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.

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7.
– Help us by telling us your stories
– Buy Neil a coffee at ko-fi.com
– NEW! Become a monthly patron at patreon.com/charltonchampion
– NEW! Donate directly to the site at paypal.me/charltonchampion

 

Advertisements

Charlton Village Action Plan to launch with public meeting this Saturday

Charlton Village
The Charlton Society has a plan to rejuvenate Charlton Village

The Charlton Society has launched an 18-point action plan to turn around the fortunes of Charlton Village – and is holding a public meeting on Saturday to discuss its ideas.

The Charlton Village Action Plan sets out proposals for traffic, buildings and the street scene to make the area more attractive for businesses and residents.

Last year, the Charlton Village conservation area was branded “at risk” by Historic England, with the agency warning that its condition was “deteriorating”.

The meeting will be held at the Grand Salon in Charlton House at 2.30pm on Saturday 20 January.

Proposals include: introducing traffic calming measures and making The Village a 20mph zone (worth noting that 20mph is now a standard speed limit in other south London boroughs); improving the two service roads behind The Village together with car parking; providing “welcome” signage; surveying property ownership and empty homes above shops; creating a market space outside The Baguette and Village Green Grocers; and improving street furniture and pavements.

Take a look at the full action plan and feel free to leave your thoughts below.

Anti-cold calling campaign gets council ward budget funding

Inverine Road
Inverine Road is one of the streets covered by the scheme

A Charlton residents’ group is to launch an anti-cold calling campaign in its area after getting £740 from Greenwich Council’s ward budget scheme.

The Charlton Central Neighbourhood Watch plans to turn its area – 10 streets between Victoria Way and Charlton Church Lane, south of Charlton station – into a “no cold caller/rogue trader zone”, raising awareness among the 800 households who live in those roads.

“Every household will receive a door sticker to ward off unwelcome callers and signage will be put in the area to promote the campaign and to deter cold caller and rogue traders from operating in the area,” the council document outlining the scheme says.

Cold callers and scammers have long been a problem across the Charlton area. One Charlton Champion reader told us she was approached on her doorstep last week by a man falsely implying he was from consumer journalist Martin Lewis’s MoneySavingExpert.com – a website which never employs people to go door-knocking.

Other irritants have included charity cold callers, burglar alarm salespeople and scammers with sob stories about getting locked out of their homes.

You can download your own signs telling cold callers to clear off and get useful tips about dealing with all kinds of unsolicited sales calls at MoneySavingExpert.com.

The money for the campaign comes from the Charlton ward budget fund – get in touch with local councillors if you have an idea for a community scheme. (If you don’t know which ward you are in, check on the council website.)

The Charlton Society has also been given money from the fund – £1,620 to support its events programme. The society says it is hoping to attract more families to events and is “considering events which could increase the range of age within the membership”.

It’s the Charlton Society AGM: ‘Tell us what you like about Charlton, and what you don’t’

Charlton House

A word from Charlton Society chair Carol Kenna…

Dear Charlton friends,

Please come and join us for the Charlton Society AGM this coming Saturday, October 17th in Charlton House, starting at 2.30pm.

Charlton has seen a lot of changes in the last year. Please come along to the AGM and tell us what you like about Charlton, and what you don’t. We’d love to have more members and more of you involved.

The past year has been a very busy one for the Society and largely unnoticed as our public face is rather like a handsome swan – calm above the water – for the Society a successful series of talks and paddling like crazy below – setting up sub-groups to facilitate an ever-burgeoning programme of work, setting up our website, encouraging new members and taking an active part with other local and borough-wide organisations keeping a careful eye on new developments either in Charlton or those which will have a major impact on Charlton.

Saturday will present an interesting programme in addition to the regular AGM business. The committee will present its past year to you and we hope that you will join us in discussing the progress made and what still needs to be done.

We will also have three guest speakers: Greenwich mayor Norman Adams will give a short presentation, Matthew Pennycook MP will be present and we look forward to his reflections on his early months in his new role. Finally Mark Hughes of AECOM consultants will be giving a short presentation on current progress with the Charlton Riverside Masterplan Phase 2 and their future programme of consultation.

It should be a busy and very interesting afternoon. Please join us for this important discussion, followed by a welcome cup of tea.

I hope you can join us on the 17th.

