Clive joined the Eltham South police safer neighbourhood team and local residents on a walkabout at Grove Market Place in central Eltham. All of the shops are now empty in the precinct and only a handful of the flats are occupied.
The owners of the site have outlying planning permission to redevelop the site. Clive is keen for the area to be brought back into use as soon as possible. “This is a key site for Eltham Town Centre. The developers need to come to an agreement with the last few remaining residents and the Midland Bank who are still on the site and then redevelop the area.”
In the meantime, the walkabout looked at ways of making the site secure and safe before the work begins. The police will remain in touch with the owners to ensure that the site does not attract crime and antisocial behaviour. A gate has already been erected to stop vehicles from accessing the site and flytipping.
Clive recently visited the former Royal Military Academy site in Woolwich, following an invitation from the new owners, to discuss their plans for the site.
The Durkan Group are currently developing a planning application for submission to the London Borough of Greenwich in October. Durkan are proposing that the majority of the site be converted to form a range of one, two, three and four bedroom units together with other community based facilities, whilst retaining the much loved Wyatt facade and the other valued listed buildings on the site.
The Royal Military Academy is in the Greenwich & Woolwich constituency but borders Clive’s Eltham constituency and Clive welcomes the opportunity of monitoring developments on his constituents’ behalf.
Clive recently joined with residents and a local councillor to meet with T Mobile to try to find a more appropriate location of a mobile phone mast on the Rochester Way at the bottom of Oxleas Meadow.
T Mobile was granted permission to erect the mast in July when the Planning Inspectorate overruled objections from the Council – which had refused permission – Clive Efford, the local councillors and local residents. [for further information click here]
“The site where T Mobile has been given permission is totally unsuitable” explained Clive. “The mast will be visible from the hill looking down from Oxleas Wood, a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It is also close to residential housing.”
“Along with Terry Powley from the Eltham Park Residents’ Association and local Councillor Dermot Poston I met with T Mobile at the site [see picture, right]. We were able to get a commitment from them to look at sites further east along the Rochester Way on the south side of the road. This means that the mast would be better obscured by trees and further away from residential housing.”
“T Mobile has promised to get their technical staff to carry out an assessment of the sites and then get back to us. I will post details of their response on this site as soon as I have received it.”
Clive Efford has congratulated everyone involved in the maintenance and management of the Well Hall Pleasaunce which has just been awarded the government’s prestigious Green Flag Award.
Well Hall Pleasaunce were recently lovingly restored to their former glory after a £2.7m facelift. The restoration project finished in 2002 and was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Greenwich Council and the South Greenwich Regeneration Agency.
“As a member of the management committee of the Pleasaunce I am delighted and extremely proud that this delightful and peaceful haven has been recognised in this way. Congratulations must be given to the Parks and Open Spaces Department at Greenwich Council who do such a great job in the day to day maintenance of the site. The Pleasaunce is well used, as shown with the well-attended fun day held on this bank-holiday Monday.”
The Pleasaunce was the brainchild of former Eltham Councillor and Labour Party national executive committee member William Barefoot. Clive adds, “The Pleasaunce is part of the legacy of the Labour Party in Eltham and I am happy to play my part in maintaining it for future generations.“
The Green Flag scheme are awarded to sites which are judged to be welcoming, safe and well maintained with the strong involvement of the local community.
The Macpherson Inquiry was set up as a direct consequence of a Parliamentary question tabled by Clive in 1997. Speaking after the programme was broadcast, Clive said, “It was clear that there were major failings in the investigation that led to no one being convicted of this terrible crime. Macpherson highlighted concerns about the failure to arrest within the first few days of the inquiry and a lack of leadership in the police. The BBC programme suggested that one of the senior officers involved in the initial murder inquiry may have had been corrupt and receiving payment from the father of one of the suspects.”
Clive said, “I understand that these allegations will be investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. However, the IPCC is extremely slow in its investigations. We cannot afford to leave this matter to an organisation that is going to take too long to complete its work. These investigations need to be thorough, but they need to be dealt with expeditiously.”
“Mr Putnam claims that he informed the Met that DC Davidson had taken money from people close to the suspects in the Stephen Lawrence case and that he was prevented from giving this evidence to Macpherson. The Met claim that he never made this allegation. Mr Putnam’s interviews were taped so these should be put in the public domain so that any allegation of cover-up on the part of the Met can be answered and the full confidence of the public restored. Without this, there will always be the fear that the Met are hiding the facts.”
“I was very surprised that Assistant Commissioner John Grieve did not appear to be aware of the allegations made by Mr Putnam. Having met John Grieve on several occasions I formed the opinion that he was determined to solve this crime before he retired and would leave no stone unturned. It is difficult to understand how an officer of his seniority would have had no idea of the existence of this kind of information if Mr Putnam had made these allegations. The only way to resolve this matter is for someone independent of the Met to publish the contents of the tapes that are relevant to the Stephen Lawrence inquiry.”
The Macpherson Inquiry was set up because we owed it to Stephen and his family to get to the bottom of why no one was ever convicted of his murder. The conclusions of the inquiry showed that we were right to have concerns about how the investigation was conducted. Following publication of Lord Macpherson’s report I asked the advisors to the inquiry about the failure to find evidence of corruption and was told that they looked very hard, but found no proof. We all had suspicions of corruption and they have been reignited by this documentary. They need to be thoroughly investigated with the minimum of delay.”