Welcome to the website for Penge Forum


Logo8+square+lower+case (9)Penge Forum is the Residents’ Association for those who live in or care about Penge and Anerley. The Forum is not affiliated to any political party but we will campaign on local issues.  Penge Forum holds four open meetings a year where you can hear from and question the people who make a difference to our lives. Our Committee is made up of volunteers and any member is welcome to join.

On this page, you will find our latest news and comment.  Details of the issues we have taken up on behalf of residents are on the “Recent Activity” page.  The more members we have, the more powerful is our voice, so do consider joining.   It’s only £5 a year.

Please take a while to read through this site and do contact us with any comments or suggestions.  If you click on the Follow box on the top line, you will receive notification of new posts.

You can also follow us on Facebook – Penge Forum;  or twitter @penge_forum

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What do you most love about Penge?

Members of the Penge Forum Committee were out meeting members of the public earlier in March. 46 people were asked in Empire Square what they most loved about Penge. 15 people also responded on Facebook. Many people gave more than one answer. There were a range of ages and backgrounds.

What do people most love about Penge – here’s an pictoral representation of the answers: 

survey march 2019

Some good quotes were:

I’ve lived here forever and I’ll never move!”

Penge is one of London’s hidden treasures”

Penge is really quirky and an exciting place to live – I love it!”

It’s really easy to get volunteers”

Everyone knows each other”

Loveliest, friendliest café owners”

Many people were visiting Penge and said that was because it has shops that Catford, Crystal Palace and Beckenham don’t have, such as MacDonald’s, Shoe Zone, and Wilkinsons. We hope to find out more about this next time we are on the streets of Penge!

 

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Penge & Cator Ward Safer Neighbourhood Panel meeting

At the recent Penge Forum Open Meeting with local police, questions were raised about the status of the Safer Neighbourhood Panel for the Penge & Cator ward. Roger Taylor, who is currently Chair of the panel, told us that it did need some reviving, that there was a Penge meeting coming up and that he would give us details of any meetings he arranged.

Roger now tells us that there will be a meeting of the Panel on Thursday 4th April and that from 8.00 pm this will be an open meeting for anyone interested in policing in this area. The meeting will be at Penge East Community Centre by Penge East station car park.

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Some questions for our meeting with the police on Tuesday 12th March

Don’t miss your opportunity to ask a question.  Here are some to start with:

march2019(2)-page0001How are our local police teams organised now that Copperfield House has been closed?

How many police and PCSOs do we have working locally? Will we see them on the streets?

How are our local police reacting to the knife-crime?

Are gangs an issue locally?

How do you split resources between Penge, Crystal Palace and Clock House – and the rest of the borough?

What is the best way of reporting crimes now? And is it worth it?

How successful are the police in tracking stolen bikes?

There has been a spate of break-ins and car vandalism in our area. What are the police doing about it?

How are the police working with young people. Is stop and search being used locally?

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Meet our new Police teams at the next Penge Forum open meeting

This is an advance notice for our March meeting.

As you may be aware, there have been several changes to our local policing. The Police base in Maple Road, Penge, has been closed; Bromley is now part of a 3-Borough command with Croydon and Sutton; and, since we last met with the police, we have a new Sergeant, Sgt John Paul Carmier (in charge of Crystal Palace and Clock House as well as Penge & Cator) and largely new teams.

The new teams are keen to meet local residents and hear about the specific needs and concerns that we have identified.

You can meet them, including members of the Crystal Palace and Clock House teams, with Inspector Gary Byfield at our next meeting on Tuesday March 12th at Melvin Hall, Melvin Road SE20. We will provide refreshments from 7 pm with the meeting starting at 7.30.

There will also be the usual updates from councillors and other local organisations.   We will give more details nearer the date but please make a note of the time and venue.

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New Borough Police arrangements and new local Sergeant at Penge Forum on March 12th

There’s new Planning Application for the conversion of our local police base in Copperfield House, Maple Road to residential. This confirms what we knew was coming, though it will be interesting to see where the local police base turns out to be. There was talk of it being in McDonald’s.

