Agenda and minutes

Beckenham Town Centre Working Group - Thursday 19 May 2016 7.30 pm

Venue: Beckenham Library, Beckenham, BR3 4PE

Contact: Stephen Wood  020 8313 4316

No. Item




Apologies were received from Councillors Ian Dunn, Alan Collins and Diane Smith.


Apologies were also received from Chloe Jane Ross and Jean Appleton.




The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed subject to a minor amendment suggested by Mr Nick Goy.   




The Major Scheme update was provided by Kevin Munnelly and Stephen Oliver.


The Group heard that the business plan had been submitted, and that a response from TfL was awaited. Agreement was required concerning the percentage of contingency. LBB were hoping to agree a figure of 25%, TfL were favouring 15%. Originally, the contingency was 40%. Mr Munnelly pointed out that given the high total value of the scheme, the difference in the percentage values equated to a significant amount of money. It was hoped that the matter would soon be agreed. The materials could then be ordered; it was hoped that implementation could proceed in September 2016. A detailed implementation plan would be sought from FM Conway once TfL had agreed funding. It was anticipated that everything would be signed off by the end of June. Mr Munnelly stated that the design was robust, lessons had been learnt from previous projects, and so it was hoped that there would not be many problems with the implementation of the major scheme project. 


Dr Parker felt that engagement in the public consultation was limited, and that large numbers of the public were still not aware of what was going on. He wanted to see a greater dissemination of information to the general public. Mr Munnelly stated that general arrangement drawings would be displayed. Councillor Stephen Wells suggested that drawings be displayed in a three day exhibition at the Beckenham Public Halls.


The Group heard that when works were being undertaken on a project in Orpington, information had been placed in an empty shop. The process for doing this in Beckenham had not yet been decided. Lorraine McQuillan (Town Centre Manager) suggested that LBB use a shop on Beckenham High Street. The Chairman felt that perhaps a media release was also appropriate.


The Chairman read an update to the Group concerning the Albemarle Road/Southend Road Junction; this had been drafted by Mr Chris Cole:


Virgin Media had now agreed to move their cable with LBB providing Civils assistance. Once the cable had been moved, LBB would then immediately start on the rest of the junction works. This was likely to occur in July 2016.  LBB were liaising with TfL’s Signals Team to ensure that all works were co-ordinated. In order to minimise disruption, LBB would prefer the start date to be in late July once the school holidays commenced, as traffic was significantly less in the morning peak.


Provided the decision had been made on materials, the junction could then be completed. If no decision had been made, the footway would be temporarily made good with tarmac, and the permanent materials would be installed as part of the major scheme.


Mr Oliver informed the Group that the construction drawings were now almost complete. However, they were not final. The Group looked at a planning drawing that focused on the Albemarle Road Junction. The drawing was in colour and so the Group were able to easily identify the varying types of paving  ...  view the full minutes text for item 50.




The Purple Flag update was provided by Lorraine McQuillan, the newly appointed Town Centre Manager for Beckenham and Penge. She informed the Group that she had been appointed from April 1st 2016. She advised that the Purple Flag assessment had taken place in December 2015, and had been subsequently awarded. She stated that Beckenham had received its flag, and the Chairman enquired where it was going to be placed. Ms McQuillan suggested that the flag be located on the Green. The Chairman asked if Beckenham could have more than one flag, and it was agreed that the matter of location should be discussed at the next meeting. An issue had been raised concerning whether or not planning permission was required to display the flag, this was ongoing.


Ms McQuillan was hopeful that the Town Team would be allocated funding to promote the Purple Flag status. The unveiling of the flag was yet to come, and a report was due back to the assessors. A follow up assessment was due later in the year. The Group noted that no other town in the Borough had been awarded the Purple Flag.


Ms McQuillan informed the Group that she would be going on maternity leave for about 9 months in August, and that cover would be arranged. It had not been confirmed yet if the maternity cover would be full time or part time-the details would be confirmed to the Group when available. 


RESOLVED that the matter of the location of the Purple Flag be brought to the next meeting.  




Chloe Jane Ross was not available to give the Town Team update, but Marie Pender advised that the alleyway signposting was well underway.  




Mr Oliver informed the Group that he had been in contact with Network Rail, and it had been confirmed that no further developments at Beckenham Junction Station were planned before 2020.




