What’s happening at Charlton House? A Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust update

Charlton House’s Summer House is being refurbished by the Trust

Following on from Cllr Gary Parker‘s ward report, here’s his update on what is happening at Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust – which controls Charlton House – where he is a trustee. Comments are open if you have any views on the Trust and its work.

Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust celebrated its third anniversary on 1 July 2017. A new three-year Service Level Agreement (SLA) has been agreed from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2020 with the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

The Trust recently announced a grant of c.£160,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Resilient Heritage programme. The project, A Resilient Future for Greenwich Heritage, will support the Trust in developing and delivering its vision and planning, growth and training.

A grant of £20,000 was awarded by the Ministry of Defence Community Covenant to create a Woolwich History Walk. This project will be delivered in partnership with Heronsgate Primary School.

The Trust is a partner in the Cultural Destinations programme, funded by Arts Council England and Visit Britain.

Funding and support in kind has also been provided by the Arts Marketing Association. The Museum is participating in the Future Proof Museums programme and the Prince’s Regeneration Trust is also providing mentoring support to the Trust staff and volunteers.

The Trust has received planning consent to carry out a programme of enabling works at the Summer House, Charlton House. This Grade I-listed building, built around 1630, was converted to public toilets in the inter-war period. This facility has been out of use for approximately 10 years. The works will include asbestos strip-out and removal of toilets and partitions to bring the structure back into community use and to generate additional income. This work is part funded by the continuing support of the World Monuments Fund Britain with a grant of £25,000.

The Trust is working with St Alfege Church, Greenwich on the Heart of Greenwich: Place & People Heritage Lottery-funded project. Project research identified an original Nicholas Hawksmoor drawing in the collections of the Royal Borough, held in the Heritage Centre. The detail of the North Porch is a rare find. St Alfege was the first London church completed by Hawksmoor.

The new Making Woolwich display opened at the Greenwich Heritage Centre in December 2016. Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and Royal Artillery Museums Ltd, this gallery at the Heritage Centre tells the story of the 300-year history of the Royal Artillery in Woolwich, 1716-2016.

The Friends of Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust was re-launched on 30 June 2017. The Trust is funding a Friends Secretary post one day per week to support development of an events programme.

The Royal Arsenal Woolwich Historic Society has closed business and has agreed to transfer remaining funds to the Trust to support its work. This funding is valued at approximately £8,000.

Thanks to Gary for both this and the ward update. For more information about the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust, visit its website.


What’s Charlton ward councillor Gary Parker been up to? Here’s his latest report

Gary Parker

Charlton ward councillor Gary Parker presents his update on what he has been up to in recent months. Comments are open below if there are issues you’d like to raise…

Apologies for the delay in publishing this report, it was originally going to be published in late April/early May 2017, but due to the surprise general election and various issues related to purdah (restrictions on what can be done during election periods) . I was unable to do this. My next and more up to date report will be published towards the end of the summer and be more current.


Planning – I have been working with the Charlton Society, Charlton Central Residents’ Association and Wyndcliff Residents Association, and other local groups and individuals regarding a range of planning issues. I have raised a wide range of planning issues again on behalf of local residents.

Had further discussions with residents regarding proposed new meeting hall with regard to the Our Lady of Grace primary school planning application.

I have raised a wide range of planning issues again on behalf of local residents. These include the proposed development on Victoria Way, Charlton Church Lane issues and other smaller local developments, some of which when raised by me have been reviewed and refused by officers.

I have objected to a number of other planning applications which I will report on in my next report as I have requested ‘call in’ – a request for the issue to be heard before a planning committee on some of these issues.

Raised some issues with Cabinet member for Transport about water leaks and the lack of action by Thames Water, they are taking up to 4 weeks to deal with these, some have not been fixed since our last meeting – if you have an issue or see such a leak let me know!

Met with Transport For Charlton activists, re: future local issues and the SE Trains consultation, the new franchise document for SE Trains is proposing major changes to services.

Distributed leaflets and attended Campaign For State Education public meeting on Education Cuts in March.

