Agenda and minutes

Venue: Bromley Civic Centre

Contact: Kerry Nicholls  020 8313 4602

No. Item




Apologies had been received from Bek Bekir – National Apprenticeships Service, Neville Cavendish – Jobcentre Plus, Jeff East – Acorn Commercial, Robert Goddard – Thackray Williams Solicitors LLP, Mark Henderson – MSE UK, Jim Kehoe – LBB Chief Planner, Mike Lewis – Michael Rogers LLP, Andrew Lunn – National Apprenticeships Service, May Manuel – Head of Planning Strategy and Projects, Marc Myers – intu Bromley, Steve Nelson – South East London Chamber of Commerce, Sam Parrett – Bromley College of Further and Higher Education, Martin Price – Orpington 1st BID, Robert Sargent – Acorn Commercial and Donna Still – Federation of Small Businesses.




In considering matters arising from the previous meeting, the Chairman confirmed that work undertaken around the potential to develop a Business Improvement District or other form of cross-working between businesses based in the area around Worsley Bridge Road would be reported to the next meeting of the Partnership.  The possibility of introducing a loyalty card scheme for Bromley town centre, similar to that recently launched by the Orpington 1st BID Company for Orpington town centre would be referred to the Bromley BID Task Group moving forward.


Colin Maclean, Community Links Bromley, was pleased to announce that Bromley’s Corporate Social Responsibility Expo had been held on 13th March 2014 at Bromley Civic Centre.  This event had showcased the voluntary sector in the Borough and support the development of links between local businesses and third sector organisations.  Feedback from the event had been very positive and work was currently being undertaken to evaluate the impact of the event and identify how links between local businesses and third sector organisations had developed.  Colin Maclean thanked all those who had helped make the event such a success, including the Local Authority.


RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 14th January 2014 be agreed.</AI2>






Members of the Partnership gave an update around progress across the main themes of the Partnership.




Paul Symonds, Assistant Director: Transport and Highways provided an update on major transport projects impacting Bromley Borough. 


It was an existing corporate priority to lobby for the extension of the Docklands Light Railway to Bromley North, which would improve connectivity to Canary Wharf for Bromley residents and help reduce commuter pressure on Victoria and London Bridge Stations.  Transport for London had undertaken evaluation studies of the scheme, and no decision on funding for the £800m scheme had yet been made, but the cost benefit analysis would be critical, with Transport for London seeking added value of 50% greater than cost for successful schemes.


Alternate rail schemes in the Borough included the extension of London Overground to Bromley North, which was significantly cheaper than the proposed extension of the Docklands Light Railway as it would use existing infrastructure and be relatively quick to deliver.  The extension of the Bakerloo tube line to Hayes had also been proposed, which could include a link between Beckenham and Bromley North, and would require analysis by Transport for London on the usage of the Hayes (Kent) line.


The potential to extend the Croydon Tramlink from Beckenham Junction to Crystal Palace and, subsequently, to Bromley North, was also under consideration by Transport for London as a means of improving orbital connectivity. 


Transport for London would be briefing the Mayor of London on the full range of proposed rail schemes across London in Spring 2014, and the Local Authority would be meeting with Transport for London around the analysis of usage of the Hayes (Kent) line.


A number of road improvements were also planned for the Borough.  A scheme to widen the A21 in the section between Masons Hill and Homesdale Road had been identified within Bromley’s Local Plan. This could include the introduction of a tidal flow system in which an additional lane would be added for traffic flow in either direction, depending on demand.  Modelling had also been undertaken at the junction of Widmore Road with Kentish Way with a view to increasing capacity.


In considering the range of proposed transport schemes, Sharon Baldwin, Orpington 1st BID Company suggested that the Croydon Tramlink be extended from New Addington to Biggin Hill to link in with the identification of London Biggin Hill Airport as a Strategic Outer London Development Centre in the London Plan.  The potential to directly link Bromley North station with the South Eastern main line was also noted. 


Dave Freeborn, George Proctor & Partners, queried if the pedestrian crossings had been reviewed at the junction of Masons Hill and Homesdale Road. The Assistant Director: Transport and Highways confirmed that Transport for London had undertaken a consultation regarding the junction and decided on revisions to pedestrian facilities, however there were no plans to remove the traffic island to the north of the junction.


