Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Wallington South Ward Councillors’ Winter Update

It feels a little difficult to be positive following the news that we are now in the most restrictive Tier 4 thanks to the highly infectious new variant of the coronavirus. Christmas is a time of family and festivity bringing warmth at the darkest point of winter, and it feels cruel that this virus has denied many of us that comfort.

There will be many of you grieving loved ones, or missing those you have been separated from for too long. Some will be facing unemployment and an uncertain future. Far too many will struggle to afford to feed their families, or keep a roof over their heads. Few of us will be untouched by the events of the last year.

So perhaps all we can ask, with that in mind, is that we all be kind to each other. Not just with actions, but also in words. We can’t take away the pain, or solve all the problems, but we can all be a little kinder to each other.

We hope you can all find a little light in this darkness over the Christmas period.

WARD NEWS

Results of the Parking Strategy Consultation

The first consultation confirmed that parking was an issue in the area that residents wished to see solutions for. Following discussions with residents and officers, proposals were put forward for a Free Bay parking scheme for the Ross Road area, and residents asked to feedback their views. Despite our promotion of the consultation supplementing the council’s communications, the response to the consultation was quite low. This demonstrated insufficient support for a free bay scheme so it has been confirmed that no parking scheme will be introduced in this area.

However, part of the work supporting the scheme was for officers to review the parking restrictions across the area. As a result double yellow lines will be introduced to all junctions where they are not currently, to improve sightlines and safety, and yellow lines proposed for most of Woodcote Road, and in Stanley Park Road close to schools and the roundabout. These plans are required to go through a formal TMO consultation so look out for notices and submit your comments if you do not think the lines are in the right places.

Residents See Off Unsightly Phone Mast

Numerous objections and a petition from local residents has seen permission for a mobile phone mast refused by the council.

Hutchinson 3G were planning to place a 15m tall mobile phone mast and numerous unsightly cabinets in Brambledown Road in Wallington. Objections were raised about the ugliness and intrusiveness of the mast and cabinets on a residential street, and the fact that the applicants had ignored other, more appropriate, sites highlighted for phone masts by council planners.

Letters of objection were submitted from 42 local residents together with a petition with 177 signatures. The ward councillors also objected to the location of the mast.

Sutton Council’s Planning Team agreed with residents about the unsuitability of the location and refused the application.

Town Hall Clock back on time

Many residents noticed that the Wallington Old Town Hall was no longer telling the correct time. Cllr Cook got on the case and we are pleased to see that the council has got it back up and telling the correct time. We are still working on bringing back the chimes, but it is more complicated than you would imagine.

Greenbelt still under threat from Woodcote development proposals

The very persistent developers, Perseus Land & Developments Ltd,  are pushing ahead with plans to build a 70-bed care home on Greenbelt land in Wallington, despite council planners advising against it as against both local and London planning policy. They plan to build on land between Woodcote Green Garden Centre in Woodmansterne Lane and Wallington Girls School.

We already have more care homes than most other London boroughs, and plenty specialised for Dementia care, so need is not an argument for developing on greenbelt here, nor is there a lack of brownfield sites elsewhere in the borough.

We know that local people feel very strongly about protecting Greenbelt land, and over 40 objections have been submitted so far, including an objection from Jayne on behalf of the ward councillors. The application also impacts on neighbouring wards Beddington South and Carshalton South and Clockhouse and the Lib Dem councillors there have also expressed their concerns about the impact on the area and their residents.

We are outraged to have learnt that the developers are sending letters to residents promoting the development and using general quotes from the council leader and Age UK to imply support for the scheme. The Leader has in fact written to the developer advising that the plans are against council planning policy. Nor does their communication state that it is on green belt land. It is tricks like this that give developers a bad name.

Exceptional number of objections to increasing height of flats

The developers of the flats on the old BP garage site in Wallington are now proposing to increase the height of the rear block by two storeys using the Government’s new extended Permitted Development Rights. In a meeting with residents in the flats and neighbouring properties there was dismay at the implications of this additional height on their light and privacy, and the disruption the construction would cause them.

