Letters to the editor: 15/12/16

(15 December, 2016)

Brexit debate, 'Pay to Stay' controversy, and tribute paid to late historian Stephen Humphrey

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Coyle and Hayes right to support remainers

Thank you Neil Coyle and Helen Hayes for having the vision and intellect to support the 48 per cent  who voted remain in the European Union.

Southwark News 8 December edition had two letters from Bermondsey telling almost 20 million people and millions of others too young to vote or who made the mistake of not voting, to shut up.

Mr. Moorcroft, your daughter has no special right to accommodation next to you.  The British schools she went to gave her all her opportunities for free; speaking English and other languages she could have learned, your daughter was the one generation that had the UK, the EU and even the world as her playground with international opportunities to choose from.

I have no idea what your quarrel is Mr. Brady.  You say you voted to remain but you pick a fight and threaten someone who is championing the rights of tens of millions of people who didn’t believe political and tabloid lies about the NHS, about market access, about science and technology and economic health and stability.

I am gobsmacked at the people I meet who voted leave because they think little Britian will make them safe, that small and pinched means more opportunity for them.

Abby Taubin, East Dulwich

 

 

The public meeting you promised?

We have been following with interest the claims of Peter John “Southwark Labour councillors have been campaigning hard against the introduction of Pay to Stay, which would have led to huge rent hikes for our council tenants”, totally ignoring the input of active tenant’s organisations across Southwark.

He made no mention of the SGTO who worked closely with Lord Roy Kennedy (a former SGTO member) and Helen Hayes MP, both of whom thanked the SGTO for the input into the work they are doing to combat the worst aspects of the Housing Act. No mention of the Tenants & Residents Association and individual tenants who have been holding estate meetings and operating stalls on Saturdays in Southwark Shopping Centres to inform residents of the worst aspects of the Housing Act. No mention of the activities organised by Defend Council Housing.

It gives rise to the serious question – if he is doing all this wonderful work, why didn’t he tell us? Or is this just another example of politicians turning up and claiming credit for what they haven’t done?

You were kind enough to publish the letter signed on behalf of Tenants Council, Housing Area Forums, key Housing Campaign groups and Trade Unions asking Peter John to keep the promise he made in May to call a public meeting to encourage residents across the borough to jointly campaign against the Housing Act. At the time of writing we have not received a response.

Peter John is on record as stating how important it is to work with private developers and he does that with great enthusiasm, in all sorts of prestigious venues.  Conversely he ignores the people who put him in office. If you want to look at his legacy of working with the private sector, look at Southwark’s changing skyline and the loss of homes that are affordable for Southwark residents.

We would like to give a message to Cllr Peter John OBE, and all the other councillors who have ignored us, (‘not in our portfolios!’), that there are still parts of the Housing & Planning Act that are even more draconian than ‘Pay to Stay’ such as the introduction of fixed term tenancies.

We reiterate what was said in the letter to you Peter John and Southwark’s Labour Group; hundreds of tenants heard you promise to call a public meeting – please do so now.

Cris Claridge & Ian Ritchie, Nunhead   

 

Scout volunteers – we salute you!

2016 is Cubs100, the centenary of the Cub Scout movement, and I’m lucky and proud to be ambassador for their monumental birthday party.

The 16th of December is the 100th birthday and like the Cubs from Southwark I will be renewing my Cub Scout promise.

It’s been an incredible year so far with trips, fundays and camp outs, but the best is yet to come with Cubs 100 birthday parties taking place across the country this week.

For 100 years Cub Scouts have been helping in their communities and this year is no different.  Through our “A Million Hands” project Cubs in Southwark have been helping to make their community a better place to live and work.

I would also like to shout out to the volunteers in Southwark for their dedication each week to giving Cubs the chance to experience big adventures and take part in activities that could be life-changing.   Volunteers – we salute you!

During this special week, I would just like to say a big happy birthday to cubs past and present as we look forward to another 100 years of endeavour; learning new skills, having fun and making lifelong friends. Yours in Scouting,

Steve Backshall, Cubs100 Ambassador

 

The man who taught us to respect the past

Thanks for your editorial and coverage of the death of Stephen Humphrey.

Like others I was very saddened and shocked by the news of this delightful, unassuming man who entertained so many of us with his historical researches of the borough.

I think particularly of his work in relation to the Elephant and Castle and Bermondsey Abbey but these were but two areas of a vast number he undertook. He taught so many to be curious about and respect the past as we plan for the future

He was not the kind of man who would have sought fame but I hope you and others will use your good offices to ensure there is a fitting tribute to his great work. Perhaps a Blue Plaque at John Harvard Library,on the former Walworth Town Hall in Bermondsey Square.

There are so many places he brought to life so perhaps we could also devise some Stephen Humphrey celebration trails/walks.

Stephen Lancashire, Walworth

 

 

Bus Station Blues

Being a pensioner I now use busses and the Canada Water Bus station more than i did before and what a pain it is!  8 busses converge there, with passengers joining from from Underground and Overground trains and yet no live travel information at all! And just when we passenger think we do know where busses leave from, even it we don’t know when, they put barriers up and change the stops.  The smart staff office with screens and counters, is always un-staffed. I have used bus stations all over the country, and abroad, with more in passenger information than this sham of a ‘bus station’.  What is TFL doing to improve this?

Eddie Langdown  Strathnairn St. SE1

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