Category Archives: Council

Beckenham High Street Improvements Update 17th July 2107

Improvement Works Update, Monday 17th July, courtesy of F M Conway, contractor for the works:

Work for weeks commencing the 17th July 2017. 

·         At the corner of Church Avenue and High Street; kerb, drainage and traffic signals work will continue.

·         Kerb laying and paving continuing north from Church Avenue.

·         The construction of the new planters on Beckenham Green will continue.

In order to ensure the completion of Phase 2 on programme Conway’s will be working extended hours to 8pm and at the weekend.

For reference, in the week commencing the 24th July 2017 the paving adjacent the planters is anticipated to commence.

Previous completed works 

·         Footway excavation and sett laying between Belmont Dry Cleaners and The Dance Studio.

·         Construction of the parking bays between The Dance Studio and Lloyds Bank.

The completed scheme 

Feedback from the community has revealed that there are some incorrect preconceptions about the scheme :-

    • The asphalt at Thornton’s Corner is a temporary measure until the granite paving is laid.

    • The High Street will not be pedestrianised. Improvements will however greatly improve the pedestrian environment with wider pavements, improved lighting and more and better road crossings.

     • After the improvements are complete the High Street will revert to two way traffic as prior to the improvements. The larger widenings such as the North-West corner of Thornton’s Corner have been designed to enable the largest road vehicles to comfortably navigate the corner in both directions. Changes to the vehicle stop lines and traffic signalling will enable vehicles to use the reduced road space with minimal impacts on traffic flows.

   • No existing bus stops will be removed from the High Street. All bus stops will however be improved and will become fully disabled accessible. In order to create sufficient waiting space for passengers some bus stops will be located on what is the highway at present. 

    • The scheme will not introduce shared surfaces where the footway and road surface will be on the same level. Throughout the scheme a kerb will be retained and the pedestrian areas will be a traditional pavement above vehicular areas except at crossing places. 

Further information can be found at www.bromley.gov.uk/beckenhamimprovements

A Big Thank You 

Increasingly the project team and FM Conway have been receiving compliments about the improvements and the site contractors. Thank you for these. It is also much appreciated that businesses are working with and acknowledging that the site contractors of FM Conway are endeavouring to minimise disruption as much as possible.

We are aware that the works do cause noise and disruption. FM Conway will try and minimise the space for materials storage outside Beckenham Green as soon as possible. In the meantime thank you for your patience if you are affected.

About the scheme 

The scheme is designed to make the town more attractive to visitors and shoppers by day and night. A major objective is to support existing businesses and encourage new businesses to invest in the town centre. The High Street investment improvements will create a more attractive and safer pedestrian environment. Improvements will include new paving and road surfacing, improved and attractive lighting, improved road crossings and bus waiting facilities, better facilities for cyclists and improved amenity spaces including Beckenham Green.

Extensive planning and consultation has been carried out since the scheme was proposed in 2012. The cooperation and input of the ‘Town Centre Team’ and its members including the Beckenham Business Association, The Beckenham Society and the Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association is gratefully acknowledged, with their input key in shaping the nature of the scheme.

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Bromley Council response to Grenfell Tower

We have written to the Leader of the Council, Cllr Carr and MP Bob Stewart to find out what the Council is doing to ensure all blocks in Bromley Borough are safe. We have also requested the Council website be updated as a matter of urgency as there is currently no information in regard to the Council’s response to Grenfell nor how concerned residents can make contact.

Cllr Carr has confirmed that an immediate review of fire and safety standards of all properties (Council and Housing Providers) in which Bromley residents are placed in Borough or beyond is underway and ongoing. Cllr Carr has also confirmed the Council website will be updated and that Bromley Council has offered help and support to Kensington Borough.

Our MP Bob Stewart has confirmed that central government has issued an instruction to all local authorities to check whether all high-rise buildings in their area have complied with recent fire orders.  Further central government are identifying all high-rise buildings owned or managed by Housing Associations or Local Authorities and conducting a fire safety review of all buildings similar to Grenfell Tower.

 

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Beckenham Improvements work update 5th June 2017

Improvement Works update courtesy of F M Conway contractor for the works.

Work for weeks commencing the 5th June 2017. 

Foundation are continued to be laid for the planters on Beckenham Green. The structures have been designed in consultation with the Councils Arboriculturalist. Each root will be boxed in a pipe/chamber to protect it with leverage for growth.

Preparation works for new kerb alignment between 106 High Street and 62 High Street will continue with trial holes on Thornton’s Corner, to confirm the location of underground services.

