From The Murky Depths

Housing and Development in London

Plumstead

Plumstead councillor denies local money sent elsewhere despite evidence in public domain

Neglect in Plumstead parks as money for "open space" sent to Greenwich town centre

A meeting was held last night in Plumstead regarding local elections coming up on 3rd May.

Plumstead is one of the more interesting contests as local people have created an independent Plumstead Party to fight the election after complaints of long term neglect.

Darryl at 853 has done a wonderful job covering the event with coverage and videos here.

There’s some revealing coverage such as a man sitting beside Labour members and candidates shouting down others when a member of the public raises the issue that Plumstead Labour candidate Matt Morrow lives in Greenwich.

As 853 reports, “Morrow said he “moved here in 2000” – although he did not say he moved across the borough to east Greenwich in 2012.”

Some of the videos are also pretty surprising in terms of what the existing Labour Councillors said and did.

Money sent elsewhere

Firstly, this site has long highlighted the issues with money derived through Section 106 income from new developments and where it has been spent (or not).



Plumstead has some of the most deprived parts of the borough and worst public spaces. So when a housing development at King’s Highway brought in hundreds of thousands of pounds it should have improved the town. Instead, much was sent elsewhere.

Plumstead Gardens on Abbey Wood and Plumstead border

£54,000 allocated for “local community” spending actually ended up being spent at Cutty Sark Gardens in Greenwich town centre on a scheme featuring a water feature (installed at great expense) which broke within two years and was never fixed. Click below to enlarge and see all income.

Despite the 2011/12 date much of this was sent over in the past couple of years. Another £135,000 from the same development allocated for “open space” was sent to Eltham.

When the £54k sent to Greenwich was raised at the hustings last night by Alison Miller – a candidate standing for the Plumstead Party – the Labour Councillor for Plumstead Matthew Morrow (who lives in Greenwich) first shook his head, then said “no it didn’t” and laughed.

Yet it did and is in the public domain, and reported on extensively.

The video showing this is courtesy of 853. It’s seen at 30 seconds. The man who shouted down a member of the public is also seen sticking a phone in the face of Darryl and filming him whilst candidates are speaking in front of him.

Not knowing what is happening with thousands of pounds in his ward is a big oversight to say the least.

The money and where it was spent is in the public domain and covered on this site many times, including here. All section 106 income received by Greenwich Council is also now public after it became a legal requirement. Here is the complete s106 list.

Crossrail

His Labour colleague Angela Cornforth also said they were not aware of people lobbying for additional Crossrail entrances to aid Plumstead.

Once again, people have been asking about this for years. I covered it back in 2015.



A second exit at Woolwich or Abbey Wood would greatly benefit people in Plumstead. Woolwich would be very hard to do but Abbey Wood easier, not least because a sizable amount of council-owned land is beside the platform.

Courtesy Google. Looking towards western end of platform and council garage site

It’s difficult to get agreement before opening but providing passive provision for a future entrance would be wise. Despite residents asking the council to lobby for this silence ensued.

Cornforth also claimed not to follow things online which is madness in 2018. I get why anonymity might be desired, but to completely ignore? If true, she is missing out on a huge amount of information and awareness of current issues.

She then said that people should elect Labour candidates so as not to elect “apprentices” and people who know what they are doing. Given the ignorance on these issues who are the apprentices?

This isn’t about bashing Labour but having politicians fighting for an area and being on top of issues. Indeed, the local Labour MP Teresa Pearce is fantastic and some other cllrs are very good.

It does perhaps give an insight into why Plumstead High Street and surrounding areas has declined for so long, and how many sources of funds have gone elsewhere or not been spent.

TfL money

I recently covered the issue of £120,000 that TfL gave Greenwich Council to spend on Plumstead High Street in financial year 2017/18. Nothing has been spent. Nothing has been consulted on. Do local councillors know this?

This is not to say Plumstead will not see investment (a very promising scheme of £5 million for the High Street and former power station plus the library) but it’s taken a huge amount of fight from local people, and with Labour cllrs still not on top of issues will it be well spent?

The library and gym scheme has already been criticised as it’s squeezing the former gym into a smaller space behind the library. Renders of the scheme look fantastic but costs have jumped 48% to £16.6 million.

And for me, one major issue is how they are funding the scheme. Instead of securing external funding they’ve opted to fund by selling off local community assets such as the Kinara building.

Last night’s hustings were not reassuring for those looking for knowledge and fight from their elected Labour representatives, and possibly explains the situation over recent years. Will that change after 3rd May?

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1 Comment

  1. SU

    Very dissapointed in Mr Morrow here. Ok, people make mistakes (though how one can not know this is beyond me) but his behaviour is poor.

    He works in mental health for a charity according to his social media account and I’d expect more than to laugh dismissively in a mocking way to someone making an accurate point, espcially in public and in front of an audience.

    And I hope that man in the video is not part of Labour as his intimidating behaviour appears bullying by shouting and trying to suppress others and similarly a very poor refelction on Labour and Mr Morrow if he is. Not to mention holding his camera to a reporter when everything is happening in front of him. What justification is there?

    The reporter only moves his camera around when something happening to his rear or right, or to the man when his camera starts pointing at the reporter.

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