Category Archives: Schools

Bromley Council’s Budget: What Will Happen to BYMT?

Many residents, parents and otherwise, will be aware of the outstanding reputation and work of the Bromley Youth Music Trust (BYMT).violin

However, as may will be aware, Bromley Council is facing some difficult decisions as they try to find some £60-70m savings over the next four years, and services such as BYMT, which the council is not required to provide by law, will come under scrutiny.

Currently the council makes a grant of £306,000 per annum to BYMT, in addition to a peppercorn rent at the Southborough Lane site which represents a further subsidy of some £150,000 p.a.. The Council are very keen to ensure that BYMT is able to become more financially secure by reducing its reliance on volatile council funding and diversifying its income sources. That is why they have been reducing, in a manageable way, the grant to BYMT over the last few years – in fact the direct grant to BYMT now represents less than 20% of its total income (compared to 45% four years ago) – while at the same time, crucially, the council is working with BYMT to source other funding streams.

One of these is a bid to the Arts Council, to become a hub for musical excellence in South East London. Also, the council is looking at other ways that it can support BYMT financially with the help that it already gives pupils from poorer backgrounds. The council is also encouraging BYMT to engage with other local authorities and schools, providing music services to a currently under-supplied market, as well as seeking more commercial sponsorship and support.

Bromley Council is very keen that it’s able to meet its own financial challenges but without leaving BYMT ‘high and dry’. As a jewel in Bromley’s crown we all want to see BYMT continue to go from strength to strength and the council is determined that its reputation is sustained even as its dependence on the council taxpayer continues to reduce.

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Hayes Primary School planning ahead

Hayes Primary School's summer fair
Hayes Primary School’s summer fair

Last week Graham and Neil, together with other colleagues, visited Hayes Primary School in George Lane. This popular school, firmly rooted in the local community in Hayes, has established a good reputation among parents and has many keen parent volunteers. It also has a higher than average number of male teachers, though they are still in the minority.

The school will shortly be submitting a planning application for new classrooms to improve the teaching spaces and enable some internal reorganisation – however, residents of George Lane will be relieved that the school has no plans to expand the number of pupils. Graham and Neil were pleased to hear that the school will be keeping neighbours informed of their plans.

Hayes School’s Next Chapter

Hayes School's new M blockHayes School has opened phase one of its new classroom and library block, which was part-funded by Bromley Council.

Last year, when the school was seeking planning permission for the building, your local Conservative councillors were heavily involved in ensuring that the block’s design and siting was such that residents concerns were balanced with the needs of the school.

The building, which includes specialist provision for pupils with speech or language difficulties, puts into place a part of the school’s longer term masterplan. A permitted second phase of the build, including a new sports hall, will be built on the western flank of the block when funding becomes available; this will also enable the demolition of temporary wooden hut classrooms elsewhere on the school site.

Action on Floodlighting

Residents in West Common Road were caught by surprise when Hayes School switched it’s new floodlights on for the first time last week, and their houses being lit up (but not by any fireworks).

The floodlighting on the “school side” of the courts are causing the problems and it is hoped that, following Cllr. Anne Manning’s intervention, adjustments being made tomorrow (Tuesday 10th) will solve, or largely eliminate, the problems.

Hayes School Development Passed

At last Tuesday’s Development Control committee, the Council approved the plans for the new sports block and classroom block at Hayes School.

Following our previous representations to the committee, the school made a good number of changes to the plans, including a slight reduction in height, more evergreen planting on the boundary and removal of the wind turbine. The committee agreed with us (and the Hayes Village Association) that enough had been done to make the plans acceptable and supported the school.

However, the master-plan – which sets out the school’s longer term development plans – was deferred again pending more information regarding the traffic and parking situation.

Hayes School Develops

HCH_Hayes_School_GadsdenHayes School recently unveiled its plans, in the form of a “Master Plan”, for developing the school site over the next ten years. The plans included all daytime vehicle access being diverted to Baston Road, but also the demolition of the old north block and replacing the sports hall, all with a view to providing improved facilities for the school’s existing pupil numbers., the majority of whom come from the immediate area..

The Master Plan accompanied the first specific planning application for a new block in the south-west corner of the site, on virgin Urban Open Space. Your councillors were keen to stress not only their support for the school, but also highlighting residents concerns in pushing for an amendment to the plans to minimise the impact on the Baston Road traffic situation, the openness of the site and the impact on  residents of houses in West Common Road.

At the Development Control committee on 8th September, both the detailed application and Master Plan were deferred to enable the various concerns to be addressed further.  The application is likely to be brought back to the committee later in the autumn.