It is anticipated that Transport for London will carry out modification works to the traffic signals on the corner of Albemarle Road and the High Street.

Previous completed works

  • Kerbing and paving on Bromley Road will be completed.
  •  Foundations for the planters on Beckenham Green have been commenced.

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Beckenham Improvements work update 15 May 2017

Improvement Works update courtesy of F M Conway contractor for the works.

Work for weeks commencing the 15th May to the 26th May 2017

  • Kerbing and paving on Bromley Road will be completed.
  • Work on the planters on Beckenham Green will continue.
  • Between 47-71 High Street paving will continue in front of the shops.

 Previous completed works

  • New kerbs and paving have been laid on Bromley Road between the Nat West and the Public Halls and between 47-71 High Street.
  • The trees stumps outside 47-71 High Street have been removed and the tree pits have been sealed over.
  • Labour intensive hand digging excavation around the Beckenham Green Plane trees has been commenced.

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Beckenham Improvements work update 8 May 20

Improvement Works update courtesy of F M Conway contractor for the works.

Work for week commencing the 8th May

  • Kerbing and paving on the roadside half of the pavement will be completed on the south side of Bromley Road. The existing tree pits will be surfaced to allow pedestrians to use the front portion of the paving to enable the excavation in front of the shops.
  • Work on the planters on Beckenham Green is underway.
  • Kerb laying will continue around the corner from the High Street to Bromley Road, Church side. To facilitate the works the crossing point will be temporarily moved slightly towards the junction will St Georges Road.
  • Between 47-71 High Street excavation and paving will commence on the pavement area in front of the shops. The completed tree pits, will be temporarily asphalted until tree planting in the autumn.

Previous completed works

  • New signs on the approaches to Beckenham have been installed.
  • Road marking at Beckenham Junction crossroads has been completed.
  • New kerbs have been laid on Bromley Road between the Nat West and the Public Halls and between 47-71 High Street.
  • Trees outside 47-71High Street have been removed.

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Beckenham Improvements Work update 01 May 2017

Improvement Works Update, Monday 1st May  courtesy of F M Conway, contractor for the works:

Work for week commencing the 1st May

  • Work continues on both the corners of Bromley Road junction with the High Street and outside 47-71 High Street. The tree trial pits outside 41-71 will be filled until planting in the autumn.
  • External contractors will remove the two trees outside 47-71 High Street.

Note: Our Association contacted the Council this morning for clarification regarding the trees, advice as follows:

The two trees to be removed will be replaced with six trees Elm Trees. If the two trees were not removed there would not be enough space for the six new trees to be planted. The Council tree officer originally suggested the removal of the trees as they are considered to be located too near the buildings. Also if the trees were retained they would end up in the middle of the planned widened footpath .

Previous completed works

  • Paving and new kerbs were continued to be laid on both sides of Bromley Road.
  • Kerb realignment in front of 47 to 71 High Street almost complete.
  • Trial holes for new trees in front of 47 to 71 High Street have been dug and it has been confirmed that 6 trees can be planted.
  • Road resurfacing at the High Street / Albemarle Road / Rectory Road / Southend Road junction completed.
  • New advance notification signs have been erected on lampposts approaching the High Street.

 

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Beckenham Perception of Safety Survey – 7 quick questions – please assist

Bromley Council , the Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association and the Beckenham Town Team are working to re-qualify Beckenham’s Purple Flag Award (find our more about Beckenham’s Purple Flag status below).

We need your help to understand perceptions of the night-time economy with in the Purple Flag area and feelings of safety. Most grateful if you can take the 2 minute survey below

Beckenham Purple Flag – Perceptions Survey

Beckenhams Purple Flag Story

In February 2014 the Beckenham Town Centre Team (chaired by the Copers Cope Area Residents Association) decided Beckenham should try to achieve the Purple Flag award: the evening economy was often a source of complaint for local people, and the Purple Flag is a great way to make improvements and change perceptions.

The Purple Flag is awarded by the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM) to towns and cities that can demonstrate excellence in managing their night-time economy. Similar to the Blue Flag for great beaches and the Green Flag for great parks, the Purple Flag is for towns with diverse and safe evening and night-time economies.

Over the following 12 months a small steering group involving Bromley Council Trading Standards, Bromley Council Licensing, Beckenham Business Association, West Beckenham Residents’ Association, Churches Together, Street Pastors, a representative from Beckenham’s licensed premises and, of course, the Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association worked together to make this idea a reality.