However, we have also just confirmed that the local police will be the guests at the Penge Forum Open Meeting on Tuesday 12th March at Melvin Hall. As well as the closure of Copperfield House, there have been other changes recently. Bromley is now part of a tri-Borough force with Croydon and Sutton and we have a new Sergeant for Penge Crystal Palace and Clock House, Sgt Carmier, who will be making his first Penge Forum Appearance at the same meeting.

Details will follow but try to keep the date free so you can discuss any concerns with those who are involved with the changes.

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Submission to Bromley’s Road Safety Review

Jane Morley, our road safety rep, has made a submission to Bromley’s consultation on road safety, based on the responses given at our street stall held in November 2018.  

Vision Zero, a Strategy published by London’s Mayor on 24th July 2018 which sets out the way ahead for improving road safety in London, states that no deaths or serious injury on London’s roads should be treated as acceptable or inevitable. Its proposals include 20mph speed limits within the congestion charging zone and a new bus safety standard. In support of the publication of the strategy Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove of the Met’s Road and Transport Policing Command commented “Excess speed is an undisputed contributor to road collisions in London!”

I have been representing road safety concerns of Penge Forum members on Bromley’s Road Safety Panel for three years. Attached is a summary of a short consultation with pedestrians on Penge High Street carried out in November 2018. Both comments from Penge Forum members and from pedestrians on Penge High Street highlight concern about inappropriate speeds on local roads, and bad driving practice, which is making simple activities such as crossing the road unnecessarily unpleasant.

Inappropriate Traffic Speeds

Penge and Anerley roads are surrounded by areas under the control of Local Boroughs who have adopted 20 mph zones. Not every resident of Penge and Anerley supports such zoned controls on speed. Bromley Councilhas been awaiting the outcome of a survey commissioned by the Department for Transport on the effectiveness of 20mph zones in terms of road safety. This compares a selection of local authorities who use 20mph zones with others who do not. The London Borough selected for the survey does not use 20mph zones.

However we are now split geographically between roads on the south side of Penge High Street which have 20mph speed controls and those on the South side of Penge High Street, equally narrow Edwardian residential roads, which do not.

Congestion at the traffic lights on Penge High Street and at the bottom of Anerley Road has led to numerous alternative routes being used, at in appropriate speeds, such as Thicket Road and Penge Lane, Southey Street and Wordsworth and Raleigh Roads, Kingsdale Road and Torr Road. Residents are advised to note timings and details of regular offenders and to pass the information on to the Traffic Police via our local police station so that patrol cars can be targeted at appropriate times and locations, as and when patrol cars are available.

There are traffic cameras sited locally, equipped with Automatic Number Plate Readers. These pick up stolen vehicles and those which are untaxed etc. They do not detect vehicles which are inarguably putting the lives of local residents at risk by driving at inappropriate speeds.

In addition to putting other road users and pedestrians at risk of injury through accident, driving at excessive speeds and heavy use of brakes adds to air pollution, a major cause of premature death within London.

Bromley’s Road Safety Unit works closely with the police and with local councillors to reduce inappropriate speed on our roads, but Vision 20 is an excellent opportunity to consider whether there is now available technology that can help their efforts. Speed cameras, for example, can now be used to enforce 20mph limits. The Highways Agency can install temporary speed cameras on motorways to ensure safe driving in the event of road repairs, so it should be possible to install temporary speed cameras within areas in Penge and Anerley to encourage safe driving, and then to move them on to subsequent areas. With increasing pressure of demand on the Met and ongoing pressure on the Borough’s manpower costs, technology could provide 24 hr cover where only a piecemeal approach is currently available.

Bad Driving Practice

Many Penge and Anerley residents walk and cycle to work, to school, to the shops. This fits in well with LBBromley’s ambitions for a healthier Bromley. So keeping our pavements safe and our ability to cross the road safely is a high priority.

More publicity about the rules on pavement parking and more enforcement against offenders would not only keep us safer, but save money as fewer kerbs and paving stones would need replacing. Major offenders are delivery van drivers under pressure to meet deadlines. LBBromley should work with other London Boroughs to influence home delivery businesses, from supermarkets to multinationals, to comply with the law.

