Tuesday 29th July 2014
News Feeds:
22
Jul
2014

ICSJo has urged young people to follow the example of Orpington resident, Guy Brown, and sign up for the International Citizenship Service (ICS).

From March to June 2014, Guy was part of a team of volunteers on a community development project in Nicaragua through the ICS, which is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID).  Some of the work he did included constructing a classroom for a small school as well as promoting gender equality and environmental awareness with community events.

The ICS allows 18-25 year olds of any economic background in the UK to volunteer abroad.  Volunteers are given a means-tested fundraising target, usually of £800.  The programme aims to combat poverty oversees whilst increasing the participants' skills and confidence.

Guy said: "My experience and the help that I gave could not have happened without the funding given by DFID.  It would be great if more people in Orpington could know that the opportunity exists and how accessible it is."

Jo said: "I congratulate Guy on his service and for trying to raise awareness of this fantastic opportunity.  I strongly urge young Orpington residents to consider signing up."

For more information on the International Citizenship Service, click here

 
17
Jul
2014

Policy UnitMP for Orpington Jo Johnson has been promoted by the Prime Minister in this week's political reshuffle.

Mr Johnson was promoted to Minister of State in the Cabinet Office, while retaining his existing role as Head of the Downing Street Policy Unit.

He said:  "I am delighted to be Orpington's eyes and ears in No10 and to be able to work with David Cameron to help shape the policies that will meet our nation's long-term challenges."

It comes as the the PM David Cameron looks to rework his team in the lead up to next year's General Election.

To read the full story, click here

 
17
Jul
2014

Waste4Fuel 2The Environment Agency has today served an enforcement notice on Waste4Fuel to stop any further waste being brought into the Orpington site.

The new enforcement notice means that any person depositing waste at Waste4Fuel will be committing an offence and may face further action from the Environment Agency.

Failure to comply with the new enforcement notice will result in further regulatory action being taken. Several conditions within the new enforcement notice need to be met before further waste can be accepted at the site.

The Environment Agency is awaiting a written decision from the High Court after it dismissed the contempt of court case last week for failure to maintain fire breaks and store new waste separately at the site.

The High Court order required all combustible waste to be cleared from the site by 1 May 2014, and the Environment Agency will consider what action it should take once the reasons for the courts' decision on 1 July has been considered.

Andrew Pearce, Environment Agency Area Manager for Kent and South London, said: "This enforcement notice is another step towards the Environment Agency bringing the Waste4Fuel site back into compliance.

"The High Court Order we secured last year has not been complied with, and waste on site is slowly increasing. We understand the frustration of local residents and are doing everything within our power to bring the site back into compliance as soon as possible."

 
16
Jul
2014

Cameron and JoJo was promoted to Minister of State in the Cabinet Office in this week's reshuffle, while retaining his existing role as Head of the Downing Street Policy Unit.

Jo said:  "I am delighted to be Orpington's eyes and ears in No10 and to be able to work with David Cameron to help shape the policies that will meet our nation's long-term challenges."

 
02
Jul
2014

Cinema visitAt a "turning the Sod" ceremony on Monday 30th June, in Orpington, The Mayor of Bromley, Councillor Julian Bennington marked the start of a construction project that will incorporate a multi-screen cinema. He said -

"I am delighted to be here to "Turn the First Sod" on this exciting and important development in Orpington Town Centre. The 7 screen Multiplex cinema, 3 restaurants, a gym and 3 large retail units will improve the retail and leisure offer available in Orpington, deliver up to 200 new jobs, and make Orpington even more a town to visit"

Orpington has been without a cinema for more than 30 years. The Commodore Cinema opened in 1933, closed in 1982, and was later demolished. The brand new complex, including restaurants, shops, and a gym, is on the site of The Walnuts shopping centre. It will provide a much needed boost to the town centre's economy, attracting employment and investment into Orpington town centre.

Millers Construction will deliver the 65,000 sq ft development anchored by a 7 screen Odeon cinema, scheduled for completion by spring 2015.
Fast expanding B&M, one of the leading variety retailers in the UK, has secured space in the development in line with its strategy to grow its store base in southern England.

