Plumstead Make Merry cut

Last year I wrote a very positive review of the Plumstead Make Merry (Est. 1978), which I wrote after having had a great time feeling very optimistic about the local area. I saw various local faces down there, got chatting with some of them, found out about the environment group’s excellent newsletter, saw various community workers, historians, and old friends, and bought a nice handmade basket and a mr whippy.

Fast forward to the brave new politics… Yesterday I read on 853blog that the council have withdrawn a grant of around £2500 to the make merry as part of their cuts programme. One perspective on this is that the council are pulling funds to high profile events such as this and blackheath fireworks to stir up anger about central government interference; another is that the most vital services (homecare, childcare, daycare) are being protected at the expense of items such as festivals, kidbrooke library, park rangers, teenage pregnancy services, youth services, connexions, park keeping, healthy schools, sheltered housing, voluntary groups and more as the council lose in the region of £65000000 this parliament.

Apparently the organisers are going to be guests of the in the meantime radio show this sunday, which is recorded and broadcast at the Queen Elizabeth hospital, and is usually available as a download by the following day. The radio show is well worth a listen in it’s own right: it has the homemade charm of resonance fm (although they haven’t misplaced the jingle yet); is doing a useful job of filling the news void left by Greenwich Time, Newsshopper, and Mercury; and has brilliant roving reports and interviews too, which none of the other hyperlocals have really attempted as yet.

Anyway, podcasts aside, the Plumstead Make Merry organisers are also planning a benefit bash on Saturday 16th April, and have a popular and informative facebook page.

Crossrail is back!

I’m not really posting at the moment… not that there isn’t much to talk about: the lilypond restoration, the shifty bit of the woods, shooters hill against the mast (that’s going well), the aperture woolwich photographic society exhibition at the QE hospital, the speed guns, the price increase at the cafe (about 10p), minister gove approved the shooters hill free school, (although it looks like they won’t be able to open when they wanted to), the planned mixed-mode playground behind christchurch school, all the new activities at the farm… anyway, i’ve been tweeting a bit, but i hope to return to writing more from april. i might also decide to move the whole site to too, which is a bit of a loss, but it would be possible to have comments again (with automagical spam removal).

Anyway, since good news can be hard to find these days, I just had to say something about crossrail – it was revealed today that the woolwich crossrail project is alive again, which is brilliant news for woolwich itself, and also for oxleas woods: the better the public transport infrastructure round here is, the less likely it is that a motorway will be built over the farm/woods. So, well done woolwich! The hold-ups have been going on for a while, at one point it was because berkeley homes, who agreed to pay for the ‘station box’ on the agreement their social housing commitments at the royal arsenal could be scaled down, and also on the condition that greenwich council paid for the inside. Since then berkeley seem to have kept their promises, but then there were various quibbles over land buying (?) that threatened the entire scheme (?!) Anyway, I believe that around 2019 (?) woolwich may be able to seriously say that it’s back on the way to enjoying some of its former glories. (Sorry no time for fact checking)…