Agenda and minutes

Venue: Beckenham Library, Beckenham, BR3 4PE

Contact: Stephen Wood  020 8313 4316

Items
No. Item

58.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

Minutes:

Apologies were received from the following Councillors:

 

·  Cllr Diane Smith

·  Cllr Russell Mellor

·  Cllr Stephen Wells

·  Cllr Vanessa Allen

·  Cllr Michael Rutherford

·  Cllr Alan Collins

 

Apologies were also received from Alan Old, Kevin Munnelly, Angus Culverwell and Richard Comaish.

 

59.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 19th MAY 2016 pdf icon PDF 204 KB

Minutes:

The minutes of the previous meeting held on 19th May 2016 were agreed, subject to the amendment that Mr Terence Stanley had sent apologies.

60.

ACTION POINTS FROM THE PREVIOUS MEETING pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Minutes:

The Group looked at the Action Points from the previous meeting.

 

It had been noted that the general plan drawings would be put on display when available. The Group heard that this would be actioned when the final budget had been agreed by TfL. Lorraine McQuillan (Town Centre Manager) had been investigating empty properties where the drawings could be  displayed in due course.

 

It had also been noted that a detailed implementation plan would be sought from FM Conway, but this was also dependent on the agreement of funding from TfL.

 

The third action point from the previous meeting was that the Albemarle Road parking bays (where the road heads west) should be removed. It was noted that this matter was outside the scope of the project. The appropriate officer needed to be identified and invited to the next meeting. 

 

Stephen Oliver had been asked to investigate if the colour of the bell bollards on the corner of Rectory Road by the locksmiths could be changed to improve visibility for partially sighted pedestrians. It was confirmed that this was possible, and the colour would be confirmed in due course.

 

Concerning the matter of yellow lines in the Conservation Area being half width, the Group was reassured that any roads in the Conservation area where the road was being resurfaced would have the yellow lines half width.

 

The Group were due an update as to why there were no advanced ‘stop cycle’ markings on the Albemarle Road junction. Mr Oliver responded that this was something that had been designed by the traffic engineers to reduce delays, and would be subject to a safety audit.

 

At the previous meeting, it was the general consensus that seating should be wooden, including backs and arms. Mr Oliver stated that in most areas this would be the case. However the informal seats forming part of the planters would not have backs as it would compromise the design.

 

 

RESOLVED:

 

(1) that the appropriate officer who had responsibility for parking bays would be invited to the next meeting to report on town centre parking provision and answer questions.

 

(2) that the revised colour of the bell bollards at the corner of Rectory Road be confirmed.

61.

TOWN TEAM UPDATE

Minutes:

Chloe-Jane Ross, Chairman of the Town Team, attended to provide the Town Team update.

 

The Town Team had recently held an AGM, where the work of the last two years had been reviewed.

 

Ms Ross went through a checklist of issues and requirements for the Major Scheme. She raised the issue of decluttering, and stated that this had been delayed so that the matter could be incorporated into the funding for the Major Scheme. She pointed out that extra loading bays had been promised, without loss of parking space, and was seeking assurances that this would still be provided. She was also seeking assurances that the current parking signs would be simplified.

 

Ms Ross referenced the Major Scheme proposals for bike stands, and asked if it would be possible to provide rain covers and locks. She asked if sensor-activated lights for perception of security for after-dark use could be incorporated. She also asked if a Town Centre bike audit had been considered. It was noted that, as much as possible, the Town Centre Team would like to see step-free access to shops.

 

Ms Ross referenced bus stops and asked if the proposed move of the bus stop from outside Em & Lou’s to outside M&S was still going ahead. The Group heard that the Town Team would like to have ‘No Smoking’ signs at bus stops to reduce littering.

 

Ms Ross highlighted the various issues around ‘communication’. She asked what had been the response to the paving choices. She asked if East had adequately defined why each improvement was being made and facilitated feedback from the group(s) affected. The Town Team expressed the view that it would be a good idea for prototypes or models to be displayed with the plans, including a comment wall. Ms Ross queried who would be handling the public relations for the scheme.

 

Mr Oliver responded that FM Conway would be providing a PR person to advise local businesses and residents. There would be a weekly reporting exercise that would provide all round updates. The Chairman asked if this would be the same person that carried out this function for the Bromley Project, and the response was that this would be investigated, but other options may provide a more appropriate solution. Ms Ross referenced Thornton’s Corner/Kelsey Park, and requested clear plans to be shown (not just ideations) for Thornton’s Corner, including flower beds. 

