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Recorder letters: Smoking-free zone, ULEZ exemption, Brexit and South Korean war graves

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 January 2019

Ilford Town Centre could soon become a smoke-free zone. Picture: KEN MEARS

Ilford Town Centre could soon become a smoke-free zone. Picture: KEN MEARS

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

Smoking-free zone is great idea

Gurpreet Bhatia, Barking, writes:

I read with great joy that the Health and Wellbeing Board of Redbridge council have proposed the idea of banning smoking in Ilford town centre as a means to further promote residents’ healthy lifestyle and improve air quality.

In recent years coming into the town centre the smell of non-nicotine drug related vapours perfuming the air has become somewhat worryingly normal among a high density of family footfall.

I certainly do not want my children smelling this and having their clothes impregnated with such substances and applaud the council for their forward thinking to abate this and the anti-social behaviour this entails.

Moreover, in recent years the monthly town centre markets have attracted a wide variety of street food stalls, it is only fitting for street food vendors and customers to be able to prepare and eat in a smoke-free environment identical to their restaurant cousins.

The smoking ban in enclosed public places came into effect on the July 1, 2007 was considered a draconian measure by smokers first but very soon accepted and is now considered normal.

One can only hope that extending this measure as proposed by Redbridge to Ilford town centre will be as beneficial for health and wellbeing.

ULEZ exemption of cabbies strange

Cllr Paul Donovan, Wanstead Village, writes:

It is welcome news that the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is set to go live on April 8 in the central London area, with the zone extending out to greater London – bordered by the North and South Circular roads – in 2021.

The news is especially encouraging for the children at present suffering the effects of the pollution being generated by motor vehicles.

Under the ULEZ, anyone driving a polluting vehicle will have to pay a £12.50 a day, when entering the zone. The cost will be £100 for lorries. Failure to pay will result in fines of £160 and £1,000 respectively.

A rather strange exemption to the charge are the 21,000 black cabs, which will not have to pay the charge, despite generating 16per cent of all transport nitrous oxide in London.

In terms of those affected, it will be broadly be pre-2006 petrol cars and pre-2015 diesels.

This is a major move to improve the air quality for all Londoners.

There have been the usual howls of protest from the car lobby and those who think their right to drive overrides the everyone else’s right to life.

Some of the opposition arguments are similar to those previously used to oppose the original congestion charge and some of the local parking permit schemes around London.

They include it’s just a revenue raising exercise, the poor and more vulnerable will be unduly

penalised and the right of people to drive where and whenever they want.

I am sure there will be measures brought in to ensure more vulnerable groups will not be unduly penalised but the time when people can drive around, effectively poisoning the air are now limited.

The annual deaths due to pollution in London and beyond should be spur enough for any doubters, that measures such as the ULEZ are vital for the well-being of us all in the future.

Wonderful letter about Brexit

Mr A Still, York Road, Ilford, writes:

Wonderful, wonderful letter from Mr Podmore in this week’s Recorder.

I wish I had written it. Could all MPs take note? All he says is so valid.

He’s probably been around a long time like me, and you accrue knowledge of events and their conclusions.

Corbyn must be more constructive

Scott Wilding, Addison Road, Wanstead, writes:

Now that the prime minister’s deal on Brexit has been defeated I was disappointed to see Jeremy Corbyn not seeking a more constructive approach with the government.

The prime minister has offered to work with other parties far too late. She should have done this from the start as there is no majority for anything, other than a no deal, in Parliament.

Now that she has finally started an open dialogue it must be up to all sides to put aside their party differences and work towards a solution that works for the UK.

Simply stating that Labour will keep calling no confidence votes is neither helpful, nor what they implied they would now do ie seek a second referendum.

As someone who campaigned for, voted for, and believes still that the best deal we can get is remaining in the EU even I can see the need for compromise, not political point scoring.

Corbyn has never been a supporter of remain, neither has Leyton and Wanstead MP John Cryer. But surely now the most sensible approach would be to delay leaving to canvass ideas, admit that we all need to compromise and put the deal to the British people to make a final decision on the details.

Brexit was a concept. Not a detailed plan. Asking the people to approve that deal, no deal or remain isn’t less democratic. It’s taking back control.

Honouring those who died in Korea

Brian Hough, 116 Fields Farm Road, Hyde, Cheshire, SK14 3NP, writes:

I am acting on behalf of the authorities at the United Nations Memorial Cemetery Busan South Korea, where over 800 British Servicemen are buried.

The authorities there wish to obtain photographs of those servicemen interred there, and, also of those who died but have no known grave (200+). Copies of the photographs will be placed in the man’s records and will also be displayed on the walls of the Cemetery Hall of Remembrance.

The following names are just some of the young men from the Greater London area who gave their lives in Korea.

S/Lt James M Simonds (RN); Pte George E Turner; Sgt Kenneth D Eames; Pte Peter C Ressia; L/Cpl George Inns; Pte John M Morrison; Lt Anthony G Pack; Lt Geoffrey H Cooles (RN); Cpl Montague Ritterband; Pte Arthur J A Bullman; Pte William R Cole; Lt Brian Swinbanks.

Any family or friend who lost a loved one in the Korean War 1950-53, and wishes to take part can send the photograph to me at the above address.

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