Congestion at traffic lights encourages pressured motorists to jump amber and red lights, leaving little or no room or time for pedestrians to cross on the green man facility. It is to be hoped that the current requirement for four people to be killed or seriously injured before a traffic light enforcement camera can be installed will be recognised as an outdated and callous requirement. Perhaps a calculation based on pressure of traffic and pedestrian footfall could take its place.

Meeting the Needs of the Differently Abled

There are various parts of Penge and Anerley where it is unnecessarily difficult for wheelchair users to cross the road. For example, where Lennard Road meets Newlands Park there is a dropped kerb for wheelchair users. But the road bends at 90 degrees, and the speed limit is 30mph. Perhaps a good way of assessing suitability of such a facility would be to try it out in a wheelchair first.

Wheelchair users have also reported difficulty in crossing from the north side to the south side of Parish Lane at its junction with Lennard Road. Local residents report that this is also the location of numerous collisions. LBBromley officials have visited the area but been unable to remedy the problem. As the population ages, however, this type of problem looks likely to increase. Virtual speed bumps have been in use for some time. Could LBBromley urgently look into the possibility of their use in locations where residents have highlighted such risks but so far no remedy has been available.

Dropped, tactile kerbs are also meant to be an aid to visually impaired pavement users. It is imperative that if a tactile dropped kerb is installed, it is also kept in a safe state – no cracked, uneven paving – and that the road surface between the two sides of the road is even, so the person using it is not wrong-footed.

Although TFL is responsible for traffic lights in Penge and Anerley, concern has been expressed about the helpfulness of the type provided locally, particularly taking account of the needs of visually impaired users and people who cannot walk as quickly as the young and fit. Could all traffic lights with pedestrian facilities be equipped with “beepers” and the time allowed for crossing take account of local pedestrians’ needs? This would also benefit parents with walking toddlers.

Empowerment through shared information

Following a fatality locally last year it is clear that there is no accessible information on how to report a faulty traffic light. These are TFL’s responsibility. They should be asked to ensure that a contact point is available on traffic lights so that local residents can report problems.

It is also not widely known that when temporary traffic lights are installed they should provide an equivalent service to the lights they are replacing, so if there is a pedestrian facility normally available with permanent traffic lights, a pedestrian facility should be provided with temporary lights. Any failure to do so should be reported to LBBromley for action.

Local residents are a valuable source of information which could help improve London Boroughs’s road safety, but many do not know how to use that information or access information from their local Borough. LBBromley has an excellent and accessible website (TFL’s is not as helpful) and it regularly leaflets Safer Bromley information to every household. More use of these to get road safety messages and contact information across would empower residents.

 

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Penge Forum helps out in Penge

Penge Forum Committee members joined the “Friends of Penge” Choir at Pengemas in the town centre on Saturday 8th December.

chequeAlso at the weekend, Penge Forum Treasurer, Stephen Brushett presented a cheque for £1639.29 to Ian Barrington of the Penge Traders’ Association. The money had been collected by Penge Forum members over several years to help secure future Christmas lights for Penge High Street. The money is particularly welcome now as the current lights will need refurbishing or replacing for next year.

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New Committee members

We were delighted to welcome two new members to the Penge Forum Committee at the AGM. Rachel New and Mark Phillippo offered their help and were voted onto the committee. They will bring new ideas and enthusiasm to our work in Penge. They join Charlotte Fletcher and Maureen Kennedy who joined during the year. Ariane Brito has decided to stand down. The committee will meet in the New Year to plan the programme for 2019.

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AGM – here’s an agenda for tonight’s meeting

Don’t forget – doors open 7.00 at Melvin Hall for refreshments and memberships, free pen for the first 20 to pay.   Meeting proper starts at 7.30.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

Tuesday 20th November 2018

AGENDA

  1. Introduction
  1. Annual Review & Accounts
  1. Appointment of Committee:

Penge Forum relies on the voluntary work of a small number of committee members who make sure these meetings happen, contribute to the general work of the Forum and give generously of their time and practical support.

We would be delighted to welcome new members.

