Gazette letters: Voting methods, EU referendum, Foodbank plea and Mayor’s broken promise

Cllr Michael Desmond

Cllr Michael Desmond - Credit: Supplied

Unfortunately, Mr Justice Ouseley has turned down our request to overturn the decision not to provide a polling station at Glastonbury, writes Cllr Michael Desmond, Hackney Downs ward.

[Ed: Cllr Desmond and two former mayors of Southwark and Haringey took this bid to the High Court] With the referendum on a knife-edge, votes from a significant number of the 135,000 attending the festival could affect the outcome. Many attending will be students, some completing exams; most will not have had time or known they had to arrange a postal or proxy vote. We need to allow internet voting for those who want it, whether in Glastonbury, Glasgow, Gillingham or Hackney!

Today we have an important – and irreversible – choice to make about Britain’s future, writes Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch.

If we remain in the EU we have a place at the table. I have, in the past, been at this table working to ensure that foreign criminals could be brought to face justice in the UK, to ensure cooperation to protect children and vulnerable people and to help secure our borders by sharing information about terrorists.

Being in the EU gives rights to minimum paid leave, rights for agency workers, paid maternity and paternity leave, equal pay, anti-discrimination laws, and protection for the workforce when companies change ownership.

Leaving the EU would hit working people in Britain hard. It would put their jobs and rights at work at risk.

This is not a referendum about the government or immigration but a one-way ticket to isolation and a decade of complex negotiations with no certainty about the outcome.

Most Read

It may not be perfect but if we’re outside we have no influence.

I strongly support the UK remaining in the EU.

I will be staying in Shoreditch for a few days in July to find out more about my great grandmother who emigrated to New Zealand in 1883, writes Wendy Perry, visiting from New Zealand.

She was Caroline Emma Cane, born in Shoreditch in 1861.

She had four older brothers – Christopher, George, Joseph and Charles.

They lived in Bath Place, then Edith Street and later Weymouth Terrace.

If any of your readers can supply any information about descendants of her family who are living in the UK would be most grateful.

If you can help, please contact the Gazette news desk by emailing

Hackney Foodbank is very grateful for the generous support of local residents over the past four years , writes Liza Cucco, Project Manager, Hackney Foodbank.

For people on low pay, insecure work, hit by a family tragedy, benefit problem, or mental health issue, our volunteers offer emergency food and emotional support to help people get back on their feet.

We’re seeing a rapid rise in need at a time when charity and government resources for helping people in poverty in Hackney are stretched.

2016 will be a tough year and it is an urgent priority to find a new warehouse and cope with the higher numbers of people in crisis.

You can help in several ways.

You can attend our fundraiser on June 29; you can donate or help at next week’s supermarket food collection outside Tesco; or you can let us know if you are aware of an affordable warehouse space in Hackney.

If you are able to help, email the foodbank on

Just four weeks into the job, new Mayor Sadiq Kahn’s flagship policy of freezing fares has been thrown out of the window, writes Andrew Boff, London-wide Conservative London Assembly Member.

By raising Travelcard prices by inflation and breaking his key promise he is turning his back on those who showed faith in him.

Thousands of east London commuters use Travelcards, and thus will never see this freeze.

We’ve already seen Sadiq Khan row back on other pledges in relation to police, planning and greenbelt land.

This has added salt in the wound for those who believed in his manifesto.

People may well conclude that he was happy to say anything to get elected and now he’s Mayor he’s very happy to ignore any promise that is inconvenient. And if they do think that, who can blame them?