Gazette letters: BBQs, Polish community, Haggerston Park and EU vote

Revellers at London Fields earlier this year (Picture: Gareth Jones)

Revellers at London Fields earlier this year (Picture: Gareth Jones) - Credit: Archant

Despite the havoc wrought in London Fields on the first (and only) sunny weekend of the summer (June 4-5) writes, Ivor Benjamin, on behalf of London Fields User Group,

Hackney Council decided less than two weeks later to continue allowing barbecues – despite outlining concerns in their own report.

London Fields is a tiny, busy park surrounded by housing, not a festival site in the countryside; it just cannot sustain this kind of pressure.

It is time to call an end to an expensive, failed experiment and treat the Fields like any other Hackney park – a green space which visitors should respect and use with care.

I just wanted to let the Polish community in Hackney know that they continue to be very welcome here and we accept them as much as we accept people from all the parts of the world, writes Ian Rathbone, Labour councillor for Lea Bridge ward.

As someone born here in Hackney (as were my dad and grandad) I have seen people from all over the world come here and join in as part of the community. I am very proud that Hackney is such a wonderfully diverse place where people can live in peace alongside one another.

I deplore the racist attacks on the Polish community in various places being reported in the media since Thursday, particularly the beating up of two Polish men in Upton Park, Newham, by a thug which resulted in a broken arm and neck trauma, fracture of the nose, jaw and facial bone bruising.

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He told them to go home. I have to say – this is their home just as it is our home. And they are here to stay. Violence against others on the basis they aren’t like you, is not tolerable in our free and democratic society.

The Polish community fought with Britain against Nazism and have helped build our inclusivity and prosperity.

They are our neighbours and friends and want to live peacefully.

Let us keep it that way.

I am writing regarding your article on Haggerston Park, June 11, writes Anne Soward, full address supplied.

Back at the start of school development plans, the Learning Trust claimed they had to house Benthal pupils in temporary accommodation on site because there were no other available plots large enough within the Learning Trust’s portfolio of land.

A Freedom of Information request was put in by the school to obtain a list of all land owned by Hackney Council. I pored over this document and discovered the plot in question, which you mention in your feature. The plot does not belong to the Haggerston Park Users Group, but is part of Hackney’s educational portfolio, so I don’t know why they are ‘fighting to get the keys returned’.

I have also been aware of this plot for many years, having walked past it on many occasions and commented on how sad it was that such a good piece of land was treated like a dumping ground for rubbish. When our children were threatened with portakabins on sites, I went down specifically to double check it was as I had remembered it, and it was.

So this “precious community orchard” must have sprung up fairly recently, or it is absolutely tiny, and the photo on the consultation leaflet is not misleading. It has been derelict for many years. This site belongs to the Learning Trust for use for educational purposes, and Hackney’s children desperately need it to temporarily house them while the schools are built, so I consider this piece very misleading.

We in Hackney Liberal Democrats are angry at the lies and distortions of the Leave camp in the recent EU referendum as already we see the politicians who supported Leave are backtracking on their unrealistic promises on reducing immigration and funding the NHS, write Geoff Payne, Simon de Deny, Mohammed Sadiq and Jean Micheal Garcia, Hackney Liberal Democrats.

We are delighted Hackney voted overwhelmingly in favour of Remain (78.5 per cent) and we welcomed the opportunity to work with local people campaigning for Remain, many of whom were members of the Greens, Tory and Labour parties. We are also delighted with the remarkable increase by 10.4pc of voter registration.

However, this campaign also saw a serious lack of national leadership from the Labour party. We are particularly disappointed Jeremy Corbyn did not get involved in the Stronger In campaign and did not do more to win over Labour supporters outside of London.

The brutal reality is the Labour party in many places has become a war zone. By contrast we are united in sharing our positive European vision. We urge all progressives from other political parties and from none who share our European vision to come and join the Liberal Democrats. Many already have. We look forward to seeing you.