The following have served on the committee during 2017/18

Ariane Brito

Stephen Brushett (Treasurer)

Chris Doran (Secretary)

Charlotte Fletcher (Crystal Palace Community Trust)

John Getgood (Chair)

Linda Huggins (St Hughes)

Maureen Kennedy

Jane Morley (Road Safety)

Fiona Notman (Refreshments)

Chris O’Shaughnessy (Heritage)

Wendie Roche (Vice-Chair, Membership)

  1. Guest Speakers: Amy Harris and James Hilsden from Bromley Council – waste collection, recycling, street cleaning and parks management,.
  1. Reports from local organisations

Please join us for a glass of wine or soft drink, some nibbles and general socialising.

Penge Forum would like to thank the many people who have supported our attempts to keep community meetings alive in Penge and in particular the Trustees of Melvin Hall, Andy at Press Gang and our Local Councillors.

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How your vote could help support Alexandra Rec Bowls Club

From Bromley Community Links:

Until 20th November there is an opportunity to vote for projects in the
Aviva Community Funding Competition. You can have 10 votes which you can
use at any time during the voting phase and you can support as many
projects as you like with your votes. Spread them around or use them all
to support one project.

There is just one Penge project, at the Bowls Club in Alexandra Rec. To
find this, and others in the wider area, put Penge in the “Find projects
by location” search box at
https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/campaign/getinvolved

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Anerley Town Hall Library Space – Meeting, Monday 19th November

SHORT NOTICE OF MEETING

AT ANERLEY TOWN HALL LIBRARY

12 NOON, MONDAY 19TH NOVEMBER

What is the meeting about? WHAT TO DO WITH THE OLD LIBRARY SPACE?

Crystal Palace Community Trust now have the lease for the whole building
– and part of the money needed to refurbish the Library Space – Now we
need good peoples input, good heads.

 

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Join us for a glass of wine at the Penge Forum AGM on Tuesday 20th November, 7 pm for 7.30 pm

In advance of Tuesday’s AGM, our Annual Report for 2017/18 (at the end of this post) gives a short summary of some of the activities we have been involved in over the last 12 months.
Please use the free refreshment time between 7 and 7.30 to either join or renew your membership – £5 or £3 for concessions.    As a small incentive, the first 20 to sign up and pay will receive a free “I  Penge” pen. (Also available from Press Gang of course.)
The meeting will start with a brief run through of official business – presenting the accounts, electing the committee etc. We really do need more members to come forward to serve on the committee and help organise our meetings,so please consider whether you can help us keep Penge Forum going.
The business session will be kept as short as possible, so we can move on to the main part of the evening. There’s been a lot of interest already in our topic – waste collection, recycling, street cleaning and parks management, Amy Harris and James Hilsden from Bromley Council will give a presentation and answer your questions.
Finally, as this is our AGM, we invite you to stay and join us after the meeting for a glass of wine or soft drink with nibbles, just to mark another busy year for Penge Forum.
It should be a good evening – We hope you can join us.

 

Highlights of the year 2017/18

We have held four well attended Open Meetings with audiences of between 70 and 100. Three meetings were held at Melvin Hall and one at Anerley Town Hall.

Ellie Reeves, recently elected as MP for Lewisham West and Penge, was the guest at our 2017 AGM. Ellie gave an interesting talk on her first months as an MP and answered questions on her work.

With the local council elections held this year, we invited candidates from all the major parties to an election Hustings in April.

In June, we met at Anerley Town Hall to discuss services for young people. The information collected helped inform a successful funding bid for new provision by the Crystal Palace Community Trust. It was encouraging to see so many young people attend and contribute to the meeting.

A late change of plan for the September meeting meant we were able to welcome some of our local councillors to answer questions from a well informed audience.

For this AGM we want to reflect local concerns so are pleased to welcome council officers responsible for waste, recycling and street cleaning.

Penge Forum made representations to the Boundary Commission Review. where we successfully argued that Crystal Palace and Penge should remain together in the new parliamentary constituency proposals.

We have also commented on planning applications that may have threatened the commercial viability of Penge High Street and were represented on the Penge Town Centre Team.

