Pollution in Tower Hamlets

Here is the most recent map on pollution in Tower Hamlets.

It shows, for example, that the location of Raine’s Foundation school is in a better spot than other schools near Commercial Road for example.

Yet the council will determine school quality only by the amount of academic results achieved and not by the health of the pupils as part of the equation.

My personal experience is that my daughter went to a school near Commercial road for 2 years and ended up having to get a brown inhaler for asthma. Then changing school to near Victoria Park at the north of the borough, was found to be healthy.

Right-wing extremism

the development of which is a real danger for Britain today. The Big Society is the breeding ground for extremists of all sorts.

We cannot categorise a person as left- or right-wing whether they are white or not, we have to categorise them by religion and/or traditional behaviour towards their religious doctrine.

We need to re-evaluate the systemic fascist bevaviour that may or may not be religious because the orientation towards a god-like persona, whether living or dead is the main attraction in those movements. Domestic abuse is an indicator of wide-spread day-to-day facism.

Boaz’s book of ‘The politics of Freedom’ are a symphony’ to praise venture Capitalism and with it comes the religion of exploitation of the moment to help the venture individual become rich and successful.

With the Big Society, the Conservatives developed the red herring of Brexit, a concept that runs right through their tenure of government. Whenever they needed something to talk about, it was/is Brexit.

Newsnight’s data – obtained under the Freedom of Information Act – revealed there were 322,250 RUI cases between April 2017 to October this year. Of these, 93,098 related to violence against a person and sexual offences cases.

All pressing current issues were ignored. Right-wing extremists are not necessarily white these days, they can come from all backgrounds and Usman Khan, the recent London Bridge terrorist is the dead proof of it. He got a ‘get out of jail’ card without proper scrutiny but it would have been apparent to specialists that he is definately a terrorist risk. Yet there was no money available to properly assess or monitor him as the government spent millions on Brexit preparations instead, putting all our security at risk.

_rui_offences-ncIn fact 93.000 suspectd violent criminals and sex offenders – were released since 2017 into society without restrictions. The government changed the rules on pre-charge bail in 2017. People suspected of offences including rape and murder have been among those “Released Under Investigation” (RUI). Such persons could have an immense effect on society because they may have a different attitude towards democracy and freedom of the individual among other things.

This means suspected offenders who could be part of a certain ideology could be released without jail back into society and severely affect the fabric of society.

Politics is evolving very fast and we cannot keep getting stuck to old and no longer reliable concepts. Multi-nationalism and international movement puts a stop to that.

Whenever I write to a government department, the answer that the minister is just changing prevents a meaningful dialogue. Many voluntary organisations are primarily staffed with those who can afford to spend the time and energy to do those roles. That in itself indicates, the persons are well off and from a middle to upper class background. There are a few organisations who meet through need like those around Grenfell Tower and victims of crime of some sort, who meet whenever they can.

The ability to organise these days is severely restricted through changing working patterns. The change in working patterns was orchestrated on purpose so the so-called working classes could no longer meet and organise themselves on a regular basis.

Only those who are established and well off can find the resources to dedicate themselves to the Big Society, they are also the least likely wanting to rebell.

Wealth concentration is spiralling towards a smaller elite whilst the masses are kept in some poverty and ever bigger dependance on the charity donations that fewer people are able to give.

The Labour policies currently pushed by the Labour Party are there to counter this development and it is necessary to re-establish some level of playing field for society to flourish.

 

More food allergy for children

That is really concerning that more and more children suffer food allergies. I am not even qualified as doctor and often apply common sense and instinct when I look at something and often logic alone helps to resolve issues as well.

We are too specialised these days and often can’t see the forest because of the trees. Because everybody just looks at one very specific issue, we are unable to combine thoughts and are left to wonder what the cause of something is.

Severe food allergy reaction, which resulted in hospitalisation has risen by almost 100% in 4 years.

Allergies can be against, cheese, dairy in general, nuts, sesame.

Not all allergies result in a threat to life.

I blame lifestyle and eating too much pre-processed food.

agriculture barn clouds corn

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com. I do not have any pictures from that time, so use a free pic.

My family used to run a farm, we made everything from cider to flour, from Sauerkraut to growing strawberries. We had geese, rabbits, cows, pigs.

I had a lot of contact with earth and the natural environment. All our food was basic and freshly prepared. My mother, nor her mother or the mother before that would go and buy any prepared food in a shop. In fact, in the village my family had a farm, the shop was the smallest institution in the whole area. It was tiny.

