Greenwich leader wants public volunteers for Crossrail testing

Greenwich Council’s Dan Thorpe leader is seeking the public to be part of test events before Crossrail officially opens.

A number of events beginning in mid-February will test evacuation plans with some focused around Woolwich. So far only TfL staff are confirmed as being able to partake.

Today saw Canary Wharf station handed over to TfL, and that’ll be just a seven minute journey from Woolwich when the line officially opens.

Funding Woolwich station

The council leader has been rather more quiet about Greenwich’s outstanding bill to pay for the station. Woolwich was not originally planned to be on the the line and a late agreement saw Berkeley Homes pay for a station box and the authority fund the £15m fit-out costs.

That target was due to be met via Section 106 and Community Infrastructure Levy costs by around 2018 – but hasn’t due to the borough choosing a very low levy for property developers to pay in 2015 (£70 per square metre for residential in most of the borough when up to £265 psm was possible), and failing to revise it by 2018.

2015 Viability Report stated rates up to £265 psm were possible including Mayor’s allocation which is £25psm in Greenwich. Greenwich went for the lowest

Thus a £27.5 million estimate for income received via CIL by 2021 in fact saw just £9.7 million received.

No S106 allocated to Crossrail in recent years. Little from CIL either. This was 2019/20. 

In 2019/20 Greenwich still owed £9,088,750.

Fast forward to 2020/21 and £8,082,747 was still remaining.

A year later

That means even by 2022 there is uncertainty whether the council will make the deadline.

It also ensures no income whatsoever for other key community services and facilities since 2015 from CIL income – whether it be youth clubs, health facilities, estate improvements, tree planting schemes or deep cleaning town centres.

CIL funds community services all over London

Many developments are now seeing developers pay extremely low rates by London standards even in wealthy parts of the borough such as Greenwich town centre due to that 2015 £70 rate rate chosen by Greenwich which they failed to revise.

2018 review commitment made in 2015 report. There was no change unlike some other London boroughs

So far the only comment by Greenwich councillors has been to deny it’s an issue and claim it is “misleading” to state over £8 million is still owed. Council leader Dan Thorpe supported that incorrect assertion despite the figure being in his council’s own annual CIL report.

Tree planting program funded by CIL

If higher rates were adopted in 2015, or revise din 2018, it’s almost certain the Crossrail tab would now be met and money available for many other community projects.

As it is, they sit near the very bottom among all London councils for income alongside development areas such as Stratford Olympic Legacy Corporation.

This is a work in progress showing totals from 2015 to 2021:

 

As a private renter with a young family, the cost of living is extremely high.

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Thank you

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.

2 thoughts on “Greenwich leader wants public volunteers for Crossrail testing

  • January 25, 2022 at 2:56 pm
    Permalink

    The people taking part in the trials have to be confined to staff and operations personnel for security reasons. The escape shafts have many passages leading off them and their depth means that there are many flights of stairs (18 or 20 at Liverpool Street. I’m sure Danny has been told several times of the reasons. Interesting that you can’t reply to his tweets.

    Reply
  • January 26, 2022 at 5:49 pm
    Permalink

    ‘Interesting that you can’t reply to his tweets.’ The ‘Dear Leader’ doesn’t want his subjects contradicting him. 😂

    Reply

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