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”.

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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.

What would you spend £30,000 on in Charlton? Ward budgets are coming to Greenwich borough…

Olympic funding brought this mini-gym to Charlton Park. Could a ward budget back more sports or play equipment to our parks?
Olympic funding brought this mini-gym to Charlton Park. Could a ward budget back more sports or play equipment to our parks?

Greenwich Council’s cabinet is set to back a proposal to give local councillors small budgets for improvements and projects in their areas.

Each of Greenwich’s 17 wards will be allocated £30,000 next month, which will go on projects that will have “a positive impact” on the area.

This means that Charlton ward councillors Allan MacCarthy, Gary Parker and Miranda Williams will be able to have a direct input into improvements in the area.

The areas of SE7 outside Charlton ward will be covered by budgets for their own wards: Peninsula, Kidbrooke with Hornfair and Woolwich Riverside. The proposal goes to Greenwich Council’s cabinet next Wednesday.

Lewisham Council has run a ward budget scheme for some years now, although this has been largely decided by regular public meetings rather than directly by councillors. In Lewisham, each local assembly gets £12,500 each year, with councillors deciding on a further £2,500.

Under Greenwich’s scheme, the £30,000 is a one-off and lasts until the end of the current administration in 2018, although effectively the cash will need to be spent by autumn 2017 to avoid clashing with elections. (Separately, the council is also edging towards some kind of watered-down assembly system, according to a report to be presented to councillors tonight.)

According to the council, schemes that could be funded under the ward budgets plan include:

• Supporting a local scout group for a specific activity
• Repairs or refurbishment of community facilities
• Purchase of street signs or street furniture
• Renovating a community landmark
• Toys or equipment for a play group or nursery
• Older people’s coach outing
• A new park bench or memorial or play equipment
• Specialist books or equipment for schools
• Supporting a community event, eg, a fete
• Community Safety projects

“Ward budgets should be used for proposals where it can be demonstrated that residents from within the ward or wards can participate in and will benefit from that proposal,” the council says. The money can used for a variety of different projects – it doesn’t need to be spent in one chunk. (Read the full document here.)

One thing that is apparent is that the money could end up going on basic things the council arguably should have funded anyway, either directly or through funding from developers – patching up grotty street furniture, for example, rather than signs explaining the history of the area (as you’ll see in Lewisham’s Lee Green ward).

So what would you spend the money on? Remember, this is about improving the community, not your house price. Could this go towards cleaning up and doing something with the summer house? Or towards smartening up the area from the station up Charlton Church Lane? Bringing extra sports or play equipment to parks? Or is there a community project that could do with a hand?