NEWS UPDATE

from Nick Day
MARCH 20th 2016
Community Award

I'm very pleased to tell you that on Friday I was presented with a Royal Borough of Greenwich Civic Award for service to the community.

A sincere thankyou to those who nominated me. It is really great to have a tribute like this, and it is especially pleasing that the council have demonstrated this respect for - and recognition of - what the PCEG has done over so many years.


The CWP Programme

Until we get some money to start managing the trees in Workhouse Wood, there isn't really a lot we can do there now. We take a look at it every day and repair the minor damage caused, on an almost daily basis, by what looks like some young people who haven't quite got the hang of how this beautiful space should be treated with respect. We are laying more wood chippings to make the paths more accessible, and last week we planted up some wild garlic which had been very generously donated to us.

Meantime the major clean-up of the common continues. The circled area in aerial photo below shows where we have been working in Great Bartletts for some days now - the Rockmount Estate at the north of that area is surrounded by beautiful but appallingly neglected landscape.

I have a meeting arranged with a member of the Parks Department next week to review a lot of what we've been doing. The department have inherited a lot of land from Housing now, and much of it is challenging, with steep slopes and dense foliage. We will talk about how that will be managed in future. Hopefully - a lot more easily once we have completed this strenuous deep clean. You can also see, in the three photographs below, the sort of quantities we have been collecting in a single day.
Last week I attended the national Love Parks conference in Nottingham, so loyal wife Chrissie, and PCEG member Cristina Craft, did a day each on my behalf. This is what Cristina said:

"We had a very productive day. We worked on the at the lower part of the Rockmount estate

It was seriously filthy. There are hundreds of soiled baby nappies disposed on that slope. By the look of the material deterioration, I assume that the area hasn't been cleaned for 5-10 years. Plant roots are growing through the nappies. We collected around a hundred of them but there are many more.

I assume that residents from the flats just drop them from their windows.

We collected around 20 bags plus bikes, mattresses, etc.

I am convinced that working with this team we can change the face of Plumstead in terms of cleanliness. I'm very excited about it."

I hope that might be an encouragent for some more members to step into the gaps when I have to do some paid work . . .

I'm sure members will be pleased to hear that the National Planning Inspectorate has responded to the strenuous objections to the proposed development on the margin of the common at the junction of Lakedale and Tewson Roads. On one of my recent visits to the site, the freeholder was literally staking out what he claimed was the boundary of his property. it looked like encroachment to me and I asked how he was verifying it given that he said it "sort of goes down here". Say no more. The tenants at No 137 can now still use their garden and there will be no more spurious enclosure of the common. Let's hope the freeholder will now rplace the original long-decayed fence so that his tenants are no longer prey to burglars.
Following our depressing excursion to Pettman Crescent and Plumstead Road last week, I have had assurances from Cllr. Jackie Smith that our serious concerns will prompt some action.

I also had a meeting with the manager who has responsibility for the McDonalds franchise there, as well as the ones in Thamesmead and Woolwich Dockyard. He accepted that the litter situation was appalling but was at pains to point out the McDonalds packaging only constituted about 5% of what we had collected.

He assured me that McDonalds staff patrol the area at all times of day retrieving any litter produced by their restaurant. He also pointed out that the horrendous litter around the site is on land for which the bus garage is responsible. While that is certainly true it is also certain that, despite our council's efforts and notwithstanding the fuss I made about this area five months ago, there has been no apparent action by the bus garage or the freeholder of the site.

I pointed out that MacDonalds is a refuse-producing business and that the people who eat its products are highly likely to see this sea of litter and conclude that their own paper cup and bags will make no difference to an area that clearly noone gives a damn about.

We decided together that there is perhaps room for some cooperative action in the hope and belief that, once the area has been cleared, there will no longer be such encouragment for his customers to follow suit and also that it will be easier and quicker for McDonalds staff to keep on top of. We will meet again once we have got the council (and the bus garage??) into the dialogue.
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