Pure Gym, the national gym chain, will be making a substantial investment in the scheme, creating a new 24 hour gym of 14,300 sq ft.

The high quality new extension will deliver a combined retail and leisure complex to the heart of Orpington, regenerating the town centre and transforming it into a major mixed use destination.

Together with three restaurant units and a new public square, the development will offer a contemporary, modern environment to suit a wide range of retailer requirements.

Orpington will be strengthened by The Walnuts' new role as a community hub and retail/leisure destination, encouraging further development and investment in the surrounding area.

 
02
Jul
2014

Waste4Fuel 3Further to the court ruling earlier today, Jo said: "I am deeply disappointed at the ruling by the High Court to dismiss the Environment Agency's case against Waste4Fuel.  Residents, who have put up with this nauseating stench for far too long will demand answers and want action.  I await the details of the ruling, which I will be reading closely. 

"In the meantime, the EA, Bromley Council and I will not let up in the fight to shut the site down, and Bob Neill MP, James Brokenshire MP and I have sought an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister to resolve this issue once and for all."

 
23
Jun
2014

Cinema visit 2Jo visited the construction site of the new cinema and retail complex on Orpington High Street on Friday afternoon. Jo was shown around the area with representatives of Miller Developments, development managers of the project, and with Martin Price, Manager of the Walnuts Shopping Centre.

Jo was also given the opportunity to talk through the plans for the 65,000 sq ft development, which will include a 7-screen Odeon cinema, a 14,300 sq ft 24-hour Pure Gym, B&M Stores, as well as further shop units, three restaurant units and a new public square.

Jo said: 'It was thrilling to see the long-awaited regeneration of the Walnuts Shopping Centre underway.  It will give Orpington town centre a terrific boost and encourage other top-quality retailers to come to the High Street.  There is huge excitement about the return of a cinema to the heart of Orpington.  It was fantastic to have the chance to see the site at this early stage and I'll be keeping a close eye on progress.'

The site is due to be completed in Spring 2015.

Photo: Jo (L-R) with Andy Beavis, Miller Developments, and Martin Price, Manager of Walnuts Shopping Centre.  Copyright: Keith Larby

 
13
Jun
2014

Orpington station car parkOrpington Station car park is to be expanded in a £1.9 million project. The money will be used to build a new deck to the facility, which will create a further 142 spaces.

Work is set to go ahead next month and is expected to finish in December.

Orpington's MP Jo Johnson said: "It is fantastic news that work is due to start shortly on the car park at Orpington Station.

"While this will inevitably cause disruption in the short term, the end result will be one of great benefit to commuters, as well as to the local community."

The money was made available through the £100m Station Commercial Project Fund, made up of the Department for Transport, Network Rail, and the Association of Train Operating Companies.

To read the full story, click here

 
12
Jun
2014

Lloyds EnterpriseLloyds Bank is searching for Britain's best student and graduate entrepreneurial talent. The Enterprise Awards are open to entrepreneurs currently studying at universities across Britain or those who have graduated within the past five years and have been trading for more than one year. Applications are invited before 23 July 2014.

Jo says: 'I know there is a wealth of entrepreneurial talent in Orpington and would strongly encourage constituents to apply for this award, which offers fantastic mentoring opportunities.'

To learn more about the awards scheme, click here

 
27
May
2014

Election 2014Jo said: "I want to take this opportunity to congratulate Bromley Conservatives on their well-deserved success in yesterday's local elections.  I am particularly proud of the councillors across the Orpington constituency whose hard work and dedication has been recognised by residents. 

"Bromley Council has delivered excellent value-for-money over recent years – providing an efficient service with the lowest council tax in outer London.  I will continue to work with the re-elected team to ensure residents can enjoy a safe, green and prosperous neighbourhood."

To see the full results by ward from Thursday's election, click here

 
20
May
2014

Marafun 14Jo set off 450 runners and walkers at the 10th annual Marafun in Orpington on Saturday.

Supported by a team of 80 marshals and helpers, the participants followed courses from the starting point at Green Street Green Primary School around Orpington to complete a marathon, half marathon or 10km route. Shorter courses of 4km or 2km were run in the field adjacent to the school to ensure there was a distance to suit everyone.

