Gazette letters: Borough’s diversity, Istanbul bombing, EU vote and floods

The flowers on the boat (Picture: Shulem Stern/@shulemstern)

The flowers on the boat (Picture: Shulem Stern/@shulemstern) - Credit: Archant

Just taken this picture on the River Lea towpath in Hackney, writes Shulem Stern, volunteer, Stamford Hill Shomrim, and Hackney resident.

I was walking with a friend along the towpath near Hackney Marshes when I saw flowers on the roof of a parked boat with a note attached.

It read: “If you are a migrant to the UK, please take a flower and know you are welcome here!”

It was very heartwarming to see such a lovely gesture, especially after the rise of hate crimes against migrant communities since the EU referendum.

It was on Tuesday at about 1pm.

Hackney has a proud tradition of bringing people from all walks of life and backgrounds together, writes Cllr Rosemary Sales, Speaker of Hackney.

Our residents get on with one another, and this is one of the things that makes Hackney such a great place to live. We are stronger because of our diversity, tolerance and respect for each other.

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People from across the world make a valuable contribution to Hackney, from working in vital public services like Homerton Hospital, our schools and of course the council to working on our regeneration of estates, helping to build the homes our city desperately needs.

It’s been a turbulent couple of weeks, and I know many residents will be feeling uncomfortable and worried about reported increases in hate crime across the country.

So I want to send out a clear message to Hackney residents: no matter where you come from, you are welcome here.

This is all our home. You are our friends, our neighbours and our colleagues – and nobody will divide us.

Hate crime has no place in our borough, our city or our country.

Last weekend I joined Hackney staff and residents at the Pride in London march. It was an inspiring day, which sent out a powerful message to those who seek to fracture our communities.

In times like this, it is vital that we stand united together and take pride in our borough.

I formally invited all of Hackney’s main parties earlier this week (including Hackney Labour) to a cross-party/no party drop-in session to support the mental wellbeing of Turkish residents affected by Istanbul, writes Mustafa Korel, Foxley Close, Mountford Estate.

The Speaker’s press statement on hate crime [see lead letter, above] pretty much echoes the sentiment of my email, and it came just before I told them I’d be putting together a press release for the drop-in. They are yet to respond despite the urgency of my request.

While I welcome press statements addressing some of the most pressing concerns of residents from fellow political leaders, it’s a bit hollow if it isn’t followed up by quantifiable actions – actions that the general public want us to lead and deliver on.

Finally, how is attending Pride relevant to a rise in racist attacks?

OK, I voted Leave, and that old saying, “be careful what you wish for,” comes back to haunt me now, writes Bill Davidson, full address supplied.

I don’t give a monkey’s nuts about the pound sterling, pensions, economic meltdown, immigration, WWIII, or whatever other disasters the Leave and/or Remain campaigners promised us – they stopped short of the return of the Black Death but only just. All these obstacles can be overcome by the resilience of the British people.

But what I did not foresee, nor could have been foreseen, was the complete meltdown of our government. This United Kingdom is now no longer united; it is ungoverned, leaderless, and rudderless – in other words, political anarchy. We gave democracy to the modern world and now we don’t know how to deal with it when it comes back to s**t on us.

I don’t care who leads us or whichever political party is in power – just give us a way forward.

The recent torrential rain revealed our vulnerability to extreme weather and the crucial importance of preventing and preparing for flooding, writes Caroline Russell, London-wide London Assembly Green Party Member.

The increasing density of our city with more and more land built on means our drains just can’t cope with the volumes of rainwater falling in these intense storms that are likely to become more frequent with climate change. The Mayor must act now to protect Londoners from the disruption caused by flooding. This means ensuring resilience of emergency services, preventing further loss of permeable land, incorporating creative drainage schemes in landscaping and planting many more trees.