Murky Depths

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Abbey Wood, Greenwich, Thamesmead

Greenwich Peninsula councillor aims to become Erith & Thamesmead MP

A Labour councillor who supports the Silvertown Tunnel is looking to move on from her role as representing Greenwich Peninsula to become MP for Erith and Thamesmead.

Denise Scott-McDonald tweeted today she had made the longlist and will be interviewed with the incumbent Teresa Pearce stepping down.

It’s a tall order meeting the dedication and knowledge that Teresa Pearce has shown to her constituency. Bexley is Bonkers will attest to that. He is a Tory supporter by his own admission but has nothing but good words for the Labour MP who has supported him on various issues. My dealings with her, and pretty much everyone  I hear of has always been positive. She could teach many cllrs a thing or two.

Scott-McDonald is looking to leave her role as Greenwich Peninsula cllr at a time when she supports the extremely contentious Silvertown Tunnel heading into the ward. The Labour vote fell heavily in the last election and that’s before the construction lorries begin rolling in.

She recently stated the oft-repeated line that:

“We support TfL’s plan for the Silvertown Tunnel because studies show it will actually help us achieve our sustainable transport objectives, relieving the congestion and pollution currently created by use of the Blackwall Tunnel”

Yet studies contradict this and show alleviation only affects northbound queues. Southbound queues in the afternoon will gets worse – and the net effect is worse congestion across much of Greenwich borough as TfL traffic modelling shows:

TfL traffic modelling. Green = improvement. red = worsening. Greenwich borough doesn’t come out well

She has also held the brief for public realm and currently has the brief of Air Quality, Sustainability and Transport.

Walking around the peninsula is not a good experience

Not issues the authority has excelled at shall we say. Public realm is often pretty dire in her ward as well as borough-wide, with dated design and a heavy design emphasis against pedestrians.

Very poor links between the Peninsula and east Greenwich

Her own ward has seen dangerous and off-putting design for years with no change despite millions from new developments coming into council coffers.

Communication has also been poor online with very little on social media notification of what the council is doing.

Holding the transport brief should see communications on crucial issues around recent bus cuts and rail issues (such as the Southeastern franchise problem resulting in delays to increased capacity, new stock and higher fares in SE London) yet as someone who follows and reports these issues on a very regular basis I rarely ever hear a word. Greenwich Council’s response to many consultations is not the best.

Thameslink sails past stops in Erith and Thamesmead constituency despite many new homes

Her successor on the public realm and thus pedestrian and cycling brief has been far more pro-active at spreading the word for the authority and showing awareness of issues.

Ann-Marie Cousins, one of the new Abbey Wood councillors (located in the Erith and Thamesmead ward) has shown the way on communicating with residents with a Facebook page to keep people informed of events.

Maybe that will change and she will start to engage to a far stronger degree. It’s never been easier. We’ll have to wait and see.

 

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10 Comments

  1. Amit

    This has the hallmarks of a so-called “chicken-run” when a politician sees they’re in trouble and moves to another area.

    If she had any sort of affection for the area standing fair enough but has she ever said a thing about it? It’s almost as bad as when the tories dropped in a candidate last time who knew nothing. The area needs someone who will champion not a career politician looking for an easy win.

    • Oh Jeremy Corbyn!

      I’m not voting Labour whoever replaces Theresa Pearce, but just wanted to point out that Denise Scott-McDonald isn’t a career politician. Most councillors actually juggle public service with careers in industry. For all their faults, being a councillor isn’t a job for the faint hearted. You have to care about your area to do it. She’s a councillor for Greenwich Peninsula so it isn’t really her remit to champion Erith & Thamesmead, but she can hardly be described as an outsider being parachuted in. Whoever follows Pearce has a really hard act to follow. May the best person win…and good luck representing Corbyn at the ballot box 👎

      • fromthemurkydepths

        She’s not just a local Greenwich Peninsula Cllr but has a cabinet role with borough wide responsibility. Some in cabinet champion schemes borough wide and vocally campaign but others less so. Cabinet roles also see additional pay and require more time than a local cllr. I can’t recall seeing or hearing much about the poorer east of the borough in terms of transport, public realm and the like in the constituency she wants to stand for. Maybe I missed it.

        • Charles Calthrop

          Scott-Mcdonald is probably hoping to revive the DLR extension to Thamesmead once she is elected. I suspect that with Silvertown Tunnel not going as smoothly as the Council originally hoped for, the flag bearers will simply switch attention to other schemes and continue pointing to City Hall if anyone asks questions.

  2. Not Denise

    I wish she could write a sentence without the need to use numbers in place of words.

  3. Paul SuperUnknown

    Maybe she’ll take that damned tunnel fiasco with her?!

  4. John

    Can we have Mary Mills back please

  5. CDT

    Long gone are the the days where a local councillor represented their council ward in the own time and for no paymennt because they genuinely cared about the area and the people living there. Many now do not live in the areas they represent.

    Local Councillors elected on to the Council receives fees for being a councillors addiitonal fees for attending meetings and sitting on committees. A councillor earn several thousands of pounds over the course of a financial year and their term in office. (London Councils tend to hold elections every four years).

    I have to agree with Murky, I cannot recall either reading or hearing much about the poorer east of the borough in terms of transport, public realm and the like in the constituency Deinse wants to stand for. But I can say this for much of the Royal Borough of Greenwich.

  6. Ash

    A clear decisive and passionate candidate must be taken into account. Unfortunately you won’t see this from any Labour representative.

    Change of leadership and direction in the Borough is hugely required too.

  7. Swinson can do one

    From someone who actually lives in the ‘poorer east of the borough’ I would be glad to have Denise Scott-McDonald as an MP. She wouldn’t be my first choice, and she has stuck to the party line on Silvertown (as many have) but she’s committed, hard-working and is, crucially, a standing councillor, unlike some of the candidates who have been longlisted for Erith and Thamesmead. My overriding concern is that many other worthy Greenwich Labour councillors have been left off that list – and all without consulting the E&T Labour membership. Give me representative democracy any day, even if I don’t like the representative I ultimately end up with.

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