Southwark Council’s blatant religious discrimination in its Burial Service continues.
This week, the Council replied to hundreds of complaints about inner city tree felling for burial plots:
“Creating burial spots locally would be cheaper for residents than insisting that they were buried outside the borough which would incur non-resident/private cemetery fees. This would be unfair considering that 38% of Southwark residents are living in areas considered ‘most deprived’.” (Kay Bennett for Cllr Ian Wingfield).
Not true. By investing in land for burial for all faiths – for example at Kemnal Park Cemetery in Sidcup where Tower Hamlets Council has bought burial land – residents would not have to pay out-of-borough fees.
Instead, Southwark does indeed send the vast majority of its 30,000 Muslim residents to private sector cemeteries outside the borough for burial at their own expense.
The cover-up continues:
“Furthermore, the Mayor of London’s ‘London Plan’ urges councils to ensure that provision is made for London’s burial needs, including the needs of groups for whom burial is the only option and that such provision should be based on the principle of proximity to local communities and reflect the different requirements for types of provision.”
Southwark is not doing this. It ‘offers’ a laughable 7 burial plots a year in a so-called ‘Muslim area’ for a community that experiences approximately 270 deaths a year.
But Southwark is spending millions clearing inner city woods and mounding over existing graves for thousands of burial plots for Christian residents.
“The option to bury residents outside of the borough received very little support in the 2011 public consultation. Not only would it be expensive, it would also be unfair to expect residents to travel outside the borough to visit the graves of their loved ones.”
But this is exactly what Southwark expects its 3rd class Muslim and Jewish residents to do.
Yesterday on Radio 4’s ‘Glass Half Full’, Southwark MP Harriet Harman stated bare-faced:
“All discrimination and inequality is wrong.”
Yes, it is Harriet. So why have you refused to investigate your own borough’s continued cover-up of religious discrimination?
Why have you repeatedly refused to meet the Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries and hear their concerns or answer any of their letters or phone calls?
Religious discrimination is rife in Southwark and is being encouraged and enabled by Council leaders and politicians.
This is just another reason why Southwark Council is unfit to run a Burial Service.
The Friends of Camberwell Cemeteries, the Save Southwark Woods campaign, are fighting to save the cemeteries as nature reserves with respect for the dead and woods and nature for the living.
www.SaveSouthwarkWoods.org.uk | [email protected] | @southwarkwoods | Facebook Page Save Southwark Woods
Above: Burial over the remains of thousands of residents buried in public graves, for burial plots unsuitable for 30% of Southwark's burial need.
Below: The beautiful inner city woods over thousands of graves Southwark Council is felling for the save of discriminatory inner city burial plots.