Letters to the editor: 25/05/17

(27 May, 2017)

This week: Labour's pledges on working conditions; the third runway at Heathrow and flight paths over south London; and why public toilets are vital for disabled people

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Morison is Millwall’s Silver Messi

Well done Steve Morison (aka Silver Messi).

On two counts, one for scoring the goal and two for slamming the idiots who ran on the pitch at Wembley.

David Johnson, Bermondsey

My pledge walking around the green

I love Goose Green and have already walked around it more than 100 times this year.

For the first time ever, on Saturday 20 May, I walked around it six times in a day. What concerned me was that during the sixth visit, after 5pm, I coughed a lot. I suspect that was due to the air pollution caused by vehicles.

At the end of the year I will donate 10p to Hope UK, for their important drug education work, for every time I walk around Goose Green this year.

John D. Beasley, Nunhead

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Where have all the toilets gone?

It surely must be time that Southwark Council replaced toilets in the Blue.

Toilets are not a luxury but a vital facility for stallholders, shoppers and visitors’ rates were increased, but without proper toilets and baby changing plus of course signing to inform all the new residents living in Bermondsey.

The toilet in the Bank public house is very nice, but not always suitable for wheelchair users and their carers.  The small toilet in the library likewise.

We local people like the Blue and the stallholders, but without a toilet and essential facilities we hop on a bus and go to Surrey Quays. Of course that is not that easy for wheelchair users.

Age and medication, especially water tablets, make us wary of the absence of toilets too.

Come on Southwark Council return our toilets.

Pat Duke, Bermondsey 

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Locals get enagaged on the 3rd runway

I have lived in East Dulwich for seventeen years and during that time aircraft noise has become an increasing problem.

HACAN research shows that, since 2009, Southwark has moved from being the tenth most overflown borough to the fifth, with 187,900 flights a year passing overhead.

If a third runway at Heathrow goes ahead, residents in southeast London will experience even more noise pollution as more planes are routed over Southwark on their approach to Heathrow.

The consultation for Heathrow’s third runway closes on 25 May and I’m very concerned that there has been no effort to engage with residents in Southwark and southeast London whose quality of living will be affected by a third runway.  It’s not just those in west London who will be adversely affected by a third runway.

Please could you publish the consultation details to make sure that Southwark residents are given an opportunity to voice their opinion on a issue which will affect this part of London.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/heathrow-expansion-draft-airports-national-policy-statement#ways-to-respond-title

L Davies, via email

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GPs need increase in NHS spending

As GP leaders from around the UK gather for their national conference this week, it is clear that politicians of all parties must finally realise that services across the country are at breaking point.

Practices in South London are struggling due to the failure of successive governments to provide the investment needed to match the increasing demand on services. Underfunding, increased red tape and GP shortages have left many patients struggling to get appointments, while 300 GP practices across the country are facing closure.

With recent BMA surveys revealing that almost a third of GP partners in South London say they are unable to fill vacancies in the past year and over eight in ten said their workload is affecting the quality and safety of patient care, the situation requires urgent attention.

That’s why the BMA is calling for whoever is next in government to commit to bringing NHS spending in line with leading European countries and increase the general practice expenditure to 11 per cent of the overall health budget, which would help plug the £2.5bn deficit.

Politicians must not duck these challenges. All parties must commit to repairing the fractures in general practice before it is too late.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul , BMA GP Committee chair and GP rep for South London

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UK must stand firm in helping the poor

Dear Neil Coyle, Sir Simon Hughes, Siobhan Baillie, Elizabeth Jones, John Tyson, James Clarke we’re writing as some of the thousands of individuals in Bermondsey & Old Southwark who give their time, money and voice to support the world’s most vulnerable people facing extreme poverty.

We’re proud of the impact that our life-saving aid is having around the world, and we believe that helping those far less fortunate than us is the right thing to do.

Recent years have seen the number of people living in extreme poverty in the world halved and UK aid has contributed significantly to this progress. We know that aid works, but with 16,000 children under five still dying needlessly each day, much remains to be done.

This election is about who we are as a nation. Fighting global poverty and injustice defines us as a brave, generous and outward looking nation bigger than just ourselves. We hope that as a candidate in Bermondsey & Old Southwark you’ll commit to work for a bigger Britain by championing our 0.7 aid budget and ensuring it’s focused on eradicating poverty around the world, led by an independent Department for International Development.

Now, more than ever, the world needs the UK to stand firm in our leadership of the fight against global poverty. We hope we can count on you to show your support for UK aid.

Residents in SE1, SE17, SE16 coordinated by the following international development charities: UNICEF, Oxfam, CAFOD, One, Christian Aid, Global Citizen, Tearfund, Results, Islamic Relief and Save the Children.

We support strike action at cinema

Southwark Trades Council have been busy examining general election manifestos to see which would be of most benefit to the workers of Southwark.

The Labour Party’s promise to end Zero Hour contracts and to restore some trade union rights is clearly the winner.   It’s not enough for the Tories to have armies of Home Care workers suffering uncertainty of wages and zero job security.  Now they want to heap that insecurity on all of us.  Who knows what will finish us off in the end; dementia (soon to be the most common form of death) or worry and stress trying to make ends meet.  The Tories really do want us all in this together!

We send a message of support to workers taking strike action at the East Dulwich Picture House and note the Labour Party’s pledge to introduce a minimum wage of £10 per hour would settle their claim. Southwark Council has been a London Living Wage payer so we now know this invigorates the local economy and saves the Government money for in-work benefits. It’s a no brainer!

Sue Plain, Southwark Trades Council

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