Sunday, December 01, 2019

West Street.


On Wednesday morning, at a special demolition event, representatives from Wates Residential, Orbit and the London Borough of Bexley joined together with former Erith-born residents, who shared some of their favourite memories of the old Arthur Street Estate, off Northend Road to mark the occasion of the start of demolition to make way for the new development that is to take its place. The new estate will be called Park East, and will cost £95 million to create. The official press release regarding the event reads:- "The project, which is being delivered by Wates Residential and Orbit, in partnership with the London Borough of Bexley, will see 320 new homes built, of which 80 per cent will for affordable rent and shared ownership to ensure a mixed, aspirational and sustainable community for local residents. It comes after Wates Residential and Orbit completed six years of work on the nearby Larner Road estate, transforming it into the award-winning, mixed tenure community Erith Park and delivering 587 new homes. Team members from both organisations came together with guests from the London Borough of Bexley and former residents at a special demolition event on Wednesday to mark the significant step forward for the project. Work is expected to be completed by 2023. Two of the guests were Erith-born Doreen and Mick Weekes, who shared some of their favourite memories of the area. The couple, who have six grandchildren and six great grandchildren, moved into their three-bedroom maisonette on the estate, which used to be known as Arthur Street, just 18 months after they were built. They went on to enjoy 50 happy years in the property, raising two children amongst friends and neighbours. Mick remembers teaching young children from the area DIY and helping to coach the Thamesmead sailing club to victory at the London Youth games. He also shared how he had used a horse drawn plough along the Northend Road. As part of the demolition process, Orbit helped residents find new homes close to the area. When Orbit found a two-bedroom house in Belvedere for Doreen and Mick, Doreen cried for joy. Mick said: “Now we’re settled in our new home we love it.  It’s cosy, quiet and we’ve got our own garden at last.  We can still enjoy our memories of the time we lived at Arthur Street!” As part of the venture, Wates Residential and Orbit have also pledged to kick start training opportunities for local residents by hiring at least 31 apprentices and at least 25 people in full time employment from the local area. Another of the unique training and employment initiatives that Wates Residential has brought to Erith is its Building Futures programme, which helps unemployed adults gain valuable practical experience and employability coaching to reinvigorate their career prospects. Seven students recently graduated from the two-week course having gained hands on experience of a construction site. Glen Roberts, Operations Director for Wates Residential, said: “The start of demolition is a significant moment for the Park East development, which will deliver hundreds of high quality new homes and a lasting legacy for the area. “We are pleased to have been able to join together with our partners Orbit and the London Borough of Bexley to hear from residents about their fondest memories of the area. We are looking forward to the community being able to make new memories in Park East over the coming years.” Caroline Field, Head of Regeneration for Orbit, commented: “We’re delighted Doreen and Mick could join us and to hear they are happily settling in their new home.  We moved over 250 households from the old Arthur Street estate and aimed to find all of them a better quality home.” What do you think? Email me at hugh.neal@gmail.com


The temporary closure of the Bexleyheath railway line in February next year grows ever closer. As regular readers will be aware, there were a series of landslips in 2014, 2016 and in February of this year just outside of Barnehurst Station, which closed the Bexleyheath line for several days on each occasion. Temporary repairs were made the the banks of the line to try and anchor the earth and stop if from collapsing onto the rail track, but a permanent solution has been needed since then. Network Rail plan to close the Bexleyheath line between for nine days between Saturday 15th to Sunday 23rd February 2020. During this period they will Remove 2,500 tonnes of mud and trees so engineers can reduce the steepness of the cutting slopes. They will then bring in 8,000 tonnes of material, such as gravel and concrete, to build retaining walls along both sides of the cutting, stretching 650 metres. The walls are made from steel beams, which are vibrated and driven into the ground six metres deep and then finished with huge concrete blocks and will stop any future landslips from reaching the tracks. To make the most of the closure, they will also bring forward other infrastructure improvements in the area, as well as essential maintenance at the affected stations. This will not only reduce the amount of engineering works in the future but give passengers the reliability benefits much sooner. The railway will close between Kidbrooke station and Barnehurst station only, where buses will replace trains. The Greenwich and Dartford Loop Lines and the Charlton station to Blackheath link will remain open. Capacity on these lines will be increased by running additional or longer trains where possible. Rail replacement bus