Melanie Corfield from the Post Office Ltd Communications Team attended to provide the update on Post Office Counter Services in Beckenham. She informed the Group that Post Office Ltd, which owns and runs the Crown Post Office Network, was separated from the Royal Mail Group Ltd on 1 April 2012. In return for a package of Government funding for transformation and modernisation, the Post Office was committed to investing in the network, and maintaining a network of around 11,500 branches with no further substantive reductions and continued accessibility for all at the national level.


It was noted that the Government had moved many services online, and as a result usage was now different. There are now 300 Crown Post Offices  including Beckenham. Ms Corfield stated that many Post Offices were not able to remain in high streets in their current form for economic reasons.


Some of the economic reasons were outlined as:


·  High fixed costs

·  High staff costs

·  Reduction in customer numbers


Ms Corfield explained to the Working Group that W H Smith had been partnering with the Post Office for 10 years, and so a good working relationship had been established. The partnership was symbiotic in that it provided the Post Office with  suitable high street locations, whilst providing an expanded customer base for WH Smith. It was the case that savings were now required to release money for investment, and that the government subsidy to the Post Office was decreasing.


The plan was that the Post Office in Beckenham would move into WH Smith in the High Street, and would take over roughly a third of the floor space. The business would be run by WH Smith as a franchise; there would be longer opening hours, with the addition of Sunday trading. The consultation process was ongoing.


Jackie Groundsell enquired about the ten year franchise with W H Smith and asked if the 10 year term began from the time that the generic franchise contract with W H Smith was originated, or whether it began with the new franchise contract at Beckenham. Ms Corfield promised to get back to the Group concerning this.


Alan Old enquired what the specific reasons were for closing the Post Office at its current location in Beckenham, as it was always very busy. Ms Corfield reiterated the economic reasons outlined previously, as well as the fact that the lease was expiring, and this would be expensive to renew. It was also the case that the Post Office was hopeful that it had sourced a suitable partnership opportunity with WH Smith in Beckenham High Street.


A member enquired what would happen if the franchise went ahead, and then WH Smith pulled out at a later date. Ms Corfield responded that if this occurred, then the Post Office would have to source an alternative partner.


Dr John Parker enquired if there were any floor plans that could be looked at. Ms Corfield replied that a floor plan could be supplied as long as it was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 54.




The Group was informed that Chloe Jane Ross (Chairman of Copers Cope Area Resident’s Association) had met with Dan Pearce, and that a suitable location for a wall mural had been identified. They felt that a side wall of Patrick’s Bar in the High Street would be a suitable location for the mural, and it was noted that Patrick’s were supportive of the project. The Group were informed that additionally, Ms Ross would be meeting with Andre Masters (sculptor) in the next two weeks. Mr Goy asked if it was appropriate to have Mr Bowie’s image looking down at everyone.


The Chairman stated that it was now time to get costings, and to ascertain where funding would come from.


Concerning the Bandstand in Croydon Road Recreation Ground, it was noted that supporters of the project to restore the bandstand could buy a personalised brick around the bandstand, which could carry any message, whether it was remembering the music legend, or commemorating a loved one.


The bricks would form a circular pathway around the structure and expand the performing space. Each brick would cost £100, with the proceeds going towards the restoration and enjoyment of the bandstand. Councillor Phillips advised that fifty bricks had been sold so far.


Resolved that the matter of the David Bowie Memorial be referred to the Renewal and Recreation PDS Committee.




The Chairman read out a written update from Mr Chris Cole concerning the publication of traffic related information on the web, as follows:


“The traffic team is in the process of significantly improving the information that was on the LBB website.  Previously the information was difficult to find or non-existent.


The web site is still a work in progress, but there is now some information available at  Additional information on parking design was being added today for example.


The link to the accident data is not yet on the site, but it is planned to be so shortly.” 


It was agreed that the plans and drawings would be published when general agreement on the drawings had been established.


It was noted that sample paving was still in place outside of Zizzi’s, and that new sample paving had also been laid outside the former fried chicken shop near the cinema, with explanatory posters on the shop window.





The date of the next meeting is to be confirmed.


The date of the next meeting was confirmed as 30th June 2016. It was agreed that a copy of the next agenda be sent to Cllr Rutherford, the newly appointed Chairman of the Council’s Renewal and Recreation PDS Committee