Saturday, 12 May 2012

Report is out! Rec safe for 28 years?

OK, well Southwark's report is now on line for you to wade through - all 74 pages of it! 
But don't be put off .... there's some interesting reading there!  Link below!

It was viewed by the Overview and Scrutiny committee on Tuesday and goes to Cabinet for discussion and approval at their June meeting -
provisionally 19 June where we will be able to send delegates.

Key points for the Rec are that they are proposing alternative areas for burial which will last up until 2040.  The Council are planning to carry on working in conjunction with other local authorities to secure more space to share and some other ideas.

However, they suggest there will be a shortfall in provision
(before space in Camberwell New Cemetery is older than 75 years and can be reused),
so they are saying
there may well be a possibility of having to use one third of the Rec in 2040 - 28 years from now! 
So even though they state it is still their 'least preferred option', it is still a possibility in the long term or ..... earlier ...... if demand for burial increases, or new legislation to allow re use of old graves or cooperation with other boroughs doesn't materialise!

The potential area for burial is around the chapel and on the west side, enabling the football pitches to be retained and a proposal to remodel the rest of the Rec!

Any supporter of the Rec would say NO! to this proposal on a number of counts.

We attended the Scutiny committee meeting this week and requested that this
committee recommend to the Cabinet that the Rec be given the same permanent protection as other MOL Metropolitan Open Land areas, such as Peckham Rye park.   Using the Council's own figures quoted in the report, the Rec has three times as many visitors as PR park per hectare (64 thousand compared with 20 thousand)

A number of councillors were very sympathetic and made suggestions about future sources for investment and grants which would improve facilities for the Rec.

So spread the word about this update and let's keep up the pressure!
Start writing to the councillors again!

Check our Media page for the great article in last week's South London Press
Southwark Council report on cemetery strategies

Monday, 2 April 2012

6 months later ...... look out for report on Friday 27 April!

Well, six months have passed.
And anyone who had responded to Southwark's consultation by email, should have received this tantalising message last week:

Dear Consultee,
Thank you very much for taking part in the Council's public consultation on 'The Future of Southwark's Cemeteries', last year. We were pleased to have received just under 1,000 questionnaire responses and 170 people attended public meetings throughout the 3 month consultation. *

Responses have now been collated and the consultation report together with our proposed burial strategy will be reviewed by the council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Tuesday 8th May 2012 before it goes to Cabinet in June.

The report, the Future Burial Strategy, will be published and available to view on the council's website from Friday 27th April 2012 and the committee would be interested to hear from anyone who wishes to make points which they feel have not been addressed so far.

Please email any comments to by Friday 4th May 2012.
With regards
Deborah McKenzie
Service Development Officer (Parks)
Tel: 020 7525 0870
Mob: 07903 261 253

*Just for the record ...
the Friends group was informed by a number of people who tried to submit an online questionnaire during the last week of the consultation only to find it not possible. 
Also, we have more like three thousand petition signers who support the Rec not being used for burial! 

The South London Press (16 March, p 13) reported that work is to begin in June/July in Camberwell Old Cemetery to create 1750 new burial spaces. 
This is estimated to last 5 years!