Participants were invited to make a donation and raise sponsorship for Footsteps International, which organised the event, supported by the Rotary Club. All Marafun proceeds will go to help orphans and street children in Kenya.

Jo said: 'The annual Orpington Marafun is another great example of the incredible generosity of our local community. There was an amazing number of runners and I congratulate everyone involved in the organisation of this successful event at Footsteps International and the Rotary Club –  as well as of course all the runners, walkers and volunteers for their efforts.'

To donate to Marafun, click here

 
19
May
2014

Waste4Fuel siteThe Environment Agency has opened its legal argument against the operators of an Orpington waste site at the High Court in London.

Waste4Fuel and their former and current directors and management are facing charges of contempt from the Environment Agency in relation to not complying with an undertaking to install appropriate fire breaks and separate areas for new waste at the site.

At the first two days of the hearing over 6 and 7 May, the Environment Agency opened their case against Waste4Fuel regarding their operation of the waste site. The case will continue into a third and fourth day; however these dates are yet to be scheduled and are pending court approval. The earliest the remainder of the case will be heard is June.

Jon Griffin, Waste Team Leader at the Environment Agency, said: "As far as we are concerned, the site should operate in accordance with the final terms of the Court Order issued last November, meaning we expect the site operators to remove combustible waste from the site.

"Between now and the next appearance at the High Court, our officers will continue to monitor Waste4Fuel's compliance with the original Court Order closely."

 
16
May
2014

May Fayre 2014Jo joined local residents at the Petts Wood May Fayre last weekend – a fantastic annual event which brings out the community in force. Organised and run by a committee of residents including Margaret Hoare (Chair), Samantha Nemeth (Secretary) and Ralph Ambrose (Treasurer), the Fayre was a huge success.

Visitors enjoyed the May Queen parade and were treated to performances by dance groups, musicians, a magician and a drumming group. With many stalls to occupy visitors and delicious teas being served, this was an afternoon for the community to enjoy together.

For more information on the May Fayre, click here

Photo courtesy of www.ashleighsheaphotography.co.uk

 
12
May
2014

Affinity developmentJo made a site visit with Councillor Peter Fortune to The Ridge showroom with representatives from Affinity Sutton on Friday afternoon. The Ridge is being developed by Affinity Sutton on the site of the two fifteen-storey towers in St Mary Cray, which were demolished in 2012. The development will provide 80 one, two and three-bedroom apartments and 10 three-bedroom houses in a gated community, built with eco-credentials.

Jo said: 'It was fantastic to see how the development is coming along. It will be a great place to live – centrally located, close to transport links as well as to open green spaces – and will make a significant contribution to the ongoing regeneration of the area.'

Photo: Jo with Kerry Kyriacou, Group Director of New Business and Development

 
28
Apr
2014

Fixers 2A group of young people living with learning disabilities have created a poster campaign to show they would like to be treated equally.

The posters will be displayed at the Walnuts Shopping Centre, Orpington and were officially unveiled there last week in an event attended by Jo Johnson MP.

The group are led by 26-year-old Holly Pace and all live in sheltered accommodation managed by Sanctuary Supported Living.

With the support of Fixers, a national charity which makes multi media resources about issues that are important to young people, they are aiming to spread the message that disabled people should be treated as you would want to be treated yourself.

The campaign addresses the way they feel able-bodied people view them and explains that they would like to be treated as equals rather than ignored, stared at or interrupted.

The three posters show the group doing something they enjoy, like listening to music or painting, to show that people with disabilities are just like those without.

Jo Johnson said: "I think it is brilliant that these young people are making their voices heard in the community in this way. Hopefully the posters will attract a lot of attention and make people think twice before judging others."

To read the full story, click here

 
25
Apr
2014

FixersJo joined volunteers from innovative charity Fixers at the Walnuts Shopping Centre in Orpington today for the launch of their poster campaign, 'Just Like You'.

'Just Like You' has been organised by local young people who are living with disabilities and learning needs in Sanctuary supported housing and their campaign addresses the way they feel they are viewed by able-bodied people and how they would like to be treated equally.