services will run and tickets will be accepted on all other reasonable routes, although TfL have still to clarify if rail only tickets will be permitted on the rail replacement buses. Shuttle buses will ferry commuters to and from Eltham and Falconwood during the nine day shut-down of the Bexleyheath line in February. Southeastern and Network Rail have still to reach agreement on whether rail-only season tickets will be allowed on normal service buses. The shuttles, along with an all-day rail replacement bus service to Lewisham, will run from Eltham to Mottingham and Falconwood to New Eltham on the Dartford Loop line where some trains will be lengthened to 12 cars. The shut-down is to allow £6.6m bank strengthening works of rail cutting at Barnehurst, where multiple landslips have caused chaos in recent years. The time chosen is half term with a closure on the weekend of Jan 11 and 12 for scrub clearance. Some travellers will prefer to go via the 132, 286 or 161 buses but no agreement has been reached on 'ticket acceptance' yet with TfL. 'Ticket acceptance' is the norm when disruption is unplanned but TfL are taking a different approach where the dislocation is the result of planned remedial works. More detailed information on the exact times of alternative train and bus replacement services will be available nearer the closure. Not only will commuters be affected, but residents living close to the railway will be impacted, as works will be undertaken 24/7 - noise and disruption will be expected. On top of this, businesses close to the railway stations on the line may well lose a lot of passing trade, as footfall will be seriously reduced during the period of closure. A group has been set up to work with Network Rail and the various rail operators to best represent the concerns of commuters, local residents and businesses affected by the forthcoming line closure. The Lewisham and Bexleyheath Community Rail Partnership has also been carrying out detailed research into the current state of rail transport provision in the area, and has published a report on possible improvements to the service. The report has just received the backing of Sir David Evennett. and Labour candidate in the Bexley / Crayford seat, is also in full support. Other electoral candidates have been sent copies of the report, and feedback from them is expected in due course. Below is a very short precis of the report, which in full runs to a total of twenty four pages. The report is entitled "lewbex: RENEW Building a better future for the Lewisham and Bexleyheath railway. The railway between Lewisham, Eltham, Bexleyheath and Dartford is arguably the most important strategic transport artery of the three ‘North Kent’ lines. It is the most recent of the three built and offers the best levels of service and destination variety in the event of perturbation on either the Sidcup or Greenwich arterial lines. The purpose of this document is to understand the pressures, the projected demands, infrastructure needed explicitly for the Bexleyheath line, the infrastructure interventions needed in the wider region and how we wish to see the future rail franchise be shaped. There are several possibilities, but what is equally important is political willpower to deliver such a wide- ranging set of ideas and build on the success of the routes to now and improve for the future. The decline in passenger numbers affecting ‘middle’ stations such as Eltham and Falconwood is mirrored on the Sidcup line with decline in use at New Eltham and Sidcup in the same period; as well as significant decline at Charlton, Woolwich Dockyard, Plumstead and Abbey Wood on the Greenwich line as examples. Reversing decline, which is likely to be as a result of changing passenger habits, is important. Equally important is a sound understanding that the opening of Crossrail from Abbey Wood and Woolwich should not be a solution to crowding on other lines: this will rapidly absorb new housebuilding in areas such as Erith, Slade Green, Greenhithe and Rochester to name a few. Few who live in areas such as Bexleyheath or Welling are likely to amend their existing commuting patterns to take in a bus or even road journey to alternatives on the Greenwich line as traffic will cause uncertainty and unreliability to journeys; whilst positive and improved connections at stations such as London Bridge to Thameslink makes journeys on the legacy railway attractive.The route will continue to suffer as a result of a number of infrastructure ‘pinch points’. These include, but are not limited to the plethora of junctions between Barnehurst and Dartford (along with Dartford only having four platforms); the lack of turning facilities to allow a level of service to continue during serious service perturbation; some stations which lack the ability to continue high levels of throughput of passengers (e.g. Lewisham); the flat junction at Lewisham station which is a major bottleneck and cause of unreliability; and further flat junctions and conflicting movements that take place near St Johns, New Cross and Borough Market (to name a few)". Lewisham Station should be totally rebuilt to remove the subway (this is too congested at peak times and is no longer fit for purpose), withdraw the ineffective lift access to Platform 1 from the street and to enable the station to prepare for its role as major interchange hub. We propose the London end (near the DLR and existing ticket office) be entirely overhauled; providing escalators and lifts to