In January 2016 Beckenham was awarded the Purple Flag, and at the time was one of only 42 places in the country to have been awarded it. What impressed the awarding body most was the input and collaboration from the two residents’ associations representing local people. The ATCM was so impressed it has asked for Beckenham to be used as a case study to demonstrate the importance of resident groups in town centre management. Beckenham is the first town to be awarded the flag as a result of joint efforts from residents, businesses, and the Council – usually applications are driven by the council or businesses.

The ATCM were also impressed by the diverse offering of Beckenham’s evening economy. They especially liked the programme of events at St Georges Church, the mix of old pubs and new bars and the variety of restaurants. The Alleyway Naming Project  (delivered by the Copers Cope Area Residents Association with much support from the Town Centre Team) was another area that sparked their interest and demonstrated a local interest in heritage and the plan to make these alleyways attractive and safer, especially at night.

So what did it take to get the flag?

There were many walk-arounds by volunteers from 5pm to 1 or 2am to assess how well the town centre coped with increased clientele at the weekend in the restaurants and bars. Local people and some patrons, door personnel, and bar/restaurant staff were surveyed for their views on Beckenham’s night-time economy. The key areas of concern included:

  • Dispersing crowds on Friday and Saturday nights – noise and potential for anti-social behaviour.
  • Queues for taxis, and the Kebab shop queues after the clubs had shut.
  • Radio and CCTV capacity to ensure the police and licensed premises could deal with any anti-social behaviour quickly and efficiently.
  • Street cleaning of the town centre through the weekend evenings to ensure the town remained pleasant for all.

As part of the application for the Purple Flag the following was achieved:

  • The radio system was upgraded and all licensed premises signed up ensuring licensed premises and the Police could remain in contact throughout the night.
  • A taxi queuing system was introduced by New Regency Cars to streamline the queues for taxis on Friday and Saturday nights.
  • Taxi marshalls have been deployed at Regency cars and at the taxi rank outside Marks & Spencer.
  • Door staff have been retrained to spot and aid vulnerable people leaving the clubs (eg those who have had too much to drink).
  • The Kebab shop on The Bridge now employs a door-person on Friday and Saturday nights to keep order.
  • The location of CCTV was reviewed to ensure the views were maximized.
  • Wellbeing packs were provided to all late night establishments to ensure they had the minimum kit to deal with revellers who had over indulged.

The most telling sign of success was last Christmas when the number of incidents related to late night drinking fell significantly in Beckenham whilst the rest of the borough saw an increase.

Purple Flag status lasts for two years and the town will need to maintain and hopefully improve standards in order to re-qualify.

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Beckenham Improvement Work Update 3rd April 2017

Improvement Works Update, Monday 3rd April, courtesy of F M Conway, contractor for the works:

 

Beckenham Improvements work update

Work for the week ahead 

Work on the raised footway between the Nat West and the steps will be completed.

Customers requiring the ATM will have to access this via the steps on the lower section of the High Street.

Works underway outside Kinleigh Estate Agents will be completed by early next week together with the work on the opposite corner adjacent to Beckenham Green. All barriers will be removed at both of these points by early next week.

Work will continue along the section of the High Street between Albemarle Rd and Bromley Rd but will temporarily stop just short of the Church Entrance in preparation for Easter celebrations.

Work to replace the pedestrian refuges at the junction of Rectory Road and High Street will commence as part of the upgrade work, in preparation for resurfacing the road at the end of April.

Work on the lower section of the High Street below the steps next to Coppers will start week beginning 10/4 but residents and retailers affected will be notified in advance to discuss access requirements to the shops and private car park entrances and potential alternative arrangements.

Second week update report

Beckenham Junction works have proceeded in line with expectations. Paving and kerbing work is now almost complete.

The High Street arm of the junction has now been adjusted bringing the approach to the traffic lights back to two lanes, with the traffic light re-sequenced. Traffic queuing has generally been reduced and traffic continues to be able to turn right into Southend Road from Albemarle Road. Work on the Thai Restaurant Corner and around into Rectory Rd has been completed and all barriers have been removed. Work on the raised footway between Coppers Restaurant and the Spa have been completed and the steps reopened.

About the scheme

The scheme is designed to make the town more attractive to visitors and shoppers by day and night. A major objective is to support existing businesses and encourage new businesses to invest in the town centre. The High Street investment improvements will create a more attractive and safer pedestrian environment. Improvements will include new paving and road surfacing, improved and attractive lighting, improved road crossings and bus waiting facilities, better facilities for cyclists and improved amenity spaces including Beckenham Green.

