Friday 27th February 2015
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photo 2 12On Friday afternoon, Jo met local McDonald's franchisee, Mr Bill Perera, for a tour around the restaurant and kitchens of his Orpington High Street restaurant.

McDonald's, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, has contributed over £40 billion to the UK economy and has created 1.5 million jobs in its restaurants and supply chain.

In Orpington, McDonald's provides both training and development opportunities to employees, including nationally-recognised accredited qualifications, including the McDonald's Level 2 Apprenticeship and the Foundation Degree in Managing Business Operations.

The staff in Orpington are committed to the protection of the local environment through their daily litter patrols and through their involvement in the Mayor of London's Capital Clean-up campaign with regular community clean-up events.

Jo Johnson MP said: "I was delighted to visit McDonald's franchisee, Mr Perrera and his staff, for a guided tour around his Orpington restaurant. McDonald's makes a huge and positive contribution to the local community and I was even fortunate enough to try my hand at making one of McDonald's iconic burgers, the Big Mac."


Farnborough Post OfficeA couple celebrated running Farnborough post office for 35 years and looked back over their time in the community.

Married for 45 years Kyriacos Kokkinos, 68, and his wife Theodoroa, 66, first arrived in 1980 with their three young children.

Ever since the duo have served the local community and despite working for more than three decades, he says they have never been robbed.

Mr Kokkinos said: "It's changed so much over the years! We used to have a butcher, green grocers; all these things are gone now.

In recognition of their hard work over the decades, Orpington MP Jo Johnson wrote a letter of congratulations.

Chair of The Farnborough Village Society Sue Ellis presented the letter at the High Street branch on February 7, which was followed by cake and champagne.

Mr Kokkinos said: "I'm really proud to have got the letter".

To read the original story click here.


Transport-for-LondonJo Johnson MP welcomed the news that the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has acted to ensure that all part-time workers benefit from TfL fares reductions introduced in 2015.

All commuters who incur a higher fare than TfL's former pay as you go daily off-peak caps in zones 4-6 twice or more in one week, or eight times during a four-week period, will now receive an automated refund.

The 2015 package introduces a new part-time worker fare deal as part of a real terms fares freeze, thereby giving flexible and part-time workers access to fairer and substantially lower fares through a lower all-day pay as you go cap.

Jo Johnson MP said: "This is fantastic news for Orpington. I am delighted that TfL has recognised the needs of flexible and part-time workers, with significant fare cuts for hundreds of thousands of hardworking commuters."

Read more here.


Bromley MuseumJo Johnson MP welcomes the news that Bromley Council has decided to postpone its decision to place The Priory building on the open market. The three month deferral will ensure that the Council can now hold further discussions with relevant parties to determine both the future of The Priory and of the collection within it.

Jo said: "Orpington's heritage is very much entwined with The Priory building. As such, The Priory building must remain a landmark and vital part of Orpington's past, present and future. The collection must also remain accessible to residents, especially for Orpington's schoolchildren for whom the museum and its artefacts play a crucial development role."

He added: "I urge all residents and local organisations to continue to work with Bromley Council on ideas for the future use of The Priory, the future siting of the many paintings and art works, and the town centre study."

Bromley Council will be considering how best to operate the museum if it is moved to Central Library, and will conduct a study into the placement of the many paintings and art works throughout the various public buildings.

Bromley Council will also be using the three months in order to determine possible uses for The Priory building, if it is decided to relocate the collection, as well as conducting a study of the town centre. This will consider the many developments currently underway in Orpington town centre, including the new cinema, hotel and the Health Centre. This will enable Bromley Council to determine how best The Priory could contribute to the town centre's health and local economy. A report is then to be brought before The Executive for a decision.

After the three month deferral and should the museum be relocated to Central library, Bromley Council is fully aware of its duties towards the Lubbock collection, its importance and the status's of the loans of different artefacts. Accordingly, the Lubbock collection would remain a properly curated and permanent exhibition, and in fact there would be more of the collection on display than there is at present. Additionally, the Griset paintings would be regularly rotated within the permanent exhibition, in order to allow increased public access.


