Ward Budgets are back: £30,000 to spend on community projects in Charlton

Story telling at Big Red Bus Club Play Plus in Charlton
Story telling at Big Red Bus Club’s Play Plus scheme, which as benefited from ward budget funding previously

Greenwich Council’s ward budget scheme has reopened, with £30,000 available to each council ward over the next four years. The scheme is intended to fund community initiatives such as community and social schemes, environmental issues and well-being and health projects, with ideas being proposed by residents and community groups then approved by ward councillors.

Funds were made available to a range of schemes in the last round, including an air quality monitoring project, a campaign against cold callers, a primary school’s sensory garden, and the Charlton & Woolwich Free Film Festival – read more about the schemes funded in the last budget round here.

Annie Keys of the Big Red Bus Club, which has received funding for specialist play equipment for disabled children amongst other projects, told The Charlton Champion: Big Red Bus Club has been incredibly fortunate to be supported through Charlton’s ward budget scheme. It’s been great to help us try out new ideas and projects that local families have wanted to see happen in Charlton. A perfect example is Play Plus; £750 helped us to buy sensory play equipment for children who have additional needs.

That little bit of funding three years ago led to a whole programme of support for local SEND (Special Education Needs and Disabled) under-fives and their families. Now, Play Plus has three years of funding from Children in Need, for a specialist support worker, a programme of community arts and every Monday a whole day of targeted activities including Makaton story telling.

Our local Charlton councillors have also supported Large and Legging It our running group for women over 30BMI, and this year a new project aimed at families that could benefit from English as a Second Language (ESOL) support with their under fives. If any community groups want to come along and have a chat about how our projects have benefitted, we would be happy to share experiences. Get in touch by email at party [@] thebigredbusclub.com”

Greenwich Council says that Ward Budget funding should support initiatives that:

  • promote the well-being of the community and which are developed in response to local priorities and/or to meet a need identified from within the ward
  • look to provide additional funding where community groups are already making efforts to raise funds to support the project
  • are developed and monitored by local councillors, making use of their knowledge of local needs and priorities
  • have consensus across a ward or between wards
  • enhance the council’s community leadership role and promote civic pride.

If you have a project idea you think could be funded, contact your local ward councillor.

The Charlton Champion has been covering the ward budgets since they were launched in 2015read more of our ward budget stories here.

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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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Greenwich ward budgets are set to return – how much was spent in Charlton last time?

Charlton House front lawn from above
Ward budget funds were allocated to Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust for a laser survey of Charlton House’s grounds

Greenwich Council Ward Budget scheme is all set to return, leader Danny Thorpe announced last week. So we thought we’d take an overdue look at what was funded in Charlton ward during the last round.

Tweet from Danny Thorpe

The announcement came during last week’s full council meeting – watch it here.

Each ward in the borough was allocated a £30,000 budget to be spent on schemes proposed by the community and selected for funding by local councillors.

When we checked in on the schemes in July last year, only 22% of the £30,000 budget had been allocated.

So how does it look a year later?

PROJECT AMOUNT APPROVED (£) RECIPIENT HOW THE PROJECT WILL IMPROVE THE WELLBEING OF THE AREA AND BENEFIT THE LOCAL COMMUNITY DATE APPROVED
The Big Red Bus Club              950.00 The Big Red Bus Club To provide specialist play equipment for the Big Red Bus Club, Stay and Play service for disabled children in Charlton. 21/07/2016
Thorntree Community Garden                      500.00 Thorntree Primary School To provide gardening equipment, plants and shrubs to renovate a piece of land next to Thorntree Primary school as a community garden for the school children to plant and maintain. 21/07/2016
Valley Hill Hub – Air Pollution Monitors                      120.00 Valley Hill Hub To fund 10 air pollution monitors to install around the Valley Hill Hub area to monitor to measure air quality in the area and examine what affect the local topography may have on possibly trapping pollution. 11/4/2017
Charlton Hope Sale                   1,500.00 Charlton Hope Sale The funding will be used to promote the work of the outreach project and provide practical help sessions for children and families in need along with a summer celebration for the community. 28/04/2017
Guide Camps 2,940.50 7th Charlton Guides To support the cost of an annual residential trip for the 7th Charlton Guides and 1st Charlton Rangers. 6/7/2017
Cold Calling Campaign 740.00 Central Charlton Residents Association To support by the Central Charlton Neighbourhood to run a cold calling campaign targeting cold callers in the Charlton area. 31/08/2017
Charlton Society Events Programme 1,620.00 The Charlton Society To support an events programme on matters of local interest for the Charlton Community 31/08/2017
Cherry Orchard School – Sensory Garden Project  2,000.00 Cherry Orchard School To provide a timber framed canopy for the nursery outdoor play area to complete the works to the sensory space. 29/11/2017
Large and Legging It – Big Red Bus Club 2,425.00 Big Red Bus Club To support a health and fitness campaign in Charlton run by the Big Red Bus Club focussed at women struggling with weight issues. 29/11/2017
Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival 1,981.30 Charlton and Woolwich Free Film Festival To support a local volunteer film festival bringing communities together to enjoy films in various locations across SE7 and SE18. 22/01/2018
Thorntree Music Project  854.96 Thorntree School To purchase musical instruments for Thorntree Primary school both to expand the potential to learn new instruments and to support the provision of public performances to engage with the local community. 26/01/2018
Valley Hill Hub – Air Pollution Monitors  120.00 Valley Hill Hub To undertake a second air quality survey in the Charlton area during October 2018. 14/02/2018
Laser Survey on Charlton House Grounds 6,985.00 Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust To carry out a digital survey of the grounds within Charlton House to identify the historic features of the landscape which may be undiscovered during its changing development through its 400 year history 3/3/2018
Big Red Bus – ESOL Equipment and Resources  2,630.00 Big Red Bus Club To support the Big Red Bus Club in providing English language support to a diverse range of service users whose first language is not English. 2/2/2018
Greenwich Foodbank Van (£6k split between 14 Wards)  428.00 Greenwich Foodbank To support the purchase of van to facilitate the efficient transport of food collections around the borough. 6/5/2016
TOTAL   25,794.76