The Chairman was concerned that the Shortlands Railway Bridge remained a traffic pinch point.  The Assistant Director: Transport and Highways confirmed that any work to alleviate this issue would have to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3a




Rob Vale, Trading Standards Manager provided an update on the introduction of the Bromley Safer Neighbourhood Board.


The Bromley Safer Neighbourhood Board had been launched in April 2014 and replaced the Bromley Community Engagement Forum.  Sitting above ward panels and neighbourhood panels (which were clusters of ward panels), the Board comprised a wide range of stakeholders, including representatives of the emergency services and public health, and would be chaired by the Portfolio Holder for Public Protection and Safety. 


The role of the Board was to engage with people who lived and worked across the Borough, and ensure that communities were more closely involved in problem solving and crime prevention.  To support this, the meetings of the Board would be held at a range of locations across the Borough, and an annual Crime Summit would be held.  The Board had been allocated £25k for projects to reduce neighbourhood crime and increase community confidence, and would also be able to apply for funding to deliver projects across the Borough that targeted the seven key neighbourhood crime types of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime. 


In considering the update, the Chairman noted the need to ensure that the business community was represented on the Bromley Safer Neighbourhood Board.  Sharon Baldwin, Orpington 1st BID Company queried how the work of the Business Crime Reduction Partnership would feed into the Board.


A briefing note on the Bromley Safer Neighbourhood Board is attached at Appendix A.


RESOLVED that the update be noted.




The Head of Town Centre Renewal gave an update around Town Centre Development across the Borough.


The London Mayor had recently proposed designating Bromley town centre as an opportunity area in recognition of its capacity to deliver new residential development and jobs as part of the Mayor’s draft revisions to the London Plan.  The Greater London Authority was developing a framework for the Crystal Palace area in relation to the proposed development at Crystal Palace park, which could increase investment in the area. Funding for future transport schemes in the Borough was also being considered, with the potential to link up Bromley with opportunity areas such as Old Kent Road to create a corridor of growth.


Progress was continuing across the sites that made up the Bromley Town Centre Area Action Plan.


The public realm improvements to Bromley North Village had been completed in East Street, White Hart Slip and Naval Walk.  Work was progressing on schedule in the pedestrianised area of Market Square and High Street and it was expected that the full programme of public realm improvements would be completed in Winter 2014. 


A funding bid to the Transport for London Major Scheme Allocation fund for 2014/15 to develop the Beckenham Town Centre scheme had been successful.  The Beckenham Town Centre Working Group had been reconvened to provide design oversight and strategic guidance during the initial scheme design stage.  Project Governance procedures were also being established to ensure successful delivery of the scheme design.


Growth and delivery plans continued to be developed for Bromley town centre, Biggin Hill and Cray Valley, which had been identified as key areas for growth in Bromley’s Local Plan.  The Local Authority continued to work with the Greater London Authority to identify development opportunities in Bromley town centre, with the potential to extend the Business Improvement Area.  The Local Authority was also working with London Biggin Hill Airport to ensure that the planning framework was flexible enough to support economic growth and infrastructure improvements related to the airport.


RESOLVED that the update be noted.




The Head of Town Centre Management and Business Support provided an update on the development of planning policy in the Borough.


The consultation on the draft policies and designations of Bromley’s Local Plan had closed on 24th March 2014.  The responses to the consultation were currently being considered and would be reported to Members in Summer 2014.  Local residents, business owners and other stakeholders had been encouraged to respond to the consultation in a wide range of ways including via the Business E-Bulletin, town centre networks, the Orpington Expo, the Property Agents Forum, as well as through the Bromley Council website, local media, social media and residents associations


A consultation had recently taken place on the draft 'Further Alterations to the London Plan', with the Council agreeing its response at the meeting of the Council’s Executive on 2nd April 2014.  New permitted development rights had also been introduced from April 2014 which included a change of use from retail to residential, which was subject to a size limit.  The Local Authority continued to monitor the change from office to residential space which was introduced in May 2013.


