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Recorder letters: Lower Thames Crossing, Brexit, RAF100 and bullying.

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 December 2018

The Lower Thames Crossing should not have peak and off-peak charges when it opens in 2027, its project director has been told. Picture: Google

The Lower Thames Crossing should not have peak and off-peak charges when it opens in 2027, its project director has been told. Picture: Google

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

Make sure you have your say on Thames Crossing

Cllrs Clarence Barrett, Gillian Ford, John Tyler, Linda Hawthorn, Ron Ower and Chris Wilkins, Upminster & Cranham Residents Association, write:

The official consultation on Highways England proposed Lower Thames Crossing scheme ends on December 20. We understand the results of this will be published late next year! Therefore it could be many years before any possible construction takes place

In the meantime the council will be holding regular meetings with Highways England going through their proposals in detail and giving their concerns.

This Association also sent a formal consultation to Highways England and we have highlighted below a number of points from this.

If you would like a full copy please contact us bulletinra@yahoo.co.uk and we will get a copy to you.

• The catastrophic effect on those households close to the proposed road;

• The resulting increase in the amount of HGV traffic on local roads, both in the construction period and after completion;

• The considerable loss of green belt land and the loss of local amenities at Thames Chase;

• The environmental effect of increased noise, pollution and an increased risk of flooding to the local area;

• The destruction of irreplaceable local heritage;

• The absence of any compensation for the inconvenience to the majority of residents in Upminster , Cranham and North Ockendon.

We will keep you updated on this very important matter.

PM in Brexit sabotage plot

Cllr David Durant, Rainham and Wennington Independent Residents Group, writes:

The unelected establishment and most MPs were for Remain, so how do you thwart the will of the people and still ‘honour’ the referendum result?

Well the prime minister’s Remain tactics show how, because her ‘Brexit Deal’ is deliberate sabotage!

Her tactics have been to drag it all out, waiting for people to get tired of the fight, move away or die, and then, at the last moment, promote a pigs ear ‘Leave means Remain’ deal no one can support and after losing by 200 votes, will announce ‘we’re back to square one’ and the only way to resolve matters is with a second referendum, and presumably a third depending on the answer!

Thank you for RAF100 support

Simon Collins, chairman, RAF100 Appeal, writes:

As a year of celebrations and commemorative events to mark the Royal Air Force’s centenary comes to a close, here at the RAF100 Appeal we have taken stock of the incredible public and corporate support which has sent our campaign soaring to new heights.

Very few British people can look back at their family history over the past 100 years and find themselves untouched by the courage, capability and achievements of the men and women who served – and continue to serve – in our Royal Air Force.

This year has been a truly momentous occasion.

The July 10 Parade and Flypast attracted widespread and positive national and international coverage, providing the public with the opportunity to engage with RAF100 and show their support for the Service.

Through RAF100 Inspire, 1.6M+ children were reached through the RAF’s educational initiatives.

Over 165K+ visitors were able to engage with the RAF through the static Aircraft Tour which visited 6 different UK venues, and an innovative approach to engagement brought the RAF into contact with the British public through sport, education and digital media.

Thanks to the generous support of the general public who donated, the fundraisers who took on a range of fantastic challenges – from 100-mile hikes to tandem jumps to super marathons – and to our corporate partners, the Appeal has raised over £3million to date.

These vital funds will enable the Royal Air Force, RAF Benevolent Fund, RAF Association, RAF Charitable Trust and RAF Museum to ensure all members of the RAF Family, past, present and future, are honoured, supported and inspired.

A special thank you to our headline sponsors – Babcock International Group, BAE Systems, Fujitsu and Marks & Spencer – for their support throughout the year.

The RAF’s centenary has provided an opportunity to share the legacy of all the brave airmen and women who have, and continue to, serve their country.

The British public have answered our call and their generosity will allow these five organisations to inspire and support for the next 100 years.

Brexit deal not good enough

Mark Taylor, campaign manager, New Alliance, writes:

There is much concern over the proposed EU Withdrawal Agreement.

The government claim it’s the best or only one on offer, but in reality, they haven’t tried hard enough.

It does not take back control of our borders, our laws or our money.

It creates divisive borders within the UK and takes power away from elected government.

It provides a blank cheque for the EU to pass laws over us for years to come with no guaranteed means of escape.

Far from ensuring a level playing field, it lets the EU pick the rule book and the referee.

It provides a means of ensuring our industries are not competitive and can be saddled with new business taxes and decreased allowances.

Any issues are to be decided by the EU’s courts even years after the agreement ends. They can fine us what they like with no right of appeal.

The UK will also be liable for EU spending commitments made after the agreement ends, on top of the £35 billion payable up front.

The British people deserve better. Readers should urge their MP to get the government to renegotiate a balanced deal that holds the EU to its international obligations. EU leaders are desperate to avoid ‘No Deal’, so should play ball.

What parents need to know about bullying

Lauren Seager-Smith, CEO, Kidscape, writes:

Following the recent spate of news coverage about bullying in schools, parents, carers and grandparents may be keen to know more about what they can do to keep their child safe.

Here is some advice on action you can take if you are worried about bullying:

• Talk to your child about bullying.

Bullying is any behaviour that is repeated, intended to hurt and where it is hard for the person on the receiving end to defend themselves.

It can happen face to face or online.

• Children can be bullied, bully others, or be witness to bullying behaviour.

Media stories can be a good way of raising the subject with your child in a way that feels more relaxed.

• Know your rights: All schools have a legal duty to keep children safe and to prevent bullying and harassment.

Most schools will have a stand alone anti-bullying policy, or will reference bullying in the behaviour policy.

By law they must provide you with a copy.

• Take bullying seriously.

Bullying is a child protection issue and the impact of bullying on physical and mental health can be long lasting.

Some bullying behaviour such as physical or sexual assault, harassment and threats to harm may even be criminal.

• Don’t encourage your child to retaliate.

While it is vital that children are supported to be assertive and to handle conflict, it is not fair or safe to encourage a child to ‘hit back’.

Kidscape runs free ZAP workshops for nine to 16 year olds that teach vital skills in managing bullying and aggression.

• Talk to the school.

It’s important that you share with the school what is happening as soon as possible.

• Document everything.

Keep a log of bullying incidents, keep a record of any contact with the school and any agreed action points.

• Take further action where necessary.

Every school will have a complaints policy.

If you have followed the complaints process and the bullying still hasn’t stopped, seek further support (eg Department for Education if in England, your local MP).

• Get help.

We work with families every day that are going through a bullying situation.

We know it is deeply upsetting but there is hope.

Kidscape is the UK’s longest running anti-bullying charity and is here to help children and families.

Please visit our website for further advice, or contact our Parent Advice Line kidscape.org.uk

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