Community fundraising successes

Labour Councillors support local charities

Penge has always been a hive of charitable activity, and there’s plenty going on right  now. Over the summer, Bromley pupils were working with local care homes, charities, and vulnerable people, to raise awareness and money as part of the National Citizenship
Social Action Challenge. One team worked with the Kentwood Centre in Penge, raising
funding for art and craft materials, and helping change the way society views disabilities. Councillor Kevin Brooks lent support by serving on the Challenges panel.
Penge’s Labour Councillors are also involved in other initiatives, including the monthly
‘community lunch’ at Melvin Hall, for residents who need companionship or support. They plan to cater for thirty at the next lunch, and hope to increase the numbers as volunteer numbers and resources grow. The lunches are funded by local donations.

Universal Credit comes to Bromley

Labour Councillors ready to assist residents caught up in the Conservative’s bureaucratic mess

The Tory Government’s ‘Universal Credit’ rolled out in Bromley in recent weeks, replacing Jobseekers Allowance, Employment Support Allowance and Income Support.

It’s well known that claimants have to wait at least five weeks for their first Universal Credit payment – and that’s assuming everything goes well. But in areas where the system is now well-established, people have faced obstacles when making applications; delayed payments; and under-payments.

In some cases these delays and confusions have forced vulnerable people even deeper into debt. In the worst cases, claimants have been unable to pay their rent, and have been faced with eviction and homelessness, while waiting for their applications to be processed.

How we can help
Penge Councillors are committed to support local people facing difficulty as a result of
Universal Credit. They will be running surgeries to help residents with applications, and with any obstacles they may encounter. For more information on these surgeries,
contact your local Councillors. 

Ex-Labour Councillor honoured

Peter Fookes made Bromley Alderman

Peter Fookes stepped down in May, as a Councillor, after 28 years of service to the people of Penge and Cator. He has been made an honorary Alderman of the London Borough of Bromley in recognition of his service.
On behalf of Kathy, Kevin and Simon, our members and local residents, we’d like to congratulate Peter and give our thanks for his work and unwavering commitment to Penge and local residents over three decades.

He will of course continue to be active locally, although he will be missed as a Councillor.

Penge police unit saved from Tory cuts

Bromley Conservative’s U-turn on policing is welcome news

Penge’s Labour Councillors have welcomed the recent U-turn affecting police coverage in Penge and Bromley.  As a result, Bromley police will retain their own Borough Command Unit, rather than being forced to pool resources in a so-called ‘tri-borough’ arrangement under Bromley Conservative council’s plans.

In addition, local police bases which were earmarked for closure will now stay open. This means that Penge will continue to have its own police team, operating out of Copperfield House in Maple Road.

This is good news, but there’s always room for improvement. Penge Councillors believe that the police ‘non-emergency’ phone service – the 101 service – is not working as well as it should. Reports of anti-social behaviour are falling, though we believe the problem is as bad ever. It often goes unreported, because people give up in frustration when they call 101 but get no response. Councillors will be taking the matter up on the Public Protection and Enforcement Working Group.

Our pledges to you

We’re proud to have been elected in May 2018 to represent you!

No matter which party you support, as your Councillors, we will always make sure your voice is heard.

We are working hard to achieve our five pledges to you:

labour-rose  Taking action together to tackle gangs and crime 

We’ll partner with local residents, groups and seek advice from experts to find solutions to prevent gang and criminal activity in Penge and hold the Council and Police to account.

labour-rose   Affordable, good quality housing to buy and rent

We’ll continue to push the council to use their investment funds to build more social and affordable housing in Bromley, raise standards for housing associations and introduce a register of private landlords to ensure the condition, fitness and security of rental properties.

labour-rose  Cleaning up the Council’s mess on our streets

We want to tackle the council’s failure to properly monitor street cleaning and waste collection contracts, to make sure you get the collection contracts, to make sure you get the public services your taxes pay for.

labour-rose  Safer roads and fixing the Council’s parking mess

Instead of waiting until accidents happen, we would listen to local people’s concerns and introduce and enforce road safety measures, including 20mph speed limits, to make our roads safer.

labour-rose  Protecting our NHS and Care services 

We’ll continue to support Labour’s national policies to protect and properly fund our NHS and social care services. We’ll put people before profits and fight to protect vital services from further Tory cuts.

Find out more about your Councillors and how to get in touch.

Crystal Palace Park’s Bank Holiday Mess

We were all thrilled to have some brilliant weather for the bank holiday weekend, but sadly, as you can see below, the surge in visitors to Crystal Palace Park left the council’s cleaning contractors (ID Verde) with a large mess on their hands!

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Many residents visiting the park contacted us about the mounds of litter, with over-flowing bins around the park, rubbish including left over food and glass strewn across the greens and disposable barbecues damaging the grass.

While some residents noted the hard work of park staff, others have been told by IDVerde that the current contract and specific issues with staffing do not allow for extra or larger bins and staffing needed for busy periods such as last weekend.

ubbish2

Bromley Labour Group Leader and Crystal Palace councillor Angela Wilkins contacted the council executive member responsible for the Environment, noting that this is not the first time the park has seen such issues, asking for a copy of the contract to confirm what standards are required by IDVerde and noting that, with the contract coming up for renewal, she has heard that IDVerde may be reluctant to put in a bid that would solve these problems out of fear the Council will reject them for a cheaper offer. (See in full below)

We await his reply and will update with his response. We continue to raise litter issues reported to us and will be working to ensure any new contract will ensure sufficient resources to keep the park clean and open for families and all residents to enjoy.rubbish

What’s next?

