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Gazette letters: WORLDwrite, benefit discrimination and EU elections

PUBLISHED: 08:30 11 May 2019

WORLDwrite's HQ in Millfields Road, Lower Clapton. Picture: POLLY HANCOCK

WORLDwrite's HQ in Millfields Road, Lower Clapton. Picture: POLLY HANCOCK

Polly Hancock

As someone who has volunteered for basic administration and literacy support for the diverse range of young people at my local charity WORLDwrite for many years I was shocked and very unhappy to read your article, writes Kate Abley, Hackney, full address supplied.

You should be praising a charity that provides free up to the minute film training and the opportunity to develop active and critical citizenship skills for Hackney's young people without patronising or coddling them.

Any young person who volunteers, no-one is a passive recipient of charitable largesse at WORLDwrite and no-one is turned away, can think and argue about any of the current issues about which films are made.

They will also be prepared to form their own judgements when they are exposed to biased and unfair reporting.

My 14-year-old son's interest in politics, history, geography and the freedom to debate contentious topics has been inspired by some of the excellent work Ceri Dingle and her volunteers have produced, writes Ann Oliver, Grange Road, Ealing.

This includes their campaigns on open borders, their inspiring film on Sylvia Pankhurst and suffragism, and another wonderful documentary on CLR James. He can't wait to volunteer with the charity, and I will be more than happy to ignore your deliberate attempt to arouse public fear and suspicion about the charity and encourage him to do so.

Your report of the council's rent regimes for Bridge House and Colville Estates and your May 2 report of funding from the GLA for 100 conversions to council housing raise a couple of issues, write Mary Pimm and Nik Wood, Gore Road, Hackney.

The Commons Work and Pensions Select Committee says that landlords should not be allowed to refuse to let to people requiring benefits to pay the rent. Can our council say clearly that they agree with this and will let, without prejudice, to claimants? They'll set a good example to the likes of those housing associations who do include this discriminatory clause in lettings on our estate.

A typical key worker scheme requires applicants to be able to "... independently afford the rent without recourse to public funds". They also say "Applicants must be able to afford 80 per cent of market rent without further assistance eg housing benefit."

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Any number of circumstances may lead to people needing housing benefit such as illness, redundancy or, in the case of the life-long tenancies that are typical of our stable, evolving and vibrant community, retirement. To be at risk of your home in such circumstances would be a disgrace.

Many councils have, in the recent past, sold off housing to housing associations. Some of these associations indulge in systematic hypocrisy and are part of the housing problem, not part of the solution.

Both the Conservative and Labour Parties had net losses in the local elections which means both Mrs May's deal and the customs union have been rejected by the electorate, writes Christopher Sills, Dunsmure Road, Stamford Hill.

Any claim by the Liberals to suggest that people were voting to remain in the EU is nonsense because more Conservative councillors than Liberal councillors were actually elected

Conservative MPs know what has to be done and I hope they will do it but they could fail to do their duty fearing they will be sacked on a trumped up charge as happened to one cabinet minister recently.

If Conservative MPs fail to act the Party's National Convention will.

It is likely that the European elections will go ahead on May 23 partly because all MPs know that she is going. Ironically this makes it harder to stop.

It is vital in London that all conservatives and East European citizens vote Conservative in the European Elections partly because the two sitting MEP's are standing again and the number three candidate, who is known to me personally would make an excellent MEP and has the talent to be a cabinet minister in the future

By voting conservative it will help ensure Ukip with its far right connections do not get elected. The leader of the Brexit Party is on record as admiring Mr Putin and all East Europeans should be afraid of the rise of Russia. The new secretary of state for defence has made her position quite clear.

Anyone thinking of voting Labour should think again because all that will achieve would be to boast Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party with its failure to tackle antisemitism and its support of a customs union. Getting out of the custom union is the most important reason for me for leaving the EU enabling us to enter trade agreements with other countries

Voting Liberal just means months of delay which will continue to damage the economy and in the long term achieve nothing as we are going to leave whatever happens.

The fact that we have voted to leave once means that we can never have much influence, which will mean in the end there will be mutual agreement that we should go.

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