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Times’ letters: Clean air, youth clubs and flower corridor

PUBLISHED: 08:30 06 September 2020

Air pollution over London. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA

Air pollution over London. Picture: Nick Ansell/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

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

More funds for clean air

Navin Shah, London Assembly Member for Brent and Harrow, writes:

We have yet more evidence from the Office of National Statistics, suggesting a link between air pollution and higher Covid-19 mortality rates.

Toxic air disproportionately affects the poorest in our capital and even before the pandemic, contributed to the premature deaths of almost 10,000 Londoners per year.

This is an awful symptom of social injustice, but with the right political will, we can do something about it.

City Hall figures show that in the wake of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and other mayoral schemes coming into force, London has seen a drop in toxic NO2 emissions which is five times greater than other parts of the country.

In this success, when it comes to the air that we breathe, we cannot afford to be complacent.

This is why the government needs to amend its Environment Bill to give cities more funding in this area and allow London to access the Clean Air Fund, so even more can be done at a regional level.

We need our youth clubs

Ismael Lea South, The Salam Project, writes:

As an avid youth worker from Brent, I am sick and tired of hearing that another youth provision or community hub in Brent is closing down.

When there are no youth clubs in communities, this has a negative effect in communities.

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This pushes young people in communities into crime.

On many occasions, we are working in Brent in a youth project and over four to five times I have heard “closing down” and Councillor Butt.

This included Wembley Youth Club of London Road and recently Rumi’s Cave in Kilburn.

I know councillors have a big responsibility and have tight budgets but please don’t shut down any more youth or community centres.

These spaces are essential for youth engagement, gang mediation, seminars and accredited training for young people to progress.

Sadly these community hubs keep on getting closed down.

There should be a task force in youth crime intervention in communities.

Now, post Covid lockdown knife crime incidents have been rocketing in the community. Yes, society, families and bad influences are to blame but Cllr Butt with his associates must take some of the blame in reducing youth provisions in the borough.

We need a social change that reviews and manages budgets more efficiently. This will save lives in the borough.

On the trees and the bees

Mark Withers, currently teaching in Cambodia, writes:

I just read the article about the flower corridor.

This corridor is helpful for bees, but as a beekeeper knows that bees get most nectar and pollen from trees such as lime trees, philadelphus etc.

Trees have far more flowers and hence more forage. They should plant flowering trees too.


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