Recorder letters: Wanstead pool, animal welfare under Brexit, thanks from Air Ambulance and hot weather with diabetes

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 August 2018

Proposed plans for the Wanstead Pool. Picture: KEN MEARS

Proposed plans for the Wanstead Pool. Picture: KEN MEARS


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

Celebrate start of our new pool

Paul Donovan, Dangan Road, Wanstead, writes:

Weeks of enduring the hot weather, I cannot be the only person in Wanstead to think wouldn’t it be nice to have somewhere local to go for a swim?

Somewhere that did not involve taking a journey on the stifling Tube network.

Well, in Wanstead, those prayers are about to be answered, with the arrival of the swimming pool.

Residents were invited last Monday, July 30 to view at Wanstead Library the design proposals for the new pool, leisure facilities and Wanstead High School improvements.

There will be a 12 week consultation period later in the summer for people to comment on the planning application, with work due to start on the facilities later in the year.

I remember when starting at Wanstead High School back in the 1970s, there used to be a small open air pool on part of what is now the car park for the leisure centre.

Teachers and pupils would go along for a dip or simply to sit by the pool.

Unfortunately, this pool was taken away and not replaced.

Local people have been calling for a pool at this end of the borough for many years. Until Labour took over the council in 2014, this call fell on deaf ears.

Indeed, swimming pools practically disappeared from the borough under previous Conservative administrations.

Under the present Labour council leadership this policy has been reversed. Swimming pools have been built across the borough, with the Wanstead but the latest recipient.

Swimming is vital, just for survival in life. Put simply if you cannot swim you may drown. Beyond self-preservation, swimming is an excellent exercise, involving many muscle groups and not causing the damage to joints and other parts of the body that other exercise can do.

More people swimming will also mean a fitter, healthier population. A healthier population will mean less call on NHS services. It is a real win, win.

Bringing the swimming pool plans to fruition was part of the manifesto that I, together with Jo Blackman, Daniel Morgan Thomas, Sheila Bain and Paul Merry, campaigned on in the local elections last May.

All five of us were returned for Wanstead Village and Wanstead Park wards.

We are all now very proud to be delivering on this manifesto promise.

So let’s celebrate the start of the creation of our new swimming pool in Wanstead. Long may it prosper.

Animals will suffer more under Brexit

Mark Dawes, Waltham Forest and Redbridge Green Party, writes:

The Home Office released the annual statistics on experiments on living animals last week and they reveal the horrific scale of animal experimentation in the UK.

In 2017, 3,721,744 animals were used for the first time, including monkeys, dogs, cats, horses, mice, rats and rabbits.

The figures show the industrial scale of animal experiments which inflict pain, suffering or lasting harm at a time when there are more accurate alternatives to vivisection including using human cells and tissues and computer modelling.

Animal experimentation is often inaccurate because of the vast differences between non-human animals and humans anatomically, physiologically and pathologically.

More than a quarter of animals – 26 per cent – underwent “moderate” suffering during experimental procedures and one in 20 animals – 5pc – underwent “severe” suffering during experimental procedures.

Vivisection causes great suffering to animals and is likely to get worse under Brexit as hard-fought EU regulations on animal experiments are rolled back in the UK by a government concerned more with free market dogma rather than compassion for all living beings.

The Green Party has the strongest policies on animal protection of the major political parties and is the only party committed to stopping the obscene cruelty of animal testing.

Thanks for backing air ambulance

Alison McGuinness, community fundraising manager, London’s Air Ambulance, writes:

Thank you to people in Ilford for choosing London’s Air Ambulance to be its charity of the year in Sainsbury’s.

Lots of people don’t realise we are a charity and that we rely on donations to be there for the public 24/7.

So we are really excited to have the chance to spread awareness about our service there.

We are also looking for volunteers to help us in store – if you think you can give up some time or if you are interested in other opportunities to support our charity please email us on

Hot weather risks for diabetics

Roz Rosenblatt, London head, Diabetes UK, writes:

As temperatures in the UK soar, we will all want to be heading outdoors and, whilst the weather provides the perfect excuse to break out the barbecue, head to the seaside, or simply soak up the rays with a good book, we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that the sizzling temperatures can pose some sizeable health risks.

There are 3.7 million people in the UK who have been diagnosed with diabetes and it’s important that they’re aware of how hot weather can affect their condition.

Long periods of inactivity in the sun may affect diabetes control, causing blood glucose levels to be higher than usual. As well as potentially higher blood glucose levels, insulin injections are absorbed more quickly in hot weather, increasing the chances of hypoglycemia or a hypo.

So it will be important for people with diabetes to monitor their blood glucose levels more often and be ready to adjust their insulin dose if necessary.

And remember, insulin and monitors can be affected by heat so make sure you keep your diabetes kit cool in the sun. If you suspect they have been damaged, make sure you speak to your GP or health care team.

Feet are also an area you will want to keep an eye on. Some people living with diabetes suffer from nerve damage or neuropathy and this can mean they may not be aware if their feet are burning. Although relatively straightforward to treat, untreated minor injuries could develop into an infection or ulcers.

So stay safe this summer, stay covered, and make sure you drink plenty of water. Diabetes shouldn’t be a barrier to making the most out of the glorious weather, so let’s get out there and enjoy it whilst it lasts.

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