Category Archives: Uncategorized

Government to take over Southeastern Rail Services from 17th October

Andrew, Alexa and Thomas at Hayes Station

The Government have announced that as of the 17th October 2021 the Department of Transport’s “Operator of Last Resort” (OLR) will take over the management of the London Southeastern Franchise. Both Southeastern and the Government have said that tickets and services will be unaffected by this change.

Southeastern currently operate services on both the Hayes line and some services, such as the service into London Victoria from Bromley South. The decision to remove the operator followed a Department for Transport (DfT) investigation which identified £25 million of taxpayers’ money had not been reported or repaid since 2014.  While the money has now been recovered, the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, has taken firm action in stripping London Southeastern of the franchise.  The OLR will take over and prioritise the punctual running of services, also preparing for the Government’s wide-ranging reforms to railway operations in Great Britain. 

Commuter and 2022 Conservative candidate for Hayes & Coney Hall, Thomas Turrell, commented:

Many commuters like myself have long felt let down by London Southeastern railways. To be frank the service has just not been good enough so a new operator with a renewed focus on improving the service is good news for local rail users. Along with my fellow local Conservatives we will be continuing to push for the restoration of pre-pandemic services as soon as possible and hope the new operator will achieve this quicker than Southeastern were prepared”.

Conservative run Bromley Council Wins National Award for Care and Health

The Executive Portfolio Holder for Adult Care and Health, Councillor Diane Smith, has paid tribute to staff working at Bromley Council after winning a National award for Care Services and Health in Bromley at the highly regarded  MJ Achievements Awards on Friday 17th September 2021.

The London Borough of Bromley won the ‘Health and Care Integration Award’ for two initiatives developed in the Borough: the first being the improved way residents are discharged from hospital with the appropriate care in place to support their recovery, whilst the second related to the extended support given to care homes across the Borough during the Covid 19 pandemic.

The local initiatives were introduced by the ‘OneBromley’ partnership which comprises of Bromley Council, Local NHS providers, Commissioners, and the Voluntary Sector, and which seeks to bring these groups together to collaborate and deliver more effective and joined up services for local people.

As part of this partnership, the first initiative established a single point of access’ (SPA) , hosted by Bromley Healthcare. The SPA   brings together services to help to ensure arrangements for timely hospital discharge and the provision of appropriate support and care packages to help residents to recover and regain their independence. 

Bromley has one of the highest populations of older residents in London, so the second project – the ‘Integrated Care Home Support Programme’ – aimed to get the best support to the Boroughs 53 care homes during the pandemic. This saw a multi-agency professional network established to provide proactive support to the Boroughs Care Homes to prevent the spread and impact of Covid-19 through Care Homes locally.

Councillor Diane Smith, Portfolio Holder for Adult Care and Health said:

“I am absolutely delighted and so incredibly proud of everyone across the Borough who has been involved with these two projects.

These have been very challenging and unprecedented times. The incredible staff here at Bromley Council who have alongside our local Health and Care partners worked so hard on the front line to make sure we had an effective response to ensuring   timely hospital discharge, support to our care homes and effective joined up services which could react quickly to the emerging pandemic, quite rightly need to be applauded. 

I am therefore thrilled that the work and commitment that was made by staff across the partnership to ensure the best for Bromley residents has been fully recognised with this National award. 

Looking ahead we will continue to bring together and work more closely with health and care service providers and the voluntary sector to deliver better and more effective care for our residents.”

Local Residents Rail Against Lineside Development

A five storey block of flats proposed for a site behind Bourne Way and Prickley Wood has generated a large number of objections from local residents.

The development would be on the site of the Bromley & Blackheath Harriers’ clubhouse behind Bourne Way, next to the railway line, comprising 36 flats. Although the site itself is around 2.5 metres below street level, the top storey would still extend above the rooflines of neighbouring houses. However, the developer points out that the nearest residences in Bourne Way and Prickley Wood are more than 30 metres (100 ft) away, and those in Saville Row 18 metres (60ft).

Concerns have also been raised about the adequacy of the current access road, which runs between 58 Bourne Way and Woodgrange Court; a traffic light system is proposed for this route.

As your local councillors we have also been approached by many residents mainly objecting to the plans. At the time of writing we are awaiting a committee date, though the meeting is currently expected in late February or March.

TFL & Covid Woes lead to stalled traffic schemes

Many residents will have been disappointed at the news that the planned 20mph limits around Hayes’ schools have been shelved following Transport for London (TfL) withdrawing the necessary funding.

Unfortunately TfL’s parlous financial state before the Coronavirus outbreak proved too much and funding the costs of the lockdown meant that many projects have been cancelled. This also includes the more controversial and tentative plans for a ‘School Street’ along George Lane, which was about to enter the early consultation phase.

On a brighter note, some funding has been made available for measures to encourage socially distanced walking and cycling, but for now the other schemes have been put onto the back burner.

Undeterred, as your local councillors we will continue to support ideas to improve the quality of life and travel for our residents, where such schemes are practical, affordable and have the broad support of the community.

Road Resurfacing List Confirmed For 2018-19

Hilldown Road 02
Hilldown Road, set for resurfacing this coming year – and not a moment too soon!

The road resurfacing schedule for 2018/19 has been confirmed.

Roads for resurfacing are listed based on information such as technical inspections, input from residents (including the FixMyStreet website) and requests by us as your local councillors.

