This week’s letters to the editor: 19/10/17

(19 October, 2017)

Ongoing debate on whether a Cycle Superhighway will ruin Jamaica Road; former MP says "there is not a simple causal link between the recent rise in these crimes and the reduced Met Police budget"


Cycle Lane madness!

Regarding Florence Eshalomi’s view about the proposed cycle lane, (Southwark News, Thursday October 5th, 2017).

Does she really believe that putting a cycle lane in Jaimaica Road will ease congestion?

It is already the most congested road in London!

And in her mind the way to ease this is to take away four  kilometres of road space for cyclists, which will mainly only be used by them in the rush hours.

Common sense tells you that’s not going to work. There is a 24 hour bus taxi and cycle lane there already, which if cyclists actually know the Highway Code and many appear not to would be sufficient and save TfL the £55 million (at present costing, no doubt if it gets done will probably be double the estimate) it will spend on implementing it.

Also, if there is any sort of incident in the tunnel can you imagine how bad things will be along the route? None of the businesses along Jamaica Road seem to be in favour of it, according to your paper.

Richard Haughney, via email


Care Home injustice

I want to bring the injustice of care homes fee to readers’ attention.

If you are cash poor, and an elderly loved one has any property, they have to pay to go into a Care Home.

That is expected, but there is a big difference as to what you have to pay privately, as to what the council pays if they have to pay, albeit for the same service.

The council pay what they think is a fair rate to the Care Home. It is approx. £650 per week. When you pay privately, the Care Home charges you a top up fee of about £350 per week for the same service. So the council pays £650 per week, but you have to pay £1000 per week.

If you are being discharged from hospital into a Care Home under section 137 of the mental health act you do not have to pay. For some reason, when it suits, Dementia, Alzeimer etc, do not come under mental health?

Another point is that when the hospital wants to remove an elderly person because of bed blocking, they do not forget to ask if your loved ones have any assets. They rarely tell you about your rights under section 117 of the Health act though. Section 117 is the continuous care plan, if you come under this, the NHS pays!

Tom White, Southwark Pensioners Action Group


Care Home funding

Responding to research by Which?, which showed almost nine in ten council areas across England could face a shortfall in care home places by 2022.

These findings reinforce our warning about the urgent need to reform adult social care and deliver a long-term sustainable solution that delivers a range of high quality care and support for the growing numbers of people who will need it.

While the £2 billion announced in the Spring Budget for social care was a step in the right direction, it is only one-off funding and social care services still face an annual £2.3 billion funding gap by 2020. But councils need to be given the freedom and flexibility to spend the additional funding for social care in the places where they feel it will be most effective.

It is absolutely critical that the Government uses the Autumn Budget to bring forward its consultation for social care announced in the Queen’s Speech, and that it works with local government leaders in delivering a long-term sustainable solution for social care. To tackle the problems we face tomorrow, we must start planning today.

This must address the issue of long-term funding, but it must also create the conditions necessary to ensure the development of the right kind of care and support services, that can meet the demand of an increasing number of adults with care needs.

Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chair of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board


Tackling knife crime

We need to work together to tackle gun and knife crime

Southwark Liberal Democrats made five main constructive proposals to tackle London’s gun and knife crime at the end of the debate we led at our party conference last month.

It is very sad that Mr Parham, who is an active local Labour supporter, is not equally constructive and willing to work together rather than trying to score party political points on this most challenging subject (Letters Southwark News,  5th October, 2017).

Sadly the national financial situation when Labour lost the 2010 election and some of us had to pick up the pieces did mean a reduction in London police budgets and numbers. But the Labour Deputy Mayor for Policing has confirmed that after years of falling London crime there is not a simple causal link between the recent rise in these crimes and the reduced Met Police budget.

Mr Parham also knows that the number of prosecutions every year for knife crime or anything else is decided by the completely independent Crown Prosecution Service not by police or ministers past or present.

There is general agreement that the biggest reason for more young people now carrying knives is fear.

This is why Liberal Democrats are clear that additional funding for community policing will help, but that mentoring, conflict prevention and mediation training for all London’s young people is vital.

We also need much better urgent and joint local work between all the authorities, schools, faith and youth groups and local organisations experienced in work with our children and teenagers. We must urgently work together now.

Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat candidate and former MP, Bermondsey and Old Southwark


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