Bob Stewart Joins Councillors In Call for New Police Vehicle for Hayes, Keston and West Wickham

Member of Parliament for Beckenham & West Wickham, Bob Stewart, has joined local Councillors in petitioning the Deputy Mayor of London (Police & Crime) to fund a new Police vehicle for the Safer Neighbourhood Teams (SNTs) in the Wards of Hayes & Coney and West Wickham Wards to use jointly.

The SNTs have been working from Bromley Police Station since January 2022 after the Labour Mayor of London closed the Police base in West Wickham which was used by both sets of SNTs. This means that more Police time is being spent traveling to and from the Wards. Bob and the Councillors argue that a marked minibus would allow the SNTs to have a mobile base in the community and not be dependent on public transport.

Bromley Police currently has some vehicles which are assigned to certain SNTs as a priority but which can be used by other teams. Hayes & Coney and West Wickham SNTs currently do not have a vehicle assigned to them. The petition calls for a minibus to be added to the Bromley fleet and assigned to these two Wards, especially as the Wards included more rural areas such as Keston Village which has a limited bus service.

Launching the petition, Bob Stewart said:

“Across the Beckenham Constituency, we have a number of superb Safer Neighbourhood Teams who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe. Along with the local Councillors, we want to ensure the Police have the proper resources and equipment to do their jobs and provide a visible presence in the community. That’s why I am calling for an additional Police minibus to support our hard working officers.”

Alexa Michael, a Councillor for Hayes & Coney Hall Ward, which covers Keston Village said:

“Keston has a limited bus service and is a distinct village. It is not a place whereby the team can work from a Police base in Bromley. My ward colleagues and I are very grateful to Bob Stewart for his help and support on this campaign. A new vehicle for the team would really help them continue to work more effectively across the local area.”

Sign the petition at

Councillor Challenges Southeastern on Hayes Line Carriage Reduction

Hayes & Coney Hall Ward Councillor, Thomas Turrell, has written to Southeastern Railways to challenge the operator about an apparent reduction in the number of carriages on its trains from Hayes to Charing Cross since the timetable change in December 2022.

A number of rail users have complained about services being more crowded since the December timetable changes. The timetable changes saw the popular direct Cannon Street services axed against the wishes of local people, Councillors and Member of Parliament Bob Stewart. The Councillors and MP had petitioned against this unwanted change.

Councillor Turrell has now written to Southeastern to ask why the number of carriages has been reduced and for confirmation that they will be increased to pre-December 2022 numbers. Councillor Turrell highlighted that at October’s Public Transport Liaison Meeting, Southeastern had claimed the capacity on the railway would remain the same and not decrease.

Councillors have also joined Bob Stewart in calling for the restoration of the Cannon Street services on the Mid-Kent line, claiming that the timetable changes are not working. This follows chaos at London Bridge station on 25th January when a trespasser elsewhere on the line caused cancellations and delays across the London South-East rail network. With more commuters being forced to change at London Bridge as a result of the timetable changes, your elected representatives are calling for the restoration of the direct Hayes to Cannon Street service to prevent this from recurring.

Thomas said:

“These timetable changes are making journeys more difficult. Overcrowding on the remaining services and the recent chaos at London Bridge are proof of this.  It is time that Southeastern admit they have got this wrong and restore the direct Cannon Street services on the Mid-Kent line immediately. Almost 3,000 people signed our petition calling for these changes to be stopped before Christmas.We continue to collect signatures for their restoration, but local residents can be assured we are not giving up on getting these disastrous changes reversed.”  

Councillors Welcome New All-Electric 119 Bus

Hayes & Coney Hall Ward Councillors, Andrew Lee, Alexa Michael and Thomas Turrell have welcomed the new fully electric bus on the 119 bus route through the area.

The new modern design includes USB charging ports in the back of seats. As an electric vehicle, the bus also runs more quietly, which will make the route less disruptive for local people.

Councillor Thomas Turrell commented:

“This modern and quieter bus is great news for both passengers and those living along the 119 route. It is also beneficial for the local environment and air quality to have more cleaner buses operating in the area.” 