The roads on the list this year are:

Abbotsbury Road
Bourne Vale (part)
Cheriton Avenue
Courtlands Avenue
East Way
Five Elms Road
Hawthorndene Road
Hayes Gardens
Hayes Lane (part)
Hayesford Park Drive
Hilldown Road
Holland Close
Northbourne
Oakmead Avenue
Ridgeway
South Way
Westland Drive

Other roads outside but close to the ward:

Church Road (Bromley Common & Keston)
Jackass Lane (part) (Bromley Common & Keston)
Hayes Road (part) (Bromley Town)
Westmoreland Road (part) (Shortlands)

The full report, as presented to the Environment scrutiny committee is under item 6b here.

We don’t yet know precisely when each road will be done and there is always the chance of some slippage in the schedule if, for instance, we experience a hard winter when resources have to be diverted into emergency repairs elsewhere.

Occasionally some rescheduling may also take place as a result of the need to coordinate with utility companies if they have some planned (non-emergency) works of their own, to avoid a newly resurfaced road being dug up just months after it’s been laid. Similarly, non-emergency works requested by utilities shortly after a relaying will also usually be denied.

Hayes Farmyard Development – The Latest from Rookery

Following the submission of the plans for redeveloping the farmyard at Hayes Street Farm, your local councillors have been in pressing owners Rookery Estates for clarity on the future of the rest of the land.

The open farmland is not part of the development plans, and as ‘virgin’ green belt is heavily protected against future development regardless of whether the farmyard plans are approved or not. Understandably though, many residents are still worried about what may happen once the farm is no longer operating in its current form.

Rookery tell us that they “envisage having horses on the farm for the foreseeable future although these will be live out horses. No new livery buildings are anticipated. The fishing lake has been let for 10 years so [we] expect this to continue into the future”.

On the future of the boot fairs, George Hoeltschi “has been given permission to hold boot fairs for the next 2 seasons only but Rookery would probably need to curtail this after this year if planning permission is approved for the development”.

Questions remain though about how the future of the rest of the farm can be further secured. Local opinion is split on the boot fairs, but will the land still be viable with just the trout fishery and only live-out provision for horses, for example?

As regards the development proposals themselves, the application for the farmyard plans is open for comment until 24th January. As your local councillors we will be formulating our own detailed response to the plans soon and have already asked that the application is put before a committee for a public hearing, should the recommendation from planning officers be for approval.

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Bromley Town Centre – ‘Site G’ Plans Updated

The public will have a chance this week to see the latest plans for the next major redevelopment in Bromley Town Centre.
Aerial site view - Churchill Gardens-600x320
The area officially known as ‘Site G’ – between Ethelbert Road and the Churchill Theatre to the west of the High Street, is planned to include, according to the developers:

  • A new plaza and the creation of Churchill Square;
  • New homes, including affordable homes;
  • High quality retail and commercial space; and
  • Flexible community space to accommodate Bromley Town Vision Church.

The proposals, named “Churchill Quarter” have been recently amended and will be open to public view on:

  • Thursday 16th November 2pm to 7pm
  • Friday 17th November midday to 5pm
  • Saturday 18th November 10am to 2pm

… all at The Wells’ Room in the Churchill Theatre. From Monday 20th the developers will also post the latest plans on their website.

Bourne Way Shops Parking Overhaul Planned

A significant improvement for pedestrians and motorists is planned for the section of Bourne Way between Old Station Yard and Station Approach.

This small area is heavily used by both pedestrians, clientele of the shops and takeaways and short term parking. However, this makes for a dangerous and untidy situation.

Bourne Way at the top of Station Approach

The new plans will see the pavement relaid, proper parking bays set out and new cycle racks installed.

Kingsway Shopping Area Set For Improvements

Kingsway, Coney Hall

After some years of working with various groups, including traders and the Coney Hall Village Residents’ Association, we can at last report that plans have been unveiled for some improvements to the area of Kingsway in front of the shops.

The pavements are to be relaid and improved, and pay & display parking bays introduced on the western (‘Wickes’) side to ensure a better turnover of parking spaces.

Work continues in partnership with the Residents’ Association on plans for a notice board and other possible improvements, and we will continue to seek ways to discourage HGVs from venturing too far into Kingsway and beyond where they have been known to get stuck while turning round.

What’s Happening to Bromley’s Libraries?

Bromley’s Conservative Councillors have moved to dispel fears over changes to the borough’s libraries following a misinformation campaign by activists.

Some residents have been in touch with us recently about the proposals to ‘outsource’ Bromley’s libraries to a not-for-profit company.

The Council has confirmed that the proposed changes to the library service will not lead to a single library closing, or a single minute being taken off opening times. If the proposal is approved, the operator would need to run the same level of service or better.

The Council has spent a lot of time looking at the way it works in order to protect frontline services, bearing in mind the tough financial environment it’s facing. Over the next few years, Bromley has to find £24m of savings from a £192m budget. Doing nothing is not an option. It has long been recognised by councils of all political colours, that commissioning companies and charitable trusts to provide services brings value for money for the council tax payer and improved efficiency.

The proposal would keep all libraries open while reducing costs. The libraries would remain in council control, with professional librarians, but would be run by Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) – a not-for-profit organisation which was established by a Labour authority to run their library and leisure services. It is virtually identical model to the charitable trust which has successfully run the Borough’s leisure centres since 2004. Staff will be transferred under TUPE regulations protecting their terms and conditions and membership of the Council’s pension scheme.

The savings would be achieved through economies of scale; GLL operates more libraries than Bromley council, so it has greater buying power – for example when purchasing books and computers. It could also reduce back office costs through avoiding duplicate tasks.  Public consultations have been supportive of the proposals. In a consultation of 1,837 people in 2014-15, 57% of respondents supported the option of the library service being run by a trust or charitable provider. This is exactly the proposal.

The council also continues to invest in libraries – with brand new ones opening in Penge, Orpington and Biggin Hill over recent years – and is looking to continue that trend, for example at Chislehurst library.