Agenda and minutes

Contact: Jo Partridge  020 8461 7694

Items
No. Item

1.

WELCOME AND APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies had been received from Dave Freeborn – Proctors, Chris Glover – Churchill Theatre, Mark Haynes – The Glades, Marg Mayne – Mytime Active, Helen McIntosh – South East London Chamber of Commerce and Robert Sargent – Acorn Group.

 

Apologies had also been received from Carol Arnfield – LBB Head of Service for Early Years, School Standards and Adult Education, Frances Forrest – Your Bromley BID Company and Sam Parrett – London South East Colleges, and Elena Diaconescu – Bromley Adult Education College, Zoe Griffiths – Your Bromley BID Company and Andrew Cox – London South East Colleges attended as their respective substitutes.

 

2.

APPOINTMENT OF VICE CHAIRMAN

Minutes:

RESOLVED that Katy Woolcott, London Biggin Hill Airport be appointed Vice-Chairman for the 2021/22 municipal year.

 

3.

QUESTIONS FROM COUNCILLORS AND MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ATTENDING THE MEETING

In accordance with the Council’s Constitution, questions that are not specific to reports on the agenda must have been received in writing 10 working days before the date of the meeting.

 

Questions specifically relating to reports on the agenda should be received within two working days of the normal publication date of the agenda. Please ensure that questions specifically on reports on the agenda are received by the Democratic Services Team by 5pm on Friday 9th July 2021.

Minutes:

No questions had been received.

 

4.

MINUTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON 21ST APRIL 2021 AND MATTERS OUTSTANDING pdf icon PDF 459 KB

Minutes:

The Chairman noted that any matters outstanding would be addressed during the meeting.

 

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting held on 21st April 2021 be agreed.

 

5.

TERMS OF REFERENCE pdf icon PDF 143 KB

Minutes:

Members considered the revised Terms of Reference and membership of the Bromley Economic Partnership.

 

The LBB Place Shaping and Local Economy Manager advised Members that the Terms of Reference had been updated to reflect the more formal structure of the Partnership. The main change was that the Partnership would report into the Renewal, Recreation and Housing Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee on a bi-annual basis, including an update on the work programme associated with the Economic Development Plan and data trends related to the local economy of the borough. It was noted that the Bromley Economic Partnership’s Terms of Reference and associated membership would be reviewed on at least an annual basis. A copy of the Bromley Economic Partnership Terms of Reference can be found at Appendix A.

 

RESOLVED that the revised Terms of Reference for the Bromley Economic Partnership be agreed.

 

6.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY UPDATE

Minutes:

The LBB Place Shaping and Local Economy Manager informed Members that the Economic Development Strategy had been formally adopted at the meeting of the Council’s Executive on 30th June 2021. The final version of the document, and the associated press release, would be circulated to Members following the meeting.  (ACTION: LBB Place Shaping and Local Economy Manager / Clerk)

 

RESOLVED that the Economic Development Strategy update be noted.

 

7.

PLANNING POLICY UPDATE

Minutes:

Ben Johnson, LBB Head of Planning Policy and Strategy provided an update in relation to planning policy.

 

The LBB Head of Planning Policy and Strategy advised Members that at the previous meeting of the Partnership, it had been noted that Article 4 directions were being prepared in light of the government introducing new regulations from August 2021, which would broadly allow the majority of units in class E (such as retail, offices and restaurants) to be converted to residential use through permitted development rights. The LBB Head of Planning Policy and Strategy highlighted that it would be extremely damaging for town centres and industrial areas if development were unrestricted as it could lead to a significant loss of economic floor space, particularly retail and office space. The Article 4 directions had since been presented to the May 2021 meeting of the Council’s Development Control Committee, and subsequently to the Renewal, Recreation and Housing Policy Development and Scrutiny Committee for Portfolio Holder sign-off, and the legal process was now underway. As the government had given Local Authorities a year to replace any existing Article 4 directions, these would come into force in August 2022.

 

In response to a question from Sharon Baldwin, Orpington 1st BID Company, the LBB Head of Planning Policy and Strategy said the Article 4 directions related to designations within the Local Plan. Areas that they were looking to protect included all town centres in the borough; all office clusters; and Strategic Industrial Locations (SIL) and Locally Significant Industrial Sites (LSIS).

 

Members were advised that the team were at the very early stages of a Local Plan review. The first action would be a ‘Call for Sites’ consultation exercise which would be launched in the coming weeks. It was noted that these tended to focus on housing sites, however the Local Authority would be keen to look at any potential sites for economic development or any other uses.