an ‘upper level’ over the existing Network Rail tracks for access between platforms; and thence escalators down from the central hall to the Bakerloo line. This will be entirely suitable for the thousands of extra journeys that could be made through Lewisham each hour". We propose stations be staffed from first to last train, seven days a week. We are also proposing that the new franchise have written into its contract terms that there must be much higher numbers of Revenue Enforcement officers for ‘spot checks’ at stations and on trains (particularly the latter), and we are keen to see the franchise fund more British Transport Police officers for evening and weekend patrols. Depots, stabling and train crew - In order to achieve Crossrail to Gravesend (and beyond), it is suggested that due to the track layout in the Slade Green area, Slade Green Depot would become a re-built Crossrail facility. Stabling of trains would also take place in the existing Up Sidings. Train crew would all be based at Slade Green, providing a suitable and sensible ‘South East’ base for Crossrail crew for trains to all destinations including Maidstone West and Rainham. South Eastern franchise trains would therefore need new stabling, suitable for twelve carriage operation. Plumstead’s existing sidings could be re-built for this (with exit/entry at each end), and South Eastern trains could also be stabled on the incumbent Crossrail engineering site. In order to gain further twelve carriage stabling, trains would need to use Grove Park (re-built for twelve and twenty-four carriage formations) ‘Up’ and ‘Down’ sidings as well as the carriage shed; and a new maintenance depot location be foundWe propose that services between Abbey Wood and Cannon Street via Greenwich be reduced in scope to a train every 6-9 minutes (eight trains per hour), with no peak service via Blackheath. This is due to constraints between London Bridge and Cannon Street (better planning to give more service resilience) but also due to the fact that high levels of passengers are expected to use Crossrail from ‘east’, freeing up large amounts of capacity on legacy trains from Woolwich, Charlton and Greenwich to London. There is also a reduced need for services via Lewisham when passengers can use the Docklands Light Railway between Lewisham and Greenwich to complete their journeys; and very few numbers of passengers require travel via Lewisham from the North Kent line. Whilst potentially unpopular in theory, the reality is that this is a positive step and that off-peak connections can be retained. This is not an expensive list of transportation schemes: it is expenditure that will mostly be needed in any event to support increases in passenger numbers generally; whilst also being part of arresting any small declines in passenger usage in Bexleyheath line stations. It opens stations up to the community, improves the environmental impact of rail and its stations, improves amenities, integrates better the existing services with other routes and prepares for new infrastructure. It uses positive, natural next steps such as the Bakerloo line extension and Crossrail extension to provide for high levels of service on the Bexleyheath line and other routes; as well as being well-designed for growth. The new franchise, investment in trains and stations, commitment to infrastructure spending and such will all enable high levels of connectivity and promote more rail use. Off-peak trains from Bexleyheath to Charing Cross could continue to be supplied in line with the wider train service specification; but with a roughly five-minutely Metro service to Cannon Street only at peak times. Commitment to the extension of Crossrail (and services thereafter) and the Bakerloo line to Hayes and Beckenham (and the resulting capacity freed) will be extremely positive to tens of thousands of passengers, many of whom will be new to rail. This is the sort of investment that is needed to stimulate local jobs and modal shift; and will prove entirely beneficial in the form of greater fare income. There is also consideration to be made for improved on-board experience as a result of better, longer trains. We believe this is a proportionate array of commitments, designed to support operationally sensible interventions. Examples include the mostly illogical yet alluring extension of Crossrail to Ebbsfleet when it would be Crossrail’s extension towards Medway is vital to the region. It would be more logical and proper to extend to Gravesend and beyond. Further investigation is needed, and therefore we require a post-election commitment to immediately study these possibilities, produce studies and then implement the results. It is, though, of pivotal importance that all infrastructure commitments be put in place such that all of the benefits of this document be realised in one: piecemeal construction or extension of some schemes which creates uncertainty within franchise periods and also prevents the effective ordering of an appropriately-sized rolling stock fleet and construction/amending of stabling and depot facilities for the legacy South Eastern network is not acceptable. We hope to realise this document’s potential rapidly and give it the political credence it deserves". As previously mentioned, this article is merely a brief summary of a document that runs over twenty four pages. You can download a PDF file of the whole, extremely detailed report by clicking here. Do let me know what you think - Email me at hugh.neal@gmail.com.

