Conservatives launch campaign to Mend The Mound

The Conservative team in Coldharbour & New Eltham ward have this weekend launched a campaign to force the council to take long-overdue action to regenerate The Mound shopping area.  The Mend The Mound petition is supported by local shopkeepers and comes at a time when residents are increasingly frustrated by the Labour-run council's neglect of the south of the borough.

Cllr John Hills, Cllr Mandy Brinkhurst and local campaigner Matt Hartley recently surveyed the entire Coldharbour estate with their latest residents' questionnaire.  Hundreds of residents took part, with the state of The Mound a recurring complaint.  As a result, the team is pressing the council to adopt their 3-point plan to Mend The Mound by taking action on;

1) Empty Shops
Thanks to changes made by the Conservative-led government, councils now have the power to lower business rates.  Conservatives are calling for the council to lower the rates for both new and existing businesses on The Mound, to attract and keep new businesses to fill premises long left empty.

2) CCTV
The team wants to see CCTV installed on The Mound to reduce crime, and for the council to work with police to ensure these cameras are monitored locally from their base on William Barefoot Road - not from Woolwich.

3) Lighting
Lighting around The Mound needs to be improved.  The team is calling for the council to improve lighting generally and also to install low-voltage lighting around the back of The Mound, to make residents feel safer at night.

Cllr John Hills, Chairman of Coldharbour, Mottingham & New Eltham Conservatives and President of the Greenwich Conservative Federation, said: "Like many residents I remember when The Mound used to thrive as a shopping area and really act as the heart of the estate.  It's high time the council took action to regenerate The Mound for everybody's benefit."

Cllr Mandy Brinkhurst added: "We need to show the council how strongly residents feel about this - hence our new petition.  We will be going door to door over coming weeks to get the ball rolling - and residents can also sign the petition in the shops and online."

Matt Hartley, who is standing alongside John and Mandy in the council elections next year, said: "Our 3-point plan will help fill empty shops, smarten up the area and deter the crime and anti-social behaviour that so often radiates out from The Mound to the rest of the Coldharbour.  We hope that as many residents as possible will support the petition so we can force the council to act."

Along with other local Conservatives the team is also campaigning on behalf of local businesses in New Eltham, Fiveways, Mottingham and The Mound against the council's Pavement Tax on local businesses, which is placing an added burden of hundreds of pounds on traders who utilise the pavement outside their shops.

Cllr John Hills added: "All of our local shops deserve support - and the last thing businesses in New Eltham, Mottingham, on the Coldharbour or anywhere else need is another tax.  We're fighting the council on this and hope to force them into a u-turn."

Residents can sign the Mend The Mound petition at the team's ward website for residents - www.CHNEwardteam.com - and support the campaign on Twitter by tweeting @CHNEwardTeam using the hashtag #MendTheMound

For more information on how to get involved in the Mend The Mound campaign contact the team on 07502 436016 or email CHNEwardteam@gmail.com