In considering the update, the Head of Town Centre Planning confirmed that approximately 11,000 square metres of office space had been lost to residential use since May 2013.  This comprised mainly of one office development and some smaller poor quality office provision.


RESOLVED that the update be noted.




The Head of Town Centre Management and Business Support gave an update on progress across the main Partnership themes of Town Centre Management and Business Support in Quarter 4 2013/14.


In Quarter 4 2013/14, the Town Centre Management and Business Support Service had worked to deliver a number of events in town centres including the ‘Love your Local High Street’ event in Beckenham and two town-wide business meetings in Bromley with a focus on the future of the town and the potential to introduce a Business Improvement District (BID).  Environmental audits continued to be undertaken in town centres across the Borough, with community clean up days organised in partnership with business volunteers in Beckenham.  Environmental monitoring in Bromley town centre had also been carried out to ensure that the Bromley North Village works were being carried out in a way that minimised the impact on the shopping environment as far as possible.


The Local Authority continued to maintain direct contact with the Orpington 1st BID Company through the attendance of non-voting members, Councillor William Huntington-Thresher and Martin Pinnell.  Discussions had been ongoing between the BID, Town Centre Management and Liberata about arrangements for the BID levy collection in 2014/15, and the BID was currently setting its budget and activity programme for the new financial year.  The BID had taken over the running of the Orpington Walnuts public conveniences and, with a Local Authority grant, had refurbished the facilities to a high standard.  Following a feasibility study undertaken around further BIDs being established in other town centres across the Borough, recommendations for action were reported to the meeting of the Council’s Executive on 15th January 2014, and the Council’s Executive had endorsed the setting aside of £110k from reserves to fund a project to introduce a BID to Bromley town centre. 


The Bromley Town Business Growth Club had its final workshop in January 2014, and Officers had been undertaken a survey of programme users to help understand the impact of the programme on participating businesses.  Officers had been working closely with other organisations to organise and host joint support events including a Start Up Loans event in January 2014 and a Financial Fitness for Business workshop in January 2014, co-hosted with Metrobank and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales.


The Bromley North Village improvement works commenced in late July 2013 and were expected to run until November 2014.  The works in Market Square had commenced in January 2014 and were expected to continue until Summer 2014.  The Town Centre Manager for Bromley had been working closely with the Bromley North Village project team to help minimise disruption during the works and provide information to business owners and members of the public around the scheme, which included a weekly project status e-bulletin. 


Future activities for the Town Centre Management and Business Support Service included engaging more with local businesses and town centre stakeholders, such as the Orpington 1st BID Company, the Beckenham Town Centre Team and the  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3e




The Head of Town Centre Planning confirmed that projects funded by the Outer London Fund had been completed at the end of March 2013, including the transformation of green space at St Mark’s Church, Bromley into a semi-public park.  An event would be held at 5.30pm on Monday 14th April 2014 at the Churchill Theatre to showcase the full range of improvement works that had been carried out across the Borough.


RESOLVED that the update be noted.




Stella Marshall, Youth Support Programme Development Officer and Lesley Holland, Operations Manager, Bromley Education Business Partnership gave an update on the Bromley Youth Employment Project Round 2 which had been developed by Bromley Council to support sustainable employment opportunities for young people who were unemployed.


In Phase 1, Bromley College of Further and Higher Education had been commissioned to deliver 198 internship and apprenticeship opportunities for unemployed Bromley residents between 18 and 24 over a three year period from April 2013.  The Star Project had supported a number of young people into internship and apprenticeship opportunities over the past year, but following the agreement of both parties, the contract had been terminated and the Bromley Education Business Partnership had been requested to undertake a review of the best way to support sustainable employment opportunities for young people who were unemployed into the future.  A task and finish group had been established to review current options on youth employment which would report to Members at the end of April 2014.


As part of the review, the Bromley Education Business Partnership was consulting with a wide range of stakeholders, including business support organisations, Community Links, and the National Careers and Apprenticeship Services, as well as considering the findings of recently published reports around youth employment and apprenticeships.


