This site has covered how many millions of pounds given to Greenwich Council from new housing developments has continuously failed to improve deprived areas in the borough. The total from Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy income is now nearing £200 million – with much unspent. Greenwich borough is in the top 10 authorities nationwide for new homes (out of 350) and income from these funds is high.
Earlier this week in Abbey Wood local people were asking what happened to £75,000 allocated to a library and £250,000 to a nursery from the Sainsbury’s development agreed in 2013/14.
Since then even allocating sums like that to the area (even if apparently not spent yet) appears to have gone by the wayside. Almost nothing from recent tower plans will be spent locally unless local councillors decide to do something about it.
A recent post on Facebook from the Abbey Wood councillors page offers an insight into just why so many deprived estates are continually ignored by the Labour council.
Upon being asked why almost no funds totaling millions of pounds from various local new developments are being spent in the town – and the estate in particular which ranks as one of the most derived in the country – a baffling answer was given.
Firstly, the answer claimed TfL money on road resurfacing was an example of investment. Well, it was TfL cash and not money in Greenwich coffers from Section 106 or CIL funds.
Then they tried to use GLLaB as an example of investment in Abbey Wood. Yep, the agency claiming most of the Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy money from new developments that has offered zero hour jobs, jobs with days of unpaid training and those not paying London Living Wage. And that saw my mailbox bulging with examples of dire practices.
The agency – which continues to claim millions of pounds – currently lists just two jobs online.
And lastly, a question on why no money from the Community Growth Fund was going to Abbey Wood was switched to them saying voting booths for spending money were in Abbey Wood library. That wasn’t the question.
This is far from the first time questions are not answered or mistakes given in answers (such as using TfL funds when questions are about S106 and CIL).
Sometimes Crossrail will be mentioned in answers. Improvements at the station are a 20 minute walk from the areas pictured above and that’s a separate fund. It doesn’t excuse not spending even a small amount derived from at least three substantial developments improving this area.
Based on these answers funds will continue to go anywhere but improving some of the most deprived areas of the country – let alone the borough.