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.

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

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

 

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.
– Help us by telling us your stories
– Buy the author 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