Defending livelihoods & chilling out at Paddington Rec

The big issue last week came from the hugely disappointing announcement from the Post Office proposing to close up to 1 in 5 of London’s local branches. Clearly this will affect the elderly, young families and those on benefits disproportionately more then anyone else in our communities.

One group who would be be effected by the proposals are the many small Asian family businesses, many of whom stand to lose their livelihoods. Those running post offices and those benefitting from the trade the post office attracts to the typical high street could be decimated if the proposals go ahead.

I will be raising these and other issues with Post Office Ltd, urging them to reconsider. I encourage anyone worried about the impact of losing these vital local services to do the same.

On a more cheery note, it was heartening to see the potential impact that the Mayor and government’s joint investment in London’s youth provision could have. Last week l visited one of the training sessions of the London Tigers at Paddington Rec – where l once played sport and stayed out of trouble after school.

l bumped into Muhammad, who now goes to my old school. He told me proudly that the school had won the schools’ football championship last year and that he was a member of the winning team.

It was much the same in my time when my year’s team won the championship several years running and it was all down to the dedication of our PE teachers giving boys like me their time and energy. The £80 million now going to youth services will keep more young people like Muhammed off the streets and away from the lure of gangs.