Cllr Gary Parker’s Charlton Ward Report: Summer 2018

What has Charlton ward councillor GARY PARKER been up to? Here’s his latest report.

Cllr Gary ParkerDear Charlton Residents, this is my current ward report, this is a snapshot of my recent activities it does not cover individual case work or a range of other meetings. I try to highlight a few key activities which maybe of general interest. Please contact me direct if you want more information: gary.parker[at]royalgreenwich.gov.uk Twitter: @CllrG2013.

Charlton Society – I attended the Charlton Society meeting on redevelopment and regeneration of the village and surrounding areas, together with my co-councillors and other officers from the Charlton Society, some good ideas came forward, I will be working with the CS and others to develop and support these ideas wherever possible. A meeting is scheduled in the near future with council officers and we gave the Charlton Society some information about current funding opportunities through the council – more below.

New Funding- Charlton-based organisations or those that support Charlton residents can now bid for new funding from the council this includes the ward budget – your ward councillors want to give money to as many local organisations as possible within the £30,000 budget allowable and also from the Community Infrastructure Levy (to be launched on 17 September) – a fund from actual development to support local neighbourhoods. There is over £109k to support projects in four wards including Charlton. This is a one year fund with more money available next year – for more info see www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk.

[Charlton Champion note: read more about previous ward budget funding here]

Planning & Development Issues – I have been working with local groups and individuals regarding a range of planning issues, yet again. I opposed the recent application by Rockwell and spoke at the planning board meeting on this in July as did many local residents. The application was rejected but since then, the Mayor of London has ‘called in’ the decision for review, as he claims that Greenwich has not been achieving its affordable housing targets. In my view this call in is a challenge to local democracy, the planning board, who I have been sharply critical of in the past, did the right thing as did local residents. There is a large group of residents, community organisations, businesses and groups in the area actively opposing this development – I will support them as much as I can. If the application is upheld by the Mayor I will be encouraging the council to seek a judicial review on this issue. I will continue to campaign vigorously on this issue, which is now as much about local democracy as it is about planning issues and defending local communities against big developers.

Pocket Homes – Pocket Living is a property development company supported by the Mayor of London which builds homes for sale to first time buyers at reduced prices. The Council cabinet took a decision on 16 July to go out to consultation with residents on the sale of three plots of land to the company at three sites – in Blackheath Westcombe, Greenwich West, and The Heights in Charlton. I called in this decision with Cllr Fletcher from Blackheath ward, a “call-in” is a council process by which councillors can ask for decisions to be reviewed. I have some specific concerns which I raised about: social value, the impact in Charlton ward, land contamination at the site and the nature of the consultation. Many local residents attended this meeting and they too voiced their concerns. Since then this issue has featured significantly in social media and in the local press.

Events & Engagements – A selection

I attended two Better Together Community Engagement events covering Charlton.

I attended the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust board meeting on 17th July and raised a number of local issues including parking charges at Charlton House and access to the archives for local residents and historians – I will issue a separate report on the trust soon.

I support the John Roan- anti academisation campaign and attended the picket line to support striking workers in July.

I attended and supported the new Greenwich Housing Forum which held an open public meeting about housing issues in the Borough – I estimate nearly 100 people attended- more info @greenwich_forum

I chaired the Council’s Regeneration Scrutiny Panel on 23 July – it reviews policy and executive actions on regeneration issues in the borough.

I held a meeting with the council’s deputy chief executive about the Woolwich Creative District and other heritage and regeneration issues in the Charlton area on 24 August.

SURGERIES/CASEWORK – Raised a very large amount of housing and planning related casework, community safety and crime related issues which is ongoing. I also dealt with some issues in Charlton Park related to alleged drug dealing and anti -social behaviour and continued graffiti and vandalism around the toilets. I am concerned about the escalation of such behaviour in Charlton Park and am working with my co-councillors to address this issue.

