Recorder letters: Quiet Streets, resident forums, antisemitism, KMT, TfL and stamps for charity
PUBLISHED: 12:30 08 November 2020
Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.
Work together for cleaner air
Melvyn Freake, Ilford, full address supplied, writes:
I don’t agree with withdrawing the Quiet Streets scheme wholesale and I think we are not being well served by politicians of both sides.
Jas Athwal was clearly half-hearted at the whole scheme as the Labour group backed down as soon as residents said boo. The Conservative group have emphasised the problems and made political capital.
But I admire the fact that all these residents got together and orchestrated a campaign. Lots of people signing a petition, displayed posters, expressed their view.
But what is the next stage from the Barkingside Action Group (BAG)? Do they accept there is a traffic and pollution problem in the area? Do they agree with the aims but not the lack of consultation and the methods?
Could we live in an area where we have different priorities on our streets?
Pedestrians should have priority so that, for example, children can walk safely to school in cleaner air. Cyclists come next as they do not pollute.
Then local residents using their cars thoughtfully and where necessary. Then delivery vehicles to the area and finally through traffic. The area would become quieter and safer.
Can BAG help in looking at schemes that might make move us towards it?
The swift withdrawal of the scheme may make any conclusions on a way forward more difficult to find. We can’t afford that.
It may mean that Redbridge has wasted and lost TfL funding. Is that so?
To Redbridge councillors of both parties I say: You say there is a climate emergency – what are you doing about pollution and reducing our carbon footprint?
To local residents I say: How can we all work together to achieve a better environment and reduce our carbon footprint?
Unless residents help do this, the cat will be out of the BAG and it will be difficult to escape the conclusion that the opposition was because of people prioritising their right to drive their cars over all their neighbours’ needs for a better place and planet.
Another U-turn by Labour council
Linda Huggett, Redbridge Conservative group leader, writes:
Another day and another embarrassing Jas Athwal U-turn. This time it’s about local residents forums.
We have been asking the council for months about when these were going to happen and were told they had been stopped. Then came Labour’s change to the rules about public speaking which restricted residents’ right to speak at council.
Redbridge Conservatives were so disgusted that we decided to hold our own Redbridge Residents Virtual Forums starting on the November 4.
Within two hours of the Ilford Recorder running this story came the Jas Athwal U-turn. He suddenly decided to reintroduce the council forums, the first of which is on the same day as our own.
What a coincidence, what a surprise.
What do MPs think of EHRC report?
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Martin Rosner, Edwina Gardens, Ilford, writes:
Now that the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has published its damning indictment of how the Labour Party has dealt with the issue of antisemitism, we have the right to know how our Redbridge Labour MPs feel about the report and recommendations.
Do they, as their leader suggests, accept the report and its recommendations in full and that those who “pretend [antisemitism] is exaggerated or factional are part of the problem”?
Or do they prefer Corbyn’s response, namely that the problem of antisemitism was “dramatically overstated for political reasons”.
I understand that Wes Streeting has already stated that “Keir Starmer speaks for all of us in response to the EHRC’s report” but how do our other MPs react?
This is not an issue where equivocation is acceptable.
A brilliant show at Kenneth More
Ken Gaunt, Barking, writes:
Wow! What can one say Adam Bayiou and friends at the Kenneth More Theatre?
He took the audience into a world of theatrical musicals with guests including Lucy O Byne, Jeremy Secombe, Page X Over, Harry Polden and the Redbridge Drama Centre boys and girls.
He enchanted us all with many songs from the great West End musicals such as Les Miserables, Cats, Titanic, West Side Story, Love Never Dies, Phantom, The Sound of Music and The Show Must Go On and many more. Along with a great orchestra.
A brilliant show, well done to the whole cast.
Sally Beroton and her merry helpers made the theatre safe and comfortable for everyone.
Other great shows are lined up. So old and new patrons, everyone at the KMT looks forward to seeing you with a warm welcome, so come along and enjoy a great evening.
Be transparent about TfL finances
Dr Alison Moore, Londonwide Assembly member, writes:
As part of a last-minute emergency funding deal with TfL, the government dropped the worst of its proposed conditions, including the removal of travel concessions for under 18s and older people and the extension of the congestion charge zone to the North and South Circulars.
However, the government still fell far short of providing the long-term and sustainable financial package that TfL asked for.
During the recent negotiations, the government commissioned KPMG to deliver a review of TfL’s finances. So far, this has been kept hidden, even from the TfL Commissioner
If ministers are intent upon interfering in how the transport system in our capital should be run, they need to be transparent with Londoners and publish the findings of the report as soon as possible.
Donate used stamps for charity
Myrna Chave, PO Box 91, Virginia Water, Surrey GU25 9AR, writes:
I am appealing for used postage stamps which help me raise funds which I then donate to the Guide Dogs for the Blind. I am always in need of all types of postage stamps, including British, foreign and Christmas stamps.
If you are able to help I would be grateful if you could cut the stamps from their envelopes (leaving approx 1cm margin around the stamp) and send them to the address above.
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