SCAM ALERT; Council Tax rebate, ‘We won’t call you’

Bromley Trading Standards wants to remind Bromley residents that they will NOT receive a telephone call regarding the Council Tax rebate that is currently due to qualifying residents in property bands A-D.

Scammers have been contacting households by phone asking for bank details in order to process the £150 rebate. They may claim to be calling from or on behalf of the Council but this is not true.

Beckenham Place Park – Events over Easter

EVENTS OVER THE EASTER PERIOD

Monthly Makers market

2nd April from 10am-4pm and every first Saturday of the Month, In the Homestead Courtyard 

Weekly Food and Farmers market

Every Sunday 10am-3pm, in front of the Mansion 

LK Wedding Fayre

10th April from 11-5pm, in the Mansion

Good Friday – Easter Cultural Market 

15th April from 10-5pm, in the Mansion

Artists’ Open Studio

18th April from 11-4pm, in the Mansion 

So Last Century’s Vintage Market

18th April from 10-5pm, in the Mansion

Trading Standards Alert: Easter chocolate scam

Bromley Trading Standards wants to draw your attention to the Easter chocolate scam that is being circulated and echoes the warning from Cadbury UK and in the mainstream media. 

Cadbury UK say “We’ve been made aware of circulating posts on social media claiming to offer consumers a free Easter Chocolate basket. We confirm that this hasn’t been generated by us and we urge consumers not to interact. Your security is our priority & we’re currently working to resolve this”. 

Look out and report Hedgehogs and Toads in Beckenham

Bromley Biodiversity Partnership Species and Habitats are keen to find out where there are hedgehogs and toads across the Borough. They have some big gaps in areas where they would expect to find hedgehogs and toads such as the Bethlem area, Elmers End, Park Langley. If you spot one please let them know by email to bromleybiodiversity@gmail.com

9 day closure of line between London Victoria and Beckenham Junction – 23 to 31 July 2022

Message from Southeastern:

9-day closure of line between London Victoria and Beckenham Junction

There will be a 9-day closure of the line between Victoria and Beckenham Junction during the school holidays, 23 – 31 July. Trains will be able to run south from Beckenham Junction during the working week.

This extended line closure in one complete period will minimise overall disruption to both passengers and lineside neighbours and remove the need for repeated weekend closures which can take up twice the time. As the work will be noisy at times, Network Rail want to get it done in as short a time as possible.

Network Rail will be replacing 4km of old track

Network Rail engineers will be replacing the track through the 1.25m tunnel. They are replacing 3,970 metres of track in total, using engineering trains, road-rail vehicles and other heavy machinery to complete the work.

Most of the track, including the rail sleepers and ballast, are now over 30 years old and some even date back to the early 1970s – making it more than half a century old in places. The end result will really make a difference for our passengers. The new track will mean more reliable journeys for years to come.

Check revised timetables between 23-31 July

We are asking passengers to check before they travel when the revised timetables are confirmed. Travel information and advice amd ticket acceptance on other rail routes will be provided as soon as possible.

Passengers from the following stations will be affected:

Shortlands, Beckenham Junction, Kent House, Penge East, Sydenham Hill, West Dulwich, Herne Hill, Brixton and London Victoria.

Where can people get more information?

Network Rail’s dedicated project page is www.networkrail.co.uk/PengeTunnel

The £10m project is part of the wider £1.25billion South East Upgrade programme to invest in the railway across the Kent route.

Attention Copers Cope Road residents – information on closure of Park Road – feedback by 8 March 2022

Bromley Council sent out letters to residents to advise their intention to close Park Road at its junction of Southend Road (shown in yellow on the map). However they have not included residents that live on Copers Cope Road by the Southend Road junction. The closure of Park Road will likely displace traffic on to Copers Cope Road as well as Brackley Road. We asked the Council to send the letter to residents in the red circle, but they say they cannot. Grateful if residents can help spread the word.

Further details of the scheme can be found in our previous post here.

CCG: Webinar for people with lived experience of musculoskeletal conditions -29 or 31 March 2022

Message from South East London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG):

Have you had aches and pains or difficulty with day-to-day activities related to a musculoskeletal (MSK) condition? MSK conditions affect the joints, bones and muscles, they also include autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. 

We are looking to improve the MSK patient journey in south east London and are keen to understand views of people with lived experience of MSK conditions.

We will be hosting two online webinars, both webinars will have the same content therefore you only need to attend one.

Tuesday 29 March 1:00-2:00 pm – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/webinar-for-people-with-lived-experience-of-musculoskeletal-conditions-tickets-290377937227

Thursday 31 March  6:00-7:00 pm – https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/webinar-for-people-with-lived-experience-of-musculoskeletal-conditions-tickets-290412109437

The webinars will provide an opportunity to hear about initial proposals to improve the MSK patient journey, ask questions and give your views on what works well and what could be better.  

Park Road to be closed at Southend Rd Junction – have your say by 8 March 2022

Bromley Council are proposing to completely close Park Road at its junction with Southend Rd. This will be done for a minimum 12 months as a trial. Residents that wish to comment must do so by 8 March by email to traffic@bromley.gov.uk, we recommend also copying in Ward Councillors and ourselves at hello@coperscope.org.uk .

Residents have previously raised concerns with our Association that closing Park Road will cause traffic to be displaced on to Copers Cope Road and on Brackley Road by a primary school, both of which also have a high number of traffic incidents according to crashmap.org.uk.

We put this to the Assistant Director Traffic and Parking at Bromley Council, who agreed there were concerns about displaced traffic, but as the number of collisions at the junction of Park Road with Foxgrove Road has been of concern for many years, it is felt that something must be tried here.