 

Ms Ross asked if there was a way to encourage cars to take wider turns by Rectory Road, and Mr Oliver responded that this would happen automatically once the junction was widened. Ms Ross asked what would happen to the proposed illumination of the water pump at Kelsey Square.  Mr Oliver responded that coloured lighting would be provided at this location. The Group heard that, at the Sainsbury’s forecourt, the principle of the works had been agreed for the installation of new paving, benches, cycle racks and bin enclosures. It was also noted that agreement had been reached to move the telephone  ...  view the full minutes text for item 61.

62.

DAVID BOWIE MEMORIAL UPDATE

Minutes:

It had been agreed that the Town Team would lead on matters concerning the David Bowie Memorial.

 

A meeting had been held with the artist Dan Pearce, and the currently white painted side wall of Patrick’s Bar had been identified as a suitable location for a David Bowie mural. The property owner had confirmed its support for this. The issue that needed to be resolved was that of funding. The funding for this was not part of the Major Scheme and so needed to be sourced separately. The Chairman was hopeful that the Council may match any funding raised by the Town Team and from David Bowie fans.

 

Roger Bahari stated that it was estimated that the Beatles had brought in £82m in revenue to Liverpool, and there was no reason why Beckenham could not benefit economically from commemorating David Bowie. He felt that there was a lack of landmarks and plaques in Beckenham, and this could be rectified by Beckenham recognising David Bowie effectively. Mr Bahari was confident that he could raise funding for a statue using his Facebook page which had an extensive network of contacts. This idea was supported by Chloe Jane Ross. Mr Oliver commented that the intention to install the Bowie ‘bolt of lightning’ outside of Zizzi’s in Beckenham was still going ahead (albeit in coloured bricks rather than LED lightning) as part of the Major Scheme. It was noted that planning permission was not required for the mural.

 

RESOLVED that the update be noted, and that the matter be retained on the agenda for the next meeting. 

 

63.

BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT (BID) STRATEGY FOR TOWN CENTRES

Minutes:

Lorraine McQuillan (LBB Town Centre Manager) attended to provide the BID update.

 

Ms McQuillan explained the concept and ethos behind BIDS, and informed the Group that BIDs had been set up in Orpington in 2013, and Bromley in 2016. A Business Improvement District (BID) was a tried and tested model to deliver sustainable investment in a defined area, through a small levy on rateable business properties - based on typically 1-2% of rateable values.  Legislation which became law in 2004 provided the regulatory underpinning for BIDs. They can only be established or renewed after a majority of business ratepayers vote in favour in an official postal ballot (operated under conditions similar to a political election). Once a BID was established or renewed, the occupiers of any eligible property must by law pay the levy annually for the term of the BID (usually 5 years) – providing a level of financial sustainability and certainty not usually present with less formal partnership arrangements. BIDs could deliver any projects or services in their area that were agreed by the relevant businesses. These would be in addition to services the Public Sector already provided.

 

A report outlining the case for BIDS in Beckenham and Penge would be scrutinised by the Renewal and Recreation PDS Committee on 5th July, and would then be looked at by the Executive on 20th July. It was recommended that the Executive grant approval for both BIDs to proceed. It was hoped that the BID ballot would be undertaken in 2017, and that the BIDs would be operative in 2018.

 

The Chairman asked if there were any ‘gaps’ in the BID boundaries, and it was confirmed that this was currently the case, but this was being looked at. The R&R PDS Committee had suggested that the boundaries be joined up.

 

RESOLVED that the BID information be noted and that the Group be updated in due course concerning action taken to resolve the issue of the gap that currently existed between the Beckenham and Penge BID boundaries. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

64.

MAJOR SCHEME UPDATE

Minutes:

Stephen Oliver (LBB Planner) attended to provide the Major Scheme update. There had already been some discussion concerning the development of the Major Scheme outlined in the minutes pertaining to the Town Team update.

 

Mr Oliver informed the Group that negotiations concerning receipt of final funding were ongoing with TfL. The negotiations centred around the Major Scheme costs and the amount of contingency funding required. He informed the Group that LBB had submitted a 70 page business case to TfL, and that he had been in dialogue with TfL regularly. The Business Case had been revised several times. TfL’s finance team had been going through everything, but had still not confirmed final funding. LBB had originally suggested contingency funding of 25%; this had now been reduced to 15% with an estimated saving of £250k. Mr Oliver stated that he had been in a positive call with TfL on the day of the meeting, and it was hoped that all of the funding issues would be resolved by the end of July. 

