A couple of weeks ago I highlighted a campaign by residents to improve streets around Falconwood station including improved pedestrian crossings.
At the time Greenwich Council responded to a petition stating funds to do so were provided from TfL.
Now, the petition and council response is before a full council meeting and Greenwich Council have changed their wording. Now, funds are “generally provided by Transport for London”.
Why is this important? Well, firstly are elected councillors receiving accurate information?
I’ve regularly covered regularly how many other London councils top up annual allocations from TfL related to the Local Implementation Plan. In some cases vastly so, with Hammersmith & Fulham for example adding £20 million each year from parking income towards improving streets and an additional £9 million derived from developers. In Greenwich it’s zero from each.
For council reports to state only TfL provide the money is deflecting responsibility. In effect throwing hands up and stating “nothing we can do”. It’s inferring that we can’t improve this crossing, or that public space, or those areas around a school.
If this was a one-off typo it’d be permissible. As part of a long running series of replies and reports passing the buck as little income is invested it sadly follows a pattern.
It also removes responsibilities from certain departments. If other boroughs can find millions from parking income yet Greenwich cannot, it brings the ongoing problems at the parking department into stronger focus. For those unaware, it misses targets each year and is now more than £12 million below budgeted targets.
Lastly, to compensate for not allocating money from developers or parking income, money from other funds are used. Those funds could be spent on health, housing, education and much more in a time of severe cuts from central Government.
In regards to the Falconwood petition, they state: “There is currently no funding available in this financial year’s programme and the area is planned for review during 2020/2021”