Extensive planning and consultation has been carried out since the scheme was proposed in 2012. The cooperation and input of the Beckenham Business Association and the Copers Cope Resident Association is gratefully acknowledged, with their input key in shaping the nature of the scheme.

Sign up for regular newsletter updates

Businesses and interested residents who want to follow the progress of the work over the next 18 months can sign up for the regular updates that will be sent. Visit www.bromley.gov.uk/beckenhamimprovements to do this where the latest detailed traffic diversions are listed including information about bus routes and a link to TfL’s website www.tfl.gov.uk/BusChanges.

Thank you for your understanding and support

Every effort is being made to minimise disruption and your understanding and support is appreciated in advance if there are unforeseen issues which need to be resolved. If further specific information is needed, please contact Conway’s Helen McConnell who can be contacted, for help and advice. Helen, the Liaison Officer is the scheme contact for businesses and residents. Helen can be contacted on Mobile Tel 07917 518 529 or email Beckenham@fmconway.co.uk if needed.

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Conway’s Update on Beckenham Improvement Works – 26 Mar 2017

The Beckenham Improvements Works first week concluded . The first week of an initiative to improve Beckenham High Street has successfully been completed. The scheme is designed to make the town more attractive to visitors and shoppers by day and night. A major objective is to support existing businesses and encourage new businesses to invest in the town centre.

The High Street investment improvements will create a more attractive and safer pedestrian environment. Improvements will include:

  • New paving and road surfacing
  • Improved and attractive lighting
  • Improved road crossings and bus waiting facilities
  • Better facilities for cyclists
  • Improved amenity spaces including Beckenham Green

Much planning and consultation has been carried out since the scheme was proposed in 2012. The cooperation and input of the Beckenham Business Association, Copers Cope Resident Association and West Beckenham Residents Association is gratefully acknowledged, with their input key in shaping the nature of the scheme.

Businesses and interested residents who want to follow the progress of the work over the next 18 months can sign up for the regular updates that will be sent. Visit here to do this.

Beckenham is most definitely open for business and the Council’s contractor, Conway, will be liaising directly with local businesses when work is being carried out directly outside a retail business so that the exact nature of the work is understood. At all times, Conway will seek to minimise disruption with traffic arrangements throughout the work specifically designed to ensure that the town can continue to be accessed and visited.

First week update report

Work has proceeded in line with expectations, with work continuing to be finished at the Beckenham Junction and the traffic management measures installed and working reasonably well.

The Council has been monitoring traffic conditions to make sure that vehicles can access the town centre and as part of this, traffic engineers are currently examining whether further measures can be taken to minimise congestion and potential ‘rat running’. Specifically, reports about HGVs using The Drive are being investigated and the potential to rephase the traffic lights at Beckenham Junction are being examined following some reports of traffic queuing, affecting bus journeys and other motorists.

Work for the week ahead

Work on the raised footway between Coppers Restaurant and Spa will be completed by Monday of this week and the steps will be opened up. Excavation work will then take place at the corner of Bromley Rd with High Street by Nat West. Customers requiring the ATM will have to access this via the steps on the lower section of the High Street. .Additional work will be taking place at the junction of Albemarle Rd on the forecourt to Kinleigh estate agents.

Work on the Thai Restaurant Corner and around into Rectory Rd will be completed towards the end of the week, with all barriers then removed, bringing the approach to the traffic lights back to two lane traffic.

Work on the Church Green side of the High Street continues with kerbing being laid and some paving and therefore barriers will remain in place.

Traffic Diversions and Bus Diversions are now in place

Inevitably, traffic management will alter slightly as the scheme progresses, with the objective to minimise inconvenience. Current arrangements are outlined on the Council’s website including information about bus routes and a link to TfL’s website.

Thank you for your understanding and support

This is an exciting time for the town as work gets underway and although every effort will be made to minimise disruption, some disruption at times will be inevitable and your understanding and support is appreciated in advance. If further specific information is needed or it appears that there is an unforeseen problem when the work is underway, Conway’s Helen McConnell can be contacted, for help and advice. Helen, the Liaison Officer is the scheme contact for businesses and residents. Helen can be contacted on Mobile Tel 07917 518 529 or email Beckenham@fmconway.co.uk if needed.

