Borough Ad campaign ignores Eltham

Conservatives have criticised a £50,000 Council ad campaign to promote tourism in Greenwich Borough, after it ignored the historic attractions of Eltham.  A report on the campaign was considered at the Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 9th May.

 

The adverts were placed around London City Airport by the Royal Greenwich ‘Discover More’ tourism campaign and all featured scenes from the centre of Greenwich.  This revelation follows on from the allocation of the whole of the tourism budget for Greenwich Borough to the ‘Discover More Royal Greenwich’ destination management company.  At the October 2012 Cabinet Meeting Councillor Spencer Drury questioned whether Eltham would feature in the thinking of the Discover More company as its shareholders were based in the north of the borough. Now this advertising campaign seems to offer definitive proof that only the Centre of Greenwich will be advertised to tourists.

 

Eltham North Councillor Spencer Drury said “It is simply disgraceful that once again the Council has paid no attention to marketing Eltham’s many attractions and long history; for example, where are the funds for marketing Eltham Palace?  Where is the effort required to ensure that the Grove Market and Coronet developments are completed?  Labour are busy holding parties in Woolwich and advertising a small part of Greenwich rather than looking after the commercial and treasured sections of the whole of the borough.”

 

“There is a very serious point here.  If the Council only advertises the north of the borough then visitors will not come to the south which means our shops will suffer and hotels planned for sites like the Grove Market site will be cut.  If the Council refuses to pay any attention to Eltham, I am afraid it will be increasingly hard for our town centre to thrive.”

 

“This isn’t about discovering more about Greenwich, but the Labour Council encouraging people to discover less about Eltham.”

 

Facts which may be of interest to readers:

 

  1. Eltham Conservatives’ fears about Labour’s approach to Eltham were confirmed in February 2012, when in answer to a question from Cllr Matt Clare (“Could the council website be adjusted to reflect the treasures located in the south of the borough, not just those in the north,”) the Labour Deputy Leader Cllr Peter Brooks replied “I really don’t know what treasure you’re talking about...unless you’re talking about car parking in Eltham High Street”
  2. The £50,000 allocated to this campaign can be found in Item 6 of the Overview and Scrutiny Agenda for Thursday 9th May.
  3. Details of the October 2012 Cabinet Meeting can be found at http://committees.greenwich.gov.uk/documents/g2830/Printed%20minutes%201...
  4. Royal Greenwich Destination Management Organisation was created following a Cabinet decision on the 17th October 2013 (http://committees.greenwich.gov.uk/documents/s21332/06%20-%20Destination_Management_Organisation%20Report.pdf)
  5. In the report to Cabinet item 6.1, it states that “The initial funding would be the Council’s existing tourism budget.”
  6. In section 5.2 the shareholders other than the Royal Borough are listed as Royal Museums Greenwich, the Old Royal Naval College, the O2 Arena and Greenwich Hospital Estates.
  7. The advertising campaign posters which the Council paid £50,000 for are attached, but can also be seen at http://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/discover/postcard.
  8. Interestingly a visit to the Visitor Attraction section of the Discover More website (http://www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/discover/attractions) shows exactly where the Council places Eltham – at the bottom.  The last two items are Eltham Palace and the Well Hall Pleasaunce – ranked 30th and 31st among the 31 attractions listed. At the time of writing the page looked like this: