Recorder letters: Percy Ingle, shops reopening, Brexit, congestion charge and Black Lives Matter
PUBLISHED: 12:30 28 June 2020
Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Recorder readers this week.
Bakeries will be missed
Paul Scott, Arundel Gardens, Ilford, writes:
I have read about the longstanding and well respected Percy Ingle shops closing down, and along with many others who use the shops have always found them to be a useful addition to all of our local town centres and shopping parades in terms of the essential service provided within their places.
Shops of the independent variety are now under threat from the large companies, that do not always have the same level of customer service given by their staff.
Therefore, every effort should be made by the firm to ensure that another good quality independent bakery company can take over these bakeries so they can carry on trading within Ilford and other surrounding areas, due to the loss that would inevitably be felt if the current Percy Ingle shops were all left empty or turned in to other usage.
Local people ought to campaign and save Ilford from being without a bakery like this one, which has understandably succeeded for generations as a quality food retail symbol of our local area.
Excitement at shops reopening
Mahabir Sangha, Bethell Avenue, Ilford, writes:
I ran out of the front door like a spring-loaded greyhound. As soon as the rabbit was running, I was on the chase.
That was my reaction to the recent retail shops opening for the non-essentials. All my discipline was forgotten.
My greyhound puppy was on a measured run. He took his time. Kept his distance. Didn’t stay at one spot too long conversing with the neighbouring dogs.
I was ahead and my greyhound was walking behind. Normally that would be the other way around but not today. He knows. He remembers.
It is then I realised my temporary lapse in safety protocols. I slowed down, too. Took measured steps, kept measured distance between us and others. And I added an extra edge, my mask. My puppy came near and kissed my knuckles. And I’m sure he winked.
Brexit chaos must be sorted soon
Will Podmore, Clavering Road, Wanstead, writes:
On June 23 it was four long years since the people of Britain voted to leave the European Union. Yet we’re not out, instead, we’re stuck in round after round of negotiations, bogged down in a transition that entrenched interests are seeking to turn into a cul-de-sac.
But matters are coming to a head. If there is to be an extension to the transition, it must be sought and agreed before the end of June. The EU has already said it will agree to one, if we ask for it.
And you can see why they want us to. They need our money, and they need our markets. The European Commission wants member states to agree to its borrowing £750 billion on the currency markets to finance (mostly) a Covid-19 recovery fund to be doled out by the Commission.
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In 2018 – the last year for which there are final figures – Britain had a balance of payments deficit of £66 billion with the EU.
Amid the chaos, the one clear fact is that an extension to the transition period would be a leap in the dark. There is no way that we would or could know what we would be letting ourselves in for.
Potentially, probably, we would be liable for ‘our share’ of £750 billion of debt. And that on top of all the other uncertainties of remaining under the EU’s diktat, paying unknown contributions and being bound by unknown future commitments.
Four years, and still no final agreement. If agreement with the EU were possible, it would have taken place already. No transition extension! Walk away, as we should have done four years ago. Let’s get on with the tasks that face us as an independent country at last.
Charge hike will hurt commuters
Keith Prince, London Assembly member, transport spokesman, commented, writes:
Londoners will be rightly feeling robbed, and undoubtedly, many small businesses and working people will be seriously worried about their ability to work and trade in central London.
Sadiq Khan’s congestion charge hike will hammer working Londoners and hurt our city’s economic recovery. It’s deeply unfair that Londoners are paying the price for the mess Sadiq Khan has made of Transport for London’s finances.
The mayor’s fares freeze and continued delays to Crossrail have cost the taxpayer billions in lost revenue and bailouts.
On Khan’s watch, TfL has reached a record debt of £12 billion and 22 major transport upgrades have been delayed or cancelled to solve its money woes. It’s no surprise that TfL has crumbled during this crisis.
First, the mayor tried to shirk responsibility for his decision to hike the congestion charge. Then, he prevented Londoners from having their say by holding an appallingly short consultation.
Instead of playing the blame game, Khan should have listened to Londoners’ concerns and abandoned his disastrous Congestion Charge plan.
Solidarity with BLM campaigners
Barking and Dagenham Racial Equality Council, Enfield Race Equality Council, Rights and Equalities in Newham, Redbridge Equalities and Community Council and Waltham Forest Race Equality Council, write:
We wish to express our outrage at the deaths of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks.
These expose increasing evidence that in many places black lives are expendable. We cannot allow law enforcement to act with impunity anywhere. Justice demands that we recognise that condemnation is not enough. There must be swift sanction when law enforcement takes the law into its own hands. This applies as much in this country as it does elsewhere in the world.
We recognise that justice is indivisible.
We in this country where BAME communities are over-represented in deaths in police custody cannot be complacent. We stand in solidarity with those who protest and condole with those who mourn.
We viewed with mounting distress the disproportionate death toll visited upon the BAME communities as a consequence of Covid-19. We grieve their loss and extend our condolences to the many mourners.
We believe it is imperative that BAME communities remain a key focus during and after this pandemic and that they are reassured through our concern that they will not be forgotten.
We support the call by the Mayor of London for a public enquiry into all the factors contributing to this grave situation - but an enquiry is not enough.
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