It would be interesting to know what other options the Council considered for this junction, if any. Our Association would like to see a light controlled crossing put in for Beckenham Place Park (not a zebra). We also think 12 months is too long if the road closure is not working well.

We have also asked Bromley Council to increase the letters they are sending directly to residents about this scheme as currently they have not sent them to residents on Copers Cope Road by the Southend Road junction.

Beware SCAMs – stormy weather repair

Advice from Bromley Trading Standards below…

Bromley Trading Standards hopes that everyone stays safe, and that your property is unaffected by the current weather conditions. If however it’s damaged: 

➢ Follow the advice of the Association of British Insurers Storm Eunice – Insurance advice from the ABI – contact your Insurance Company first 

➢ If you need to source a trader for urgent repairs, do as much research as you possibly can – try different traders especially if you have had a positive experience before; Check references, insurance, and membership affiliations with the claimed organisation directly – & get a written quote / contract before any work starts. 

Don’t deal with doorstep callers

➢ Look out for your vulnerable neighbour. 

If you or someone you know has been or is being targeted by Doorstep Criminals call Trading Standards Rapid Response on 07903 852090

Take Five – To Stop Fraud | STOP – CHALLENGE – PROTECT – (takefive-stopfraud.org.uk

Meet-Up Mondays by Rotary Chats – 3rd Monday at Ems Kitchen in Beckenham

This is a wonderful initiative by the Rotary Club at Park Langley….

Don’t be alone… come & join us for a friendly chat and make new acquaintances. We are just a bunch of people ready to talk and have an hour of fun meeting new people.

EVERYONE WELCOME. JUST POP-IN. We meet every MONDAY at 10am: locations below. Starting 7th March 2022

1st Monday – Grounded, Hayes (8 Station Approach)

2nd Monday – Scott’s Kitchen, West Wickham (62 High St)

3rd Monday – Em’s Kitchen Beckenham High St (42A High Street, Beckenham)

4th Monday – Daisy Grey (96 Wickham Rd, near Chinese roundabout)

Follow signs to ROTARY CHATS in the Café. Any Queries Contact: Nolene 0777 386 4704 or Rod 0787 5141 834

Beckenham Junction Station Footbridge Closed from Mon 14 Feb until April

The platform footbridge at Beckenham Junction will be closed from Monday 14 February until April while work is carried out.

Please allow extra time to change platforms or connect with tram services during this time.

While you are here, please sign our petition to reinstate the Blackfriars service.

https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-the-direct-train-service-from-beckenham

Stop shops turning residential without planning permission

The Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association and West Beckenham Residents’ Association has written to the Council in support of a planning direction that will stop empty shops being allowed to change to residential without planning permission. The government introduced a rule allowing them to in August 2021 (see here).

We think it is essential that Beckenham High Street shop-fronts cannot be changed to residential without full planning approval (which gives local people, Cllrs and the Council a say). We must protect the character, heritage and function of our High Street and any changes of shop-fronts to residential must be carefully considered.  We hope the the Article 4 Direction to withdraw the Permitted Development right for changes to residential use, proposed by the Council, will be implemented quickly.

The Little Leaflet of Covid Scams

Bromley Trading Standards is reminding residents to continue to be alert to deceiving calls, messages, emails, or letters taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The NHS and Action Fraud have warned that criminals are pretending to be from the NHS to steal money, financial details, and personal information. The NHS has confirmed that it will never ask for payment or any financial details nor issue fines or penalties relating to your NHS Covid Pass.

Look out for other Covid & Vaccine scams in The Little Leaflet of Covid Scams by the Met Police. See: https://www.met.police.uk/SysSiteAssets/media/downloads/central/advice/fraud/met/little-leaflet-covid-scams.pdf

Prominent Victorian house doomed to be demolished, January 2022

The final decision will be made by councillors at a planning committee meeting at 7pm on Thursday 20th January 2022.   

Situated on the corner of Downsbridge Road, at a prominent location near the brow of the hill between Beckenham and Shortlands, Coleridge House at 79 and 79a Bromley Road is a distinctive building from the late-Victorian era and one of the last remaining grand villa houses that once lined Bromley Road.  

The three-storey building is run by Riverside Housing Association (which also runs Calverley Close on Southend Road) and currently accommodates 12 self-contained social housing flats for the elderly and an adjoining, four-bedroom single family house (79a).  The £12M development involves the demolition of the entire building, replacing it with a five-storey block of 27 flats much bigger than the existing building, and an underground car park.  The proposed scheme comprises 5 No. one-bedroom, 17 No. two-bedroom and 5 No. 3-bedroom flats, providing space for up to 95 occupants.  

The Victorian Society has said, “Victorian villas such as this may be considered fairly common nationally, but within the local context, it is a rare survival. The house has both architectural and historical interest as a building representative of the growth of the area in the late 19th century, and as such, should be considered a local landmark and a non-designated heritage asset and its loss would harm the significance of the building and the contribution it makes to the local area.”  It goes on to say,“The two buildings in combination retain a vestige of the formerly leafy character of the area, and the loss of one would erode this character. If permitted, this could set a precedent for the piecemeal demolition of similar surviving larger 19th/20th century houses in the area.”

Bromley Council has committed to be carbon neutral by 2029 and, considering the UK’s national carbon reduction targets, we believe that retaining, refurbishing or converting existing buildings should always be preferable over demolition.

It is also very disappointing to see in their Affordable Housing Viability Statement that the developer, like many others involved in residential schemes in Beckenham in recent years, doesn’t include any affordable housing provision.  According to planning application documents, the smallest one-bedroom flat in the £12M development is expected to market for £325,000.  The developer’s claim that they can’t afford to provide affordable housing in the scheme, is unacceptable in our view.

The planning officer’s report can be found here

A list of the councillors who’ll be making the final decision at the meeting can be found here.