Greenwich Time: Sssh, don’t mention the Charlton Lido collapse

Coming through a letterbox near you (if you live in the borough of Greenwich), it’s another instalment of All The News They Want You To Hear.

What could be more heartwarming on a beautiful sunny day like today than a photo of council leader Chris Roberts with some children? Perhaps he’s angling for a new title, that of Father Greenwich.

What got the Dear Leader out to play wicket-keeper? Only news that Charlton’s tatty Hornfair Park is to get a long-overdue revamp to bring its sports facilities up to date after Greenwich Council got some cash from the Olympics and the London Marathon Trust. Much of this isn’t new, actually – plans to bring Hornfair Park up to Green Flag status were trumpeted in the pages of GT almost a year ago, on this map promoting the borough’s “Olympic legacy”.

So what’s this in this week’s paper?

“It also hopes to land more cash to modernise the park’s historic lido and turn it into a heated 50-metre pool.”

But what did Greenwich Time say in March 2010?

“Charlton Lido: A major revamp, to include a deep water and scuba diving training centre.”

So what has happened in the 11 months since? Ah, yes, the collapse of the plan to turn Charlton Lido into a diving centre. As far as anyone knows, Open Waters Investments Limited, the company which failed to come up with the cash for the works, still has the lease for the lido. Until the council can sort that out, nothing’s happening with Charlton Lido. No mention of any of this in the council’s propaganda weekly, of course, with its relentless focus on the positives and blissful ignorance of the negatives.

Of course, I hope the council can sort the Lido farrago out – and it seems they’re fairly confident of getting there, from what I can gather. There’s talk of it being turned into something similar to London Fields Lido – coincidentally operated by Greenwich Leisure Limited, which was operating the Lido before the ill-fated Open Waters deal.

But when it finally does get fixed, hopefully Greenwich Council will be as honest with us about the diving centre fiasco as it will be effusive about the great new pool to come.


  1. It’s nice the council’s propaganda rag continues to pump out positive stories, but any news on actual cuts forthcoming after April. I know of people receiving their notices now, but hardly any information is coming out. Day after day other councils are publishing their cuts but nowt here. Today on BBC News Manchester has published a full list on their website according to the BBC –

    Anything in Greenwich except tractor production up 50% this month?

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