Readers' Letters

Gazette letters: Young protester, general election and local gardens

PUBLISHED: 08:00 08 June 2017

London Fields march against school funding cuts. L to R: Queens Bridge Primary School students Marnie O'Brien, 9, Lola McGough, 9, and Cassius Cadbury, 8. Picture: CATHERINE DAVISON

London Fields march against school funding cuts. L to R: Queens Bridge Primary School students Marnie O'Brien, 9, Lola McGough, 9, and Cassius Cadbury, 8. Picture: CATHERINE DAVISON

Catherine Davison

On Friday, May 26, a protest was put on in London Fields park as Theresa May wants to take money away from schools, writes Bruno Kelly Utz, a Hackney school year 4 pupil.

Also, Theresa May’s gang have agreed with her announcement.

Around about 400 people voted for school money to stay. Whistles were blowing and people were shouting? No ifs, no buts, no education cuts.

Clearly, if you don’t respect the schools then you’re not a good prime minister. If you take money away from schools, that could end up taking people’s jobs away.

When the protest happened people were marching around the park and even teachers from schools in Hackney came marching as if they were soldiers saying don’t do this. There were hundreds of opinions being shouted out every minute.

Today I am voting for Debbie, writes Terry Stewart, Shoreditch (address supplied).

You might well ask yourself: who is Debbie? Debbie was a very special person to her friends and family. Her funeral was held a couple of weeks ago. She was only 52.

The last time I saw Debbie, she was very anxious about an appeal for her benefits. I advised her to take someone along and even offered to be that person. For her own personal reasons she declined my offer. I suspect it was because of the stigma of mental health and her wish to remain a person with dignity. Debbie lost her appeal and was left destitute and seriously ill.

Every one of us can be vulnerable and become ill at some time in our lives. When this happens, we need a support network to catch us and nurture us back to health.

Debbie did have a small group of friends who looked out for her and supported her as only they knew how. Unfortunately people’s needs are complex and without the proper provision in place, they become much more vulnerable.

When that safety net is removed along with disability living allowance, housing benefit and all other support needs, people are left with nothing. For many people – and this would have included Debbie – their future is eviction, homelessness, deterioration of health and utter misery. I believe Debbie was unable to see a way out.

I wasn’t going to bother voting. Like many, I felt: what’s the point? Nothing changes. This time I will be voting. It is not about me and which party I will vote for; it’s a matter of life or death for the most vulnerable people in our community.

Over the last seven years we have experienced a complete erosion of many of our services, right across the board: education, health, wages, employment and housing. This impacts the young, elders, people with mental health needs and those with medical needs. People with children, people with elderly parents. People on low incomes and those with a small business. All trying to keep our heads above water.

It is hardly surprising our communities are falling to bits and some of our young people are caught up in crime and violence against each other. The local authority offers us nothing but austerity and a policing policy that deals with the symptoms.

We have seen our elderly persons’ services devastated and the complete closure of Median Road Resource Centre in Clapton. Today I will vote for the party I feel will best represent and deliver the desperately needed funding, services and provision for our community. I would urge you all to do the same for our whole community’s sake.

I am writing after participating in the hustings at St Mary’s Church, and in shock at the horrific events of Saturday committed by those murderous fanatical scrums, writes Coraline Aisha Corlis-Khan, Friends Party candidate for Hackney North and Stoke Newington.

There are no words ever to express my sorrow for the victims of this vicious attack. The security services rightly and swiftly executed their mission.

The Friends Party believe in youth. They are our future. Our education policy reflects better use of resources, education using new technology and community hubs. Senior citizens’ income and assets ringfenced with financial leverage to support elderly care, property rightly passed on to families.

Better use of our housing stock to secure sustainable income and markets, safe homes and access onto the housing ladder. A new approach underpinned by commercial, fiscal, community and moral support. NHS decreasing wasteful costs, agency contracts and practices, PFI contracts, paying staff properly to ensure they don’t leave the UK and encouraging our youth into the NHS.

We do not seek to be career politicians. We do seek to pro-influence by persistent scrutiny the truthful answers, reorganising our resources for greater economic benefit and sensible economic, social and moral solutions the public deserve. No more ping-pong politics.

Seeking a chance for quiet reflection after the awful news of Saturday night, I decided to investigate some of the gardens participating in the National Garden Scheme, writes Will McCallum, Newington Green.

Throughout the summer, and beyond, the scheme works with gardeners and public bodies to open more than 3,700 gardens to the public.

For a small fee, which is donated to nursing gardens run by several health and hospice charities, you can explore gardens across the country – with plenty of options in Hackney and Islington.

My favourite garden was on Hemingford Road – tended to by the same owner for nearly 40 years, the love and effort that had gone into creating such a beautiful sanctuary was obvious. Multiple varieties of clematis, acers, roses and more , the garden was busy but not crowded. Leaf structure and colour easily as diverse as the flowers meant every nook and corner held something of interest. A twisted hazel tree was a first for me too. It was a privilege to get the chance to visit, albeit briefly, the work of a lifetime. If you missed it all, next Sunday there are a number of gardens open in De Beauvoir.

Although not the prettiest feature of the day, the highlight were probably the horror-film like ‘bugle galls’ on a lime tree in Barnsbury Wood (the smallest nature reserve in London). These bright red growths apparently cause no harm to the tree (just as well as there is no known way to prevent them). They are caused by mites, who spend spring feeding on the sap on the bottom of the leaf, causing them to release chemicals that create these odd tubular shapes called galls.

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