Gazette letters: Climate change protest, cycleway consultation and EU

Children from Hackney demonstrate for action against climate change on the steps of Hackney town hal

Children from Hackney demonstrate for action against climate change on the steps of Hackney town hall. Picture: POLLY HANCOCK - Credit: Archant

Last week, we welcomed some of our youngest ever protesters to Hackney Town Hall, who came to protest for action on climate change, write Philip Glanville, mayor of Hackney and Cllr Jon Burke, cabinet member for Energy, Waste, Transport and Public Realm.

We know that Hackney is a community that cares - but it was truly inspiring to see children (and their parents) from schools around the borough take action on a cause that matters to them.

It was especially poignant because they are - more than anyone else - the generation that will face the devastating consequences of climate change if we do not take action.

We have both met protestors at the Town Hall over the past few weeks because we want them to know that the borough stands with them in the fight to tackle climate change.

As of April 1, 50 per cent of the council's electricity is generated from renewable resources and next year this will increase to 100pc as part of our pathway towards renewable energy.

We are creating our own publicly-owned renewable energy company, which will provide clean and affordable energy to people in Hackney.

In February, we proudly declared a climate emergency. We're backing this up with a full motion to the council in June, where we set out plans to go even further, including by doing everything we can to limit further global warming to less than 1.5oC, as set out in the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report of October 2018.

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By 2030, we will reduce our emissions by 45pc against 2010 levels, and by 2040, the council will achieve net zero emissions.

We will also redouble our efforts to campaign to change national policy, where continuing dependence on fossil fuels, insufficient carbon taxation, and ever-expanding road networks are undermining the decarbonisation of our economy.

We are committing the council to this action because, if we are willing to say publicly that there is a climate emergency, we need to demonstrate that rapid transition to a low carbon economy is possible at a local level.

We owe it to our own communities - including those children who came to protest last week - and communities across the world who face drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty as a result of climate change, to take bold action to protect future generations from global warming.

It is said that when a government wants to bury news it does it at times of national crisis, writes Imran Khan, St Agnes Close, Hackney.

With this in mind it may well be that Transport for London (TfL) has decided to have a "consultation" on whether or not to close the sections of Grove Road that goes through Victoria Park at the same time as the Euro elections in the hope that nobody would notice.

It is proposed to close the section to all but buses, taxis and cycles from 7am until 7pm to, supposedly, encourage people to buy bikes and cycle. While it might do that what it is definitely going to do is divert thousands of vehicles that would have passed though the park down Victoria Park Road, Gore Road and the small roads and streets off them with the same happening in Tower Hamlets around Old Ford Road.

This is all, allegedly, to link up existing cycle routes which don't seem to exist, while at the same time most cyclists going through the park don't use Grove Road but the park itself which (but TfL hasn't noticed) doesn't have any vehicles passing through it at all!

This is yet another example of a jobsworth sitting in an office somewhere who has had the proverbial " good idea" without any research into the situation or thought about the consequences which will be disastrous for local people, schools and businesses.

The "consultation" is so low key that most local people I have spoken to have never heard of it and I'm sure that that is what TfL would like. A group, however, have started a campaign and intend to lobby against this by building a base of support not just locally but across London where similar schemes are being forced through.

They can be contacted at where they will circulate details of how to register opposition to the scheme.

All elections have consequences and not always those intended by those who vote, writes Christopher Sills, Dunsmure Road, Stamford Hill.

The European Elections are no exception and it is necessary for everyone concerned to learn the lessons however unpleasant.

The first lesson of the European Election is that we have to leave the European Union on October 31, 2019 with or without a deal and the sooner everyone concerned realises the situation the better and this includes those who voted to remain and those who want a so called Peoples Vote. It is also vital that the European Commission realises this as well.

Once this is realised it is possible that a deal can be done as it is in nobody's interest for there to be a no deal. This is why I consider the Labour Party irresponsible by voting to eliminate a no deal unlike the Labour Party in Hackney when the Conservatives controlled the council in May 1968.

It is time for the Labour Party to put the national interest first and stop talking about a no deal as being a national disaster. You are only making it more likely and as the party is not stupid I can only conclude they do not care about the national interest.

The next group who must learn the lessons of the European election results is the fanatical Remainers in the Conservative Party of which there are a few in parliament and worse still in the cabinet.

They have to accept that we are leaving on October 31, 2019 and there is nothing they can do about it and stop making life difficult for the government. The only thing they can achieve is a government led by Nigel Farage or worse Jeremy Corbyn.

The next group who have to learn their lesson fast is the captains of British industry who must stop receiving excessive pay, bonuses and pensions.

The next group is the fund management industry who must stop short term thinking. There must be no more situations like Dairy Crest Plc which sold to the Canadians on April 1, 2019 (the Monday after we should have left the European Union).