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Benedict House, Copers Cope Road: Proposal for a Residential Support Centre, February 2017

Two applications are currently being considered by London Borough of Bromley’s planning officers proposing the change of use of Benedict house, a former nursing home, to a Residential Support Centre.

LBB’s Director of Housing has provided a briefing document, below, to answer some of the concerns that have been raised so far:

What is the Proposal?

Benedict House has recently been purchased by developers who are seeking to redevelop the site for high quality apartments. Time is required to prepare for redevelopment meaning that Benedict House is likely to be vacant for up to 2 years.  In the interim the developers have offered the opportunity for the LondonBorough of Bromley to utilise the building for up to 2 years for use as temporary accommodation to help meet its statutory rehousing duties.

Why is the accommodation needed by Bromley for use as temporary accommodation?

The number of households presenting at risk of homelessness has increased steadily in recent years. For the majority, the reason for homelessness is that they are experiencing difficulties in affording the increasing costs of renting or buying a home.  A reduction in new build accommodation, increase in private sector rents and changes within social housing has meant that move on housing options havedecreased and the numbers in temporary accommodation has risen to unprecedented levels. This has meant that to meet the level of housing need the Council has had to utilise costly forms of insecure nightly paid accommodation which frequently falls short of requirements in terms of location and quality.  The use of Benedict House for up to 2 years would provide much needed local temporary accommodation whilst longer term housing solutions are identified.

Who decides which people would be placed into Benedict House?

The Council would retain full control over nominations throughout the periodof use. This means that the Council would decide who is placed into the accommodation and for how long.

Would people be placed from outside of the borough?

No, as the Council controls who is nominated only those households with a local connection with Bromley would be eligible. These would be residents who live and/or have permanent employment within the borough.  Prioirty would be given to those households who currently live, work or have children in schooling near to, or on direct transport links to Copers Cope Road.

What type of People will be placed?

Local people, mainly families or couples, who have become homeless throughno fault of their own and to whom the Council owes a statutory duty to assist in rehousing. A full assessment would be undertaken before any household isnominated and only those households who have been assessed as able to fully maintain a tenancy independently where the need is solely for housing rather than support would be eligible to be placed into Benedict House. The scheme would not be open to those people who are deemed vulnerable requiring intensive support to be able to manage a tenancy because of their vulnerability, such as those with enduring mental health needs. The council has alternative specialist support schemes which provide more intensive support for these people.

Who will manage the schemes?

The scheme would be managed by Omega Mears. They already work with the Council sourcing and managing a number of temporary accommodationunits and have a long track record of successful temporary accommodationand tenancy management. It is proposed that 24 hour on site management is provided. Mears would also provide ongoing advice and support to residentsin partnership with the Council to assist households to secure settled accommodation and ensure that they do not become homeless again. For example helping to access employment for those who may not currently be in full time employment.

Would I be able to contact anyone if I had concerns or queries about the Scheme?

Yes, full contact details of the Mears staff and Council’s housing needs team would be made available to all local residents so that they would be able to make contact should they have any queries or concerns at any point.

What type of tenancies would residents have? Can you guarantee that they would have to leave at the end of the 2 years?

All residents would be signed up to a licence agreement. This is a non-secureagreement meaning that they would not hold any interest in the property or have any rights to remain in the long term. The agreement sets out residents’ responsibilities and the conditions they must meet to be eligible to stay in the accommodation. This includes their conduct and the conduct of any visitors to the scheme. As the agreement is not a ‘protected agreement’ it can be brought to an immediate end should any resident or their visitor breach these rules or the Council require vacant possession. In this way conditions can be actively enforced to ensure that the scheme operate successfully without disturbance or disruption for any other residents in the scheme or local community and can ensure vacant possession at the end of the period of use as temporary accommodation.

To view the applications, and submit your own comments, click on the links below:

16/05442/PLUD

16/05849/FULL1

Remember to include your name and address in any correspondence otherwise your comments will not be registered.

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Residential Support Centre / Hostel proposed on Copers Cope Road, January 2017

Applications have been submitted for proposed change of use of a former nursing home on Copers Cope Road to a Residential Support Centre.

