Grab-All Labour

The Labour administration of Greenwich Council refuses to allow local Councillors seats on an important Greenwich-Lewisham committee which helps to organise the upkeep of Blackheath. Since the local elections in May 2006 there have been two Conservative Councillors in Blackheath Westcombe (Cllr Geoff Brighty and Cllr Alex Wilson), to one Labour Councillor.

The Blackheath Joint Working Group has six seats, three to the local ward councillors from Greenwich and three for Lewisham. In Greenwich the Blackheath Westcombe Ward covers Blackheath Village and some of the heath is covered by Greenwich West Ward. Therefore it is reasonable to expect there to be two ward councillors from Blackheath Westcombe and one from Greenwich West. However Labour have three Councillors; one from Blackheath Westcombe, one from Greenwich West and one from Middle Park and Sutcliffe which does not even front onto the heath. After repeated requests the Labour Councillors have refused to give up their seats and allow democracy to work.

Conservative Councillor Geoff Brighty says "This is just disrespectful to the voters of Blackheath Westcombe, who voted for their local ward councillors, who now are prevented from fully carrying out their jobs."

Labour have a policy of only allowing ward councillors onto local groups such as "The Charlton Triangle" and "The Shooters Hill Working Party". If this is the case why can't Conservatives have seats on the Blackheath Joint Working Party?

Paul Maloney who's house overlooks the heath added; "As a local resident of Blackheath I find it appalling that my local Councillor's, who I voted for, are bing stopped from having an impact in what goes on in Blackheath."

After repeated requests Labour have only conceded that Conservative Councillors can attend, but not vote or speak at these meetings. This is a shallow concession designed to prevent local views from being heard.