Benefits advice session this Friday

A word from Annie, who runs The Big Red Bus Club for under-fives….

The government is changing the way welfare benefits are calculated and paid including:

– Working tax credit
– ‘Bedroom tax’ (housing benefit and council tax)
– Statutory maternity pay
– Child benefit and Child tax credit
– Crisis loans
– The Health In Pregnancy grant
– Disability benefits
– ‘Granny tax’ – freeze to age related payments

And much more. Come and find out more this Friday — with toys, teas, coffees and 1-2-1 sessions tailored to you.

The Big Red Bus Club was founded by local mums in the wake of council cutbacks in 2011. If you’re a local parent and worried about benefit changes, here’s where to find it…



Eastcombe Avenue rubbish, and Russian poo-lette

Eastcombe Avenue, 16 February 2013

After the post on Floyd Road, it’s a Dirty Charlton special. David writes…

I’ve been living in SE7 for the past 3 years and I’m fed up with the amount of rubbish that is thrown on the street in Eastcombe avenue, the end of Eversley Road and especially Kirkside underpass.

The council collect the rubbish every Monday but by the weekend it has built up again and looks very dirty and pretty ugly.

I was wondering if anyone else is also fed up with this and is interested in creating a group to collect the rubbish early on a Saturday morning so it look much better over the weekend? I reckon it would take one person about 25 mins.

I have mixed feelings about clean-up operations – we pay the council to clean up rubbish through our council tax, and if the council doesn’t do it right, we should be getting onto local councillors and telling them to sort it.

But then again, if it’s the only way to get things fixed, then it’s the only way, and perhaps it can shame others into action. Do you want to help David? Leave a note in the comments and I’ll pass on your details.

Speaking of the underpass from Bramshot Avenue to Siebert Road in Blackheath, it had some fetching artwork in it last weekend – now removed, presumably not to an auction house in the US.

Siebert Road subway


Speaking of filthy streets – and complaining to Greenwich Council – I had this email a few weeks ago from Clare:

I was wondering if Charlton Champion would be the place to cover the unpleasant issue of dogs waste? It is an absolute blight where I live ( Tallis Grove, and often worse on Highcombe near the allotment). Literally every 10 steps you need to divert your course and face the terrible consequences if you take your eyes off the pavement. It is Russian “poo”lette if you need to walk there after dark!

I have a toddler and we cannot walk around the block without wending our way through the piles of mess. I have written to the council – so maybe thats the best course of action and maybe charlton champion should deal with more pleasant matters!

Tallis GroveOddly enough, since Clare sent me this email, things might have improved. I’ve been waiting to capture a photo of Highcombe looking a mess – but to no avail. Even the fly-tipping seems to have eased. Complaining can work. And what’s this stenciled onto Tallis Grove?

There are streets in Charlton notorious for sporadic outbreaks of dog muck – bad owners tend to come and go, I guess – and Greenwich Council can be handy with the stencils (which have caused controversy elsewhere in SE London). But do they work? Share your experiences below – after wiping your feet, of course.

Charlton Community Gardens open meeting – 25th Feb 2013

Charlton Community Gardens poster

The third open meeting of the Charlton Community Gardens project takes place from 7.30pm on Monday 25th February, at St. Richard’s Hall, Swallowfield Road, SE7 7NS.
 The group’s aims are ‘to promote cooperation and support for everyone interested in sustainable and organic growing and wildlife diversity’, and they are working on leasing local land for ‘shared growing and learning together’. The meeting is an opportunity to find out what the project is all about, and hear about progress in securing the group’s first plot of land.
This will be the group’s first AGM; they would welcome new members on the Steering Committee, and there will also be a plant sale and raffle (with prizes including a mini greenhouse!).
If you’d like to find out  more about getting involved, or put yourself forward for the Steeting Committee, the organisers can be contacted by email at: charltoncommunitygardens [at]

The derelict mystery of Sutlej Road

Sutlej Road, Charlton
A couple of years ago, someone who’d had past connections with Greenwich Council asked what was going on with “that house in Sutlej Road”. Apparently, it’d been empty for a long time and had gained a bit of notoriety. I didn’t know anything about it and forgot all about it.

On Sunday, I was cycling along Sutlej Road… and there it was. So I took a very ropey picture of it. Clearly abandoned for many years, it’s an eyesore in what’s otherwise a quiet residential street. And with homelessness on the rise, it’s absurd that this place should be lying empty.

So what happened? Who owns it? What can be done to get this fixed up? Or will it take someone else to come in and do it illegally? Whatever, it does seem a mess.

Charlton Church Lane’s sinking feeling finishes

Charlton Church Lane

So, what happened at the top of Charlton Church Lane last week?

(Last with the news, I know…)

Michael asks: “Church lane has been closed for a few days and gossip tells me its from some subsidence somewhere between The Heights and the Church. Have you heard anything and is it severe or will it remain closed for a long time?”

Well, I’d heard nothing, but the street’s open now, buses are running along it and things should be back to normal for Monday morning’s commute. There’s some tell-tale clumps of brand new tarmac on the road now, so something must have happened. Anyone know any more?