All posts by Cllr. Neil Reddin

Conservative councillor for Hayes and Coney Hall ward in the London Borough of Bromley.

Stevenson Heating Site – Changes Afoot?

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.

Road Resurfacing Programme Confirmed

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.

A232/A21/Locksbottom Roadworks

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.

roadworks

Phone Boxes Becoming a Thing of the Past?

BT are consulting on the proposed removal of a number of telephone boxes around the borough, including in Hayes and Coney Hall.

Boxes where very few calls have been made are being earmarked for removal. In our ward these are:

  • Junction of Hayes Lane and Mead Way (19 calls in the last year)
  • Junction of Mounthurst Road and Bourne Vale (12 calls)
  • Outside the the Day Lewis pharmacy at 3 Station Approach (25 calls)
  • Outside the Co-Op in Croydon Road, Coney Hall (4 calls)

Any comments should be sent via the council planning department who have been asked to respond to BT by 4th December at the latest.

Coney Hall Tennis Courts – What Next?

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 oConey Hall Tennis Courts (2007)n 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.

Council Sets Out Road Resurfacing Schedule

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.

Road Surface

Conservatives Hold Down Council Tax Rise

  • Just 0.9% Average Over Last Four Years
  • Financial Boost Given to Local Priorities

Bromley Council has once again set a balanced budget, despite continuing financial pressures, with a council tax rise of just 42p a week at Band D.

Total Council Tax, including the Conservative Mayor of London’s portion, will increase by just 1.6% – close to the current inflation rate of 1.3% (RPI). This is despite the council facing a budget gap of £25m over the next four years, as central government continues to drive down the national deficit still lingering after Labour’s thirteen years of mismanagement.

In fact, thanks to sound Conservative financial management at both Bromley Civic Centre and City Hall, total council tax has increased by an average of just 0.9% in the last four years.

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Included in this year’s budget was a 2% ‘ringfenced’ council tax increase for social care, and £19m in savings focussed, as far as possible, on non-essential expenditure and administration cuts.

Council Leader Cllr Stephen Carr said: “We have had to make this increase in Council Tax this year to help balance the budget and have introduced the 2 per cent precept allowed by the Chancellor to help meet the costs of care, as our population ages and more people have complex care needs. This is particularly acute in Bromley where we have a larger-than-average ageing population. During our budget consultation last year many residents again said they understood the need for a rise in Council Tax to help protect essential services.

“We have the lowest funding per head of population in London and, as budgets contract, we have to do things differently, even stopping some services. Supporting people to be more self-sufficient with signposting to online services, for instance, helps to conserve limited funding for those who need help most and for services that reflect the priorities of local residents.”

The budget also includes two years’ transitional funding from Central Government, won after intervention from the borough’s Conservative MPs including Bob Stewart.

The Leader of the Council also added: “As a result of our strict and determined budget monitoring, I am delighted to announce we are in a position to set aside £750,000 from underspends in the current year’s budget to allow us to further enhance our environment.

The proposals are:
• £250,000 to enhance our environment, particularly to help with the maintenance of trees and replacing those that have been lost.
• £250,000 to attack the scourge of environmental crime, especially fly-tipping.
• £250,000 to enhance and improve local shopping parades, building on a successful programme of local shopping district improvements over the last couple of years.

Another Phone Mast Refused

The mobile ‘phone mast proposed for the green at the junction of Birch Tree Avenue and Queensway was turned down by a council planning committee last night.

The committee heard representations from both residents’ associations and Cllr. Graham Arthur, who cited the quality of consultation, lack of explanation as to why alternative sites had been ruled out, and the potential harm to the openness of the green caused by the equipment cabinet. The committee then agreed unanimously to reject the bid by Vodafone and Telefonica (O2).
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Pre-empting accusations of ‘Nimbyism’, Cllr. Arthur had pointed out that an application for another, more appropriate, site in the ward had recently been approved without opposition from local councillors.

The refusal comes after last year’s plans to erect a taller mast on another green, at the junction of Kingsway and Gates Green Road, were turned down on similar grounds.

How the Hayes Line Could Get Back on Track

Life after Southeastern could look a lot brighter now for passengers on the Hayes Line, with more frequent services and longer trains.

Some readers will have been aware of the new proposals for Transport for London (TfL) to take on responsibility for suburban rail services within Greater London.

Overall, the new partnership between the Department for Transport and TfL has three main aims:
– More frequent services, better interchanges and increased capacity
• Greater reliability for all passengers
• High standards of customer service

With the South-Eastern franchise being re-tendered soon (the new contract starts in 2018), TfL will now take the leading role in selecting the new operator.

TfL wants to see all stations served by at least four trains per hour, but as this may require infrastructure improvements this is has been billed a ‘medium term’ goal, with a target of 80% of stations running these more frequent services. It’s not clear yet whether the Hayes line would be among that 80%, what works would be required (if any) and the effect on residents near the line. However, this is positive move and we’ll be lobbying to ensure that the Hayes line can benefit with minimal disruption to residents – be they regular rail travellers or not.Hayes Train 01.JPG

There are also suggested improvements to station staffing and a long term aim for all services to run 12 carriages as the norm. There is also a passing mention of more night-time services on suburban routes, an idea which will have to be balanced against the concerns of those living near the line.

The plans promise to deliver the sort of improvements that were promised by TfL with the controversial extension of the Bakerloo line to Hayes (a plan that seems to have been shelved for now for the route past Lewisham). However it may do so at a lower cost and, crucially, without the loss of direct services to London Bridge and the City which the Bakerloo proposals would have entailed.

You can have your say in the consultation, available here, until 18th March 2016.