As Permitted Development there are very limited grounds for preventing these extensions. The Government introduced these extended rights for developers without consultation and clearly without understanding the distress and impact they can have on residents. It also rides roughshod over all the work that went into the Council’s Local Plan and height restrictions placed on the development at the application stage.

Despite the obstacles we are supporting the residents in their fight against this inappropriate extension and have seen an amazing 93 objections to this application, including our own.

We are expecting a decision on the application shortly.

Just in – application was refused!

Gullies and Deep Cleaning across the ward

Your ward councillors have been reporting blocked gullies and leaf fall across the ward which has resulted in some deep cleaning of the worst affected roads such as Marchmont and Demesne Road. Do use Report it on the council website to report build up of leaves, blocked drains and litter as it goes straight through to Veolia and generally gets dealt with promptly.

Foresters Drive Cycle lane

The lightweight plastic wands have not been welcomed as they are ugly and easily vandalised. Our enquiries revealed that these are temporary and the intention is to replace them with much less intrusive ‘armadillo humps’ should the lane be made permanent. You can feedback your views on the cycle lane trial here.

Wallington Station Mural a hit

The new mural under the bridge at Wallington Railway Station has been a hit with residents, adding some interest to a rather dreary underpass. It comes thanks to public realm funding from the Beddington & Wallington local Committee. The council allocates a pot of capital funding to each local committee to deliver projects proposed by the community and agreed by the committee. A list of recent projects funded this way can be seen here.

Bandon Hill School Street in Beddington Gardens

The feedback from this school street trial so far is that it is generally welcomed by local residents and parents, however there are still far too many drivers ignoring the restrictions. If the decision is made to make this school street permanent, then we will ask that it is enforced with numberplate recognition cameras to ensure compliance.

Fly-tipped or Marooned?

We recently had the strangest fly-tipping report of a yacht dumped in Buckingham Way. Fortunately it was quickly removed but it does show what can happen when you get a heavy downpour in Sandy Lane South!

All In Wallington still manage to bring some Christmas Cheer

It was clear quite early on that we couldn’t go ahead with the Wallington Christmas Festival this year, but the residents and businesses that make up our All In Wallington community group have still managed to arrange a Christmas Tree again, thanks to the generosity of Your Move, and new lights sponsored by Carpenters & Co.

Jean Grima, Ric Adams and the children of St Elphege’s school also worked to bring a Wallington ADVENT-ure TRAIL to attract some young code breakers with the chance to win a prize, kindly sponsored by Carpenter & Co.

Santa says that he will miss the children visiting him at his Wallington Grotto this year, but reassures us that he has taken all the measures required to still be able to still deliver presents safely this year.

Ward Surgeries and casework

We suspended our councillor ward surgeries in Wallington Sainsburys and will continue to do so until the need to socially distance is removed as it is not easily maintained in the space we occupy by the lifts.

We are willing to undertake site visits and meetings to discuss casework issues, as long as we can observe social distancing. Contact us via email or telephone as usual.

BOROUGH NEWS

Coronavirus: Local Information and Help

The council provides guidance and information on the latest lockdown requirements and how to get a test on its website as well as details of the support and financial help available.

There are grants of £500 available for people required to self isolate, and a range of grants for businesses affected by the various Tier restrictions.

Changes to waste collection over Christmas

Don’t forget that waste collections will change over the Christmas and New Year period. You can check the collection dates on the council website here.

Real Christmas trees will also be collected over the two week period from 18th January 2021.

The Household Reuse and Recycling Centre at Kimpton Way will remain open throughout lockdown except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day, and will continue to be booking only. You can book a slot here.

