No money for Eltham High Street

It was revealed on Wednesday that the new Eltham Town Centre Manager, Alison Harris, has been allocated no money to help improve the High Street.  Despite Council boasts in their press releases when Ms Harris was appointed in December that:-

"Alison Harris … takes over at a crucial period for the town with the £750million modernisation programme sweeping through the borough set to transform Eltham."

They have not seen fit to allocate a single penny for the town centre manager to spend.

Ms Harris told a meeting of the Eltham & Westhorne Neighbourhood Housing Panel attended by Eltham North Cllrs Dermot Poston and Spencer Drury that the funding for her position had been reduced since the South Greenwich Regeneration Agency had been closed down.  This meant it was very hard for to organise improvements for the High Street as she was relying entirely on the goodwill of the firms and individuals in and around the High Street.

In addition, Ms Harris informed the meeting that:-

  • an Association for Commerce in Eltham had been set up, which she hoped would appeal to all firms in Eltham, not just retailers in the High Street. 
  • A farmer's market may be interested in coming to the High Street on Sundays, but producers had so far not been over-enthusiastic.  However, she was hopeful that there would be an Italian market in October and a general continental market in July.
  • She hoped to reinstate the 'Be a local tourist day'
  • She was unable to offer much information on the future of the Co-op building as the firm was playing its cards very close to their chest.  She had been unable to verify rumours that Primark would be coming to Eltham.
  • The Lidls building should be starting soon.  Apparently the current hold up has been caused by the discovery of underground electrics and waterworks which needed the agreement of the relevant firms (ie Thames Water) to be shifted.  
  • Graffiti remained an issue and she was trying her best to get agents and Cleansweep to remove as much as possible as quickly as possible.

The meeting was also addressed by Mike Skipper who is responsible for Highways in the South of the borough.