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Post letters: Controlled parking zones, absent pupils and supporting children

PUBLISHED: 12:30 23 February 2020

Neighbours in Dagenham have criticised plans to charge them to park outside their homes. Picture: JON KING

Neighbours in Dagenham have criticised plans to charge them to park outside their homes. Picture: JON KING

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

Allow residents to park for free near their houses

David Stammers, Stamford Road, Dagenham (a CPZ zone), writes:

I read the piece in the Dagenham Post which refers to CPZs [controlled parking zones] and felt that the view of a local resident needed to be expressed.

Local shops are suffering as more CPZs are credited as a good source of income for the council, but with a disincentive to the customer flow at the high street shops.

The growth of the CPZs has now been enlarged to cover residential areas which are not near any amenities but also raise a substantial income for the council from local people.

The council says that they are created to improve the local environment (air quality, reduction in traffic etc). If this is the case, why are local residents being charged to park outside their homes (this was free previously)?.

If the council wants to keep commuters away from the local area why can't CPZs be free to use by local residents and limited near the stations?

There should be an increase of free parking near the shops for people to access rather than go to the out of town shopping complex which offers free parking.

With the borough growing fast it is vital that the local facilities keep up with the town and the demise of the local shops will be a limiting force to future development.

In the recent article the deputy leader said the money raised by CPZs was put back into the scheme. Why is it not funded by the fixed penalty fines?

It would cost less to enforce CPZs if they were reduced in areas not near local facilities.

Raise penalty for parents of absent pupils

Gurpreet Bhatia, Barking, full address supplied, writes:

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It was worrying to read in the Post that the trend for parents to keep their kids away from school with unauthorised absences has further increased by 24 per cent year-on-year in the last audited figures for the borough.

School years for children are their most informative years of life, not only building on their 'book learning' but also increasing their social skills among peers and those in authority. These years will often define a child's success in future life based on a positive education and ensuing job opportunities.

Many families take their kid(s) out of school during term time to avoid the massive rise in expenses that would otherwise be incurred on booking family holidays.

The cost in holiday savings often significantly outweigh any council penalties.

An easy fix solution to this problem would be to increase the penalty charge per child to negate the aforementioned difference and also for schools not to slacken on 'teaching' near the end of term as many parents perceive and hence make it worthwhile for kids to attend.

The issue of increased holiday prices during the school holidays based on a 'supply and demand' economic paradigm will not change.

However, the ironic thing is those parents that can afford to send their kid(s) to private or fee-paying schools more than often have a staggered term time as compared to the borough's state schools and hence miss the up rise in holiday expenses.

Those that can afford it the most seem to have the better deal.

Support us in our journey to help children

Lynn Gradwell, Director, Barnardo's London, writes:

When Thomas John Barnardo came to London from Dublin to train as a doctor in 1866, he found a capital of two different worlds: the privileged elite of Victorian society living alongside children and families in terrible conditions with no access to education. Poverty and disease were so widespread that one in five children died before their fifth birthday. When a cholera epidemic swept through the East End, leaving 3000 people dead and many orphaned children, Thomas Barnardo felt an urgent need to help.

He believed that every child deserved the best possible start in life, whatever their background; and he set about passionately trying to change the social fabric of society by founding our charity, which 154 years later, still carries his name.

Last year Barnardo's supported over 30,200 children, young people, parents and carers across all of our services in London. With a presence in every part of the capital our work has grown in complexity and breadth since the days of Thomas Barnardo. In London we now support children and young people with services to improve their emotional health and wellbeing; provide safe spaces for families to access early years help in their local communities, and support young people who have been affected by domestic violence.

Bringing children and young people up in the capital can be hard. If your family has suffered trauma and are vulnerable in any way it's even harder.

That's why Barnardo's London is here; to support the most vulnerable children and young people and their families to reach their potential. We hope you can support us in our journey in 2020.

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In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

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