Agenda and minutes

Venue: Beckenham Library, Beckenham, BR3 4PE

Contact: Stephen Wood  020 8313 4316

No. Item




Apologies were received from Councillors Vanessa Allen, Ian Dunn, and Russell Mellor.


Apologies were also received from Helen McConnell, Gail Low, Dr John Parker, Richard Comaish, Martin Pinnell, Jackie Groundsell, Cliff Watkins and Janice Pilgrim.




There were no declarations of interest.




The minutes of the previous meeting held on 21st September 2017 were agreed and signed as a correct record.




CSD 17153


The Group was asked to note and comment on the report and to review progress on matters arising from previous meetings.


It was noted that the granite would be jet cleaned the week subsequent to the meeting. A full cleaning test would be undertaken in the New Year when the new granite paving at Thornton’s Corner would have embedded. It was noted that the granite paving outside of the kebab shop continued to be a problem due to heavy footfall and grease.


The Chairman queried who would be undertaking the cleaning, and it was suggested that this was likely to be the Council’s cleaning contractor—Kier. Mr Munnelly stated that it would be sensible to clean both Thornton’s Corner and the ‘top edge’ simultaneously. It was clarified that the ‘top edge’ referred to the area around Beckenham Junction Train Station. The Chairman queried if the granite paving at Beckenham Junction would need to be re-laid.


Sarah Niblock mentioned an area of paving near the Mae Ping Thai Restaurant where the paving looked almost black. She suggested that cleaning tests be undertaken there. Mr Munnelly commented that there were likely to be other problems there in addition to normal footfall, possibly drainage issues. The Chairman asked if officers could feedback to Ms Niblock in connection with this.


Nick Goy expressed disappointment that cleaning on both types of granite had not been undertaken. He suggested that if the granite could not be cleaned properly, then it should be replaced with terracotta paving at all junctions.


The Chairman requested an update on the outcome of cleaning the white granite at Beckenham Junction. Stephen Oliver asked the Group to bear in mind that the area around Beckenham Junction would be reminiscent of a building site for the next two weeks. Marsha Berg suggested that the area in front of the kebab shop should be tarmacked. It was agreed that a full report be brought back to the Group at the next meeting, to update on cleaning in the vicinity of Beckenham Junction. It was also suggested that the matter of cleaning should be incorporated into any new contracts. 


The Group noted the email from Harry Marshall that provided an update on bus routes over the Christmas Period. The email confirmed that from 4th December, Beckenham High Street would be re-opened to two way traffic. All buses that were currently on diversion would go back to their original routes for five weeks. A new temporary one way diversion would be back in place from 8th January until the work ended. TfL buses would be putting information on their website and on bus stops in the area. 


The Chairman enquired if the bus stops would be ready, and it was confirmed that this was the case as they had not been taken out. Nick Goy and Marie Pender pointed out that the bus stop flag outside M&S was behind the bus shelter and was in effect back to front. Mr Oliver stated  ...  view the full minutes text for item 165.




Kevin Munnelly (LBB Head of Renewal and Regeneration) stated that the major scheme work was on plan and on budget. The work in the Beckenham Green area would be completed by 2nd December. There would be a temporary blacktop area available for the market in time for Christmas, as it was too cold to lay the final resin-bound surface, and power points would be connected. LBB were waiting for Thames Water to connect the water connections. The work at Thornton’s Corner was nearly completed and the highway would be resurfaced the following week.


The Group heard that benches had been ordered and it was planned to plant six trees before December, or at least within the first two weeks of December. Mr Munnelly advised that it was planned to fix 8 hanging lanterns on the established trees on Beckenham Green. These were LED and would need to be wired in. They were inexpensive, had a long life, and would be permanent.


The Chairman thanked F.M Conway for the very high quality work that they had undertaken with respect to paving.


David Wood noted the sewage works outside of Zizzi’s, and asked how long the High Street would be closed there. Assurance was provided that the Christmas works embargo also applied to utility companies and that no new holes should be dug in the High Street except in the case of emergencies. 


Stephen Oliver (LBB Senior Planning Officer) informed the Group that the park benches would not be sited before Christmas. Gary Warner pointed out that there would be a limited amount of electricity that would be available for the Christmas Market on the Green and so this would need to be managed. Chloe-Jane Ross advised that the electricity supply would be limited to certain stalls. Mr Warner mentioned that the electricity supply would be fed to individual meters via a feeder pillar. Payment for the electricity would be managed by the Parks Team.


Chloe-Jane Ross announced that the Town Centre Team had secured funding for the new Christmas tree lights. Funding had been provided by the Town Centre Team, Residents and Business Associations and five individual businesses. The Christmas tree style illumination, as seen last year at Shortlands, would be sited on the hard standing area at Beckenham Green. There would be a cost of £600.00 per annum to erect, take down and store the tree.


