UPDATE 27 April: We have confirmed that the cemetery is now open during weekends for those wanting to visit the graves of their loved ones. There is no need to arrange a visit beforehand – you can simply turn up.
Ladywell may be under lockdown but our councillors are being kept busy tackling the problems that many people in the neighbourhood face. Here’s an update from Liz, Bill and Carl.
Friday April 10: The first big issue we had to deal with was the numbers of residents asking for advice about Free School Meals as they were now having to register for Universal Credit.
This was quickly resolved by contacting the schools who immediately got things going for their families. Most free school meals are now being provided through a voucher system that can be used at the largest supermarket chains.
The voucher system will also include the two weeks Easter holiday.
Gordonbrock school is open for key worker/vulnerable children and will be open during the Easter holidays except for the Bank holiday weekend. Staff there are providing an important service and keeping in touch with pupils.
We have been contacting residents that we know may need support and putting them in touch with the services that can help them.
Lewisham Homes and Pinnacle, the main housing providers in Ladywell are providing regular updates and are contacting their residents to ensure they have assistance.
All three of us are aware that some residents have not been happy with the closure of Ladywell and Brockley Cemeteries. This was originally during the week but it has now been extended to include the weekends.
The council’s Bereavement Services have told us that the closure to the public was taken because just too many people had started to use the cemetery as a park.
They told us that some damage had been done to a few memorials and headstones. Children had been leaving the paths and were trampling on the grass areas
It had also been noted that Yoga classes and other training groups had been using the cemetery. More dog owners were using the cemeteries and in some cases letting their dogs off the lead.
As a council we no longer have the staff to stop these activities. We have suffered a 50 per cent cut in staff over the last 10 years because of the government’s austerity measures. Council staff are also off work ill with Covid 19 or are self isolating.
Unfortunately it is a case here of a few people spoiling it for regular visitors and the Friends of Ladywell and Brockley Cemeteries who have done great work promoting and supporting this exceptional space in the ward.
All three councillors will continue to respond to your emails and calls. We want to reassure everybody in the ward that any concerns raised will be dealt with as best we can during this difficult time.
The councillors can be contacted at: