Recorder letters: Bus intimidation, homelessness, Brexit, community project funding and fight dementia

PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 January 2019

Older bus users feel intimidated when the bus gets to Ilford Station, says Barbara White. Photo: GOOGLE

Older bus users feel intimidated when the bus gets to Ilford Station, says Barbara White. Photo: GOOGLE


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

Kept indoors by bus intimidation

Barbara White, Gants Hill, writes:

I read Mike Gapes MP’s article with great interest. I know Mike and the fact that he uses public transport and he knows Ilford better than anybody else I know.

I belong to a lovely little club, the Liberal Club, in Balfour Road.

When the RAFA Club closed I moved our Thursday Jazz Night to the Liberal Club.

Sadly we have lost a couple of members as they feel too intimidated to use the bus stops in Ilford.

Friends who use the bus stop near the Kenneth More Theatre tell me their hearts are in their mouths when the bus reaches Ilford Station.

I am talking about mature adults in the winter of their lives who should be enjoying their retirement and going out. Unless they have a car or can afford a taxi many are confined to their homes because of fear of going out and using public transport in the Ilford area.

Regeneration doesn’t mean much to them when all that they want is a safe area to visit.

As Mike Gapes MP said when talking of the new plans, “these plans will be fatally undermined if there is a continuing deterioration of public perception of Ilford”.

Yes we have to progress but not take the heart and soul out of an area.

Try not to be a burden on society

An Ilford resident, full name and address supplied, writes:

Regarding last week’s story about the troubles of a rough sleeper Aimad, who fell out with his brother, had a fight outside a pub (he could afford to drink!), and fell out with his family.

The answer is to do as you are told. Be subservient to your brother and family. You can’t do as you like. Do as you are told like the rest of us have to.

If you live in someone’s house, obey their rules.

Life is very tough, you have to save for many years just to get, as he says, a little flat. We’d all like a little flat. You’re looking at £80,000 minimum in Ilford. You start saving when you are about 20. It ain’t easy.

One day the money will dry up, the benefits system will collapse and the charities will be all that’s left.

We must all try our best not to be a burden on society. It’s very hard. You just have to obey the rules and have to put up with it.

Brexit means we will cash in

Will Podmore, Clavering Road, Wanstead, writes:

Mike Gapes MP seeks to frighten us into staying in the EU. But far from crashing out we will be cashing in.

We will keep our £39billion. We will end the uncertainty. But under May’s Remainer Agreement, uncertainty would continue for two years or longer.

The Irish border issue will be solved by administrative measures with no need for a backstop. The UK, Ireland and EU have all given assurances that if we leave without an agreement, they will not introduce infrastructure or checks on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The World Trade Organisation is safe not scary. Six of the EU’s top ten trading partners trade under WTO rules – the USA, China, Russia, India, Brazil and Japan. So, we could too.

Our exports to countries we trade with on WTO terms have grown three times faster than our exports to the EU Single Market since it was established. Countries outside the EU have increased their exports to the Single Market far faster than we have.

Scares about import delays are particularly silly since we will control our own borders. Why on earth would we stop things we need from entering our country?

There will be no shortages of medicines. The WTO’s Pharmaceutical Tariff Elimination Agreement means that tariffs do not apply to finished medicines.

Planes will continue to fly to and from the EU. The EU has announced on November 13, 2018 that it will allow UK airlines to fly over, land in and return from EU airports even if there is no agreement.

Mr Gapes knows all this, or he should do.

Important projects must be guaranteed

Jean Lambert MEP, London’s Green Party, writes:

Every year, the EU contributes just over £500million to London’s communities and projects. That’s more than £5bn over the course of a decade.

This money goes into a range of social and research projects which are of incalculable value to our communities – such as Love London Working which helps unemployed people into work, Paddington Development Trust which promotes urban regeneration, and Inspiring Women which encourages women to establish and grow their own businesses.

The government promised to consult on a Shared Prosperity Fund by the end of 2018. This new fund would “use the structural money that comes back to the UK as a result of Brexit” to reduce inequalities and “deliver sustainable, inclusive growth”. Yet, as we hurtle into 2019 – with less than 80 days until Brexit – there is still no sign of this crucial consultation.

I’m calling for ministers to face up to reality and guarantee these important projects will be able to remain up and running – or it’s vulnerable Londoners who will pay the price.

Help us to fight dementia

Linda O’Sullivan, head of London region, Alzheimer’s Society, writes:

Alzheimer’s Society will mark its 40th anniversary this year, celebrating our story so far and our on-going commitment to stopping dementia in its tracks.

There are many highlights from 2018 including London’s first annual Dementia Friendly London Summit. At the summit Mayor of London Sadiq Khan signed a pledge to make London the world’s first dementia-friendly capital city by 2022.

Last year Alzheimer’s Society announced that a staggering two and a half million people in the UK have become a Dementia Friend. This initiative asks people to take one small action to help people with dementia feel supported and able to live well in their communities.

With more 72,000 people living with dementia in London the need to unite in the fight against the condition has never been more pressing.

There are so many ways your readers can get involved in 2019. From becoming a volunteer at this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon where we are Charity of the Year - to fundraising, campaigning to Fix Dementia Care or signing up to join dementia research.

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