Consultation begins on £200,000 funding for Greenwich town centre

Greenwich Council are running a consultation on how to spend £200,000 in Greenwich town centre after choosing the town to receive funds from the Greater London Authority’s High Streets For All project.

How far that goes remains to be seen when plastic barriers cost £119,130.

£120,000 for this

The consultation hasn’t gone down too well in some quarters, with some people stating Greenwich is hardly the one place to spend £200,000 given how other parts of the borough look.

It’s a bit of an odd one, as £200,000 will fail to create any substantial change as previously proposed in a project to alter the one-way system.

Greenwich town centre plans for pedestrianisation in 2018

That’s now gone very quiet.

It’s now almost four years since £5.4 million was announced.

The consultation asks whether things such as lighting and signage are good enough.

Stated aims are:

  • To encourage visitors (local and further afield) both during the day and in the early evening

This make me chuckle. Only in the early evening people. Bed time by 9.

Maybe that’s why a councillor recently opposed a Japanese restaurant opening in town from a former Masterchef winner.

Nanban had the gall to want to service food and drink past early evening. The swines!

Other stated goals are:

  • To support and develop the markets in the town centre as a way of attracting visitors and spend

 

  • To develop ways in which cultural events, improved lighting and wayfinding can help encourage visitors and support local businesses

That last one has extra clutter written all over it, and why shouldn’t we enable Greenwich town centre can level up the standards in other areas?

One thing the town centre does lack is some fetching wooden bollards. With £200,000 they should be able to get a few in too.

Why not the beautiful wooden ones that get knocked out of shape by a passing breeze?

For some reason the nicest part of the borough isn’t festooned with randomly positioned and bent wooden bollards as the rest is. How odd.

Attractive lamps and no wooden bollards?

There’s also a severe shortage of railings to block pedestrians in wheelchairs as seen just outside the town centre:

Much as the government seem keen to “level up” by dragging the best down rather than worst up, Greenwich could follow?

Charlton shops. Now we’re talking

The consultation also asks about a greater presence of the council’s recently privatised enforcement staff in the town.

They’re the ones that can fine and retain almost all the income for the private company in charge of public space.

A council report estimated that 5,000 fines issued at £80 would raise £400,000 for the private company in charge, with the council seeing just £20,000 of that total.

If the council hadn’t outsourced they’d have enough money to spruce up a couple of other town centres.

Oh well!

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John 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.

5 thoughts on “Consultation begins on £200,000 funding for Greenwich town centre

  • October 5, 2021 at 10:28 am
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    I’d suggest using the 200k to re-open the Borough Hall on Royal Hill for the use of Arts and community groups: i.e. including the same ones who rented space there until they were evicted by RBG. The town centre has rapidly degenerated into an offshore property investment necropolis after that point.

    Reply
  • October 5, 2021 at 1:16 pm
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    ‘One thing the town centre does lack is some fetching wooden bollards. With £200,000 they should be able to get a few in too.’ 😂 To be fair, John, the town centre bollards are a cut above the standard wooden stake.

    You are right, however, in pointing out the cost of the plastic barriers. Two hundred thousand pounds is nothing.

    Reply
  • October 5, 2021 at 2:20 pm
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    Anonymous, I think John was being intentionally facetious about the bollards? In fact the whole message (unless I’m wrong John?) was that central Govt intentions on levelling up could be more about levelling down the best areas rather than levelling up the worst! The crappy street furniture in most borough areas quite rightly is a fave topic for John. His points are really valid, £200K will barely scratch the surface in a high street if excessive overpriced and uncontrolled,unregulated spending such as RBG had on plastic barriers in the lock-downs is continued.

    Ballard, I like your suggestion, though Ballard’s bollards would be interesting too??) And if the Borough Hall is returned to community use, maybe include an open gallery for art at weekends to add to tourist interest. I would really like to see pavements in the centre extended out and parking spaces here reduced with perhaps some greenery added. There is not enough paving width in the stretches particularly between the ORNC gates and the DLR, on both sides. Additionally encouraging some heritage street vendors (controlled) in the extra pedestrian space to add historical interest (e.g roast chestnuts with vendor in character costume? Punch and Judy? Actors walking the streets in costume both naval and working class river workers from 18th/19thC?- since we talk of cultural events? ). The pavements would need to be exact continuations of the current heritage paving and with its flaws followed in keeping, not a modern replica but a seamless extension- that should eat up the funds alone but at least its worthwhile and will encourage tourism. I really miss the extended space given to both pedestrians and cyclists in the centre, and in summer months as tourism returns, if we are expected to maintain social distancing, will be essential. The return to pre – pandemic road use here has not brought any benefits that i can see, only negatives with illegal parking, both commercial and visitor. We have a goldmine here in Greenwich World Heritage areas, and do not make the most of the income for sure. Privatising traffic/parking fines a case in point. And fining litter in the centre could be an additional borough income source, it’s a problem here more than elsewhere

    Reply
  • October 5, 2021 at 7:59 pm
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    Be sure to add these suggestions to the consultation: it seems they need ideas …

    The historical re-enactment cosplay characters idea makes me think of William Gibson’s vision of a depopulated, post ‘jackpot’ future London in his novel The Peripheral.

    Whichever way, something that brings some life to the place outside of apartments and homogeneous tourist deadfall-trap consumerism would be nice.

    Reply

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