Recorder letters: London not Essex, school places, town centre, Islamophobia, People's Vote and epilepsy awareness
PUBLISHED: 08:30 02 June 2019
We're London borough not Essex
Ray Weekes, Wellesley Road, Wanstead, writes:
Your article on post codes (May 23) reaffirms that IG1 to IG8 covers the London Borough of Redbridge. However, Redbridge Council seems to have trouble understanding that it's no longer part of Essex.
Its over 54 years since Greater London was created on April 1, 1965. The London Borough of Redbridge was formed out of Ilford, Wanstead and Woodford, and all active ties with Essex became history.
The London/Essex boundary was pushed back some 15 miles further east.
But the message doesn't seem to be getting through.
Searching the Redbridge Council website I found over 30 instances where addresses were shown as being in Essex.
These include Gants Hill Library, Seven Kings School, Valentines Mansion, and even how to contact Redbridge councillors at the town hall.
I read recently that someone was campaigning to get the Ilford IG postcode changed to E19, arguing that it would help local businesses. I doubt that will happen as it would just create more confusion.
But if Redbridge Council can't make up its mind whether it's part of London or part of Essex then what hope is there for the rest of those living in the borough?
The clue is in the name, it's the London Borough of Redbridge, not the Essex Borough of Redbridge.
Teachers share parents' anger
Venda Premkumar, Major Sundhu and Ben Morris, National Education Union, Redbridge district, write:
Many Redbridge parents of children who will start school next September cannot find school places within a two-mile walk (Schooling 'black hole' in Wanstead and South Woodford, parents claim).
They will have to go further afield, which must be disturbing for the children.
It also puts severe strain on parents who may have to drop off children at widely-separated schools and then get to work on time themselves.
Redbridge District of the National Education Union (NEU) shares their concerns, and is keen to support whatever they do to publicise the issue.
Local councils are caught in a cleft stick. The last two governments have taken away their right to open new schools.
But at the same time the borough is left with the responsibility of placing new starters in reception classes!
Beside this attack on democratic and accountable provision of schooling, there has been an effective cut of 8per cent in finance per pupil across schools in England.
No wonder parents get annoyed; we teachers are furious.
And we are looking for every opportunity to build an alliance for education linking parents, teachers and politicians who will do something about it.
The town centre needs real change
An Ilford resident writes:
I live on the High Road. The whole town is, as we all know, in the desperate need of regeneration. The main street looks worse than some third world cities.
I've been really excited about all the town centre improvements coming to Ilford. The local council keeps advertising all the changes that are meant to improve local residents' quality of life.
However, after a few years living here, my optimism is evaporating.
Mostly because I am struggling to observe any logic in the council's decisions and consistency.
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The High Road is meant to be the most representative street in the town. A friendly, clean, inviting place for all the residents to enjoy. Instead it is being overtaken by a disgusting market selling fake fashion and smelly "food" almost every week.
The street is covered with litter, crappy stalls take up lots of space and the pavements are covered with dirt.
Ilford will never become a desirable trendy London town, if the council will allow such a markets to take place.
But this is not just about the market. It's about making the right decisions, encouraging right businesses to operate etc. Do we really need a Lidl shop every few hundred metres or three Costa coffees within one shopping mall?
Why there is no decent, independent coffee shop in the town? Why are there so many betting shops on the street? If we want to change Ilford for the better, we need to take a risk and support local, independent businesses instead of chain giants.
Millions of pounds of investment in new pavements won't change the town centre into an inviting environment if is covered with rubbish and dirt.
Clutter, mess and noise created by the council's inconsistent decision making will destroy the opportunity this town is facing thanks to Crossrail arrival and available funding.
Ilford needs real change. Not just in infrastructure, but more importantly in its approach to attracting the right businesses and executing the idea of modern, clean, safe and inviting public space, where local residents, old and new, can enjoy quality time.
Government right on Islamophobia
Randhir Singh Bains, Shere Road, Gants Hill, writes:
The government was right to reject the new definition of Islamophobia. The new definition embodied much more than a mere anti-Muslim prejudice. It encapsulated even the legitimate criticism of Islam.
Wes Streeting claims (Opinion) that the new definition of Islamophobia was not about protecting religion from criticism.
When the IHRA definition of antisemitism was introduced last year, we were also told that the new definition was not meant to protect Israel from criticism. Yet this is precisely what is happening.
Germany's parliament, which accepted the IHRA definition of antisemitism some time ago, condemned a pro-Palestinian group that demanded the boycott of Israel for hosting Eurovision song contest as antisemitic.
Now let's have a People's Vote
Richard Newcombe, chairman, Waltham Forest EM and London4Europe, writes:
The European elections have once again confirmed the changing attitude across the UK towards membership of the European Union.
With the Brexit and Ukip parties gaining 35per cent of the votes they were beaten by the combined votes of the Remain parties, Liberal Democrats, Greens, SNP, Change and Plyd Cyrmu at 40pc.
Clearly "the will of the people " has changed in 2019. Many have seen the damage that leaving the EU will cause.
With no exceptional trade deals as promised, the extra funding for the NHS plastered on that red bus in 2016 now seen as a Leave election ploy, loss of jobs and opportunities, a recession continuing at a pace if we leave the EU , the call Leave means Leave is just words with no substance.
With the present government held in place (or at ransom) by 10 DUP Members of Parliament (who voted for that?) and a new prime minister being chosen by only 120,000 Conservative Party members (many of whom would not have voted Tory in the European election) and not the whole country, the democratic process within the EU seems much more representative. For the ordinary man in the street "taking back control" has a hollow ring.
Let's have the People's Vote so that the people of the UK can decide their future, in or out of the EU.
You can help in event of seizure
Phillip Lee, chief executive, Epilepsy Action, writes:
Would your readers know what to do if they saw someone having a seizure? Would they know what was happening and how to help?
One in 100 people in the UK have epilepsy. For National Epilepsy Week (May 20-26) we are encouraging everyone to step up and learn how to keep someone with epilepsy safe when they have a seizure.
Recent statistics reveal that 36 per cent of the public would be unsure or unwilling to help somebody having a seizure. A further 57pc admit they have little to no knowledge about epilepsy.
Helping someone who is having a seizure is simpler than people think. Staying with someone, protecting them from further harm, and calling for help if it's needed, are three vital steps. If in doubt, always call 999 and ask for an ambulance.
Epilepsy Action has created first-aid cards that people can order. Posters are also readily available. People can order these free of charge at epilepsy.org.uk/epilepsyweek