Security researchers have discovered a glaring security hole that exposes the home network password of users of a Wi-Fi-enabled video doorbell, called The Ring - now a very popular security addition to many households, which allows users to answer people knocking on their door from their mobile phone or web enabled tablet device, even when they are not at home. The kit acts as a CCTV camera, automatically activating if people approach the door, letting homeowners talk to visitors, delivery couriers and so on. There is an optional feature that allows the kit to hook up to some smart door locks, so users can let guests into their home even when they are not in. IT News website The Register have reported in the past that there is a serious problem with this system. Security researchers at UK consultancy Pen Test Partners were shocked when they carried out a security evaluation of the device. The major component is the doorbell itself, which comes with electronics and battery and is fitted outside the house. The electronics are connected to a back plate which attaches the doorbell to the wall and can provide power from a mains source. The device is secured outside a house using two commonly available screws, leaving it vulnerable to theft. The supplier - Ring offer a free replacement if the kit is stolen, so homeowners are covered in that scenario (at least). However that’s not the end of the problems with the device. An easy attack makes it all too simple to steal a homeowner's Wi-Fi key. To do this, hackers would need to take the kit off the door mounting, flip it over and press the orange "set up" button. Pressing the setup button puts the doorbell’s wireless module into a setup mode, in which it acts as a Wi-Fi access point.  The doorbell is only secured to its back plate by two standard screws. This means that it is possible for an attacker to gain access to the homeowner’s wireless network by unscrewing the Ring, pressing the setup button and accessing the configuration URL. The configuration URL is simple, so the attack could be pulled off using only a mobile device and a screwdriver. The device could be screwed back on afterwards, all without leaving any visible signs of tampering, Any hacker could walk up to a door fitted with a Ring smart doorbell, unscrew the unit, connect it to a mobile device with a web browser and download the house Wi-Fi password and settings, all without physically needing access to the inside of the house. Carrying out this very straightforward attack, the hacker would have complete control over the house’s wireless network. This may be an extreme situation, but it is a prime example of the law of unintended consequences. I guarantee we will be seeing more of this kind of issue in the very near future. Ring did issue a firmware update to try and prevent this exploit, but reports are that its effectiveness is patchy, and in many cases, householders have installed Ring doorbells, but at no stage have they updated the firmware - many owners incorrectly think the devices are "fit and forget" - which could not be further from the truth.


The dramatic photograph above was taken by a reader at the road junction of Danson Road and the A207, directly outside of the main entrance to Danson Park, and opposite Crook Log Leisure Centre. The photo was taken at just after 5pm on Monday evening. The photographer, who wishes to remain anonymous, wrote that the junction and the pedestrian crossing is extremely dangerous. Although they did not see the moment of the actual crash, they do comment that the van must have been travelling at considerable speed to have turned over. All three emergency services were in attendance, but the condition of the passengers and pedestrians is not currently known. At the time of writing, no local paper has picked up on the serious accident.

On Wednesday evening it was announced journalist and TV presenter Clive James had died as the result of Leukaemia. I used to see him regularly back in 1988 / 89. Then I was working as a trainee Quantity Surveyor on a very large commercial building site next to The Barbican Centre. Clive James had an apartment in the Barbican development, and I would see him on a regular basis. It did seem to me that for all his wealth and fame, he always appeared to look like he had slept the night in his suit, and had just got up to go out for breakfast to a local cafe. He was always very dishevelled and scruffy, but would alway say "hello - how are you?" in passing. He will be missed by many, myself included.  


