At last night’s Renewal and Resources Scrutiny Committee, Cllr Kevin Brooks spoke against the proposal to delete the post of Town Centre Manager for Penge and Beckenham in April 2016.
Cllr Angela Wilkins, Labour’s Group Leader and committee member, proposed a motion to recommend that Town Centre Management continue in Penge and Beckenham for a further year. The committee split by three votes each. Unfortunately the Beckenham committee members were delayed so could not vote. The recommendation passed on the Chairman’s casting vote and will now be considered by the Council Executive and Portfolio Holder.
The future of Town Centre Management is through the Business Investment District (BID) scheme in which local businesses run and manage their town centres. We are in favour of Penge becoming a BID town but at this time it is important to retain a Town Centre Manager to support the businesses in that transition. Also, this year both town centres have major projects in hand. e.g. The New Homes Bonus regeneration of High Street Penge, The New River Company, new owners of the Blenheim Centre will be refurbishing/redesigning that area and TfL have designs in place for the Green Lane and Croydon Road junction engineering safety works. All will disrupt our town centre.
Representatives from the Penge and Beckenham Town Centre Teams were present at the meeting and we appreciate their role in briefing the committee prior to the meeting.
The approval of the recommendation is a positive step but it still requires the approval of LBB Executive.
Your councillors will continue working towards this goal and will update you in due course.