Bromley Trading Standards are reminding residents to be wary of ‘cold calls’ – unexpected phone calls

Imposters are tricking people into divulging personal and sensitive information or parting with cash and high value items. 

Some examples of cold calls include claiming to be a: 

Police Officer – victims are told to withdraw a sum of money or purchase high value items such as jewellery, watches and gold. Someone is sent to their home to collect it. They are often told to keep their involvement in the ‘Police investigation’ secret. 

Bank official – victims are convinced to transfer money to a ‘secure’ bank account (which is operated by the criminal) 

Citizens Advice representative – offering to help people with accident claims and debt problems. A Bromley resident was contacted and asked for by name and offered help with debts against her. 

Large/well known organisation – advising of a problem on the victims account or confirming whether a fictitious purchase has been made by the victim 

Protect yourself, your family & friends: 

HANG UP if you receive a cold call – wait 5 minutes then contact the organisation to check whether the call was legitimate. Use a trusted number from a letter or Contact details on their website or on the back of your bank card. Do NOT rely on anything provided by the cold caller. 

✓ Keep your personal information to yourself – never confirm or provide your details during a call 

 Knowing you name and address does NOT mean that the caller is genuine and works for the organisation they claim to be from 

 Banks, Police or other ‘law enforcement’ agencies will never ask for your PIN, bank card, or ask you to withdraw money or buy items on their behalf. 

If you would like to receive Trading Standards Alert! direct to your inbox please visit http://www.bromley.gov.uk/scams and complete the online form. 

If you think you have been targeted by a scam: 

Contact your bank as soon as possible 

Contact the organisation you believed were contacting you 

Tell someone you trust so they can help you to get the help you need 

Call Citizens Advice for advice and guidance 0808 223 1133 

Report to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or http://www.actionfraud.police.uk 

Suspicious emails: report to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service by forwarding the email to – report@phishing.gov.uk 

Suspicious text messages: forward to your service provider on 7726. 

Please share with family, friends, neighbours, colleagues & clients 

Read it. Share it. Prevent it 

Council ‘Call for sites’ for housing, employment and retail uses or any other use

Planning policies and housing targets have changed since Bromley Council adopted their ‘Local Plan’ in 2019.

The Local Plan includes planning policies covering a range of areas, such as housing, employment, sustainability and community uses. It also includes some site allocations which identify sites to be developed for specific uses. The local plan can be found here.

As a first step in the process of updating the Local Plan due to recent changes, the Council is undertaking a ‘Call for Sites’ exercise, which invites landowners, developers and any other parties to put forward potential development sites for allocation, for development of housing, employment and retail uses or any other uses.

Local groups may be aware of sites that would be ideally suited to be developed for housing, employment (office, retail, light industrial) and community use (including green spaces) or existing sites that need protecting and investment to reach their full potential. They may also have submitted suggestions for particular sites for the 2019 Local Plan that were not included and this may be an opportunity to raise them again. Further details on how to submit a site can be found here.

Please get in touch regarding any sites in Beckenham by email to hello@coperscope.org.uk

Crystal Palace Football Club to install oil tank to heat pitch

Hugely disappointing that Crystal Palace Football Club (CPFC) have installed a fossil fuel based system to provide under-pitch heating at their new training ground on Copers Cope Road in Beckenham. Especially as under pitch heating is ideally suited to ground source heat pumps and other renewable energy sources can easily be installed.

The Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association has objected to their retrospective application for the storage tank which will hold 10,000l heating oil and we have requested the Council require a CPFC to undertake a sustainability study.

Furthermore, our objection supports local residents who are concerned about the visual intrusion of a large oil tank at the rear of residential properties, the traffic implications of oil deliveries, the air pollution implications and the potential safety issues of oil leaks or spillages.

How in 2021, with great advances in renewable technology and grave concern about air quality and pollution in cities have CPFC decided that an oil burning pitch heating system is the best they can do! Further details about the planning application can be found on Bromley Council’s website, search planning applications with Ref 21/03379/FULL1.

No Blackfriars train in new Southeastern timetable

Southeastern have still not yet reinstated the Blackfriars service from Beckenham Junction in their new timetable from 12 September. Beckenham risks losing this service. Southeastern recently advised told our Association…

“On the Beckenham Junction to Victoria route we’re now running the same level of service as before the pandemic – with four trains per hour at peak times. This is complemented by four Thameslink trains per hour between Tulse Hill and Blackfriars, which provides an interchange opportunity at Herne Hill for passengers on the Beckenham Junction route. Passenger demand on this route is still significantly reduced compared to pre-pandemic, and the most recent data shows that passenger numbers are only at 37% of the levels we were regularly seeing in early 2020. As we’re currently operating 67% of the pre-pandemic service, there is still available capacity on these trains – but we appreciate that the direct peak-time journey opportunity between Beckenham Junction and Blackfriars is not currently available. 

