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Post letters: Park toilets, parking, Covid track, trace and testing, charity and water usage

PUBLISHED: 12:30 13 September 2020

St Chad's Park. Picture: Ken Mears

St Chad's Park. Picture: Ken Mears

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

Park toilets must be reopened

D Sullivan, Chadwell Heath, full address supplied, writes:

For many months now the toilets in St Chad’s Park have not been opened to the public.

We pay council tax for such facilities.

At a time when we are encouraged to use open spaces, this could be construed as abuse of our human rights. It is a basic requirement to use a toilet.

As a regular walker in the park, I have witnessed people urinating publicly on more than one occasion.

Redbridge park toilets have been open for months. Sainsbury’s toilets are also closed, leaving no public toilets in Chadwell Heath.

If Redbridge and Havering, the two neighbouring councils, can do it why not Barking and Dagenham?

Shame on our local council!

Parking restriction hitting shops

Lynn Manning, Dagenham, full address supplied, writes:

We popped to the chip shop at the Fiddlers at about 5pm. There was still a long queue for the school uniform shop.

Guess who appeared? A parking warden.

I’ve no doubt the people queueing had exceeded their time because there had been a queue all day and they would be loathe to lose their place. The warden dealt out tickets with gay abandon.

I fail to see why this area was altered from a free parking area, since it has devastated the shops locally. After the shutdown they are already running on empty and surely there should be some leeway until business picks up.

The excuse that people park there then take the Underground is pretty weak. How many people are supposedly doing it now?

The government are complaining that shops are closing at an amazing rate. A major factor is irrelevant parking restrictions.

Lower trace rate a matter of concern

Unmesh Desai, London Assembly member, City and East, writes:

Test and Trace is a crucial tool in our efforts to contain a potential second wave of coronavirus, but it has had a bumpy start to put it lightly.

We have seen the criticisms of the current system of contact tracing writ large in the headlines of national newspapers, but if you zoom in on the performance figures there are clear problems we need to address at a regional level.

The fact that Barking and Dagenham has a lower tracing rate than many other boroughs is a significant cause for concern and is putting local people at risk.

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This is why I have written to PHE, calling upon them to urgently get a grip on the situation in the borough.

Testing too far from home

Dr Peter English, BMA public health medicine committee chairman, writes:

It’s ludicrous that people are being directed so far from their homes for testing. In some cases, it means driving for three hours – and back – which is completely inappropriate at the best of times, let alone for someone who may be ill with Covid-19 symptoms.

Travelling such distances are expensive, and that’s if individuals have access to a car at all.

This is an issue doctors are incredibly concerned about – with understandably worried patients contacting them for advice about what they can do when told to travel so far. Furthermore, effective testing relies on widespread take-up among the public, and being directed so far from home will be a huge disincentive to people who need to get tested.

While the government pins its hopes of a “return to normal” on mass testing – with vast sums of money already handed out to private companies at a huge cost to the taxpayer – we can see the present system is not working. Without getting the basics right, and ensuring people can easily and safely access tests, this goal looks a long way off.

Wear pink to help fight breast cancer

Addie Mitchell, clinical nurse specialist, Breast Cancer Now, writes:

I am writing to ask your readers to join us on October 23 and take part in the UK’s biggest and boldest pink fundraiser, wear it pink.

Breast Cancer Now’s wear it pink day helps us continue to make world-class breast cancer research and life-changing care happen through the vital funds that are raised by people across Essex each year. Without this fundraising, we simply cannot continue to be here for people affected by breast cancer, now and in the future.

So, if there was ever a time to find that pink top, grab that pink tie or dig out that pink tutu, that time is now.

Fundraisers can register to claim a free fundraising pack at wearitpink.org. Whether your wear it pink day is held online, an event with your household or a socially-distanced event, we hope you can join us in helping to fund life-saving breast cancer research and life-changing care for those affected by breast cancer.

Please support Noah’s Ark

Konnie Huq, former Blue Peter presenter and Noah’s Ark supporter, writes:

It’s absolutely right that children should be taught about environmental issues at school. They will be the guardians of the future of our planet and as such they need all the knowledge and encouragement they can get.

Although in many cases I’m sure they already know more than their parents.

To support The Noah’s Ark Foundation in their efforts, please visit gofundme.com/f/an-ark-to-save-the-planet to donate and help to continue their work.

Think about the water you use

Christine McGourty, chief executive, Water UK and Nicci Russell, managing director, Waterwise, write:

According to a new survey, 46 per cent of Brits believe their household uses under 20 litres of water a day, which is roughly equivalent to taking a two-minute shower. In fact, the true figure is closer to 142 litres per person per day meaning an average family of four could use more than 500 litres each day!

This summer we saw a surge in demand for water, as more people stayed at home and enjoyed the hot weather in parts of the country. This is why Water UK and water efficiency experts Waterwise have joined forces to encourage people to think about the amount of water they are using. This campaign offers simple hints and tips to help people cut back, saving energy, money and protecting the environment.


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