Whilst in a big city, all we see is shops. Our children live out of packets of ready-made food.

No doubt food selling has become a large part of our economy.

I’ve seen the changes here in London. So many shops have closed to be replaced by a shop selling food.

strawberryI still try to cook as much as possible myself. I walk past the cakes, I go home and bake one with ingredients I buy myself. You will be surprised how easy it is to make things from scratch.

Yes, it is more expensive. That is very unfortunate, because the more processed we buy and eat our food the less our stomach has to digest and that affects the microbes in our bodies and that is bad for us.

Probably food allergies are a reason why I could not buy any Tahini paste in my local Lidl nor in Sainsbury. Lidl didn’t even have any Humous in stock perhaps because it is made with Tahini, which is a paste made from Sesame seeds.

Can’t people keep busy doing crafts instead of buying everything ready-made, which  is a major cause of earth warming because producing things using machines, causes earth warming, instead of making food and selling it?

xmascake

My home-made Christmas cake, it’s decoration is basic but it tasted very nice.

Yes, you can argue that the more people cook themselves the more ovens we need. Good point but health is the most important cause humanity can have.

We stick our children to sit in class-rooms all day and do not allow them to have contact with nature and then wonder why they do not know what a carrot is or where a chicken comes from.

Or, of course there is still apossibility that people always have been allergic to some foods but we just didn’t know it and they just died of something and it wasn’t clear to us what it was because science wasn’t able to detect the cause.

Enough of death, I just want to do something positive for the rest of the day, week, year.

 

 

Measuring air quality

Just trying to compare air quality in various areas of East London because a comment to my last blog pointed out the good air quality at the northern end of Tower Hamlets.

So I used some air quality measurement websites to get exact results.

Using the London Air Quality Network, a message popped up that the London Borough of Tower Hamlets has opted not to be a member, so detailed information cannot be displayed. this service is run by Defra.

When I go to another site, addresspollution.org, all I can find is the same information for all areas of Tower Hamlets, an amber warning sign, saying that air pollution exceeds legal limits. The same message appears whether it is for E1 with the highly polluting Commercial Road or E2 near Victoria Park.

There is no distinction and that propably serves the current council strategy to deploy services by cost rather than distinct air quality.

This makes it very difficult for recent immigrants or residents of Tower Hamlets to actually know which areas are healthier than others. Just because a recent comment on my previous post pointed out that planners knew in the 19th. Century that the area around Victoria Park had health benefits.

So it is easy for the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to argue that parents didn’t choose Raine’s because of the healthy location, because they make it impossible for peole to find out that the location actually is healthier.

The Raine’s Nov 2019 consultation

green leafed trees under blue sky

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

After the issue of the statutory closure notice, the Council put on another public consultation. I went there tonight, despite having problems with my foot, and sat there for the duration.

All those council representatives gone on about was the past decisions, problems occuring in the past and that financially the school is not viable because nobody wants to go to the school.

Of course nobody can go to the school because they won’t let anybody enrol. Just the pupils who are now in year 11 have to go to the school because they started their GCSE courses there last year.

There is a residential trip forthcoming but some pupils would not want to go there because they would just be incredible sad all weekend because their beloved school is about to close and some pupils simply cannot cope with that.

I mentioned during the meeting, that my daughter actually started her secondary career off at Bishop Challoner school in Commercial Road; an area with an immense amount of traffic outside.

My daugher never had breathing problems before but when she started going to Bishop Challoner she started to get short of breath, kept on coughing and it became so bad that she was given a brown inhaler.

After two years she changed school to Raine’s Foundation, the school next to Victoria Park, and then, after about 1 1/2 years attending Raine’s her consultant told her that her breathing is absolutely fine and that she can throw away her inhaler.

So the council said that people did not send their kids to Raine’s because of the clean air in the past and then I said that in the past people weren’t aware of those climate emergency issues and surely if it is put to them now that a school like Raine’s in a healthier air environment is good for their children, they would surely prefer to send their kids there.

Labour can’t loose this general election

Corbyn has the winning formula.

He appeals to

  • the young by promising to abolish university tuitition fees
  • the middle ages by supporting young students and older relatives and by improving workers rights, health care and public transport.
  • the old by promising free health care.

Nobody cannot vote for this unless they are rich and do not rely on public services. Since the rich are in the minority, they cannot possibly win any election.