CAA Rejects R03 Runway Approach

Credit: campbell

Councillors Andrew Lee, Alexa Michael and Thomas Turrell have expressed their disappointment in the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) decision to reject Biggin Hill Airport’s proposals for an alternative runway approach  named R03 which would have reduced the number of aircraft flying over areas such as Keston Village and Coney Hall.

Biggin Hill Airport, Bromley Council, local campaign groups and Councillors supported the concept of using the R03 approach to the airport because it would have reduced noise and disturbance for local residents. However, the change would have impacted nearby Gatwick Airport negatively. The CAA has been investigating and consulting the changes and their impact. They published their findings in December 2022 which included the decision to reject the request.

Councillors Alexa Michael said:

“All three Ward Councillors are extremely disappointed with in this decision. We know that many residents of Keston Village will also be disappointed and frustrated, as the plans for the R03 runway approach would have dramatically decreased the number of planes flying over their homes. We will continue to work with Council officers, Flightpath Watch and the airport to find a solution to this long-running issue.”

Bromley Joins Legal Challenge to Mayor’s Drivers Tax

Conservative-run Bromley Council has joined with a number of other outer London Boroughs in a legal challenge to the Mayor of London’s extension of the so-called Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), which is set to take effect from August 2023.

In July 2022 the Mayor announced plans to extend the zone, which sees drivers of non-compliant vehicles charged £12.50 per day, to cover the whole of Greater London. The proposals were then put to a public consultation over the summer of 2022. The responses of the consultation, published in November 2022, showed that 60% of overall responses were against the extension, with 80% of Outer-London businesses also opposing the move. Despite this huge opposition, the Mayor announced he would be moving forward with the extension in August 2023.

Bromley and the other Councils have now launched a legal challenge to the decision and are seeking to examine the legal basis for the Mayor’s decision. The vast majority of the roads in Outer London are managed by the Local Councils instead of Transport for London, leading to question whether the Mayor can impose a camera network on these roads without the Council’s consent.

In a statement released on, Leader of the Council, Colin Smith, explained:

“Our complete opposition and cynicism as to Mayor Khan’s rationale for expanding ULEZ is well documented. In light of the widespread ongoing public interest on related matters, I thought it might be helpful to outline the council’s latest position.

“The decision to blatantly ignore a significant majority opinion of Londoners who responded to TfL’s consultation exercise, based on the highly questionable, selective and incomplete findings of a research paper commissioned by TfL themselves, simply cannot be allowed to pass unchallenged.

To that end Bromley Council, along with Bexley, Harrow and Hillingdon are currently examining the legal basis of the decision and have now formally served a Pre Action Protocol letter on the Mayor’s office and TfL seeking further information to demonstrate the lawfulness of the decision they have made.

“Whilst we all support the call for cleaner air, it should be noted from the latest authenticated data to hand that Bromley already has amongst the cleanest air in London and indeed, that Bromley’s air remains cleaner than that of any of the Boroughs already ensnared within the existing ULEZ scheme.

“It is also the case, that local asthma sufferers recorded the lowest incidence of attacks requiring hospital admission and long may that remain the case and improve upon further as drivers slowly but surely trade in or retire their petrol and diesel vehicles at the end of their serviceable, lives for Green and Hybrid vehicles.

“We all support that too, but it rather misses the point.

“The ‘scheme’ isn’t actually about air quality in the final analysis. The stealthy, unstated and cynical intention remains, under the guise of ULEZ, to erect a network of traffic cameras across the whole of the Capital which can then be used at the flick of a switch to introduce road price charging for all.

“Whether that is a good thing, or bad thing, clearly depends on your point of view, but it should at least be fully debated and publicly scrutinised as a policy initiative in its own right, rather than slyly slipped in through the back door under a false agenda as a fait accompli.”

Biggin Hill Airport Lease Change Rejected by Council

(Left) Councillors Michael and Turrell met with the Airport CEO earlier this year on a tour of the airport where they challenged him on the concerns of local residents. (Right) Councillors Lee and Turrell attended the meeting of the local campaign group, Flightpath Watch.

