Gazette letters: Damp, air-pollution, hate crime and vet bills

Mould growing in Shanice's carpet Picture: Shanice Drewitt-Wilson

Mould growing in Shanice's carpet Picture: Shanice Drewitt-Wilson - Credit: Archant

I’ve seen the Islington Gazette [lead story on p5, July 28, “Leader admits: Damp issues getting worse”] and I totally agree, writes Shanice Drewitt-Wilson, Loraine Estate, Holloway Road.

There has been an increase of mould problems.

I’m currently suffering from mould and damp in my flat, and I have done for years.

It’s an ongoing issue that doesn’t seem ever to be getting resolved.

It’s constantly making my 11-month-old daughter and me ill.

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Most of all, it’s damaging my stuff in my home that I’ve worked hard to pay for, and am struggling to replace.

Air-pollution is the greatest public-health threat Londoners face, and it is only right that Mayor Sadiq Khan is consulting on proposals to detoxify the city’s air, writes Meg Howarth, full address supplied.

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But the city’s poisonous air is itself a symptom of an unsustainable transport system: too many vehicles of all kinds on the capital’s roads. Deadly diesel may be the major but isn’t the only culprit. All fuels have toxic by-products. Before diesel it was leaded petrol, with children the biggest losers in both cases. Removing one health-damaging fuel only to have replaced it with an even more hazardous one should make us stop and think.

A clean-air London must ditch the car-centric transport model that dominates government planning at both local and national levels. Increasingly acknowledged in cities across the world, this thinking is entirely absent from the mayor’s consultation. The focus is on the short-term: taking the dirtiest vehicles off our roads. But the additional charges the mayor advocates to drive in the city will hit the poorest drivers. The better-off will ignore them. Good policy cannot be built on such inequitable foundations. And while the proposed publicly funded scrappage scheme for the dirtiest vehicles may help poorer drivers towards a less-polluting lifestyle, replacing one vehicle by another won’t produce a healthy population. Obesity, too, is a killer. Eliminating diesel is a necessary but insufficient move towards a healthy city and citizens.

Meanwhile the car-fixated transport shapers and shifters are falsely promoting electric vehicles as emissions-free – just as diesel was sold to the public as more environmentally friendly because it produced less CO2. Removing toxic exhausts may let us all breathe more easily, but this latest profiteering techno-fix will increase climate-destroying CO2 emissions. “Cleaner air but a hotter world” is hardly a road worth travelling.

A healthy liveable London requires a mental model-shift to a car-free city– and local town-centres. Proposals that duck that responsibility must be called out. It’s good the mayor’s colleague and City Hall transport committee chair, Val Shawcross, apparently understands this: last week she announced a walking and cycling commissioner would be appointed.

The mayor’s survey closes at the end of the week. It’s not quite a tick-box exercise, as comments are invited. Let’s tell this “mayor for all Londoners” what we think.

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The spike of hate crimes, racism and xenophobia in recent weeks has left a stain on our country, writes Louise Orton, chairwoman, Islington and Hackney Amnesty group.

We in the Islington and Hackney Amnesty group stand against such hateful, disgusting acts. Islington has always been a diverse and welcoming place, and as such is an interesting and vibrant place to live.

We were particularly pleased Islington Council welcomed Syrian families last year as part of the UK resettlement scheme. We were also pleased it adopted an emergency motion setting out its stance against xenophobia. We hope this will lead to urgent action, showing perpetrators there is no place for hatred in this borough. And we encourage the Gazette to continue to expose these acts of hatred.

We will be organising an event in solidarity with refugees on September 10 in Islington prior to a march in central London on September 17 calling for the government to take a strong message to the UN Summit that refugees are welcome in the UK. We hope readers will join us.

One of my elderly cats was unwell so I went to the local vet (Dragon Vets in Hornsey Road) on the morning of July 20, writes Timothy Bleach, Duncombe Road, Archway.

The vet made an initial inspection and said she would like to keep the cat in overnight and perform more detailed tests. I was happy with this.

On Thursday, the vet telephoned with sad news. My cat had developed an aggressive, fast-growing cancer and we agreed she should put the cat to sleep.

I was perfectly happy about the vet’s professional competence and obvious affection for the animals in her care, but less than happy with the bill, which totalled more than £960.

Perhaps you could start a campaign asking Parliament to cap the fees that vets can charge.

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