Recorder letters: Canning Town Library, Crossrail, fast food outlets and animals in conflict

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 November 2018

A successful campaign saw Nandos withdraw plans at Canning Town Library. Picture: RACHEL BURFORD

A successful campaign saw Nandos withdraw plans at Canning Town Library. Picture: RACHEL BURFORD


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

Open youth centre in old library

Jo Phillips, Canning Town, full address supplied, writes:

I understand the Mayor of Newham has not made a decision as to the future of our Grade II listed CT Library.

We have no money due to countless bad investments made under the previous administration regardless of the Nolan Principles. These include £55m bail out to West Ham Utd and not for the first time, the London Pleasure Park, Lobo’s, PFI’s and the Iceland fiasco, not to mention the selling off of land in Canning Town to the highest bidder on the back of a promised town centre.

With no car park for residents or businesses, developers and shops pulled out – no car park – no facilities. They were trying to gentrify Canning Town. Instead they have created an area socially deprived and high in crime. The only investment being the outside gym, home to the local crooks and drug gangs now in situ.

Barking Road now being the eighth unhealthiest high street in London according to the Royal Society of Public Health, supports the fact that Canning Town neither wants or needs any more chicken or other fast food outlets bringing filth, litter and bad behaviour with them. Why does McDonalds and KFC not sponsor litter bins?

Canning Town Library should be home to a functioning community and youth centre.

Take Crossrail into public control

John Plant, Clova Road, Forest Gate, writes:

They are at it again!

Crossrail company has failed dismally to deliver on their promises, despite enormous support from central and local government across London and outside.

Not a single visit with the begging bowl has gone unanswered, but still they cannot deliver on their promised delivery dates. The December 2018 completion date is now put off until autumn 2019.

Does their incompetence mean they are going to loose money? No! It means that the Mayor of London will borrow £350 million from the government to bail them out, and the oppressed ratepayers (ie working people and small businesses) will meet the bill.

Just as has happened with other catastrophic railway failures, the Crossrail villains should not be bailed out, they should be pushed out and the project taken into public control where it always belonged. Sadiq Khan should stand up against big business on behalf of the people of London who elected him.

Fast food outlets blight on our area

Dr Rohit K Dasgupta, councillor for Canning Town South, writes:

I welcomed the news last week in the Newham Recorder which shockingly reported that Barking Road was one of the unhealthiest streets in London.

I welcomed this news for two reasons: As readers know as a local councillor in Canning Town South I, along with Canning Town North Cllr Shaban Mohammed, led the campaign to stop the old library from being turned into a chicken shop. This was about preserving our history but it was also about stopping another fast food chain opening up on our doorstep. I somehow feel vindicated by this report. Secondly, I think this report is a much needed jolt for our residents and council officers to start thinking about what our streets truly require.

Walking from Canning Town Station to McDonalds, the street has at least three chicken shops when I last counted. The childhood obesity report from the Nuffield Trust found almost a quarter of our children are obese due to eating unhealthily. The answer to that is making healthier food more affordable - a policy which I hope will be taken forward when we have a Labour government under Jeremy Corbyn, but we need to stop giving planning permission to fast food outlets, especially outside schools.

Another report by Public Health England shows poorer areas like Newham have five times more fast food outlets than richer areas. This is a blight and something my residents don’t deserve.

Areas like Canning Town and Custom House need regeneration to kick start the high streets. We should be encouraging more shops and businesses to move here but let’s be more discerning on what kind of shops our high streets need.

Along with local councillors from Canning Town North, Canning Town South and Custom House, we plan on a series of seminars to discuss how we can keep our residents at the heart of what we do (our mayor’s manifesto promise) as we plan for the future of our neighbourhood high streets.

Animals also suffer in conflict

SPANA (the Society for the Protection of Animals Abroad), writes:

This November marks 100 years since the end of the First World War. On this anniversary, it’s so important that we remember the people and animals that lost their lives during this terrible conflict.

More than 16 million horses, donkeys and other animals were made to serve during the war – transporting everything from ammunition and messages to food rations and supplies. They hauled guns and pulled ambulances, while cavalry horses often led the charge on the front line. They faced unimaginable horrors – and, tragically, nine million of these animals were killed. As we stop to remember those who suffered and died a century ago, we must also not forget that animals continue to be innocent victims in brutal conflicts across the world today.

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