Readers’ letters: Eid celebrations, second Covid spike, Lottery funding and MoD

PUBLISHED: 12:30 09 August 2020

Socially distanced Eid in a Newham park. Picture: Muhammad Uddin.

Socially distanced Eid in a Newham park. Picture: Muhammad Uddin.


Letters sent in from Recorder readers this week.

Collaboration a shining example

Muhammad Uddin, Newham Muslim Forum, wrote to Newham Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz:

Firstly, Eid Mubarak.

I want to say, on behalf of Newham Muslim Forum, thank you to you and your team for working with us to deliver the facilities for open air Eid prayers.

The feedback that we have received is overwhelmingly positive and it’s made Newham into a positive shining example for others to follow in terms of leadership and promoting community safety.

Our priority has been to provide a safe space for people and from the feedback received and looking at all the photos and videos, it’s clear that all the planning and organising has paid off and safety was at the forefront of the celebrations on Friday.

We are the only area in London that have been able to co-ordinate closely and work with the local authority to put safety measures in place and host open air Eid prayers across the borough.

There have been hundreds of hours of work put into making this happen, with dozens of officers and councillors working all hours of the day and night. And a special mention for the superhero volunteers of the masajid and the Muslim community.

We would like to thank the mayor and her team, assistant director Mohamed Hammoudan and his team, the public health team and ActiveNewham for bringing all this together and working with the community to keep us safe.

One of toughest winters for NHS

Dr Gary Marlowe, chairman, BMA London Regional Council, writes:

NHS services across London will be preparing to face what will undoubtedly be one of the toughest winters in the history of our health service.

Come the winter our NHS will need to tackle a backlog of care, treat Covid patients, deal with the seasonal flu and prepare for further local or national outbreaks of coronavirus.

Empowering local councils to close shops, outdoor events and public spaces, while long overdue, is entirely necessary to help reduce the spread of the virus and keep the pressure off the NHS.

Though it is crucial that this is underpinned with adequate resources, clear local data shared with local Public Health bodies, and a well-managed test, track and trace system. So far, the government’s record in all these areas has not been good.

It is also crucial that any positive result is returned within 48 hours and that the result is communicated to the patient’s GP as well as the local authorities, to ensure swift action can be taken and any local flare-ups prevented.

What’s more, to help our health services cope with the huge demands that still lie ahead and to avoid a second Covid-19 spike this winter, every one of us must make prevention our priority.

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New rules mean face coverings are now mandatory in shops as well as on public transport, however the BMA believes face coverings should be worn in all situations where it is not possible to be more than two metres apart – even if not mandated by government.

Shops and businesses must also lead by example by ensuring physical distancing is adhered to and by encouraging staff and employees to wear face coverings.

Ultimately, we all have a responsibility to do what we can to minimise the spread of Covid to help protect ourselves, each other and the NHS.

Looking for lottery lockdown legends

Jonathan Tuchner, National Lottery Awards, writes:

The 2020 National Lottery Awards are now open for entries.

This year the annual search for the UK’s favourite National Lottery funded projects will, for the first time, honour individuals who have made an extraordinary impact in their community – especially those who have adapted during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

We are seeking to recognise outstanding individuals in the following sectors; arts, education, health, environment, sport, heritage and community/charity. In addition, there will be a young hero award for someone under the age of 18.

Winners will receive a trophy and £3,000 for their organisation.

If your readers know of a “lockdown legend” or a “hometown hero”, they can nominate them by completing an entry form on our website All nominees must have been funded by The National Lottery or be associated with a National Lottery funded project. Entries must be received by midnight on August 19, 2020.

MoD should be fair to our forces

Sam Elsby, president, Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL), writes:

Compensation claims by armed forces personnel and families for needless injuries and deaths are desperately important, not only to help put shattered lives back on track, but also to make the job safer for others.

But the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is now saying its responsibility for paying compensation to service personnel injured overseas should end after six years.

When someone is injured or killed there is usually a three-year time limit to start a legal claim for redress. After this time, a judge has the power to decide whether a case should go ahead.

The MoD’s Overseas Operations (Service Personnel and Veterans) Bill would apply a finite deadline of six years for claims for a negligent death or injury of a member of the armed forces. No judges. No exceptions.

Any other employer would still be answerable to the law.

You would think the government would at least be fair towards brave forces members and their families.

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