Sunday, April 15, 2007

Greenwich Council
Because some things
they do rather well!!

Am new to this blogging thing, but have done a few posts now, and was looking though what I have written and got a bit concerned that some of it was a bit too negative. Thought I might be coming across a 'ANGRY' of Plumstead Common. I also thought that, what with a link to

on my blog and some of the comments I have made, people might mistake me for an obsessive Council hater. The reason that I have Greenwich Watch as a link is two fold. firstly they very kindly put a link to my blog on their site and secondly, as we do live in a one party state in Greenwich it is a good outlet for an alternative point of view.

Greenwich Council has only ever been controlled by Labour and that concentration of power has dangers. I do not make this as an anti Labour comment, but a general one. look how power corrupts it it stays in the same hands too long. Margaret Thatcher got so out of touch with reality that she introduced the Poll Tax, New Labour's obsession with ID cards looks like doing the same for them and Ken Livingstone (who I really admire) will,
if he stays as Mayor for too long, eventually raise tax rates so high that no one will bother to work, because he is addicted to spending.

Nevertheless just because power corrupts, it doesn't mean that everything goes bad (with the possible exception of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe!!). Margaret Thatcher's Government which I personally loathed with a passion unmatched by anyone before or since, did brilliant undogmatic work in controlling the Aids epidemic, the effects of which can still be seen today in the relatively low infection rates found in this country. New Labour has guided this country to the longest period of uninterrupted growth in its history, a period in which every other major industrialised country has had a recession. And Greenwich Council..................Well to get to the point, I resolved to write about what the Council does well.

So this got me thinking, I need to write about things I have some experience of, being that I do not have children, am fortunate enough to be working and earning enough not to need benefits, and I buy books rather than borrow them! This gets me down to I walk and drive round the borough and I get my bins emptied. About the same time as I was musing away to myself I was getting ready to do the ironing while watching a few episodes of 24 on DVD.

So I turned on the TV and caught most of

  • It was rubbish, sorry it was about rubbish, and was actually rather good. This got me thinking that my experience of the council waste collection service is actually 1st class.

    I have lived her for 20+ years and to my recollection they have never missed a collection. If I have more rubbish than can be fitted in the bin they have always taken it all away without complaint. They have never asked for money at Christmas. They still collect general refuse weekly, despite having introduced 2 weekly recycling collections. The recycling is really easy as it all goes in one bin so no one has an excuse not to do it.

    When I see programmes like 'Tonight' and hear of experiences of people living in other Boroughs like Croydon (where the Refuse service sounds like it is run by the Gestapo, but with the efficiency of a failed state, and the recycling system seem to have been thought up by the people who write the instruction leaflets for cheap electrical goods).

    I say thank you Greenwich Council for a Rolls Royce service and long may it continue.

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    At 7:19 pm, Anonymous developer said...

    hmm, nice of you to be so greenwich, but really the plumstead we all want is never going to happen until Greenwich permit the conversion of properties which will make them eceonomically viable. The UDP is holding us back man, and until there are flats, there wont be single people, and no single people means no coffee shops etc etc.
    Nice site...good luck

    At 8:51 pm, Anonymous Nigel said...

    Pity about your link - Greenwich Watch is a nasty one-dimensional little cesspit that twists facts to make everything conform to their obsessive "Greenwich council is sh*t" theme. Did the council run over the authors' kids or something?

    You are right though - the more you talk to people about their refuse and recycling services, the more you realise how blessed we are.

    Oh, and what on earth is the UDP?
    Sounds like a loyalist group.

    At 10:04 pm, Blogger sibonetic said...

    UDP is Unitary Development Plan (rather than Ulster Dinosaur Party or similar), what you can and can't do planning wise in Greenwich. Get a feeling that 'developer' is maybe a bit frustrated with some of the restrictions on splitting houses into flats, because the UDP makes that quite difficult.

    Have to say though, that they are quite a good idea as what happens when everything is split into flats is you get terrible parking problems and you lose family accommodation, and one of the great things about Plumstead is that it is one of the few places young families can afford to buy a House.

    I think that part of the charm of Plumstead is that there are so many kids playing in the street etc. something you just don't see these days in many parts of London.

    As for Greenwich Watch, the link stays, not because I endorse the contents, but it does give an alternative point of view, which you just don't get anywhere else.

    Have to say though, I thought that their comments on the brilliant job the council did to get Crossrail back into the Bill bordered on the insane!! I don't know the identity of the Greenwich Watch authors but I don't expect any of them ever voted Labour, but there again I have never voted Tory so maybe I am just as partisan.

    On the subject of things the Council does well, their Winter Service Plan is superbly implemented (gritting the roads in English). Used to have to drive into Bexley to work, if it was icy I knew I would be safe till the Borough border, thereafter I would be taking my life in my hands.

    At 10:15 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    The refuse service is, as you say, excellent in Greenwich. Best of anywhere I've ever lived, in fact. Efficient, reliable, uncomplaining. The tip is also great, especially now it's been redeveloped. The only small fly in the ointment is that, to get bulky items collected (such as mattresses, ovens and stuff), you need to send off a cheque to the Council and wait for it to clear, which is a bit 1980s - who uses cheques these days?

    Props to the Council also for getting Crossrail agreed (eventually).

    It's funny that the UDP has been mentioned, as planning is one of Greenwich's biggest flaws. It's almost impossible for the normal person to get planning permission for even the most innocuous development (such as a small side extension, for example). Greenwich are notorious for it. Yet at the same time, massive, unnecessary and ugly commercial developments seem to be waived through every month.

    At 2:15 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Greenwich Watch does a great job with reporting some extremely unsavoury things that the council DOES get up to. The problem I have with it is that while the site may bang on about 'transparecy', its reluctant to practice what it preaches. Added to the fact they're selective when you post a comment (ie. they only display ones they like), it makes me sceptical as to what their agenda really is.

    As for rubbish, I cannot fault the collection service but if you look at this article from a year ago, clearly some people can.

    At 10:54 pm, Anonymous developer said...

    frustrated? moi? not so! as long as people know that Plumstead's challenges are man made, and their socialist liberators are also their opressors.....
    Everyone in London can unlock the value in their property...but in greenwich you are not allowed to? Nothing lasts forever....not even UDPs......
    but enough of the politics...who asked for the silly speed bumps on the high street east of riverdale road??? It was the only place you could speed off after the chunk at lakedale road...spoilsports!

    At 11:10 am, Blogger sibonetic said...

    Apparently 'local' people did, not that they asked me. Am not a violent person, but would happily kill anyone involved in traffic calming measures.

    This is from GC's website

    'Improvements to Plumstead High Street given go-ahead

    27 July 2006'

    'The proposal was submitted after consultation with local residents with the proposed plans being distributed to 2,400 homes and businesses on and around the Plumstead High Street at the beginning of 2006.'

    'Of those that participated in the poll, most were generally supportive with 92% backing for the “West section” improvements and 82% backing for the “East section” improvements.'

    This probably means that about 3 people replied, while the rest were out having fun. What gets me is they consult the people who live there (who probaly don't have a car anyway), but never bother to ask the drivers who use the road what they think.

    At 9:40 am, Blogger The Greenwich Phantom said...

    Hey Sibonetic - just noticed your blog and wanted to say I agree. Greenwich Council are SOMETIMES rubbish - but not always. Their recycling and rubbish collection (perhaps ironically) is brilliant, they get rid of graffiti much more quickly than anywhere else I've ever lived and they actually call you back if you call a department about practically anything. I've never known that before.

    They don't get everything right, but they're not totally bad.


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