By our calculations that’s over 85% of the budget allocated by the time the funding round closed.

Many thanks to the Positive Plumstead Project for passing on the cross-borough list of approved applications. We hope that the next round will be easier to follow: we suggest a page per ward on Greenwich Council’s website would allow residents to keep up with what’s been approved through the year.

We hope to bring more information on the next scheme following July’s Cabinet meeting.

PS. if anyone would like to go through the numbers for the wards adjacent to Charlton (Woolwich Riverside, Peninsula, Kidbrooke with Hornfair), we’d love to add them – get in touch!

The Charlton Champion provides news and information about issues and events in London SE7.
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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”.

Do you have a project that needs funding or an idea to improve your area? The Charlton ward budget can help…

Could Charlton’s ward budget fund better signage? Councillors need your ideas and input.

A message from Cllr Miranda Williams:

As you may know Greenwich Council launched a ward budget scheme in 2015. It gave each ward £30,000 to spend on projects that would be of benefit to residents.

The original Cabinet report from October 2015 detailing the purpose of the ward budget can be found here.

In Charlton, we wanted local groups and organisations to be able to apply for small grants that would really make a difference to their projects, as well as us as ward councillors identifying areas that we wanted to impact.

So far, grants have been made to the Big Red Bus Club, Charlton Toy Library and the Charlton Central Residents Association for a community green spaces project to name just three, with further applications for green space projects at the enquiry stage and a grant to a local Guide Group for camping projects having just been paid. We also contributed £400 to the fund for the new Greenwich Food Bank Van when their van was stolen last year. However we still have around £20,000 left to spend.

We have various ideas as to what that could be spent on, and having looked at the comments on a previous blog post, signage is just one of the ideas that came to the fore. I have recently facilitated a meeting with officers and colleagues to discuss what might be possible so please watch this space. But we would really welcome further ideas as to where this money could be spent. These can be submitted as ideas to your three councillors or as an application from an organisation or group via the form attached here.

We have been advised by officers that in order to ensure that any proposals put forward are processed in the proper manner they need to be submitted by the end of January 2018. So please do get in touch either with direct applications or ideas that you wish to be looked at.

Miranda

Miranda.williams [@] royalgreenwich.gov.uk

Charlton Ward Budget Watch: what’s been funded so far?

Big Red Bus Club
Charlton’s Big Red Bus Club has benefited from the ward budget, along with 7 other projects to date.

Greenwich borough’s Ward Budget programme makes £30,000 available to each ward, with schemes proposed by the community and selected for funding by local councillors. With – we estimate – only 5 months of the programme left to run (we understand it will conclude 6 months before the May 2018 council elections), we’ve taken a look at what’s been funded so far.

Key figures for Charlton ward:

  1. 8 projects have been approved so far (including one joint scheme to fund the Greenwich Foodbank Van) out of 70 confirmed across the borough.
  2. Only 22% of Charlton’s budget had been allocated at the time the report was published (there’s a surprisingly wide variation between wards on this: Kidbrooke and Hornfair have allocated 89% of their budget; Thamesmead Moorings less than 5%).