 

Work was also underway to produce Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) for Bromley and Orpington town centres. Draft documents were currently being prepared and it was anticipated that the consultation process would be launched before the end of the year. In response to a question from the Chairman, the LBB Head of Planning Policy and Strategy advised that the SPDs provided further guidance regarding Local Plan policies and details on how they should be implemented. In response to questions from the Vice-Chairman, the LBB Head of Planning Policy and Strategy said that Members of the Partnership would be notified when the ‘Call for Sites’ was issued, and this could be circulated to wider network groups to ensure as much coverage as possible.    (ACTION: LBB Head of Planning Policy and Strategy / Clerk)

 

With regards to the proposed zoning process mentioned at previous meetings, the LBB Head of Planning Policy and Strategy advised that no further information had been provided by the government. It was anticipated that a government response to the issues raised in the previous consultation would be received  ...  view the full minutes text for item 7.

8.

TOWN CENTRES AND BUSINESS SUPPORT UPDATE

Minutes:

Lorraine McQuillan, LBB Place Shaping and Local Economy Manager provided an update on Town Centres and Business Support.

 

Members were advised that since the last meeting, the Local Authority had been successful in its bid, and awarded £295k from the ‘Welcome Back Fund’. This was for use in welcoming customers back to the high streets – ideas for activities and installations were currently being worked through and some elements would be implemented the following month. It was noted that the outcome of a ‘High Streets for All’ funding bid was also imminent. The Chairman asked for the thoughts of the BID Managers regarding the use of the ‘Welcome Back Fund’. Zoe Carr, Beckenham Together BID Company & Penge SE20 BID Company said that a few ideas had been discussed with the LBB Place Shaping and Local Economy Manager at a recent meeting. Zoe Griffiths, Your Bromley BID Company advised that ideas were being progressed with the LBB Place Shaping and Local Economy Manager and a ‘wish list’ had been submitted. Sharon Baldwin, Orpington 1st BID Company noted that this fund provided the opportunity to make the town centres more interesting and welcoming for customers. The ‘High Street for All’ funding would be the most significant in terms of the projects put forward in Orpington, as the team were working to gain a greater understanding of meanwhile space whilst major transformation was taking place. Connections had been made with a community group, owners and landlords and the Local Authority to look at a blended offer and trialling it before creating the units and premises – five premises were currently being worked on, including a bike shop.

 

With regards to the ‘Welcome Back Fund’, Mike Humphries, Handelsbanken suggested that in order to bring people back onto the high streets the Local Authority could consider utilising part of the fund to allow free parking over certain weekends, particularly as people were still reticent about using public transport. The Chairman said that this had previously been discussed, and it was considered that the car parking prices were reasonable – it was not the cost of parking that deterred people from coming into the town centre, but it may be the quality of the parking and this was something they were looking to address in the redevelopment of The Hill Car Park.

 

The LBB Place Shaping and Local Economy Manager informed Members that the ‘Start-Up Bromley’ programme had been launched, providing support to start-up businesses and entrepreneurs. As part of this scheme, business lounge facilities were available in Bromley Central Library and Orpington Library – this was a dedicated business space which could be used to work and hold meetings. In response to a question from the Chairman, the LBB Place Shaping and Local Economy Manager said that the business lounge in Bromley featured a large space for up to six entrepreneurs – there were individual desk spaces; a shared area in the middle; meeting rooms; and a workshop space. A similar offer was  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.

9.

WORK PROGRAMME 2021-22

Minutes:

The LBB Place Shaping and Local Economy Manager informed Members that following the adoption of the Economic Development Strategy, a work programme had been developed based on the seven key aspirations within the document: Education and Skills; Employment Spaces; Helping Businesses Thrive; High Streets for the Future; Connectivity and Mobility; Enhancement of Tourism and Culture Industries; and Working Towards a Green Economy.

 

A template was being prepared to populate the document with areas of work that were in to be started, in progress or completed – the document set out the objectives for each economic aspiration and a list of actions associated with it. The document would be used to monitor progress in achieving the objectives of the Strategy and set clear priorities on a quarterly basis. It was noted that discussions had taken place earlier in the meeting regarding employment spaces and upskilling courses – work in these areas was being undertaken by partners and the Local Authority, but this needed to be combined into one cohesive plan.

