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

 

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

5 questions over Marks & Spencer’s Woolwich exit

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

I blogged last night on yesterday’s blow to Woolwich from Marks and Spencer’s decision to close its Powis Street store – and the council leadership’s rather unconstructive response.  This is a disappointing decision from M&S – but also a big reminder of the change we need to see from the new council administration, with much more engagement and consultation with businesses large and small, to ensure that we keep the jobs and investment we need in the borough. Continue reading 5 questions over Marks & Spencer’s Woolwich exit

Win or lose next Thursday, there’ll be a Cafe on the Mound…

Number 8, The MoundPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

I just wanted to take a quick break from campaigning to share some massively exciting news on our efforts to Mend The Mound.  Earlier this year the campaign, which I launched last year with my colleagues Cllr Mandy Brinkhurst and Cllr John Hills, secured improved lighting at the long-neglected Coldharbour shops – and this week has notched up another success. Continue reading Win or lose next Thursday, there’ll be a Cafe on the Mound…

Huge public support for our campaign to #MendTheMound

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

Today was the last day for signatures on the Mend The Mound petition that I helped launch at the end of October – part of our new campaign to force the council to end its neglect of the shops at the heart of the Coldharbour estate.

I’m delighted to report that 642 residents have signed the petition in the shops, online and at our busy Saturday street stalls on William Barefoot Drive. Continue reading Huge public support for our campaign to #MendTheMound

Machine politics alive and well at Greenwich council

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

Last night’s Greenwich council meeting started, appropriately enough, with the Mayor Angela Cornforth announcing that she had turned down a request for the meeting to be filmed.  This comes despite government guidance to the contrary, and despite the main issue on the agenda – the council’s new Pavement Tax on local traders – being one that has probably generated more controversy and public interest than any other in the last year.

After sitting through the meeting that followed in the public gallery, it is little wonder why the Royal Borough’s Labour Mayor – also in the running to be Labour’s new prospective MP for Greenwich & Woolwich – did not want the ruling Labour group’s actions to be filmed yesterday evening. Continue reading Machine politics alive and well at Greenwich council

Launching our new campaign to Mend The Mound

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

I’ve been away from the blog for a couple of weeks, and this post in part explains why!  Today we are launching a new campaign on behalf of Coldharbour residents called Mend The Mound – with a petition to force the council to take long-overdue action to regenerate the local shops.

Over the last couple of months, Cllr John Hills, Cllr Mandy Brinkhurst and I have been conducting a survey across the Coldharbour.  Continue reading Launching our new campaign to Mend The Mound

Small businesses don’t deserve this Pavement Tax

Please note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.
I’m writing this, after a busy few weeks away from the blog, on the train up to #cpc13 in Manchester – the first chance I’ve had to commit words to screen since Thursday’s public meeting on Labour’s new Pavement Tax in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
 
Supporting small businesses are three words guaranteed to get a good airing in Manchester this week – and it was curious to hear these same words bandied about a fair bit by Ed Miliband last week at the Labour Party gathering in Brighton.  In Ed’s case, his warm words about cutting business rates sound pretty hollow here in Greenwich, where his own Labour council has introduced a punitive new charge on local traders who use the pavement outside their shops.  Think grocers, florists, cafes – and in actual fact almost every type of business that is being hit by this Pavement Tax at a time when many are struggling and need support. Continue reading Small businesses don’t deserve this Pavement Tax

Two news stories worth thinking about on a sunny Monday

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

Two news stories in the Evening Standard tonight struck me, on the sweltering Jubilee Line, as having something quite remarkable in common.

The first is that of little-known paparazzi photographer Jesal Parshotam, who this morning saw the Duchess of Cambridge sneak into St Mary’s Hospital at around 5.55am.  As the Standard reports, he said that he and his colleague “decided in advance we were not going to take a photo of her.  I made that decision – she’s a woman in labour…. To take a picture of her would have been over stepping the mark.”

Continue reading Two news stories worth thinking about on a sunny Monday