Benedict House, on the corner of Park Road, was in use as a nursing home until last year, when it closed following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission which found it to be inadequate (click this link to read article in the Bromley Times last summer).
Omega Mears, a care service provider, proposes to lease the building from the current owner, Spring Capital Management, with the intention of using it as a ‘residential support centre’ to provide ‘accommodation, care and support services’ for ‘homeless families, vulnerable young adults and emergency housing requirements arising from healthcare needs and other issues’.
Two separate applications have been submitted: the first for a certificate of lawful proposed use (as a residential support centre) ; the second for a temporary change of use from a care home to a residential support centre.  We believe  the purpose of the second application is in case the first one is refused.  Both applications are supported by letters from Bromley Council’s Education, Care & Health Services department.
The letters from LBB EC&HS point to the fact, amongst others, that numbers housed in temporary accommodation has more than doubled in the last five years, hence the increasing requirement for facilities such as this, particularly for parents and children who have become homeless through no fault of their own.
No external alterations are proposed to the building and there is no increase in the number of bedrooms from when it was in use as a nursing home.  There are 41 bedrooms in total: 35 double, 5 single and 1 disabled.  30 bedrooms are ensuite.  Omega Mears have submitted a comprehensive Management Plan and the facility will be supervised 24 hours a day.
You can view both applications in full, including the Council letter and Management Plan, and comment on the proposals by clicking the links below:
CCARA has written to the assigned planning officer and ward councillors requesting  that an informal meeting, or drop-in session, is held by council officers and representatives from the service provider, for residents to gain a clearer understanding of the exact proposals and ask questions in order that an assessment can be made of any areas of concern before the application is considered by the Council’s Planning Committee.

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Beckenham Improvement Scheme – Open Day 20-21Jan 2016 – Speak to Bromley Council about the Scheme

consultat-flyer-20-jan

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by | 11/01/2017 · 21:15

Bowie Bandstand Restoration Project – show your support

Crowdfunding Poster front

Supporters can pledge a donation via the green button or by visiting;www.spacehive.com/bowiebandstand to show their support and also share the news.

View the plans of the bandstand when it has been restored.

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Beckenham Town Centre Improvements Update, including detailed drawings – May to June 2016

The last 2 months have seen significant progress on the detailed design for the multi million Town Centre Improvement Scheme. The scheme is coming together now and work is due to start this summer.

At the last Working Group updated designs were circulated and local people provided feedback. We recommend you read the complete minutes of the meeting at the following link:

Since then detailed construction drawings have been issued, these are not yet in Bromley Councils website, we have uploaded them below.

  1. Beckenham Green and Beckenham Junction
  2. Thornton’s Corner
  3. Bromley Road, High Street Junction (near Lloyds and St Georges Church)
  4. High Street, Fairfield Road junction (near Card Factory)
  5. High Street, Kelsey Lane Junction (near Zizzi’s)
  6. High Street, The Drive Junction (near Sainsbury’s)
  7. War Memorial

At the next working group meeting the construction drawings will be discussed in some detail and we will provide as much clarity as possible.  In the mean time we would appreciate your feedback on the construction drawings to chairman@coperscope.org.uk .We will also be requesting the Council undertake more extensive consultation on these now detailed designs with local people.

 

 

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Beckenham Town Centre Working Group March 2016

The minutes and supporting documents from the last meeting can be found at:

March 2016

Our association was most vocal on the Council’s inaction to pursue an Article 4 Direction for Beckenham Town Centre to remove the permitted development right to convert offices to residential without planning consent. Most office space has now gone in the High Street, the lack of employment in Beckenham will have an adverse affect on the local economy and the vibrancy of our town.

We also suggested that the paving samples be laid elsewhere in the High Street, outside Zizzi’s is a dark spot and it is hard to visualise how the paving will look along the whole High Street.

In regard to new street lamps we noted that along the main high street pedestrian space is an issue and that the most compact slim line lamp columns should be installed and where possible lights should be installed on buildings.

 

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Town Centre Improvement Update and Copers Cope AGM – 8pm Weds 30 March 2016, Beckenham Public Halls

Our Annual General Meeting is at 8pm Wednesday 30th March 2015, Beckenham Public Hall, Bromley Road, Beckenham.

Representative from the Post Office workers union (CWU) will provide information on the proposed closure of the Beckenham Post Office on Rectory Road. Bromley Council will be attending to provide an update on the TfL funded public realm improvement scheme for Beckenham Town Centre with an opportunity to ask questions afterwards. Local Councillors and our MP are expected to attend. All local people welcome.

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Beckenham keeps Town Centre Manager for 12 months longer

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.

R&R Town Centre Management Decision

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.