 

The LBB Place Shaping and Local Economy Manager advised that this would be an ongoing process, and over the next few weeks meetings would be scheduled with Members of the Partnership to look at ways of working collaboratively on some of the actions listed in the document. The work undertaken would be monitored on a quarterly basis and it was proposed that the document be shared at each meeting of the Partnership – to demonstrate what had been achieved during the last quarter and identify areas of focus for the next. It was noted that the document would be amended as work took place and evidence the tangible achievements. Christopher Evans, Community Links Bromley noted that a lot of the measures appeared to be based on outputs and suggested that consideration may also need to be given to outcomes.

 

Lee Thomas, Fairlight Group said that he had been surprised to see there were only 45 employers in the borough that had over 250 employees. It was considered that addressing this was something that should be included in the plan. The Vice-Chairman highlighted that London Biggin Hill Airport was a unique selling point for the borough, and an asset that could help maximise jobs and employment in the area. Mike Lewis, Michael Rogers LLP advised that when brochures were produced to market any space in the borough, he ensured that London Biggin Hill Airport was labelled on the maps included within it. Mike Humphries, Handelsbanken noted that discussions had also previously taken place regarding the inclusion of leisure and social opportunities in the borough.

 

The LBB Place Shaping and Local Economy Manager informed Members that another piece of work being undertaken was an Economic Data Report, a copy of which would be circulated to Members following the meeting.

  (ACTION: LBB Place Shaping and Local Economy Manager / Clerk)

 

The report provided key statistics on how the town centres and borough as a whole was performing, including information on the number of business  ...  view the full minutes text for item 9.

10.

ANY OTHER BUSINESS

Members of the partnership are requested to notify the clerk of any items to be discussed at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

Minutes:

Zoe Griffiths – Your Bromley BID Company informed Members that the town centre had a successful start to the summer and lifting of restrictions – lots of events had taken place, and even more were planned. Over the last few weeks the Floral Fest Competition had taken place, which saw 30 primary schools having their planters displayed on Bromley High Street. Celebrity gardener, Charlie Dimmock, had helped judge the competition entries and over 4,000 votes were registered from the public. A large screen had also been installed to broadcast the two weeks of Wimbledon. In response to a question from the Chairman, Zoe Griffiths said that footfall in Bromley town centre for June 2021 was at a similar level to the same period in 2019, with some days being even higher – they hoped to sustain this and increase footfall even further.

 

An event would be run at the weekend which was aimed at reducing single-use plastic, which Your Bromley BID Company had made a commitment to in its Business Plan. Businesses would be encouraged to sign up to Refill London, and in turn this would be promoted, and children’s workshops would also be held. Meetings were taking place with key stakeholders regarding Christmas to ensure that the messages were consistent – a successful Christmas period was needed more than ever, and contingency planning was also being considered to prepare for any future periods of lockdown.

 

Longer term work was also being undertaken in relation to rebranding Your Bromley BID Company and creating a new website. Market research had been commissioned to look at what people thought about Bromley town centre – feedback received so far indicated that shopping was key, and other positive comments related to green spaces and connectivity. Further work relating to this would be undertaken in the coming months. Your Bromley BID Company had also commissioned 10 book benches, which looked like open books, and would be located in the town centre for eight weeks. Three of these benches would be bespoke to Bromley – Charles Darwin, Enid Blyton and David Bowie. In response to questions from Lee Thomas, Zoe Griffiths said that Your Bromley BID Company had collaborated with the Acorn Book Club, promoting drop off and collection points to residents. It was noted that other themes had been considered for the book benches, but only three could be selected.

 

Sharon Baldwin – Orpington 1st BID Company said that Orpington High Street was performing well. Vacancy rates were the lowest they had been in a long time and they had a list of prospective tenants for when properties became available. A central London office had recently relocated to the town centre and as a commuter town it was anticipated that this trend would continue. Footfall continued to bounce back well due to the strong hospitality offer in the town centre.

 

With regards to the Walnuts Shopping Centre, as properties were becoming vacant ahead of the redevelopment, these were units that were being used for  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.

11.

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

4.00pm, Tuesday 12th October 2021

4.00pm, Tuesday 11th January 2022

4.00pm, Tuesday 29th March 2022

Minutes:

4.00pm, Tuesday 12th October 2021

4.00pm, Tuesday 11th January 2022

4.00pm, Tuesday 29th March 2022

 

Appendix A pdf icon PDF 143 KB

 

Original Text: