Conservative team's petition to 'Mend The Mound' reaches more than 600 signatures

A petition calling on the council to 'Mend The Mound' shopping area on the Coldharbour estate will be handed in by the Conservative team in Coldharbour & New Eltham ward at tonight's council meeting, after gaining 642 signatures in just a few weeks.

Cllr John Hills, Cllr Mandy Brinkhurst and Matt Hartley launched the petition as part of their new Mend The Mound campaign to force the council to take long-overdue action to regenerate the local shops.  The petition, which calls for action on empty premises, CCTV and lighting, has been supported by every local shopkeeper and hundreds of residents have visited the team's busy Saturday street stalls to give the campaign their backing.

Cllr John Hills, Chairman of Coldharbour & New Eltham Conservatives and President of the Greenwich Conservative Federation, said: "We have had an overwhelming response from Coldharbour residents.  The Mound used to be a thriving shopping area, and it can be again.  It's time the council listened to local people and ended it's neglect of our part of the borough."

The petition calls on the council to take action on empty shops by using powers given to them by the Conservative-led government to lower business rates to attract new businesses to the area, install locally-monitored CCTV and improve lighting to make residents feel safer at night.

Cllr Mandy Brinkhurst said: "The Mound urgently needs a co-ordinated package of support from the council to regenerate the area.  We need to bring business to The Mound, improve the variety of shops and make residents feel safer in the evenings.  Our plan would benefit the whole community and we hope the council listen to the hundreds of residents who agree."

2014 Conservative candidate Matt Hartley added: "The fact that more than 600 residents have signed our petition in just a few short weeks speaks volumes. Everyone knows the council neglects the south of the borough, and nowhere is this more evident than The Mound.  Our 3-point plan to Mend The Mound has huge public support, and it’s about time the council took action.  The ball is now in their court."

Together with other local Conservatives, John, Mandy and Mattt have also been fighting the council's new Pavement Tax which is placing yet another financial burden on local businesses in New Eltham, Fiveways, Mottingham and on The Mound.  Despite widespread public criticism, in October Labour councillors voted unanimously to reject a Conservative motion, supported by local traders, to scrap the deeply unpopular tax.  Conservatives have vowed to press on with their campaign for the scheme to be scrapped after the council was forced to announce a review.

Small businesses across the borough will benefit from new measures announced by the Chancellor George Osborne in the Autumn Statement earlier this month.  Next year's business rate rises will be capped at a maximum of 2% instead of 3.2%, and small businesses in premises with a rateable value of up to £50,000 will be entitled to a £1,000 discount on their business rates until 2015.

Find out more about the Coldharbour & New Eltham team’s work in the ward at www.CHNEwardTeam.com or follow them on Twitter @CHNEwardTeam