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Post letters: Child obesity, prostution, councillor numbers, immigration and police cuts

PUBLISHED: 08:00 25 February 2018

Borough has an abundance of fast food outlets. Picture: KEN MEARS

Borough has an abundance of fast food outlets. Picture: KEN MEARS

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Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Post readers this week.

Fast food fuelling obestity crisis

Gurpreet Bhatia, Barking, full address supplied, writes:

It was no surprise to me reading your article on the borough having topped the ranks for child obesity rates in London.

As an exercise while walking into Barking town centre from the railway station I counted a total of 10 eating establishments on both sides of Station Parade only of which two to three could arguably be defined as not fast food outlets within a two minute walk.

Heading in the opposite direction up Longbridge Road to the entrance of Barking Park yields no less a number of similar food eateries, many of which are next to each other serving the same food. This very small exercise covering approximately 600 metres (Google Maps) on one road within the heart of Barking confirms the inordinate number of fast food eateries that have become established within such a small area and serving a low standing population. This paradigm is not as marked if one looks at say Ilford town centre.

Barking and Dagenham council has initiated many programmes in the last few years to get kids actively engaged in exercise and healthy eating programmes through schools and other local and national schemes to their favour.

The borough has no shortage of free to use parks and a new swimming pool in development.

However, one area that the council has grossly neglected is their gung-ho attitude of issuing licences for fast food premises in an already overcrowded market place.

One only has to look at the hordes of school children cramming into these establishments after school getting their £1 chicken and chips fix on a daily basis to know that this needs to be addressed from a council strategic level.

A concerted effort in reducing the number of such business ventures coupled with continued education should help in improving the borough’s obesity ranking and hopefully less burden on already overstretched healthcare services in years to come.

Prostitution cards shame borough

Fred Creamer, Downing Road, Dagenham, writes:

I have just seen a poster for Women’s Empowerment Month in the Heathway and was surprised that Barking and Dagenham Council are sponsoring such events when they appear to be doing nothing regarding the vile and disgusting stickers and cards advertising prostitution that are all around the borough

These have been appearing for the last five to six months yet the council and police appear to do nothing about them.

From the Oxlow Lane traffic lights to the Heathway there must be over a thousand new and used stickers and cards advertising prostitution.

The young girls and women involved are more than likely trafficked by these vile pimps who are probably involved not only in trafficking of those women but also other related activities such as drugs and other crimes.

Besides the awful crimes committed against these women the sight of these stickers makes the borough look sleazy and advertising that Barking and Dagenham is the place to come for prostitution.

I have noticed that it is the people of the borough who are defacing these vile stickers but why can’t the council lend a hand and get them removed and the police do their job and apprehend these nasty vile people who are committing these offences.

Councillor count needs considering

Terry Justice, Ashton Gardens, Chadwell Heath, writes:

The question and answer session that the Post held with Peter Harris and published in your latest issue, in which Mr Harris suggested a reduction in the number of councillors currently employed by the borough brings to mind a question that I have been asking for a number of years.

Not only would a reduction of councillors per ward save a considerable amount of money but it would help to ensure that the quality of councillors was raised to a more acceptable standard.

Residents have been complaining consistently during the recent four year period about councillors who have been conspicuous by their absence over long periods of time, their duties being covered by their more responsible colleagues. Indeed, the Chadwell Heath and Whalebone wards have only enjoyed the consistent presence of three of the six designated members.

I have written to the leader of the council on several occasions, and spoken with him in person, regarding the persistent absentees. In conversation with residents from other areas of the borough, the absenteeism seems to be of almost epidemic proportions.

Which brings me to my final point: If the dutiful councillors could manage to handle the work of others, as well as their own, why are we paying the remainder for doing nothing?

I never said I’m anti-immigration

Peter Harris, Conservative Party member, writes:

I felt I must write to correct the article in last week’s Post which covered my defection from Ukip to join the Conservative Party.

It described myself as a ‘keen Brexit supporter who is anti-immigration.’ To clarify, yes I am very much a Brexit supporter, but, I am NOT and have never been ‘anti-immigration’.

I do however believe in ‘CONTROLLED immigration’. My stance is all about numbers. Between the 1950s and up to the 1990s net migration was between 30,000 and 50,000 per year. However since the Blair government numbers rocketed to over 300,000 per year. This surge has caused serious issues for housing, schools, jobs, pay, healthcare and infrastructure. Without doubt ‘free movement of people’ was a major factor why people voted the leave the European Union.

Whilst migration has clearly brought many benefits to our country it has to be controlled in a sensible and responsible manner.

Ongoing threat of funding cuts

Unmesh Desai AM, City and East, writes:

Knife crime remains one of the most urgent and intractable issues that we face as Londoners.

It’s clear cuts to the Met’s budget by government are adding to the strain. We find ourselves in a situation whereby the mayor is forced to locate another £325 million of savings in the next few years, in addition to the £600 million in recent years. However, it is welcome to see that despite the burgeoning black hole in funding, the mayor has continued to invest in tackling violent crime in the capital.

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