Our nomination of Penge East Community Centre for inclusion in Bromley’s list of Assets of Community Value, which gives it some added protection should redevelopment be proposed, has also been successful.

One of our committee members sits on the Road Safety Advisory Panel has has persuaded the council to listen to local views when formulating its new Road Safety Policy.

Penge Forum also tries to have a presence at most local events. Specifically this year we were at the Penge Festival Fete and held a stall in Empire Square to gather views on road safety.

Membership of the Forum has remained fairly constant at around 80 throughout the year. Income exceeded expenditure by £81.18. Accounts will be available at the meeting. The small membership fee allows us to have an official membership when dealing with the council, pays for the hire of halls and helps us to support local events. All committee members are volunteers.

I’d like to close by thanking the committee for all their hard work over the year in supporting our work. If you wish to join the committee, please make yourself known at the meeting or reply to this email. You can also support our work by becoming a member of the Forum or renewing your current membership.

I look forward to seeing you at the AGM on Tuesday 20th November, 7.00 pm at Melvin Hall.

John Getgood, Chair, Penge Forum

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What questions would you want to put to the council officers running our waste, street cleaning, recycling and parks service?

Why do I have to separate my recyclables when the refuse collectors throw them in the same lorry? Why is my road sometimes left in a mess after the refuse collection? How much does the council save by only collecting every two weeks? Which plastics are recyclable? Why doesn’t the council clean my street as often as the schedule says they should? Why do you remove street bins instead of emptying them? These are some of the questions that have been posted on PTB and I am sure there are lots more. To find answers and understand the council’s policy better, join us for the next Penge Forum AGM on Tuesday 20th November, 7 for 7.30 at Melvin Hall. And as it’s the AGM – a glass of wine (or soft drink) and nibbles to follow…..

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Refuse collections, recycling and street cleaning the focus at 2018 Penge Forum AGM

The Penge Forum AGM will be held on Tuesday November 20th 7pm at Melvin Hall.

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Meet up for Penge Forum, Saturday 3rd November, 11 – 1, Empire Square

Come and meet us at the Penge Forum tent in Empire Square on Saturday morning, 3rd November between 11 o’clock and 1 pm.

As well as details of our AGM, we’ll be conducting a road safety feedback survey, have details and merchandise for the Penge Heritage Trail, Penge Calendars will be on sale, and you can join or renew your Penge Forum membership. We hope to see you there.

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Consultation on future of Crystal Palace Sports Centre

There is an ongoing consultation on the long term future of CP National Sports Centre.  The Mayor of London is leading this, with a view to rationalise, reduce the overall range and scale of sports, and reduce costs.

There are consultation events on the “design options” on October 10/11th  and 16/17th .

http://www.on-your-marks.co.uk

www.ON-YOUR-MARKS.co.uk/#questionnaire (cut off survey date for this design options stage is 3rd October).

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Scheme to extend step free access in South-Eastern stations

This could also be discussed at our  Open meeting on Tuesday 25th September:

https://newsroom.southeasternrailway.co.uk/news/nominate-your-local-station-for-a-share-of-gbp-300-million-fund-to-install-step-free-access?utm

 

 

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Last chance to visit Crystal Palace Subway this year – this Sunday 23rd September

Come and visit the Crystal Palace Subway this Sunday 23 September

This is possibly your last chance to visit the subway this year.

Opening this SUNDAY 23 SEPTEMBER from 10AM TO 5PM, it’s a great chance
to see this marvellous space.

Entrance to Crystal Palace Subway is on Crystal Palace Parade opposite
the park between bus stop B and C.

Please expect queues as it is a very popular event.

Note that there is no wheelchair access to the subway. Buggies,
pushchairs, scooters etc. need to be left at street level. Stewards will
look after them so don’t worry they will be safe.

Only assistance dogs are allowed.

All donations will go towards the Crystal Palace Fstival.

Click here to visit the Subway’s website for more information
http://www.cpsubway.org.uk/

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We’re pleased to announce that Cllr Josh King from Clock House ward will be joining our panel on Tuesday September 25th

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