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.
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.
Rumours have been circulating about the future of the Stevenson Heating premises in West Common Road.
There have been significant changes to the business including a management buy-out, though happily Stevenson Heating will continue to trade, as they have for nearly 90 years. However, we understand that an interest has been shown in the current site for use as a residential care home or ‘assisted living’ scheme.
Clearly such a proposal will need to go through the planning process, but your Conservative councillors will be keeping a close watch for further news.
The council has confirmed its highway resurfacing schedule for 2017-19.
In our ward Birch Tree Avenue, Chilham Way, Constance Crescent, Farleigh Avenue, Hurstfield, Larkfield Close and Trevor Close are due to be resurfaced, as well as the section of Chestnut Avenue between Queensway and Sylvan Way. Nearby, Layhams Road south of the police dog training centre is also included in the plans.
Though not in our ward, many Hayes & Coney Hall residents will be affected by road resurfacing works that Transport for London have announced for the Croydon Road (A232), Hastings Road (A21) and Farnborough Common (including the Fantail/Chapter One junction). The project is scheduled to start on Tuesday 7th March lasting until Thursday 13th April. Various closures and diversion will be in place, though the actual works will take place at nighttime between 9pm and 5am.
The timetable is as follows:
7-14 March 2017 – TfL will put in some temporary traffic lights, enabling traffic to continue to flow on the A21 Hastings Road From 21:00 each night until 05:00 the following morning
15-23 March and 3-6 April – The A232 Croydon Road will be closed between the junctions with the A21 Farnborough Common and Oakley Road. Please follow the signed diversion
26 March – 2 April and 9-13 April – The A232 Croydon Road will be closed between the junctions with Hollydale Drive and the A21 Farnborough Common – The A232 Crofton Road will be closed between the junctions with Farnborough Common and Elm Walk. Please follow the signed diversions.
We have received messages from residents, and seen the conversations on social media about the state of the tennis courts in Coney Hall Recreation Ground. We thought it would be useful to set out the current state of play on the issue.
The last manager pulled out of running the tennis courts some years ago after repeated vandalism and thefts. The council left the nets up anyway but eventually a local child became tangled up in the nets and so the Council’s insurers advised their removal.
We have been making enquiries into possible solutions, possibly including using more robust equipment, but of course such ideas will have to work financially. In any case we will need to work closely with the Friends of Coney Hall Park, who do sterling work looking after the park and who would want to be closely involved in any plans.
We will of course keep residents updated if and when things develop.
The council has set out the programme of road and pavement resurfacing for the 2016-17 financial year.
Included in the schedule are resurfacing of the carriageways in Crest Road and Sylvan Way, with Farleigh Avenue and the pavements in Wolfe Close proposed for inclusion in following years. As your ward councillors we have also recently received requests for Birch Tree Avenue to receive attention, among other roads, and will be pushing for these to be included as soon as possible.
All roads are included in the programme after technical surveys and with regard to the levels of traffic, type of usage and other factors.
Serving Hayes, Coney Hall, West Wickham Common and Hayesford Park