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  • Writer's pictureLauren Dingsdale

Councillor diary - September 2022

September was an unexpectedly quiet month. Whilst my diary was originally packed to the brim, the demise of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (and the mourning period which followed) meant the month shaped up quite differently to how I expected. Like many people I suspect, the month was one filled with reflection – both on the life of our late Queen and the other losses we might have personally suffered in recent (or not so recent) years.

Remembering Her Majesty – and the Proclamation of a new King

The country was in mourning, and the Royal Borough of Greenwich was no exception. As a new councillor, who had no idea what Operation London Bridge would entail at a local authority level (I had, of course, read that Guardian article a few years earlier), I was very impressed at how smoothly things came together.

I personally attended the Special Council Meeting to give thanks for Her Majesty’s Reign and I also attended the Proclamation of Accession of the New Sovereign, led masterfully by our current Mayor, Leo Fletcher. I also took the time to sign one of the many Books of Condolence, and reflected on what a remarkable life Her Majesty had led. No other Sovereign will ever see such a long and varied reign, and we were very lucky to have had her.

Lauren Dingsdale signing a Book of Condolence at Woolwich Town Hall

Take me to Church

This month I contacted nearly every faith leader in the ward, to try to arrange a meeting. I think it’s really important for councillors to try to make those connections across the ward – as often community leaders (in churches, and otherwise) have direct and unique insight into the thoughts and concerns of local residents.

Lauren Dingsdale and Reverend Lucy Wright

This month I managed to meet with three (Reverend Lucy Wright from Eltham Park Baptist Church; Reverend Caroline Risdon from Eltham Parish Church: St John the Baptist; and Father John Fricker at Christ Church Priory).

All had very similar concerns coming through from their congregations – the cost of living and rising energy bills this winter, are unsurprisingly at the front and centre of everyone’s minds, and all were concerned about the impact that was having on people’s mental health.

Please do visit our Greenwich Supports website to make sure you are getting all the help you are entitled to, and get in touch with your councillor directly if there is anything else you think we could be doing to help.

Don’t mind doing for the kids

As regular blog readers will know, I’m still on maternity leave from my day job, and so little one and I have been exploring the ward, and seeing what is on offer for families with young children.

We have been along to Rhyme Time at Eltham Library several times this month, and it was lovely to see how well attended it is. The Library has lots of great (and free) activities for all ages, so do check out their timetable here. We also took a friend who was visiting from Middlesbrough to see Eltham Palace, we are so lucky to have it on our doorstep.

Lauren and baby visiting Eltham Palace

I mentioned in last month’s blog how important I think Children’s Centre’s are, and so I was delighted to be invited to South Greenwich CCs Partnership Meeting this month, to find out everything they have in the pipeline and the issues they are facing. If you have young children, please do pop by and see what they have on offer – there is even a Panto trip coming up! You can see the latest timetable here:

South CCs Autumn Timetable sep -dec 22 Version 8
Download PDF • 470KB

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