Recorder letters: Sex workers, Eastern Avenue junction, Brexit and Kenneth More Theatre

PUBLISHED: 15:56 23 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:56 23 April 2019

Terry Sykes says criminalising sex workers or their clients doesn't work. Photo: PA IMAGES

Terry Sykes says criminalising sex workers or their clients doesn't work. Photo: PA IMAGES

PA Archive/PA Images

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

Brothels better than shaming

Terry Sykes, Trinity Road, Barkingside, writes:

Yet again the subject of prostitution in Ilford has made headlines in the Recorder.

The article in last week's issue refers to “successful” short-lived police operations to target the problem, and goes on to talk about the corners of Ilford Lane being lined with sex workers for the best part of two decades.

I'm not sure what passes for “success” in this situation when, clearly, whatever efforts have been made on the part of the police and Redbridge Council, nothing so far has had any positive impact.

Could it be that all the wrong methods are being tried? I doubt if the proposal of “naming and shaming” will have any positive or lasting effect.

I agree with Niki Adams of the English Collective of Prostitutes (Recorder letters). Such actions are more inclined to push sex workers into more isolated areas where they are likely to be more vulnerable.

And vigilantism is never the answer to anything: residents should not be expected to act as law enforcement officers, whether it be in relation to “policing” sex workers or driving around our streets looking for potential burglars.

Constantly criminalising people, whether it is the sex workers or their clients, simply doesn't work. We already have laws in place to deal with sex traffickers.

Prostitution has been part of many societies around the world for hundreds of years. It will not simply disappear because of the intervention of the police and local authorities. The usual tendency, when such action it taken, is for the activities of prostitutes and their “punters” to go “underground”, which of course, has its inherent dangers. Or, the problem is moved away from one area, only to crop up at a later time in another area, with the result that ironically, nothing has been achieved with regard to the dealing with the issue; rather, this approach has the potential to create even more problems.

Allowing prostitutes to work from brothels, perhaps licensed ones, would have the advantage of taking sex workers off the streets and providing a more secure and healthier environment within which they can operate.

There is already help available for those who want to get out of prostitution, but I feel that the reality is that prostitution will always exist in one form or another: the way the issue is tackled needs to reflect that fact.

Traffic light green for only 10 seconds

Michael Yeshin, Hycliffe Gardens, Chigwell, writes:

Following recent mention in the Recorder of the junction of Eastern Avenue with Horns Road and Ley Street, being under review by TfL, I agree that some urgent action is needed.

Firstly, it seemed ridiculous that near noon on Tuesday, when travelling south from Barkingside I found that the traffic ground to a halt just beyond Hamilton Avenue.

Eventually the reason became clear: The traffic lights at the Eastern Avenue junction were green to traffic from Horns Road for only 10 seconds at a time, allowing legal progress to only three or four vehicles.

This clearly led to at least two further vehicles each time proceeding against a red signal, putting at risk other vehicles and pedestrians.

I have tried to discuss this with the Highways Department but was never successful in speaking to anyone. Surely the green light period should be extended to maybe 20 seconds?

Then when travelling later on to Gants Hill from Newbury Park, I inadvertently found myself in the central lane.

Once across the lights the lane disappeared and I was then “squeezed” between a bus on one side and a lorry on the other, with neither allowing me to merge. Very scary.

Hopefully TfL will make some long needed adjustments to this junction before there are any more fatalities.

I've always been clear on Brexit

Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North, writes:

I respect the fact that Mr Carter disagrees with my position on Brexit, but I am puzzled by his assertion that he waited a very lengthy time to hear my views on the subject (Letters).

I have regularly outlined my views – in the House of Commons, on the Treasury Committee, on the airwaves, in my newsletters and in the pages of this newspaper.

What has become very clear is that the promises made during the referendum haven't been kept and every Brexit option falls short of what was promised – leaving our country demonstrably worse off than we are now.

I believe the decision belongs to everyone, not just MPs.

I will continue to vote for a fresh referendum and in that

referendum would again campaign to remain.

Mr Carter asserts that I supported gravel extraction in Aldborough Hatch.

In fact, I spoke against it at the planning committee.

As for the proposal to bring three of London's iconic markets to Redbridge, I do think this offers enormous potential for our borough and will be meeting with residents in the near future to listen to the concerns that people have.

Finally, he asks if I am frightened of being deselected.

It should be pretty obvious by now that I am prepared to speak truth to power within my party, regardless of the consequences.

When making decisions, I will always do what I think is right by our community and our country.

The theatre will not close down

Cllr Jas Athwal wrote a reply to 13-year-old Abi Garrett (Recorder letters):

Firstly I want to say thank you for writing to me – I think it's wonderful how passionate you are about the Kenneth More Theatre.

I am very happy to let you know that, despite what you may have heard from others, the theatre is not closing and so you and your family can continue to enjoy it for many years to come.

We're not going to move the theatre but instead regenerate the area behind the town hall, with a brand new enclosed market with lots of eating places where visitors can get a bite to eat before or after a show.

We're also renovating the pavement, trees and benches around the town hall to make the area look more appealing and we're bringing artist studios into the town hall building with a gallery and exhibition space you can visit.

I hope you continue to enjoy the theatre and I look forward to seeing your Grandpa back on stage one day soon!

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