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Letters of the week (22/10/15)

“Re-use grave spaces now”

Congratulations to Michael Thorpe for his intervention over London’s disappearing grave space (Letters, October 15).

Southwark has a policy in favour of re-using graves unopened for 75 years, which was also by far and away the most popular solution in a poll of Southwark and Lewisham residents in 2011, including those who preferred burial.

There are already enough graves in this category to meet several years of Southwark’s demand for about 210 burials a year. Sadly, the policy has so far required every last corner of land to be used up first. But with a bit more of a push and a shove in the right direction, this might be about to change.

So I’m writing to Michael to ask him to visit Camberwell New Cemetery with some of us who want to stop the council from chopping the heart out of its fine woodland crown.

If they go ahead it will only provide a few months’ worth of graves on a slope far too steep and dangerous for many elderly and disabled people to visit.

It would also be good to discuss with him how we can work together with the London Association of Funeral Directors to find a solution to the ever recurring problem of graves becoming abandoned and often derelict when the bereaved themselves have died.

This just might be the moment to begin to turn cemeteries into more natural and beautiful places where the bereaved can find solace, regardless of their preferences for what services they want from Michael and his colleagues.

Tom Snow, East Dulwich

“New buses are the pits!”

I travel on a 453 bus each day on my commute to and from work.

These buses are disgusting!

The new design makes it nearly impossible to get on or off due to the fact that there’s now less seating, so more people have to stand in the aisle!

You can’t reach the oyster touch-in thing because crowds of people are congregated around them.

There are no windows to open, so the germs and smells are just circulating throughout the bus.

The windows steam up and in the summer it’s so much worse.

The seating on the lower deck is a joke and so badly designed. The seats are facing each other so there’s no room to put your legs straight without touching the person opposite’s feet. You can not get any shopping on these buses, not even one bag.

The driver can’t see people getting off while people are trying to get on.

These buses are horrible and should be taken off the roads!

Yes they look nicer from the outside but they are so cramped inside that you may as well  get a tube – same issues.

I am fed up with standing for nearly each journey I take and having someone’s smelly armpit or backpack in my face.

What was wrong with the old shape?

Why fix what weren’t broke?

Rant over!

Michele Faulkner, via email


“You have sold off our local shops”

We wish to inform you that we, the local community on the Salisbury, Rodney and Peabody estates in Walworth, have been sold down the river.

The only amenities we have in Rodney Road have been sold off to developers behind our back.

The laundry, food takeaway, betting shop and mini super market have all gone and no one informed the community, who depends on these amenities such as pensioners and the handicapped.


“Continue as Green grassroot campaigner”

I’d like to thank the people of South Camberwell who supported the Green Party in the by-election on 15 October.

I was proud to come second after a hard-fought campaign and am grateful to the 441 people who gave me their vote. It is clear that many people would like to hear a Green voice speaking out in Southwark.

While my voice will not be heard as a councillor, I will not be silent. I will continue to work with activists of the Green Party and local campaign groups to challenge the Labour-led council. We will continue to say to council officers and elected representatives: stop displacing residents for developers’ profit, abandon plans to bulldoze Southwark Woods, take Southwark’s pension fund out of dirty fossil fuel companies, and clean up our air.

Eleanor Margolies, candidate


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