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Letters: Thatcher funeral, CPZs and Ealing's rock heritage

On Saturday morning I visited the Pitshanger controlled parking zone exhibition in the Pitshanger Methodist Church.

No rationale to CPZ charges

On Saturday morning I visited the Pitshanger controlled parking zone exhibition in the Pitshanger Methodist Church.

While the officials at the meeting were well informed on the transport management aspects of the proposal, there was no one from the council to explain the reasons behind the zones’ permit costs.

The council’s website says that the cost of setting up a controlled zone are ‘quite high’ and any money raised has to be spent on transport-related improvements.

What is ‘quite high’ and on what has the money raised been spent?

The cost of the permits will be £50 and £600 for traders. I would like to have heard the justification for charging a trader £600 for a vehicle permit. A trader’s vehicle is much the same size as a resident’s car, so why the extra £550?

The shops in Pitshanger Lane are having a hard time and lumbering them with this unjustifiable extra overhead is shameful.

This extra overhead will have to be met by means of increased prices and so the people who live in the vicinity will be hit by a double whammy of their own CPZ permit fee and increased shop prices.

The council appear to be incapable of producing an integrated policy for the CPZ as council charge payers in the proposed zone appear to be targeted as cash cows.

The one person who should have been there is the portfolio holder for the CPZs.

I can only assume that the relevant councillor was not there because to explain the logic for the permit fees, outside the cosy three minute speech limit in the council chamber, might have been embarrassingly difficult.

The total lack of an explanation of the costings meant that those attending the CPZ exhibition were unable to make a fully-informed decision.

Therefore the consultation period should be extended for a month so that all concerned can take account of the financial aspects of the CPZ.

Ian Proud

Brunswick Road, Ealing

 

We must save our rock heritage

The success of the events in Hanwell commemorating Jim Marshall is a tribute to the hard work of the organisers and the Ealing Blues Club.

If only similar commitment and enthusiasm existed in Greenford, home of the Starlite Ballroom (at risk of demolition) and the Greenford Granada (now Tesco and destined for considerable redevelopment).

If preserved they would bring much-needed tourist revenue to the area.

The Granada was the venue for many well known artists during the 1960s, including the Rolling Stones, and the list of bands that played the Starlite is extraordinary. It includes Cream, the Small Faces and Geno Washington.

I am trying to confirm that Stevie Wonder played there when he was about 15 years old.

Music lovers around the world cannot understand why more effort is not made in the UK to maintain places that represent significant moments in rock history.

The Starlite is begging to be used as a community centre and an exhibition space (it is ideally located close to Sudbury Town’s listed Art Deco station), and the flats that make up the rest of the building would be regarded as stylish and valuable if only they were restored and improved.

The residents of Greenford must step up to the plate as soon as possible and save it, rather than waiting for a valuable resource to disappear so they can complain.

Albertina McNeill

Bennetts Avenue,

Greenford

Facebook page: SavetheStarliteGreenford

 

This vaccine must come via NHS

The UK’s meningitis charities have joined forces and written to Prime Minister David Cameron.

In 2011, Mr Cameron said that the idea of children dying from preventable diseases is unthinkable in this day and age and pledged to save lives in the developing world by ensuring vaccine availability.

Yet UK children are still exposed to a disease that can kill them in hours or leave them severely disabled. This is Meningitis B, the most common form of meningitis in the UK. It kills more children aged under five than any other infection.

Thankfully, help is in sight. In January, a new Meningitis B vaccine – Bexsero® – received a licence from the European Commission. It is the first Meningitis B vaccine licensed for use in the UK and can save thousands of lives.

The UK government is considering whether to introduce this vaccine into the Routine Childhood Immunisation Schedule, so it will be given to children through the NHS.

We are determined to ensure this lifesaving vaccine is introduced as soon as possible, and the support of your readers is crucial for achieving this. On average, 1,870 cases of Meningitis B occur in the UK every year – every one life-changing, regardless of the outcome.

One in 10 people who contract the disease will die and one in three will be left with devastating after-effects, such as limb loss or brain damage. So, with every day that passes until this vaccine is introduced, many more lives are destroyed.

We urge everyone to be aware of this issue and support the need for a Meningitis B vaccine.

Chris Head, CEO Meningitis Research Foundation

Sue Davie, CEO Meningitis Trust & CEO Meningitis UK

 

Thatcher funeral a ‘misuse of funds’

Margaret Thatcher’s ‘state’ funeral was a misuse of public money. It is about time politicians learned some humility and stopped using taxpayers’ money to aggrandise themselves. These are the same people who have denied pensions to millions of public sector workers because they say we cannot afford them.

Roy Baker

Ealing

(One nation under CCTV)

by email

 

Grand National is such a cruel race

The deaths of two horses in last year’s Grand National caused a public outcry.

This year, two horses died also, yet the race has been nailed a success. Since 2000, 40 horses have been killed at the event – 24 of them dying on the course itself.

The Grand National race is a deliberately hazardous one. A dangerously overcrowded field of 40 horses is forced to confront 30 extraordinary challenging and treacherous jumps over nearly four-and-a-half miles.

Last year, just 15 of the 40 horses completed the race.

Learn more about the campaign to ban the Grand National on Animal Aids website at www.stopkillinghorses.com

Yvonne Turley

Boscombe Road,
Shepherd’s Bush

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