Even though I fell out with Labour big time some years ago, this new election manifesto is likely to be a big winner.

people in line

Photo by Cátia Matos on Pexels.com

We have listened to the repetitive speeches how the Conservatives increased the employment rate but forgotten to mention that those people also increasingly rely on food banks.

Tower Hamlets forecast

Prediction of an increase of 4% more children and 1,600 extra school places needed.

I think  that the Council shuts down a secondary school with a brand new building in a pleasant healthy air and green-leaf environment just because it has had some bad statistics in the past is beyond comprehension.

Why doesn’t this council show initiative and revive Raine’s Foundation school with innovative intervention instead of closing it down?

Perhaps it has to do with finance, that debts accrued over falling pupils numbers and the resulting per-pupil funding short-fall caused a deficit and the only way to absorb that deficit is to close it down and start afresh?

chest-hospital

Raine’s is next to the Chest Hospital, view from Victoria Park, 1 minute away from the school

We need to achieve continuation for Raine’s pupils and the current strategy is to move them to Oaklands. Oaklands also has a nice new building but less capacity than Raine’s has at the moment and the envronment is far less nice than the Raine’s neighbourhood. You will not find many trees around Oaklands school but you find many trees around Raine’s school.

I would rather see Raine’s extended and the building used for education as it is in a healthier environment. Health is important.

Tower Hamlets council is going to deliver a decision on the consultation tonight at the Cabinet meeting.

Whilst clean air strategies are being developed to make the air cleaner all around the borough, methods include extra charges for vehicles who enter the inner London zones, at the moment we still have too much difficult areas. It would be inventive of the council to move schools into clean air zones rather than leave schools where they are and wait for another few years until traffic measures bring carbon levels down.

Unfortunately there is a distinct lack of flexibility both in national and local government policies to adapt to health needs because institutions are too fixed on locations.

In Fairness the Mayor promotes traffic stopping measures around Oaklands school in Old Bethnal Green Road and there is an ongoing consultation at the Professional Development Centre from 9. November at 10am and 14. November at 5pm.

Should good air quality trump?

raines school

the brand-new building of Raine’s Foundation school

The current case on the proposed closure of Raine’s Foundation school raises a lot of questions.

Council has admitted that the air quality of the location of Raine’s is healthier than in the rest of the borough but because the academic achievements are lower than the average in Tower Hamlets and the school is the only one with a ‘need of Improvement’ Ofsted rating since a few years and parents do not want to send their kids to the school and admission numbers constantly fall, the school should be closed.

chest-hospital

Raine’s is next to the Chest Hospital, view from Victoria Park, 1 minute away from the school

Yet we constantly see this harrowing pictures of children being unable to breathe on the way to school or have schools in unhealthy air areas. We have a healthy air campaign.

gatehouse schoolAlso in this area is the private Gatehouse School, which is thriving. Gatehouse school is part of the education provision in the area near Victoria Park.

I find it quite amazing that healthy environment cannot be utilised for the benefit of secondary school pupils and education provision cannot be moved to a healthy air area but instead education takes places in a preferred other area that is not so healthy. It doesn’t make much sense to me.

It would make sense if parents sent their kids to the Raine’s Foundation school and then started an action group to pressurise for better educational results, lobbying the governors and so on.

Worrying breakdown in local services

I have never experienced such a breakdown in local services.

  1. Our local secondary school, Raine’s Foundation is under threat of closure
  2. 2. Our local GP, The Mission Practise is refusing to give patients appointments.
  3. The London Chest Hospital was closed some time ago.

Taking this as a sign of a reduction in local services, residents should be concerned and make enquiries to their local Member of Parliament, their Councillor and perhaps the Mayor of Tower Hamlets as to why our local services are not delivering the care our community needs.

No GP appointment available

I am registered with a local GP practise. I rang up this morning to make an appointment. Expecting a lengthy waiting time, I was amazed to be told that I cannot make any appointment at this time as they do not have any.

Not even online, on the Patient Access site are any appointments to be booked.

It’s totally unacceptable.

My GP surgery is completely closed on Thursday afternoons.

When ringing the GP when closed you are supposed to get put through to the community health services. That put me on a loop, being put onto the same answer machine message 3 times without any recourse on contacting my GP.

On the GP website is a link to an online consulation service, asking for symptoms I answered questions. They then came up with the warning, contact your GP immediately to make an appointment.

Yet the GP does not offer any appointments nor do they answer the phone on a Thursday.

I shall make a written complaint to my councillors, the local MP and also to the GP surgery directly.

It’s totally unsatisfactory that local GPs do not offer any appointments to patients.

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