Coming from Birmingham we found Chislehurst very ‘posh’ but also so green. An abiding memory of our family holiday of that time, (4 children, 15, 13, 10 & 7) was on rainy days each child was given £5 to spend in the charity shops of Petts Wood and Chislehurst, with a fashion parade taking place in the evening, it was such fun and we could not believe the quality of the clothes (designer labels)!!!
We moved as a family to Bromley in the year 2000 and once again became acquainted with Chislehurst as we often visited and used Avalon House, Summer Hill, the house owned by the Salvation Army.
In 2006, I became Town Centre Manager for Bromley which involved me being in Chislehurst occasionally. I always commented and enjoyed the ‘village’ feel and just fell in love with the ponds and Commons. I was also involved with The Rotary Club which again brought me in touch with the various events held in Chislehurst and the people.
Then in 2010, I applied to stand for Bromley Council as an elected member. I initially requested the Bromley Town Ward as I was more familiar with this area. Part of the selection process was that I had to be interviewed by the Chislehurst Committee. I had not applied for this area, yet that evening after the interview, I was called and offered the Chislehurst Ward, for which after some deliberations I said yes! What a great decision that was. I have now served as one of the Chislehurst Councillors since my successful election in 2010.
I have thrown myself into all areas of the Ward, being a voice for the marginalised and trying to support the many residents with their issues and questions. I have also enjoyed ‘getting involved’ with the Town Team, the Chislehurst Society, friends of the various parks, the safer neighbourhood group, schools, church’s, societies, The Edge youth project and many others.
It has been challenging but immensely rewarding and with all the groups (mentioned above) within the Ward, we have seen some great successes, it is down to team work and a lot hard work and passion from a number of people.
I think by now you will have got the message that I love Chislehurst, and still get a buzz when I pass the ponds, often I’m heard saying, “That is my pond, with Duck House!!’
The village, Royal Parade and Belmont Parade all offer a great deal of choice to the many residents who use it as ‘their town’. Also great work is done to profile these areas in many ways through the media etc. I have to pay tribute to the Town Team and the Chislehurst Society, who without them, I am sure, Chislehurst would not be the success that it is. Not to mention the fun element of engaging with residents and retailers that happens occasionally.
I enjoy, and am immensely proud of being your councillor and will continue to serve you to the best of my ability – remember ‘No Pain, No Gain – Know Payne, Know Gain’.
Written by Ian Payne, Councillor (Chislehurst Ward)