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Bromley Council CUT support to Beckenham Town Centre – comments by 17.00 Tues 26 Jan 2016

  1. Bromley Council propose to stop providing all support to Town Centres by removing Town Centre Manager (TCM) posts, including the TCM for Beckenham and Penge.  Bromley hope to implement a Business Improvement District (BID) where businesses pay a levy and manage their own Town Centre affairs in Beckenham and Penge as they have done in Bromley and Orpington. Usually BIDS are implemented whilst maintaining TCM support to ensure a seamless transition from Council support to the BID (this is how the Council implemented the BIDs in Bromley and Orpington). For Beckenham and Penge there will be no TCM for 18 months to 2 years until a BID is implemented and there is absolutely no guarantee Beckenham and Penge businesses will agree to a BID. We could end up with no TCM, no BID and a run down town centre. The Council are doing this at a time when Beckenham is just about to embark on its most significant public realm improvement in 30 years. The Beckenham TCM has played an integral part in the TfL funded improvement scheme for the last 3 years and to remove the TCM post just before work commences is madness.

Read more about the proposal that goes to the Renewal and Recreation PDS Committee next Tuesday 26 January 2016.

http://cds.bromley.gov.uk/documents/s50035959/Future%20of%20Town%20Centre%20Management%20and%20BIDs%20Development%20Strategy.pdf

http://cds.bromley.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=117&MId=5385

The Beckenham Town Centre Team (chaired by the Copers Cope Area Residents Association, and including the Beckenham Business Association, Beckenham Society, West Beckenham Residents’ Association among others) and the Penge Town Team have written the following letter requesting the Renewal and Recreation PDS Committee REJECT this proposal.

“This is a joint letter to you from the Beckenham and Penge Town Centre Teams with the support of our Town Traders’ and Business associations. We are writing to you because we believe that the changes proposed in Agenda Item 7d will be harmful to our town centres and in particular will make it more difficult for you to reach the agreed Council policy on Town Centre Development.

The Beckenham and Penge Town Centre Teams were formed from traders and residents to help pave the way towards the replacement of traditional Town Centre Management with BIDs, in accordance with council policy. We share and support your determination to make this process a success. However, we have been dismayed to learn that under this proposal both remaining TCM positions will be made redundant from April 2016. We have been working to your previous timetable which continued our traditional Town Centre Management for a further year. We appreciate that the replacement model of employing one dedicated BID officer on a 2 year fixed term contract will allow a greater focus on promoting the BID process but we believe that neither of our towns are currently in the position to take this forward without the expected support of a TCM.

The immediate loss of TCM risks undoing the achievements of recent years; the process of transformation will become self-defeating making the acceptance of a BID by local traders less rather than more likely. Neither of our local business associations are currently enthusiastic supporters and more direct work needs to be carried out. 

The justification for attempting to implement a BID without TCM support appears to be a belief that replacing a TCM with a dedicated BID officer will speed up the process. By changing your approach, you will in fact put the whole process in these towns at risk. History supports our contention. LBB successfully implemented BIDs in Bromley and Oprington whilst maintaining TCMs throughout the process. This is a formula that works, enabling the Council to drive through a BID and provide a seamless transition.

The scope of the proposed dedicated BID officer is unrealistic. It will not be possible for one person to successfully implement 2 BIDs (in Beckenham and Penge), be the liaison point for the existing BIDs (in Bromley and Orpington), provide phone TCM support by phone to businesses, Town Teams and other bodies (as suggested by Martin Pinnell) and manage any cross over from the Beckenham Public Realm Improvement and Penge NHB proposals. Put simply, having only one resource will not speed up the process.

The prosperity of a place is measured by its centre, whether this is a High Street or a small shopping parade. We believe the accelerated removal of all TCM support will result in lower standards. It will become more difficult to resolve issues arising from litter, commercial waste, street clutter, fly-posting, empty shops etc., and this will be detrimental to the amenity, vibrancy and prosperity of our towns. Convincing business to go into BID whilst simple issues go unresolved (as there is no TCM) will make the process more difficult and one BID officer will not have the capacity to assist.

We also question the Council’s timings. Support from traders is more likely after the current improvement schemes have been implemented rather than during a period of significant change. Our towns cannot be without TCM support during this period.

The report argues that only Beckenham and Penge have dedicated Town Centre managers implying that other places have no support. In fact, the TCMs have provided assistance for events, town initiatives, and streetscape issues in West Wickham, Chislehurst, Petts Wood and Biggin Hill amongst others. All these town centres will be disadvantaged by the proposals. Volunteers will not have the expertise nor the time to take on these responsibilities.

