A small bit of progress on Woolwich Arsenal re-zoning

Matt outside Woolwich Arsenal stationPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

After a hectic couple of days of meetings here, there and everywhere, I wanted to give a quick update on where I am up to in supporting residents’ campaign to get Woolwich Arsenal moved into Zone 3 (Darryl at 853 has the background here, and if you haven’t yet signed the Change.org petition, do so here to show your support)

I gave the petition my backing early last week and also raised the issue at Wednesday’s Full Council meeting.  As I told the News Shopper yesterday, for me this is a simple issue of equity and parity with other areas – particularly in light of the three Stratford stations’ newly-announced move to Zone 2/3 from 2016.  Re-zoning would give commuters a fairer deal and serve as a great way of supporting the regeneration of Woolwich, bringing more visitors, customers and investment to the area (you can read my arguments in full in my letter to the Mayor of London, now online here).

At Wednesday’s council meeting, I asked Labour Leader Cllr Denise Hyland whether (and when) the council had raised this issue with Transport for London, and invited her to join us on on the Conservative benches in a cross-party approach to Boris to try and secure this change  for residents.  I think this is one issue where we could work together to get this done for local people, and I’m ready to work across party lines to do it.

Cllr Hyland responded by confirming the existence of a petition (!) and referring to the fact it hadn’t yet been discussed in Labour Group – something of a sidestep to my questions and not quite the enthusiastic response I would have liked, but at least it wasn’t an outright no (her response seems to have caused some perplextion elsewhere in the blogosphere – listen from approx. 15-and-a-half minutes in).

Nevertheless, it seems that by bringing the petition into the local political arena my intervention has done a bit of good – I’m pleased to see that my Labour opponent is now supporting the idea aswell, which is a small bit of progress, at least, on the kind of cross-party approach I called for on Wednesday night.  As I said in my letter to Boris, I hope the council will now also engage with City Hall to give the campaign its support.

Update Weds 6th Aug:  It’s pleasing to see the campaign getting the media coverage it deserves – I’m quoted on the front page of this week’s Mercury and in the News Shopper supporting the petition, and residents’ efforts have also been picked up over the river by The Wharf