Raised some issues about the impact of revalued business rates, at the Labour Group this will also impact on small businesses/ retailers in Charlton. I am very concerned about the impact on local businesses.

Attended Apprenticeship week event at Woolwich Job Centre.

Attended a meeting of Campaign For State Education steering group.

Researched a number of issues relating to Air Pollution in the area after representations from local groups – I am working with other councillors on these issues.

Submitted a further ward budget project to officers for consideration.

Addressed a range of local inquiries regarding Charlton Riverside Regeneration Programme.

Raised some issues about the impact of revalued business rates at the Labour Group [of Greenwich councillors] – this will also impact on small businesses/ retailers in Charlton. I am very concerned about the impact on local businesses.

Held meeting with four LSE students with regard to Charlton Riverside programme.


Still dealing with a large amount of planning and housing related casework.

Raised a very large amount of planning related casework, which is ongoing.

Attended all relevant surgeries and did some home visits for older people too.


Attended main council meeting in February and spoke out against cuts and austerity and also attended the March meeting too and the special meeting of the council in May 2017.

Attended Corporate Finance Scrutiny Panel, Overview and Scrutiny, Regeneration Scrutiny panels and all other relevant meetings.

Get in touch with Cllr Gary Parker via the Greenwich Council website.

Cllr Gary Parker’s Charlton ward report: March 2017

Cllr Gary Parker

Here’s an update from Charlton ward councillor Gary Parker on what he has been up to over the winter.

I have met with residents and raised issues with the Chair of Planning about planning issues – the council’s planning department is now being restructured. This is a direct result of my continued intervention on these issues for local groups and residents. I am confident this service will improve, once new measures are in place.

I attended funeral of local resident Robert Crocombe and would like to pay tribute to him and his wife Jean for years of steadfast loyalty and work for the local community and the Labour Party – a great man and a sad loss to the Charlton community.

I formally objected to the Rockwell planning application for a 28 storey tower block on the new Charlton Riverside. I raised this issue at the Charlton Society AGM in October and will be working with local groups to oppose this and ensure we have full public consultation on other local planning applications and Charlton Riverside.

I intervened to get the Xmas lights switched on in Charlton Village.

I attended the Co-op Party AGM at Charlton House.

Worked with co-councillors to support local organisations with Charlton ward budgets, organisations that have been funded include – Big Red Bus Club, Charlton Toy Library, Thorntree School, Global Fusion Arts, Greenwich Food Bank and others currently being processed. If you want a project funded, please email me for the application form: gary.parker[at]royalgreenwich.gov.uk

I helped establish ownership of the notice board next to the Assembly Rooms in the Village, this will now be updated with new notices.

I attended the SE London Chamber of Commerce AGM.

I attended the Federation of Small Businesses SE London Branch AGM.

I attended the awards ceremony for Greenwich University/Santander awards event for local students.

I met Sean Kelleher from Business in the Community for a discussion on social enterprise in the borough and related issues.

I attended 3 Campaign For State Education meetings.

I attended a Charlton area community engagement event at Charlton House.

I chaired the inaugural meeting of Transport For Charlton.

I attended the Charlton Central Residents Association and Charlton Society AGMs.

I attended a range of planning board meetings.

I attended meetings of Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust.

I attended the Charlton & Kidbrooke Housing panel.

Met Greenwich University about the development of workers’ co-operatives and other non-profit making models in Greenwich.

I attended meeting with a local Community Energy organisation about their work


I am still dealing with a large amount of planning and housing related casework. I have dealt with a number of issues around blue badge allocation. I raised a large amount of housing casework, which is ongoing.

I attended all relevant surgeries and did some home visits for older people too.

I have raised a significant number of inquiries about street cleaning and fly-tipping.


I attended the two main council meetings. [This would now be three as Gary submitted this before the most recent council meeting at the end of February.]

I attended the launch of the Fairness Commission project in Greenwich on anti-poverty issues.

