Gazette letters: Proud mum, student pay, thanks to Whittington and appalling national papers


I just wanted to share this picture with you of my son Alfie Tilyard, a cadet at the parade at Islington Green on Sunday, writes Maxine Tilyard, Godwin Close.

He is 14 and a cadet with the Honourable Artillery Company and City of London Academy.

He is hugging his sister Jessie Tilyard, aged six. He is absolutely the best boy you could ever meet and was so honoured to take part in the parade.

I’m a 16-year-old student working part-time in a shop to provide basic essentials for myself without having to depend on others, writes Shakib Hossain, Holloway.

But students under 18 like me are being taken advantage of by the government and the company, who are paying the minimum wage to extract cheap labour, even though we work just as hard as other adults. It’s extremely unfair I have to wake up at 4.30am at weekends and do the hardest part of the job – collecting delivery, sorting out the stockroom, organising the store floor, replenishing the store, handling customers and trying to organise the weekend newspapers with supplements – by myself.

Then after all this has been done, the remaining employees start their shifts, and there is nothing left for them to do. They just stand there. They get more than someone who worked extremely hard.

The rules of minimum wage shouldn’t use age as an factor. Age doesn’t make the difference to a person’s capability to work.

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The standard London living wage is £9.75, but what many get across London is not worth doing the job for. My wage is only £5.40, which just covers my lunch throughout the month. It doesn’t leave me with any emergency funds.

Why should anyone have to do hard work for a company that makes millions but only pays the smallest amount to their employees?

I don’t just blame the company – rather, I’d propose the government put a ban on the age rule for minimum wage.

This could benefit the economy and employees. Sometimes companies have to stop being greedy and give some to make more. The more we get paid, the harder we would strive and work. What do they have to lose?

Having been an in-patient for 16 days in Whittington Hospital, I feel I had to write and say how well I was treated, writes Denis (surname withheld), former patient, Whittington Hospital.

I spent time on the High Dependency Unit and Mercers Ward. I did have a little setback, but the care I got was first class and each and everyone who treated me did so with respect and explained everything to me.

The staff work so hard and I saw for myself how rude and demanding some people were.

My sincere thanks to Mr Oshowo, who took on my problem and operated; a big thank-you to his team, all the staff in HDU and the sister, Ray Francis and all the lovely nurses in Mercer Ward, the people who served tea and food, and the people who kept the ward clean.

God bless you all!

In the EU referendum 73 per cent of Islington residents voted to remain in the European Union, writesCllr Nick Wayne, Canonbury ward.

But we live in a democracy, and the national result of the referendum must of course be respected.

The High Court was last month asked to rule on whether the government could use the royal prerogative to commence the Article 50 procedure without a parliamentary vote.

The case was all about interpreting the unwritten constitution of the UK.

The court ruled that the government did not have the power to trigger Article 50 in the way that they intended. No judgment was passed on the merits of Brexit by the court – just the procedure for activating Article 50.

I am appalled by the torrent of personal abuse levied against those judges by some of our national newspapers and by the threatening tone of some of our politicians (Mr Farage and Mr Javid to name but two).

For the rule of law to exist there has to be an independent judiciary to protect citizens against the unlawful use of power by the state, individuals or any other organisation.

The judges were not blocking democracy – they were safeguarding it.

Islington Labour will continue to work hard to ensure that working people in Islington are not hit by the Tories’ mishandling of Brexit, regardless of how they voted in the referendum.

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