Cllr Kim BottingHearty congratulations go to Councillor Kim Botting (Orpington ward), following her public nomination in the partnership category of the Local Government Information Unit's (LGiU) Councillor Achievement Awards.

Councillor Botting works tirelessly to represent the residents in the Orpington ward, so I am delighted that her efforts have been publicly recognised.

Winners will be announced at the annual awards ceremony on 2nd March and I wish all shortlisted candidates the very best of luck.


Orpington Car Park OpeningJo Johnson MP opened the newly developed Orpington Station car park on Friday 6 February, following the completion of the £1.9 million project.

The investment, made available through the £100m Station Commercial Project Fund, paved the way for the construction of a new deck to the facility, with an additional 142 spaces created for commuters.

Jo said: "Orpington Station is a thriving transport hub for the local community, so it is vital to meet the demand from the growing number of passengers using the station on a daily basis."

He added: "I am delighted to open the station car park with its additional 142 car parking spaces. This is fantastic news for commuters as well as the whole of the community."

Read more from Kent News here.

Read more from News Shopper here.

Photograph shows Mr Clifford Elsey, Mr Nigel Davies (Bromley Council), David Statham (Managing Director of Southeastern), Jo Johnson MP, Cllr Charles Joel, Ms Lynda Clarke (duty station manager), and Tony McCartney.


London Biggin Hill AirportBiggin Hill Airport Limited has applied to Bromley Council to amend the terms of their lease.

Biggin Hill Airport's proposals include extending operating hours at the airport and loosening restrictions on flights in or out during the shoulder hours, alongside commitments to reduce noise, increase jobs and cap overall flight movements.

Bromley Council have announced an extended eight-week consultation period, to allow all residents and interested parties to air their views. Bromley Council will contact all households across the Borough in the most extensive piece of consultation the Council has ever conducted about Biggin Hill Airport.

This consultation is now open and will run until 5pm on Friday 13 March. I urge all constituents to take every opportunity to make their voices heard during this consultation process.

Residents may take part in Bromley Council's consultation on Biggin Hill Airport by completing the online survey which can be found at:

Interested parties may further make their views known by emailing:
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

While I am a firm supporter of Biggin Hill Airport as an employer in the local area and as an important business in the Borough, I am strongly opposed to the Airport's plans to seek changes to the terms of its lease. Biggin Hill Airport must ensure that its growth is compatible with the residential area in which it is based. Extended hours of operation will not be fair to the residential communities under the flightpath and I will be urging Bromley Council to continue to put the interests of residents first and foremost when they make their considerations.

I believe that Biggin Hill Airport Limited is able to remain competitive in its market under the terms of its existing lease. It would not be appropriate to amend the terms of the Airport's lease when this would have a detrimental effect on residents living close to the airport and underneath the flightpath.

I will continue to monitor developments extremely closely. This is a subject close to my heart and I will keep the interests of residents – and in particular those residents who live under the flightpath – at the forefront of this debate.

Bromley Council is the landlord of Biggin Hill Airport, having owned the freehold of the airport since purchasing the land from the Ministry of Defence in 1974. Bromley Council entered into a 125-year lease of the airport with Biggin Hill Airport Limited in 1994.

Biggin Hill Airport Limited has generated an income for Bromley's council taxpayers for a number of years. The land was purchased by the Council to ensure the airport's long-term success, while also protecting residents' interests.


Metro Bank OpeningJo Johnson MP recently welcomed the opening of a new Metro Bank store in Orpington, which is the first new bank to launch on the UK high street in over one hundred years.

Metro Bank, which prides itself on its seven-day opening, support for the small and medium enterprise sector, and its dog-friendly store policy, is bringing back local banking to the high street.

Jo said: "I was delighted to visit Metro Bank's new store in Orpington. Metro Bank's particular focus on the small and medium enterprise sector is fantastic news for businesses in Orpington, and it was a great pleasure to meet the local banking team and to welcome them to Orpington."


Biggin Hill Chapel - 3David Cameron has vowed to save the chapel dedicated to heroic Battle of Britain pilots after a public outcry over its threatened closure.

