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

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.

Meeting with Greenwich Citizens at OneSpace

One of the very best parts of my role as Leader of the Opposition on the council, and now as our Parliamentary Candidate, is meeting the many community, residents and faith groups that work so hard for local people right across our area.

That’s why I was pleased to meet with representatives of Greenwich Citizens last night at OneSpace community centre in Kidbrooke, to learn more about their work across our borough.  We discussed a wide range of issues such as the potential of Community Land Trusts in tackling the challenge of affordable housing, local healthcare provision and my work to promote the Living Wage in our borough.

Matt Hartley meeting Greenwich Citizens

After a rain-soaked afternoon campaigning across Eltham yesterday, I’ll be out with the team all day knocking on doors today – and hoping for better weather!

Speaking to shoppers and local businesses with Dr Liam Fox

Dr Liam Fox and Matt Hartley on Westmount Road, Eltham

Today I welcomed Dr Liam Fox, Secretary of State for International Trade, to Eltham to speak to shoppers and businesses on Westmount Road – including the bakery that is fuelling me through another campaign!

I was also pleased that Liam was able to join me on the doorstep on the Horn Park estate, speaking to residents about the work he is doing to open Britain up to the world following the Brexit vote.  I’m getting more and more long-time Labour voters offering their support for my campaign, voting Conservative for the first time. Continue reading Speaking to shoppers and local businesses with Dr Liam Fox

The Prime Minister’s London campaign launch

Matt Hartley and Theresa May

I was pleased to join the Prime Minister, with other candidates across London, for the launch of our London General Election campaign on Monday.

My team and I have visited thousands of doors across Eltham, New Eltham, Mottingham, Kidbrooke, Shooters Hill and Plumstead already (and if you haven’t had a knock at the door already, we’ll be around just as soon as we can!).  It’s clear that people are increasingly focusing on the big choice on June 8th. Continue reading The Prime Minister’s London campaign launch

Speaking to residents on the Coldharbour

Matt Hartley and Priti Patel visit

I’m incredibly grateful for the hundreds of messages of support I’ve had since my selection as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Eltham on Tuesday night.  The campaign is well under way and my team and I are out knocking on as many doors as we can, talking about the high stakes in this election – nationally and locally.

I was pleased to welcome Secretary of State for International Development Priti Patel to the Coldharbour, in my council ward, on Friday afternoon, to talk to residents about the choice they face on June 8th.  My ward colleagues Cllr John Hills and Mandy Brinkhurst also joined us to take about some of the issues we’ve been tackling on the estate as local councillors.

There’s a packed weekend of campaigning ahead – in the meantime, the Mercury has covered the start of the campaign – you can read their article here – and like my Facebook page here.

A marathon and a sprint

Matt Hartley marathon

On Tuesday I was deeply honoured to be selected by local party members as the Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for Eltham in the General Election on June 8th.

The selection meeting came two days after I ran my first London Marathon – an interesting experience on day two of my recovery from 5 hours 53 minutes of running!

With just 41 days to go, this General Election, of course, isn’t a marathon – but a sprint.  I look forward to making my case to residents in the weeks ahead.

(On a personal note I would also like to thank residents, friends and colleagues for their support in the Marathon and help in raising funds for The Archway Project – and also the Mayor and my fellow councillors of all parties for their support and encouragement)

Tonight’s July Council meeting – how to watch & what to expect

Town Hall
Cllr Mark Elliott at the Town Hall

Please note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

Last month I tried to get back into the habit of using my blog to shed some light on Full Council meetings at the Town Hall, for those interested! My blog post in advance of the June Full Council received an unexpected mention in the meeting, as it turns out my one-time Labour opposite number Cllr John Fahy is a voracious reader!  I’m not sure he liked what he read.

Cllr Fahy aside, the post got a fair few views and a positive reception, so I will try to continue in advance of Full Council meetings from now on.

Firstly, you can watch the meeting online here – on which, more later – and you can find the agenda here. Continue reading Tonight’s July Council meeting – how to watch & what to expect

A guide to tonight’s June Council meeting

Woolwich Town HallPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

Despite everything else that’s going on, the business of government – and local government – continues.  Or in our case, local opposition!

Here’s a quick preview of tonight’s June Full Council meeting at Woolwich Town Hall, which you can watch – should you be so inclined – online from 7pm and afterwards here.  Here’s the agenda for the meeting.

Continue reading A guide to tonight’s June Council meeting