Key findings of the review so far included the benefits of providing one-to-one support to employers to help them understand and engage with apprenticeships, the value of work experience for both young people and businesses, the employability skills of young people and the promotion apprenticeships in schools.  The need for employers to have more control over the funding for their apprentices in place of providers had been raised as an issue, as well as the need for apprenticeships to be more accessible for both apprentices and employers.  It had also been identified that existing support was often targeted at 16-17 year olds, and that there was a  need to ensure the right provision was in place for 18-21 year olds to support them into sustainable employment.


In discussion, members of the Partnership raised a number of issues.  It was important to make young people aware of the opportunities available in the voluntary and community sector.  Young people seeking to move into sustained employment might also benefit from additional support and information provided through mentoring or a Bromley job fair.  There was potential for schools to further support careers and employment guidance for their pupils by appointing a Governor responsible for employment.


RESOLVED that the update be noted.




A briefing note providing an update on Beckenham Industrial Estate would be circulated to members of the Partnership following the meeting.




Members of the Partnership had undertaken a range of activities since the last meeting.




Paula Heffernan, Jobcentre Plus was pleased to announce that Bromley had the second highest reduction in unemployment over the past 12 months across the London and Home Counties group, and continued to work to attain challenging targets to support more Bromley residents into sustained employment, with an emphasis on those who were long term unemployed. 


The ‘Digital Jobcentre’ would be rolled out in Summer 2014 in preparation for the launch of Universal Credit.  Jobcentre Plus continued to work closely with a wide range of stakeholders, including the Tackling Troubled Families team and the Leaving Care team, with the aim of working collaboratively across a full range of areas.




Katy Woolcott, London Biggin Hill Airport provided an update on developments at London Biggin Hill Airport following its identification as a Strategic Outer London Development Centre in the London Plan, and as part of the LoCATE (London Centre for Aviation Technology and Enterprise) project which brought together a cluster of modern aviation-related businesses at and around London Biggin Hill Airport to support continued economic development in the area.  Work would continue to be undertaken to ensure that the economic development potential of London Biggin Hill Airport as a Strategic Outer London Development Centre was reflected fully in the Local Plan for Bromley and support the airport in its aim to realise a further 2300 jobs in and around the airport by 2031. 




Kevin Nuen, Acorn Commercial, gave an update on the commercial property market in the Borough.  The market for office, industrial and retail space continued to improve.  Retail space in town centres was increasingly being used to deliver a wider range of services to traditional retail, including fitness and learning services.  There was increased interest in retail properties in Bromley North Village following the completion of public realm improvements.


Dave Freeborn, George Proctor & Partners, confirmed that there continued to be high demand for residential properties in the Borough. 


RESOLVED that the updates be noted.</AI15>






Members of the Partnership considered the forward rolling work programme for the Bromley Economic Partnership for 2014/15


A number of themes that might be explored at future meetings were suggested.  These comprised:


  • London Enterprise Partnership
  • Crystal Palace Park Development
  • Use of CCTV Cameras


RESOLVED that the update be noted.




Carol Arnfield, Bromley Adult Education College, advised members of the Partnership that additional funding from the Skills Funding Agency had been provided to the College to support Jobcentre Plus clients for whom English was an additional language in improving their spoken and listening English skills.


Karen Hine, Baker Tilly Tax and Accounting Limited, confirmed that demand for tax and accounting services in the Borough remained stable and that there had been some growth in demand.


Suzanne Sharp, NewsQuest reported that an edition of the News Shopper Lifestyle Magazine, a high end publication targeted to local business owners, had been published in March 2014.  Advertising sales across a range of products and services remained strong, including retail, motor vehicles, and property, excluding new homes.


RESOLVED that the update be noted.




There was no other business.



4.00pm, Tuesday 8th July 2014

4.00pm, Tuesday 7th October 2014

4.00pm, Tuesday 20th January 2015

4.00pm, Tuesday 14th April 2015


4.00pm, Tuesday 8th July 2014

4.00pm, Tuesday 7th October 2014

4.00pm, Tuesday 20th January 2015

4.00pm, Tuesday 14th April 2015

APPENDIX A pdf icon PDF 69 KB


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