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Bonkers Blog July 2017

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5 July (Part 3) - Peabody’s presentation to Bexley Council

Only a day or two ago I was struggling to find something to put on BiB, now there is quite a big selection but no time to process it.

There was a Places Scrutiny meeting last night at which I was the only member of the public present throughout. Someone else popped in half an hour after it started and disappeared half way through but that’s all.

There’s another Scrutiny meeting tonight but I won’t be there, it clashes with an opportunity to learn directly from Peabody Housing Association a little more of what they plan for the site of the Harrow Inn demolished in 2009.
The meeting was interesting throughout and a formal report will appear here eventually but the first 15 minutes can be tackled separately. It was an illustrated presentation by Peabody Housing about what they have in store for Thamesmead.

The results are a bit crude but I photographed their projected slideshow and it can be seen here.

This is most of what the Peabody people said…

Peabody is adopting a “town wide approach” ignoring the borough boundaries. “Residents want to see a single town.”

There are a series of projects at different stages, some are live now. A competition has gone out to architects around the world to seek the best designs for the new library building. It might be as much as twelve months late as a result of seeking “international designs”.

About ten million pounds has been allocated to Public Realm improvements “to make it a much more pleasant and livable space”.

Plans to clad nine Thamesmead towers in the near future have been suspended in view of the recent horrific events. Councillor Danny Hackett asked if the residents had been told as some had expressed concern to him for their safety.

Chairman Melvin Seymour ruled Danny’s question inadmissible. He said that Peabody’s response might be taken out of context.

Presumably Councillor Seymour had taken advice from the same lawyers who advised the hapless Nicholas Paget-Brown in Kensington. Advice that resulted in widespread ridicule and ultimately his enforced resignation. Why was Chairman Seymour so keen to keep the advice or maybe lack of it, a secret?

Does he believe his tin-pot Committee could possibly affect the public enquiry which was Paget-Brown’s excuse?  Whatever his reason it was an incredibly insensitive decision by Councillor Melvin Seymour; but at least those residents who read BiB will know they are safe even if Peabody has not yet told them.

Residents in Wolvercote Road have been advised of the long term plans for the demolition of their towers. It cannot be done until alternative accommodation is available in Thamesmead (Parkview).

The proposed DLR station in Thamesmead “will give an opportunity to fundamentally change and really create a new town centre”.

23 caretakers have been recruited to look after estates. “Named individuals who will know their residents.”

There are big plans for culture and the arts in Thamesmead and a festival to celebrate the creative talents which are found there will be held on 15th to 17th September. The Bird and Rose Bruford colleges are offering Peabody their support and expertise.


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