Times’ letters: Letter from Santa and bankrupt Croydon

Santa is adapting to social distancing. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images

Santa is adapting to social distancing. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images - Credit: PA

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

Special letter from St Nick

Sarah Lambley, NSPCC supporter fundraising manager for London, writes:

It has been a difficult year for Santa and the Elves.

Social distancing in the workshop has meant production has been tricky at times but they are still on target to have everything ready for Christmas Eve.

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Amazingly, Santa has still found time to team up with us at the NSPCC to send personalised letters all the way from Lapland.

Each Letter from Santa is printed and posted directly to your child in a festive envelope. You can choose the background design and fill in your child’s personal information such as age, best friend’s name or particular achievements throughout the year.

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All we ask in return is a donation to help us be there for children, whatever their worries, this Christmas and beyond.

£5 could buy art materials to help a child who has been abused to express their feelings when they can’t find the words. £4 could pay for one of our trained volunteer counsellors to answer a child’s call to Childline. In 2019/20, our volunteers handled an estimated 34,100 counselling sessions with children in London.

Without the support of people in London, we simply wouldn’t be able to deliver our vital services which offer a lifeline to many children and young people whose lives have been affected by abuse.

Everything we do protects children today and prevents abuse tomorrow, to transform society for every childhood. That’s why we’re here and that’s what drives all of our work. But it’s only possible with your support.

To find out more about the NSPCC’s Letter from Santa, visit nspcc.org.uk/Santa

Bankrupt council

Trevor Ellis, Chalk Hill Road, Wembley, writes:

I can’t think of a way to express my feelings about the outrageous news about Croydon Council’s bankruptcy other than to say that my mind boggles at how it was able to run up a £1.5 billion debt in spite of warnings about the council’s parlous financial situation dating back to 2017/2018.

The resignation of the former leader of Croydon Council, Tony Newman, is an insult to the immense injury inflicted upon Croydon residents by the breathtakingly reckless way that it spent taxpayers money.

As the former leader of the said council, he should be made to give an account for the brazen ways that taxpayers’ money was spent, such as public-private housing partnership Brick By Brick and acquiring land and shops to build a Westfield that never happened.

Furthermore, isn’t it ironic of the Labour Party to publish a new economic blueprint drawn up with input from trade unions and businesses about how to boost the flagging economy, backed up with advice from the shadow business and industrial strategy secretary Ed Miliband, while a Labour-led council goes bankrupt.

Surely Labour knows that it must lead by example if they expect the long suffering electorate to view them as a certain successor to the floundering Tory-led government.

With an unenviable track record on a number of issues, I cannot visualise Labour taking control in 2024 centrally and I’ll be dumbfounded to find them in control locally after this latest self-inflicted wound that will hurt Croydon residents, possibly for years.

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