COUNCIL  I also attended the July 2018 full council meeting and the main overview and scrutiny panel meetings of which I am a member. This received reports from senior council officers and cabinet members about major issues in Greenwich.

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Cllr Gary Parker’s Charlton Ward Report: Winter 2017-18

Gary Parker

Dear Charlton residents, this is my current ward report. It’s a snapshot of my recent activities, so it does not cover individual case work or a range of other meetings. I try to highlight a few key activities which may be of general interest. Please contact me direct if you want more information: gary.parker@royalgreenwich.gov.uk, Twitter: @CllrG2013.

Planning & Development Issues – I have been working with local groups and individuals regarding a range of planning issues. I opposed the recent application by Fairview Homes, in the Victoria Way area -this application was passed by the planning board recently. The Rockwell development on Charlton Riverside is also still an issue – a revised planning application for a range of buildings/10 storey towers with only 25% ‘affordable housing’ has been submitted. I object to the revised planning application as the social rent/ housing element needs to be much higher, there are other related issues too, regarding this development. There is a large group of residents and other groups in the area actively opposing this development- I will support them as much as I can.

 Charlton Society – I attended the Charlton Society meeting on redevelopment and regeneration of the village and surrounding areas, together with other councillors and candidates from the ward, some good ideas came forward, I will be working with the CS and others to develop and support these ideas wherever possible. A meeting is scheduled in the near future to further consider these issues and proposals by myself and other councillors/ stakeholders.

Community Wealth Conference, Preston–  I attended this on 8th Feb with other councillors from all over the UK, through a range of measures including support for small businesses, social enterprises and co-operatives, changing procurement practises, investment of pension funds and working with other public sector agencies. They have put back £200 million into the local economy and safeguarded and created 1600 jobs in the locality. The Preston model is now official Labour party policy and is now recommended best practice in England. I will report back more about this is due course for anyone interested see – www.councils.coop/case-studies/community-wealth-building.  I have long argued for similar measures in Greenwich. I will be advocating a range of new measures related to this; if I am re-elected at the forthcoming local elections.

Events & Engagements – A selection

  • Attended two Better Together Community Engagement events covering Charlton
  • Attended the Friend of Charlton Park AGM
  • I attend the event to mark International Women’s day on 8th March
  • Attended Campaign For State Education group meeting
  • Met with council officers to discuss special anti-social behaviour review meeting I chaired which went very successfully
  • Raised some issues regarding repairs in cold weather and council policy.

SURGERIES/CASEWORK – Raised a very large amount of housing and planning related casework, community safety and crime related issues which is ongoing.

Dealt with a number of emergency cases due to the cold weather and have raised a number of gritting related cases I also raised a number of issues around tenancy conditions and service standards in cold weather.

COUNCIL – I attended and chaired the Community Safety and Environment scrutiny panel and Overview & Scrutiny Panel and the Corporate Finance Scrutiny panel.

COUNCIL – I attended and chaired the Community Safety and Environment scrutiny panel and attended the January 2018 council meeting which was lobbied by the far right and their supporters. I also attended the February 2018 full council meeting and debated the budget and council tax setting with the opposition. See the council’s website- www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk for further information and streaming of this and other council meetings.

Cllr John Fahy’s Woolwich Riverside ward report, October 2017

Issues around the ‘missing link’ in the Thames Path near Warspite Road have been resolved and the link is to be opened in Spring 2018.

The Charlton Champion welcomes submissions of councillors’ reports from Charlton and the surrounding wards. Cllr John Fahy of Woolwich Riverside ward writes:

Woolwich Riverside Ward Report:

Please find an update on my activities over the period since the last newsletter. Meeting attendance has been limited due to a knee replacement in August. 

Meeting the needs of Greenwich Residents 

There was a time when August was regarded as a period of recess but lots of activity has been happening in the Town Hall. Top of the agenda and the most discussed policy issues relate to the decisions of the Planning Board and the impact these have on the lives of residents facing major housing needs.

