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Post letters: Development, ME, help sick children and have fun while raising money

PUBLISHED: 08:00 17 December 2017

Sadiq Khan looks at plans for Barking Riverside. Picture: JIM RANGER

Sadiq Khan looks at plans for Barking Riverside. Picture: JIM RANGER

Jim Ranger

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

Good reasons for high-rise living

Colin Newman, full address supplied, writes:

Paul Scott correctly points out some disadvantages of high density development, but as with most things, it also has advantages and this is why it has been a feature of UK urban planning for decades now.

Yes fire will spread more quickly in high density areas and care needs to be taken to mitigate the risk and effects of this. Paul’s favourite point about tall buildings blocking daylight is rather tenuous; all buildings block daylight. A block of 100 flats will block daylight for a longer continuous period, but a terrace of 100 houses will block it over a greater area. You choose. It is plainly true that if there is no allocated car parking for a development then cars will have to be parked elsewhere, but this does not mean that cars will be taking up more space – just different space.

Low density development leads to urban sprawl – a problem seen in many areas of the US which UK/European town planners have sought to avoid.

The greater travel distances involved in sprawling developments mean that fewer journeys can be walked or cycled, so more journeys are by car, which means more space needs to be set aside for cars, plus more motor traffic, more dangerous collisions and more pollution. A vicious circle.

Public transport is harder to provide where density is low. Poor public transport attracts low ridership and low income, meaning the service gets poorer. Buses become infrequent and more often stuck in the extra private motor traffic induced by the poor public transport, so less able to keep to schedule and less reliable for that reason.

A vicious circle disproportionately affecting those without access to a car, including those who can’t afford the cost.

If you live in suburban sprawl you are more likely to need access to a car and therefore to own a car, but this is an expensive option. Money spent on a car cannot also be spent on housing and thus housing becomes in effect less affordable.

Despite what many people say and believe, there is not a physical shortage of housing: It’s not a town planning issue, but a (the?) major factor in housing affordability is that private banks are creating most money (about 97 per cent of it) out of thin air.

Then they lend out a high proportion of this money as mortgages, which attract interest. There seems to be widespread unawareness of this large-scale Ponzi scheme. Many MPs even seem to be unaware of it.

Support friends who have M E

Sonya Chowdhury, chief executive, Action for M E, writes:

Many people with the chronic, neurological condition M E tell us they feel very lonely and isolated at this time of year, particularly

those who live alone with no family or friends to share the festivities with.

A visit, phone call or simply a thoughtful card from a friend could make a positive difference – so if you know someone with M E, let them know you are thinking of them this festive season.

If you have M E and you need information and support, call us on 0117 927 9551 (we’re here until 4pm on December 22, and re-open on January 3), or join one of our friendly online forums, open 24/7. You can also read advice from Rose, who has M E, in her article on coping with Christmas alone at actionforme.org.uk/alone-at-xmas

Help sick children this Christmas

Rupert Young, actor, writes:

With Christmas just around the corner, I’m feeling particularly excited as this will be my first Christmas as a dad.

My daughter may still be tiny, but I’m looking forward to starting those festive family traditions that I have such fond memories of growing up with myself.

As a new dad, I’m utterly thankful that my daughter is healthy and happy.

It makes me appreciate just how unbearable it must be to see your child become seriously ill – particularly at Christmas.

I support a wonderful charity called Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity which provides support to families with a seriously ill child. Rainbow Trust matches these families with a dedicated Family Support Worker who helps them emotionally and practically to make life a little easier and enjoy precious time together as a family.

If you have a moment, please visit rainbowtrust.org.uk/the-greatest-gift to find out how this incredible charity will be supporting over 2,000 families this Christmas.

There is also a wonderful Christmas animation to enjoy and an opportunity to donate, if you are able to spare some change.

Thank you for your support.

Raising funds for brain injury fund

Shane Richie, actor and supporter of The Children’s Trust, writes:

I am writing to tell you about The Supercar Event which is held in aid of a charity close to my heart and a day out I really enjoyed.

On Saturday and Sunday, July 7-8, Rockingham Circuit will host The Supercar Event for the first time – a spectacular two day festival offering attractions for the whole family including once-in-a-lifetime supercar passenger rides. I know how much fun this is and all funds raised are donated to The Children’s Trust to help children with brain injury and neurodisablility across the UK.

Every year more than 40,000 children in the UK acquire a brain injury through an accident or illness and the effects are often life changing.

The Children’s Trust supports children and their families affected by brain injury and neurodisability through specialist rehabilitation, education and community services with the aim of helping them to live the best life possible.

Whether you dream of a ride in a Lamborghini Aventador S, Ferrari 488, Pagani Huayra, an Ariel Nomad, OR if you’re looking for a fantastic family day out, join us at The Supercar Event and help us to raise £100,000 for children with brain injury and neurodisability. Tickets start from £8.

Save 20 per cent if you book before December 31, visit thesupercarevent.com

We are also recruiting 100 volunteers to help us with the event, lunch is included and you will receive a free family ticket so that friends and relatives can come and enjoy the event too.

Call 01737 36 4324 to register your interest.

I hope you will be joining us there.

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