Letters to the editor: 05/10/17

(05 October, 2017) Letters

This week: former Bermondsey MP Simon Hughes accused of "hypocrisy" over government police cuts; questions over MP Neil Coyle's views on Garden Bridge; and more questions about Lewisham's failed CPO of Millwall land

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You blew it Simon

I see Sir Simon Hughes spoke at the Lib Dem conference about policing and tackling knife crime,‘Mayoral hopeful has pledged no new CPO on Millwall’, Southwark News, September 28, 20017.

He had one chance in Government and blew it – he supported budgets that axed Southwark police officers and PCSOs. He was Minister for Justice and yet prosecutions have not risen to get justice for the families affected by knife crime. His speech is an example of hypocrisy – I used to think much better of Simon Hughes.

Sam Parham, (Barrister), Rotherhithe

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It’s time to apologise

I’m sure many of us are disappointed that Southwark’s Labour Party have not responded to Neil Evans’ letter (14th Sept) about his conversation with a Labour activist on his doorstep. I can understand why Southwark Labour want to deny our MP’s commitment to The Garden Bridge project, but there is a bigger issue here.

We can be sure the local Labour party knows which one of their activists spoke to Mr Evans, (they probably noted down the details of that conversation). Southwark Labour should release those details, and ask their activist to make a public apology for trying to mislead Mr Evans.

If Southwark’s Labour party refuse to tell us who spoke to Mr Evans on the 9th September, there is a likelihood that local people will dismiss every word of every single Labour activist in Southwark. To reclaim any credibility, Labour must let us know the name of the man who spoke to Mr Evans. Southwark Labour must ask their activist to apologise, or accept the consequences of trying to close ranks and protect him.

Graham Neale, Elephant and Castle

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I’m confused about mayoral candidate

I am a little confused regarding Lewisham Labour party, and their choice to be their candidate, ‘Mayoral hopeful has pledged no new CPO on Millwall’, Southwark News, September 28, 2017 .

Firstly, has there been any news of the Inquiry into the botched CPO on Millwall FC, Lewisham Council and the developers they were going to use? The Cllr the party has chosen, Cllr Damien Egan, was the cabinet member responsible for the CPO, and choosing the developers. I do not understand that he was happy to let developers build 2,400 flats in Bermondsey, with about only about 12 flats so called affordable, and zero social housing! My question now is, is this now the policy that Lewisham Labour party are happy with?

Name and address supplied

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Behind the wheel

A recent survey by Independent Age, the older people’s charity, revealed that one third (33%) of drivers aged 70 and over in London say they would feel like they’d lost part of their identity if they were not able to drive and for more than four in five (84%) older drivers it would mean a loss of independence.

The survey was commissioned to promote our new, free advice guide, Behind the Wheel: Tips for safe and confident driving in later life. The guide is full of tips to help support older drivers, and provides information on alternatives if they decide to stop driving. It is accompanied by online information for the families of older drivers around how to start difficult conversations about driving.

The survey showed that, for many older people in London, being able to drive means so much more than just being able to get out-and-about. Whether it’s keeping in touch with family and friends or continuing to do their shopping, driving can help maintain a sense of independence, and identity too.

There are almost five million people over the age of 70 who hold licences in the UK, with more than 100,000 of those over the age of 90. There are many benefits to continuing to drive into older age and, as long as they remain safe, older people should be able to continue driving for as long as they want to. It’s also vital that people who are no longer able to drive have access to information on the various options available for getting around without a car.

Independent Age is one of the two charities who provided contributors for ITV’s 100-year-old Driving School, which airs at 9pm on Tuesdays from 12th-26th September. Independent Age representatives attended the three regional hubs to talk to older drivers and their families participating in the programme about their experiences of driving, in research for the Behind the Wheel advice guide.

Behind the Wheel is completely free to order and download from www.independentage.org/driving-guide or can be ordered by calling 0800 319 6789.

To make a donation or find out more about how you can support the work of Independent Age and help older people stay independent, please visit www.independentage.org.

Lucy Harmer , Director of Services, Independent Age

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