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Recorder letters: Climate, Islamophobia, people's politician and swim for meningitis

PUBLISHED: 12:00 26 May 2019 | UPDATED: 20:04 26 May 2019

Redbridge Green Fair promotes awareness of environment. Picture: KEN MEARS

Redbridge Green Fair promotes awareness of environment. Picture: KEN MEARS

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

Declare a climate emergency

Simon Shaw, welfare officer sent an open letter from the National Education Union (NEU) in Redbridge to elected representatives on the climate crisis:

We are the largest educators union in the borough representing over 3,000 workers.

At our recent annual conference we acknowledged the scale of the challenge which humanity now confronts, and we voted to congratulate the global school strikes which have acted as a wakeup call.

There is an increasing body of research which links the poor (illegal) air quality in London to children's ill health and their capacity to learn. To give an idea of the depth of the public health crisis we now face The Royal College of Physicians estimates that poor air quality shortens 40,000 lives in the UK each year.

In Redbridge:

- Some areas of the borough were recently recorded as having twice the legal levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air.

- The fraction of mortality attributable to air pollution in the borough was recorded at 6.7per cent in 2017.

- The estimated concentration of particulate matter in the air is 11.7pc.

All of these figures put Redbridge towards the most polluted end of the spectrum compared to other London boroughs.

Recently the council lead member for civic pride said: "London's toxic air is having a hugely detrimental effect on the lungs of children and young people."

In view of the crisis we are all facing, we believe that we owe it to the children we work with and the people you represent to work with the upmost haste to institute measures to mitigate the worse impacts.

We therefore call on you; our councillors, MPs and MEPs to:

1. To declare a climate emergency in Redbridge in line with our areas in the UK.

2. To support and work with Redbridge unions and other agencies to set up a Citizens Assembly in order to decide on measures we can take to address the crisis we must confront - this is one of the three demands from Extinction Rebellion.

3. As a first step, Redbridge NEU urges Redbridge Council to provide a suitable site for Redbridge Green Fair at a reasonable and manageable charge. The sum proposed at the moment is prohibitive and calculated to discourage this lively and popular event aiming to promote consciousness of environmental issues.

We recognise that Redbridge has been at the forefront in terms of creating a traffic exclusion area around two primary schools and are keen to work with you to institute similar measures.

In the first instance we would welcome the opportunity to arrange a meeting with all interested parties; unions, faith groups, students, medical professionals, elected representatives and NGOs to develop ideas to establish a people's assembly to make Redbridge carbon neutral by 2025.

There is a need for reciprocal tolerance

Chris Roper, Ilford, full address supplied, writes:

I have read recently, including your letter in the Ilford Recorder, articles referring to Islamophobia and the definition of Islamophobia.

I am concerned, firstly, that the proposed definition identifies Islamophobia as being racist; I strongly disagree. Why?

You may also want to watch:

Not all Muslims are from the same race and not all Islamophobes are from one or the same racial group.

Not all Muslims are terrorists. Not all Muslims are wonderful people - a bit like the rest of us!

There are those within the Muslim community who look down on devout infidels, such as myself, because we don't share their beliefs; they don't share my beliefs but I can accept that with ease. Infidelphobia? Never gets mentioned.

There is an imbalance of interest in intolerance. Intolerance which comes from all sorts of directions; not only towards Islam.

The persistence of this imbalance is a threat to public tolerance and community adhesion. There is a need for reciprocal tolerance and understanding towards, from and for everybody.

We do not want a career politician

R Carter, Hainault Road, Little Heath, writes:

I note the remarks made by MP Wes Streeting. Regarding my letter, he is missing the point or choosing to ignore it.

When the people of Ilford North chose to vote to Leave the EU by 53.5per cent to 46.5pc you are mandated to carry out their wishes. It is not for you to decide to call it a draw because you think it's not your idea of Brexit.

But, you think it is a great idea to bring to Little Heath a monstrosity of a three market development with our fresh food shops

struggling to survive plus the traffic which would treble when people are going to work and taking the kids to school.

I really don't trust your judgment.

I would also like to remind you about the amount of hours spent and effort Aldborough Hatch Defence Association put in to stop gravel extraction in their area.

I can remember you attending their annual general meeting on two occasions promising to give your wholehearted support to stop the extraction.

The residents believed you and gave you great support and votes during the general election. What did they get in return? Nothing.

On the evening of the long awaited debate and voting at the planning meeting, you sent a note of apology. You let them down to tow the party line. It didn't matter, you already had their votes.

I have been to the last two annual general meetings. I have not seen you attend.

What we need in Ilford North is someone who's going to be there for the people, I don't care what party. Not someone who is a career politician.

Swim to raise cash for Meningitis Now

Kat Hollywell, community fundraising assistant, Meningitis Now, writes:

Meningitis Now and the Swimming Teachers Association would like to invite parents and their children to take part in a new water-based challenge to help us fight deadly meningitis.

Splash Now can be held in your local pool during swimming lessons, in a paddling pool in your back garden, in the sea - anywhere, as long as it involves water.

All we ask is that participants use the opportunity to raise some money for Meningitis Now and raise awareness about the signs and symptoms of the disease.

To find out more and to register for the event please visit our fundraising pages on the Meningitis Now website.

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