Recorder letters: Prepare for ULEZ, beating diabetes and children’s mental health

PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 January 2019

Check how the ULEZ charge could effect you. Picture: KEN MEARS

Check how the ULEZ charge could effect you. Picture: KEN MEARS


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

Be prepared for mayor’s diesel emission zone

Unmesh Desai, London Assembly Member for Newham, writes:

The Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will have a hugely positive impact on our ability to tackle air pollution when it is introduced on April 8.

In preparation for the ULEZ, it’s important local residents check their vehicle’s compliance with new emissions standards as this will determine whether they will be charged for driving in the zone.

Diesel cars manufactured before 2015, alongside most pre-2006 petrol cars, will be charged £12.50 to come into central London at any time. This will be in addition to the existing £11.50 congestion charge, which operates from Monday to Friday, 7am to 6pm. Buses, coaches, lorries and motorbikes will also need to comply with European emissions standards or face charges.

The implementation of the world’s first ULEZ is a significant facet of a package of measures that City Hall is taking to clean up London’s toxic air. It is a scandal that air pollution is causing thousands of premature deaths each year in our capital and stunting the lung development of our children. In taking drastic action now, the mayor can ensure that London is firmly on the path to achieving zero emissions from road transport by 2050.

So, with three months to go, I would urge all local motorists to use TfL’s online compliance checker, which has already attracted 1.5 million visits so far.

You can access the ULEZ checker through this link:

Help us combat Type 2 diabetes

Roz Rosenblatt, head of London, Diabetes UK, writes:

Since our founding by novelist H G Wells and Dr R D Lawrence in 1934, we have been at the forefront of diabetes breakthroughs

We have campaigned for change in diabetes care, supported people across the UK through our helpline and local support groups, championed the work of healthcare professionals, and funded life-changing research.

From the development of the first insulin pen in the 1970s, or the launch of the digital handheld blood glucose meter, to being closer than ever to making the artificial pancreas a reality, research funded by Diabetes UK – and made possible only by our supporters – continues to change the lives of people with diabetes for the better.

And now, as we learn more about Type 2 diabetes, we want to make remission from the condition a reality for as many people as possible. The Diabetes UK-funded DiRECT study, our largest ever research award, has added to the much needed evidence that remission can be achieved and that this can potentially be done through routine NHS care.

But diabetes remains one of the biggest health crises facing us today, especially with 12.3 million people at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. We continue to rise to this challenge as we know that, together, we can create a world where diabetes can do no harm.

For more information go to

Parents should give consent

Brian Daniels, national spokesperson, Citizens Commission on Human Rights, writes:

The media recently reported on a situation where children and adolescents were having difficulty accessing mental health services in the UK.

On the surface, it may appear to be a bad situation, but on further investigation, it may actually be a blessing in disguise for lots of young people.

Psychiatrists claim to be the custodians of mental health but they are really the custodians of mental illness. By their own admission, they don’t have cures for the mental troubles that people deal with every day.

When accessing mental health services, the “treatments” offered can often make the situation worse. Children and adolescents are regularly prescribed dangerous psychiatric drugs such as antidepressants, antipsychotics and stimulants.

There’s no pretty way to paint the picture when children and adolescents take their own lives. On top of that, the pain and distress of the parents is evident, where they constantly wonder what they could have done differently to help their children. There is something they can do.

One of the major stumbling blocks regarding the use of psychiatric drugs is informed consent. This is defined as, “permission granted in full knowledge of the possible consequences, typically that which is given by a patient to a doctor for treatment with knowledge of the possible risks and benefits.”

Parents should be in a position to give informed consent for their children. They should ensure they have the full knowledge of the possible consequences of taking antidepressants or antipsychotics. They should ensure they know the possible risks and benefits of these psychiatric drugs.

If they knew that violence, aggression, suicidal thoughts and suicidal behaviour were some of the effects linked to the use of antidepressants, would they still give consent for their children to take the drugs?

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