WARD PLANNING NEWS

DM2020/00810 6 Onslow Gardens Wallington Sutton SM6 9QN Demolition of existing outbuilding and erection of a detached dwelling with vehicular access from Onslow Gardens.  Refused Aug 2020

DM2020/00501 50-52 Stanley Park Road Carshalton SM5 3HW Demolition of existing semi-detached dwellings and erection of a detached two storey building including accommodation in roof space to provide 7 self-contained residential units, provision of cycle/refuse stores, parking spaces and altered vehicular access to and from the front of the property.  Refused Aug 2020

DM2020/00450 Monarch House 7 Stafford Road Wallington SM6 9AN Erection of a single storey rear conservatory, enclosure of under croft to form additional office floor space, alteration to parking, vehicle access from Onslow Gardens with new gates and boundary treatment. Still pending decision

New Applications:

DM2020/01805  Land At Woodcote Green Garden Centre Woodmansterne Lane Wallington SM6 0SU Demolition of existing structures, and erection of a two storey nursing home comprising 70 bedrooms, car parking, cycle storage, bin storage, access, landscaping and other associated works This application is for development on land designated as Greenbelt

DM2020/01589 31-35 Stafford Road Wallington SM6 9AP (old BP Garage site) Prior Approval in relation to the erection of 2 new floors to provide 10 self contained residential units. Refusal just in!

DM2020/01688 109 Boundary Road Wallington SM6 0TE  10th application for demolition of existing single storey detached garage and erection of a detached two storey dwelling in garden land to the rear of 109 and 107 Boundary Road with attached refuse storage area to the side of the property, parking to the front accessed from Brambledown Road Not accepted as valid as less than two years since a similar, refused application was submitted

So that is our last update for 2020. We wish you all a peaceful Christmas and hope for a new year that brings some relief from these difficult times.

Cllr Steve Cook, Cllr Jayne McCoy & Cllr Muhammad Sadiq

Your Lib Dem team for Wallington South

P.S. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do to help: wallingtonsouth.libdems@gmail.com

December 28, 2020 Posted by | Information, Liberal Democrats | , | Leave a comment

Sutton’s response to the Planning Reform White Paper

Housing, Economy and Business Committee Response to the Planning for the Future White Paper Consultation
 
To whom it may concern,
 
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the Government’s Planning for the Future consultation document.
 
Sutton Council discussed the proposals contained in the consultation document and the implications for our borough at a cross-party meeting of the Housing, Economy and
Business Committee on 13 October 2020.
 
This letter accompanies the council’s technical response to the consultation (attached) and highlights the following concerns and issues raised by members at that meeting:
 
Reduced resident input on plan-making and applications
The proposals give local people less opportunity to input into Local Plan making by largely centralising the process and removing the opportunity for meaningful input at local level. This is contrary to our approach in Sutton that saw extensive resident engagement to enable the council to deliver an ambitious Local Plan that residents understood and supported.
 
The proposals for granting outline permission to applications in designated Growth Areas, coupled with the new extended Permitted Development Rights, would mean residents would
have no say whatsoever on applications that could make a huge impact on their area and therefore their lives. People choose to live or work in an area based on how it meets their personal needs and aspirations. They contribute through local taxes to that area and help make an area what it is. We strongly believe that they have a right to have a say over development proposals to their area and help ensure any change is positive.
 
Housing targets are flawed and take no account of local land supply rendering them undeliverable
The algorithm for calculating housing targets does not take account of local housing needs or available land supply. A consortium of outer London boroughs successfully argued that
the London Mayor’s housing targets, a lower figure than the 1,122 net target set via this algorithm, were undeliverable due to land supply constraints, which means that this higher
target is equally undeliverable.
 
Centrally-set targets and designations take no account of local built character
The only way to meet the centrally imposed housing targets in suburban boroughs would be to build on back garden land, greatly intensify suburban areas, and put pressure to build on
green spaces and Green Belt land. This would result in the loss of the varied and much-loved character of the villages and district centres that make up our area, turning outer London suburban boroughs into replicas of inner London densification with tower blocks and reduced open space.
 
Housing targets fail to account for supporting infrastructure
New development requires additional school places, GP and other health services, road and transport infrastructure and amenity space, as well as local jobs and economic growth.
There are already tensions in finding land to meet these competing needs, but the proposals focus on housing targets and are silent on requiring the supporting infrastructure.
 
