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Recorder letters: Council tax and mayor, young people, lottery award and battlefield trip

PUBLISHED: 12:00 01 April 2018

Sir Robin Wales has been deselected as Labour's mayoral candidate.

Sir Robin Wales has been deselected as Labour's mayoral candidate.

Newham Council

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

New mayor shouldn’t raise tax

Richard Sheppard, White Road, Stratford, writes:

Owing to the recent intrigue inside the local Labour party, I don’t think it was that much of a surprise that Sir Robin Wales was deselected as Labour mayor candidate.

It’s been obvious he has been under political pressure for some time. I’m afraid it’s the price you pay for being a moderate middle-class white male nowadays.

I admit I did not always see eye-to-eye with Sir Robin on social issues, especially things like gentrification, but I always understood about Tory cuts and appreciated the fact that Sir Robin froze the council tax for a long time despite them.

Rokhsana made some very expensive sounding promises during her campaign which I don’t think she will get any extra money from central government to pay for. So, if she is elected I fear a return to regular tax hikes.

All I would say to Rokhsana is those of us who have to pay the council tax reduction charge in Newham have seen the first rise since it was introduced this year. It went up £7 to pay for City Hall and social care, this might not seem like much to many people but it is a real terms cut in income if your benefits have been frozen for a long time. I just ask Rokhsana to think about this before she goes on a spending spree.

As for Sir Robin, despite it all I wish him well.

Young people have most to lose

Jean Lambert, London Green MEP, writes:

To understand the crippling impact of the government’s austerity measures, look no further than youth services. Since 2011, councils have been forced to cut their youth services budgets by 44 per cent.

More than 81 youth clubs have shut their doors, and 800 full-time youth work jobs have been axed, according to new research by Green Party London assembly member Sian Berry.

Now another factor looks set to escalate this crisis: Brexit. My report ‘Losing it over Brexit’ finds that London is on course to lose more than £500m in EU funding every year. A significant chunk of this money is currently invested in projects that help disadvantaged young people to develop the skills they need to contribute to society and enter the workforce.

London’s young people voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU, but have the most to lose from Brexit. The government must guarantee that these EU funds will be replaced, or risk further alienating a generation of Londoners.

Nominate people for lottery award

Ore Oduba, National Lottery Awards ambassador, writes:

The National Lottery Awards Your readers can help to recognise ordinary people doing extraordinary things. How?

Well, the National Lottery Awards 2018 are open for entries, giving Lottery-funded projects a chance to dazzle in the national limelight.

The National Lottery Awards recognise the inspirational work carried out by organisations who use National Lottery funding as a force for good to transform communities and change lives. They celebrate the amazing work and tireless efforts behind the success of local arts, education, health, environmental, sports, heritage, and community projects.

Every week National Lottery players raise £30 million for good causes.

This has raised vital funds that fuel new opportunities, encourage creativity, fund sports projects and tackle loneliness to name but a few, which could not have happened without the support of National Lottery players.

Seven projects will be recognised at a star-studded awards ceremony broadcast on BBC 1 later this year and each will win a £5,000 prize.

You can nominate your favourite National Lottery funded project by visiting nationallotteryawards.org.uk/awards. All entries must be in by midnight on Friday, April 6.

Free battlefield trip for war veterans

Charles Byrne, director general, Royal British Legion, writes:

It’s The Royal British Legion’s belief that every Second World War veteran should have the chance to revisit the battlefield on which they served. Thanks to new funding from HM Treasury, we are now able to offer a fully funded trip to anyone who served in our Armed Forces during the war.

However, as there is no unified record of veterans that are alive today, I am reaching out to your readers in the hope that you can help us spread the word.

The trips will take place between spring and autumn this year and a family member and a carer will also be able to go along and share this pilgrimage with them.

Veterans who may be interested in this opportunity need to apply through our tour operator, Arena Travel on 01473 660800, or visit: arenatravel.com/journeysofremembrance.

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