The photos above were taken on Saturday lunchtime in the West Street / Chichester Wharf Park, which is being threatened with being built on by a private company owned by Bexley Council. Jonathan Batten, chair of the Erith Think Tank writes:- "Save West Street Park! A community-driven campaign to save key green space from problem-ridden housing development – sign the petition! The clock is ticking to save the West Street Park in Erith. After consultation with Erith and West Street residents, local community group the Erith Think Tank are launching a campaign to save this green space for the town. The creation of the West Street Park came out of a 1970's programme where the Council identified the southern side of West Street as a General Improvement Area (G.I.A.). Under legislation which dealt with the Council’s promoting of G.I.A.’s, Councils were able to acquire land so that it could be laid out as Public Open Space. The current location of the West Street Park was chosen to create a street that was more desirable with clear open space for communities to enjoy, and to provide respite down a busy road. The proposed development that Erith residents now object to go against these original ambitions. The objections are:- This would mean the loss of key green space in Erith. Aside from the Riverside Gardens there is very little open green space in Erith for communities to enjoy. It was a criticism of the Council’s Growth Strategy, by the GLA, that not enough provision for green space was allowed for in their regeneration plans. It is too costly to lose another Erith asset. The development includes no affordable housing allocation, in spite of there being a great need for this kind of housing. It will be sold at market value. Leader of Bexley Council Teresa O’Neill, indicated in an email to the Think Tank that BexleyCo will ‘prioritise’ Bexley residents when the properties are sold, but refused to expand on any detail about how this might be done. It would mean the removal of the majority of 20 mature trees to make way for the development and a car park; and the remaining trees would likely not survive because of the trauma to roots. It would mean the loss of light for residents living in the existing flats that surround the park. There are no provisions for additional civic infrastructure. In fact, there are no plans for new nurseries, schools or doctor’s surgeries in the whole of Erith, despite huge increases in population size owing to recent and in-progress new builds, many of them on West Street. This green space plays or could play an important role in connecting old and new Erith – at one end of West Street is the town’s oldest building St John’s Church, and at the other end the current town centre. Local residents also question the tactics being used to push this development forward; Residents have been given only days to have their say regarding the plans, as the deadline set by Bexley Council is 02 December. A public exhibition, held on one evening, was also poorly publicised and announced with little notice. In 2003, when the new build flats were constructed, residents were promised that this area of land would remain a park. In 2015, the council delivered consultation on about 30 pieces of land which included the West Street Park. At the time, local residents strongly opposed plans to build on the park. However, these consultation reports were never published and now cannot be located. The BexleyCo representative was not aware of this consultation, and didn’t deem it relevant. The developer is BexleyCo, a private company that is 100 percent owned by Bexley Council. This raises questions about accountability and use of public funds. In the Bexley Growth Strategy there is a commitment to enhance social and green infrastructure for the wellbeing of the borough’s residents and its environment; there is little evidence of this in the current proposals, and no information is available on the bigger picture for Erith’s regeneration, therefore making a valued judgement impossible. The Erith Think Tank are now asking for your support by signing the petition to save West Street Park. Your support will act as a record of objection to be put before the planning department". You can sign the online petition to save the much loved local park by clicking here


Now for the weekly local safety and security updates from Bexley Borough Neighbourhood Watch Association. Firstly the report from Barnehurst ward:- "Another week with no burglaries on Barnehurst Ward. All in all a very quiet week crime wise on the ward with only two crimes of relevance to report which both occurred in Eversley Avenue. The first was a theft of a catalytic converter in Eversley Avenue. This occurred at 11:35am on Friday 22nd November. A grey vehicle entered the road and three white males got out and lifted the vehicle before removing the catalytic converter. They left when disturbed. The suspect's vehicle's registration began LD09…….. There was also a theft of pedal cycle in Eversley Avenue which occurred between 9:20am and 5:20pm on Saturday 23rd November. The cycle was locked up at the end of the road but was taken along with the lock. On a positive note the roll out of Smartwater kits in Eastleigh Road has almost been completed. We will be informing you