Town Centre Management is not just about Christmas lights, markets and town centre promotions; it is about improving local amenities for local people. Beckenham has recently been awarded the Prestigious Purple Flag for a well-managed night-time economy, having made changes that make Beckenham safer and more pleasant for revellers, businesses and local residents. It is the first place to achieve this status in the borough and one of only a handful if places in London. This aspirational achievement was product of the TCM and Town Team working together. The assessors were especially impressed by how TCM led this co-ordinated approach between council officers, police, businesses and residents associations and how well these groups worked together. It would be remiss of the Council not to support maintaining the Purple Flag whilst a BID is being set up.

The recommendation in the report asks you to support implementing BIDs in Beckenham and Penge by the withdrawal of TCM. You are being asked to make this decision before a feasibility study of the likely success of a BID in Beckenham and Penge (wholly different towns to Bromley and Orpington) has been undertaken. If this proposal goes through, the BIDs could fail simply because of lack of TCM support in the crucial build up period.

For our part, we support BIDs for our towns and want the process to be a success, To achieve this, we believe the Council should revert to the original plan to retain a TCM for a further year. Further funding is available to support the BID process and small amounts could be released from the TfL proposals for Beckenham and from the NHB proposals for Penge. Running both the TCM and BID for just one year would lead to a more positive outcome for the Council and for our towns. We call on the Scrutiny Committee to reject the officer recommendation in this report and ask for further consultation to develop a proposal which has a greater chance of success.

We hope you will consider our comments in the positive way they are intended and support our desire to make the BID process a success in both Beckenham and Penge.”

In the current climate we are concerned that all proposals to save money get the green light regardless of their chances of success. We encourage local people that are concerned about the loss to Town Centre Management support to voice their concerns asap by 17.00 Tuesday 26 January 2016 to:

  1. Your Ward Councillors
    • Clock House: Vanessa.Allen@bromley.gov.uk, Ian.Dunn@bromley.gov.uk, Sarah.Phillips@bromley.gov.uk
    • Copers Cope: Russell.Mellor@bromley.gov.uk, Michael.Tickner@bromley.gov.uk, Stephen.Wells@bromley.gov.uk
    • Kelsey and Eden Park: Alan.Collins@bromley.gov.uk, Peter.Dean@bromley.gov.uk, Diane.Smith@bromley.gov.uk
    • Penge and Cator: kathy.bance@bromley.gov.uk, Kevin.Brooks@bromley.gov.uk, Peter.Fookes@bromley.gov.uk
  2. The Renewal and Recreation Portfolio Holder and the current head of Town Centre Management: Peter.Morgan@bromley.gov.uk, Martin.Pinnell@bromley.gov.uk
  3. The Renewal and Recreation PDS Committee:  Ian.Payne@bromley.gov.uk, Michael.Rutherford@bromley.gov.uk, Douglas.Auld@bromley.gov.uk, Julian.Benington@bromley.gov.uk, Peter.Dean@bromley.gov.uk, Alexa.Michael@bromley.gov.uk, Neil.Reddin@bromley.gov.uk, Michael.Tickner@bromley.gov.uk, Angela.Wilkins@bromley.gov.uk, Anna.Begley@bromley.gov.uk
  4. Please also cc us in at chairman@coperscope.org.uk

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Bromley Council budget 2016-17, tell us your views

Message from Bromley Council

Dear Resident,

I am pleased to send you a link to an Update Special about giving your views as senior councillors set the budget for 2016-17.

Tell us what you think:

Fill in the online survey up until 6 December 2015 www.bromley.gov.uk/budgetviews

Contact your residents’ association – we will be meeting with representatives very soon. [Email us at chairman@coperscope.org.uk, we are meeting with the Council on Monday evening 30 November.]

Talk to your ward councillor or email leader@bromley.gov.uk.

Kind regards

London Borough of Bromley, Civic Centre

 

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Bromley Community Fund grants available from £500 to £3000

The Bromley Community Fund responds to the changing needs and hardships faced by local people. It sees local charities and community organisations as being at the forefront of tackling these issues. Priority for funding will be given to organisations who can demonstrate that they are responding to the most acute needs of our community.

In particular, applicants must be working in Bromley in one of the following areas:

  • Increasing educational achievement for disadvantaged young people
  • Supporting older people and their carers
  • Support for other vulnerable people and communities

The fund is currently open to applications for grants of  between £500 to £3000. For more information click on this link Bromley Community Fund.  Applications must be made by 5pm Monday November 30th.

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