Recorder letters: Olympic regeneration, RAF vets, Europe, autism awards and grow a beard

PUBLISHED: 12:00 05 November 2017

Olympic stadium and Orbit on the Olympic Park in Stratford. Picture: PA ARCHIVE

Olympic stadium and Orbit on the Olympic Park in Stratford. Picture: PA ARCHIVE

PA Archive/PA Images

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

Have we capitalised on Olympics?

Mike Spracklin, by email, writes:

You reported (East London’s Olympic regeneration is ‘creating five times more jobs than forecast’,) that many more jobs than predicted four years ago have been created in the area, as a legacy of the Games.

That’s the area of the six Olympic ‘host’ boroughs “led by Newham”, as you say.

This was announced recently by the Mayor of London, who gave the actual numbers, for the increase since 2012, just for Newham, Hackney, and Tower Hamlets.

However, of those three boroughs, Newham has seen the lowest increase 17,000, while Hackney got 25,000, and Tower Hamlets an astounding three times as many as we did - 50,000!

Surely it’s a sad indictment of Newham council to have capitalised on the Olympics the least well in this regard?

Universal Credit help for RAF vets

Air Commodore Paul Hughesdon, director of Welfare and Policy, RAF Benevolent Fund, writes:

The national press continues to raise concerns about Universal Credit which combines six benefits into one and in some cases will result in claimants having to wait up to six weeks before receiving their first payment of Universal Credit.

We at the RAF Benevolent Fund are passionate about helping all members of the RAF Family who are in need.

We launched our Advice and Advocacy Service two years ago following research which indicated that many of our beneficiaries were not receiving the state benefits they were entitled to, such as Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction or Universal Credit.

We are keen to hear from anyone who has served in the RAF, including their partners and dependants who find themselves affected by the recent changes to the benefit system. We may be able to provide advice, advocacy or financial support to help alleviate your financial distress. We can also help in relation to other forms of financial distress.

Call 0800 169 2942 today or visit

Value relationship with Europe

Phil Jones, member, European Movement UK, writes:

In reply to Lance Foreman (Community views). It is a shame he seems to have no sense of solidarity with our neighbours.

What about shared values and common interests? We share history and geography. It matters.

In the European Parliament on October 3 2017, speaker after speaker showed concern for the well-being of the UK, and Ireland. Please see:

I believe we now see, that for the rest of Europe, trade is desirable; but what is more important is diplomatic and political relations with each other.

What about the suffering of the three million EU nationals in the UK? I support the pressure group, The 3 Million, run by Nicolas Hatton. What about the debilitating uncertainty felt by 1.2 million British citizens in our fellow EU member countries? May I encourage Mr Foreman to read the non-profit book ‘In Limbo’ compiled by Elena Remigi.

EU leaders have met with groups like “British in Italy” and “Bremain in Spain”. Listened to their problems. Explained the EU position. Even invited them to comment.

What about Scotland? Gibraltar? Northern Ireland, and Ireland? Guy Verhofstadt said in the European Parliament on October 3 that he was shocked to go to Belfast to find that the problems are not over. He said, “There are fences 12 metres high, today in the 21st century!”

Professor Michael Dougan of the University of Liverpool has explained that World Trade Organisation rules do not cover services or regulatory barriers. He has said, “The EU single market is by far the deepest, most advanced trade agreement on the planet”. Mr Foreman ignores the principle of economic gravity. It means that a country tends to do far more with its nearest neighbours.

The EU has published its working papers for negotiation with the UK.

They are called “Essential principles on citizenship rights” and “Essential principles on financial settlement” These are available online, both dated May 24 2017. As far as I am aware, the Conservative goverment has failed to publish anything in response with a practical level of detail.

The financial paper itemises every one of the EU institutions, agencies, funds and programmes. The current EU funding round is from 2014 to 2020. The funding and work programme until 2020 was agreed by the UK.

The European schools are for the children of staff working in the EU institutions. The financial paper says, “Until the end of the academic year 2020-2021, the United Kingdom should continue to contribute to the funding of the teachers it seconded to the European schools in line with the cost sharing agreement related to the secondment of British and Irish teachers”.

Honour helpers of autistic people

Carol Povey, director of the National Autistic Society’s Centre for Autism, writes:

The National Autistic Society is thrilled to announce that the Autism Professional Awards are back this year.

We are looking for people and organisations in your area that make a difference to the lives of autistic people and their families. We are looking for your stories so that we can increase public understanding of autism and inspire others to support autistic individuals.

Do you know a teaching assistant that has helped an autistic child to achieve something amazing? Or perhaps you know of a business that has made adjustments for autistic employers? Or even an inspirational social worker? We want to recognise all the great work in your community so get nominating!

Grow a beard for charity appeal

Jim Rosenthal, sports broadcaster, writes:

I’m call on all lads to do their face a favour and give it some warmth this winter by growing a beard in December for Bowel Cancer UK.

The rules are simple, just clean shave on November 30 and let your facial hair flourish throughout the month of December. Already bearded? No problem. Dye, ditch or decorate your beard and join the campaign. Sign up to Decembeard and give hope to those that are going through treatment at

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