Tonight’s October Greenwich Council meeting – how to watch and what to expect

chamberTonight is the first Full Council meeting at the Town Hall since July – and it seems that Labour and Conservative councillors alike have missed the cut and thrust of the Council Chamber over the summer, with no less than six motions for debate on the agenda.

Followers of Greenwich politics (and there are a few) will know the score when it comes to these motions – some can be useful in airing an issue, some just occasionally manage to get something done, and some are utterly pointless.

There’s a mixture of all three varieties on display tonight!

Here is a potted guide to tonight’s meeting, and what to expect, from the entirely biased and subjective perspective of the Leader of the Opposition’s seat… Continue reading Tonight’s October Greenwich Council meeting – how to watch and what to expect

A thank you to everyone who backed my campaign

I would like to say a huge thank you to the 18,832 people who voted for me to serve as Eltham’s Member of Parliament on Thursday – as well as the hundreds of volunteers who worked so tirelessly to help my campaign in this unique General Election.

Together we achieved 40.8% of the vote, the highest vote share for the Conservatives in Eltham in 25 years – but sadly, it was not enough.   The full result can be found here.

I would like to congratulate Clive Efford on winning the election, and I wish him all the best as he embarks on his new term as Eltham’s MP.

Over these past seven weeks I have enjoyed meeting thousands of people across the constituency, talking about some of the challenges we face – such as improving our transport links, supporting the High Street and our smaller shopping parades, and crucially, making Brexit the success that we all need it to be.  My team and I knocked on more than 17,000 doors in this election, and I am immensely grateful for all the support I received.  Regardless of the result, I have had the best few weeks of my life.

As I said in my speech at the Count in the early hours of Friday morning, Conservatives here in Greenwich have been working for 20 years towards returning a Conservative MP again in our borough.  It seems we may have to work for a few more years yet – but we will do it.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to continuing to get things done for people in Eltham, and across the borough, as Leader of our brilliant Conservative Group at the Town Hall.  As always, we have a lot of work to do!

 

Matt Hartley Boris Johnson and team

Why I need your vote on Thursday

After knocking on more than 17,000 doors across the constituency, my team and I are approaching the final stage of the election campaign.  Here’s why I need your vote on Thursday!

Attending Q&A event with local small business owners

Last night I attended a Q&A event with around 30 local small business owners, after being invited to come along to answer questions and discuss some of the issues at stake in the election next Thursday.

We had a long and productive discussion on everything from Brexit to the Blackwall Tunnell, and everything in between.  We had a useful discussion on the need to support our smaller shopping parades, in particular – something I and my fellow Conservative councillors have focused on in Coldharbour & New Eltham ward.

As with several of the High Street businesses that Boris Johnson and I visited earlier in the week, many business owners present last night told me they were backing my campaign because of the need to get the best possible Brexit deal.  Like me, they know that we can only ensure our local economy continues to thrive by getting Brexit right – and the only way we can do that is sending Theresa May back to Number 10.

Matt Hartley small business event

 

Bringing Boris back to Eltham

Yesterday I was delighted to bring the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, back to Eltham, to check up on his £2.8 million investment in our High Street when he was Mayor of London.

We spoke to shoppers and visited local businesses along the High Street – and it was particularly great to hear that so many business owners are supporting me in this election.  Like Theresa May, they know that the only way our local economy here can continue to thrive is by getting the right Brexit deal.

Boris was a force of nature, and was mobbed for selfies along the way, as ITV London’s video feed shows!

Here’s a few words from us both on why the election result here in Eltham is so crucial – and why I’m asking for your support next Thursday.

It was also great to meet with Ibrahim Oruc, who runs the superb Mega Bite cafe on Westmount Road, to talk about the opportunities that getting Brexit right can bring to our economy – including small businesses like his.

Boris Johnson and Matt Hartley visit Mega Bite cafe on Westmount Road

Campaigning with Liz Truss on the Avery Hill estate

I invited the Justice Secretary, Liz Truss, back to the Avery Hill estate yesterday to knock on doors and speaking to some of the residents she used to represent as a councillor here in Eltham.

With just 8 days left to go, minds are focusing on the choice at this election like never before – and more and more former Labour voters are coming over to support me and Theresa May.  My team and I will be knocking on as many doors as we can in this final stretch!

Liz Truss and Matt Hartley on the Avery Hill estate

WATCH – Why I’m standing to be our new MP

It’s been a busy Bank Holiday weekend of knocking on doors across Eltham, Kidbrooke, Blackheath and Plumstead.  I took a moment on the Coldharbour estate, which I represent on the council, to make a quick video explaining why I’m standing to be our new MP…

Southeastern commuters have suffered for far too long

Matt Hartley and Chris Grayling at Eltham station

 

I invited Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, to Eltham yesterday to talk about the Department for Transport’s ongoing consultation on the future of the South Eastern rail franchise.  You can read the interview that Chris gave yesterday to the Greenwich Mercury online here.

As an Eltham councillor and Leader of the Conservatives at the Town Hall, I have strongly opposed any suggestion that Bexleyheath line trains should go to Cannon Street only.   The answer to South East London’s transport problems is more connectivity, not less – and I have been making the case to Ministers for Charing Cross and Victoria services to be maintained.

This week I submitted the Conservative Council Group’s formal response to the consultation, which has been extended until 30th June to give commuters more time to share their views.

In our meeting yesterday and in his interview with the Mercury, Chris Grayling was very clear – his priority as Transport Secretary is improving services and crucially, delivering longer trains – and when it comes to the issue of the terminals served from our local stations, he is not going to make any change that doesn’t have the support of commuters. Continue reading Southeastern commuters have suffered for far too long

Inauguration of the new Mayor of Greenwich

I was pleased to attend the inauguration of the new Mayor of Greenwich, Councillor Peter Brooks, at the Chapel of the Old Royal Naval College last night – and to celebrate the work of our outgoing Mayor, Councillor Olu Babatola, who has worked his socks of for our borough over the past year.  My colleague Councillor Geoff Brighty, our Group Whip, helped sign the new Mayor into office on the Opposition’s behalf.

Mayoral inauguration

The event last night was of course overshadowed by the devastating news from Manchester this week – and the Leader of Greenwich Council, Denise Hyland, spoke movingly in sympathy and solidarity with the city of Manchester in her address.  She did the borough proud in her words, which were very powerful.

Like other candidates of all parties across the country, I suspended my campaign on Tuesday until this afternoon, when local campaigning is resuming across the country.

Supporting Renew New Eltham this morning in support of #MoreInCommon

Along with candidates from all parties, I paused my campaign this morning in memory of Jo Cox, and in support of the excellent #MoreInCommon initiative from the Jo Cox Foundation.  Candidates across the UK are joining community projects in celebration of the values that Jo stood and campaigned for (more information on BBC News here).

The team and I helped the Community Association of New Eltham‘s summer planting outside the shops – part of the community’s Renew New Eltham initiative to look after the village.

CANE planting