The Mail on Sunday revealed last week how St George's Chapel of Remembrance for 'the Few' faced the axe after Defence Minister Anna Soubry judged that its £50,000-a-year running costs were an 'inappropriate use of defence resources'.

But in a dramatic move last week, the Prime Minister pledged to do 'whatever it takes' to save the chapel at Biggin Hill, Kent, after a furious backlash from Mail on Sunday readers and campaigners.

The Prime Minister's announcement was welcomed by Mr Johnson, who has championed the campaign to keep the historic monument open. He described the U-turn as a 'triumph' for the public.

'We're in a very good place and the security of the chapel is secured,' he said. 'It's a great triumph to keep the chapel open, and one The Mail on Sunday has played a huge part in.'

To read the original story click here.


Biggin Hill Chapel Spitfire - 3MP for Orpington Jo Johnson met with the Prime Minister on Monday to discuss St George's Chapel of Remembrance at Biggin Hill.

"This is a site of huge significance in our national story and the Prime Minister is determined that the Chapel should be saved," he said in a following statement.

Mr Johnson has also discussed the future of the Chapel with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and the Leader of Bromley Council, Cllr Stephen Carr.

He added: "It would be unthinkable for the Chapel to close – over my dead body. I am working flat out with all arms of Government to ensure that St George's Chapel is secured in memory of those brave airmen who preserved our freedoms during the Battle of Britain."

In a tweet on Sunday, Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Anna Soubry said; "We remain committed to its preservation. Jo Johnson MP is doing a great job in making the case to keep St George's Chapel."

To read the original story, click here.


Biggin Hill Chapel - 2The Prime Minister, David Cameron, today gave an unequivocal Government commitment to keep open St George's Chapel of Remembrance at Biggin Hill.

Answering a question from local MP Bob Neill at Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, Mr Cameron said he would do "whatever it takes to keep it open for future generations."

The news was welcomed by local members of parliament, Jo Johnson, MP for Orpington, Bob Neill MP for Chislehurst and Bob Stewart, MP for Beckenham, who in a joint statement hailed it as a "triumph for the campaign to keep the Chapel open."

Jo Johnson, MP for Orpington, said: "This is a site of huge significance in our national story and I'm delighted that the Prime Minister has responded to our appeal by committing to do whatever it takes to ensure the Chapel stays open. This will end speculation and uncertainty over the Chapel's future."

The breakthrough came after Mr Johnson met with the Prime Minister in 10 Downing Street to discuss the future of the Chapel, during which Mr Cameron backed the campaign to keep the Battle of Britain Chapel open.

Mr Johnson also held talks with MoD ministers and the RAF's top brass in Westminster on Tuesday night. This resulted in the MoD's Minister of State Anna Soubry committing in a statement that the MoD would "preserve the Chapel for future generations."

Colonel Bob Stewart DSO, said: "I am delighted by this outcome and know how hard local MP, Jo Johnson, worked to achieve it.  Personally, as the son of a distinguished RAF officer with a younger brother who commanded an RAF squadron, I am utterly relieved and pleased by this reassurance."

Bob Neill, MP for Bromley & Chislehurst, said: "Biggin Hill was the iconic Battle of Britain airfield and it would have been unthinkable if the chapel should cease to have been maintained. Winston Churchill once promised that the site would remain a permanent shrine for those who sacrificed so much during the Battle of Britain, and I am glad that the Prime Minister has today vowed to keep this commitment alive."


Biggin Hill HurricaneMP Jo Johnson has said Biggin Hill's St George's Chapel will shut 'over his dead body'.

The chapel, along the Main Road, faces closure from March next year after the Ministry of Defence (MoD) decided to pull funding.

Estimated to cost £50,000 a year to run, a new source of funding is needed to avoid closure.

Coming up to the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the memorial has special significance.

The names of 454 pilots from Biggin Hill who lost their lives during World War Two are commemorated at the chapel.

Representing Orpington, Mr Johnson said: "This is a site of huge significance in our national story. I'm not alone in wanting to make sure the chapel is saved.

"I've had extensive discussions about it with the MoD with the treasury and also the Prime Minister.

