Friday, August 24, 2007

More changes coming to Blackwall Tunnel?

A reader has contacted us to note an interesting job that is being advertised with Transport for London. They're currently looking for a "Tunnel Policy Manager" to "support the Head of Road Network Asset Managements (HRNAM) responsibilities for operating the Transport for London Road Network."

For £65,000 per year they want someone to "provide advice on Tunnel Policy and prepare a noted based approach to prioritising tunnel investment" and to "prepare business cases arising from policy changes". Business cases for policy changes? Whatever could that mean?

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Transport authorities knew Blackwall tidal closure would cause congestion

A report produced in 1996 and released under the Freedom of Information Act shows that Transport for London were fully aware that ending the Blackwall Tunnel tidal flow would "reduce overall average network speed and increase fuel consumption". The report also says that "the proportion of accidents occurring in and around tidal flow operations is not significantly higher than would normally be expected on this type of road".

The information was revealed on the Little Man, What Now blog and a scanned copy of the report is available here. We certainly hope that Greenwich Council will be asking question of TfL as to why they felt the need to close the tidal system when their own research told them accidents were not a problem and it would increase not only congestion and but have a significant environmental impact too.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Local Labour back online

Rejoice! For the local Labour Party has appeared back online after almost a year. We've just been contacted and advised of the links so we have updated them in the sidebar. Eltham and Greenwich and Woolwich Labour now have their own sites again it seems.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Happy slapping from Shooters Hill

WARNING: After complaints in the comments we have decided to issue a warning. Pressing play on the below video will expose you to expletive and violence. The editorial decision to post this video was made in order to highlight just what some of our kids are doing. If readers do not like it then we apologise, but we're not removing it.

It has been suggested that if we were really concerned about the issue then we should do something about it. We would like to point out that this site was, is and remains our way of doing something. We have far more power here than if we wrote a letter to a non-existent councillor - Greenwich Watch

Readers will now notice that the video has been taken down by YouTube. Would that have happened if we hadn't highlighted its existence and raised what was happening in the Borough? We don't know, but we're glad we made the point.


We now understand why exam results are so poor in the Borough. They're knocking each others brain cells out all the time. At least they have just enough intelligence left to record themselves commiting assault and then post in on the public Internet for all to see.
More from "Shooterz Hill" here - see how we used the z? We're geddin' down wid da kidz like!

Update: An anonymous comment has just appeared below asking if anyone knows what school this might be. We can't be sure but we think it may be Crown Woods based on the red brick in the background.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Council pensions funds in trouble?

Local resident, Andrew Gambier has done a sterling piece of analysis on the latest review of the Coucncil pensions on his blog. He notes that,
The improvement of net position of £34 million is actually a £16 million worsening, masked by a £50 million 'improvement' resulting from changes in accounting estimates. So they've reduced the discount rate of liabilities, assumed that assets will return a bit more than last year and, Bob's your uncle, they've created £50 million out of nowhere.
Smelly accounting practices? Surely shome mishtake? Who will pay for the hidden £16m worsening we wonder? Could it be us?


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

'I did not have relations with those councillors'

Someone has emailed us and drawn our attention to a piece in today's Times.
Away from Edinburgh for a second. The desire to hear Bill Clinton seems curiously limited. Yesterday the previous US President (and possibly the spouse of the next) was due to give two talks at the O2 in Greenwich, with tickets starting at £250. The morning show was cancelled. “No it wasn’t,” insists an O2 spokesperson. “It was simply meshed into the second.” Whatever. Then, on Monday at 2pm, less than 24 hours before the curtain was due to go up, Greenwich councillors were e-mailed and told that they were being offered 100 last-minute guest tickets, absolutely free. Would Hillary have sold better?
We have no idea if any councillors went along (yet), nor do we know if they wore special blue dresses and took a pack of cigars just in case.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Why is the Council not protesting to the MoD?

This morning we find ourselves wondering why the Council has decided to sit on its hands and allow situation to occur which will see not only the Police in the Borough stretched, but effectively see policing numbers cut. As we're sure readers are aware, the Army presence in Woolwich has been in slow decline for many years. Funnily enough the poor state of Woolwich and the rising crimes seems to correlate with such things but that is beside the point.

Part of the Army presence includes the dreaded Red Caps, that's the Military Police for those who don't know. The local garrison, although somewhat decreased in recent years but still quite sizeable, is policed by a compliment of one Inspector, five Sergeants, and approximately eighteen constables. Their job is to patrol and police all the Ministry of Defence property in the area, as well the military personnel including the married quarters and the TA units. You can probably guess where this going we think?

The compliment of policing is going to be cut very shortly to just two constables. Why does this matter? Well, it is well known that the Red Caps have always supported and aided the Metropolitan Police out on Civvy Street, often providing backup when needed. The cut in numbers means that (a) the Met no longer have the back up, and (b) the Met will have to start getting involved in helping two plod manage the entire MoD estate meaning extra work.

This isn't the first time such things have happened. We've learned that the same sort of cuts were tried in Colchester and, thanks to local opposition, it was scrapped. This is why we find the Council response, or should we say "lack of response", strange. The local police are already dealing with enough without having to take on extra-work. The question is, will the Council get off its hands and protest to the MoD?

Update: Apparently these are not Red Caps but MoD police, who wear standrard uniform and carry warrant cards. Most people would not know the difference between them and the normal police.

Council prepares for logo rebranding?

Oh yes we're back, we hope the Council didn't think they would be getting rid of us that easily. After ten glorious days in the Costa Del Cheap Seats we have returned fully relaxed and invective free (we fired him... again). What news do we bring? Well just a little thing that we noticed whilst we walked through the detritus that is Woolwich. We have reason to believe that the Council is about to go through a rebranding exercise. Why would we think this a reader may ask?

Well, we spotted someone walking along with a Greenwich Council branded plastic carrier bag (greener Greenwich huh?). Whilst the bag appeared to have the three lines that nearly got us sued once buried in the corner, the bag itself was blazoned with the word Greenwich - in official Greenwich green (which they claimed they owned) - along with a rather nifty sort lightening flash streak going upwards.

It kind of looked like a projectile sneeze to us, but then what do we know about graphic design? We reckon, if the idiotic scrawl of a tree the Tories decided to have cost them £60,000 then this scrawl, being even more childish, probably cost at least the same. Whether it really is a new logo rebranding we do not - as yet - know, but they still spent money on it.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Summer Recess arrives

There will be no more posts on this site for a couple weeks baring some brilliant and huge story that we may come across. We've decided to shut up the office and take in the fresh air. The Council has pretty much shut itself down politically now until October so we don't see what, or why we should provide commentary when there is nothing happening. We're hoping that the holidays will calm down the other members of the team who have, shall we say, "gone off on one" recently.