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Letters to the editor: 30/03/17

My diving boys are doing great

I just want to give update on how my sons are doing,  ‘Mum launches crowdfunding bid to send her boys to top competition, Southwark News, February 16, 2017.

We were raising £500 to send Shane, ten, and Zack, eight, to first train with three world-level coaches at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre and then compete in the Gavin Brown Love to Dive competition in  March.

Shane came 9th with a score of 146.9, out of 24 kids aged 10and 11.  Zack came 2nd with a score of 156.5 out of 10 kids age 8 and  9.

Both boys did different dives which carry different difficulty levels which impacts on their scores . All the kids that took part train usually train between 6-12 hours a week, however mine only train two hours a week.

They have an easter training camp coming up and again it is £150 each per week which will help improve their diving ability and perfect the dives, and more competitions in March/May/June and July

The go fund me account is still live and people can donate should they wish to

I want thank people for their donations on mine and my boys behalf.

Tanya Robinson, Rotherhithe


We make no apology for supporting the Tate

What is it with Southwark Lib Dems and Tate Modern?

At every opportunity local Lib Dem councillors criticise the support which Southwark Council has given to the Tate – an amazing cultural institution which brings over 5 million visitors into Southwark every year, and directly and indirectly supports hundreds – if not thousands – of jobs for local residents, as well as providing superb learning opportunities for many thousands of Southwark school children every year.

Tate Modern opened in 2000 with £1 million of support from the Council.  Since then Southwark has thrived as the new cultural capital of London, with art and artists working right across the borough from Borough to the Elephant, and from Peckham and Camberwell to the Old Kent Road.  I have no doubt that much of this activity has been helped by the presence of Tate Modern in our borough.  And that is why as a council we decided to support the Tate extension and its’ community outreach work with a further £1 million in 2015.

As we publish a new Cultural Strategy for the next five years I am not ashamed to say that Southwark Labour support Tate Modern;  we support arts and culture in Southwark and continue to see the real value that this sector offers to our borough and to our residents.

If Southwark Lib Dems want to fight the 2018 local elections as the anti-arts and culture party that is a matter for them.

Southwark Labour will continue to support Tate Modern and other arts organisations in our borough.   At the same time we will continue to support our most vulnerable residents.  These are not “either or” choices – unless you are a Southwark Lib Dem.

Peter John, Leader of Southwark Council


M&S muscle in on excellent restaurant

As a Southwark pensioner I am a grateful outpatient visitor to King’s College Hospital where I am attended by thoughtful, caring hospital staff.

I have had no particular anxious problems visiting for the conditions I require treatment for. Indeed, I always relish a leisurely hospital visit in time for appointments to partake of the wonderful affordable cheap hot tasty meals and a coffee in the ‘Spice of Life’ in-hospital restaurant – a really useful facility for hospital staff, outpatients, and families visiting their ward relatives being treated.

But, suddenly, shame upon shame, that wonderful hospital restaurant has been dismantled and an expensive high street chain sandwich and baguette retail (Marks & Spencer) has taken over the restaurant space. There is no restaurant anymore, no sit-down facility – just a walk-in walk-out cramped ‘sandwich selling room’ lined with chill cabinets that one is familiar with in any retail chain selling ready prepared snacks.

Whoever thought this in-hospital retail was a good idea compared to the previous restaurant clearly has absolutely no idea about the wellbeing of hospital users. This expensive M&S change, as far as I am concerned, is a public relations disaster. I shall never again visit Kings College Hospital with the same kind of ease or none-anxiety that I did when the restaurant was operating that I enjoyed so much. If I want to buy food of the nature on offer now in Kings at its M&S outlet I would do so outside the hospital in the high street.

My future visits to Kings will be doleful as I wander past that in-hospital ‘expensive sandwich bar’ on my way to Haematology, Urology or Cardiology. It fills me with sadness that a hospital could think to relinquish a perfectly decent affordable price restaurant for the same price that now M&S charges for a sandwich or baguette prepared and chilled for however many days before the product is sold and consumed.

So short sighted and so very disappointing for Kings College Hospital to demolish a wonderful affordable patient and staff restaurant facility for an expensive walk-in and walk-out sandwich shop.

Bobbie Carnegie, Peckham


Not enough grave plots for Muslims

I was amazed to see the nerve of Cllr Ian Wingfield in your recent letters page.

He proclaimed Southwark Council have everything in place for Muslim burials in the borough. He stated 48 grave plots are available for muslim burials.

I don’t believe he doesn’t know Southwark has 30,000 muslims. That over the last 6 years only 9 have used such Southwark plots because they’re not fit  for purpose.

What we need is a proper burial and cremation strategy that caters for all our residents what-ever their religion.

To compound his gross lack of sympathy he’s allowed over recent days many trees to be chopped down in our cemeteries contrary to the planning permission Southwark Council gave themselves and during the bird nesting a closed season for tree chopping.

James Barber, East Dulwich Lib Dem councillor


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