SHOULD the man in charge of tourism in Greenwich be telling the world he has to hide his wallet before visiting Woolwich?

News Shopper is calling for the resignation of Neil McCollum after he posted the following message on social media website Twitter: “Guest Appearance in Woolwich today. Wonder if it has changed. Mental note, make sure wallet is not visible.”

The message has subsequently been removed from his Twitter account and Mr McCollum’s posts have been protected, meaning only those with permission can view them.

Louise Camish, is 26 years old and lives in Woolwich responded to the tweet and said: "That is disgusting. Absolutely disgusting. I walk around with my change loose in my pocket and my bank card hanging out of my pocket sometimes."

“There are always a few people wherever you go, but there is no need to single out Woolwich."

The video producer added: “Evidently he and the council of Greenwich don’t want anybody coming to Woolwich and I don’t understand that.

“Obviously the riots were a setback for the entire country, not just for Woolwich. We should take pride in Woolwich.”

News Shopper: Neil McCollum's tweet

Deputy Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Nigel Fletcher, said: “I think the lesson from that is that everyone has to be very careful what they tweet, particularly if they are in a position in the council where they are promoting tourism in the borough.

“It clearly wasn’t a wise thing to say, even in jest. I hope that the person responsible has learnt a lesson from it.”


Neil McCollum has been the head of tourism in Greenwich since September 2008.

He also has responsibility for a number of projects relating to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games including the development of the Greenwich 2012 Volunteer Plan and the overall Visitor Welcome Strategy for 2012.

Mr McCollum is currently the head of policy and advocacy for the Tourism Management Institute (TMI) and also chairs the British Destinations Category Group for Heritage Cities.

Prior to his position at Greenwich Council, Mr McCollum had been tourism manager at Canterbury City Council and at Thanet District Council.

His Twitter profile reads: “Beach dwelling surfer, partial to the occasional bottle of wine and a good curry, but maybe not together. The tweets are my personal views only.”

Ten places to visit in Woolwich

1. Firepower Royal Artillery Museum

2. Royal Artillery Barracks

3. The site of the London 2012 Olympic Shooting and Archery venue

4. Woolwich Civic Centre

5. Big screens at General Gordon Square and Beresford Square

6. Woolwich Market

7. The Thames Barrier

8. Greenwich Heritage Centre

9. The Town Hall

10. Woolwich Gurdwara

Response from Greenwich Council

A spokesman for the council said: "Greenwich Council would like to apologise for any offence this message may have caused.

"The matter is being investigated in accordance with our HR procedures. As such it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this stage."

- When News Shopper approached Neil McCollum for a response he said it was up to the council’s press office to respond.

- We put in a request to the press office on Friday morning...and again on Monday morning, but again received no response.

- We therefore decided to approach Woolwich Riverside councillor, John Fahy. Surely he would want to step in to defend his ward and constituents.

- Sadly he said he was not in a position to comment either.

- Woolwich Common councillor, Beverly Jones, did not answer her phone. When she returned the call, upon hearing "Hello News Shopper" she said “sorry wrong number” and hung up.

- Finally, the office of Councillor Rajwant Sidhu, who also represents Woolwich Common, told News Shopper he was not in and that all press inquiries needed to be directed through the press office.