Recorder letters: Masks, Cllr Jas Athwal, road closures and Brexit

PUBLISHED: 16:09 27 September 2020

Keith Stanbury says shops should refuse entry to people not wearing masks. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY.

Keith Stanbury says shops should refuse entry to people not wearing masks. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY.


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

Fine shops that allow maskless

Keith Stanbury, chairman, Goodmayes Residents Association (GRASS), writes:

With the announcement that Redbridge has the highest number of new Covid-19 cases in London I am sure that I am not the only at-risk resident who wonders what can be done.

Well, there is one simple rule that can be reinforced and that is to insist that residents wear masks when shopping. And this is NOT being enforced, especially in Goodmayes.

Our largest store in Goodmayes is Tesco and last Thursday an eye witness member of GRASS identified 15 shoppers out of 100 who were not abiding by the rule.

I can personally vouch for more than this percentage visiting a local post office in one ten-minute visit.

The answer? To impose the same £100 fine levied on maskless shoppers onto the shopkeepers who are allowing them in and putting profit above pandemic. And fine them for every customer whom they allow to shop without wearing a mask and without a legitimate medical exemption. In Tesco’s case this could be in excess of £50,000 per day. (And a number of their shelf fillers have also been witnessed not wearing masks. Unbelievable).

I would happily give a proportion of my time every day to recording images of those transgressing this rule because their selfish behaviour is putting lives at risk. And I would post their photographs locally.

We cannot stop people who are asymptomatic from walking our streets. We can, however, stop them from spreading it through close contact when they shop without wearing a mask.

Inquiry needed into allegations

Martin Rosner, Edwina Gardens, Ilford, writes:

I was not surprised to read that Cllr Jas Athwal has been completely exonerated following an investigation by the Labour Party.

There is substantial evidence to suggest that it was an “unconstitutional stitch-up” as described by Cllr Athwal and Mr Streeting MP.

This sad episode, however, symbolises what Redbridge Labour Party and, in particular, Ilford South has now become.

We may never know why it happened – whether it was a disgruntled or disaffected party member or a stitch-up to prevent a popular local figure from representing Labour in Ilford South – lots of rumours are floating around.

What is certain, however, is that, despite what Mr Tarry says, there is no way of knowing who would have won the selection process if Cllr Athwal had been able to stand.

Unlike the many years preceding it, it seems as we now have two local MPs at loggerheads and very real differences within the party in Redbridge.

It is clear, therefore, that the only solution is for the Labour Party to carry out an independent enquiry to determine whether the allegations against Cllr Athwal were malicious and, if so, whether the decision to suspend him was linked to the selection process in Ilford South.

There needs to be trust in the integrity of the local party if we are to trust them to run our council. Can we really trust them to run the council (or, for that matter, the country) until they get themselves sorted out?

Now let Athwal contest seat

Tanweer Khan, Dawlish Drive, Ilford, writes:

You may also want to watch:

It is great news that my friend and Redbridge Council leader, Jas Athwal has been cleared of allegations against him.

However, that can and should not be the end of the matter. Jas was on course to secure the Labour Party nomination and would have been elected as Ilford South Labour MP in December 2019. Residents of Ilford South were deprived of this.

I call on Sam Tarry to do the honourable thing and vacate the seat immediately, so that Jas can rightfully contest it.

‘Quiet ways’ a ridiculous scheme

Charles Kissin, Aldborough, Ilford, writes to Cllr John Howard:

I am writing to you, as well as the other two councillors for my ward, regarding the closures (my words), quiet ways (your words) of the roads from Barkingside in Horns Road towards the Eastern Avenue.

Who thought up this ridiculous scheme, and by whose authority?

You say it is for the environment and to help the public get healthy by walking or cycling. Not everyone can ride a bike and the older people need their cars.

It is now impossible to get from Horns Road to Cranbrook Road by motor car, not to mention the emergency services.

I hope that the fire brigade and ambulance can access these streets, but doubt very much they would be able to with barriers across the road that are immovable, and that nobody loses a life.

Where is the traffic supposed to go to? Horns Road is often, at times, back to Civic Way, because of the traffic lights at Horns Road and Eastern Avenue junction, along with the cars trying to exit the retail park.

How are people expected to carry bags of shopping from Aldi, one of the stores at the retail park, home to the middle of one of these turnings, or are they supposed to take a complete detour, possibly via the M25 because that is what it will come to, if you keep closing streets?

I pay road tax, as does anyone else that owns a vehicle, and yet we are being denied the use of said roads.

It is all looks good on a computer mock up, but in reality is does not work.

Someone once said that “if it aint broke, don’t fix it”, but you, along with the mayor of London and TfL seem bent on destroying our way of life, for the religion of the bike, who don’t pay any road tax or insurance.

The money spent on this scheme would be better off being put towards more police on the streets.

EU breaching international law

Will Podmore, Clavering Road, Wanstead, writes:

The EU is now threatening to block the movement of goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland by imposing EU tariffs on all such goods. It has even threatened to stop the transport of food products from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.

Any such tariffs or blocks would divide the UK, which would clearly change the constitutional status of Northern Ireland.

This would breach the key principle of the Good Friday Agreement, that there can be no change to the constitutional status of Northern Ireland without the consent of the people of Northern Ireland.

The Good Friday Agreement is an international treaty.

So, the EU – not the UK government – is in breach of international law.

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