Recorder letters: New water fountains, hate crime, look after ducks and use charity for makeover

PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 October 2018

A new water fountain at Liverpool Street station, as part of the  roll-out across the capital. Picture: MAYOR OF LONDON'S OFFICE

A new water fountain at Liverpool Street station, as part of the roll-out across the capital. Picture: MAYOR OF LONDON'S OFFICE


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

New water fountains welcome

Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner, Greenpece UK, writes:

I would like to commenton London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s announcement about a network of hundreds of public water fountains to be placed across London in an effort to cut single-use plastic bottles.

A million single-use plastic bottles are bought worldwide every minute, and beach surveys are repeatedly finding plastic bottles topping the list of waste pollution on our shores.

Networks of drinking fountains can help slash the number of throwaway plastic bottles we use and protect marine life from plastic pollution.

We look forward to seeing the UK’s train stations and airports following suit and installing free fountains for their customers.

We must stand against hate crime

Unmesh Desai, London Assembly Member, City & East, writes:

Last week marked National Hate Crime Awareness Week.

It is disgraceful that people in our community have been targeted with racist abuse. In Newham, our diversity has always been our strength, and we are proud to welcome and celebrate people from all backgrounds and cultures.

It takes a huge amount of courage for victims of racist abuse to come forward, but I would strongly urge anyone on the receiving end of any form of hate crime to report it.

It is only by working closely with the police that we will be able to stamp it out and ensure victims are given the support they need.

We are fortunate to live in a city that is defined by its diversity and has always embraced people from around the world.

In these uncertain political times and with the culminating tensions surrounding Brexit, it is more important than ever that, as Londoners, we stand firm against any attempts made to divide us.

Visit the canals this autumn

Peter Birch, national environment policy advisor, Canal & River Trust, writes:

This is the perfect time of year to get out with the family and enjoy the waterways but also help the hundreds of thousands of ducks who live on our canals and rivers. Ducks and other wild waterfowl need our support even more around this time of year to help supplement their natural food source, when plants and flowers begin to die back and become scarcer.

But please do it sensibly. We’d like people to make a few simple changes on their visit to feed the ducks. Bread is not great for a duck’s health as it’s nothing like their natural diet so don’t over feed them with large quantities of it.

Try to vary what you give them and swap it for healthier more natural treats like oats, corn, defrosted frozen peas or cut up leftover veg. And exercise portion control!

Ducks will normally feed on insects and grass, but these are more difficult to find in the winter when the ground is often frozen. Leftover greens including kale, cabbage and lettuce are great alternatives.

Don’t follow the crowds, spread the love, and visit a new family of ducks to prevent large quantities of food from clogging up the same places and potentially damaging the environment.

Your visit to the canal will be good for the ducks’ wellbeing and good for your wellbeing. We often go into a human hibernation and stay indoors more as winter approaches but this is a great way of getting the family out for some fresh air.

To help families enjoy their time even more when visiting a waterway this autumn, we at Canal & River Trust have created a free activity booklet which is full of helpful tips on how to care for our feathered friends and have fun at your local canal or river. To download your free guide visit

Charity can help a home makeover

Jack Watson, area manager, British Heart Foundation, writes:

This autumn, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) is calling on the nation to take on its Makeover Challenge by giving their homes a new look using items bought at BHF stores.

From upcycling a pre-loved piece of furniture to refreshing a whole room or space, the BHF is encouraging interiors enthusiasts, bargain hunters and those on a budget to get involved.

Simply head to your nearest BHF home store in Greater London to find items that will give your home a seasonal update. Then share the new looks on social media with the #BoughtatBHF hashtag.

Every item sold in BHF stores helps to raise money to transform the lives of people living in the UK with heart disease, stroke, vascular dementia and diabetes.

To find out more and for your nearest BHF store head to

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