 

The Chairman was concerned that if the delay continued, FM Conway may decide to send their resources to an alternative contract. Mr Oliver noted that it would take 16 weeks to get all the materials on site, so the project work would not commence in September as had been previously hoped.  FM Conway was aware of the situation.

 

Cliff Watkins was not present at the meeting but had written in with the observation that on the drawings there did not appear to be any indication of the edge of the present pavements. 

 

He felt that the pavements on the drawings looked wider than they were at present and may interfere with the current traffic flows and thus make Beckenham a less attractive place to visit after £5m had been spent.

 

Nick Goy stated that he was concerned that in the High Street, the carriageways were getting narrower, and that this was a problem. His concern was that although this provided more room for the pavement, the width of roadways had been reduced. This problem would be exacerbated if there were issues like vehicle breakdowns and accidents. Mr Oliver stated that, in Beckenham High Street the aim was to discourage traffic. Mr Goy pointed out that plenty of room was still required for passing trade and deliveries.

 

The issue of paving was discussed, and Mr Oliver stated that generally speaking, it was intended that the ‘earthy brown’ paving be used. Gail Low stated that there was an issue with consultation, and that Rectory Road residents needed to be informed of what was planned.  Mr Goy commented that at eight road junctions along the High Street it was planned to use grey granite slabs in contrast with the pink bricks proposed in the rest of the High Street. He referred to this as ‘schizophrenic’. He wondered why granite had to be used when it was expensive and had to be imported from China. The officer response was that the three granite  ...  view the full minutes text for item 64.

65.

UPDATE ON THE THREE DAY PUBLIC INFORMATION EVENT

Minutes:

The Group heard that two options existed concerning the three day public information event that the Chairman was seeking. One option was to use an empty shop, the other may be to use the Public Hall.

 

With regard to finding an empty shop which could be used for this purpose – it was noted that this could be problematical – as most empty shops on Beckenham High Street were owned by difficult to reach landlords. If a landlord could be found that was willing to provide the space rent free, funding would still be required to cover things like insurance and space preparation/ clean up.

 

A Resident’s Evening meeting would need to be set up. It was noted that the running of the consultation and the exhibition would be the responsibility of the LBB Town Centre Development Team. The Chairman expressed a desire for a three day exhibition early in the process, and suggested that this should be funded from the consultation budget. He suggested using a closed shop in the High Street.

 

Mr Goy stated that the three day exhibition should not just randomly appear, but should be properly marketed.

66.

CONSERVATION AREA UPDATE

Minutes:

The Chairman asked David Wood if the Conservation Area Panel was being consulted on new planning applications. Mr Wood responded that they did receive some information but it was often delayed. Sometimes they received information about work that had already been completed. The Chairman expressed dissatisfaction with LBB planning enforcement. Chloe Jane Ross expressed the view that there should be a review of planning policy and process as the current system was broken.

The Chairman commented that in general, planning laws were weak, and that individuals could apply for planning permission retrospectively without penalty. 

67.

LOCATION OF THE PURPLE FLAG

Minutes:

Lorraine McQuillan gave the Purple Flag update. There was still no flag pole, and the location of the pole had to be determined. Six possible locations had been identified, and photographs of the possible sites were tabled for discussion. The Chairman stated that the document presented to the Group concerning the possible site locations was well researched and well presented. It was felt that the Purple Flag needed to be visible at night.

 

Mr Goy asked what benefit a purple flag would add to the High Street. Members of the Group responded that the Purple Flag was a visible demonstration of the accreditation that Beckenham had received over a variety of areas, and particularly the night time economy. The Flag was a way of raising awareness of what had been achieved.

 

The favoured location of the Purple Flag was location number 2, which was at Beckenham Junction Train Station.

 

RESOLVED that the Purple Flag be displayed at Beckenham Junction Train Station. 

68.

OTHER BUSINESS

Minutes:

It was noted that a ‘Business Day’ run by Beckenham Business Association was scheduled for 7th September in the Public Halls. There would be talks, workshops and exhibition stands. Details would be available on the Beckenham Business Association Website. The Chairman wondered if the Council could book a stand to publicise the Major Scheme. It was noted that this was an annual event, and sponsors were welcome.

 

It was noted that no updates had been received from the Post Office concerning the possible relocation of the Post Office into the High Street at WH Smiths.

 

RESOLVED that the issue of Street Lamps be discussed at the next meeting.   

69.

DATE OF NEXT MEETING

Minutes:

The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 15th September 2016.

 

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