I chaired 3 Community Safety and Environment Panel meetings

I attended Corporate Finance Scrutiny Panel, Overview and scrutiny, Regeneration Scrutiny panels, have raised issues about community safety, air quality and electoral registration as part of this work.

I attended a special meeting on affordable housing.

Liaised with council officers over a public realm special meeting of the Community Safety and Environment scrutiny panel in January and chaired the meeting, which was a review of how we could improve the look, cleanliness and design of out public realm with a focus on parks and open spaces

If you want to get in touch with Gary, his email is gary.parker[at]royalgreenwich.gov.uk, or you can follow him on Twitter at @CllrG2013.

What’s happening at Charlton House? An update from Cllr Gary Parker

Charlton House

Here’s the latest on Charlton House and the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust (the body that runs it) from Charlton ward councillor Gary Parker…

This is a summary of the work I have been involved in with Board members, staff, volunteers and the public with regard to the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust/ Charlton House.
Councillor Gary Parker

Charlton House

Donald Insall Associates, who completed the Condition Survey for Charlton House, hosted a seminar about Jacobean architecture with speakers including Professor Malcolm Airs of the University of Oxford, who returned a key to the Charlton House team, gifted to him 50 years previously by a former caretaker!

Charlton House key

Making Woolwich

Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust is delighted to announce the opening of the new permanent exhibition Making Woolwich – The Royal Regiment of Artillery in Woolwich 1716-2016 at Greenwich Heritage Centre, on the historic Royal Arsenal, Woolwich.

Developed in collaboration with the people of Woolwich and the Royal Borough of Greenwich. The museum team talked to over 300 residents to discover their stories and histories of military life in Woolwich.

Opening addresses were given by Len Duvall OBE, Chair of Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust; Major General Nick Eeles, Royal Artillery; and Cllr Denise Hyland, Leader of Greenwich Council.

The gallery was formally opened by the daughters of Woolwich men who served in the First World War, and whose stories are shared in Making Woolwich. The project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Royal Regiment of Artillery, Royal Artillery Museums Ltd, Friends of the Royal Artillery Collections and the Royal Artillery Historical Trust.

41 Pattison Road

Focusing on one Plumstead home, this new exhibition at the Heritage Centre explores the lives of the residents of 41 Pattison Road, through the museum & archive of Royal Greenwich. The story – spans one hundred years including two World Wars – and tells the story of the day-to-day life of the Downar family and features items including motor car ration books, national identity cards and aircraft damage insurance details.

Horn Fair

Moved back to the original date in autumn to coincide with the Feast of St Luke, Horn Fair took place on 16 October 2016. In its second year the event was a great success with craft demonstrations including stone masonry, stone carving, decorative plasterwork, and a Delft tile design workshop. Traditional music was again provided by Trustee Malcolm Woods and friends. A marketplace featured stalls from local businesses including Roger Wharf, Charlton House beekeeper who did a roaring trade in sales of our very own honey!

We will begin planning for Horn Fair 2017 in the new year, with a proposed date of 22 October 2017.

Charlton noticeboard

The Trust have recently refurbished a community notice board at Charlton Assembly Rooms. Requests for items to be posted should be made to the Trust at office[at]rght.org.uk.

What’s Cllr Gary Parker been up to? His latest report for Charlton ward

Cllr Parker
Cllr Parker

Our thanks again to Cllr Gary Parker, who represents Charlton ward on Greenwich Council,  for this report on what he’s been up to for residents. You can read his previous report here.

Street Surgery  I took part in the Charlton ward street surgery on 22 November 2015 on the Springfield estate, a monthly event at which we target a part of the ward and go door-to- door to meet local residents and try to address any issues they may have or forward them to the local MP as appropriate.

I also attended another such surgery in the Wellington Gardens area recently. This is in addition to our scheduled surgery at Charlton House from 7.00-8.00 pm every Friday (no appointment is needed, just turn up)

Planning – I have been working with the Charlton Central Residents Association, and other local groups and individuals regarding a range of planning issues. I have raised a wide range of planning issues again on behalf of local residents.

