The Charlton Champion welcomes submissions of councillors’ reports from Charlton and the surrounding wards. Cllr John Fahy of Woolwich Riverside ward writes:
Councillor Fahy serves on three Scrutiny Panels including Healthier Communities and Adult Social Care, Corporate Finance and Performance, Regeneration, Transport and Culture. These meetings are open to the general public. The function of Scrutiny Panels is to hold the Executive to account. In recent times Charlton Central Residents Association provided some views on the consultation process currently in operation.
During the period relating to this report I have attended:
- Picnic In the Park in Maryon Park
- Exhibition relating to the Baptist Church in Woolwich
- Armed Forces Day at Woolwich Barracks
- Ferryview Patients Forum
- Citizens U.K. / Greenwich Free School Meeting
- Briefing on Housing Blocks Fire Safety
- Local Government Association Annual Meeting in Birmingham
- Woodlands Farm Open Day
- Food Poverty Group
- Colour of Light Performance in Woolwich
- Woolwich Riverside Safer Neighbourhood Panel
- Induction of Rector at St Thomas’s
- Estates Regeneration Tour
Recent attendance at the Safer Neighbourhood Panel discussed the proposed changes to the Metropolitan Police Service, the Borough Commander would cover three Boroughs including Bexley, Greenwich and Lewisham. Reductions in police numbers would continue to impact in the way policing would function. Clearly worrying for all residents and I continue to voice concerns.
Housing continues to cause the most concern across the Ward. Morris Walk Estate is currently being decanted to make way for the redevelopment of the area. Lovell is the developer and ASRA now PA following a merger will be the social housing provider. The importance of maximising the amount of social housing remains an issue in the Borough as it does elsewhere. I was recently involved in the Planning application of Berkeley Homes which was opposed by a significant number of residents who were faced with the prospect of serious overlooking into their front room. The proposal was agreed by Planning Board. The developer made a financial contribution to build social housing off site. Priority must be given to the needs of local residents in finding an affordable home and steps must be taken to significantly increase the number of social housing built. I will be working closely with colleagues , the local community and amenity societies to seek changes to existing practises where profit over the needs of the community exists.
I have recently become a Trustee of the Royal Greenwich Trust School on Woolwich Road. Work is underway to expand this school and will help to maximise school places. Woodhill Primary has spearheaded the Multi Academy Trust and have joined with a number of other local schools. I will be reporting in detail on education issues in the Borough in the coming months. The fragmentation of schools is unlikely to help improve standards or support the family of local schools that have worked well in previous years. Greenwich Campaign for State Education is actively engaged on all of these issues and I attend their meetings on a regular basis.
Charlton Riverside Masterplan has been agreed. However a number of developers have several acres of land in the area. Important to ensure that the principles of maximising employment opportunities, increase public transport provision and ensure that all attempts to build high rise developments are challenged.
Woolwich Town Centre
Regeneration of the area remains a top priority. Woolwich Town Centre is in urgent need of significant investment. Although footfall is increasing, the level of spend remains a challenge. The shopping experience is limited at this point. However some projects are underway. The Spray Street development is making progress. We have a new hotel, future developments include a new leisure centre in the Town Centre, together with plans for the Tesco sites and the planning applications to be considered includes a number of housing developments. Happy to receive any ideas or suggestions you might have about the Town Centre.
Please feel free to contact me should you want to raise issues of concern. Woolwich Riverside Councillors hold surgeries at the Town Hall every Friday from 6-7pm.
Get in touch with Cllr John Fahy via the Greenwich Council website.