soon of the next road to receive the kits. The next community contact session will be coffee with cops at Barnehurst Golf course which will be held at 11am on the 5th December". Belvedere ward:- "There was a recent burglary in Eardley Road in which entry was gained via smashing glass in the rear door of the property (having accessed the rear garden via an adjacent alleyway). Several items of jewellery were taken from the property. This incident took place between 5pm and 10pm on Saturday 23rd November. The team have been conducting hi-visibility patrols around several areas of the ward this week in an effort to prevent burglaries. We have been distributing crime prevention and home security literature in the areas patrolled – most recently Upper Park Road, Calvert Close, Heathdene Drive and Elmbourne Drive. We will continue this activity in the weeks leading up to Christmas and the New Year. We have been informed that Smartwater (property marking) is now more widely available. If you know of anyone that is interested in this, please contact the team on 0208 721 2050 or via email at belvedere.SNT@met.police.uk. Our next Street a Week meeting has been arranged for Saturday 7th December, from 6pm in Tyeshurst Close". Bexleyheath ward:- "Tuesday 19/11/19 1130/1200 Purse Stolen from bag inside The Works Bexleyheath. Thursday 21/11/19 1200/1300 Theft of Mobile Phone – Stolen from table by way of distraction in Chin Chins Coffee Shop. Friday 22/11/19 1105/1300 Purse Stolen from bag in either Bon Marche or Card Factory from elderly female. Please ensure that doors and windows to properties are locked and secured with keys (lift the handle and turn the key in the lock) where applicable – revisit home security and lighting now the dark lights are coming. Please be careful with purse/wallets whilst out shopping, make sure they are secured inside your bags with a zip type handbag. The team have been busy stopping youths causing ASB and with cannabis. They have also been involved in plain clothes operations and arrested several shop lifters. From Member of the Public - in Church Road - A resident of Church Road has reported that on Tuesday 26th November at approx. 1.45pm two workmen knocked on his door to ask if they would get a parking ticket for parking in the road. They claimed that they worked for Marshalls and the Council had sub contracted them to install drop kerbs, but had not provided them with a parking permit. The resident told them that they would get a ticket if they parked without a permit and advised them of where they could park. The men named 'Tony & Steve', then proceeded to try to persuade the resident to have his drive pressure washed for several hundred pounds! 'Tony' is described as white, 5'11' aged in his 50/60's , dark hair with a goatee beard. 'Steve' was of slim build, had dark hair, clean shaven and in his late teens/early 20's. Both had local accents and drove a white pick up truck with a 3 part ladder resting on the top of the cab". Crayford ward:- "On Thursday 21st November between 8.50-8.55 a sandy coloured rucksack was stolen from a silver Peugeot estate whilst parked in Iron Mill Lane junction with Woodfall Drive. Items inside the rucksack included wallet, bank cards, oyster pass/train pass. The cards have since been cancelled but had been used at cashpoints in Crayford. Please always ensure you put all items in your vehicle out of sight and lock vehicle securely, sometimes it may be better to take the items with you. On Thursday 21st November at 12.19, a Samsung S8 was stolen from McDonalds. The victim had placed their phone on the table, directly in front of them, they were approached by a Spanish looking male aged about 35 years and of medium build who placed a paper over the phone whilst speaking to the victim and removing the phone with the paper before walking away. Please keep your phone in your hand or out of sight, people tell me they could give chase but this is not really likely to be a successful outcome. A bicycle was stolen from a rear garden in Crayford Road on Thursday 14th November at around 1am, neighbour heard a loud bang but didn't see the suspect. A catalytic convertor was stolen from a cab parked in Wolsey Close on Friday 22nd November between 10.00-13.50. A silver BMW 1 series was broken in to at Tower Retail Park on Saturday 23rd November at 3.20, it is unknown what they stole but the window was smashed to gain entry. A bicycle was stolen from a shed between 21.00 on 14th November and 6.30 on Friday 15th November in Maiden Lane. A drink driver was detained at Tower Retail Park after crashing his vehicle at 1.20 on Saturday 23rd November". Erith ward:- "Once again we are experiencing a high number of Theft from motor vehicles in the Erith area, please see below, we have had 10 in just this week. We have been out on the ward this week posting motor crime leaflets to residents in areas targeted and also placing leaflets on cars and posters in parking blocks. Most vehicle crime is preventable. It can take as little as 10 seconds for a thief to steal something from your car. The best way to protect your belongings is to lock your car whenever you leave it. Other things you can do include: •Removing everything from the car; don't even leave a jacket where it can be seen •Closing the