"the Prime Minister is determined that the Chapel should be saved.

"There's agreement that we want to ensure the chapel is put on a sustainable footing so that it can continue to be a place of remembrance."

To read the original story, click here.


ChapelThe Prime Minister, David Cameron, this morning gave his backing for the campaign to save St George's Chapel of Remembrance at Biggin Hill.

"This is a site of huge significance in our national story and the Prime Minister is determined that the Chapel should be saved," Jo said in a statement following a meeting with the Prime Minister on Monday morning in No10 Downing Street.

Jo has also discussed the future of the Chapel with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and the Leader of Bromley Council, Cllr Stephen Carr.

Jo added: "It would be unthinkable for the Chapel to close – over my dead body. I am working flat out with all arms of Government to ensure that St George's Chapel is secured in memory of those brave airmen who preserved our freedoms during the Battle of Britain."

In a tweet on Sunday, Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans, Anna Soubry said; "We remain committed to its preservation. Jo Johnson MP is doing a great job in making the case to keep St George's Chapel."

Jo said he was delighted that Ms Soubry had listened to his arguments for the site's preservation, and that Ms Soubry had scheduled urgent talks with the Ministry of Defence to ensure that support for the Chapel is put on a sustainable footing.


Christmas Card front 2014Many congratulations to Aimee Willgress, a year 4 pupil at St Philomena's Catholic Primary School, who designed the winning entry in my primary schools Christmas card competition this year. Aimee's wonderful drawing of the stable in Bethlehem is beautifully drawn and a lovely reminder of the Christmas story. Congratulations also go to the six runners up, whose entries were printed on the back of my card. There was a fantastic response to the competition this year and I would like to thank all the children who took part, as well as the teachers who encouraged them and submitted entries on their behalf. There is a wealth of artistic talent in Orpington!


Woodlands VisitJo visited Blackbush and Twenty Acre Shaw Woods on Friday 5 December for a tour with Dr James Cooper and Claire Kerr of the Woodland Trust.

Blackbush and Twenty Acre Shaw Woods cover a total area of 68 acres and include areas of ancient woodland. This landscape was once frequented by Charles Darwin, who lived at Down House, and would have studied plants in these woods over a period of 40 years.

These special woods include carpets of bluebells in the spring; brilliant deadwood habitats; ancient trees; landscape views and rich flora in the open spaces, including at least four species of orchids.

Jo says: 'It was great to see this beautiful "4-hug" beech tree in Blackbush and Twenty Acre Shaw Woods. The Woodland Trust does a magnificent job maintaining this ancient woodland so that its venerable trees can be enjoyed by future generations.  A superb outing for young and old in the flora-rich woods that Charles Darwin studied in the 1840s.'

Photograph shows Jo Johnson MP with Claire Kerr, south-east Regional Manager of the Woodland Trust.


MPA Academy VisitOn Saturday 29 November, Jo joined Petts Wood residents at the Petts Wood Christmas Carnival. The Carnival has become a fantastic local tradition and this year the bar was raised higher than ever. There were four stages – performances from bands in the car park of the Daylight Inn; dance groups at the Petts Wood Memorial Hall; choirs on the pavement at Chatsworth Parade; and Mark Kirby was performing live outside Websters.

Christmas stalls in the Memorial Hall and a fun fair taking place throughout Petts Wood completed the scene. Jo switched on the Christmas lights following a performance from Glamstar and then enjoyed a performance by a group from the MPA Academy. A firework display followed the switch-on of the lights and Petts Wood could be left in no doubt that Christmas had arrived.

Jo Johnson MP said: 'It was an honour to switch on the Christmas lights this year at what has become a terrific annual event in Petts Wood. My sincere thanks go to all the organisers of the Carnival, who worked so hard to make this such a successful day.'

Photograph shows Jo with performers from MPA Academy, who helped Jo switch on the lights in Petts Wood.


Enterprise Hub Opening 4Jo Johnson MP supports Bromley's first Business Improvement District (BID), Orpington 1st, by attending the BID's official opening of its Enterprise Hub in Orpington.

