Local pressure has prevailed and Beckenham will retain its Town Centre Manager (TCM) for 12 months longer. Beckenham and Penge were set to lose their Town Centre Managers at the end of March, see our previous post.
The Beckenham Town Centre Team and Penge Town Centre Teams turned up in force at the Renewal and Recreation PDS Committee on Tuesday 26 January 2016 where the fate of the remaining Town Centre Manager for the whole borough was to be decided. Representatives from our Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association, West Beckenham Residents’ Association, Beckenham Business Association and the Penge Town team sat in the public gallery. Having previously written to all the Councillors on the committee as well as all local councillors we were pleased that the points we raised were put forward.
The committee was split, however there was enough support from three Councillors (Cllrs Auld, Michaels, & Wilkins) in agreement with us that a Town Centre Manager (TCM) must be retained during the feasibility and planning for a Business Improvement District (BID) and any transition period to a successful BID. Cllr Wilkins counter proposed for the TCM to be retained for 12 months, this proposal was carried and we are pleased to announce that subsequently the portfolio holder has agreed to retain the TCM for 12 months and find alternative funding for an officer to take the BID forward. The decision can viewed at the link below.
We would like to thank Cllrs Auld, Michaels, and Wilkins, make special mention of Cllr Brooks from Penge and Cator who made an in person representation to the committee on behalf of both Penge and Beckenham and Cllr Morgan the portfolio holder.
12 months is most definitely an improvement on the previous proposal of no TCM, however we would have preferred a commitment to keep the TCM in place until day one of the BID as happened in both Orpington and Bromley. We will continue to monitor the progress of the BID and TfL public realm improvements. If in 12 months time neither have progressed we may well need to lobby to retain our TCM for longer.