Recorder letters: Brexit, Champions statue, air quality, MS and austerity

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 March 2017


Stephen Timms MP voted against Brexit despite the EU referendum result

MP was wrong to vote against Brexit

Will Podmore, address supplied, writes:

Stephen Timms, the MP for East Ham, (Recorder, February 22) tries to justify his vote against our majority, democratic, national vote to leave the EU.

He claims that “worry about jobs” was the main reason for his vote. Likewise, then Chancellor George Osborne warned us that “a vote to leave would represent an immediate and profound shock to our economy. That shock would push our economy into a recession and lead to an increase

in unemployment of around 500,000, GDP would be 3.6 per cent smaller.”

Wrong. Record numbers of people are in work. More than 31.8 million adults are in a job, 300,000 more than a year ago.

Unemployment is at its lowest level for more than ten years. GDP grew 1.8pc last year and exports were up by 4.1pc.

In a democracy, politicians are supposed to be the servants of the people and do what we the people tell them to do.

Instead Mr Timms agrees with Tony Blair that the people are supposed to do what politicians tell us to do.

Hammers statue should remain

David Conroy, full address supplied, writes:

I’m writing regarding the letter by Paul Larks about the West Ham Champion’s Statue.

If it was paid for by West Ham United, fair enough, but as it was a joint commission with the London Borough of Newham and they have paid far more money for the London Stadium than the owners of West Ham United it should remain where it is!

Mayor keen to tackle air quality

Tom Copley, Londonwide Assembly Member, writes:

There has been much misinformation over the past week following the announcement of the Mayor’s ‘T’ charge, not least from other Assembly Members in City Hall.

First, let me lay out the situation we find ourselves in.

The air quality in London is nothing less than a public health emergency. After years of inaction from the previous mayor, we have some of the most polluted air in Europe.

We can attribute nearly 10,000 premature deaths a year and a wide range of other serious health problems to the poor air quality in our capital. The lungs of our children are not developing properly. This is tragic and it is shameful.

The new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, makes no apologies for wanting to tackle this crisis.

He is extending the ultra-low emission zone beyond the congestion zone up to the North and South Circular roads. This will benefit 3.8 million Londoners, as opposed to the 136,000 that live in the current congestion zone. I want this zone to extend even further, to cover all of London.

He is introducing a T-charge to discourage the dirtiest and most polluting vehicles from travelling into Central London. He is lobbying the government for a diesel scrappage scheme.

In short, he is taking much needed radical action to stop this silent killer.

If we take no action, we display a willingness to overlook the need to protect some of the most vulnerable people in our city - including our children.

Action is required, and it is required now.

Strong enough to end trauma of MS

Tom Kerridge, Michelin star chef and restauranteur, writes:

My dad was diagnosed with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) when I was six.

At the time, I had no idea how life-changing it would be for our family.

Fortunately, my little brother and I had our mum. She took us to rugby and held down two jobs to support us.

More than 100,000 people live with MS in the UK.

It’s often painful and exhausting, and can cause problems with how you walk, move, see, think and feel. And it can be just as tough for friends and family, who have to watch their loved ones battle often debilitating symptoms.

But no matter your connection to MS, the MS Society is here for you through the highs, lows and everything in between.

That’s why I’m supporting Cake Break – a delicious way to fundraise this March.

It’s the perfect opportunity to come together with friends and family and indulge in some tasty treats while supporting everyone affected by MS.

I’d love for your readers to join me in baking for the MS Society – they can find out more at or join the conversation using #CakeBreak.

Together, we are strong enough to stop MS.

Council must plan during austerity

Mark Rosenberg, Forest Gate, full address supplied, writes:

I do not know if the council could do better in controlling litter – I note that Mr O’Keefe offers no solutions – but recognise that in all things the council has to balance the costs and benefits of when and how it takes action.

While I can agree with Mr O’Keefe’s aim, I do not see how payments to the exchequer in the form of fines is a good use of Newham’s resources.

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