Less affordable housing will result from the proposals
London does not simply have a housing crisis but an affordable housing crisis. Local people note that much of the new housing being built is unaffordable for them. Raising the threshold
for requiring private developers to deliver affordable housing will significantly reduce the amount of affordable housing delivered in our area. This is particularly pertinent for Sutton as we do not have significant numbers of large sites available for development, so much future development will be on smaller sites beneath the threshold.
 
Lack of detail about consolidated infrastructure levy
Extending the levy to include developments built under permitted development rights is welcomed. However, the consolidated levy will need to cover a wide range of infrastructure needs including affordable housing, mitigation of development impacts on an area, contributions to health and education and transport, all of which will be conflicting and
require local knowledge. The consultation fails to provide details of how this consolidated levy will deliver the necessary infrastructure in practice.
 
Lack of detail over sustainability standards
The proposals remove the requirement for a Local Plan to have a Sustainability Appraisal. However, the consultation is vague about how sustainability requirements in new developments will be regulated.
 
Impacts of uncertainty on economic recovery from COVID-19
It is recognised that the construction industry makes a significant contribution to the UK economy. Developers need certainty to give them confidence to build. The proposed reforms to the planning system, combined with the lack of detail and the time necessary to implement the changes once finalised, leaves the development industry in limbo. As the UK
economy is desperately struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be heavily reliant on the development industry to help the economic recovery. Now is not the time to be introducing uncertainty into the planning system.

The Technical Response can be viewed here:

November 10, 2020 Posted by | Information | | Leave a comment

Local Muslim community condemns terrorist attacks in France

AHMADIYYA MUSLIM COMMUNITY

 Cheam Chapter 

PRESS & MEDIA DESK

PRESS RELEASE

THURSDAY 29 OCTOBER 2020 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Condemns Terrorist Attacks in  France

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Cheam chapter is deeply saddened and  shocked at the news of  the terrorist attacks that took place in France in Paris and Nice. 

His Holiness Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, The Worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community said:

“The murder and beheading of Samuel Paty and the attack in Nice earlier today must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. Such grievous attacks are completely against the teachings of Islam. Our religion does not permit terrorism or extremism under any circumstances and anyone who claims otherwise acts against the teachings of the Holy Quran and contrary to the noble character of the Holy Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

“As the worldwide Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, I extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of the victims and to the French nation. Let it be clear that our condemnation and hatred of such attacks is not something new but has always been our position and stance. The Founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community as and his Successors have always categorically rejected all forms of violence or bloodshed in the name of religion. 

“The fallout from this heinous act has further exacerbated the tensions between the Islamic world and the West and between Muslims living in France and the rest of society. We consider this to be a source of deep regret and a means of further undermining the peace and stability of the world. We must all join together to root out all forms of extremism and to encourage mutual understanding and tolerance. From our perspective, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community will spare no effort in our mission to foster a better understanding of the true and peaceful teachings of Islam in the world.”

Mr Nasim Khan,President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community  Cheam said:

“The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK strongly condemns the horrific terrorist attacks that have taken place in Paris and Nice, France, leaving four people dead.”

“The Holy Quran states that to kill even one innocent person is akin to killing all of mankind. Therefore, those who commit such atrocities in the name of Islam can never find any justification in this faith.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost their loved ones and all those affected by this incident.”

November 2, 2020 Posted by | Information | , , | Leave a comment

……..trying to save the planet one day at a time

Using up fresh veg

I get my fresh veg delivered from Sutton Community Farm, but I often don’t use it all before it starts to get past its best. My solution is soup.

I love soup, it is nutritious and almost any veg can be combined with other ingredients to make a tasty meal.

Today the veg I needed to use up was spinach. Combined with chickpeas, dried apricots (another leftover I was pleased to use up) and some spices I cooked up enough Moroccan chickpea and spinach soup for five portions, three of which went in the freezer, one to my elderly neighbour, and one in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch.

October 26, 2020 Posted by | Opinion | | Leave a comment

Sutton joins Kingston and Richmond to support hungry children over half-term

It has been a scrabble to find the funding and get a working scheme in place at short notice, but Cllrs Marian James & Jenny Batt were determined to make up for the Government’s failure to extend Free School Meals over half term and get Sutton Council to put a scheme in place.

