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Recorder letters: Footy anniversary, FOTBTs, meeting taken over, illegal puppy trade and ban air guns

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 November 2017

Programme from FA Cup QPR v Clapton Football match 1957

Programme from FA Cup QPR v Clapton Football match 1957

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

Anniversary of historic cup game

Rob, local football historian, full name and address supplied, writes:

This Saturday (November 18) marks 60 years to the day when Clapton Football Club took on the might of Queen’s Park Rangers in the FA Cup at Loftus Road.

It was a replay having drawn the first match at Ilford Football Club’s Lynn Road ground, the score 1-1. Alex Dawson had opened the scoring for QPR midway through the first half. Then in the 55th minute, inside left Ken Bennett equalised for The Tons, and thus earning this replay.

Sadly Clapton were to bow out at this stage with a 3-1 loss but earned many plaudits throughout 12,000 who attended the match.

Veto betting shop license bids

Dave Carr, Newham Socialist Party, writes:

Robin Wales’ campaign against the proliferation of Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) reeks of hypocrisy.

The Newham mayor’s political mentor, Tony Blair, was responsible for the 2005 Gambling Act which deregulated the gambling industry - making it easier for clusters of bookies shops to appear on the high street, each with four FOBTs.

As is well documented, these machines - dubbed the ‘crack cocaine’ of gambling - have led to an explosion of problem gambling, which has shot up by 33 per cent in three years.

An estimated £1.8 billion a year is sucked out of the wallets, purses and payday loans of mainly poor punters by FOBTs.

The cost to these individuals is huge - family breakup, job loss, bankruptcy, jailing and even suicide. The cost to society in health services and criminal justice is, according to the Institute for Public Policy Research, £1.2 billion a year.

If Robin Wales is so concerned about problem gambling then why hasn’t Newham council vetoed the licensing applications for new bookie shops over the last decade? Is this political inertia due to the overriding desire of the council to obtain more business rates - instead of protecting vulnerable people?

Meeting is ruined

Monega (Resident’s) Association, Katherine Road, write:

The subject of immigration is often one that gets people hot under the collar.

What we frequently see in Newham are the vehicles of the Immigration Enforcement Team. We were very pleased that an invitation was accepted by that Team to come meet our group of local residents and explain their work to us, the rules they follow etc.

As this was to be our Christmas meeting we expected to organise a trip to a carol service, and had promised to help residents with an IT issue many were facing. How cynical then, that a group of ‘protestors’ were reported to be targetting the meeting for a confrontation.

The safety of those attending could not be guaranteed and so the meeting was cancelled at the last minute. It has cost us money, and a huge amount of effort, all done in our spare time.

How cynical that these ‘warriors of liberties’ should hound vulnerable and senior aged people in this way.

So all we can say to the ‘campaigners’ is hope you have a nice Christmas, because you’ve ruined ours.

Don’t fuel illegal puppy trade

Paula Boyden, veterinary director, Dogs Trust, writes:

With just six weeks to go until Christmas, Dogs Trust is urging people not to fuel a cruel puppy trade – albeit unintentionally – by purchasing an illegally imported puppy.

The warning comes after record number of puppies were seized in just one week during a covert operation at the UK border with many more expected to be smuggled into the country undetected as devious importers hone in on the Christmas trade.

As the UK’s largest dog welfare charity we exposed the horrors of the illegal importation of puppies earlier this year as the demand for in-trend breeds such as French Bulldogs and Pugs continue to help fuel this sickening trade. We’ve seen cases of bitches being smuggled across pregnant as importers find sinister new ways to get them through the border undetected.

Despite many people’s purchases being well intended, unbeknown to them the internet has become a thriving marketplace for advertising illegally imported puppies. As a result we’ve produced some buyer advice to help people make sensible choices and avoid being tricked into buying puppies which have been illegally imported from Central and Eastern Europe.

Illegally importing puppies needs to end now. We urge the government to improve this failing legislation. This includes increasing penalties for those illegally importing puppies and a significant overhaul of the pet checking system at ports. Members of the public can support our campaign by visiting puppysmuggling.org.uk

Sign petition to help save pets

Jacqui Cuff, advocacy and government relations manager, Cats Protection, writes:

In addition to the terrible human deaths and casualties that have been inflicted by indiscriminate use of air weapons, many pets have also been the unfortunate victims of air weapons.

Cats Protection’s air gun licensing petition has already received over 76,000 signatures and we would like to thank all of those who have signed the petition.

Cats receive life-changing injuries from air guns such as limb amputation or loss of an eye. A 2016 Cats Protection survey of vets found that 46 per cent of reported incidents result in fatalities.

We welcome the government’s intention to review the regulation of air weapons licensing.

We are asking the government to licence air guns in England and Wales, bringing us in line with Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Our monitoring shows nearly four cats a week are reported as killed or injured by an air gun in the UK – the actual figure is higher as many remain unreported.

We would like to encourage those who haven’t signed up to show their support by going to our website: cats.org.uk/airgunspetition

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