Kind Regards

Carol

Fix the 53: Charlton Society launches petition to restore full bus service to Whitehall

A 53 to Lambeth North
If you use buses regularly, you’ll have noticed January’s sudden cut to route 53 caused by roadworks by Westminster Bridge. The service stopped running the full length of its route to Whitehall, depriving many local workers, from cleaners to civil servants, of their usual route to central London.

The diggers have moved away from Bridge Street, but initial dates for the restoration of service in March and then April have been missed. Transport for London blames new works at the Elephant & Castle for continuing to stop the service at Lambeth North. However, no other bus through the Elephant is suffering such a severe cut in service.

Now the Charlton Society (declaration of interest: I’m on its committee) has launched a petition to get the route back to is full strength once again. To sign it, visit Change.org.

Meet the candidates: Charlton Society confirms general election hustings on 25 April

Greenwich and Woolwich candidates
Confirmed candidates so far (clockwise): Ryan Acty (Ukip), Abbey Akinoshun (Green), Lynne Chamberlain (TUSC), Matt Pennycook (Labour), Tom Holder (Lib Dems), Matt Hartley (Conservative)

With 7 May’s general election getting closer, the Charlton Society has confirmed it will be holding a hustings for the Greenwich & Woolwich constituency (which covers most of Charlton) at the Assembly Rooms, Charlton Village on 25 April at 2.30pm.

It’s open to all, and all six declared candidates have agreed to take part. They are:

Current MP Nick Raynsford is standing down after 23 years in the post. A full list of candidates won’t be known until after the nominations have closed on 9 April.

There are other hustings across the constituency, mostly aimed at special interest groups, but another open to all will be held by the Blackheath and Greenwich United Nations Association at Mycenae House, Blackheath, at 7.30pm on 15 April.

The Charlton Central Residents Association is also holding a hustings at St Richard’s Hall, Swallowfield Road on 27 April at 7.30pm (members and associate members can reserve a place by contacting CCRA).

Details of other hustings would be appreciated, including those covering the Eltham constituency, which covers streets to the south of Charlton Park.

PS. Are you registered to vote? If you’re not sure, contact Greenwich Council’s electoral services to check.  You can now register online at gov.uk/register-to-vote. The deadline is 20 April.

Other hustings for Greenwich & Woolwich: Friday 17 April, 6:30pm, Greenwich West Community Centre (organised by Breast Cancer Care – register for free ticket); Sunday 19 April, 11.30am, Greenwich Dance Agency, Royal Hill (Christian Life Fellowship); Wednesday 22 April, 1pm, Greenwich Community College Plumstead campus; Thursday 23 April, 7.30pm, Christ Church East Greenwich (local Church of England churches); Tuesday 28 April, 6.30pm, Forum at Greenwich (Greenwich NUT); Wednesday 29 April, 6pm, Forum at Greenwich (Greenwich Association of Disabled People).

Ikea coming to Greenwich – can we stop it grinding Charlton to a halt?

Ikea plan
As you may know already, Ikea has planning permission to build a store on the site of the old “eco” Sainsbury’s in Greenwich – a prospect which has flat-pack furniture fans five miles already reaching for their car keys, and residents who live a mile away groaning.

Campaigners against the store recently switched to a strategy of damage limitation after being advised that a legal challenge would be unlikely to work, since Transport for London had agreed with Ikea’s claim that the development would not add extra traffic to the area.

The new Ikea will come on top of a relocated Sainsbury’s plus M&S at Gallions Road, another an expanded retail park close to the river, and a relocated Matalan on Woolwich Road.

For its part, Ikea has been talking to local residents’ groups, including the Charlton Society and Charlton Central Residents’ Association.

The Charlton Society says:

“How can we make the best of this situation? What do we, as neighbours of the proposed store, want to see to prevent Ikea grinding local transport to a halt? What do we think the store should look like? And what part should Ikea play in the local community?

“The Charlton Society’s planning committee is talking to Ikea about the future. We’d like to hear your ideas. Should the road junction at the Woolwich Road flyover be altered? How can we make it easier for people to have goods delivered? What extra public transport would you like to see? And how can we improve on Ikea’s trademark blue box?”

Ideas include emulating the new-ish Ikea store in Altona, Hamburg, which is aimed at attracting a 50/50 split between car drivers and those coming on public transport, on bike or by foot.

Do you have any ideas you can feed into the process? Let the Charlton Society know.