ULEZ, wheelie rules, lockdown map and BAME vaccines

Letter writer Mr B E Thompson asks if the mayor will arrange for good weather is he expects people t

Mr Thompson asks if mayor will arrange for good weather if he wants people to cycle and walk - Credit: PA

Not all of us can walk and cycle

Mr B E Thompson, Falmouth Gardens, Redbridge, writes:

According to the leaflet which came through my letter box, we are going to be blessed with an Ultra Low Emission Zone from October 25. May I suggest FAI would be more suitable for a couple of years at least (forget about it)!

This last nine months haven’t been easy for most people due to Covid-19 and lots of people and businesses have either got into debt or further into debt, than they were. 

However, towards the end of leaflet it is suggested by the mayor and his mob that I do have a few other options: cycling, walking, public transport or electric vehicle.
At almost 84 years old, cycling and walking are out, followed by public transport for where I need to go, and who can afford an electric car anyway? 

Is the mayor going to arrange for good weather when he makes these suggestions? Is he going to provide bikes and electric vehicles? I think not!

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Putting the start date back a couple of years would be a big help. After all, there are a lot fewer vehicles on the road at present and during the last nine months, and as a lot of people are suggesting, if working from home permanently, is the scheme necessary anyway?

Why am I concerned? My GP practice is well inside the boundary. A place I have to visit quite frequently. 

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We should never have elected a mayor and assembly for London. I personally voted against it all those years ago. I think it would have been a lot better with an assembly made up of London Members of Parliament, with them electing a leader and deputy if necessary.

Think of the money we would be save. The meetings could take place in the House of Commons before normal Parliament business starts.

Well I must finish now, I’ve got to get onto e-Bay for some waterproof clothes and a decent second-hand bike. On the other hand, at my age, I don’t think I’ll bother, I might not be here anyway (ha-ha)!

Officious leaflet on wheelie bins

Martin Greenber, Roding Lane South, Redbridge, writes: 

The leaflet explaining the use of the council’s new wheelie bins arrived in my letter box. 

The wording echoes the World War II films when the Nazis tell their victims, “We will ask the questions!” 

For example, “We are assessing flats and shared housing”, “Rubbish MUST be contained in your new bin.” No mention of the ordinary household. “Privately owned bins cannot be emptied.” 

No doubt there will be a whole raft of exciting new penalties if a bin is slightly out of place. 

“An information pack will be delivered explaining how to use it and present it for collection.” 

I am sure Stasi-type inspectors will be doing their utmost to justify their existence and punish those who break the rules. 

Must build a more equitable future

The foodbank in operation at Frenford Youth Club in Ilford. Picture: Cash Boyle

Paul Donovan wants an end to foodbanks like the one at Frenford Youth Club in Ilford - Credit: Cash Boyle

Paul Donovan, Dangan Road, Wanstead, writes:

UK plc’s record on the coronavirus pandemic has been atrocious - there now needs to be a route map out that includes a plan as to how to construct a more just and equitable future.

The passing of the 100,000 deaths mark for the Covid pandemic is a sad indictment of this country. Over recent weeks there has been an average toll of more than 1,000 deaths a day. 

This all comes as we approach the one year anniversary of this terrible pandemic beginning. It is a year that has seen other countries suffer to a similar degree but they took the correct measures at the right times. Now, in those countries, Covid is a sad memory, as normal life has resumed.

In UK plc, we wander around in deserted city centres, wondering when the latest lockdown will end. When will life return to normal? 

The vaccination programme is the big hope for finding a way out.

The deaths from the virus are bad enough but what of the collateral damage: the cancer and heart condition treatments not undertaken? The dementia sufferers? 
The massive impact of this pandemic on just about everybody’s mental health. The huge economic damage caused by lockdown after lockdown. 

How many businesses will never recover?

The pandemic has exposed the great inequalities in our society, with the poorest hit the hardest. 

The crisis has brought out the best and worst in people, lots of support for mutual aid groups and food banks but also panic buying and selfish behaviour.

There will certainly need to be a reckoning when this pandemic is over. Those in government who let front line workers down with the lack of Personal Protective Equipment. 

The debacle that has been the test and trace system, farmed out to unqualified private sector firms looking to make a profit, instead of to local and health authorities, who know how to do the job. 

The failure to provide meals for the poorest children, till shamed into belated action by a young Premiership footballer. The list is endless.

What is needed now is a route map out of this crisis based on cutting deaths and infections to zero. 

The route map out must also include a plan for reconstruction, that will see a levelling up of the standards of living of the poorest. Less foodbanks and less billionaires. 

What really must be resisted will be the efforts of some in government to no doubt make the poorest pay over again for a crisis that was none of their making but who have ultimately paid the heaviest price. The costs must be born most heavily by those most able to pay.

What is for sure is that our society needs to take a long hard look at itself, then reconstruct in a more just and equitable way.

Please have jab when invited

Cllr Khaled Noor, Muslim Professionals Forum Chair, writes:

People from the black and ethnic minority (BAME) community feature high in the coronavirus statistics: we are disproportionately more likely to become infected and to die; and we are more likely to be on the front line, risking our lives to help others.

We mourn each and every death from our diverse communities. We pray for all those whose lives have been cut short and we send our condolences to every bereaved and grieving family.

As the virus continues to take lives, we urge everyone to follow the lockdown guidelines. Stay home; observe social distancing; wear a mask – and encourage everyone to have a vaccination when they are invited.

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