Times letters: Dawn Butler, abandoned trolleys and free school meals

PUBLISHED: 08:30 24 May 2020

Sarah Cox congratulates Dawn Butler for her passion.

Sarah Cox congratulates Dawn Butler for her passion.


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

Too early to open schools

Sarah Cox, Roundwood Road, Harlesden, wrote to Dawn Butler, MP:

I saw the report in the Brent & Kilburn Times of your spirited and principled defence of your constituents against the disgraceful attitude of Ian Dale and I would like to congratulate you.

I agree with you that Boris Johnson’s decision to send little children back to school and many people back to work without proper preparations for testing, tracking, tracing and isolating people carrying the Covid-19 virus is totally irresponsible and callous.

I respect your right to feel passionately on this subject and to express that passion. The number of people who have lost their lives in our area is scandalous as is the disproportionate number of deaths among people of Black, Asian and other minority ethnic heritage. Many of these deaths could have been avoided if our government had been prepared to learn from other countries and to act speedily instead of dithering, prevaricating and, to put it bluntly, lying and you were absolutely right to say so.

May I express my condolences for the loss of your uncle. It must make the failures in the response to this virus especially poignant for you.

Trolley nuisance

Trevor Ellis, Chalk Hill Road, Wembley, writes:

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I would like to know if there are any residents who own cars and would allow them to be taken and driven away, without their consent, by strangers who visited the local superstore and bought a large amount of food which was too heavy to carry home?

The answer is obvious, none, and yet a growing number of customers regularly visit the Asda superstore in Wembley and take trolleys out of the designated area, fill them up with shopping and take them home because they had bought too much to carry by hand.

They don’t normally return the trolleys to the store and I doubt they would if asked.

These trolleys don’t belong to them, and they had no legal right to take them out of the designated area. I’ve regularly seen people pushing trolleys along Chalk Hill road without a care.

Brent Council should take action on this especially when shopping trolleys are being dumped in our canals?

The law allows councils to claim the costs of removal, storage and disposal from trolley owners?

Don’t ditch meals

Tulip Siddiq MP, Labour’s shadow minister, Children and Early Years, commenting on news the government will not fund free school meals in England over half-term, wrote:

Many more children are going hungry in this crisis, so this is absolutely not the time to be withdrawing support for free school meals.

There have been huge admin problems with the free school meal voucher scheme which we have been urging ministers to sort out, but it is a terrible mistake to take this crucial support away at a critical moment.

The economic impact of coronavirus is hitting the poorest families hardest, with one in five households with children not getting the food they need in recent weeks. A free school meal is often the only proper meal that some children get, especially when household budgets are under pressure, so this support must continue.

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