There was widespread disgust at our two local Conservative MP’s failure to support the Free School Meals vote in Parliament, and a number of local community groups and even individual people responded by offering to help provide food for children over half term.

In defence of their MPs our local Sutton Conservatives then suggested we use the £171,000 the Government allocated at the beginning of July to support the voluntary sector and to provide all those food parcels delivered to shielding and vulnerable households. Money that has already been spent in the 12 weeks the Government guidance stipulated, and confirmed in the finance papers to a recent Strategy & Resources cross-party committee the Tories sit on!

That same committee received a report showing that additional costs incurred by the council to support the increased demand as a result of Covid was now at £12.2 million, but like councils across the country we are not receiving sufficient funding to cover all of the demand, and still face a £1.5 million shortfall just in this year.

Still it appears to be Tory policy to announce ‘new’ financial support schemes that turn out to be rehashed existing schemes. Unfortunately it can’t be spent twice.

More details on the scheme will be published on the Council website on Monday. Officers will continue to work over the weekend with Cllrs James & Batt to get everything in place.

I’m delighted to see that all three Lib-dem-run councils in London are united in their desire to make up for the callousness of this Government’s stance. There are more families in poverty as a result of losing their jobs or simply struggling through this pandemic. We have to show compassion, not condemnation.

October 24, 2020 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Minister’s Housing Targets would mean three Sutton Point developments per year for Sutton

At the Housing, Economy & Business Committee meeting on Tuesday 13th October 2020 councillors debated the Government’s Planning for the Future consultation which seeks to rip up current planning rules and impose top-down housing targets and grant automatic planning permissions in broad brush growth areas.

At the meeting the council’s Head of Planning described the algorithm setting the housing target for Sutton as meaning a 263% increase on the current Local Plan target, the equivalent to delivering three Sutton Point developments per year. He described the methodology for calculating the target as flawed and councillors noted it would ride roughshod over Sutton’s current Local Plan, which had wide resident support for the current housing targets, following extensive consultation.

Delivering housing in these quantities would be impossible in our current agreed growth areas around the town and district centres, and councillors expressed their concerns that it would mean intensive and inappropriate development in our precious suburban heartlands, and potential loss of green space, without accounting for the schools, health provision or transport infrastructure necessary to make the developments viable.

The Government’s proposals would also reduce the amount of affordable housing developers are required to provide, which would do nothing to address the needs of local people unable to afford these new properties imposed on us.

The council will be submitting a response to the consultation objecting to this centralized approach to planning which also removes the opportunity for local people to comment and influence development in their area, and impacting on their lives.

The consultation is open until 29th October 2020 and responses can be made here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/MHCLG-Planning-for-the-Future/

October 16, 2020 Posted by | Committee Meeting | , | Leave a comment

……trying to save the planet one day at a time

The benefit of a big butt

My water butt has served me very well over the summer with no need to resort to the tap to water my plants.
The recent dry spell had almost emptied the butt but this weekend’s downpours have filled it back up to the top. Only disadvantage is that I was planning on cleaning the butt when it got low as it had started to smell, but that will now have to wait.
I had been shocked to note from the Environment Strategy that in Sutton we use a higher average daily amount of water per person than the rest of London, and the UK, so I am pleased that a very cheap investment in a water butt helps me use rainwater more sustainably. However I could do better by remembering to use it for my indoor plants as well.

October 6, 2020 Posted by | Opinion | Leave a comment

The long road to redevelopment of the Victoria House site

Sutton Council has been actively seeking the demolition of Victoria House and a suitable redevelopment of the site that will boost the North Cheam area for some time.

Granted application not built out Permission had been granted in 2006 for refurbishment of the existing building including remodeling the commercial space and adding an additional floor. However, this permission was never implemented by the owners.

A plan to attract new developers In 2012 the council launched a new Economic Development strategy aimed at attracting investment and development to the borough, underpinned by a new Local Plan. This resulted in unprecedented developer interest in the borough and has seen the delivery of many new housing and commercial developments, as well as attracting new businesses into the borough.

