Gazette letters: Brittania trees, Brexit and early summer

Trees around Britannia are being cut down for the development. Photo: PAT TURNBULL

Trees around Britannia are being cut down for the development. Photo: PAT TURNBULL - Credit: Pat Turnbull

It is a sad day now they have started cutting down Britannia’s trees, writes Pat Turnbull, Save Britannia Leisure Centre campaign.

The picture is of the trees as they were.

The trees to be cut down were marked with a red spot.

Finally the council puts up boards Britannia. It says that they are building a leisure centre and that some trees will need to be cut down - it does not mention the 400 luxury flats or the towers 25, 20 and 16 storeys high.

It’s a poor swap.

There is now no alternative but to crash out of European Union on March 29 without a deal because a significant number of MPs think they know better than the over 17 million electors who voted to leave on June 23, 2016, writes Christopher Sills, Dunsmure Road, Stamford Hill.

These MPs have spent the last three months quarrelling amongst themselves and making a deal impossible, in spite of claiming they do not want to leave without one. In many cases it is just an excuse to cancel Brexit, which fools no one.

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If these remainers actually succeed in delaying Brexit the resulting confusion would be truly damaging because nobody would know when it is going to happen and the resulting uncertainty would mean a major recession.

If Brexit is delayed then Britain must take part in the European elections on May 23, but the likely result would be an increase in anti-European MEPs which would not please the current European Commission or the pro-European MPs.

Some things must happen now, including postponing the new tax regulations due to come into force at the beginning of the new tax year. This is bound to cause short-term problems and treasury ministers must know this and are no doubt hoping to blame Brexit. This is pure dishonesty.

There must be no increase in tariffs from present levels and if the European Commission increases any tariffs on British goods businesses should be repaid and the costs deducted from any money due to the European Commission, as should the cost of the European elections.

Any increases in regulations due come into force between now and the end of April should be delayed for three months because regulation changes always cause temporary problems.

The City Pension Funds and ordinary shareholders must look very carefully at takeover bids (particularly cash ones) where rich individuals and/or foreign companies are attempting to buy British companies on the cheap because of Brexit uncertainties (a good example is the attempt to buy Dairy Crest on the cheap announced on February 22). Trustees should make fund managers explain to their members any decisions made in an offer period.

As the time for playing games is now over, any Conservative MP or, worse, minister should immediately be sacked and not allowed to stand as a Conservative at the next general election on a key Brexit vote. Like the Jihdi Bride they must learn that there are consequences for stupid actions

In short, it is time to take the gloves off. The CBI will not like it but it was wrong about joining the European Union in the first place, wrong about the exchange rate mechanism, and wrong about the Euro, and therefore has no credibility now.

Summer is round the corner, it would seem, but we have not yet had our spring, writes Will McCallum, Newington Green.

Mist lifting up over the marshes from the Lea painted a picture of a late April morning, but the final short days of February and March have not yet come.

In the circles I move in there is much inner conflict and public discussion as those who care for the environment seek to enjoy the warm blue skies while harbouring a deep unease at the prospect of the climate having changed.

I ran from Dalston to Kent on Saturday, en route witnessing in hedgerows and front gardens nature’s confusion; a pair of Brimstone butterflies tangled upwards away from a buddleia along the railway line; a fox in Springfield Park basked on the lawn-slopes in the dawn sunlight. Phenology, the study of the ways in which nature changes in the seasons, is facing an ever-accelerating challenge as the earth grows even a fraction warmer.

We may enjoy milder winters, and indeed we should for they are glorious, but the side-effects may leave us harking back to days of sleet and hail.

I am worried, I must admit – anxious for the children in my life and the communities across the world who are already dealing with far worse than a warm winter’s day. To slow these changes down is no mean feat and I worry whether anyone, from my own housemates to Hackney Council to our MPs to the leaders of countries across the world, is equipped to deal with the changes we need to make.

I know only one way of dealing with this whirl of anxieties – to get outdoors and enjoy the wildlife and nature out there, on our doorstep and further afield.

Watching a wren busily re-make its nest for spring out of my office window by Astey’s Row, pleasingly unconcerned with the bigger picture, I was reminded that even when it feels a bit overwhelming, all is far from lost and there is still so much worth fighting for.