Questions from the Public for Written Response:

1) How is the Council going to stop those who have not accepted the will of the electorate and the democratic processes of the Council over such matters as School Streets policy from wasting Councillors and officers time in future? Meetings are being disrupted by those who wish to shout loudest.

The matter has been referred to the Constitution Improvement Working Party with a recommendation that where a Portfolio Holder takes a decision in line with the PDS recommendation, there shall be no ‘call in’ of the decision as it has been scrutinised before the Portfolio Holder took the decision.

2) In view of the very serious climate change conditions seen during this Summer, will Bromley Council now be declaring a climate emergency and coming up with a specific action plan to tackle local carbon emissions?

Thank you for your question.
The council has undertaken many initiatives in relation to this matter. We have set the most ambitious target of all councils in pledging to be carbon neutral by 2027 – two years earlier than our initial target of 2029. We have undertaken a tree planting programme, commuting to plant 5,000 new trees across the Borough in four years. So far, we are ahead of our target in relation to this. We have also installed electric charging points in public car parks and on our highways, encouraged our contractors to use environmentally friendly vehicles and machinery, as well as starting the process of converting our own fleet of vehicles such as snow ploughs, cars, and vans to electric. We have converted our street lighting to LED, with most our roads and footpaths now lit in this more environmentally friendly form. We also plan to undertake many more policies in the coming years in sustainability and Highways to help achieve our 2027 target. Add woodlands establishment and EV pilot with oxford.

3) You have been quoted as commenting that £100,000 was received from TfL in the last six months. Could you confirm this amount and any subsequent amounts received, providing a total and list the projects this has been spent on or is due to be spent on, by constituency ward.

The initial grant from TfL was £100k for implementation but the Council has now received £256k funding from TfL for Transport projects, as set out below.
Project Allocation:
BOROUGH CYCLE TRAINING FUND Q1 (all wards) £20,000
WIDENING OF CROFTON ROAD (Farnborough and Crofton) £77,000
CHINESE ROUNDABOUT SAFETY SCHEME STUDY (Kelsey & Eden Park; Shortlands & Park Langley) £11,000
STAFFING COSTS (n/a) £136,000
Total £256,000

4) What is the rate of staff turnover in the Council department responsible for traffic and road safety, how does this compare with the rate of turnover 5 years ago and 10 years ago, and what explanation can the Council offer for the rate of turnover?

Current Turnover Rates 12.5%
– 5 Years Ago 0%
– 10 Years Ago 7%
The last year includes one retirement, an end to a fixed term 6-month contract, and one related to a relocation.

5) Responding to a public question submitted to the School Streets call-in meeting, the Portfolio Holder expressed the view that opposition parties “abused” the ‘call-in’ procedure “by either misunderstanding or wilfully misrepresenting” recommendations by the Committee, and referred to “a politically motivated campaign”. Please can you elaborate on these claims?

The implication behind the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties ‘call in’ was that the PDS recommendations on June 24th 2022, which I accepted in their entirety, were contrary to council policy and would mean the end of ‘school streets’. This is not the case and they remain something which schools can apply for in their travel plans. A significant number of the 39 questions submitted for the meeting on July 15th were from members of the Labour Party.

6) Draft minutes from the June 2022 Environment meeting suggest a 26.7% increase over the Council’s target for Killed and Seriously Injured (KSIs) on Bromley’s roads. Please can the Council’s website provide information about what the Council plans to do about this, and on the role of the Road Safety Panel?

The Council has a long-standing commitment to road safety and to reducing the number of road users seriously injured on our streets, which over the years has been very successful. As London’s largest borough, with most miles of road, it is important to look at casualty rates in the context of road length and number of journeys. By this measure Bromley has some of the safest roads in London. Bromley’s approach is set out in the Council’s current Local Implementation Plan, “Bromley’s transport for the future”, that was published in 2019 and will be revised in due course, as necessary.
Regarding the Road Safety Panel, this long running residents’ forum has now stopped meeting. I have decided that best way I can be aware of any road safety issues is by consulting my fifty-seven fellow councillors. To this end I have invited colleagues to give me a tour round their wards to show me any concerns. In addition, our Fix My Street portal gives early warning to our professional staff and, of course, they also receive and analyse reports of all accidents which the police attend.
I have decided that the Road Safety Panel, which has not met since 2019 and which has not been attended by the Police in recent years is no longer needed. I remain grateful for the excellent work Panel members have done over the years which is much appreciated by the Council.

8) Which Bromley Council document sets out the Council’s vision for Bromley’s roads and streets, and are there plans to review Council policy to ensure it remains up-to-date with latest thinking on public space (e.g. the growing view that street design should not focus exclusively on the preferences of motor traffic)?

As I mention in my other answer to you, the Local Implementation Plan, “Bromley’s transport for the future”, sets out the Council’s vision for Bromley’s streets and this document is due to be reviewed. Street design for funded projects always takes into account current thinking to maximise benefit to all road users. The majority of recent projects have focussed on active travel outcomes.

9) With Areli intentionally running down the Orpington Walnuts Centre down and shops moving out for various reasons. What happens to the public and disabled toilets in the Walnuts Centre when either the last shop leaves, the developer just locks the doors, or a development starts?

There are alternative community toilets on the community scheme within a relatively short distance from the Orpington Walnuts Centre. If there was to be no provision as a result of development works, the Council will look to see whether other establishments within the High Street could provide access to their toilets and join the community toilet scheme. The Council welcomes suggestions from members of the public and Ward Councillors.

10) Has Bromley Council a guarantee from the Owners, Operators, Developers and Facilities Management, including Orpington 1st that a high standard of public and disabled toilet provision (that is at least comparable in facilities, cleanliness, convenience and assess ability to the existing) will be maintained throughout any changes, alterations, closure or development to the Orpington Walnuts Centre?

The community toilet scheme is a voluntary scheme. However, the future public and accessible toilet provision has been raised with planning and regeneration colleagues that are likely to be involved in the planning process for any changes, closures or development of the Orpington Walnuts Centre.

11) The 2022 Healthy Streets Scorecard reports that along with Barnet, Bromley Borough continues to have the lowest score for 20mph speed limits (just 5% of roads compared to 13 boroughs with over 90% coverage). 20mph speed limits are cheap to introduce and reduce KSIs. Will Bromley Council consider action here?

This question is disallowed as it does not relate to specific items on the agenda.

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