COUNCILLOR Matthew Pennycook has today announced his resignation to the Chief Executive of Greenwich Council.
The move means that a by-election in the Greenwich West ward can now take place on the same day as the General Election in which Pennycook is standing to be the MP for Greenwich and Woolwich.
Cllr Pennycook's letter to Chief Executive John Comber says it has been an "enormous privilege" to serve as Greenwich West councillor but he has decided now "is the right time to stand down from the council in order to avoid the costs which might arise if a by-election has to be held after Thursday 7 May."
Pennycook was first elected as a councillor in 2010 and then re-elected at last year's elections. He was selected in December 2013 to be Labour's candidate at the General Election after incumbent MP Nick Raynsford announced he wouldn't be standing again.
The General Election takes place on May 7th.
Full text of Matthew Pennycook's letter to John Comber:
I am writing to let you know that I have decided to stand down as an elected member of the Royal Borough of Greenwich with effect from today.
As you know, my normal term of office ends in 2018. However, I have decided that now is the right time to stand down from the council in order to avoid the costs which might arise if a by-election has to be held after Thursday 7 May should the people of Greenwich and Woolwich give me the honour of electing me as their Member of Parliament at the forthcoming General Election.
It has been an enormous privilege to have served the residents of Greenwich West ward over the past five years and I’m incredibly proud of everything that we have been able to achieve together during that period. I very much hope to have the chance to continue to serve the area and its residents in the years ahead.
Lastly, can I thank you for your support during my time in office and ask that you please pass on my sincere thanks to the dedicated officers with whom I have worked over the past five years. Their support, advice and commitment to making our Borough a better place in which to live is appreciated enormously.
Cllr Matthew Pennycook
10pm update - response from Twitter
From fellow Greenwich West councillor, Aidan Smith
— Aidan Smith (@aidanmasmith) March 16, 2015
From Conservative Greenwich & Woolwich candidate, Cllr Matt Hartley
Labour candidate @mtpennycook resigns as Councillor to become MP. In other news, votes aren't counted until after the polls close on 7 May
— Matt Hartley (@MattHartley100) March 16, 2015
Despite rumours, didn't think @mtpennycook would actually go thru with it: quits as Cllr as thinks he'll soon be MP. Breathtaking arrogance
— Matt Hartley (@MattHartley100) March 16, 2015
From Charlton Lib Dems
Mixed reactions to Labour's Matt Pennycook resigning today 'in case' he's elected MP. Some say 'arrogance', others 'fair'. I say 'chutzpah'.
— Charlton Lib Dem (@CharltonLibDems) March 16, 2015
GREENWICH.CO.UK has today launched a new website all about one of this country's greatest heroes.
The dedicated Nelson in Greenwich mini website catalogues the connections in life and in death between Nelson and maritime Greenwich.
The centrepiece of the microsite is a brand new Nelson in Greenwich trail, detailing fifteen places to visit in Greenwich to see Nelson related statues, busts, memorials, plaques and more.
The trail, which is available to view on the website and as a printable download, also includes two of Nelson's Band of Brothers, Sir Thomas Hardy and Sir Thomas Boulden Thompson, along with his faithful servant Thomas Allen.
There's also details of streets and pubs named after Nelson in Greenwich and a section for new articles about Greenwich where long forgotten or untold stories about Nelson and his connections with Greenwich will be shared.
The first article is all about the astonishing scenes witnessed in Greenwich as thousands of people waited - sometimes impatiently, sometimes violently - to see the body of Nelson as it lay in the Painted Hall in January 1806.
More articles are planned over the coming months. The new site is now live at: http://nelson.greenwich.co.uk
The Royal Greenwich 2015 calendar celebrating the spectacular sights of the borough is available to buy now.
Greenwich.co.uk has produced the annual calendar for the third consecutive year, selecting photos from across Royal Greenwich.
The calendar features a tall ship which took part in this summer's regatta on the cover and inside there are photos of the Thames Barrier from a different perspective, Greenwich Park at summer solstice and a snowy Old Royal Naval College.
