Sunday, April 20, 2008

A new way of tackling graffiti?

Has Greenwich Council come up with a new way of deterring tagging and graffiti? Thanks to a reader's email it looks like they might have, of course it might just be some enterprising local resident as well? Still, let's hope it works. These photos was taken near Vanburgh Road.

If it does turn out not to be the Council's Cleansweep department, but instead someone else then here at Greenwich Watch we wait for the Council's legal department to send the copy-write threats to anyone they think is behind it. Its not like they haven't done that before...

UPDATE: Looks like we're slow today, this has already appeared at another local blog, the Greenwich Phantom.

Trying to clear up a mis-understanding
There has been some talk about our last post both on this site and another local blog, Greenwich Phantom. Various people have accused us of "stealing" photos and stories. Whilst is it difficult to prove innocence we will try, as we know that credibility is all you have on the internet. As the Screenshot below shows we did receive an email and assumed that the sender was the person who took the photos, may not have been the case, if it wasn't we are of course sorry to the person who did take the photos. In the screenshot we have blocked out the email address of the sender of this email as we do not know if this email was sent as a joke, a misunderstanding or to try to lead us down the wrong path.

If you look at the time stamp on the email and compare it to the time that a similar post appeared on the Greenwich Phantom you will see that it was a couple of hours later. Now this is where the Greenwich Phantom may get their knickers in a twist again, we do not consult their blog before posting every post. Nor are we what you would call a regular reader, again, sorry but we're busy. Our post did not go up on Saturday due to paid work getting in the way and so it was not until Monday that the post went up. We do of course attempt to check what we can but only from sources which we would guess would be relevant, and so we did not check the Phantom's blog this time.

As soon as it was pointed out that the photos appeared on another site we posted an update pointing people in the right direction and other than that there is little we can do, we won't be taking the post down as we have never deleted a post or comment and we're not about to start now.

So, to the Greenwich Phantom and the real photographer, no we did not nick your story or photos we were emailed them and then posted them in good faith. We have now pointed people in the right direction and explained what happened. We are sorry if you do not accept that but if you have a problem in the future how about you come to us rather than trying to fire a warning shot on your blog? We took steps as soon as we could to do something about it but there is of course a time lag. As it would appear that they did appear first on your blog we congratulate you on getting the photos and on the photographer as well, they did make us laugh.

Now on to the real point of all of this, isn't it a shame that a nice little part of the world is always being vandalized?

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Money still lost on Thamesmead

We've covered some of Thamesmead's problems before, epically with Negative Equity, looking at this map and article from the Evening Standard it would look like five out of the top ten streets in London for Negitive Equity are in Greenwich, and two are in Thamesmead. They are;
  • Calderwood Street, SE28
  • Erebus Drive, SE28
  • Woolwich Common, SE18
  • Glashier Street, SE8
  • Greenhaven Drive, SE28
Even with CrossRail possibily offering people a way out it still looks like people could be stuck in Greenwich against their will. Still we wonder if Tilfen Land has made any money out of Thamesmead, because if it hasn't, it looks like it might have missed the boat.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Have you seen your local politician's recently?

You can always tell when there is a election happening, as suddenly from every nook, cranny and barstool your locally elected officials appear. As you might have noticed it is the Mayor of London election, with elections for the Greater London Assembly running at the same time. Whilst this website is more concerned with Greenwich Council we will cover what we can of this election, as it does of course affect the poor people of Greenwichgrad. This is the first election we will have covered as a blog, as we started about 2 years ago, just around the time of the last local elections for Council in May 2006. As we have said before, we will not tell people who to vote for, but just let you know the inside stories and try to cut though the spin.

First the Mayoral election, the two main contenders are the incumbent Mayor, Ken Livingstone for Labour, with the tories putting up the blond bombshell Boris Johnson, the Lib Dems for what they are worth, have put up the “special” cigarette' smokers favourite policeman, Briain Paddock. The full list is below;

2008 Mayoral Candidates

Richard Barnbrook - BNP

Gerard Batten - UKIP

Siân Berry - Green

Alan Craig - Christian Choice

Lindsey German - Left List

Boris Johnson - Conservative

Ken Livingstone - Labour

Winston McKenzie - Independent

Matt O'Connor - English Democrats

Brian Paddick - Liberal Democrats

Given the way it all works, with people getting two votes (main vote, plus second preference) the mayor is likely to be either Ken Livingstone or Boris Johnson.

It is the election for the GLA representative which is more interesting for Greenwich.

