Letters to the editor 14/07/16

(14 July, 2016)

This week you wrote to us about Southern Rail, Dulwich Hamlet, and everyone's favourite topic: the bin collections

Forget Brexit – what about bin collection?

After Brexit this might not seem so exciting but our bins have not been emptied in three weeks.

It has been a long time since this has happened.Under the Lib Dems it was not so prevalent but when it happened, we didn’t have the juxtaposition of a sign reminding us that the council is spending £300 million repairing flats that looked perfectly fine.

It’s also galling as many of us live in  properties for which we have paid hefty council taxes for years but unable to repair our own rotting windows,

Adding insult to injury, the council used to take away bulk items for free. Now it is charging £16! Of course this will disproportionately affect the poor and the old who have neither the means to transport the stuff themselves or the money to pay the council.

I knew it wouldn’t be long before we started feeling the effects of  a socialist council who have no idea of the unintended effects of its policies.with the large council tax charged by this council the least we can expect is our bins emptied on a regular basis.

Loanna Morrison, Camberwell


Give us the 50-metre pool you promised

Further to your article in  Southwark News on 2nd June 2016 concerning the promise Southwark made to its residents about the length of the new [Surrey Quays] swimming pool:

Southwark has now broken this promise, which was to build a 50m pool, and have stated their intention that the new pool should be 25m – shorter even than the existing pool of 33m.

Given that the council needs to use its funds wisely, and at the same time must benefit as large a part of its residents as possible, an alternative suggestion could be to retain the current length of 33m, and in addition to adapt the learner’s pool into a multi-use pool.  This would meet the council’s commitment to deliver a sustainable state of the art modern leisure pool complex.

As the proposed plans already include a learner’s pool, this pool could be made into a multi-purpose pool by having an adjustable floor, making it suitable as a learner’s pool when the floor is raised, and a diving pool when the floor is lowered.  There could be at least one and three metre spring and platform boards.  This technique is already used in several pools, including the diving / learner pool at the London Aquatics Centre at Stratford.  (Photo attached).

If the learner’s pool had an adjustable floor, then it would be a multi-use pool: for leaners, diving, synchronised diving, synchronised swimming, scuba diving and possibly even for canoeing practice.  This opens the door to many more actives and to a much larger number of residents in Canada Water.   It would be realistic for the council to consider building a pool with these assets.

The assets of having a multi-use pool and a 25 or 33 meter pool rather than only a 50 meter pool would be:

  • Learners area away from main pool
  • Diving from spring and platform boards
  • Scuba diving and practice
  • Synchronised swimming
  • Synchronised diving
  • Practice for canoeing

The advantages also of having a pool for swimming and a composite pool would be:

  • The leisure centre would be a leading centre for Aquatics in Southwark
  • There would be training facilities in Southwark for three Olympic water events
  • More than one swimming event can take place at the same time

Andy Hind, via email



Fag packet calculations on Dulwich Hamlet

I refer to Jonathan Hunt’s letters over the last few weeks giving his views and cannot let these pass as they offer a very simplistic view of both Dulwich Hamlet FC finances and the development that is proposed.

Whilst I welcome Jonathan’s attempt to calculate the viability of the scheme, there appears to be absolutely zero thought for any of the multitude of variables that can affect a development. Perhaps Jonathan can simply advise the council and the mayor’s office per se and save everyone the cost of any appointed consultants? It all seems very clear from the fag packet calculations that he’s sent across as gospel here.

The raising of the issue of affordable housing is indeed relevant, and one that we as a progressive, forward-thinking and community focused club have also raised with the scheme’s applicants. The answer that came back loud and clear is that 35% is indeed manageable, but not if there is a stadium to build!

This is not a residential development but a stadium-led one. They could cut costs, but we would be faced with the same situation that Fisher are in; a stadium suitable for the Southern Counties East League, no form of revenue from the leisure facility – and a sustainable future in nothing but name. If 35% is the amount that is asked of applicants without any other additional costs, then how can we expect this one to generate an extra £5,000,000 worth of costs for the stadium AND the borough’s requested level of affordable housing?

This is where the fag packet calculations fall apart completely.

Liam Hickey, via email 


Cut to rail boss wages

RE the article about the much reduced train services affecting Southwark – I wonder if those who are supposed to be in charge of the debacle will have their vast pay reduces in line with the vastly reduced service they are meant to be offering?

Just a thought….

 M D Bennie, Dulwich 


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