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Letters to the editor 12/04/18

Star is aptly named

Star has been most aptly named as this Staffy girl shines brightly, being friendly with both dogs and people.

She is finding kennel life somewhat overwhelming, and being the silent stresser that she is, owners should read her subtler signs to help her relax and become more comfortable. Aged eight year six months, she often uses play to diffuse her stress.

Star is a steady, friendly all-rounder with a beautiful and polite temperament.

She loves nothing more than a hands-on fuss to calm and settle her.

Can you offer her a new family home with a nice comfy sofa to snuggle up on?

To meet Star, please contact Battersea’s London centre on 0843 509 4444.-Reference: 362782


A less binary society benefits everyone

Regarding  the article in the Southwark News of April 5th: ‘Unisex? Southwark schools consider gender-neutral uniforms in trans debate.’

I think that the debate has moved on from how it is important to keep the gender difference in so many things. The report suggests that the women seeking access to the ‘male only swimming session’ were allowed access. So, no problem there.

And as for the school; I remember TV programmes last year which showed the effect of not treating girls and boys differently. The primary school concerned reported that emotionally, behaviourally, and academically both boys and girls improved. They showed that both groups became less ‘controlled‘ by the expectations and narrow minded attitudes that they were supposed to accept. The changes were so heartening, positive  and really so dramatic.

Isn’t the current debate about mean and medium parity in the wages of men and women about a gender neutral attitude to pay? Rather than women suffering because of trans men or women, they will share in the improvement for everyone, regardless of gender.

So much of what happens in our society should not be predicated by treating men and women differently. What is necessary about dressing children in costumes to highlight their gender differences. It is beginning to seem rather creepy. Remember that it was unacceptable for women to wear trousers and now all do. Change and the move to a less binary society is inevitable and will be beneficial to everyone.

Philippa Punchard, Walworth


Hustings this Saturday

Local Council elections are coming up in May.

The Southwark Planning Network (SPN) is arranging a community hustings, focussed on planning and regeneration, on Saturday 14th April at Christ Church Peckham, 676-680 Old Kent Road, SE15 1JF:

From 2pm – community exhibition on planning issues across the borough.

From 3-5pm – hustings with main parties’ candidates and spokespersons.

This is a hustings with a difference, creating a space where community perspectives on important planning policy matters can be raised with politicians seeking election.

The inadequacies of the planning system, including the consultation process, and the resulting impacts of regeneration, seem never to be adequately addressed in the local elections we have every 4 years. This hustings is aimed at helping to correct that democratic deficit.

To pose a question to the politicians at the event please fill out and submit your question on this weblink:

Follow news about the event by twitter @ShapeSouthwark. More info by email:

We hope that many people across the borough, who have planning or regeneration issues in their neighbourhoods, will come to the community exhibition and take part in these new hustings.

Eileen Conn, Peckham Vision,


Voting registration

HOPE not hate and partners are beginning a week-long series of voter registration drives this week, in the face of tumbling turnout as local elections fast approach.

Part of the #LDN18 TurnUp campaign, ‘Democracy Week’ will engage under-represented communities and EU nationals ahead of next week’s  (17 April) voter registration deadline for the May 3  local elections.

With just one week to go before the voter registration (VR) deadline, anti-racism charity HOPE not hate, with support from youth engagement organisation Bite The Ballot, values-led ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s and backed by the grassroots EU citizens movement the3million, is taking its high-impact voter registration drive to colleges, universities, community centres and cafes across London.

Running daily between 10 and 17 April (supported by a targeted online campaign), Democracy Week builds on HOPE not hate and Bite The Ballot’s #LDN18 TurnUp campaign, which is aiming to register thousands of people in time for the local elections and drive turnout at the ballot box this May.

It comes at a time when voter registration remains at an all-time low: the last local elections, in May 2014, saw the lowest turnout in recent history, with just 39% of people voting across London, compared with 62% in 2010. Some local authorities have also begun to introduce photo voter ID requirements at the ballot box – likely to have a negative impact on certain communities which are less likely to possess such ID.

The campaign website is


30-day vegan pledge

This June will mark Animal Aid’s first ever Summer Vegan Pledge – a 30-day vegan pledge.

This  gives non-vegans, and those curious about a plant-based diet, all of the information and help they need to go vegan for a month, and hopefully stay vegan thereafter.

With the number of vegans in the UK growing by more than 350 per cent in ten years, and a recent study suggesting that now seven per cent of UK adults identify as vegans, it has never been easier to adopt a plant-based diet.

The number of vegan products has grown rapidly with new vegan products hitting shelves seemingly on a daily basis. There are now vegan alternatives to almost everything – including “chicken” nuggets, ice-cream, burgers, and even steak available in supermarkets, local shops, coffee shops, restaurants and beyond.

A vegan diet is kinder to animals, it is better for the environment and it is also healthy.

Sign up for Animal Aid’s Summer Vegan Pledge today: or phone 01732 364 546 extension 223.

Tod Bradbury, Campaign Manager – Vegan Outreach, Animal Aid


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