Eltham Lights Up but Plesaunce remains in the dark

After nearly a year of campaigning and pressure, Leader of the Conservative Group on Greenwich Council, Cllr Spencer Drury has this week won a victory in the battle to improve the lighting at the Well Hall Pleasance.

The Labour-run council has now, eleven months after being initially asked, finally given a commitment to improve the lighting after it was established by the Safer Neighbourhood Panel back in January that the poor light and overgrown trees were a contributory factor in increasing Anti Social Behaviour in the area.


Cllr Drury asked the council to prune the trees at the beginning of the year, which they did, but officers delayed fixing the lights, eventually establishing in June that they did not know how to turn the uplighters on because they were put in place in 2001 and officers had forgotten how they worked.  The council established that to meet modern safety standard new lights would have to be installed but by the end of September, Spencer was informed that:“…unfortunately this work is not classed as a priority, and as such we are not able to undertake this work during this financial year.”


Frustrated by the lack of progress, Cllr Drury, raised the matter in full council at the end of October and was promised by the Leader of the Council, Cllr Roberts that he would receive a written reply.  This week, Spencer received the following:


‘The Head of Parks and Open Spaces has confirmed that a small sum of money exists that could be used to improve the current lighting during 2014/15. Whilst the existing lighting system is beyond repair, the funds available could be used to place some alternative lighting in Well Hall Pleasaunce. Options will be explored nearer the time and officers will also continue to investigate other funding options for more substantial work.’ 


Spencer said “This is a sad tale of excuses, mismanagement and time-wasting which is truly disgraceful.  Putting the people of Eltham first, is obviously not their priority. 


I am grateful to Cllr Roberts for finally making this commitment on behalf of the council and only sorry that it has taken this long and took the Leader stepping in to sort out the Council’s chaos.  I look forward to seeing the work done next year, which will enable the Tudor Barn to continue to be a vibrant and important part of the Eltham Community”