Wyndcliff Residents Association – I attended a meeting with them and council officers to discuss their concerns about local traffic in January 2016.

Rectory Field Residents Association – I met with them to discuss related traffic issues to WRA in January 2016. I am monitoring the situation in relation to the Our Lady of Grace school development and the impact of contractors on parking, noise and general development issues.

Blackheath Rugby Club – I have dealt with representations over concerns at the impact of the move of the first team to Well Hall after over 130 years at the current location off Charlton Road, at the end of this season. I am awaiting a full report from officers.

Friends Of Charlton Park – I met with them in November 2015 to discuss the Skateboard Park and their concerns.

Leader Of The Council – I met with the leader of the council in late November to discuss the Charlton Skateboard Park, community engagement and environmental issues.

Charlton/ Charlton Village/Charlton Park – I dealt with an inquiry from Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust members, regarding a rumoured planning application to build flats on top of the club shop. There is concern again that the new owners of CAFC may be decanting to a site at Morden Wharf. I raised this, there has been no planning application lodged with regard to this after follow up from my last report in November.

Cleansweep Issues – I recently chaired a very successful meeting of the Community Safety & Environment Scrutiny Panel to review the Cleansweep service recently at which a range of community organisations including some Charlton/Woolwich organisations – Charlton & Carnbrook housing panel, CCRA and Wonderful Woolwich. A write up on this was featured in the 8 December edition of Greenwich Time, with excellent feedback from local residents and tenants reps who attended the meeting. As a result of this meeting a new environmental task force has been launched in Charlton, in the Floyd Road area, to provide more intensive street cleaning and to work with local residents to improve the environment and address some enforcement issues.

Playing Out Scheme – I advised CCRA on the drafting of the Playing Out Scheme funding application to Greenwich Action For Voluntary Service and reviewed the application. All your local councillors are supporting the Playing Out programme in Greenwich, which we are hoping to develop in the Charlton area to allow children and their parents/ carers to use the streets more for play and community events.

Social Enterprise Event – I attended the council supported social enterprise market event on 18th November.

Ward Budgets – This is a new scheme just being introduced by the council, Charlton ward has been allocated £30,000 in total to be allocated to local community projects in the ward up to 2018.

I met with my co-councillors at the end of January to discuss the implementation of ward budgets and designed a draft application form. Once we have clarified some administrative and management issues, we will be launching the scheme locally – more details soon. I also met with CCRA officers to brief them on the scheme.

Council & Other

I attended the full council meeting on 16 December and spoke against the Tory motion on libraries. I also attended the January 2016 council meeting.

I attended the Greenwich Action For Voluntary Service AGM in November.

I met with Volunteer Centre Greenwich on December 21st.

I attended the Federation Of Small Businesses regional dinner on 3rd December at which Sadiq Khan was the guest speaker. I also met Zac Goldsmith.

I attended the Mayor’s Charity Carol concert on 18th December.

I attended the overview and scrutiny panel on 26/1/ children’s services scrutiny 13/1 and chaired Community Safety and Environment Scrutiny Panel 14/1.

Get in touch with Cllr Parker via the council website.

Charlton ward report from Cllr Gary Parker: Planning issues, Charlton House, community engagement

 Our thanks to Cllr Gary Parker, who represents Charlton ward on Greenwich Council,   for this report on what he’s been up to for residents.

We hope this will become a regular feature.

Councillor Gary Parker Report to Charlton Ward Residents

This report details some of the activities I have been involved in as a councillor in the Charlton area. It does not include surgeries or case work, which is significant.

Below is a round-up of some key issues. The council is considering new forms of engagement including area-based panels, which I hope to report to in future, if they are introduced. Otherwise I will continue to report to residents in this form as appropriate.

Planning issues

At the council meeting in July I presented two petitions to the council, one regarding the Our Lady of Grace School planning application, expressing concerns about the application – 100 people signed it. This application was passed by the planning board in September. I opposed the application and am still raising issues related to it.

