaches on the openness of our stretch of countryside, it will be gone for ever. Do we want to leave a concrete jungle legacy for our children and grandchildren?"