Here are the projects funded so far (click project names for more detail on the council website):

Project Amount Decision
CCRA Community Green Spaces Project £985 Agreed the allocation of a one-off payment of £985 to support the improvement of land (through planting) on the street environment in Central Charlton.
Charlton Toy Library £1,472 Agreed the allocation of a one-off payment of £1,472 to fund the purchase of baby and child safety equipment, pre-school toys and books for the Charlton Toy Library loan scheme, arts and crafts materials, an A-board sign along with leaflets and information packs to promote the service.
The Big Red Bus Club £950 Agreed the allocation of a one-off payment of £950 for the provision of specialist play equipment for the Big Red Bus Club, Stay and Play service for disabled children in Charlton.
Thorntree School – Community Garden £500 Agreed the allocation of a one-off payment of £500 for the provision of gardening equipment, plants and shrubs to renovate a piece of land next to Thorntree Primary school as a community garden for the school children to plant and maintain.
Charlton Community Day £750 Agreed the allocation of a one-off payment of £750 towards the costs of running a community day in Charlton Park on 23rd July 2016.  The event will be run and managed by Global Fusion Music & Arts.  The ward budget contribution will cover the cost of the sound system and volunteer expenses.
Greenwich Foodbank Van £428* Agreed the allocation of a one-off payment of £6,000 towards the purchase of a van by Greenwich Foodbank to facilitate the efficient transport of food around the Borough to be funded from the Ward Budget Scheme as proposed by the members of fourteen Wards.

(*Charlton Champion’s estimate based on equal division of cost across 14 wards)

Charlton Hope Sale £1,500 Agreed the allocation of a one-off payment of £1,500 to support the Charlton Hope Sale, an outreach group that provides support to local people in need.
Valley Hill Hub – Air Pollution Monitors £120 Agreed the allocation of a one-off payment of £120 to enable the Valley Hill Hub to purchase and install ten air pollution  monitors in the Charlton area and to publish a report on the findings to local interest groups and the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

Other funded schemes in wards adjacent to Charlton include:

Searching for ‘Ward Budgets’ in the Decisions section of Greenwich council’s website will bring up details of other funded projects.

Ward Budget spend by ward:

Ward Total Approved Amount Remaining Ward Budget Percentage Spent
Thamesmead Moorings £1,355.62 £28,644.38 4.5
Woolwich Riverside £1,450.00 £28,550 4.8
Middle Park and Sutcliffe £3,400.00 £26,600 11.3
Plumstead £3,455.62 £26,544.38 11.5
Charlton £6,677.00 £23,323 22.3
Peninsula £7,400.00 £22,600 24.7
Eltham West £8,045.87 £21,954.13 26.8
Coldharbour New Eltham £9,950.00 £20,050 33.2
Blackheath/ Westcombe £12,618.20 £17,381.80 42.1
Greenwich West £17,383.00 £12,617 57.9
Eltham South £18,245.10 £11,754.90 60.8
Abbey Wood £20,973.50 £9,026.50 69.9
Shooters Hill £22,650.00 £7,350 75.5
Woolwich Common £23,177.00 £6,823 77.3
Eltham North £24,311.10 £5,688.90 81.0
Glyndon £26,000.00 £4,000 86.7
Kidbrooke and Hornfair £26,658.97 £3,341.03 88.9

Many thanks to Cllr Spencer Drury of Eltham North for highlighting on his website the Greenwich council report detailing Ward Budget spending to date and crunching the percentage figures above.

So, with over £20k available to spend in Charlton ward, what you like to see the money spent on? Better Christmas lights for the Village? Improvements to parks? A contribution to the Blackheath fireworks? Community events? Let us know in the comments below – the clock’s ticking!

Residents’ group’s planting scheme in line for £985 council grant

Wellington Mews
Wellington Mews could see a clean-up under the CCRA’s scheme

The Charlton Central Residents’ Association is set to get £985 from Greenwich Council to smarten up small areas of green space on its patch.

The residents’ group, which covers an area east of Victoria Way and west of Charlton Church Lane, wants to clean up and plant flowers at five locations: the front of Gollogly Terrace; Wellington Mews; the green in front of Wellesley House on Wellington Mews; the junction of Inverine and Fossdene Roads; and an alley at Delafield Road.

Nadine Street
Past work has been carried out in Nadine Street

It says the project will improve the attractiveness of the local street environment, give residents without a garden the chance to take part, and to “provide an opportunity for people living in Charlton to learn more about gardening, horticulture and plant care”.

The cash comes from the ward budget fund, where councillors have a pot of money available to fund small projects in their wards. Other grants in Charlton ward have gone to the Big Red Bus Club for play equipment, Thorntree Primary School for a community garden, equipment for Charlton Toy Library and last year’s Charlton Community Day in Charlton Park.

Some £500 will be spent on plants, shrubs and equipment while £200 is earmarked for “specialist advice and education services”. The group says it also anticipates spending £140 on hiring St Richard’s Hall for training volunteers and holding residents’ meetings.

CCRA says it carried out similar work some years ago at the junction of Nadine Street and Charlton Church Lane, although that plot is now in need of more attention.

If other councillors do not object to the funding, it will be confirmed at the end of the week.