Gazette letters: Hackney Half, local election, tower blocks and mental health

Start of Hackney Half. Picture: VIRGIN SPORT

Start of Hackney Half. Picture: VIRGIN SPORT - Credit: Archant

So you’ve been training got the big day, it’s been, you had a great time writes Dalston PT Matt Smith, Fitness First.

And if you’re anything like me you’re still dealing with the sun burn and sore feet.

I hope you had a great time and despite the challenge of it all enjoyed yourself.

So what next? You spent all these week building up an amazing habit or putting aside time.

Keep it up. Keep a little time and energy to yourself. Find another challenge or activity.

• Dalston PT Matt trained the Gazette team for the race. E-mail any questions to or go through his Instagram page: @fireandsteelfit

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I find Rosemary Sales’ letter quite extraordinary as it is clear that she does not understand the voters of Hackney and Stamford Hill West in particular, writes Christopher Sills, Dunsmure Road, Stamford Hill.

They just did not want any change in policy and wanted to live in peace with their fellow citizens.

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Where I do agree with Rosemary Sales is that the current system of postal voting on demand introduced by the Labour Party has serious disadvantages in that it favours the incumbent and is one of the reasons that the Labour Party is so entrenched in Hackney

The problem is that by the time oppositions have made their case, a substantial proportion of the electorate have already voted. This is particularly acute in council by-elections where the time scale is likely to be tight.

The problem with a no change policy is that it sweeps certain problems like homeless under the carpet but if they are not tackled individuals will suffer considerable hardship but they are forgotten by most of the electorate, who assume wrongly that it is always their fault.

The other issue which is not entirely unrelated is the Woodberry Down regeneration scheme where the original proposal was negotiated under a Labour government, a Labour mayor of London and a Labour council and now 12 years later is in desperate need of revision.

The council quite rightly let vacant properties to homeless families on short term lettings, but some of them will be residents for many years and therefore put down roots on the estate. Moving them off the estate when the blocks come down will cause individual hardship

Their problem is made worse by the fact many long term residents including those in the new blocks see them as a threat and wish they would disappear. Many are in fact decent people trying to bring up their families in difficult circumstances. Solving these problems is not easy but increasing the amount of social housing being built on the estate will go a long way towards solving them.

Holy Arles wrote a letter in the Gazette on May 3 disputing Pat Turnbull’s detailed report regarding school needs (“There is a need for our school, actually”), writes J B Brown, Handley Road, Hackney.

She had ample opportunity to state her case at the meeting attended by two local councillors, Mayor Glanville and chaired by Pat Turnbull. She chose not to along with Cllr Burke. Nobody was in favour except Mayor Glanville.

He was also in favour of a world class leisure centre. We had no objection but not in this area. He had the choice of Tesco’s car park (Morning Lane) or the old fire station in Kingsland Road but didn’t take it.

His obsession with tower blocks goes on. Another three with two on Colville Estate, five in total in close proximity. Diabolical.

The tenants on Colville has been told they have to wait another 10 years for a new build making it over 23 years for some, over 200 of them, in the pretence it is interim repairs and not a full refurbishment. He is kidding nobody.

He is trying emulate Kings Crescent estate, part new build, part full refurbishment, but it won’t work. Here perhaps Mayor Glanville will tell us what the real reason is. Also tell residents that the £50m profit from the two towers is not funding the rest of Colville estate so where is the £50m going?

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, writes Jennette Arnold, OBE, London assembly member for the North East.

Whilst it’s estimated 2 million Londoners suffer from mental ill health, previous studies show many do not access any treatment. Many are still too afraid to speak openly about the issues they face. Last summer, the mayor launched the Thrive LDN movement to improve mental health and well-being across the capital and drive out stigma. This week reminds us it’s important to reach out to family, friends and work colleagues and ensure vital support networks are in place.

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