Labour-led Southwark Council is driving roads over the graves of the poor in the Camberwell Cemeteries – for vehicle access to new private plots. And they’re throwing their gravestone memorials away too.
Southwark is taking full legal advantage of the fact the poor have fewer rights in death than the rich, obliterating public graves by building roads over them to reach new private grave sites on Area D1 One Tree Hill Camberwell New Cemetery and Area Z in Camberwell Old Cemetery.
The 121 prestigious new burial plots on One Tree Hill are costing over a quarter of a million pounds to build. They will have views of Canary Wharf and the City and are for sale to anyone with enough cash.
Southwark Council apparently has a legal right to drive roads - which they are calling ‘footpaths’ - over public graves. They also have a legal right to destroy the memorials of the poor without even attempting to find, consult with or even notify relatives.
But is it morally right for ‘the party of the poor’ to disrespect poor people’s graves in a way they would not be allowed to if these were private graves?
At the Southwark Cemetery Stakeholders meeting this week, resident and long-term Labour supporter Tom Snow spoke up for the poor:
“This is appalling discrimination against people so poor they could not afford a private burial,” Mr Snow told Cemeteries Chair Cllr Ian Wingfield, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Realm, whose twitter profile claims is a 'family history buff'.
“Memorials were only allowed on public graves from the 1930s onwards. Some of these memorials are from as late as the 1970s. Apparently, the memorials are to be removed and taken to a depot.
"I received an email from Southwark asserting the memorials could be removed because they were public graves and so not subject to the same statutory control as private graves. But that is precisely the problem – it shouldn’t be hailed as the solution. Southwark Council is applying Victorian vicious attitudes to the poor.”
Cllr Wingfield had no response for Mr Snow.
Southwark Labour’s mistreatment of the graves of the poor whom they falsely claim to represent is yet another reason why they are unfit to run a burial service.
FOCC SSW is fighting to save the Camberwell Cemeteries as nature reserves with respect for the dead and their memorials and woods and nature for the living.
www.SaveSouthwarkWoods.org.uk | [email protected] | @southwarkwoods | Facebook Page Save Southwark Woods
Below: Hundreds of public graves in Area D1 One Tree Hill in Camberwell New Cemetery are to be obliterated - Southwark is driving a vehicle access 'path' over them to get to prestigious new private burial plots for sale on One Tree Hill.