Leader of Greenwich Council, Councillor Chris Roberts, has tonight thanked local residents for their support and called for more assistance for local small businesses impacted by yesterday's disturbance.

He said: "Over 500 local residents have already offered to assist the Council in cleaning up the borough and helping get businesses back trading. The large number of residents only serves to highlight the strength of community spirit that exists locally. It also shows the vast majority of people are opposed to the despicable acts that took place last night.

"Council clean-up teams have been out since Tuesday morning and were allowed to clean parts of the Town Centre on Tuesday afternoon. However many other parts of Woolwich remain a crime scene and it is not possible for us yet to secure access to complete the clear up.

"However I'm very keen to look at ways in which local residents can help the Council an our local businesses. The Council will be discussing the needs of small business operators to determine whether they have insurance, can manage the loss of cash flow and what assistance we can provide to them to help them put shattered shops back together. One immediate way to help is for local residents to sign up to our Environment Champions scheme so that over the next few weeks they can help us to help the small businesses within the Town Centre.

"In the meantime, the Council will be joining other London Councils to press for financial assistance from Government to help small businesses manage this difficult period. The nation helped the banking industry a few years ago and we believe small businesses deserve similar assistance."

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