I am pleased to report that Council owned garages across the Borough and in particular in Eltham North are going to be refurbished. However, I fear that the Council has missed a group of garages at Sowerby Close (opposite the White Hart) which are in dire need of some work.
Now I accept that some of the other garages might well be in need of work even more than these ones (for instance in Greenwich where garages are going to be demolished) but there is another issue (other than their general poor condition) which relates to the dumping of rubbish in two of these garages in 2015. At the time the Council sealed them up (you can see one nailed shut above and the other below) and sent me an email which read as follows:
“Dear Councillor Drury
Thank you for your recent correspondence dated the 13th July 2015.
The Garages in question were secured on a temporary basis to prevent access due to contaminated material being present. We are currently awaiting a quotation from Erith Asbestos Ltd to clear the garage completely. It is anticipated that quotation and authorisation will be received by the end of the week
Sowerby Close Garages are part of the borough wide garage review but no decision has yet been made regarding its future use. One of the options put forward is to completely refurbish the garages at this location. Any proposal presented as part of the draft garage strategy is subject to consultation.”
I have spoken to the resident of Sowerby Close who reported the dumped material, he cannot recall the contaminated material ever being removed (and the fact both garages remain nailed shut suggests that it has not been) so I have written to the Council Officer who wrote with details of the garage refurbishment scheme to ask for the inclusion of these garages. Frankly I think this is justifiable because of the general condition of the garages, but the removal of the contaminated material makes it more important.
Now obviously I hope that I/local residents are mistaken and the contaminated material has been removed over the last two years, however, I think this issue reveals a wider problem for Greenwich Council currently. The problem is that so many senior/middle managers have been made redundant that some jobs which had to be done have simply been forgotten – hiring more consultants (which the Council is doing) is simply not the way forward.