We are delighted that Penge and Cator has elected three Labour Councillors. Here’s a reminder of our key pledges and what we plan to do next

Taking action together to tackle gangs and crime

With the election over, we’re trying to arrange a meeting for new Chief Superintendent of Police, local groups such as SayNo2Knives and residents ASAP, to receive assurances that the police are taking urgent action, build partnerships and then listen to local people and experts on the best strategies to prevent and reduce violence and other criminal activity in our community.

Affordable, good quality housing to buy and rent

We’ll be supporting the Mayor’s’ housing strategy and calling on Bromley council to increase the amount of affordable housing being built, including to use their investment funds to build more social housing. We’ll also be contacting housing associations about issues raised by their tenants and working to propose our plan to introduce a register of private landlords to ensure the condition, fitness and security of rental properties.

Cleaning up the Council’s mess on our streets

We’ll be pressing the council on the failings identified by their internal audit report and scrutinising their failure to properly monitor the contracts for cleaning and bin collection. We’ll act on reports of missed collections and keep raising questions until hopefully we see things improve. We’re also looking at innovative local schemes that could help- more to come!

Safer roads and fixing the Council’s parking mess

We’ll be calling for the council to change their policy and take a joined-up, thought out plan for road safety measures on the most dangerous roads in Penge. Acting on concerns from residents and supporting local action groups, we’ll focus first on campaigning for lower speed limits on some roads (such as those with schools) and measures such as better lighting, crossings and enforcement measures, before more accidents happen.

Protecting our NHS and Care services

We’ll continue to support Labour’s national policies and calls to action to protect and properly fund our NHS and social care services. We’ll oppose further cuts to vital council care services and push for the quality of the service to be given greater importance than the price when renewing care provider contracts.

Thank you!

We are hugely grateful and proud to have been elected as your councillors for Penge and Cator.

We value the support of our community and will work hard to support ALL local residents, groups and businesses over the next four years.

While the Conservatives remain in charge of Bromley Council, we will continue to fight for more affordable housing, cleaner and safer streets to protect care services, libraries and other public services from further cuts and hold them to account.

With the rollout of universal credit in July and further cuts likely, we will also be doing everything we can to support anyone affected. If you ever have an issue, together with our MP Ellie Reeves, we’re here to try and help.

You can find us on the high street outside the Post Office- 10:45 to 12:15 on the first Saturday of every month or contact us using the details on the back of this newsletter.

Find  out more about us and how to get in touch on the Councillors page

Kathy, Kevin and Simon

Street cleaning – it’s just rubbish!

The biggest complaint we get on the doorstep is the poor quality of street cleaning.

Following pressure from Labour Councillors, you can check when your street is scheduled to be cleaned on the Bromley Council website.

We know that one of the main reasons for the poor service is that the contract with the private company doing the work (Kier) simply isn’t being monitored properly by Bromley Council. The Tories are so set on cutting budgets that they are reluctant to replace staff when they leave – the current neighbourhood team responsible for managing street cleaning have only half the
staff they should.

If your street isn’t being cleaned properly, report it on fixmystreet.com. This is the
quickest way to get the problem fixed. It also feeds into the overall statistics and gives us
more ammunition in our campaign for getting you the street cleaning you pay for through your Council Tax.

Working with local residents, your Penge councillors took part in a neighbourhood street cleaning session last year so Bromley Council would give more money to cleaning up Penge. But should this be left down to volunteers? We call on Bromley Council to
take street cleaning in our area seriously.

Local MP backs Bance, Brooks & Jeal

Vote KATHY BANCE, KEVIN BROOKS & SIMON JEAL for a strong voice for Penge & Cator

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Ellie Reeves MP knows the importance of having strong councillors to represent Penge & Cator. Ellie says “Kathy, Kevin and Simon work hard to support our community. They’ll keep fighting to protect vital local services from Bromley Council’s cuts”.

Since becoming Councillors – Kathy in 2010 and Kevin in 2014 – Cllrs Bance & Brooks have helped hundreds of people from all parts of Penge & Cator. They have:

  • Campaigned for greater investment in Penge, securing funding for Penge’s high street, traffic junctions, parks and parades.
  • Helped save community centre Melvin Hall from closure.
  • Pressured the Council to monitor their contracts better to improve cleanliness and safety in Penge & Cator.
  • Engaged with the Council’s Road Safety team and the police on speeding traffic.

Penge’s third sitting councillor Peter Fookes, who has decided not to stand again after over 30 years serving the people of Penge, suppoorts Kathy, Kevin and first-time candidate, Simon Jeal. ”I am certain that Simon will prove a worthy successor and that you have three local candidates who all live in Penge and care very much about the
community that they live in”.

Cllr Kathy Bance and Cllr Kevin Brooks and Simon Jeal, your local Labour team,
will continue to challenge the incompetence & complacency of Bromley’s Tory Council and fight for services in our area.