The view from Severndroog Castle which reopened this year also features and the King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery make a welcome return.
The calendar, which was printed in the borough, is available to or you can find it at a range of local retailers.
June 18, 2014 by Rob Powell
AN OAK tree planted in memory of Vice Admiral Hardy was unveiled in Greenwich yesterday.
The planting of the English Oak marks the 180th anniversary of the appointment of Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy as the Governor of Greenwich Hospital in 1834. He was the flag captain to Lord Nelson and it was to he that Nelson famously said "kiss me, Hardy" as he lay dying.
The tree, planted by the Nelson Society, is close to the old hospital mausoleum in the grounds of Devonport House under which Hardy was buried following his death in 1839.
The unveiling was carried out by Paul Ganjou, Chairman of the Nelson Society. The new leader of Greenwich Council, Denise Hyland and deputy mayor of Lewisham, Alan Smith joined Richard Upton, CEO of Cathedral Group - owners of Devonport House - at the event.
Richard Upton commented: "I am delighted Cathedral Group has been able to plant the Hardy oak tree near to Hardy's burial place. It was a pleasure to welcome the new leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich and the deputy mayor of Lewisham to Devonport House. I look forward to there being a closer working relationship between the two neighbouring boroughs."
From L-R: Cllr Alan Smith (Deputy Mayor of Lewisham), Cllr Denise Hyland (Leader of Royal Greenwich) and Richard Upton (CEO of Catheral Group)
Local MP Nick Raynsford and St Alfege's Chris Moody were also in attendance, along with representatives from the Nelson Society, Devonport House, Greenwich Hospital, the Greenwich Foundation, the Greenwich Society, the 1805 club and local businesses.
The blessing of the oak was carried out by Revd Susan Blackall from the Old Royal Naval College chapel.
Almighty God, bless this oak,
that it may grow in strength, beauty and resilience
and that it may inspire the lives of all who pass this way
with the example of Vice Admiral Sir Thomas Hardy,
in his heart of oak
and in his loyalty and love
for his friend, Lord Nelson, and for his country,
and for you, most steadfast and loving God:
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
THE FLAGSHIP of the British navy arrived at Greenwich at lunchtime today.
On a grey, wet day, the 176-metre long HMS Bulwark transited through the Thames Barrier, passed the O2 and Old Royal Naval College and then moored at Greenwich Shipping Tier.
The visit by Bulwark, under the command of Captain Dean Bassett, is one of a number of events this year to mark the 350th anniversary of the Royal Marines. The ship will also receive a visit from the First Sea Lord who is to present the awards for the Royal Navy's prestigious Peregrine Trophy photo competition.
The ship will open its doors to the public on Saturday and Sunday this weekend. Tickets for the chance to explore the Albion-class assault ship were quickly snapped up once available but there will be exhibitions and presentations in the Old Royal Naval College grounds this weekend for landlocked spectators.
For Greenwich-based Royal Marine Callum Tacey, 22, the visit to London is a proud chance to come home with the ship he works on.
"When you get the opportunity to come in to London, it's a good feeling to be at home again, whilst at work too." What landmarks did he look out for as the ship came in to London? "The view of Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs reminded me of home - it would have been the Cutty Sark but we were facing the other way!"
His role on the ship is as a Signaller. "We maintain comms with the boats, make sure the radios work and we pass information on up the chain of command such as contact reports or if there are casualties. That all gets sent up the line through us," he explains.
With the First Sea Lord on board, a spectacular air and seaborne capability demonstration will take place on Thursday evening between 8.30pm - 8.45pm.
Once she leaves Greenwich early on the morning of June 3rd, Bulwark will head to Portsmouth for a capability demonstration off of Southsea and then sail to Normandy for D-Day commemorations.
After being turned at Blackwall, the ship was towed past the O2.
She passed the Old Royal Naval College.
The stern of HMS Bulwark
Crew member Agostine, ship's captain Dean Bassett and Royal Marine Callum Tacey from Greenwich
Greenwich as seen from HMS Bulwark