Post letters: HMOs, Jo Richardson, bombing memories and volunteer

PUBLISHED: 08:00 14 January 2018

Homes in the City of London, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster are rather ironically the most affordable when comparing average salaries in the area to average house prices

Homes in the City of London, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster are rather ironically the most affordable when comparing average salaries in the area to average house prices


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

New rules for multiple occupation

Gurpreet Bhatia, Barking, full address supplied, writes:

The recent upsurge of resentment by many of the borough’s residents living next to or near house(s) of multiple occupation (HMO) is quite clear from the online discussion on the Post’s Facebook page on relevant articles.

The transient nature of many of the occupiers of such abodes coupled with the lack of respect for their current neighbourhood has left many long time citizens feeling frustrated and powerless to help resolve many issues they are encountering with either the tenant(s) or the rogue landlord(s).

I hope the recent announcement of a draft bill by the housing minister Alok Sharma MP to include plans to ensure that rented properties occupied by five or more people from two or more separate households (more than family) will need to be licensed by the council help.

Further new rules enforcing the minimum size requirements for bedrooms in HMO’s will help in the prevention of overcrowding by unscrupulous landlords that put profit before tenant welfare and safety.

However, the onus shifted onto landlords for becoming legally responsible for ensuring local council rules on refuse, recycling and anti-social behaviour of their tenants will be difficult to enforce especially if the landlord has provided the appropriate tools for non-infringement to their tenants.

These new raft of powers from the department for communities and local government (DCLG) to councils will only be effective if enforcement is taken seriously and not an after thought due to budgetary restraints.

Paying tribute to Jo Richardson

Dr Leonard Restall B Ed, M Ed (hons), New Zealand, formerly from Barking, writes:

The acknowledgement of a “Women of Interest” series by Barking and Dagenham Council is an excellent way of paying tribute and appreciation of the record of outstanding service given by women.

They are truly “above rubies” in their inestimable value to society.

The report on Jo Richardson in last week’s Post summarises some of the outstanding accomplishment made by this lady. She demonstrated the effect and value of establishing worthwhile goals for her life in that she became an MP for an east London electorate; strongly defended women’s rights, and was a defender against domestic violence. In these three areas over the years there has been marked improvement although more improvement is required.

The fact that a school was named after her is an indication of the value towards educational achievement she upheld. Jo Richardson had demonstrated that achievement would best come from establishing strong and worthwhile goals or objectives and then pursuing them with zeal and enthusiasm.

She has left a mark in local society to show that not only are they “women of interest” but that there is a greater “interest in women” for their outstanding place in the world.

Well done Jo Richardson, and also for the council for highlighting her value to the local community.

Do you remember bombing raids?

Robert Miller, formerly of Barking, writes:

I lived in Becontree, at 190 Rugby Road, from 1936 to 47. I am now 81 and have been in Canada for 60 years.

I would like to know if the Post or any readers have any record of two incidents that occurred in Becontree during that time.

One occurred evening early in 1941 (Jan - March), when a bomb fell on the District/LMS railway line close to the iron footbridge that went from Rugby Road to Sheppey Road, just west of Becontree Station.

We lived just opposite the entrance to the bridge. We were in the house when we heard the whistle of the bomb (it might have been a “parachute mine”).

My father gathered us close to the back wall of the living room and we were not injured by the flying glass and other debris when the blast blew the front window open, blew the door off, etc.

Later, an ARP warden helped us out. Outside, in the daylight, probably the next morning, there were railway tracks (steel rails, “sleepers”, and other debris) piled up against the front of our house, and all the houses in the block, from numbers 186 to 200.

We then walked to Erkenwald School - a rest centre - where we stayed until the house was made habitable.

I think many houses must have been damaged, and I think your newspaper might have reported on the event?

Also, in July 1944, our school (Dawson, in Ellerton Road) was hit by a V1 “flying bomb”.

We were evacuated to Stockton-on-Tees a few days later. I would be grateful to find out any details about these events.

You can write to me at Robert Miller, 689 Daintry Crescent, Cobourg, Ontario, K9A 4X9 or email

Volunteer and support children

Marina Paraskevaidi, volunteering adviser, Barnardo’s London, writes:

We would like to urge your readers to make a New Year’s resolution to become part of a team that helps support vulnerable children in London.

As the UK’s leading children’s charity, we’re looking for people to volunteer in our 36 London shops and to help us raise money to support our local projects working with disadvantaged children, young people and their families.

By giving us a little of your spare time, you will gain invaluable experience that could provide a stepping stone to a new career or an opportunity to add to your personal statement for college or university. We also offer a chance to get out of the house, make new friends and have fun by joining the team at your local Barnardo’s store.

Volunteering is also a great way to build confidence and an opportunity to try new things. Our volunteers, who are all ages and come from all walks of life, are given full training and on-going support.

To find out more about volunteering with Barnardo’s, please pop into your local Barnardo’s store, visit the website at, email or call us on 020 8498 7320.

Thank you, we look forward to meeting you.

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The festive season is a hectic time for many, with frenzied dashes to the shops for groceries and gifts, and parties to arrange and attend.

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