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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Cllr John Fahy’s Woolwich Riverside ward report, October 2017

Issues around the ‘missing link’ in the Thames Path near Warspite Road have been resolved and the link is to be opened in Spring 2018.

The Charlton Champion welcomes submissions of councillors’ reports from Charlton and the surrounding wards. Cllr John Fahy of Woolwich Riverside ward writes:

Woolwich Riverside Ward Report:

Please find an update on my activities over the period since the last newsletter. Meeting attendance has been limited due to a knee replacement in August. 

Meeting the needs of Greenwich Residents 

There was a time when August was regarded as a period of recess but lots of activity has been happening in the Town Hall. Top of the agenda and the most discussed policy issues relate to the decisions of the Planning Board and the impact these have on the lives of residents facing major housing needs.

I am pleased to see that this debate is now out in the open and a change of policy is required. It cannot be right that the shortage of housing based on a social rent is not being maximised in the Borough. Councillor responsibility is to the needs of our residents rather than the aspiration of developers to maximise their profit margin and develop housing for overseas speculators. 

A number of planning applications are in the pipeline that must be regarded as not meeting community aspirations.

Meyer Homes have now submitted their planning application for Woolwich Central Phases 3 and 4. The proposals include three new buildings (each between 9 and 16 Storeys in height). The proposals also include a twenty seven storey Tower Block in Love Lane directly in front of the Tesco Store. The Tower Block does not include any social housing. None at social rent. The proposal includes 20% of units in the new phases which is suggested as being affordable. Of course they will not be.

In addition the Island Site has received planning permission with proposals for housing, retail and a cinema. The amount of social housing is derisory. More importantly, in my view, a significant level of social housing is far more important than a cinema. Indeed a cinema is included in the Spray Street proposals.

The Herringham Road development is the other worrying proposal. The proposals for a 20 Storey Tower Block contrary to the Charlton Riverside Masterplan. Again the lack of social housing is self evident. It was encouraging to see how those attending the Public Exhibition spoke out in clear terms about the proposals.

There are challenging times ahead but the steps taken by Mayor Khan will help to influence a change of direction for the greater good of Londoners.

Thames Path Missing Link

Council Officers have been working for some time to find solutions to resolve. Solutions have now been found and work will late October. There will be two phases to complete the work and the missing link will open in the Spring of 2018.

Better Together:

Have your say about issues that concern you. The Woolwich / Charlton Meeting will take place at Charlton House on Wednesday 25th of October starting at 7.15pm.

Contact Details:

Mobile: 07949 794058

 

Woolwich Riverside ward report: find out what Cllr John Fahy’s been up to

Charlton Riverside Masterplan: “Important to ensure that the principles of maximising employment opportunities, increase public transport provision and ensure that all attempts to build high rise developments are challenged.”

The Charlton Champion welcomes submissions of councillors’ reports from Charlton and the surrounding wards. Cllr John Fahy of Woolwich Riverside ward writes:

Councillor Fahy serves on three Scrutiny Panels including Healthier Communities and Adult Social Care, Corporate Finance and Performance, Regeneration, Transport and Culture. These meetings are open to the general public. The function of Scrutiny Panels is to hold the Executive to account. In recent times Charlton Central Residents Association provided some views on the consultation process currently in operation.

Community Engagement:

 During the period relating to this report I have attended:

  • Picnic In the Park in Maryon Park
  • Exhibition relating to the Baptist Church in Woolwich
  • Armed Forces Day at Woolwich Barracks
  • Ferryview Patients Forum
  • Citizens U.K. / Greenwich Free School Meeting 
  • Briefing on Housing Blocks Fire Safety
  • Local Government Association Annual Meeting in Birmingham
  • Woodlands Farm Open Day
  • Food Poverty Group
  • Colour of Light Performance in Woolwich
  • Woolwich Riverside Safer Neighbourhood Panel
  • Induction of Rector at St Thomas’s
  • Estates Regeneration Tour

Community Safety

Recent attendance at the Safer Neighbourhood Panel discussed the proposed changes to the Metropolitan Police Service, the Borough Commander would cover three Boroughs including Bexley, Greenwich and Lewisham. Reductions in police numbers would continue to impact in the way policing would function. Clearly worrying for all residents and I continue to voice concerns.

Housing Regeneration

Housing continues to cause the most concern across the Ward. Morris Walk Estate is currently being decanted to make way for the redevelopment of the area. Lovell is the developer and ASRA now PA following a merger will be the social housing provider. The importance of maximising the amount of social housing remains an issue in the Borough as it does elsewhere. I was recently involved in the Planning application of Berkeley Homes which was opposed by a significant number of residents who were faced with the prospect of serious overlooking into their front room. The proposal was agreed by Planning Board. The developer made a financial contribution to build social housing off site. Priority must be given to the needs of local residents in finding an affordable home and steps must be taken to significantly increase the number of social housing built. I will be working  closely with colleagues , the local community and amenity societies to seek changes to existing practises where profit over the needs of the community exists.

Cllr John Fahy

Education

I have recently become a Trustee of the Royal Greenwich Trust School on Woolwich Road. Work is underway to expand this school and will help to maximise school places. Woodhill Primary has spearheaded the Multi Academy Trust and have joined with a number of other local schools. I will be reporting in detail on education issues in the Borough in the coming months. The fragmentation of schools is unlikely to help improve standards or support the family of local schools that have worked well in previous years. Greenwich Campaign for State Education is actively engaged on all of these issues and I attend their meetings on a regular basis.

Charlton Riverside

Charlton Riverside Masterplan has been agreed. However a number of developers have several acres of land in the area. Important to ensure that the principles of maximising employment opportunities, increase public transport provision and ensure that all attempts to build high rise developments are challenged.

Woolwich Town Centre 

Regeneration of the area remains a top priority. Woolwich Town Centre is in urgent need of significant investment. Although footfall is increasing, the level of spend remains a challenge. The shopping experience is limited at this point. However some projects are underway. The Spray Street development is making progress. We have a new hotel, future developments include a new leisure centre in the Town Centre, together with plans for the Tesco sites and the planning applications to be considered includes a number of housing developments. Happy to receive any ideas or suggestions you might have about the Town Centre. 

Please feel free to contact me should you want to raise issues of concern. Woolwich Riverside Councillors hold surgeries at the Town Hall every Friday from 6-7pm

Get in touch with Cllr John Fahy via the Greenwich Council website.

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.