David Wood alerted the Group to the lack of new paving along Bromley Road by St George’s Church. He expressed hope that new paving could be extended in front of the alms houses up to the junction with St George’s Road. Mr Munnelly assured the meeting that this information would be factored into the scheme design.


The Chairman asked what was going to happen regarding the paving at Kelsey Square. The Chairman was informed that the paving at Kelsey Square would be made from red/grey clay. The pattern of the paving would reflect the brickwork of the building. Mr Munnelly informed the Group  ...  view the full minutes text for item 166.




The Town Centre Team update was provided by Chloe-Jane Ross.


She briefed that little progress had been made regarding the David Bowie Mural. Pre-Christmas was not an appropriate time of the year to embark on a crowd-funding campaign. There was still a requirement to raise £35k. Various sources of funding were being explored including the Mayor’s Project and the Arts Council. Patrick’s Bar was still ok with the scheme and would wait for the relevant funding to be raised. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) had been drafted to clarify the community involvement in terms of ownership.


Councillor Stephen Wells reminded the Group that a new inspection was due in June concerning the renewal application for Purple Flag status. He acknowledged the hard work that Paul Lehane (LBB Head of Food Safety, Occupational Safety and Licensing) had contributed to the initial application, but expressed the view that it would be unreasonable for Mr Lehane to continue this work going forward due to his heavy workload. Councillor Wells felt that this work should now be delegated to the Town Centre Manager. The Town Centre Manager explained that she had been in discussions with Mr Lehane concerning this matter. It had been decided at Director level that Mr Lehane would still lead on matters concerning the Purple Flag.The Town Centre Manager reported that the interim assessment had been successful and work had now commenced on the full renewal for 2018.


The Chairman advised the Group that Councillor Nicholas Bennett should be consulted on matters relating to heritage up-lighting on buildings.


Susan Ryall asked if the Christmas Tree could be located at the War Memorial instead of Beckenham Green. The reasons given for this not being possible was that there was no power point on the War Memorial, and no tree pit.


Alan Old mentioned two telecom utility boxes that were located in the middle of the pavement outside of the nail salon by La Rascasse. Now that the pavement had widened, the boxes were an unsightly obstacle. Officers would take this into account when siting bicycle racks and town benches to minimise the effect of this positioning, but moving the boxes would be too expensive.


Mr Goy asked if ‘distance diagrams’ were available to clarify the correct distances from the front of premises that cafes and restaurants were allowed to use for the placement of tables and chairs on footways. Mr Munnelly suggested that a Licensing Officer be invited to the next meeting to speak about this issue. The relevant officer with the licensed pavements information might be Paul Lehane or Toby Smith. Mr Goy expressed concerns about  tree-pits being located outside of Londis, commenting that these would also take up more pavement space and turn the area into an obstacle course. It was said the areas of licensed enclosures would be reviewed when the trees were planted.


It was also stated that TfL appeared to have a new policy of locating bus shelters centrally on footways and not in accordance  ...  view the full minutes text for item 167.




The Town Centre Manager appraised the Group of the options for public notice boards. Illuminated digital displays were not cost effective due to the costs involved in installation and hard wiring. Planning permission would also be required.  She recommended replacing the existing boards on a like-for-like basis. Councillor Wells suggested using solar power for illumination. The Town Centre Manager stated that a separate pole would be required for a solar power panel.


Marie Pender highlighted the problem of the notice board outside of M&S. She felt that it was located in a position that was too dark and should be re-located. She suggested that all of the current notice boards should be sited lower so that notices at the top could be read.


The Town Centre Manager asked for a quick decision in terms of whether or not the display boards should be illuminated. The Chairman suggested that perhaps just the notice board at M&S could be illuminated. Chloe-Jane Ross felt that the display board at M&S should not be moved as it was a popular location with the public, and the board was well read. The Chairman asked if the Town Centre Manager could ask M&S if they would be willing to provide a spotlight.


The LBB Head of Renewal and Recreation mentioned that 30 new applications would be submitted to modernise the phone boxes in the Bromley borough. The phone box design would incorporate a 24 inch high electronic panel that could be used as a community notice board. The new notice boards on the phone boxes would be programmed remotely. Councillor Wells remarked that virtual updating using digital technology was positive and he supported the idea as did Chloe-Jane Ross.


Mr Goy said that he endorsed Ms Mcquillan’s recommendation against community digital display boards with their eye-watering costs. There were three lockable boards at present. The different specifications circulated illustrative initial costs for digital displays were, per board: £5k, £6k, £15k or £21k for a 6-10 year lifespan plus running costs; illuminated displays required internal climate control to guarantee even their limited lifespans.


