Gazette letters: Refugees, Fabric, recyclings and illuminated advertising

Syrian refugees arriving in Greece last November (Picture: PA)

Syrian refugees arriving in Greece last November (Picture: PA) - Credit: PA WIRE

I have recently started working with an organisation that helps resettle Syrian refugees and supports asylum seekers, writes Rebecca Baron, Adolphus Road, Finsbury Park.

Last week, I met a 19-year-old Syrian refugee living alone in London. I was absolutely appalled by the things that had happened to her in Syria – bombings, shootings, abuse. She told me she arrived in London to be greeted by one of our volunteers at the arrivals gate, and that it made her feel safe, welcome, and at home.

Her story made me acutely aware of the difference a warm welcome and a safe environment make. I would like to see more of this warmth and this welcome in my local media.

Last week’s front page got people dancing to the tune of dissatisfaction on Twitter and Facebook over the faith of Fabric, writes Michael McElligott, Amwell Street, Islington.

It is true the nightclub has not killed anyone. Should it not exist, folks would go elsewhere, dance and consume.

It is contaminated drugs that are consumed that can kill promptly, so if society’s leaders are really concerned about clubbers’ health then provide drug testing kits on the NHS for free. This way you minimise the death factor for people who wish to play Russian roulette.

MDMA used to be prescribed to couples having difficulties in their relationships – perhaps the Labour party should order some and get the party going!

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Successive governments have failed society with their outdated policy on drugs. Fact is, their drugs policy has lined the pockets of terrorists to fund their conflict against the UK. Hence, one might very humbly ask: is the government guilty of promoting terrorism funding via its current drug policy?

Should they legalise all drugs so as to shut down this revenue source? Trying to stop it with social control, customs and police has failed miserably, costs a fortune in taxes and achieves nothing for the society.

Politicians are elected to represent the will of the people. Millions take drugs: tax them.

With reference to Cllr Claudia Webbe’s letter about recycling in last week’s Gazette, I would like to draw attention to the ongoing disgusting state of the communal recycling points in this area, writes Monica Hall, Kingsdown Road, Holloway.

In particular to those outside St Paul’s Court in Kingsdown Road and in Sussex Way opposite the N19 pub.

These are just a focus for dumping of all kinds of rubbish. The skips are not regularly emptied, waste that cannot be recycled is not removed and the areas never swept. Currently the skips have not been emptied for three weeks in spite of calls to the council.

I take my kitchen waste to these points but it is often difficult to access the bins because of piles of rubbish all around. Some people just leave kitchen waste lying by the bins which is a health hazard. Currently the food waste bin outside St Paul’s Court has been broken open and the entire contents spilt onto the pavement.

If as Cllr Webbe says, communal recycling is no more cost effective than door-to-door collection, why can we not have our door-to-door collection restored?

What is the point of our trying to recycle waste if the council cannot organise an efficient system for collecting it?

There has been very little publicity about a council money-making scheme that involves rolling out illuminated advertising display panels across the borough, writes David Trillo, full address supplied.

This might be welcomed if it were not add odds with many of the council’s planning policies...

• De-clutter the street scene. It is difficult to see how free-standing display panels 1.4m by 2.7m do anything other than add clutter.

• Improve the visual amenity. Almost by definition they cannot add to visual amenity wherever placed. This is particularly obvious when they are in conservation areas and in front of listed buildings, such as St Mary’s in Upper Street.

• Advertisements should be of a high standard. Who is to judge what a high standard advertisement is?

• Contribute to a safe and attractive environment. They will not contribute to safety as they can only reduce pavement space for pedestrians and obstruct views. They will certainly not add to the attractiveness of the environment.

• Not cause a public safety hazard. As the panels are large, lit up, constantly changing and will be placed to be seen by all, including drivers of vehicles whose attention will be attracted and distracted which has to constitute a hazard.

• Must be appropriate to the site. Difficult to see how identical display panels can be appropriate for all sites or indeed any site.

If putting up illuminated advertising display panels was an entirely private enterprise project there is no doubt the council planning committee would have rejected the applications out of hand. Why should it be different when the applicant is Islington?