On Wednesday lead Conservative activists Phil Russell and Angie Begollari attended the last ever meeting of the Eltham West Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel.
The panel were reminded that since the closure of the Eltham Police Station, the Safer Neighbourhood Team now had to travel into their area from Mottingham. Although this is a similar difficulty faced by the Eltham North police team (where Conservative Councillors Charlie Davis and Spencer Drury have been campaigning to retain a police presence on the High Street), there is good news in Eltham West ward Berkeley Homes have offered to provide a space in the Kidbrooke Village. However, a final agreement to be based in Kidbrooke Village has not yet been reached as the police will be expected to pay for fitting out the space and the gas/electric bills.
A familiar problem of low levels of reporting of crime exists in Eltham West and the panel were reminded to encourage residents to inform the police about crimes as that way the area would receive its fair share of resources. This followed on from an item at the previous Ward Panel meeting where the Chair (Mr Mark Radford) had suggested that residents were still unsure how to report crime to the police.
With the Council elections being held in May, it is expected that the ward panel will switch to being focused on the ‘Eltham Page’ and ‘Kidbrooke Village’ wards which are the new names for most of the area.
Angie said “It was great to have the opportunity to attend the Safer Neighbourhood Ward Panel and find out the problems facing the police locally. It is quite clear not being able to report crime remains a serious issue, especially where residents do not have access to the internet. The police need some help with this, especially from the Council who could provide further support.”
Phil added “I’d really like to see the Councillors using their ward budget to help the Eltham Page police team get based much closer to residents in the Kidbrooke Village – it’s a serious disappointment this has not happened already. I believe that Berkeley Homes has contributed to Council coffers through specific payments like the Community Infrastructure Levy but all of this is being spent on the station in Woolwich not here in Eltham and Kidbrooke.”
One of the Conservative lead activists in Kidbrooke Village ward Kate Drury commented “Having the police based in Kidbrooke Village would be a real benefit to residents here and Conservative local Councillors would take an active role in making sure this happens if elected in May.”