Letters to the editor: 29/06/17

(29 June, 2017)

On finding Roy Larner a home; the big bill for Walworth Town Hall; and funding the NHS

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Give Roy Larner the home he deserves

I was disgusted to read in last week’s news that the Lion of London Roy Larner has been put into a hostel by Southwark council, ‘Hero Roy out of hospital… and into a hotel’, (Southwark News, June 22, 2017).

One of my proud achievements as a councillor for Southwark was working with ex Cllr Capstick in putting forward a motion making it council policy for war veterans returning home from conflict who, if they were from Southwark, or had links with the borough, they would be prioritised for housing.

Roy Larner is no different. Roy Larner did not ask to be on the frontline, but found himself on it facing terror and being stabbed at least eight times and slashed all over his body.

He saved countless lives -including children, by putting others first, defending his territory and his country.

How does the council repay him? Well Cllr Cryan says ‘we are assisting Roy with housing’. Assisting – and giving – Roy the housing he desperately needs are two very different things.

Come on Cllr Cryan, you can do better than that!

Give Roy our hero the respect he has earned and deserves, exceptional circumstances for an exceptional man.

Paul Kyriacou, Bermondsey 

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NHS running on fumes

As leading doctors from across the UK gather this week for the annual BMA conference in Bournemouth, the government must listen to the concerns of the medical profession as the chair of the BMA warns that the government is running the NHS on “nothing but fumes”.

Right across South London, health and social care services are at breaking point as ministers have continually ignored pleas from the profession about the impact that underinvestment and poor workforce planning were having on the level of patient care being provided.

The public share these concerns with a recent BMA survey revealing that almost seven in ten people felt the NHS was headed in the “wrong direction” and the figures showing that dissatisfaction with the NHS has almost doubled since 2015.

With the UK spending less than leading European economies on health care, the NHS is left in a vulnerable position, with waiting times rising, patient care suffering and staff working under increasingly difficult circumstances.

The government have the choice to improve the NHS to the level that patient’s deserve. They must do so before it heads even further in the wrong direction.

Dr Gary Marlowe, BMA London regional council chair

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Why are we picking up the bill for town hall?

I was pleased to read Owen Sheppard’s item about the fire-damaged Walworth town-hall:

‘Fire-ravaged Town-Hall could be turned into an arts venue.’ (Southwark News, June 22, 2017).

The sad story leaves a couple of questions unanswered.

Southwark council staff are required to check for full indemnity cover when commissioning work on our listed buildings.

The costs of repair should be picked up by the company that caused the damage in April 2013.

Was the building company fully insured?

Why are we picking up the bill?

Graham Neale, Elephant and Castle

We have allotment space for hire

We are Springfield Lodge, a Salvation Army Lifehouse, part of the Southwark Homelessness network.

Our objective is to assist homeless people aged 16-21 years to achieve independent living in their own accommodation. We offer support in by working with the young person, supporting them to grow individually, rather than simply trying to find them a place to live.

At the back of our building we have a large garden area which has become overgrown, and residents, ex-residents, staff and the local community have come together to help clear this area and begin to prepare it for an allotment.

We have a volunteer working on a small plot which will involve the residents growing their own vegetables to then cook and eat. The rest of the space is being prepared so that we can invite green-fingered people to hire out our space so they can grow their own vegetables. We have 2 4×4 foot plots that are being prepared and another 4 4x4foot that need some extra work. We want to see the garden used and enjoyed. The hire costs will then go towards helping us in our aim to support the young people to learn to live independently.

The ground needs some preparation and we are welcoming people who are willing to help do this and then they can choose to hire it to grow their own crops. The garden is in a quiet area away from the main building through a secure gate. There is secure parking on site and the garden is next to a bungalow where there are tea and coffee making facilities, a fridge and toilet. The garden is north facing and gets a lot of sun and a soil test has shown the ground to be neutral. There is also a water supply with a hose and we are looking to build a composting area out of old pallets.

Rosanna Amour, Skills Development Worker

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