Recorder letters: East London boundaries, police budget, pension credit, clear face masks and Brexit

PUBLISHED: 12:30 23 August 2020

St Mary's church in South Woodford. Picture: Ken Mears

St Mary's church in South Woodford. Picture: Ken Mears


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

I can’t leave east London behind

Renee Bravo, Woodford Road, South Woodford, writes:

I was born of poor, immigrant parents in the slums of east London. The family worked their way up and I lived for most of my life in the leafy suburb of Ilford. When we retired we moved to Woodford.

It was on the edge of Epping Forest, Churchill’s constituency, we really felt we had made it.

Then they changed the boundaries and I find myself back in east London, E18.

There must be an answer to my dilemma, but I haven’t thought of it yet.

Cut City Hall waste not police budget

Keith Prince, Conservative London Assembly Member for Havering and Redbridge, writes:

Redbridge’s Labour Council has some brass neck to warn of a rise in crime because of police cuts considering it is their pal Sadiq Khan who is planning to slash the Met’s budget by nearly £110 million.

If the deputy leader of the council is so concerned about Khan’s police cuts, he should support my campaign to cut waste at City Hall and safeguard the Met’s budget.

Together with my Conservative colleagues on the London Assembly, we have identified £113 million of savings the mayor could make to bolster London’s emergency services.

However, Labour has repeatedly rejected our plans by choosing to protect City Hall waste and TfL perks over extra police officers. Londoners are not fools.

They can see through London Labour’s attempts to blame others for the police cuts they are imposing on our city.

Check if you could get pension credit

June Bennett, Benefit Answers, writes:

Thousands of pensioners have started to receive letters that ends their automatic right to a free TV licence.

A recent campaign by Benefitanswers to highlight the

fact that four out of ten households that could receive pension credit

are not claiming the benefit identified over £350,000 in unclaimed benefits and that half of those checked would be entitled to a free TV licence.

So, if you have ever wondered if you could be eligible for pension credit now is the time to find out if only to save the cost of the TV licence.

For a free check telephone 0330 223 4773.

All it will cost you is the time to make a telephone call and the price of a stamp!

Clear panel crucial for deaf people

Sally Etchells, a campaigner, National Deaf Children’s Society, writes:

You may also want to watch:

We’re delighted to see MPs like Tulip Siddiq speaking out and supporting the vital Keep It Clear campaign, calling for the widespread introduction of face masks with clear panels over the mouth.

Almost all deaf people rely on lip-reading and visual cues to understand what others are saying, but opaque masks make this impossible and deaf people could face months of misery as a result.

It’s absolutely crucial that clear face masks are made widely available and we’re calling on governments across the UK to make this happen. In the meantime, if the public show good deaf awareness, such as writing things down, being patient and using gestures, this would also make a huge difference to deaf people everywhere.

Hold a Macmillan coffee morning

Emma Tingley, Macmillan’s strategic partnerships manager for London, writes:

I am writing to ask your readers

to raise a mug for Macmillan Cancer Support’s 30th annual

Coffee Morning so we can provide vital support to people with

cancer, who need it now more than ever.

This year’s Macmillan Coffee Morning will be on Friday, September 25, but we are encouraging people to get

involved whenever and wherever they can by hosting a virtual or socially distanced event.

Nothing stops a Macmillan Coffee Morning!

Before Covid-19, many patients told Macmillan being diagnosed with cancer and going through treatment was the scariest thing that they could imagine.

These anxieties and concerns have not gone away during the pandemic – they’ve been made worse – meaning Macmillan needs support from people in London more than ever to provide the vital support people living with cancer rely on.

Macmillan is doing everything we can to offer medical, emotional and financial support to people living with cancer and our work is almost entirely funded by donations.

Every penny raised by Coffee Morning helps Macmillan to provide this support, which is needed now more than ever before.

Readers can sign up now by visiting or by searching for Macmillan Coffee Morning.

For support, information, or just a chat, you can call Macmillan free on 0808 808 0000 or visit

Trade agreements don’t create trade

Will Podmore, Clavering Road, Wanstead, writes:

On August 3, 2020, Reuters published an article about the EU-UK trade talks which claimed that “without an agreement, trade and financial ties between the world’s fifth largest economy and its biggest trading bloc would collapse overnight, likely spreading havoc among markets, businesses and people”.

This is the current big lie, it is crude and dishonest scaremongering. A country does not have to be in the EU to buy from or sell to companies in EU member countries.

We do not need trade agreements to trade. Trade agreements do not create trade. They can make trade easier but if companies or people want to buy something, they can do so without a trade agreement.

To trade, you just trade. Businesses trade across borders not because politicians have signed trade deals but because it makes good business sense. The USA and China both sell more goods to the EU’s single market than we do – all under WTO rules.

The USA and China were the EU’s biggest markets in 2019, accounting for just under 30 per cent of total EU trade. Neither has a comprehensive trade agreement with the EU

China was the biggest seller of goods to the EU. The USA was the biggest market for EU exports, buying 18 per cent of all EU exports. We were the second biggest, buying just under 15pc.

Agreements and legislation are in place, so leaving the EU and trading on WTO terms guarantees continuity for businesses and individuals. There is no “cliff-edge” but a return to certainty under international law.

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