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Recorder letters: Kenneth More Theatre, Churchfields schools drop-off/pick-up, Labour and the EU

PUBLISHED: 12:30 14 July 2019

The Kenneth More Theatre's most recent panto was Aladdin. Picture: ELLIE HOSKINS

The Kenneth More Theatre's most recent panto was Aladdin. Picture: ELLIE HOSKINS

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

Leave library and theatre alone

Dave Wallace,via email, writes:

I'm horrified to learn of the fate of the much loved KMT - I don't believe the council is even capable of such a grand plan.

Originally starting as a community theatre, the KMT moved to a more professional footing and with this approach successfully provided a high quality theatre experience for many years, though the years of funding cuts many amateur groups can't afford to use it.

In previous years, and when there was a properly funded Redbridge Music School, countless thousands benefited from music and theatre in Redbridge as part of schooling, adult education, or then on through amateur groups, providing a local performance space.

The proposed 900-seater theatre will need the space on the scale of the Queen's Theatre, particularly if it is to have a decent acoustic, plus space for the scene dock area etc, and parking with easy access to the theatre.

The current Ilford multi-storey is just not a good experience. With a Saturday matinee as well there could easily be 1,000 cars arriving or leaving plus performers and theatre staff, not to mention people shoppers.

Adding other facilities into the plan will mean even more congestion, plus the effects of ever more housing developments and yet another school - utter chaos.

If this plan did manage to get built, I suspect that without a subsidy it will struggle to operate, one of the reasons the current theatre has finally had to call it a day.

Ticket prices will inevitably rise and put the theatre experience out the reach of many. Bridge Theatre, which inspired the council, charges £60 and £80 a seat.

You have to ask what is the purpose of a theatre in a community. I would argue not become a profit-making engine to cross-subsidise other council activities (albeit in the absence of government funding), or even to try and create a self-funded theatre.

Yes it's great to see acknowledged (again) the need for a new swimming pool, but the scale of this basement idea must surely mean it will inevitably be a small pokey affair and not what should have be created as a replacement for the two baths lost at Seven Kings so many years ago (note - the planned replacement in Wanstead still hasn't materialised!).

What's needed is a purpose built 50m competition pool with audience space.

Probably not the best thing slap bang in the middle of Ilford, though I would think the Sainsburys site is a candidate, so long as the traffic issue is resolved.

So my plan would therefore be to properly fund the KMT - where it is. Leave the library - where it is.

Residents penalised for parents' actions

A Churchfields resident, South Woodford, full name and address supplied, writes:

I live in Churchfields, a few metres from Churchfields schools.

Following your recent article (Drivers to be fined for driving past schools at drop-off and pick-up times), a notice has been attached to the gates of my block of flats warning the residents of the above.

You may also want to watch:

Having suffered from the antics of rude and selfish parents for years, are we now to be further penalised by not being able to drive down our own road at certain times?

It is the parents who have created the problems.

They park on double yellow lines; they park with engines idling; they park in private driveways; they park with radios blaring; they verbally abuse each other and hoot while looking for parking space; they flock to the ice cream van which for years parked outside our block every day from 2pm to 5pm and is now driven into the park right next to the children's play area; they don't seem to worry about the diesel fumes from the ice cream van or the sugar in the ice cream.

In spite of this, the residents of the road are to be penalised because of them.

Labour a party of double standards

Alexander Sussman, Gants Hill, (full address supplied), wrote to Wes Streeting, MP for Ilford North:

As a British Zionist (hated by Jeremy Corbyn) can you explain to me why it only took five days to expel Alastair Campbell from the Labour Party yet it takes three years to expel the rabid antisemite Jackie Walker?

The Labour party has a very bad record on dealing with the antisemites. One MP who suggested that the Jews in Israel should be transported to the USA was suspended from the party but has since been reinstated. They may have apologised but once an antisemite always an antisemite .

Why did it take so long for the Labour Party to do nothing about Ken Livingston who said "Hitler was a Zionist"? I suspect because he is a mate of Corbyn.

Even Corbyn has made outrageous antisemitic comments and saw nothing wrong with an antisemitic mural.

A Labour candidate posted "Jews are often agents rather than instigators of exploitation". Her suspension was blocked and she was elected as a councillor last year.

The list of antisemitic activity in the Labour Party is endless it is no wonder that the EHRC is launching a formal inquiry into your party.

All Mr Campbell did was to vote against his party for the first time in his life and was expelled.

When Corbyn was a backbench MP he often voted against party lines but was never expelled, it seems to me the Labour Party is a party of double standards. How much longer is it going to take to root out and deal with the many antisemites in your party?

EU already agreed many mini-deals

Will Podmore, Clavering Road, Wanstead, writes:

Mr Newcombe (letters) cites an assessment of the consequences of leaving the EU that Sir Mark Sedwill, the head of the home civil service, made in April.

But in my letter of June 20 I cited the assessment Sir Mark made in June, after the government had made considerable progress in preparing us for leaving the EU. Mr Newcombe, for some reason, chooses to ignore the up-to-date June assessment and prefers to rely on the out-of-date April assessment.

The EU has already quietly agreed many mini-deals. These include 17 main pieces of legislation to keep trucks rolling, planes flying, trains running, goods flowing, fishing boats sailing, visa costs ended, energy efficiency maintained, social security co-operation, the Northern Ireland Peace programme running, and Erasmus+ for students.

The government has unilaterally committed to protecting the rights of the more than three million EU citizens to live, work and study here.

The EU did not "give us" equal pay, health and safety at work, equal opportunities, and protection against discrimination. Unions fought for and won all these.

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