I am pleased to see that this debate is now out in the open and a change of policy is required. It cannot be right that the shortage of housing based on a social rent is not being maximised in the Borough. Councillor responsibility is to the needs of our residents rather than the aspiration of developers to maximise their profit margin and develop housing for overseas speculators. 

A number of planning applications are in the pipeline that must be regarded as not meeting community aspirations.

Meyer Homes have now submitted their planning application for Woolwich Central Phases 3 and 4. The proposals include three new buildings (each between 9 and 16 Storeys in height). The proposals also include a twenty seven storey Tower Block in Love Lane directly in front of the Tesco Store. The Tower Block does not include any social housing. None at social rent. The proposal includes 20% of units in the new phases which is suggested as being affordable. Of course they will not be.

In addition the Island Site has received planning permission with proposals for housing, retail and a cinema. The amount of social housing is derisory. More importantly, in my view, a significant level of social housing is far more important than a cinema. Indeed a cinema is included in the Spray Street proposals.

The Herringham Road development is the other worrying proposal. The proposals for a 20 Storey Tower Block contrary to the Charlton Riverside Masterplan. Again the lack of social housing is self evident. It was encouraging to see how those attending the Public Exhibition spoke out in clear terms about the proposals.

There are challenging times ahead but the steps taken by Mayor Khan will help to influence a change of direction for the greater good of Londoners.

Thames Path Missing Link

Council Officers have been working for some time to find solutions to resolve. Solutions have now been found and work will late October. There will be two phases to complete the work and the missing link will open in the Spring of 2018.

Better Together:

Have your say about issues that concern you. The Woolwich / Charlton Meeting will take place at Charlton House on Wednesday 25th of October starting at 7.15pm.

Contact Details:

Mobile: 07949 794058

 

Cllr Gary Parker’s Charlton Ward Report: Summer 2017

Gary Parker

Charlton ward councillor Gary Parker brings us up to date with what he’s been doing in the local area and at the town hall.

As a Charlton ward councillor I have dealt with over 2,500 personal cases both at my surgery and on an informal basis, with many positive results. I have significant knowledge, skills and experience on many issues including, housing, noise and nuisance, employment, benefits, anti-social behaviour, education, air quality, council services and social care. Since I have been a councillor I have conducted over 400 surgeries at Charlton House and other locations. Myself and my co-councillors conduct a surgery every Friday on a rota basis at Charlton House, 7.00-8.00pm, no appointment is needed. Or you can email, call or tweet us.

CHARLTON/COMMUNITY

Community & Environment – I have met local residents with regard to street
cleaning, environmental issues and anti-social behaviour in the Wellington Gardens/
Charlton Church Lane/ Floyd Road/ Victoria Way areas. I am continuing to monitor this
situation.

Air Pollution – I have been approached by local residents regarding a number of
issues related to air pollution and planning, I am currently researching these issues and will raise them at the appropriate level. I also asked a question on this issue at the last Regeneration Scrutiny panel in July. I continue to be concerned about the high levels of pollution in our area and I am working hard to raise these issues when I can and will continue to work with local groups and individuals.

Planning – I have been working with the Charlton Society, Charlton Central Residents Association and Wyndcliff Residents Association, and other local groups and individuals regarding a range of planning issues. I have raised a wide range of planning issues again on behalf of local residents. I have objected to a planning application in the Victoria Way area, which will now go to the planning board. I also attended the July meeting of the planning board.

I have also meet local residents regarding planning applications related to Fred Styles House and issues related to The Heights in the post-Grenfell environment. I am closely reviewing planning applications with regard to health and safety and air pollution issues.

Raised some issues about the impact of revalued business rates at the Labour Group [of Greenwich councillors]. This will also have an impact on small businesses/ retailers in Charlton. I am very concerned about the impact on local businesses. I am still following these up and will report on this at a future date.

