What is 853?

Greenwich Peninsula
Our part of London is going through huge change – but few understand it and hardly anybody reports on it

“I’ve not given up my policy of commenting on 853 leaks and I’m not going to start tonight.”
– Greenwich Council leader Danny Thorpe, September 2019

Thanks for reading 853. The site offers news and explores issues concerning Greenwich borough and the wider south-east London area.

It goes to council meetings, it reads the documents, puts in Freedom of Information requests, and talks to people – the stuff the local press gave up doing off its own bat a long time ago. It’s a proud member of the Independent Community News Network.

And most importantly, its readers now help fund it. Without this funding, the site couldn’t continue and much of what is here would go unreported. If you’d like to join the growing band of 853 supporters, visit Steady, PressPatron or Patreon to become a member.

The bulk of what’s 853 concerns Greenwich borough with the odd Lewisham story thrown in here and there where it’s of wider interest, with occasional coverage of stories in Bexley or across the water. It looks at politics, transport, infrastructure, planning and more. Historically this was a blog with a general slant towards the north and west of the borough, now we have a wider remit.

Most stories are written by editor Darryl Chamberlain, but there’s more to 853

News: Stories you won’t read elsewhere, from council decisions to investigative pieces.
Comment: This site started as a personal blog, and will still offer an editorial opinion from time to time.
Mercury Man: The much-loved 1990s column from the then-leading local paper is back, pulling no punches while highlighting the good things in our communities.
Viewpoint: Got a strong view on an aspect of life in our part of London? Submit a Viewpoint piece and get your voice heard.
Community Spotlight: Are you part of a community group? Community Spotlight aims to promote the work of non-profit groups and other good causes in our patch.

With time and more funding, the aim is to expand the site to include more writers and a broader range of stories.

853 is written and produced in conjunction with a sister site, The Charlton Champion, which details community news and happenings in the SE7 area.

This site aims to report robustly, but fairly. It adheres to the Editors’ Code of Practice. (Got a complaint? Mistakes happen, so get in touch and we’ll try to fix things. For more serious issues, see our complaints procedure.) It’ll get off the fence when it has to, but will always remember there different sides to an issue. 853 believes in honest and transparent public affairs, and sustainable, liveable communities. Not too much to ask for, eh?

Ottie and the Bea, Blackheath
Journalism classes for seven-year-olds in Blackheath. See, anyone can write this stuff nowadays.