Sunday 26th April 2015
News Feeds:
29
Mar
2015

This site was established while I was a Member of Parliament.

As Parliament has now been dissolved, there are no MPs until after the General Election on 7th May.

Jo Johnson, Parliamentary Candidate for Orpington

 
27
Mar
2015

bigginhill olympics2012 trafficJo Johnson has expressed his disappointment at Bromley Council's decision to start negotiations with Biggin Hill airport over extended opening hours and called for tough new conditions to protect residents.

Jo said: 'I am hugely disappointed by this decision which goes against the wishes of so many local residents. It is now absolutely imperative that every safeguard is in place to ensure that the strictest noise control regime is implemented by Biggin Hill Airport.

I will continue to urge the Council to put the interests of residents under the flightpath first and to demand the toughest possible package of measures to protect their peace and quiet.'

Bromley Council was last night divided over the application made by Biggin Hill Airport Ltd to extend its operating hours.

Councillors voted by 36 votes to 10 in favour of supporting the application. The Executive subsequently voted in favour of the application by four votes to two.

Jo added: '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 change the terms of its lease which would adversely impact upon local residents.'

Under the proposals, the current operating hours from 6.30am to 10pm from Monday to Friday and 9am to 8pm on weekends and public holidays would increase to 6.30am and 11pm from Monday to Saturday, and 8am to 11pm on Sundays and public holidays.

 
18
Mar
2015

Biggin Hill Chapel - 2Jo Johnson MP has welcomed the announcement by Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, setting out a £1 million grant in today's Budget to secure the future of St George's RAF Chapel of Remembrance in Biggin Hill.

Jo said: "I am delighted that the Chancellor is allocating £1 million to ensuring the RAF Biggin Hill Memorial Chapel is put on a sustainable footing. This is a triumph for the Biggin Hill Residents Association and everyone who has been campaigning to safeguard the Chapel for future generations."

The news came in response to the Prime Minister's recent pledge to campaigners to do 'whatever it takes' to save the Chapel.

In the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain, the Chapel faced closure after the Ministry of Defence considered the withdrawal of funding early in January 2015.

Jo directly raised the issue with the Prime Minister and Chancellor in Downing Street, and worked with all arms of Government to ensure that the future of St George's Chapel was secured.

 
18
Mar
2015

Jobs LogoToday's figures show that unemployment in Orpington is continuing to plummet amid record levels of job creation across the country.

Jo said, "The Government's economic plan is working and I am delighted that Orpington is part of this national success. Support for local businesses, and investment in skills and apprenticeships, has ensured that unemployment in Orpington continues to fall."

The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance in Orpington has fallen from 1,255 to 579, a huge decline of 53.9% since May 2010. Youth unemployment too was down to 130 claimants in January 2015, down from 285 in May 2010, a decline of 54.3%.

On the day of the Budget, the last of the current Parliament, the economy in the United Kingdom continues to perform strongly.

Jo has welcomed the news that employment in the UK is at record highs. At the end of 2014 there were 30.90 million people in employment, a rate of 73.2%, the highest level since comparable records began in 1971.

The latest forecast by the Office for Budgetary Responsibility from December 2014 suggests that nationally the unemployment rate will return to its pre-crisis level of 5.3% by the end of 2015.

 
04
Mar
2015

11.11.14southeasternmeetingJo Johnson MP today welcomed Southeastern's announcement to introduce a new fast train from Orpington to Waterloo East and Charing Cross.

Jo said: "This is brilliant news for everyone who's been campaigning for faster commuter train services into London in the morning. I am delighted that we now have a new fast train in the morning peak, at 8.56am."

He added: "This is important and welcome progress and I'm glad that Southeastern has been listening to us on this. Of course, this is just the start of the change that we need to see, and I will continue to push for similar fast services earlier in the morning when they are really needed, and also a better fast service back to Orpington in the evening. "

From 9 March, Southeastern will be introducing a new fast train service from Orpington at 08:56 to Waterloo East and Charing Cross, nearly half an hour earlier than the existing 09:23 fast train to Charing Cross.

There will also be an increase from eight to ten cars on a number of existing routes between Orpington and London, thereby considerably increasing capacity for commuters when it is most needed.

David Statham, Managing Director at Southeastern, said: "We have received representations from Orpington passengers, asking for an additional non-stop service into London and this will be implemented from 9 March." He added: "Where operationally possible, we will always look sympathetically at such requests."

 
27
Feb
2015

SkunkworksJo Johnson MP welcomed news that Bromley Police and local authority officers recently raided the premises of Skunkworks, the so-called 'legal high' store, in Orpington High Street.

Trading standards officers seized a considerable quantity of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS), following concerns raised by local policing teams about the number of young people found in possession of such substances.

Bromley deputy Borough Commander Parm Sandhu said: "This sends a clear message to these types of establishments that we will not tolerate the issues they bring to our communities. The recreational use of NPS represents a danger to public health and can also render people vulnerable to becoming victims of crime and the Metropolitan Police Service strongly advise the public that these should not be experimented with. We will continue working with Trading Standards and the Local Authority to tackle this issue."

Jo Johnson MP said: "These so called 'legal highs' are extremely dangerous substances with often unknown and untested ingredients which can cause serious harm to those using them, especially our young people in Orpington."

He added: "I congratulate Bromley Police and the local authority officers for making real progress in tackling this problem, which is having a severe and detrimental impact on our community."

 
26
Feb
2015

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 Perera 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."

 
24
Feb
2015

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.

 
23
Feb
2015

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.

 
16
Feb
2015

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.

 
12
Feb
2015

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.

 
09
Feb
2015

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.

 
26
Jan
2015

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:

http://www.bromley.gov.uk/BigginHillairport

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.

 
12
Jan
2015

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."

 
12
Jan
2015

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.

 
08
Jan
2015

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.

 
08
Jan
2015

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."

 
08
Jan
2015

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.

 
05
Jan
2015

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.

 
19
Dec
2014

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!

 

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This site was established while I was a Member of Parliament. As Parliament has now been dissolved, there are no MPs until after the General Election on 7 May.

 

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