Ham&High letters: Excel English Language School, Haringey Borough FC, thank you from Forum+, Brexit, Crouch End and Chase Farm transport

Co-owner and principal Judy Loren, right, at Excel's final leaving ceremony on August 30. Picture:

Co-owner and principal Judy Loren, right, at Excel's final leaving ceremony on August 30. Picture: EXCEL ENGLISH LANGUAGE SCHOOL - Credit: Archant

Letters, contributions and comments sent in from Ham&High readers this week.

Muswell Hill's Excel school will be missed

Susan Bennett, assistant county organiser, North West London, National Gardens Scheme, writes:

I was sad to learn of the untimely closure of the Excel English Language School (Ham&High), for so long a landmark institution in Muswell Hill.

I was involved with their imaginative "add-ons" offering students experience in extra mural activities tailored to their own special interests. In my case it was horticulture.

My husband Earl Hyde and I enjoyed welcoming students from far afield to explore our garden with English tea and home made cakes as our own "add-on". We discussed mutual passions, and I often learned a lot about their culture while discussing ours.

Judy and Richard and their brilliant staff ran the school to an exceptionally high standard, nurturing their students and every aspect of their environment too. That included creating a beautiful Japanese Garden that I was hoping would open for the National Gardens Scheme, as we do. They gave students of all ages from around the world a really positive and enlightening educational experience as well as an insight into British life and culture they will never forget.

While wishing Judy and Richard all the best for the future, I hope the new occupants will continue to enrich the environment they created and bring positive benefit to the community.

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I'm proud of Haringey Borough

Catherine West, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, writes:

I'm proud of Haringey Borough FC players for refusing to continue their FA Cup tie with Yeovil Town FC in the face of racist abuse from a tiny but vocal minority of travelling "supporters". Nobody should be subject to racist abuse whilst carrying out their job and nobody should feel they have to put up with it.

Coming only days after the appalling scenes in Bulgaria, it is an unwelcome reminder that racism is a growing menace at all levels of the game right here in the UK.

Haringey has a proud record of standing up against racism and those who seek to divide our diverse community. I hope this shocking event will prove a watershed moment and I have written to the Football Association for urgent assurances that the players will face no action for their legitimate protest and to call on them to take a zero-tolerance approach to stamp out racism across our beautiful game.

A thank-you note from Forum+

Charles Dean, chairman, Forum+ (formerly Camden LGBT Forum), writes:

Forum+ have been hugely moved by the commitment of MPs, councillors, police, footballers, schools, the business community and our wonderful third sector during Hate Crime Awareness Week (October 12 to 19) in saying "no to hate".

All of us in the UK have the basic human right to live freely without the threat - or actual experience - of bullying, intimidation or violence. Such behaviour is abhorrent, criminal and reduces the quality of people's lives.

The week saw events at Arsenal Football Club, Camden YMCA, British Transport Police and City of London Academy, supported by Camden Council, Islington Council, Camden Community Safety Partnership, Islington Safer Neighbourhood Board, Islington Faith Forum and many others, where we captured the hearts and minds of residents in Camden and Islington - including teenagers at such an important part of their development.

While the message was about respecting differences, sadly, there are many victims of hate crime that still need our help. If you have been a victim of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic hate crime or know someone who has, please report it to the police or contact us in confidence on 020 7388 5720 or caseworker@forumplus.org.uk.

Sue nailed it on Brexit and Crouch End scheme

Chloe Milburn, Crouch End, writes:

Congratulations to your columnist Sue Hessel on her very insightful analysis of the Brexit problem, and of the "Liveable Crouch End" project, as illustrations of authorities embarking on ill considered courses of action without apparently anticipating the disastrous consequences which we now see.

More articleslike this, please; we need to hold authority to account.

Liveable Crouch End needs better engagement

Cllrs Dawn Barnes, Luke Cawley-Harrison and Tammy Palmer, Crouch End ward, write:

Over the past fortnight we have received lots of correspondence from residents regarding the trial junction closures for the Liveable Crouch End scheme. Whilst concerns were raised over many factors such as gridlocked traffic and impact on businesses, it feels like the biggest frustration amongst the community is the lack of real public engagement from the council.