Mr Goy was opposed to the idea of community digital display boards, as he felt that people did not get enough time to read the messages. He referenced the display board in Penge library which changed display every 5 seconds. The Chairman stated that the response time could be lengthened to 10 seconds and that it would be worth exploring as an alternative. 


Mr Goy said if there were a dozen notices, displayed singly, people would pass by and not see them all. With traditional noticeboards, people can see at a glance what is new and of interest. They can read and note details at their own pace. He provided some examples. St George’s Church concert A4 notices had lengthy information about the dates, performers, programmes, prices and contact details. Another complicated notice is for the locations of the Community Toilets which open at different times and which people may  ...  view the full minutes text for item 168.




The Group heard that a draft business plan had been produced.


The draft BID (Business Improvement District) business plan had been referred to both the Renewal and Recreation PDS Committee and the Executive. An amendment to the boundaries on the BID map had been requested. The final business plan was currently with the BID Steering Group for approval and would subsequently go to the Portfolio Holder for Renewal and Recreation to sign off.


It was expected that the BID would be up and running by Summer 2018.


The Group was informed that the Beckenham and Penge BIDS had separate business plans and would be set up as separate private limited companies sharing some back office costs such as office space, staff etc and not collaboratively. In Beckenham, local businesses asked for ‘Business Ambassadors’, whilst in Penge the local businesses felt they would prefer Police accredited Street Rangers. 


Councillor Sarah Phillips asked if the Street Ambassadors would be employed, and if so by whom. The Group heard that they would be paid employees of the BID. They would be employed after the Bid Manager was in place.


The Chairman mentioned that in Richmond there was within the railway station ticket hall a visitor information kiosk run by volunteers. They gave directions, and promoted businesses and events in the town. The Chairman wondered if Beckenham could have a kiosk like this at Beckenham Junction. The Town Centre Manager commented that there was a limited budget and this was not currently in the business plan. There may be an opportunity for such a project in the future as part of the BID and a base point for Street Ambassadors. 


The Chairman expressed the view that as a result of all of the work being undertaken in Beckenham, it was expected that footfall would increase by at least 10% against a national decline. Mr Goy remarked that this was unevidenced and aspirational.


RESOLVED that the BID update be noted.





Marie Pender stated that more information was required to develop the Parking Provision Review Paper. A map was needed that provided information relating parking usage in specific areas. She needed a single, not multiple map of the area that detailed parking capacity. She also required information on charges and revenue. The Chairman suggested that Mrs Pender send her queries to the Council, and that she should receive a response within 5 days.


Councillor Wells informed the Group that up until recently, the technology was not available to differentiate income and easily amend parking charges.


However, the software was now available and so differentiation was possible. He suggested that parking data be used to look at where people desired to park, and to work out parking churn and charges. He emphasised the need for a churn rate so that people would not be parking in Beckenham for the whole day.


There was a general consensus that all day parking in Beckenham should be limited and there should be a roll out of a scheme to differentiate parking charges in line with supply and demand.This should be fine as long as revenue did not decrease overall.




A report had been drafted by Stephen Oliver concerning Telephone Kiosks in Beckenham High Street.


The Group heard that there were two payphone operators in Beckenham which were BT and New World Telephones. BT only had two kiosks and they were not interested in moving them.


New World Telephones were about to submit an application for 32 kiosks throughout the borough. As mentioned previously, these would have the electronic advertisement panels on one side. Marie Pender suggested that approvals for such applications be time limited. This was suggestion was endorsed by the Chairman.


Mr Goy countered a view that phone kiosks were no longer needed and should be removed. While they were used less frequently, in the event of losing one’s mobile phone e.g. by street theft, or some technological or malicious network hacking failure it was useful and ‘resilient’ to have a back-up system.


The Chairman requested that the Group be updated on the negotiations with New World Telephones, and asked that the matter be kept on the agenda for the next meeting.


RESOLVED that the report on telephone kiosks be noted and that the matter be kept on the agenda for the next meeting. 








David Wood gave an update on the Heritage Trail plaques and a paper giving examples of abbreviated wording was circulated.


It was confirmed that the circular plaques would be set into the footways on completion of the re-paving scheme. Twenty Four plaques were suggested.


Comments were welcomed, especially if the comments could validate the accuracy of the dates or enhance the descriptions. Mr Wood asked for information concerning the budget for the plaques, and whether this would limit the number that could be installed.  


It was confirmed that a budget was available, but this was not open-ended. It was thought that a minimum of ten plaques would be required. It was estimated that the plaques would cost about £500.00 each, but there may be economies of scale achievable if 24 were ordered.


Ms Pender reminded the Group that the paper representation of the plaques that had been distributed were not representative of the true quality of the plaques. 


RESOLVED that the update on the Heritage Trail plaques be noted and that any comments regarding the plaques be forwarded to David Wood.




The date of the next meeting was confirmed as Thursday January 18th at 7.30pm.


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