Jo said: 'It was great to meet the group today at the launch of their poster campaign, 'Just Like You' and I congratulate them all for putting across their message in such a clear, powerful way.'

Fixers make multi-media resources about issues that are important to young people, based on their real life experiences.  Individual Fixers want other young people to learn from their own experiences and the charity helps by creating resources, such as short films, posters, leaflets, websites and apps, which form an important part of each young person's campaign.

Photo: Jo with Fixers volunteers.  Credit: Keith Larby

For more information about Fixers, click here

 
24
Apr
2014

Downe Hall StablesJo paid an unannounced visit to the stunning Downe Hall Stables on Friday.  He met with riders and staff and learnt about the management of the hugely popular site.  

Jo was in Downe to meet residents and hear their views and concerns.  

 
23
Apr
2014

Petts WoodOrpington MP Jo Johnson has for a second time written to The Planning Inspectorate to try to safeguard Petts Wood from development.  

The Conservative member said he strongly opposes "any attempt to undermine the Petts Wood Area of Special Residential Character".

Mr Johnson added: "Allowing development to proceed would set a highly damaging precedent that could undermine the nature of this 1930s garden suburb that is held with deep affection in the area.

"I trust that the inspector respects the views of local residents who, like me and the councillors who represent them, strongly oppose the plans."

He also said local councillors Douglas Auld, Simon Fawthrop, and Tony Owen "share his views".

Planning is a controversial point in the area, with many in the town battling prospective building work.  Petts Wood Residents' Association has noted increasing government pressure on Bromley Council to allow projects and said its "fight on this front continues".

To read the full story, click here

 
10
Apr
2014

Queens Head 2Jo Johnson MP waded into potentially unsettling political territory last week, visiting a pub in the village of Downe – home of Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

Mr Johnson, MP for Orpington and brother of the almost certainly less tame Mayor of London, went over to the Queen's Head to shake hands with owner Nigel Andrews on Friday April 4.

The pub has just been given the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) 'Pub of the Year' award for Bromley borough and Mr Johnson wanted to congratulate him for the achievement.

While doing so the Conservative politician noted the important role these establishments play in the lives of his constituents, adding the accolade was "richly-deserved."

He said: "Pubs play a crucial role in the social life of Orpington and contribute, on average, £100,000 each to the local economy.  I am grateful for Nigel's warm hospitality and strongly urge residents to visit the pub soon."

Mr Johnson mentioned discussing the recent budget too, including the announcement that beer duty would be cut by a further penny.

He later canvassed local councillors in the lead up to the local and European elections, which take place on May 22.

Although Downe falls within Mr Johnson's constituency, to Mr Farage the news of a rival Tory talking beer in his home turf may spark unease in the Ukip MEP.  He is known to enjoy a pint or two and has been pictured at nearby drinking hole, the George and Dragon, in the past.

To read the full story, click here

 
08
Apr
2014

renal clinicA woman suffering with kidney problems has become the first patient at one of two new clinics at Princess Royal University Hospital (PRU). Sameena Ahad-Bokhari, of West Wickham, had developed a condition after her first pregnancy that stopped the organs from working properly.

The mother of three praised the facilities, which opened last month, and is now on the road to recovery.  She said: "The new clinic at the PRUH is much more convenient. It's closer to my home and it's the hospital where my children were born.  I'm really pleased that now I only have to travel to the PRU for them".

Previously residents in the Bromley borough had to go up to London - to the King's College Hospital (KCH) in Camberwell.  A team of three consultants and a specialist nurse at KCH are behind the new service and now work one day a week at PRU.  Dr Satish Jayawardene, one of those who established the services, said: "We really wanted to set up a local service for local people and that's exactly what we've done. Bromley patients can receive the same standard of care much closer to home."

A spokeswoman at PRU said chronic kidney disease affects around five per cent of the population.  The hospital is currently seeing 20 to 30 patients a week but will see approximately 40 patients in that time frame when at full capacity.

Jo said: "This is yet another sign of the dramatic improvements to patient care services under King's leadership.  I wish Sameena and full and speedy recovery".  

 

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