An acceptable application from Stonegate Homes granted It also resulted in interest in the Victoria House site from Stonegate Homes Ltd. An application to redevelop the site was submitted in March 2013 for an 8-storey development that met with resident approval and was granted planning permission in July 2013. Everyone eagerly anticipated the demolition of Victoria House as we expected the redevelopment of the site.

To our dismay we learnt that Stonegate Homes had instead decided they could profit more by selling on the land with planning permission.

New developers purchase the site The site was purchased by Home Group Ltd who quickly engaged with the council to discuss their plans to redevelop the site. In 2014 the council was actively involved in negotiations with Ladbrokes, the remaining leaseholders in the property, to get them to vacate as Home Group said they were keen to demolish the existing building. Home Group were also required to put up hoardings to secure the site.

Home Group applications rejected In February 2016 Home Group submitted a planning application, but this was withdrawn. Applications are usually withdrawn when planning officers advise that the plans do not meet with current planning policies.

A new application was submitted in November 2016 for a ten-storey modern design split-tower building. Local residents were opposed to the height and design of the proposed building which was out of keeping with the surrounding area. The council’s Planning Committee agreed and planning permission was refused when it met in April 2017. Home Group appealed the decision. The Planning Inspectorate heard the appeal in November 2018 and upheld the council’s decision to refuse.

Pressure on Home Group for demolition of Victoria House Home Group retained the ownership of the land whilst they considered their options. In this time the Victoria House building had become more delipidated and presented a prominent eyesore in North Cheam. In April 2019 a resident’s petition was presented to the Council asking it to compulsorily purchase the property to demolish and redevelop the site itself. Home Group attended this meeting to confirm that they still intended to develop the site and were working on bringing forward financially viable plans. The council advised that it would not make financial sense to spend taxpayers money on the legal and purchase costs of acquiring the site whilst a private developer had intent to develop. CPOs are also only likely to be granted by the courts where there was no developer interest.

Mixed messages on demolition from Home Group Following that meeting I arranged a number of meetings between resident representatives, ward councillors and Home Group to give residents the opportunity to express their desire to see the building demolished directly to Home Group and explain their aspirations for the site.

In April 2019 Home Group put some initial development proposals to the council’s independent Design Review Panel which was attended by Resident Association representatives and councillors. The Design Review Panel concurred with the councillors and residents that these proposals needed more work to better reflect the character of the local area.

At those meetings Home Group talked about partial demolition of the building just leaving the sub-station, raising hopes of an early demolition. However, when pushed Home Group stated their unwillingness to incur the considerable costs of demolishing the building until they were confident of achieving planning permission to develop the site.

Within a short space of time they then submitted an application for demolition, raising our hopes with a deadline for implementation. They then advised that this was just to enable them to undertake the preparation work for demolition including asbestos removal.

Enforcement action The council opened an enforcement case in October 2019 requiring Home Group to address the condition of the land and building.  However, as Home Group were actively demonstrating they are seeking to develop the site, legal powers to enforce demolition are limited. The developers only need to make the site secure. The courts take the view that once planning permission is granted it will automatically result in demolition and so whilst there is active developer engagement any legal action would in fact delay both the demolition and the redevelopment.

Current progress promising Home Group entered into a formal Pre-application arrangement with the Local Planning Authority in July 2020 which they plan to lead to an acceptable planning application submission by the end of this year. Another Design Review Panel is planned in due course.

Recent direct contact with Home Group from residents demanding demolition of the building sooner rather than later led to Home Group issuing a statement reported in the press that they planned to demolish most of the building in October. This had not been communicated to the council’s planning team during the pre-application process, however the council has already granted permission for demolition of the existing building so that this can be implemented anytime Home Group are ready to go.

Current discussions between Home Group and the Planning Team are promising so we are optimistic that an acceptable planning application will be submitted this year which, if granted,  should finally see the much-awaited demolition of the Victoria House eyesore.

October 5, 2020 Posted by | Information | | 2 Comments

….trying to save the planet one day at a time

The council agreed its Environment Strategy and Climate Emergency Response Plan at the recent Environment & Neighbourhoods Committee. The report included pledges and tips from residents compiled during the consultation.

