Conservative team’s campaign to ‘Mend The Mound’ secures first success

Local Conservatives’ campaign to ‘Mend The Mound’ by forcing the Labour-run Council to end its neglect of the Coldharbour shops has secured its first success, with a commitment from the council to improve lighting in the area.

The move is part of Coldharbour Conservatives’ 3-point plan to Mend The Mound, launched last year with a petition backed by 642 local residents and every trader on the estate.  In addition to lighting improvements, the campaign is calling the council to take action on empty premises by lowering business rates for new and existing businesses, and to install CCTV monitored locally from the police base on William Barefoot Drive.

In its response to the petition, presented at this weeks’ council meeting, the council has agreed to the petition’s call to improve lighting at The Mound to make residents feel safer at night, including additional fittings.  A scheme is now being designed and will be put out to tender shortly.

Cllr John Hills, Chairman of Coldharbour & New Eltham Conservatives and President of Greenwich Conservatives, said: “We are delighted that our Mend The Mound campaign has secured better lighting at the shops.  The lack of adequate lighting was one of the biggest issues raised with us by residents in our survey last year – and the improvements should help residents feel safer in the dark evenings.”

Despite the campaign’s victory on lighting, however, the Labour-run council has refused to take action on lowering the rates and installing locally-monitored CCTV.

On the rates, which the Conservative team have called to be cut for new and existing businesses to support the local economy, the council claims it “has not experienced difficulty securing tenants for vacant premises at The Mound or on William Barefoot Drive” and sees no reason to take action.  This is despite several premises having long remained empty.  On CCTV, the council has claimed that cameras on The Mound cannot be monitored locally from the police base on William Barefoot Drive because the council’s technology is not compatible with police systems.

Council candidate Matt Hartley, who helped organise the petition, said: “Improved lighting will make a big difference, but much more needs to be done and our campaign is far from over.  Until the Labour-run council agrees to take action to support local shops and install the locally-monitored CCTV that is needed, we won’t see the real action we need to Mend The Mound.”

Cllr Mandy Brinkhurst, who handed in the petition at December’s council meeting at Woolwich Town Hall, added: “We will continue to put pressure on the council to end its neglect of the shops on the estate.  As we have said before, The Mound used to be a thriving local shopping parade – and it can be again.  We will do everything we can to make this happen.”

The team updated residents on the news at their regular street stall at The Mound on Saturday.  Find out more about the campaign at Coldharbour, Mottingham & New Eltham Conservatives’ ward website www.CHNEwardTeam.com or on Twitter @CHNEwardTeam 

Residents can now also support the Mend The Mound campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MendTheMound