End Of The Line?

Hardly a surprise that Greenwich Council, after a long meeting last night, approved the Equestrian Events in Greenwich Park. I’d had a particularly trying day and didn’t make it, so was grateful for 853 Blog’s Twitter-minutes of the evening. I sat by the computer hanging on his every tweet, so thanks, Darryl.

Of course, as he rightly points out, it all begins to look like a bit of a done-deal if you look at the council ‘news’paper Greenwich Time, being distributed hours before the meeting (which means it must have been written and printed before that) showing a jolly Olympics map of the area. What a ghastly waste of trees that thing is…

It’s hardly a secret I’m no fan of the Equestrian Events being at Greenwich Park, and although I wasn’t a member of NOGOE – for me they went a bit too far – I’m disappointed by the decision. I’d have expected our councillors – so memorably brave when facing the Market proposals – to have had a bit more guts. To have forced a few more concrete, written and signed compromises out of LOCOG rather than words.

So, what now? I suppose all we can do is make a nuisance of ourselves, and force LOCOG to do the right thing by the park. Watch them like a hawk to make sure they’re not destroying wildlife, rights of way, archaeology, infrastructure and historic stuff, make a fuss about congestion, VIP lanes and inappropriate use of Blackheath, and then…

…just relax.

The Olympics will bring some good stuff to the area. Maybe even a job or two, though I’m not counting on that one lasting beyond a few weeks. There’s no point in shouting ourselves to an apoplexy over something that ultimately we no longer (if we ever did) have any say. LOCOG won’t care. They’ve got their way, though of course the dice were always loaded in their favour. They don’t need us, but we now need them – to treat Greenwich with respect. I truly believe they won’t do that without being forced, but the time for anger has passed. Now, subtlety is required. I guess we just have to swallow our pride and make concessions to get concessions.

A depressing day.

16 Comments to “End Of The Line?”

  1. Latelygay says:


    Very well put, Phantom, and a very constructive approach.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am (And sure I can't be the only one) really pleased that it has been confirmed that Greenwich is keeping the equestrian events – same as I was pleased that Woolwich is hosting the shooting. I think the Olympics are a great event and we should embrace the hopeful patriotism that will arise out of them, rather than the negativity that just seems to keep the UK afloat.
    I think the fact that the borough has been chosen for a couple of events is great and I thoroughly intend to be there supporting them.

  3. Dave says:


    You think the locals are gonna get much of a look in ?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is the Olympics just for local people?

  5. Dave says:


    The point I was making, was that some local people seem to think it will be easy to get tickets for Olympic events.

    We don't have an idea of cost yet

  6. Paul says:


    As you properly know that any local resident has the opportunity to be a volunteer at the Olympics. A chance to be part of the events and to be an ambassador for Greenwich let the world see Greenwich and meet its gentle folk. No need for tickets

  7. Michael says:

    I love that the positive comments always come from Anonymous!?! Show yourself!

    Anyway I'm bit depressed about this. Why? Well it's not so much about the decision itself; I've resigned myself to the up and coming congestion, noise and increased traffic; the fact I won't get near an event or ticket, and (most selfishly) that for months I will be unable to take my daily walk in the park.

    So why am I depressed? Well because clearly the council/the councillors had already made their decision and despite protestations from their constituents, nothing was going to change the decision.

    So much for representing us and so much for democracy.

    Such a shame as it reflects badly on the council as a whole and I have to say my recent dealings with council staff have been nothing but positive.

    Anyways…enough as the phantom says…


    All IMHO.

  8. Capability Bowes says:

    Locual Councillors always vote according to their own opinions and never take those of the borough residents into account. This happens at MP level too, as clearly demonstrated by Anne Widdecombe on the TV recently. Shame on Greenwich Council, say I.

    What worries me is that once damage is done to a tree or a natural environment, it can't be repaired. You can't repair a natural object.

  9. Capability Bowes says:

    Oh, btw, it is possible to find out how individual Councillors voted?

  10. lula says:

    It just makes me sad sad sad.

  11. LGM says:

    Very depressing.

  12. Paul Webbewood says:

    Voting for the application (10)
    Peter Brooks (Lab)
    Denise Hyland (Lab)
    Sajid Jawaid (Lab)
    Peter King (Con)
    Peter Kotz (Lab)
    Clive Mardner (Lab)
    Steve Offord (Lab)
    John Wakefield (Lab)
    Ray Walker (Lab)
    Paul Webbewood (Lib Dem)

    Voting against (2)
    Geoffrey Brighty (Con)
    Dermot Poston (Con)

  13. LGM says:

    looks like the only landslide Labour will get for a while!

  14. Capability Bowes says:

    LOL, Peter Brooks is the Deputy Leader. So for all the spouting that Our Glorious Leader Mr. Roberts came out with, he can't even bring his Deputy into line.

  15. Bod says:

    Peter Brookes voted in favour of the application, Capability. I'm sure Chris Roberts will be very pleased with him

  16. Bod says:

    And, in reference to an earlier comment, we vote for councillors and MPs precisely so they can vote according to their opinions – their opinions are why you do, or don't vote for them. This is how democracy works. You can't expect them to call a referendum on every decision they have to vote upon.

    Yes, they should listen but not just to a single person, blog or pressure group. We vote them in and we can vote them out – especially local councillors.

    Often they're not all that good or all that bright but all you need to do to get rid of someone whose decisions you disagree with is to mobilise support for an alternative candidate. In most wards a couple of hundred votes will do it. Off you go then. The next few weeks can change the make-up of the council. Go for it.