Offices on Orpington High Street have been acquired by Orpington 1st in order to provide an excellent space in which current businesses and those looking to start their own businesses can find affordable office space – available to rent for hourly, daily or weekly use.

Entrepreneurs can also make great use of the facilities provided by the Enterprise Hub, which include a board room that can seat up to 16, an interview room and a training room.

In addition, a new office for the local policing team, in which they can take their breaks, means that local police can stay closer to the High Street instead of returning to the St Mary Cray Station.

Jo Johnson MP said: 'This is a fantastic accomplishment by Orpington 1st, which has created a terrific asset for the whole of the business community. It is exactly the support that businesses and entrepreneurs require in order to create local jobs and to encourage economic growth.'

Photograph shows Martin Price, Chairman of Orpington 1st and manager of the Walnuts Shopping Centre, Jo Johnson MP, and Councillor Julian Benington, Mayor of Bromley.


Orpington - Hydrotherapy 2Jo Johnson MP recently met with Tim Smart, Chief Executive of King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, for a tour of phase one of King's £3.9 million development at Orpington Hospital.

The elective orthopaedic centre is now up and running, including three new theatres and two new wards. Between 12-14 elective hip, knee or elbow operations are taking place at the centre every day.

Mr Smart and Jo also discussed Orpington Hospital's campaign to ensure top-class health services for the future by focusing on the recruitment of 60 new nurses.

Jo Johnson MP said: 'It was terrific to meet again with Tim Smart and to see the changes which have been made at Orpington Hospital. The hospital is thriving under King's management and is busier than ever. This new elective orthopaedic centre offers a fantastic facility for patients and I am delighted that King's continues to focus such positive attention on Orpington Hospital.'

Photograph shows Sally Lingard of King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Jo Johnson MP at the hydrotherapy pool at Orpington Hospital


Red X opening 010 2Jo Johnson MP recently welcomed the opening of a New Red Cross shop on Orpington High Street.

The charity, which funds life-saving work across the world and in the UK, will serve the whole of the Orpington community and will give young people the opportunity to get into volunteering, thereby providing them with invaluable skills.

At the heart of the work of the Red Cross is providing help to people in crisis, both in the UK and overseas. Amongst many activities it is committed to supporting refugees, preparing for and responding to disasters, and providing an Emergency Response service.

Jo Johnson MP said: 'It is great to see this new Red Cross shop on Orpington High Street which further complements the ongoing positive development of Orpington Town Centre, with the arrival of a new 7-screen Odeon cinema, three new restaurants, a Premier Inn Hotel as well as in due course the planned new Health and Wellbeing centre.'


Jo Meets with Thames Water and SGNJo Johnson MP hosted a meeting in Westminster today, attended by local councillors Colin Smith and Melanie Stevens, along with David Blackburn of Bromley Council and representatives from Thames Water and Southern Gas Network.

The purpose of the meeting was to bring together relevant parties to encourage Thames Water to work with Southern Gas Network, in order to minimise the disruption caused by utilities works on Leaves Green Road, which is of major concern to local businesses and residents.

Thames Water have agreed to install a pressure release valve (PRV) on this part of their network, which will halve the pressure on the pipework. The PRV will support the pipe infrastructure, prolong the life of the mains water pipe and will lead to a greater than 50% reduction in the number of leaks in the network. The work to install the PRV will be carried out in the week commencing 5 January 2015, coinciding with Southern Gas Network works which have already been scheduled.

Local councillors urged Thames Water and Southern Gas Network to make every effort to minimise disruption to road users during their works. Both Thames Water and Southern Gas Networks offered assurances that traffic flows would be carefully monitored and adjustments will be made to temporary traffic lights to reflect this; manual traffic controls will also be employed as necessary.

Jo Johnson MP said: 'I am very pleased that progress was made at this meeting. Biggin Hill residents have had to put up with terrible delays along Leaves Green Road for too long. It was good to see all parties working towards the same goal of improving gas and water infrastructure as necessary, while considering the impact that these works have on local residents and businesses. I thank everyone who attended today's meeting for their time and look forward to the completion of this next stage of Thames Water and Southern Gas Network works by mid-January.'


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