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Letters to the Editor: Police blame game, housing stats and road safety near playgrounds

Asking for more police during a murderous crime wave should not be a contentious issue!

In response to the article ‘Council says it can’t fund even more police officers’, Southwark News, 18th October, 2018.

 The key point is that the council is clearly more willing to play the blame game ( it’s the Lib-Dems, it’s the Tories, it’s the Police etc ) and not focusing on the fact that in the real world of the here and now, knife crime is getting totally out of control.

And that’s in part because police numbers (and morale) are at their lowest levels ever.

When you, ‘play’ politics with lives on the line, people die. Stating that “a few more police would make no difference” is a nonsense argument.

The local police are under valued, under resourced, under staffed, under equipped, under attack from violent offenders and now undermined by the council.

I would agree with the council that knife crime is a complex issue, but the truth is that if the law is applied and upheld then knife carriers would be jailed.

Those who sell blades to people who are underage would join them in prison, as would those who hide weapons around our community for use in gang related crime.

Offenders cannot be arrested and face justice if we do not have police officers to do the arresting. Asking for more police during a murderous crime wave should not be a contentious issue!

Mark Webb,  Chair Camberwell Green Police Safer Neighbourhoods Team Ward Panel  


There’s been a loss of more than 1,000 homes for social rent not publicly accounted for

It’s good to see an article regarding Aylesbury social housing ‘We want more social homes by 2030 than 1970s heyday’ Southwark News, 18th October, 2018.

However, the bottom line for the Aylesbury regeneration is that it is based on the permanent loss of 778 “social rent” homes. That is what the planning application says.

The Senior Planning Officer’s Report clearly states: “Net change against baseline [the starting condition on the Aylesbury Estate]: –778 units for social rent” That is what ward politician Paul Fleming, as a trustee of Creation Trust, is promoting: the permanent loss of homes for social rent on the Aylesbury Estate. Faraday Ward’s labour branch said “In particular, we noted that no other council estate regeneration in our borough under our administration or in the country under a Labour government would be allowed to deliver fewer socially rented homes than were originally on the footprint.”

In the context of the recent permanent loss of more than 900 homes for social rent on the Heygate Estate, this is an extraordinary statement.

Overall, in terms of social housing in southwark, the GLA Annual Monitoring Report for 2016/2017, published a few weeks ago, claims that there were a total of 84 homes for social rent delivered in Southwark over the 3 years 2014 to 2017. That is an average of 24 per year.

At that rate it will take Southwark Council 393 years – not 25 years – to deliver the “11,000 new council homes” they have promised.

But these GLA Annual Monitoring Report figures do not include the loss of more than 900 homes for social rent demolished on the Heygate Estate, and they do not include the hundreds of homes for social rent demolished on the Aylesbury Estate, so far.

In Southwark over the past eight years of the Labour administration, there has been a loss of more than 1,000 homes for social rent which are not publicly accounted for.

Liam Hennessy Architect, Walworth


Great new playground but what traffic calming measures are going to be introduced?

I would first of all like to express my gratitude to Southwark Council for creating a new and very attractive playground next to the Café in Peckham Rye Park.

Needless to say these two facilities have made visits to the Park a great attraction to many families particularly those with young children.

However, my concern is what thought has been given, if any, to traffic calming measures that should be introduced to cope with the fact that the road outside the Playground/café is regularly used by cyclists.

At present there are no barriers and young children simply wander across this road from the Playground /Cafe onto the Common.

Although I am sure that most (but certainly not all) cycle with care even a low speed impact with a child or children could cause serious or fatal injuries to both the child or children and the cyclist.

Let us hope that this problem can be given serious consideration at this stage, rather than having to wait for a tragic accident to happen.

Christophe Tarrant, East Dulwich


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