Post letters: Cllr Damian White, diabetes tech, heart heroes and Book Aid

PUBLISHED: 12:30 16 February 2020 | UPDATED: 18:52 16 February 2020

Havering Council leader Damian White, appeared to belittle Barking and Dagenham  on a radio show. Picture: Mark Sepple/Havering Council

Havering Council leader Damian White, appeared to belittle Barking and Dagenham on a radio show. Picture: Mark Sepple/Havering Council

Mark Sepple

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

All is not rosy as people are led to believe

Gurpreet Bhatia, Barking, full address supplied, writes:

It was discouraging to hear remarks made by Cllr Damian White, leader of Havering Council, with regards to the performance of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham in service provision to its residents on Time 107.5 recently.

All boroughs face tough challenging times in the current climate with reduced funding year on year from central government and ever increasing demands for expenditure.

I'm sure there are many key performance indicators that can be pulled up from multiple annual online reports that can justify all is not as rosy as Cllr White would lead people to believe in Havering.

Cllr White is reported as saying, "In terms of service provision, Havering Council is streets ahead".

However this statement could not be further from the truth if one tried.

Only in August dozens of angry placard bearing business owners and local residents turned up at a library in Upminster where the council leader was attending a residents' surgery to vent their anger at him on provisions made by the council.

I would urge the councillor that comments meant to belittle other councils are not clever or constructive, more meaningful engagement and working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs would be a far more useful time spent to the benefit of all.

Diabetes tech must be more accessible

Roz Rosenblatt, London head, Diabetes UK, writes:

We know that diabetes technology, like Flash glucose monitoring, continuous glucose monitoring and insulin pumps can greatly improve people's health and quality of life.

But too many people still don't have access to the technology they need to best manage their condition.

Shockingly, in some areas of the UK, only five per cent of people with type 1 diabetes can access Flash, compared with more than 70pc in other areas. What's more, we're seeing growing numbers of people with type 2 diabetes self-funding Flash because the technology isn't available to them on the NHS.

People with and affected by diabetes have told us they want to see better access to diabetes technology. And we agree. But now we want to hear about your experiences.

So talk to us. Our survey at is now live, and is open until March 1. Whether your experiences have been positive or negative, whether you want to talk about yourself, or about someone you care for, your views will help shape our work in this vital area.

With your help, we can ensure that everyone who could benefit from diabetes technology can access it.

You may also want to watch:

Heart Hero Awards 2020

Carolan Davidge, interim chief executive, British Heart Foundation (BHF), writes:

The British Heart Foundation will host its third national Heart Hero Awards ceremony this year.

Our event last year was a fantastic and emotional night which celebrated winners and nominees from different walks of life and from every part of the UK. They ranged from inspirational children to remarkable fundraisers and heroic individuals who stepped up to save the life of a stranger using CPR. Each winner and nominee shared a spirit that embodies all that is best about the UK.

We know there are many more unsung Heart Heroes out there and we want to shine a light on their selfless achievements.

This will help the BHF raise awareness of the need for continued funding to bring new hope to the seven million people in the UK who are living with conditions such as stroke, coronary heart disease, vascular dementia and diabetes.

That's why we are calling on your readers to make a valuable nomination for the Heart Hero Awards 2020.

A Heart Hero can be anyone from a nurse or doctor working in the field of heart disease to a young person with heart disease that has shown incredible courage and determination.

Those shortlisted will be invited to a glitzy awards ceremony in London in September, when the winners will be announced.

There are three categories open for public nominations: My Healthcare Hero, Inspiration and the Young Heart Hero Award (under 18).Entries close on Saturday, February 29.

- To find out more about the categories or to make a nomination, visit

Book Aid International

Sita Brahmachari, author, writes:

Reading opened wide world portals for me in my own childhood. It allowed my imagination to soar and to travel to places beyond whatever situation I found myself in.

Reading is a great equaliser- it inspires us to meet our fellow humans, to understand, empathise and enter landscapes we could never dream of experiencing in one lifetime.

I have seen first-hand - through working with refugee children forced to travel and surviving alone, without family - what a transformational impact escaping into a book can have in helping them to keep hope alive in unimaginably unstable situations they should never have to face.

It is out of this instinct that I created a magical story hive in my book Where The River Runs Gold, where the children take refuge whenever they need.

However, for millions of children across the globe, especially those displaced and living in war-torn countries, access to this story hive of books is closed.

I want every child to be able to reach for that book that brings them light. That's why this World Book Day (Thursday, March 5) I'm supporting Book Aid International. Their fundraising efforts mean more children and young people will have access to books. Every day I'm inspired by the stories children have to tell and being a part of World Book Day means we can spread the enjoyment of reading.

Just £2 helps send another book, giving children the opportunity to read, learn and have fun. The Book Aid International website ( has plenty of exciting World Book Day fundraising. Whether you host a Big Booky Breaktime, have a sponsored Read-A-Thon or run your own unique fundraising event, it will have a positive effect.

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