In November, Bromley Councils’ Executive vote to refuse an application from Biggin Hill Airport to amend the terms of their lease, and allow spare seats on planes to be sold. The plans cause anger in the local community and as a local Councillor I have received hundreds of emails from concerned residents.

The airport has been the council’s tenant since 1994 where a lease was agreed which set out who was permitted to use the airport. If the Airport wish to make changes to this they must make a request to the Council. The latest application form Biggin Hill Airport followed a previous application that was refused in May 2021. The latest application differed in the detail of the suggested altered wording.

However, the Executive took the decision that the changes would not be in the interest of the borough and refused the application. Biggin Hill Airport have indicated that they will challenge the decision in court. Your local Councillors; Andrew Lee, Alexa Michael and Thomas Turrell will keep residents updated on this.

You can read the Councils statement at

Beckenham and Coney Hall Tennis Courts Set for Restoration with LTA Investment

Tennis Courts across the borough are set to receive thousands of pounds worth of investment to restore the courts, improve security and enable online bookings. This is part of a £30 million nationwide investment in improving the nations tennis courts, jointly between the Department of Culture, Media, Sport & Digital and the Lawn Tennis Association.

Croydon Road Recreation Ground, Kelsey Park and Coney Hall Recreation Ground are the three sites in the Beckenham constituency which will benefit from the funding, with Church House Gardens and Kings Hall Road courts just outside the constituency also set to receive funds.

The improvements, approved by Bromley Council’s Environment Committee will fund:

  • Church House Gardens – £65,515 will be used to resurfacing the courts, reconstructed area, removal of rigid nets, fencing repairs, along with installation of equipment to improve safety, security and management of the site.
  • Coney Hall Recreation Ground – £59,875 for the resurfacing of courts 1 to 4, replace fence posts, and also installation of new equipment to improve safety, security and management of the site.
  • Croydon Road Recreation Ground – £8,000 for the installation of new equipment for improving safety, security, and management of the site.
  • Kelsey Park – £4,000 for the installation of new equipment for improving safety, security, and management of the site.
  • Kings Hall Road – £4,000 for the installation of new equipment for improving safety, security, and management of the site.

Councillor Thomas Turrell, who represents Hayes & Coney Hall Ward said:

“This is welcome and fantastic news. The tennis courts are popular and well used. Additionally, the Friends of the Coney Hall Recreation Ground have put in a bid, with the support of local Councillors, to create transform the remaining courts. The investment in the tennis courts will help ensure the recreation ground can continue to be loved and enjoyed by the community for years to come.”

Councillors and MP Seek to Save Cannon Street Rail Services

Residents are set to lose their direct services to the City of London where many people work.

With the support of Bob Stewart MP and neighbouring Ward Councillors, the Councillors for Hayes & Coney Hall Ward are calling on Southeastern Railways to reverse the decision to remove services to Cannon Street from the Hayes (Mid-Kent) line from the 11th December 2022.

In September, Southeastern published their new timetable to take effect from December which included a number of changes across the area. Unfortunately, these included the removal of the Cannon Street services, which is to reduce use of a busy junction near Lewisham so that more services can be provided elsewhere. However, Councillor Lee, Michael and Turrell are frustrated that Hayes and Coney Hall Ward residents are losing services with no acknowledgement of the inconvenience and no without consultation.

The Councillors have set up a petition calling on Southeastern to reverse the decision to remove the Cannon Street Service.

Bob said:

“These timetable changes are a real mixed bag of news. On one hand I am delighted the long-running campaign to restore the Blackfriars service has been successful but am disappointed in the removal of the Cannon Street trains. Many people have bought or rented homes to live on the line and to have that direct access to the City. Removing the link will have a ripple effect and lead to more crowded journeys on buses and other train services.”