As a vegetarian for 30 years and keen recycler with a hatred of food waste I thought I was doing fairly well at reducing my carbon footprint, however I was inspired by some of those tips to try and up my game when it comes to saving the planet.

So I thought I would share some of my day to day attempts to live more sustainably…

 

Saturday

We usually drop in on the in-laws to check they are ok and see if they need anything. Today I persuaded the husband that we should walk the four mile round-trip. Ok it was as much for the health benefits – I needed to work off the wine and crumpets I had indulged in last night, but it also meant one less car on the road.

It wasn’t exactly the most picturesque walk – through an industrial park and crossing the Purley Way, but there were still plenty of trees to admire and we walked alongside a couple of parks.

The in-laws have significant health issues and very sensibly went into lockdown early and have been very cautious throughout. We always meet them in the garden and keep our distance. They announced they were resuming full lockdown conditions given the approaching second wave in London.

Funniest part was now that the neighbours have erected a new, taller fence, mother-in-law has resorted to a step ladder so she can nose over to oversee the excavation works being done by her neighbours. She had the Husband up the ladder so he too could observe the works.

9,300 steps later we are home, a little fitter and having contributed to, as well as benefitted from, a bit of fresh air.

October 4, 2020 Posted by | Opinion | , | 7 Comments

Wallington South Ward Councillors’ Summer Update

Whilst London is emerging from lockdown having seen a dramatic fall in Covid cases, we would still urge caution to prevent a second wave in the virus locally, as lessons are learnt from overseas. It is good that we support our local shops and businesses, but to do so we need to continue to follow the guidance regarding hygiene and social distancing.

WARD NEWS

Reducing speeding in Foresters Drive

In response to concerns about safety Beddington South and Wallington South councillors joined forces to secure TfL funding for schemes to help reduce speeding along Foresters Drive. Consultation has taken place with local residents and we expect to see schemes implemented this autumn.

A cleaner, greener School Street for Bandon Hill in Beddington Gardens

Beddington Gardens is set to benefit from trialling a School Street initiative aimed at reducing traffic in this residential area at school drop off and pick up times. We have had many complaints from residents about inconsiderate and obstructive parking from parents transporting their children to school, ignoring yellow lines and blocking access by ambulances. Following schemes successfully implemented in Croydon and being trialled at 16 other schools across the borough, we hope that this trial will make this stretch of Beddington Gardens safer for children travelling to school, as well as improving air quality in the area. Reducing school traffic also makes it a more attractive and healthier option to walk or cycle to school, as well as improving the conditions for local residents.
The schemes are funded from the Department of Transport and TfL’s ‘Streetspace’ plans for walking and cycling improvements to ensure social distancing and lock in improvements for active travel across the capital that we have seen increase during the coronavirus crisis.

Improving the cycling network

The council has been working with TfL to improve the cycling network across the borough and Park Lane/Parkgate Road and Church Lane both just outside our ward are set to benefit from funding. There will also be additional parking facilities for bikes in key locations across the borough.

Local artist supporting healthier streets

We were delighted that local artist Doug Shaw set his talents to pavement stencils designed to encourage more children to walk to school. These delightful motifs have been seen across the borough and put a smile on many children’s faces. Just what was needed amidst the unsettling times we are in.

Success in fight to prevent late night takeaway opening

Cllr Cook attended the council’s licensing committee to object to a Wallington town centre takeaway extending its opening hours well into the early hours. Concerns had been raised that as the only takeaway open after 11pm it would be a magnet for spill-out from the pubs and risk a concentration of anti-social behaviour in the area.
The committee agreed with Councillor Cook and limited the takeaway’s opening

hours to 11pm Sunday to Thursday, and midnight at the weekends. Ensuring that our community remains peaceful and welcoming to all residents will always be one of our top priorities as your local councillors.