Ward Budgets – Submitted a further ward budget project to officers for consideration and I am now pleased to say that the ward budget request from the Charlton Society for their events programme has now been agreed by myself and my co-councillors. I also gave advice to other groups wishing to apply – please contact myself or my co-councillors for advice on this.

Raised some issues about the impact of revalued business rates, at the Labour Group this will also impact on small businesses/ retailers in Charlton. I am very concerned about the impact on local businesses.

Attended a meeting with other councillors regarding the possibility of supporting a Charlton sign post in the Village.

I attended the July meeting of the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust of which I am a
member.

I attended the 95 th birthday party of Jean Crocombe, local resident, former teacher in
the area and Labour Party member – my best wishes to you Jean! and also engaged
with local residents present about issues of interest and listened to their views.

SURGERIES/CASEWORK

Still dealing with a large amount of planning and housing related casework. Raised a very large amount of planning related casework, which is ongoing. Attended all relevant surgeries and did some home visits too.

COUNCIL

Attended main council meeting in July

Chaired Community Safety & Environment Scrutiny (CSE) Panel and attended Regeneration Scrutiny panel.

I also convened a meeting with council officers regarding the special meeting of the
CSE panel on anti-social behaviour in February 2018, more on this in the autumn.

Thanks to Gary for his report. If you’ve an issue to raise with him, please drop him a line via the council website: royalgreenwich.gov.uk/garyparker. He’s also on Twitter: @CllrG2013.

Woolwich Riverside ward report: find out what Cllr John Fahy’s been up to

Charlton Riverside Masterplan: “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.”

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.

Community Engagement:

 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

Community Safety

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 Regeneration

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.

Cllr John Fahy

Education

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

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.

What’s Charlton ward councillor Gary Parker been up to? Here’s his latest report

Gary Parker

Charlton ward councillor Gary Parker presents his update on what he has been up to in recent months. Comments are open below if there are issues you’d like to raise…

Apologies for the delay in publishing this report, it was originally going to be published in late April/early May 2017, but due to the surprise general election and various issues related to purdah (restrictions on what can be done during election periods) . I was unable to do this. My next and more up to date report will be published towards the end of the summer and be more current.


CHARLTON/COMMUNITY

Planning – I have been working with the Charlton Society, Charlton Central Residents’ Association and Wyndcliff Residents Association, and other local groups and individuals regarding a range of planning issues. I have raised a wide range of planning issues again on behalf of local residents.

Had further discussions with residents regarding proposed new meeting hall with regard to the Our Lady of Grace primary school planning application.

I have raised a wide range of planning issues again on behalf of local residents. These include the proposed development on Victoria Way, Charlton Church Lane issues and other smaller local developments, some of which when raised by me have been reviewed and refused by officers.

I have objected to a number of other planning applications which I will report on in my next report as I have requested ‘call in’ – a request for the issue to be heard before a planning committee on some of these issues.

Raised some issues with Cabinet member for Transport about water leaks and the lack of action by Thames Water, they are taking up to 4 weeks to deal with these, some have not been fixed since our last meeting – if you have an issue or see such a leak let me know!

Met with Transport For Charlton activists, re: future local issues and the SE Trains consultation, the new franchise document for SE Trains is proposing major changes to services.

Distributed leaflets and attended Campaign For State Education public meeting on Education Cuts in March.

Raised some issues about the impact of revalued business rates, at the Labour Group this will also impact on small businesses/ retailers in Charlton. I am very concerned about the impact on local businesses.

Attended Apprenticeship week event at Woolwich Job Centre.

Attended a meeting of Campaign For State Education steering group.

Researched a number of issues relating to Air Pollution in the area after representations from local groups – I am working with other councillors on these issues.

Submitted a further ward budget project to officers for consideration.

Addressed a range of local inquiries regarding Charlton Riverside Regeneration Programme.

Raised some issues about the impact of revalued business rates at the Labour Group [of Greenwich councillors] – this will also impact on small businesses/ retailers in Charlton. I am very concerned about the impact on local businesses.

