Murky Depths

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Abbey Wood

Why poor areas are continually ignored in Greenwich borough

Crumbling public park on Abbey Wood/Plumstead border.

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.

Courtesy Google. Entrance to shopping parade on Abbey Wood estate

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.

Condition of street furniture in Abbey Wood. Fencing rusted and falling over at far end

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.

Unappealing public realm at estate’s main shopping area. Blank frontages, lack of greenery. Dead space

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.

Abbey Wood estate centre has seen better days. Trees? Greenery?

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Comments

  1. Lynne

    Well, if you have weak/ineffective/absent councillors, the people who should be batting for your area aren’t. Fighting for a share of the pot is part of their job. (Don’t know the Abbey Wood councillors.) We need to be aware of that when we are voting for our councillors. Easy enough to check how many meetings they attend and their activities to gauge how likely they are to do a good job for us

  2. Graham

    It is really upsetting to see how so many areas of the Borough of Greenwich are being neglected by the Council. Councillors are elected to represent sent us and should be fighting to get the best deals for funding and improvements for the areas they represent. I only see my Councillors once every 4 years when the campaigning for re=election. We see how MP even less. Section 106 money should not go to GLLAB but go to improving more deprived areas of the Borough.

  3. selondomman

    what part of greenwich is actually well looked after ?

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