Hayes & Coney Hall Councillor Thomas Turrell, who works in the City of London, added:

“Removing this service will cause huge changes to people’s journeys. This is a major change to the services provided locally and Southeastern should have held a public consultation on their plans so that the views of local rail users could be taken into account. That is why we are petitioning Southeastern to reverse this change, we encourage people to sign the petition to show Southeastern the strength of feeling on this.”

Sign the petition at

Councillor Thomas Turrell on Southeastern’s timetable announcement

Thames Water Works – Addington Road

Councillors have been notified of traffic diversions which will be place for two weeks while Thames Water carry out some work. Details below:

Thames Water will be relaying a resident’s water service on Addington Road, West Wickham from Monday 22nd August for up to two weeks. The works have been split into two phases.

Phase 1 – The residential slip road between Croydon Road and Layhams Road serving properties 77 Addington Road to 133 Addington Road will be closed to traffic outside 81 Addington Road from Monday 22/08 for approx. one week. Traffic will be diverted into the opposite ends of the slip road during the closure period.

Phase 2 – Temporary traffic signals will be in place on the main road part of Addington Road, between the junctions of Croydon Road and Layhams Road from Friday 26/08 for one week. Thames Water have agreed to manually operate the signals during peak times.

Councillor Turrell Objects to 25m Commonside Phone Tower

Councillor Thomas Turrell has submitted a formal objection to the telecoms tower proposed for Commonside Car Park; citing concerns about the height, proximity to houses, loss of parking and damage to green spaces in a conversation area as the core reasons. In July Councillor Turrell met with residents in the affected area to listen to their concerns and about the alternative site residents would like looked into.

The planning application, submitted by an operator is for a “25m lattice tower (painted green) on concrete base supporting 6 no antennas (height to top 25m), 1no 300mm dish and 1no 600mm dish, together with ground-based cabinets within a compound formed by a 2.4m palisade fence together with ancillary development thereto.”

Following a meeting with residents, and communication with the Keston Village Residents Association, Councillor Turrell has submitted his objection making the following points:

Out of Character: The size of the mast (25m) is inconsistent with the conversation area and would be out of character with the area. Having spoken to residents I am aware they would be more supportive of the mast in a different location such as the car park between Baston Road and West Common Road which is further away from the properties.

Impact on parking: There are already a number of parking issues along Commonside. The Common itself is an important green space enjoyed by local people with two popular venues – Daisy Grey and the Greyhound pub opposite the green. This proposal would reduce parking in the Commonside Car Park and therefore increase strain on local parking infrastructure.

Damage to green spaces: This proposal would see trees and other greenery removed from Keston Common. Keston Village is part of a conversation area so that the character of the village can be protected.

Access to the Footpath: The equipment at its housing at the base of the tower could also restrict access to the footpath between the common and the car park. This could make visiting and enjoying the common more challenging for some in society which I why I am opposing this application.

Keston Village does suffer from poor phone signal. Councillors have not submitted an objection to the tower proposed for Westerham Road at the other side of the Village as this is set away from properties. Residents have also highlighted the car park between Baston Road and West Common Road as an alternative site for such a tower in recognition of the need.

Councillors have also called in the decision to ensure it is heard before one of the Councils’ Planning Committees and not decided behind closed doors. As Councillor Michael sits on a planning committee, she must remain impartial on this matter.

Councillor Turrell said:

“I thank residents for taking the time to meet with me and discuss their concerns. I also thank them for the thoughtfulness of identifying an alternative site and not dismissing the need to improve mobile connectivity in the Village. I have made a submission as the Ward Councillor to object to the current proposals and have discussed the matter with officers at the Civic Centre to address some of the other concerns raised with me. We have called in this decision to ensure it is a decision taken by elected councillors on the planning committee in public and not decided behind closed doors. The planning process must now run its course, but I hope the applicant will take the time to look at the alternative site proposed by residents before proceeding further with this proposal.”

This post was written on the 27th July 2022. Since the post was written and video filmed (in August) the application has been withdrawn. Councillors continue to monitor for if a revised application has been submitted, which has not happened at the time of publication.

Serving Hayes, Coney Hall, West Wickham Common and Hayesford Park