Recorder letters: Swimming pool, panto, nuclear disarmanent, help pets and NHS

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 December 2017

Swimming is excellent exercise. Picture: STEVE POSTON

Swimming is excellent exercise. Picture: STEVE POSTON


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

Don’t carp about swimming pool

Paul Donovan, Dangan Road, Wanstead, writes:

The news that there will be a swimming pool in Wanstead should be a cause for celebration.

People living in this area have for too long had to travel miles to reach their nearest pool. The lack of a pool has further underlined, the sometimes heard view in these parts, that Wanstead is the forgotten part of Redbridge.

Swimming is an excellent exercise. It works many different muscle groups, without the same wear and tear issues as, say, running. It is also vital to be able to swim because, put simply, you could drown. It is surprising how many people around cannot swim.

There have been those who have criticised the new swimming pool venture on the basis of cost. Most notably Conservative candidate for Wanstead Village, Scott Wilding, who has said in the past that the pool is likely to be “a white elephant”.

A report commissioned by Sport England in 2015 found that the borough had unmet demand relating to swimming, with pools in the south of the borough at capacity.

Critics often mix up the sums regarding how the pool is going to be funded. It will not be coming out of revenue funding, which accounts for the day to day services that the council has to provide. So, there will not be less bin collections because of the swimming pool.

Funding for the pool is coming from capital spending. So there will be £750,000 from Sport England, with the remainder of the funding coming from internal capital and borrowing at a preferential rate. The money will pay back in time from the admission fees generated by the pool and adjacent gymnasium.

Many will have been surprised to hear the likes of Mr Wilding talk about costs, given that it is the actions of his Conservative government with its failed austerity policies that are forcing a series of relentless cuts on local authorities across the land.

Redbridge has had to absorb £134million of cuts since 2010, with more in the pipeline.

The council has struggled to maintain services against a real onslaught from the Tory government that seems determined to drain the life blood out of local communities across the land.

Given, the aforesaid, it is all the more credible that a new swimming pool to improve the lives of the many people living here should be under way – a cause for celebration, not carping.

Round of applause for Peter Pan panto

Ken Gaunt, Greenslade Road, Barking, writes:

Yet another brilliant pantomime at the KMT.

This year is Peter Pan. Charlie Jones as Peter gave a brilliant performance flying across the stage, also – making her panto debut – Lori Stansfield as Wendy and Loraine Porter as Big Chief Sitting Cow, Natalie Cleverley as the Mermaid, Simon Ward as Captain Hook, Rikki Stone as Smee, Tami Stone as Tinker Bell, and not forgetting, back by popular demand, Marc Seymour as Midship Woman Starky.

The whole cast gave a well worthy West End performance.

Eat your heart out Dick Whittington at the Palladium, when you’ve got this year’s performance of Peter Pan on your doorstep at more than half of the ticket price of the Palladium.

The scenery, dancing, singing, choreography even down to the crocodile was absolute first class.

A round of applause to the whole cast that made this great panto two hours of fun. The delight on the kids’ faces in the audience was a delight. If you are lucky enough to see this panto you will be back begging for next year’s.

Again well done to you all.

Global nuclear disarmament

Nigel Norman, Redbridge CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament), writes:

Redbridge CND joined veteran peace campaigner Bruce Kent at the MOD in Whitehall on Saturday, December 9.

At our recent joint meeting with Redbridge Against War we raised the reality of nuclear war in 2017, starting in Korea.

The need for global nuclear disarmament has never been more urgent.

Help us help pets this Christmas

Nicola Martin, PDSA, senior vet, writes:

This Christmas, please spare a thought for the thousands of much-loved pets requiring life-saving vet treatment. While most pets will enjoy spending extra time at home with their families, not all are so lucky.

Every December, pet wellbeing charity PDSA cares for 50,000 pets in need. Without our dedicated vet teams, many of these pets would have nowhere else to go. For 100 years, we’ve been helping provide critical care and emergency surgery for pets that urgently need us when tragedy strikes. Demand for our vital services never stops.

Every pet is a star in our eyes, and we want to give them all a fighting chance.

But we can only continue helping with your support.

Animal lovers can help our #SaveAStar campaign at or by texting STAR to 70020 to give a one-off donation of £5 (you’ll also be charged one standard rate message).

From all of the pets you’ll help to save this Christmas, thank you.

• Over 16s only. Must have bill payer’s permission. Full terms at

Budget fell short for the NHS

Dr Gary Marlowe, BMA (British Medical Association) London regional council chairman, writes:

With the NHS facing one of the most challenging periods in its history, the budget announcement has fallen short of what is needed to address the long-term funding problems which unfortunately look set to continue.

In north, central and east London, increasing pressure on services means that many waiting time targets haven’t been met for years and patients face longer delays to see their GP as the crisis in general practice has left many surgeries struggling to cope.

As government figures reveal a significant fall in the number of GPs and three in four medical specialities struggling to fill training places, recruitment and retention should be a priority for the NHS, yet the budget offers little solution to this crisis.

The chancellor’s failure to commit to extra funding for public health issues means that the damaging impact of alcohol, tobacco and poor diet will continue to cost the NHS billions each to year to treat.

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