Post letters: Keeping gardens tidy, RAF centenary, MIND and EU nurses

PUBLISHED: 08:00 02 December 2018

Garden competitions encourage pride in an area. Picture: PA

Garden competitions encourage pride in an area. Picture: PA


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

Time to resurrect garden scheme

Dr Leonard Restall B.Ed, M.Ed(Hons), New Zealand, formerly from Barking, writes:

The letter from Mrs Green in last week’s Post highlighted a feature which was a credit to the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. It was on the quality of gardens, particularly front gardens remembered from many years ago.

The council estates in those days held a regular annual garden competition with prizes awarded. It became a delight for residents in those areas to travel around the district before and after the prize award to view the splendid gardens, something we as children did. The quality of those gardens brought credit upon the whole district and is something that could be reconsidered to reinstall for the community.

At that time of more than 66 years ago, my father had won the first prize many times for our garden in Ilchester Road.

In fact, there were several prize winners in this road, and the competition had the effect of elevating the standard of the whole street. It also had an impact upon the children of that area in getting them to have a part in the beautification of their own local garden as well as bringing credit to the district.

If one should contrast the present state of gardens as mentioned by Mrs Green, it becomes sad to see gardens left unkempt and turned into a car park bringing a blight upon the area.

Environmental beauty is to be admired, and each member of the local society can have a part to play in lifting the overall standards.

Many good gardening articles appear in the Post and, therefore, could again be an encouragement for the restoration of garden competitions in various categories.

Dish out fines for untidy gardens

Mrs Donna Collins, by email, writes:

I totally agree with Mrs S D Green’s letter in the Barking and Dagenham Post last week.

Our poor borough is looking worse than ever.

The front gardens in our areas have rubbish which people won’t take to the local tip or won’t pay the council to take it away.

The gardens are overgrown. I thought Cllr Rodwell and the local council was going to fine these households for the mess but again this appears to be all talk.

Our areas are getting a terrible name with all the crime going on. Why don’t people take pride in their homes and gardens? Let’s start loving our borough again.

Barking and Dagenham Council, you need to pull your finger out and get tough on these bad tenants.

RAF centenary - a legacy shared

Simon Collins, chairman, RAF100 Appeal, writes:

As a year of celebrations and commemorative events to mark the Royal Air Force’s centenary comes to a close, here at the RAF100 Appeal we have taken stock of the incredible public and corporate support which has sent our campaign soaring to new heights.

Very few British people can look back at their family history over 100 years and find themselves untouched by the courage, capability and achievements of the men and women who served – and continue to serve – in the force.

The July 10 Parade and Flypast attracted widespread and positive national and international coverage, providing the public with the opportunity to engage with RAF100 and show their support.

Through RAF100 Inspire, more than 1.6 million children were reached through the RAF’s educational initiatives.

More than 165,000 visitors were able to engage with the RAF through the static Aircraft Tour which visited six different UK venues, and an innovative approach to engagement brought the RAF into contact with the British public through sport, education and media.

Thanks to the generous support of the general public who donated, the fundraisers who took on a range of fantastic challenges, and to our corporate partners, the appeal has raised more than £3 million to date.

These vital funds will enable the Royal Air Force, RAF Benevolent Fund, RAF Association, RAF Charitable Trust and RAF Museum to ensure all members of the RAF family, past, present and future, are honoured, supported and inspired.

A special thank you to our headline sponsors – Babcock International Group, BAE Systems, Fujitsu and Marks & Spencer – for their support throughout the year.

The centenary provided a chance to share the legacy of all the brave airmen and women who have, and continue to, serve their country.

Support charity MIND this year

Andrew Vale, director of Mind Retail, writes:

Our shops rely on the generosity of the community, which is why in the lead up to Christmas, we are asking residents to give what they can to their local Mind shop.

I am calling on readers to donate their previously loved items such as; winter coats, jumpers, hats, and scarfs.

New books are welcome too and will make great Christmas gifts.

The average bag of items donated to Mind’s shops is worth around £30. £30 that will help to fund the charity’s vital work, such as our confidential Infoline, which provides information and advice, and the campaigning work we do to secure a better deal for the one in four of us who experience a mental health problem every year.

For your nearest shop go to:

EU nursing staff keep NHS running

Jude Diggins, regional director, RCN (Royal College of Nursing) London, writes:

Charging overseas nursing staff - who pay tax and national insurance - to access the very health service they work in is hostile enough, but voting to double the charge is beyond cruel, mean-spirited and speaks to a government which looks increasingly inwards

Rushing the vote through parliament with just same days’ notice has also denied our members the opportunity to have their voices properly heard.

The doubled fee, which is now £400, may not be a grand sum for a government minister, but for overseas nursing staff with families, it is a cost they could do without, especially when trying to settle in a new country.

In London, 17 per cent of our nursing staff are from outside the EU. Without them, and their skills, the health service would grind to a halt and the capital’s communities would be far less rich.

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