Recorder letters: Black sacks, compulsory first aid and Brexit
PUBLISHED: 12:30 06 October 2019
Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.
Limiting black sacks is unrealistic
Chas Kenny, Riverdene Road, Ilford, writes:
I read the article concerning plans to limit the number of black sacks residents would be allowed to put out each week.
I am very concerned and can see problems with this.
How would the number be determined? Would it be based on the building? What would happen to properties converted into flats? How would this apply to the many tower blocks being built in the borough? How would their allowance be calculated? What if more sacks, than the permitted number were put out. Who would be held liable for the excess number? What if there was no means of identifying the person putting the sacks out? Would the penalty be against all flat owners? If so, people would be penalised for something they have not done wrong.
Further, I can see surplus sacks being left on the step of a neighbour or someone unknown to them. Who would be liable then.
There is a great deal of fly tipping in the borough. I can see this increasing drastically as a result of this proposed scheme. Yes, we need to cut down the amount of waste we throw out. However. I do not think this is the correct way. Perhaps residents could have bigger recycling boxes? Perhaps more recycling points could be created throughout the borough?
I'm fortunate that in a bad month I put out two sacks of rubbish. The rest goes into recycling bins.
First aid education is long overdue
Terry Sykes, Barkingside, Ilford, writes:
I was pleased to read Marina Fogle's letter in last week's Recorder on the subject of first aid being compulsorily taught in all state schools in England from 2020.
This is the result of 10 years campaigning by the British Red Cross.
While this is commendable, I would ask why it has taken so long and so much campaigning to reach this stage: it should have been on the school curriculum as an essential subject decades ago.
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I realised that back in the 1960s when, aged 11, I was still at primary school. I took steps to fill that breach by joining the junior branch of the British Red Cross and have maintained an interest in the subject ever since (I am now 76).
Fortunately, I have only had to use first aid during that time for minor incidents, but, as is the case in most areas of life, we never know what is "round the corner", particularly given the times we now live in with the increase in violent crime.
On that basis, everybody should learn first aid. The Red Cross and St John Ambulance run courses for people of all ages and I would urge anybody who has not already done so to give serious consideration to taking part in a first aid course: they will gain knowledge and skills that are well worth having.
In addition to that, every home and every vehicle on the road should have a first aid kit. Many lives have been saved by quick thinking acts of a trained first aider, This was amply demonstrated by your article in the same edition of the Recorder about the firefighters who saved a man's life while on holiday in Cornwall. The application of first aid during the first few minutes of a cardiac arrest can mean the difference between life and death.
'No deal' Brexit must be averted
Tanweer Khan, Dawlish Drive, Ilford, writes:
I read with interest the totally flawed and completely inaccurate picture painted by Marina Vine ("We know what we voted for").
Mrs Vine will be fully aware that the UK voted to leave the European Union with a deal. We were promised in the Vote Leave manifesto which is available at voteleavetakecontrol.org/ that "taking back control is a careful change, not a sudden step - we will negotiate the terms of a new deal before we start any legal process to leave".
Which bit of that implies that we voted to leave without a deal as Mrs Vine would have us believe?
We were also told that if we don't leave "we will keep sending at least £350 million a week to the EU". However, a few weeks ago the prime minister in parliament stated that this number is £250 million a week. theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/boris-johnson-350-million-a-week-nhs-claim-1-6264572
In fact, that £250 million a week is actually a gross number that we send into a central pot, and from that, we receive around £100 million back due to various EU schemes, grants and projects. Hence, we only pay around £150 million per week, which is actually less than one per cent of the UK budget of £810 billion annually.
The economic argument that staying in the EU costs us substantial amounts of money is unfounded. To have a seamless trading relationship with our European partners costs each person in the UK a paltry 32p a day, compared with the gigantic £33.30 that we pay for all our other UK public services. Should we not focus our attention on getting value for money for the 99pc+ of our UK budget that is not delivering for us instead of focusing on the less than 1pc of our money that goes into the EU, which then ensures that we have easy access to high-quality products and goods from our neighbouring countries? After all, almost half of our trade (exports and imports) is carried out with the EU - and as such they are our biggest trading partner. For millions of UK businesses, the EU is both their main supplier and largest customer. It is vital that this relationship is not weakened whatsoever.
People keep talking about "no deal" and moving onto WTO terms. The simple question the Brexiteers that advocate for such an eventuality should ask themselves is that if WTO terms are the best solution, then why are there hundreds of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements globally? Surely, countries are signing these trade agreements because they provide better value and protections than the default WTO protocols do.
Whilst the US and the EU are each other's biggest trading partners, the EU does not have an official trade agreement with the US. The most recent efforts in trying to establish one under the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) have been thwarted by the Trump administration. It is, therefore, no wonder that President Trump is keen to sign trade agreements with the UK post-Brexit. As the UK to US trade only represents a fraction of the EU-US trade, it is not difficult to see who would hold all the power.
It is extremely important that if the UK does eventually decide to leave the EU, that we do have a comprehensive deal in place.
However, the real truth of the matter is that Brexit was not, and never has been, about a trade deal with the EU. It was about one thing only; immigration. For all these reasons, we need to be grateful that MPs (across all parties) are working hard to ensure that if we do eventually decide to leave the European Union, we do so on terms that suit British residents, British businesses and the British economy.