The candidates for this are;

2008 GLA Candidates

Tess Culnane - National Front Party

Len Duvall - The Labour Party

Chris Flood - Socialist Alternative

Stephen Hammond - Christian Peoples Alliance\The Christian Party

Andy Jennings - Conservative Party

Jennifer Jones - Left List

Susan Luxton - Green Party

Johanna Munilla - The English Democrats Party

Brian Robson - Liberal Democrats

Arnold Tarling - UK Independence Party

As Greenwich is part of the GLA constituency of Greenwich and Lewisham the candidates are made up of people connected with both Greenwich and Lewisham. The current incumbent is Len Duvall for Labour. He is well connected with the Greenwich Council Administration, being a former council leader himself. He is also very well connected to Cllr Jackie Smith, Cabinet for Children's and Young People's services. Len Duvall currently chairs the Metropolitan Police committee, on behalf of Ken Livingstone.

Regular readers may also recognise the Tories' candidate, Cllr Andy Jennings, who got in May 2006 for Kidbrooke and Hornfair ward. We have covered how in the past Andy Jennings has tried his hand at blogging, but looks like he can't keep it up.

The Lib Dem's have put up baby faced Cllr Briain Robson, from Lewisham's Lee Green ward.

Greenwich and Lewisham excels itself in being the only GLA constituency which will see a Socialist Alternative candidate, Cllr Chris Flood from Telegraph Hill Ward, Lewisham. Mind you they would probably fit in quite well to Greenwichgrad.

UKIP's Arnold Tarling has stood in Eltham before, to become MP.

The Green's candidate is a councillor for Lewisham's Ladywell ward.

Right now given that Len Duvall is in one of the safest GLA seats for Labour, with 36,251 votes in 2004 it is unlikely that he will lose his job. The interesting battle will be for second place;

2004 GLA Candidates results

Labour - Len Duvall - 36,251

Conservative - Gareth Bacon - 22,168

Liberal Democrat- Alexander Feakes - 19,183

UK Independence - Timothy Reynolds - 13,454

Green - Susan Luxton - 11,271

Christian Peoples - Stephen Hammond - 3,619

Respect - Ian Page - 2,825

In 2004 the Tories came second, with the Lib Dems a close third. Since then Lewisham has gone into No Overall Control, with the Lib Dem's being the official opposition, with 17 Councillors, the rest of the Councillors are a mixed bag of Labour, Tory, Green or socialist party. UKIP were forth in 2004 however these days UKIP are less of a force so it can be expected that a few of the UKIP voters may go back to their natural home of the Conservative party. The Greens in Lewisham also have a couple of Councillors and so their vote could go up, although who they would take votes from these days is anyone's guess.

Greenwich would appear to almost be a mirror image of Lewisham, with the Tories the official opposition, with 13 councillors and the Dynamic Duo of Lib Dem's two councillors. In Lewisham, the Tories have three councillors. So in some respects these two parties are fairly evenly matched for second place.

We will continue to keep an eye on what is going on with the election campaign and will post anything interesting we see. If you have any juicy gossip about this election, especially the GLA part of the election then do let us know:

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Monday, April 07, 2008

Council gets into a top 20 list

Ever heard of SOCITM? Nope neither had we, turns out that they are The Society of IT Managers, and recently they have put Greenwich Council's website in a list as being one of the top 20 Local Authority Websites. Yes, we were wondering if they had been looking at the same site the rest of us have to use, but still they seem to want to give the Council praise. Even Greenwich Council deserves some praise every now and again, and as it normally makes it into bottom 20 lists, it is nice to see it top out at something every once in a while.

But if you do a little looking into it all you realise that a couple of things. Firstly a couple of years ago the Council asked SOCITM for their expertise in computers and information technology, so its hardly surprising that when SOCITM come to draw up a list of top council websites Greenwich is included.

The second interesting thing is that part of the criteria for judging on this list was;

... including accessibility, usability and take-up.”

If by take-up they mean the number of people trying to access the site to find out when their rubbish is going to be collected then yes, we can understand why so many people would be going to the site and why the Council finds itself in a top 20 list.

As for accessibility, well you just try and find council agendas and other public documents on the site.

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Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A few small administrative changes to Greenwich Council

We've heard about plans to make Greenwich an independent nation in much the same way as Monaco, although without the glamorous casinos, so poor old AEG missed out again then.

This has been decided after the long and well publicised, public consultation which has now already finished.
Councillor Chris Roberts would cease to be Council Leader and would instead be elevated to the position of President for life under the new plans.

The name of Greenwich Borough would also see a slight change, now to be known as the People's Republic of Greenwichgrad.

President Chris Roberts will be referred to as his Glorious Leader, a gift to the People's Republic of Greenwichgrad.


Just in case you are nearly as gullible as Councillor Angela Cornforth was in thinking that she would be allowed back into the Cabinet today is April Fools Day, so whilst this post might be close to reality, its not in fact going to happen.

Or is it?

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