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Readers' Letters

Gazette letters: Regent’s Canal, litter on Marshes and end of Labour?

PUBLISHED: 08:28 15 September 2018

The Regent's Canal. Picture: KEN MEARS

The Regent's Canal. Picture: KEN MEARS

Archant

On Sunday I set out on a reconnaissance mission, writes Will McCallum, Newington Green.

After a long, hot, dry summer I wanted to get a fuller picture of how it had affected the nature of Islington and Hackney and so I decided to run the major waterways.

I headed up the new river path from its source to Finsbury Park, hopping across to head down the Lea to Limehouse (with a glimpse of the Thames to reward the effort), and then back up the Regent’s Canal to Camden before heading home.

The first surprise was just how low the water was north of the West Reservoir. Dried out, brown moss lined the corrugated metal banks; the watermark at least a foot and a half above the surface.

Down the Lea, duckweed overpowered the view – neon green and spread as far as the eye could see, a few heroes just north of Hackney Wick were casting small nets to drag the plastic rubbish out. Coming back up the canal, normality resumed – summer’s explosion of greenery crowding the towpath, and even the first ripe elder berries as I came up to Angel to satisfy the aching hunger. Purple stained teeth, I dragged myself home. The last of the summer runs – make sure to get out and enjoy the glorious final days before autumn.

Hackney Council does a wonderful job in clearing up the litter from Hackney Marshes. Goodness knows how much it costs, writes Celia Coram, Millfields Road, Hackney.

However, if you are out walking after the sports sessions, before the council has done its magic, the scene that confronts you is appalling. Litter everywhere and a great deal of single use plastic. I find it hard to ignore and often find myself disposing of it in the nearest bin.

Last Monday (September 3), my anger reached boiling point. Having picked up some detritus such as half full plastic water bottles, I walked towards the new green carbuncle (sorry, sports pavilion), to be confronted by a practically empty bin, surrounded by about 20 plastic food containers and cutlery left within a hand’s distance from the nearest bin outside the pavilion.

I am therefore appealing to the participants and organisers of sports activities to do something about these thoughtless, wasteful, bad habits.

Sports people should be able to set a better example and have the motivation and energy to put things in bins or take home. Clubs should be advising their members of the need to reduce plastic and use reusable cups and bottles and not leave empty and in many cases half full bottles of water and energy drinks on the pitches. Teams leaders could organise a collection after matches finish and/or bulk order some reusable cups and bottles for their teams.

As Hackney Council is so generous as to give free parking to sports people including visitors from outside of the borough, perhaps it could re-coup some of the huge amount of money spent on building the new facilities on the marshes by fining any club from booked areas that leave significant waste behind.

I can hear people saying that it is not just sports people, but anyone who visits the marshes after the weekend will notice a significant increase in the nature and level of stuff left behind, including non-recyclable cups that clearly come from the nearby Hackney Marshes Sports Centre cafe concentrated on or around the pitches.

The marshes are a shared resource, not only by other users but also by wildlife. So please sports and any other people eating and drinking on the marshes and other green spaces, take your rubbish with you or put it in the bins!

I do not know whether Mr Wood is a member of the Labour Party, but his views are typical of modern Labour Party Members who toe the party line without understanding the implications of what they are saying, writes Christopher Sills, Dunsmure Road, Stamford Hill.

I did not complain about consulting about parking controls but that the consultation took place so soon after it was decisively rejected in November 2015. That it amounted to harassing residents because as far as the council was concerned, they gave the wrong answer. The council should accept no means no. I believe in the absence of exceptional circumstance there should be five years between consultations and more frequently amounts to harassment, which ought to be illegal

Another example of council harassment is the proposed cycle route which is proposed to go through Dunsmure Road shopping centre when there is a viable alternative route which avoids it

Shopkeepers and residents fear that building a dedicated cycle route through the shopping centre will seriously effect its viability. If that happens and shops are forced to close it would be a disaster for the community as well as the businesses concerned and their employees who will loose their jobs

The local Labour Party and the Mayor of London do not care if those who disagree with them feel forced to leave.

In the recent local elections the electorate in Stamford Hill West decisively threw out a Labour councillor who was causing division in the community in spite of the unpopularity of the Conservative Party in the rest of London. It is quite clear t the Labour Party has not learnt its lesson and they deserve to loose the elections in 2020.

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