Held meeting with four LSE students with regard to Charlton Riverside programme.

SURGERIES/CASEWORK

Still dealing with a large amount of planning and housing related casework.

Raised a very large amount of planning related casework, which is ongoing.

Attended all relevant surgeries and did some home visits for older people too.

COUNCIL

Attended main council meeting in February and spoke out against cuts and austerity and also attended the March meeting too and the special meeting of the council in May 2017.

Attended Corporate Finance Scrutiny Panel, Overview and Scrutiny, Regeneration Scrutiny panels and all other relevant meetings.

Get in touch with Cllr Gary Parker via the Greenwich Council website.

Cllr Gary Parker’s Charlton ward report: March 2017

Cllr Gary Parker

Here’s an update from Charlton ward councillor Gary Parker on what he has been up to over the winter.

I have met with residents and raised issues with the Chair of Planning about planning issues – the council’s planning department is now being restructured. This is a direct result of my continued intervention on these issues for local groups and residents. I am confident this service will improve, once new measures are in place.

I attended funeral of local resident Robert Crocombe and would like to pay tribute to him and his wife Jean for years of steadfast loyalty and work for the local community and the Labour Party – a great man and a sad loss to the Charlton community.

I formally objected to the Rockwell planning application for a 28 storey tower block on the new Charlton Riverside. I raised this issue at the Charlton Society AGM in October and will be working with local groups to oppose this and ensure we have full public consultation on other local planning applications and Charlton Riverside.

I intervened to get the Xmas lights switched on in Charlton Village.

I attended the Co-op Party AGM at Charlton House.

Worked with co-councillors to support local organisations with Charlton ward budgets, organisations that have been funded include – Big Red Bus Club, Charlton Toy Library, Thorntree School, Global Fusion Arts, Greenwich Food Bank and others currently being processed. If you want a project funded, please email me for the application form: gary.parker[at]royalgreenwich.gov.uk

I helped establish ownership of the notice board next to the Assembly Rooms in the Village, this will now be updated with new notices.

I attended the SE London Chamber of Commerce AGM.

I attended the Federation of Small Businesses SE London Branch AGM.

I attended the awards ceremony for Greenwich University/Santander awards event for local students.

I met Sean Kelleher from Business in the Community for a discussion on social enterprise in the borough and related issues.

I attended 3 Campaign For State Education meetings.

I attended a Charlton area community engagement event at Charlton House.

I chaired the inaugural meeting of Transport For Charlton.

I attended the Charlton Central Residents Association and Charlton Society AGMs.

I attended a range of planning board meetings.

I attended meetings of Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust.

I attended the Charlton & Kidbrooke Housing panel.

Met Greenwich University about the development of workers’ co-operatives and other non-profit making models in Greenwich.

I attended meeting with a local Community Energy organisation about their work

SURGERIES/CASEWORK

I am still dealing with a large amount of planning and housing related casework. I have dealt with a number of issues around blue badge allocation. I raised a large amount of housing casework, which is ongoing.

I attended all relevant surgeries and did some home visits for older people too.

I have raised a significant number of inquiries about street cleaning and fly-tipping.

COUNCIL

I attended the two main council meetings. [This would now be three as Gary submitted this before the most recent council meeting at the end of February.]

I attended the launch of the Fairness Commission project in Greenwich on anti-poverty issues.

I chaired 3 Community Safety and Environment Panel meetings

I attended Corporate Finance Scrutiny Panel, Overview and scrutiny, Regeneration Scrutiny panels, have raised issues about community safety, air quality and electoral registration as part of this work.

I attended a special meeting on affordable housing.

Liaised with council officers over a public realm special meeting of the Community Safety and Environment scrutiny panel in January and chaired the meeting, which was a review of how we could improve the look, cleanliness and design of out public realm with a focus on parks and open spaces

If you want to get in touch with Gary, his email is gary.parker[at]royalgreenwich.gov.uk, or you can follow him on Twitter at @CllrG2013.