Agenda item

UPDATE ON PUBLIC REALM IMPROVEMENTS

Minutes:

The update on Public Realm improvements was provided jointly by Kevin Munnelly and Stephen Oliver.

 

LBB was pressing ahead with the detailed design in conjunction with FM Conway. The final detailed design was estimated to be completed by the end of March 2016. The final design would then be looked at by LBB and TfL for authorisation to proceed; further joint consultation would take place as required. The final design for the Public Realm would also incorporate the final plans for Beckenham Green.

 

Stephen Oliver informed the Working Group that pavement samples had been agreed, and were going to be laid after Christmas. It was anticipated that a sample laying schedule would commence during the second week of January in the vicinity of Kelsey Square. This would afford the Working Group the opportunity to look at red brick and granite grey kerbing and note how this would look. The Chairman commented that he would like to see sample paving also laid at the Albemarle Road Junction.

 

Mr Munnelly explained that it was standard practice for a sample of new style paving to be laid and then viewed by the public. Feedback would be encouraged, and a separate email account would be set up to receive comments. Cleanliness and durability would be two very important factors, and it would need to be ascertained if an enhanced or reduced cleaning regime was required. Marie Pender requested that a postal address be set up for responses as well as an email account, as not everyone used email.

 

Mr Nick Goy asked if the current cost of the plans was the same as those outlined at the Citygate Exhibition in March 2015. He expressed the view that the updated version of the plans should be made available to the Working Group so that comments could be made. He was disappointed at what he perceived to be a lack of helpfulness from Julian Lewis when Mr Goy had contacted him directly at East Architects. It was pointed out that Mr Lewis was subject to contractual obligations with LBB, and would work only to the Council’s directives. Mr Goy also queried the height of the raised tables at six junctions. The Chairman asked if any changes had been made since March 2015. Mr Munnelly responded that no significant changes had taken place except for minor details pertaining to crossing points, and that the website would be updated in due course; crossing points would be required to be flush with the footways. There would still be kerbs, but not changes of levels at crossing points.

 

Mr Munnelly stated that blind or partially sighted people preferred tactile paving which extended up the footway and up to shop frontages, and wheelchair users preferred flat surfaces. Design teams had been meeting to discuss these issues, and it was noted that the crossing points had to comply with modern standards. Dr John Parker expressed the view that crossing points should be flush. Marsha Berg informed the Group that there had recently been an accident near the pharmacy at Village Way and asked if there was going to be a redesign at this location.

Mr Chris Cole advised that accidents were recorded, and would be available on a digital “Accident Map”.  He promised to forward the web link. There had to be a definite reason for any redesign, all of the issues concerning the accident having been assessed. The Chairman asked why it took so long for accident reports to get to LBB. Mr Cole stated that there were various reasons for this. Before the report was sent to LBB, the Police would need to complete their investigations and send a report to TfL

 

The Chairman asked Cheryl Curr to explain the work of BID companies. The group heard that a “BID” was a Business Improvement District that was business-led and business funded and which was formed to improve a defined commercial area. The benefits of BIDs were wide-ranging;

 

  • Businesses would decide and direct what they wanted for the area
  • Businesses were represented and had a voice in issues effecting the area
  • BID levy money was ring-fenced for use only in the BID area, unlike business rates which were paid to, and redistributed, by Government
  • Increased footfall
  • Improved staff retention
  • Business costs reduction
  • Area promotion
  • Facilitated networking opportunities with neighbouring businesses
  • Assistance in dealing with the Council, Police and other public bodies

 

Businesses would decide on becoming a BID via a BID ballot. This would need to be agreed by 51% of those eligible to vote. There was also a rateable value criteria that could impact on the vote. BID funding would not affect the statutory responsibilities of the local authority. BID companies currently existed in Bromley and Orpington. The Bromley BID Company would be launched in April 2016.

 

Mr Goy raised issues concerning value for money, the definition of “Term Contractor” and affordability. The Chairman explained that there was a distinction between “revenue” money and “capital” money. It was the case that LBB was revenue poor but capital rich. As this was a capital scheme it was affordable, and was supported by the Mayor of London.  Mr Munnelly stated that VFM was key, and that a “term” contract was competitively tendered, would be costed again at the term rate, and would probably also be costed by TfL. In this case there were 2 contractors that had submitted tenders, and these were Conway and Lohac. 

 

Mr Stephen Parkin highlighted three issues that he would like to see resolved in the final design:

 

·  Buses stopping opposite Tesco Express in Croydon Road causing traffic congestion which backed up to the roundabout

·  The bus stop and parking bay by Wimpey that caused traffic congestion

·  Lack of Loading Bays

 

Mr Cole gave assurances that these issues were being looked into.

 

Manda Warner (Creases) asked how information would be disseminated to residents and businesses concerning disruption caused by forthcoming major works. Mr Munnelly gave assurances that a business liaison officer would be appointed to consult with local businesses, and there would be a weekly programme of updates. There would also be a regular E newsletter and regular meetings.

 

RESOLVED that

 

(1) up to date plans be uploaded to the Bromley Council website

 

(2) Chris Cole would forward a web link for the “Accident Map” to the Working Group Clerk who would then disseminate this to Group members  

 

 

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