As we have done throughout the pandemic, we’re keeping passenger numbers under close review and carefully balancing decisions on where to increase capacity in partnership with the Department for Transport. This reflects the significant financial support the government has provided to ensure the railways keep running through the pandemic – up to £800 million per month across the country. Prior to the pandemic our data showed that demand for peak time Victoria services was around three times larger than for Blackfriars services, and that pattern is similar today – albeit with only around a third of the passengers. As passenger numbers continue to increase in the coming months, we will carefully monitor levels of demand and consider whether it would be appropriate to reintroduce some direct services between Beckenham Junction and Blackfriars.”

Unless local people fight for this service we fear it will be lost. Southeastern begrudgingly took it over from Thameslink in 2014 after our campaign, and the pandemic creates the opportunity for them to terminate it now.

Sign the petition at the link below:

Write to Southeastern at:

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

George Paterson

Stakeholder Engagement Manager

Southeastern Railways

Floor 2, 4 More London Riverside

London SE1 2AU

Email: george.paterson@southeasternrailway.co.uk

We have written to our MP Bob Stewart about our campaign and he has written to Southeaster in support of retaining it.

Bromley Council are seeking volunteer ‘Snow Friends’ – find out more at virtual info session at 4.30 pm on Tues 7 Sept 2021

If you are interested in becoming part of a local “snow friends’ group to help with keeping paths and streets clear in the winter the Council are holding an information session next week, you can find out more at the link below.

https://www.bromley.gov.uk/news/article/2755/snow_friends_pulling_together_to_prepare_for_wintry_weather

Independent Person for Council Ethical Standards – apply by 17 September 2021

Bromley Council are looking to appoint one or more “Independent Person(s)” to provide an impartial, balanced and informed view on complaints about the behaviour of councillors and contribute to the oversight of ethical standards in local government in Bromley. Applications must be made by 17 September 2021.

Find out more here:

https://recruitmentbromley.engageats.co.uk/Vacancies/W/3358/0/310374/20336/independent-person-ethical-standards/Referral

HISTORIC BECKENHAM THEATRE MAY FACE DEMOLITION

The Beckenham Theatre is selling off its building at 46 Bromley Road. Thankfully the theatre company itself is not closing, but they are selling off their current building due to high maintenance costs.

Naturally this site will be prime for residential development and given the high costs to fix up the existing building we anticipate a developer will want to demolish it and build a large block that maximises every bit of space.

Unfortunately the theatre building is not listed, nor in a Conservation Area. Our Associations wrote to the Bromley’s Advisory Panel for Conservation Areas (ACPA) to enquire about the possibility of listing the building or placing it in a Conservation Area but it seems it would not meet the threshold.  Local community groups are carefully monitoring the development here for appropriate design and density.

Community groups are also investigating options to save the theatre building, but it may now be too late given the scale of the works and the sale timetable. It is the sort of project that would need Council support, but given the pandemic it seems unlikely the Council will have any funds to support such a project although the government has committed to investing in the arts post pandemic recovery.  

A history of Beckenham Theatre

The BECKENHAM THEATRE CENTRE, was initiated at the end of World War Two by a librarian working in the children’s section of Beckenham Public Library, who discovered that reading aloud from play-scripts was a fantastic way of teaching English to young people. 

As they grew older, the children she taught developed such an interest in drama that they took to writing their own plays and performing them in local church halls and the like.

At some point, late in the 1950s or early ’60s, some of these children, now grown up, were able to acquire a large Victorian house at very little cost, and over the following few years they spent innumerable hours – and any extra money they could find – converting it into a real theatre.

The theatre had (and has) a proper stage, not only with wings but also with an open gallery above it, enabling pieces of scenery to be dropped in and out on pulleys. Above the back part of the auditorium, a sophisticated control-room was constructed so that the sound and lighting operators could directly see the action on the stage. An extensive costume wardrobe was instated. Rehearsal rooms, a foyer, kitchen, toilets, cloakroom, and even a small bar were also somehow carved out from the space – in short, all of the features that one might expect from a professional theatre, albeit on a bijou scale (the auditorium seats 43).

Not surprisingly, these actors/playwrights were keen to introduce their own children to the joys of theatre, and children’s theatre workshops were established at an early stage.

Over the subsequent years, hundreds and hundreds of plays were duly rehearsed and performed there – including dozens of new works – by an increasing band of teenagers and adults and, separately, by many, many children.

A sensible constitutional structure was set up, with a subscription system topping-up the takings from the box-office, meaning that the theatre was entirely self-financing, on an operational basis, almost from the start.

This model was successfully sustained for more than sixty years. 

However, about two years ago, it was determined that asbestos had been used to fire-proof the basement and the outside storage shed. The complexity and cost of its removal, plus the ongoing maintenance of the quirky theatre conversion was too much for the amateur theatre company. 

On the theatre’s website, Malcolm Jones, Chair of Beckenham Theatre Trustees said “In the end, it is an old Victorian building, converted in 1960 by a group of enthusiasts for amateur theatre, and the fact that it was still functioning in 2021 is amazing and would have probably utterly surprised those pioneers, many of whom I knew well.”

