Can you help plan the future of Charlton House?

Charlton House SE7
Charlton House is managed by Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust. Photo by Neil Clasper.

Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust is planning a series of events in February to help it make decisions about its new masterplan and plans for major investment at Charlton House. The trust, which runs the Jacobean mansion on behalf of Greenwich Council, is applying for funding to improve the building, which has not seen major investment for many years.

Two events are being held – on Thursday 6 February from 1pm to 3.30pm, and Thursday 13 February from 7.30pm to 9pm.

Questionnaires will also be put online so as many people as possible can take part in the consultation.

The trust is also holding focus groups – to get involved in those, email info[a]rght.org.uk for more details.


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Hornfair Park BMX track ‘needs investment’, operator admits as work planned

The BMX track opened in 2012 but has fallen into disrepair

Hornfair Park’s BMX track “needs investment” after falling into disrepair just eight years after it opened, its operator GLL admitted to Greenwich councillors last week.

The facility opened in 2012 as an Olympic legacy project, with some local residents initially objecting to the track because of fears it would attract antisocial behaviour.

While it proved to be a popular facility, it was overshadowed five years later by the opening of the skate park in Charlton Park, and has looked increasingly tatty since then.

At a Greenwich Council scrutiny panel last Thursday, Kidbrooke with Hornfair councillor David Stanley told representatives of Greenwich Leisure Limited, which operates the track, that groups were having to move events to Kent because the track was in such a poor state.

“We’ve a lovely BMX track which is now falling into such disrepair we’re unable to use it and we’re having to move events to Kent,” he said.

Gary Starkey, the partnership manager for GLL’s leisure centres, said contractors were about to visit the track to see what work needed doing.

“We absolutely recognise that the track needs some investment and work to be done – as soon as practical, we’ll get that work done,” he told the regeneration scrutiny committee.

Starkey added that GLL was looking into relaunching the track with a promotional event when the work is done. (See 23 and 27 minutes into the video below.)

Charlton councillor Linda Perks questioned how well Charlton Library – which is also operated by GLL – was being promoted (see nine minutes into the video below). “It’s just a small library ticked away in a corner of Charlton House – I just wondered if you could increase marketing of that facility in that area. There’s not much information inside the building or outside that it’s there.”

Paul Drumm, the libraries partnership manager, said the libraries team went to local events and fairs to promote the service, while Tim Hetherington, GLL’s head of leisure and libraries, said the staff worked closely with the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust – which runs Charlton House – and its events, adding: “Our staff have dressed up as World War I nurses.”


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Complain about the council and get a free swim: Better Together at Charlton House

Charlton House and Gateway Arch
You can meet local councillors at Charlton House on Monday

A bit short notice, this, but Greenwich Council’s programme of public meetings, Better Together, comes to Charlton House on Monday evening from 7pm.

Hello residents of Charlton, Kidbrooke and Woolwich!

This coming Monday 21 October, it’s the Better Together resident event! This is your chance to talk about what really matters to you in your area and to get your voice heard.

We want to hear your views, ideas and issues about where you live, to help us improve our services. There’ll be a Q&A with your local councillors, plus there’ll be a range of stalls where you can find out more about our services and other organisations.

There’s also a free offer! Anyone attending will get a Free Swim at the The Greenwich Centre from 21 – 28 October!

Better Together events have come in for a bit of stick from residents’ groups – they don’t have any power and they cover large areas, unlike in neighbouring Lewisham where ward assemblies can choose where to spend money in small areas. They’re also rather patchily promoted – we didn’t get a press release about this one; we only found out because someone kindly emailed us. Otherwise, we’d have told you earlier.

But the council uses them as a way of gauging opinion on issues and priorities, so if you’ve got a question or a gripe, head to Charlton House on Monday – and there’s a free swim in it, too.


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