Cuts U-turn: Maryon Wilson Animal Park finally set to stay in council hands

Maryon Wilson Park

Greenwich Council is set to keep control of Maryon Wilson Animal Park, finally abandoning plans to spin the centre off into a charitable trust and ending five years of uncertainty about its future.

The council first announced plans to scrap the park’s budget in December 2010, with a view to looking for sponsorship.

After widespread protests, the council agreed to hand over management to a trust, Maryon Wilson Animal Park Ltd (MWAP) which would raise funds and operate the park.

But the trust has struggled to raise the funds needed to take on the park – believed to be about £100,000 per year. Last year, the Friends of Maryon and Maryon Wilson Parks published published an open letter to council leader Denise Hyland asking for her to reconsider the decision to spin the centre off, made by her predecessor Chris Roberts.

While the council has deleted £42,350 – the cost of a stockman, vet fees and animal feed – from its parks budget, it has continued to run the park in the meantime, with last year’s running costs put at £70,000.

Now, if the council’s cabinet agrees on Wednesday, it will keep control of the park, and MWAP will become a Friends group, raising money and supplying volunteers – just as it proposed in last year’s open letter.

The council says it will hold a “complete review of revenue and capital expenditure” on the site and look to “reduce costs incrementally”.

Posted in Charlton news, Maryon Wilson Park campaign | Tagged | 16 Comments

Charlton Lido: summer swimming season starts soon

Good news for swimmers: Charlton Lido’s summer season starts on Tuesday 31st of May, with extended opening hours for the pool.

The new timetable will be:

Monday: 6.30am-8pm

Tuesday – Friday: 7am-8pm

Weekends: 9am-5pm

The main changes from the current timetable are an earlier start on Mondays, and all-day opening on Thursdays and Fridays. This timetable will run to September when it will be ‘reviewed’.

The cafe (closed for refurbishment since October last year) is due to re-open next Tuesday, and will be open 9-5pm through the week. We assume this also means that the sun terraces will re-open.

Finally, there’s a Customer Forum for members taking place this Thursday evening (May 26th). We’ve heard of members who’ve not received the email that was sent out last week and – as with other events at the lido – there’s been no mention of it on Better’s website. It may be too later to register, but if you’re a member and want to apply (or get on the list for future customer meetings) we suggest dropping a line to charltonlido [@]


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‘Charlton Bike Days’ at Hornfair Park

Charlton Bike Days

Want to get your bike checked out, brush up on your cycling skills, or go on a ‘social ride’ around the local area? The council’s running a series of events at Hornfair Park on the 3rd Sunday of the month, with the next sessions taking place tomorrow (15th May). More info and booking for the cycling skills session and social ride can be found here:

As ever, we’d love to hear your feedback if you go along – tell us about it in the comments box below!

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What lies beneath? Authorities look into Great Hole of Charlton

Woodland Terrace sinkhole

The scene as captured by local police early this morning

As you’ve probably gathered from elsewhere, a sinkhole appeared in Woodland Terrace overnight, almost swallowing a car whole.

The hole appeared following a second night of heavy rain. Authorities are investigating, while the 380 bus is diverted away from the area.

It’s not known how the hole appeared, but it follows an incident last week where a sinkhole appeared near housing in Plumstead. If you’ve got a long memory, you’ll also remember the huge hole in Blackheath Hill, west Greenwich, that opened up at Easter 2002, caused by old chalk mining.

Charlton has its own share of underground mysteries – a few years back, it was claimed a cave posed a threat to the rail tunnels underneath Maryon Park, close to where this morning’s incident took place.

For now, though, it’s simply a relief that nobody was injured. If you’re near the scene and can tell us more about what’s happening, please let us know.

PS. Somebody passing by in a minicab reported the hole to the council via fault-reporting service FixMyStreet at 3.09am: “Road has collapsed. Car is on edge and ready to drop inside. It is not safe. My uber taxi could not see the collapsed road in dark. Avoided falling inside but he has two flat tyres now.” A moment when 999 might have been a better choice…

9.55am update: Thanks to Emma for this Facebook update: “I’ve just been past, the water and gas guys are there (plus TV cameras, police etc). They were talking about moving the car today but the vehicle needed to do it is 7.5 tons and they’re (understandably) concerned. It looks hollow underneath. Road closed to traffic between Heathwood Gardens and Maryon Road but pedestrian access is now open.”

6.55pm update: The car is now out of the hole, but the road will be closed for some time to come.

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The Alexandra Players: Brand new play by Philip Ayckbourn to premiere in Charlton‏‏‎

‘Timeshare’, a new play by Philip Ayckbourn, will premiere at The Alexandra Hall in Charlton.

An update from The Alexandra Players on their latest production:

Following the success of our performance last Summer of The Essence of Love written by Philip Ayckbourn, The Alexandra Players in Charlton have been given a wonderful opportunity to stage a brand new production by the playwright.

Philip very kindly approached us and asked us to be the first group ever to perform a brand new play he has written called Timeshare – a comedy with farcical elements that plays with time and relationships.

The London and World Premiere will open at The Alexandra Hall, Bramshot Avenue in Charlton on Wednesday 1st June for 4 nights only. The Box Office is open and tickets are on sale now!

The Alexandra Players perform at The Alexandra Hall, Bramshot Avenue, Charlton, SE7 7HY. You can find them online at:
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Five interesting things happening at Charlton Lido soon

It’s not always straightforward to find out what’s going on at Charlton Lido. The website’s updated sporadically and not particularly easy to navigate, and they’re still not in the habit of emailing updates to members. We’ve been digging, though, and found 5 Interesting Things Happening At Charlton Lido In The Coming Weeks:

  1. May Bank Holiday opening times“…Charlton Lido & Lifestyle Club will be open 9-5pm on Monday 2nd & Monday 30th May.  All Fitness classes between 9-5pm will take place as normal and the Lido will be available 9-4pm”.
  2. The cafe – closed back in October last year for refurbishment – is now due to reopen in May.
  3. There’s a weekly drop-in swim clinic on Monday nights between 7 and 8pm, with tuition included in the price of a swim.
  4. Greenwich Tritons are organising a Clash of the Tritons event taking place at the lido and Hornfair Park on June 5th. You can follow Greenwich Tritons on Twitter here: @greenwichtriton.
  5. Adults can get a free swimming lesson on June 25th, sponsored by Speedo. Sign up here.

Charlton Lido has a 50m heated outdoor pool, and can be found at Hornfair Park, Shooters Hill Road, London SE18 4LX.

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Ward budgets come to Charlton: What would you fund with £30,000?

Charlton ward map

A message from Cllr Gary Parker:

Your Charlton Ward councillors are pleased to announce the launch of the Charlton Ward Budget programme for 2016-18.

Your ward councillors will be accepting applications from 3rd May 2016 onwards. In line with the council decision, the decision of the ward councillors regarding any grants awarded is final.

We are trying to fund as many organisations as possible from a budget of £30,000 and we particularly want to encourage small organisations to apply using this application form.

Some background on ward budgets

Greenwich council’s ward budget scheme was announced in October 2015; at the last count 15 applications have been approved so far across the borough, including some funds to improve Hornfair Park’s pet cemetery.

Have you got an idea for a scheme that would benefit Charlton ward? Let us know in the comments below!

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