Woolwich & Plumstead businesses regularly ignore covid restrictions yet avoid fines

Two businesses that regularly ignored covid restrictions have managed to avoid fines according to a Greenwich Council press release.

The release by the authority appears to want to present an image of taking firm action, yet details seem to show the opposite. It reveals a Woolwich and Plumstead business continued to ignore restrictions a number of times, and despite ignoring repeated warnings still avoid any fines.

According to Greenwich Council Yinka Cafe in Woolwich town centre continued to serve food for indoor customers despite repeated warnings, and a hair salon on Plumstead High Street continued to offer haircuts. They both received a “prohibition notice” which is a more formal warning – but doesn’t even necessarily mean closure.

It will raise questions as to how lax the authority have been in the area – despite Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich being in a dire situation at times when it even ran short of oxygen.

They authority have long appeared weak on enforcement in a whole range of areas. An illegal hotel even operated for a year in sight of their own Woolwich HQ.

Despite the need for social distancing and spending over £100,000 on plastic barriers they have continually failed to act against business blocking pavements space in the town from the very beginning of the pandemic.

Social distancing far from easy in Woolwich during lockdown as some shops blocked paving space

A row of businesses on Woolwich New Road continually leave clutter and advertising hoardings outside shops – often blocking those in wheelchairs and the disabled – with action seemingly never taken. It’s a similar situation with parking in certain areas of the town centre not being enforced, with wardens passing by without ticketing.

Aside from parking staff, the council’s now privatised town centre wardens also don’t appear to be doing very much. Perhaps like their privatised traffic wardens in the authority, they can’t actually do much. With parking, the council outsourced enforcement in some areas, ignored government guidance in 2014 which took effect in 2016 and thus couldn’t obtain details of people preventing enforcement.

Planning isn’t much different, with a decision on a Plumstead home conversion revealing the owner built an illegal extension and operated without a license – yet was still recommended for approval as a House of Multiple Occupation in recent weeks. The extension was in place for more than four years. Even when fines have been issued for appalling overcrowding, the authority doesn’t use recent powers made available and instead issues small fines.



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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    6 thoughts on “Woolwich & Plumstead businesses regularly ignore covid restrictions yet avoid fines

    • Woolwich is just a free for all. Until they get a grip on the everyday problems all the flash regeneration plans in the town centre will mean nothing. Look at the preachers screaming on the High street with some super extreme and dodgy views and little ever happens. The shops do what they want and stick crap outside all the time making it a mess. How hard is that to sort? Tell them to stop. Go back the next day or week and if not gone fine them. It’s sorted in a month max.

      A town ruined by a minority of idiots and the authority are scared to do anything. The council staff wandering around just pick on easy targets but somehow manage to miss these issues?!?

    • I did see on Saturday morning a lady from the council explaining to one of the Christian preachers on Greens End that he wasn’t allowed to continue because of Covid rules.

      • But it’s ignored. I’ve seen it, lots of people comment on it and little happens given it doesn’t cease. I also get a lot of messages about problems including people in wheelchairs blocked from getting around. Greenwich told many, many times and it’s going on with no change. Apparently unwilling to act. Sod those who are vulnerable.

    • There are Covid wardens working in Woolwich. Several shops in Powis Street are operating outside their registered business. They are being reported on a daily basis and have been given warnings.

      • Warnings but much else? It appears they just get ignored for weeks on end. A bit late for enforcement now in some respects as we are in a much better situation. To just issue warnings which were then ignored numerous times – according to Greenwich themselves – when the local hospital was on its knees is odd.

    • Well said Murky, we need more of these exposes (no acute accent on my chromebook!) I reported builders rubble blocking pavements in greenwich three weeks ago on ‘fixmystreet’, repeated issue twice more, still there outside 2 properties, not using skips, just dozens and dozens of builders bags and plasterboards etc, and even bringing them from other places in large van to deposit more from other sites! I wonder why no skips, are they fly tipping the rubbish once theyve finished their works here? What is the point in reporting on fixmystreet if nothing is done!l


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