Spencer Drury: “Don’t just focus tourism spending on Greenwich Town Centre”


The way the Council's Destination Management organisation (Visit Greenwich) spent its money was discussed at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday.  Spencer raised the point that all work in the companies first year and its priorities for next year appeared to be focused on Greenwich Town centre - a point that the Chief Executive Officer of Visit Greenwich Barrie Kelly, broadly accepted.  He stated that the company was aiming to increase the links between the O2 and the World Heritage site in order to increase the length of time tourists stayed in Greenwich and the amount of money they spent.  He stated that the main barrier to visitors coming to Eltham were the poor transport links, especially from the north to the south of the borough.

Spencer said "Mr Kelly and the Visit Greenwich company seem to be doing an excellent job for the World Heritage Site and the O2 where their private sector members are based.   However, as an Eltham Councillor I have to ask why we are paying for a company to ignore the many treasures in the south of the borough, like Eltham Palace, the Royal Blackheath Golf Club or the Tudor Barn.  From his comments, I’m not sure Visit Greenwich even knows where Severndroog Castle is!"

"I know that in the past the Labour Councillors have stated that the only treasures they are interested in from Eltham are parking charge revenues, but this simply isn't good enough.  Our Town Centre Manager is now looking after Thamesmead and the whole Borough's tourism funds are focused on Greenwich Town Centre.  The south of the Borough needs a strong voice to stand up for it and only the Conservatives are providing that."