sunroof along with the windows when you leave •Not storing things in the boot; take them with you •Storing car ownership information in your home, not your car •Having a routine to ensure you always take the keys out of the ignition •Taking removable stereos and sat nav equipment with you •In addition, using secure (theft resistant) number plates can make your plates less attractive to thieves". Northumberland Heath ward:- "A burglary took place in Bedonwell Road sometime between 1745 and 2345 on Friday 22/11/2019. Entry was gained via smashing the rear pation door window. The house was ransacked and a secured and locked gun cupboard was broken into but the weapon not taken, only cash. Number plates were stolen from a car in Carlton Road overnight on Sunday 24/11 into Monday 25/11. If you would like secure number plate screws, please contact the team. CCS dates for December will be sent out in the next few days.  PC Tom Brown has now left the team and the police and he will be missed. Once we know details of his replacement we will let everyone know. Please bear with us during this time as there is only PC Lucy and PCSO Lorraine covering the ward with assistance from neighbouring teams". Slade Green and Northend ward:- "A burglary took place during the evening of Sunday 24/11 and early morning of Monday 25/11 in Wallhouse Road. It is believed that the victim left their door open as there were no signs of forced entry. A handbag with purse, cash and keys was taken. Victim has changed their locks. Please ensure all doors and windows are closed/locked before going to bed or going out. On Tuesday 26/11/2019 PCSO Mark attended the Welcome CafĂ© at St Augustines church and engaged in conversation with the many attendees. On Wednesday 27/11/2019 PCSO Mark attended Peareswood Primary school and gave a talk to year 6 pupils around the importance of evidence so they can use this in their writing lessons. On Monday 02/12/2019 at 12pm, Mark will be attending Slade Green Seniors Cinema club Christmas event at the Community Centre with Adam from Erith SNT, where the Mayor has also been invited. On Tuesday 03/12/2019 residents from the new estate being built on the old Linpac site at the dead end part of Slade Green Road, are coming to the office to meet Mark and Claire from N.Watch to discuss a new watch for the estate. Watch this space. Hopefully we will get some images from all these events to post on Twitter where we can be found @MPSNorthEndRY. Finally we would like to say congratulations to Sandra Fox who has become our new Ward Panel Chair". Thamesmead East ward:- "Vehicle Crime - Southmere Drive Monday 18/11/19 between 9am – Wednesday 20/11/19 12pm Victims vehicle was parked in the communal garage suspect/s entered the vehicle by means unknown. An untidy search of glove box resulted in the communal garage key fob being stolen. Kale Road Thursday 21/11/19 between 6:30 – Saturday 21/11/19 2:52pm Victims tyres have been slashed by suspect/s unknown for the second time in one week. Overton road Sunday 24/11/19 between 11pm – Monday 25/11/19 2:18pm Victim parked vehicle which is in trade outside home address. Victim forgot to remove the trade plates from vehicle, these were stolen by suspect/s unknown. Maran Way Sunday 24/11/19 between 10pm – Monday 25/11/19 2pm suspect/s have removed Catalytic Converter from victims Toyota Prius. Try to park so that the convertor can't be easily reached by potential thieves. Vehicles that sit high above the road are particularly vulnerable. Having your car broken into and losing your things to thieves can be very distressing. Here are 10 simple steps you can take to keep your vehicle and contents safe. 1. Always lock it.  2. Close windows and the sun roof to prevent ‘fishing' 3. Secure your number plates with tamper-resistant screws. 4. Fit locking, anti-tamper wheel nuts to secure alloy wheels.  5. Secure anything that's on the outside of your vehicle. 6. Take it with you or hide it. 7. Hide electrical items and leave no clues. 8. Take your documents with you. 9. Park in well-lit and busier areas. 10. Choose your car park wisely". West Heath ward:- "Sadly we have suffered three burglaries on the ward this week. A substantial amount of cash and gold jewellery was stolen from a property in Elmstead Crescent. The victim was out between the hours of 3pm – 23.10pm on Saturday November 23rd. and returned to find the front door open and a locked door within the house damaged. An untidy search of the property was conducted. A burglary took place in Knowle Avenue between Friday November 22nd 23.50pm – Monday November 25th at 7.10am when the victims' returned home from being away. The keys to a VW Golf were stolen along with the vehicle itself. The third burglary occurred on Monday morning in Clovelly Road, the victim woke up to find the front door open. A wallet containing credit cards and cash was stolen from a handbag left on the sofa. One theft of a rear number plate in Glenview on Tuesday November 26th between 9am – 5pm. Drop in surgery dates for the Christmas period will be displayed in the Bostall Library later on this week".

The end video this week features a progress report on the Quarry development by the builders The Anderson Group. Give it a watch, and send any questions to hugh.neal@gmail.com.