We are very pleased the Theatre Company will continue from new premises and hope that the site is developed with good taste.

Beckenham Constituency Boundary Review – have your say by 2 August 2021

The Boundary Commission for England (BCE) is currently conducting a review the parliamentary constituencies, referred to as the 2023 Review. The review is heavily informed by public consultation and local people and groups are invited to provide feedback.

The changes proposed for the Beckenham Constituency are: Bromley Common and Keston ward and Hayes and Coney Hall ward are moved out to the Bromley Constituency; Clock House ward, Crystal Palace ward, Penge and Cator ward are moved in from the Lewisham West and Penge Constituency. The wards of Copers Cope, Kelsey and Eden Park, Shortlands, and West Wickham will remain in the Beckenham constituency.

Current wards in the constituency: Bromley Common and Keston, Copers Cope, Hayes and Coney Hall, Kelsey and Eden Park, Shortlands, and West Wickham.

Proposed wards: Clock House, Crystal Palace, Copers Cope, Kelsey and Eden Park, Penge and Cator, Shortlands, and West Wickham.

Find out more on the Boundary Commission website here.

Feedback by 2 August 2021

The first consultation round ends on 2 August 2021 – this when the Boundary Commission is particularly interested to hear from people about the extent to which the proposals reflect the local ties in the area, and if people disagree with our proposals, how they think they should be amended. Then there will be two further rounds of public consultation.

How to make a comment on the proposals

This can be done online directly on to the new boundary map – the link for the Beckenham boundary map can be found here.

General comments can also be provided online via this web form.

Bromley Trading Standards: Scam roofer operating in Beckenham – Surefix Roofing and Construction

Bromley Trading Standards has responded rapidly to incidents in Penge and
Beckenham where exorbitant prices have been quoted for roofing work. We are
also investigating claims made by the trader that the roofs are unsafe.
Following a neighbour’s intervention, we ensured one householder did not pay,
whilst the other case is ongoing.


Trading Standards is asking for any information regarding Surefix Roofing and
Construction giving a London N13 address which is suspected to be false.
Please contact our Rapid Response line on 07903 852090, if you are affected, or
through the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 0808 223 1133.

Remember, dealing with doorstep cold callers, or responding to a leaflet without
following our advice below risks: shoddy work, a fraction of what was quoted
being done, having no recourse, and being substantially overcharged.

CCARA letter to Council in support of continued live streaming of Council meetings

The Government’s COVID rules which allowed Councils to conduct decision-making meetings online recently came to an end. Councils must now return to the Council chambers for in-person committee meetings. However, the rules do not stop Council’s continuing to live stream meetings. The Council are considering whether to do this at a meeting tonight. Our Association strongly supports live streaming as it gives local people more access to local decision making – read our letter here.

Our letter to MP – Planning Law changes

Our Association (Copers Cope Area Residents’ Association) and sister Association (West Beckenham Residents’ Association ) has written to our MP Bob Stewart regarding the Governments proposed planning law changes. We were joined by both the Shortlands and West Wickham residents associations in relaying our concerns that the proposed changes, which require local authorties to zone all land to streamline development, will take away the current rights of local people in the planning process. You can read our letter here (and the Oct 2020 letter here).

In his reply, Bob Stewart said he agreed with our concerns “about planning proposals and the “zoning” of local authority areas as well as the removal of rights of residents to participate in planning decisions on a case by case basis.” He also suggested that the Government may be having a re-think.

BIGGIN hILL AIRPORT EXPANSION – HAVE YOUR SAY BY 26 mAY 2021

We have been advised by other Bromley Residents’ Association’s that Biggin Hill Airport have requested requested a variation to their lease with Bromley Council to allow “private flying including by accepting individual farepaying passengers”. Concerns have been raised that this change may increase air traffic, and in turn passenger traffic to the airport, and also that the current restictions on air movements of 50,000 a year set in 2016 was only for 5 years. Associated pollution and noise concerns have also been raised. The Council Executive are due to make a decision at a meeting on 26 May 2021. The formal proposal can be seen here and the meeting agenda here.

Residents who wish to comment are encouraged to email the Leader of the Council Colin.smith@bromley.gov.uk and their local councillors (see contact info here).

Do you know of any mistakes on the War Memorial? – Let the council know by 17 May 2021

As we reported in our last newsletter, the Express Review, Bromley Council have agreed to put an addendum plaque on the memorials in Beckenham and West Wickham to correct the spelling of the name of Private Alfred M Fullex. Private Fullex, a World War I soldier has had his name spelled incorrectly on both the Beckenham and West Wickham war memorials for over 100 years and when this came to light following contact from a relative of Private Fullex.

The council is inviting Bromley residents to come forward if they are aware of other misspellings on any war memorials in the borough so that the council can look into making any further amendments that may be required.

Interested parties should email suggestions to towncentres@bromley.gov.uk by 17 May 2021.