Letters: Beggars, Sydney Russell School, driving costs, children in Covid and Barnardo's

Sirous Baziyar, 43, of Loxford Road, Barking, dropped the cigarette butt in Green Lane, Dagenham in

Beggars are active in all weathers around Green Lane - Credit: Google

Why no action on street beggars?

A Collier Row resident, full name and address supplied, writes:

It concerns me that every day in cold and wet weather there are beggars in Green Lane outside the post office at Rowallen Parade and the pound shop.

I’ve also seen some outside Lidl.

In spite of reporting this as modern slavery on Crimestoppers and the Met police sites it seems that nothing can be done.

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Set small goals to reach larger one

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

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The ‘No Brainer Challenge’ being run by the Sydney Russell School to overcome some of the stress brought on by the pandemic hardly fits the bill of its name. 

But it would be a great help to stimulate mental fitness relating to the brain as well as physical fitness by taking part in a physical challenge over a period where some aim or goal can be personally set. This combination of the physical aspect relating to a mental aspect of goal making makes it so much more beneficial.

Goals in themselves can be good motivators causing the mental faculties to focus on something beyond the present state, particularly if it is something that a person desires or wants to do. But goals are not guarantees that what one may want or even expect happens.

Goals need to be realistic and useable as far as the person making them sees them. Some long term ones may take many years to achieve. But what the goal does is to cause the brain, or mind to be thinking of the goals as they proceed through their normal days functioning and cause an inner release of energy to accomplish the goal. 

But this is where problems can arise when the goals are too big for a person to accept or have the ability to reach and therefore could affect mental wellbeing by losing confidence in their desires and causing high levels of anxiety and disappointment, which would not be conducive to good mental well being.

Often successive goals leading to a major goal can be useful such as sub-goal leading to the major goal. 

I ran a programme where the main goals were to swim 10 miles in March, a cool month, to be swum in varying lengths during the day to complete the total distance of 10 miles. 

The thought of swimming 10 miles for most would be beyond them, but to swim smaller amounts leading to a total of 10 miles was realistic and resulted in many taking on the challenge and succeeding. Their fitness improved and the satisfaction of having achieved their goal gave them a greater sense of well being.

Fitness is very much related to mental fitness so the participation for it does both parts of a body much good.

The following is what we can all aim for: ‘Mens sana in corpere sano’. A healthy mind in a healthy body.

No plan for fee to drive into capital

Congestion builds up in London. Picture: PA/Press Association Images

According to London Assembly's Dr Alison Moore, there are no concrete plans for charging motorists to drive into London - Credit: PA WIRE

Dr Alison Moore , Labour’s London Assembly Transport spokesperson, writes:

There have been some recent media reports suggesting that motorists living outside our city could soon be charged £3.50 each time they drive into London.

We need to do some myth-busting here. For the time being, there are no concrete plans for this to happen. This is just one of several ideas that TfL is exploring to plug the gaps in its finances left by plummeting passenger numbers as a direct result of the pandemic.

The preferred option, which the mayor is lobbying the transport secretary Grant Shapps for, is for London to keep hold of the £500m it generates through Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) each year.

This is all currently spent on maintaining roads outside of the capital. In fact, this week, new government figures have shown that London’s contribution this year will pay for the entire national budget allocated to fixing potholes in other areas of England.

On the London Assembly, all political groups have backed VED retention as the way forward and it will help us to avoid the need for a boundary charge.

An even better solution would be for the government to give TfL the long-term and sustainable emergency funding package it needs to mitigate the impact of the pandemic- just like it did with the private rail companies.

Plan to reduce impact on children

Cllr Elizabeth Campbell, London Councils’ executive member for Schools and Children’s Services, writes:

London’s children are facing massive disruption to their early education because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

If we do not act now, this could have serious consequences when they start primary school and beyond, especially for children from more deprived communities. Nobody wants to see children not being ‘school ready’ and failing to catch up as they get older.

London Councils’ new report outlines a five point plan for local and national government that will reduce the impact of the turbulence of the past year on these children.

We have recommended protecting existing nursery budgets by using last year’s headcount figures, as well as announcing long-term funding plans for maintained nursery schools to give them future certainty.

Devolving unspent allowances to local government would also ensure money already committed to early years is not lost when it is most needed. 

We propose investing this funding in local initiatives to reach out to families with young children and improve attendance, as well as further supporting childcare and nursery providers at this challenging time.

Give daily coffee price to Barnardo’s

Lynn Gradwell, director, Barnardo’s London Region, writes: 

Children and families need your help more than ever.

We at Barnardo’s are asking people to donate what would have been the cost of their usual daily commute or coffee to support these children and their families.

We can support them with vital things, like putting food on the table, paying for heating and electricity (especially in the recent very cold temperatures), affording data so children can keep up with school online, and having access to counselling as children and young people all across the country are struggling with their mental health.

The cost of an average coffee would provide a child with a hot meal and a drink. 
You can help by supporting our Children in Crisis Appeal via Barnardo’s Just Giving page justgiving.com/campaign/donateyourdailycommute

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