Over the past year, our requests for public meetings and greater community involvement have been met with refusal from the project team, and last month council officers and the lead cabinet member declined to attend an open public meeting we had arranged. This continued lack of public engagement falls well below what we expect for our residents.

The intentions of the scheme are unquestionably good (less pollution, a better local environment), but for Haringey to make a success of it they have to bring the community with them. That means involving them at every stage, and listening to their feedback and experiences; rather than making decisions without them, and doing so behind closed doors.

Why not speak to businesses who trade outside EU?

Dek Messecar, Hampstead, full address supplied, writes:

Why do the mainstream media feature only those companies which export to the EU describing their worries about Brexit, while 65 per cent of UK exports are currently sent to countries outside the EU?

They will describe how easy it is to trade in the same way as most exporters in the rest of the world. It's not difficult. It's just that 40 years of membership has made companies forget how it's done. Balanced?

An open letter to Donald Tusk

Jessica Learmond-Criqui, solicitor and local campaigner, wrote an open letter to Donald Tusk, president, European Council:

I am a resident of Hampstead in north west London in the United Kingdom. I have noted that Prime Minister Johnson has written to you putting to you parliament's request for an extension to the October 31 deadline but making clear his personal view that he does not want an extension.

We do not enjoy a presidential system in the UK. We have a parliamentary democracy which means that parliament is supreme. If a Member of Parliament can command a majority of MPs in support of him or her, he or she can form a government and be Prime Minister.

Boris Johnson may be in office, but he is not in power as he heads up a minority government without a coalition to give him a majority. He has been reduced to the role of a scribe. He is obliged by law to carry out Parliament's will and it is irrelevant what he thinks and believes personally.

He has sent to you the request of Parliament to extend the deadline. It is right that he did so, otherwise he would have been liable to imprisonment for breaking the law. This request from Parliament is valid and is the will of the UK's democracy.

Please, therefore, accept the request as one from the UK and give it due weight and courtesy of serious consideration. Many lives and livelihoods hang in the balance.

The UK has always been a strong member of the EU partnership and perhaps we may see a day when that partnership can continue unabated.

For now, we need a little time to work out what to do as the current deal rips our country asunder, making ours a two-speed country with little control over the laws that will shape our future. We need to be part of the system that shapes our laws and our lives and not an observer and bystander.

Any decision you make will be irreversible. Please give us the space and time to make the best choice for ourselves and for future generations.

No answers over hospital transport

Roderick Allison, chair, Caversham Patient Participation Group, writes an open letter to the Royal Free Hospital's chief executive:

The Caversham Patient Participation Group at its recent meeting on September 30 once again expressed grave concern about the continued failure to solve the problem of public transport to Chase Farm for patients needing the services you have transferred there.

It is totally unacceptable that patients with, for example, cancer or maternity or orthopaedic problems should have to make a journey involving four changes and up to 40 minutes of walking. It amounts to a denial of their NHS rights.

Though you have assured us that patients are informed that they can opt for treatment at the Royal Free instead, we continue to hear of patients who have not been told this.

As a matter of routine, this information should be communicated clearly and confirmed with a written leaflet - even if the receptionist does remember to mention it, ill patients may not take in a single throwaway remark.

Could not the Royal Free reimburse taxi fares to and from Chase Farm for those dependent on public transport and unable to manage such a journey? Or, why don't you approach one or more of the large multi-national companies located in King's Cross to see if they would sponsor a mini-bus and its running costs? Perhaps the charitable arm of the Royal Free could do this. Is any hospital car service available?

We are aware that Healthwatch have reviewed this problem and reported to you in August. It is most unsatisfactory that, two months later, you are still reviewing their report and are therefore preventing Healthwatch from publishing it. It gives rise to suspicions that you are just seeking delay. When are you going to announce a decision and allow the report to be published?

A final word on the travel problem: one of our members entered your Royal Free website and tried to use your TfL journey planner from Gospel Oak station to Chase Farm Hospital, specifying his needs for step-free access and 15 minutes max walking. He drew a complete blank - the search engine showed no results at all.