The other raised concerns about the proposed Skateboard Park in Charlton Park and was signed by 735 local residents. I also spoke at the full council meeting regarding this on 28th October. While I am not opposed to a Skateboard Park in principle, there are still many unanswered questions about its proposed siting in Charlton Park. I will finally decide my position on this, once the planning application is published. The planning application is likely to go to the Planning Board in January 2016.

I have been working with the CCRA, and other local groups and individuals regarding a range of planning issues, calling in several planning applications. One in the Victoria Way area has been rejected by officers.

I called in 3 planning applications in the central Charlton area, including one for the former Conservative Club in Charlton Church Lane. It was deferred at the last area planning committee meeting in September for a site visit.

I put in a written submission opposing the Valley House planning application – a significant development which would have impacted on Charlton. This application was rejected by the Planning Board in September.

Charlton Village

I have attended the last area planning committee and spoke in favour of the planning application by the Baguette Café in Charlton Village, which was accepted by the committee.

I have also been raising issues regarding the two pubs in Charlton Village, the White Swan and the Bugle and liaising with Charlton Society and sought assurances from council officers that the council has powers to intervene, if necessary regarding any potential redevelopment of these facilities.

I also intervened to have some concrete pillars removed outside the White Swan earlier in the summer. I am pleased to see the White Swan is now thriving again under new management.

Charlton House

I am a member of the Board of the Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust and have been working with other trustees to secure the long term future of Charlton House and the other heritage assets in the Trust, which include the Heritage Centre in Woolwich and the Tudor Barn in Eltham.

We are seeking to secure funding for the upkeep of Charlton House and are committed to working with local community organisations. To that end the Chair, Len Duvall and myself attended the AGM of the Friends of Charlton House, earlier in the year and Len and other RGHT staff have been liaising with the Charlton Society and others. I strongly advocated that members of local societies should be on the board of RGHT, to that end, Roden Richardson of the Charlton Society has been appointed.

Other Recent Community Engagements/ Work

Charlton Central Residents Association – I have met regularly with CCRA members on planning and other associated issues

Charlton Society AGM – I attended the recent AGM of the Charlton Society and spoke on some planning issues

Royal Greenwich Heritage Trust – I attended the last two board meetings of RGHT

Greenwich Carers Centre – I attended the official opening of the centre in June, which is now an excellent facility for carers and their families in the borough

Divestment GreenwichI attended a meeting in July which was focused on encouraging local authorities, colleges churches and other public bodies not to invest their pension funds in fossil fuels, which exacerbate climate change. I support this campaign and have corresponded with local residents on this

Armed Forces Day- I attended this excellent event in June, which was supported by the council. It also featured the Great Get Together and associated community events.

Cleansweep Scrutiny Panel Meeting – I chaired a very successful meeting of the Community Safety & Environment Scrutiny Panel to review the Cleansweep service on 29/10/15 at which a range of community organisations in Greenwich, including some Charlton/Woolwich organisations – Charlton & Carnbrooke housing panel, CCRA and Wonderful Woolwich and other local residents and former Cleansweep staff who made individual submissions.

Panel members and officers viewed this as a great success, these organisations were given free rein to raise any issues they liked regarding the service. They received as many instant responses as possible on the night and other responses will be provided in due course – issues raised included, litter, fixed penalty notices, fly tipping, street cleaning, dog fouling and many other issues.

Happening Soon

The main Overview and Scrutiny Panel of which I am a member have produced a detailed report on community engagement, which will go to the next Cabinet Meeting for consideration and further action if approved.

There are new recommendations for community engagement, including area based panels and other new forms of engagement, which I have been lobbying for.

The Skateboard Park planning application will be presented to the Planning Board in January 2016 as detailed above.

Ward budgets for councillors are being introduced shortly, which will provide a small budget to which local organisations can apply for – more details soon.

The council’s budget will be clarified after the autumn statement by George Osborne which is due soon and the related local government funding settlement. Since 2010 the council has had 25% of its budget cut.

The community consultation process regarding the Charlton Riverside Masterplan will resume in early 2016 – more details soon.

Get in touch with Cllr Parker via the council website.