Candidates have been announced for next month’s Greenwich Council elections – as well as hustings so you can ask questions of the hopefuls.
This time, Greenwich will elect 55 councillors across 23 wards – a big change from the last election when there were 51 seats across 17 wards. The increase is to reflect the borough’s growing population – particularly in Greenwich, Woolwich and Thamesmead.
Previously, Charlton was split into four wards, with most of the SE7 area being in a simple “Charlton” ward.
Now you can bin your old map, because the bulk of the area will be split into two – Charlton Village & Riverside and Charlton Hornfair. A chunk in the north-west is in a new Greenwich Peninsula ward, while a few streets close to the SE18 border are marooned in a Woolwich Dockyard ward.
Broadly speaking, the boundary between the Charlton Village and Charlton Hornfair wards runs along Victoria Way and the south fence of Charlton Park.
The changes mean you’ll definitely be in a new ward, and you may even have to go to a new polling station. (Check Democracy Club’s polling station finder.)
CHARLTON VILLAGE & RIVERSIDE (Here’s a map)
This is, essentially, the old Charlton ward, but future-proofed to take in where the new riverside developments will be. Only two councillors will be elected from here.
Incumbent Charlton councillor Gary Dillon stands for Labour alongside Jo van den Broek – a new name to most voters but a longstanding activist behind the scenes in the Labour party. At least she’ll know what she’s letting herself in for.
The Greens came second in the old ward last time out, and they will be standing two candidates who also have some experience of how the council works. Clare Loops used to be one of its planning officers – she now works for Bexley – and is the chair of the Charlton Neighbourhood Forum. Phil Connolly is a party stalwart and is involved with the Derrick and Atlas Gardens Residents’ Association; more recently he has also been working with the council on its response to the pandemic in the Charlton area.
The Conservatives are fielding newcomer Lucy Woodruffe and James Worron, a local party activist, while Stuart Watkin carries the Liberal Democrats’ hopes. The Women’s Equality Party, which came third in 2018, is not fielding a candidate this time around.
Want to quiz the candidates? There are hustings at Charlton House at Wednesday April 20th at 7pm, held by the Charlton Society and Charlton Central Residents’ Association, which covers a small part of the ward near the station. Contact charltonsocietychair[at]gmail.com to ask a question.
CHARLTON HORNFAIR (Here’s a map)
This brand new ward includes the SE7 bit of the Kidbrooke with Hornfair ward and what estate agents call the Charlton Slopes, together with the Cherry Orchard and Harold Gibbons Court estates and The Birches. A little chunk of SE3 slips in here, too, up to the Sun-in-the-Sands roundabout. Two candidates are elected here.
Labour stands Clare Burke-McDonald, a relatively new councillor who was elected to represent Shooters Hill last year. She is joined on the ballot paper by a newcomer, Lakshan Saldin.
The Greens are standing Cole Pemberton and Ann Brown, while Rupert Fienes and Alan O’Kelly represent the Tories. Sam Burridge is the sole Lib Dem representative.
Want to quiz the candidates? There are hustings at Charlton House (sssh, just outside the ward, but we won’t tell anyone) on Saturday April 23rd at 10.30am, organised by the Charlton Society. Contact charltonsocietychair[at]gmail.com to ask a question.
GREENWICH PENINSULA (Here’s a map)
If you were in Peninsula ward last time, you’ll be in Greenwich Peninsula this time, except if you’re in Barney Close, in which case you’ll be in Charlton Village (see above). If you’ve just moved into the new homes on Bowen Drive (welcome!), this is your ward. This new ward is all the new developments on Greenwich Peninsula, then Ikea and the flyover, then the east Greenwich communities around Aldeburgh Streets and Fearon Street, and then a chunk of Charlton up to the station. (Don’t ask.) Three candidates are elected here.
Labour stands incumbent Peninsula councillor and deputy council leader Denise Scott-McDonald here, along with veteran councillor David Gardner, moving down from Woolwich Common ward but a longstanding activist in the Charlton area. Newcomer Nick Williams makes up the trio.
The Greens have traditionally performed strongly in the old Peninsula ward, and Roger Bailey, John Holmes and Laura Sessions will be standing for them. The Tories are fielding Godwin Amaefula, James Cowling and Anthonia Ugo.
There are three Lib Dems here – youthful activist Ulysse Abbate, Richard Chamberlain (no relation to the author) and Greg Mulligan. The right-wing Reform UK party is represented by Terry Wheeler.
Want to quiz the candidates? Put your walking boots on – there are hustings at St Mary Magdalene School on the peninsula on Tuesday April 26th at 7pm organised by the East Greenwich Residents’ Association, Aldeburgh and Fearon Streets Neighbourhood Watch and Holy Trinity Greenwich Peninsula.
WOOLWICH DOCKYARD (Here’s a map)
While most of the SE7 bit of the old Woolwich Riverside ward has come home to Charlton Village, a few streets have been left out in the cold around Maryon Road, Erwood Road and Maryon Grove. Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten you.
These are now in Woolwich Dockyard ward, which also includes the estate of the same name, the Cardwell Estate and the 1990s King Henry’s Wharf development by the Thames. This is another-future proofed ward – it will also include the Trinity Park development when that is built on the site of the Morris Walk Estate.
Incumbent Woolwich Riverside Labour councillor Dominic Mbang stays to fight for the new seat alongside newcomer Asli Mohammed. The Greens are not standing here, but the Tories are fielding Simon Gallie and David Chunu. Nichola Martin and Matthew Rose will stand for the Lib Dems.
Want to quiz the candidates? We don’t know of any hustings. If any are organised, we’ll add them here.
Full details of the candidates across the borough can be found on our sister website 853.
If you’ve not registered to vote, get a move on – visit gov.uk/register-to-vote by Thursday night.
For postal and proxy vote details, visit the Greenwich Council website.
LIKE WHAT THE CHARLTON CHAMPION DOES? HELP US KEEP IT GOING
We tell the SE7 stories you won’t read elsewhere. And we’ll do the others better than anyone else. But it won’t survive without your help.