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Recorder letters: Green bags, A&E, general election, housing, Dick Porter, foxes and Ramadan

PUBLISHED: 09:00 20 May 2017

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The council's new garden waste collection system has faced a lot of opposition. Picture: PA

Ode to the green bags

Bryan Robinson, full address supplied, writes:

What shall we do with the old green bags

they still have long life potential

they have been replaced by plastic bags

for which, £50 pre-payment is essential

The green bags were so versatile

they could accept all sorts of vegetation

now they seem to have no further use

which causes so much irritation

You must be able raise the new bags up

to check the weight inside

the men who dealt with the green ones

had no problem due to size

Who can identify the dreaded weed

or stop the rose thorns from tearing

when the weather is hot, the bags may melt

is that really better? certainly not

If you go around the streets of Redbridge

you will see the green bags, drooping, in many gardens

but who will come to their aid

perhaps there is a GARDEN ANGEL

Foreseeable future’? We need definite A&E answer

Cllr Mark A Santos, cabinet member for adult social care and health, writes:

Jeremy Hunt is in his fifth year as Tory secretary of state for health. Uncertainty has hung over the future of A&E at King George Hospital throughout that time.

During this period our Labour MPs Wes Streeting and Mike Gapes have spoken in parliamentary debates and Cllr Jas Athwal, the Labour leader of the council, has written to persuade him to reverse the closure decision.

Alas he didn’t allay our fears on those occasions. Instead he cynically chose the heat of a general election campaign to make an announcement about its future.

In a move that can only be considered about the electoral interests of the local Tory Party he stated that King George Hospital A&E will not close for the foreseeable future. Whilst local Tories are jubilant at their election stunt the people of Redbridge will be wondering what this means for our health services.

Does the phrase “foreseeable future” mean the decision is reversed or not?

Why didn’t he make a more definitive statement clearly reversing the closure decision?

Why didn’t he tell local NHS managers that he had reached this decision and was announcing it last Friday?

Why should we believe these assurances? Last time Lee Scott obtained them they were not honoured and a year after his election as MP the then Tory health secretary signed off the closure plans.

Why has the Tory health secretary allowed precious NHS time and money to be spent on plans to review and implement closure if he was planning to reverse the decision all along? (Our local NHS has a committee with management consultants commissioned and undertaking such work).

Will he return any such monies spent on reviewing the closure plans so that they can be spent on frontline services?

Why has the Tory health secretary left such uncertainty to hang over such a key local service damaging staff recruitment and therefore threatening patient care throughout the last four and a half years that he has been secretary of state?

And why didn’t the Tory health secretary come and announce what he would be doing to address the underfunding of our CCG, the enormous £55million savings the BHR CCGs are having to make, the fact we have the lowest GP to patient ratios in London, the fact we have lowest GP practice nurse to patient ratios in London, the situation where we have the fourth lowest public health grant in London, the matter of quality of care as we have one hospital trust with a CQC rating of requires improvement and the other in special measures?

Candidates don’t want this election

Joshua Wilson, Dryden Close, Hainault, writes:

I watched your video interviews with the Labour and Tory general election candidates with great interest.

It strikes me that it is quite bizarre that neither of the candidates for the two main parties want to be standing in this election.

Wes Streeting happily admits that he’s never been Jeremy Corbyn’s biggest fan. Why should anyone vote for an MP who says that their own leader won’t make a good prime minister?

And the Conservative candidate Lee Scott only two weeks ago said he wasn’t going to stand, but strangely changed his mind. He tries to justify this by saying that he previously thought the general election was in 2020.

But if he didn’t think he was going to be ready to be an MP in three years’ time, how on earth is he going to be ready in a month’s time?!

Government has itself to blame

Judy Freedman, Ilford, full address supplied, writes:

We all know there is a shortage of housing generally. Promises are being made to build more housing. Does the government not realise that because of the housing shortage prices of housing increases as supply outweighs demand? If a clamp had been put on immigration long ago, we would not be in this predicament now.

It was mentioned the other day in the news that more people are renting than buying as prices are becoming unaffordable. In my opinion, the reason for this, is that too many immigrants have come to this country being homeless and unemployed when they arrive.

They then go into rented accommodation.That is the reason we have a housing shortage, and why house prices are becoming unaffordable. Does the government not understand they have themselves to blame for the situation we are in?

Come on wake up and do something about it now, before the situation gets worse.

All at theatre will miss Dick Porter

Ken Gaunt, Greenslade Road, Barking, writes:

I was so pleased to see your tribute to the late Richard (Dick) Porter in the Recorder.

I agree with every word to the article. Dick was the captain of the Kenneth More Theatre (KMT) ship and over 40 years he sailed many stormy waters but always managed to sail through them.

He was always ready with a smile and encouragement to all who met him either on the stage door or standing upstairs greeting the patrons when they arrived.

Dick was a great work colleague and I for one was honoured to serve as a crew member. He was a gent in more ways then one and a great family man leaving behind a talented family – daughter Loraine and Vicki running the much acclaimed Palmerstone Dance School and talented grandchildren Zoe, Tami, Riki, also his great grandson Zac all appearing on the KMT stage.

I shall miss all the stories of his amazing life and 40 years of the theatre. I hope we meet again and that you are waiting at the pearly gates seeing everyone who enters.

The KMT has lost a great captain and ambassador. He will be sadly missed by all the volunteers, crew, members and I know by all the great KMT team, actors and all the patrons of the theatre.

Tory majority will be threat to foxes

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

By announcing she is in favour of fox hunting, Theresa May has made it clear that a big Conservative majority will mean the return of fox-hunting.

This would be a very backward step for animal protection and, of course, will cause great suffering for the foxes ripped apart for the amusement of the callous few. It is very sad that some people see the suffering and killing of animals as fun and disgraceful that any politician would consider making it legal after it had rightly been outlawed.

Theresa May and the Conservatives are clearly strong and stable in their support of animal cruelty, unlike the Green Party, whose strength and stability is based on love and concern for the environment and all living beings, and who, therefore, support the ban on fox-hunting, and oppose all animal abuse.

1970s weren’t such bad years

Paul Donovan, Dangan Road, Wanstead, writes:

I don’t quite understand the jibe about Labour going back to the 1970s, as though it were a bad time.

The ‘70s were a good time for many people. The gap between rich and poor was at its lowest level, consequently happiness levels were at their highest point. Working weeks were getting shorter, the retirement age coming down. There were even hot summers. Then came Margaret Thatcher, who brought longer working weeks for less pay and ever later retirement ages.

Today, stress and anxiety are commonplace complaints as mental health problems proliferate. Maybe it’s all a grand piece of obfuscation by the Tories, who also want to go back in time, only in their case it is to the workhouse days of the 1870s.

Ramadan: Take care with diabetes

Roz Rosenblatt, Diabetes UK London manager, writes:

The holy month of Ramadan begins on Saturday, May 27 when members of the Muslim community across London will be fasting for up to 19 hours a day.

Ramadan can be a challenge for Muslims living with diabetes for whom the medical implications of undertaking a prolonged fast can be extremely serious, even fatal, if not managed well.

If you are living with diabetes and thinking of fasting, it is important that you consult your GP or diabetes nurse. They will outline the potential risks associated with fasting and may also be able to provide some useful tips on how to manage the condition during Ramadan.

Another person to consider talking to is your Imam. Many of them will be able to provide advice and guidance as we work closely with them through our Community Champions programme. It’s also worth mentioning that people with diabetes are not obliged to fast and an Imam can provide you with guidance on alternatives.

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