ASB from local youths

Anti-social behaviour from a group of local youths is bringing misery and anger from local businesses and residents affected by their activities. This includes regular incidences of youths on cycles frightening pedestrians and taunting shopkeepers in Wallington Square, and late-night noisy motorcycles in the Sainsburys basement car park and speeding along Stafford Road. The police are aware of their activities but need to catch them in the act.
If you are intimidated or abused by these youths you can call 999 as it is a live criminal activity. Or you can report an incident after the event if you witness criminal or anti-social behaviour. It is important that you do report all incidences as the local police resources are largely dependent on the number of incidents noted for their area.
Never assume the police won’t or can’t do anything – they will triage immediate responses according to risk and resources, but if they don’t even have an incident reported there is nothing they can do.

Ross Parade Alleyway Gated

A great example of partnership working with the police, local residents and businesses has seen the gating-off of a problematic alleyway on Ross Parade. The alley has long been an attractor for anti-social behaviour such as drug taking, drinking, public urination, and a sexual assault, making it an extremely unpleasant experience for those people who had to use the alleyway to access their properties.
The police believed that prevention was the best way to tackle the problem so with funding secured through the Beddington and Wallington Local Committee the alleyway was gated off at both ends.
We appreciate that this has meant extinguishing the public right of way through the alleyway, but it was felt necessary given its proximity to the Wetherspoons pub and for the safety of those people who had no choice but to use the alleyway to access their homes and businesses.
The affected residents are delighted as they have already seen a vast improvement, even if it was a long time coming!

Trade Waste Enforcement

Your ward councillors were alerted to uncollected trade waste building up behind local shops on Stafford Road and called in the council Environmental Enforcement Team. A site visit highlighted inappropriate waste storage at the premises prompting a follow-up visit from the Food Hygiene Team.
We would urge all food businesses to be mindful of the need to manage waste properly to avoid health issues and fines.

Wallington Farmers Market is back!

We were delighted to help Ecolocal to get permission to restart their popular Farmers Market from June.
They have been putting in special measures to allow social distancing and ensure hygiene and controls to manage the flow of people into the library gardens. We think it was well worth it to bring back this popular market so we can all support our local traders.

Cllr Cook and the lock down bomb adventure

Entering the fourth week of lock-down at the Cook household, when on Monday morning their neighbours in Blenheim Gardens, Wallington, discovered what they thought to be an unexploded bomb in their garden. They had been clearing their garden ready for a new lawn.
Councillor Cook immediately called the adjacent neighbours and asked them to stay indoors. The police swiftly arrived, followed by the bomb squad who investigated and pronounced everything “all clear”. It was a defused WW2 artillery casing, which had probably been kept as a souvenir by the previous home owners. It certainly livened up lock-down that day.

Ward Surgeries and casework

We suspended our councillor ward surgeries in Wallington Sainsburys and will continue to do so until the need to socially distance is removed as it is not easily maintained in the space we occupy by the lifts. We have offered virtual surgeries instead, advertised on facebook.
We are now willing to undertake site visits and meetings to discuss casework issues, as long as we can observe social distancing. Contact us via email or telephone as usual.

BOROUGH NEWS


Council services reopening

The council has been gradually reopening many of its services as government guidance permits. All Sutton’s libraries are now open along with our heritage buildings, leisure centres and parks. Some restrictions and requirements will be in place to ensure the risk of passing on the virus whilst accessing these services is reduced, so do check before you go.
The Kimpton refuse and recycling centre is open for pre-booked slots, including for vans, and the council will collect bulky waste items from via its pre-arranged service offering to remove up to three large items for just £31.00.
Parking enforcement is also operational again but some parking bays remain unavailable to provide sufficient space for pedestrians to socially distance.

Coronavirus: Local Information and Help

The council and its partners are still providing help and information for people who are self-isolating and without support. There are also networks of local volunteers available to provide with shopping or picking up medication or any other help that is needed.

Financial Support

We are aware than many people are finding it harder than ever to support themselves and their families either as a result of job losses or reduced income. The council and its partners continue to offer help to get you through this difficult time.

Council Tax
If your income has dropped to below £24,000 and you have savings of less than £10,000 you may be eligible for a council tax reduction. You can apply via the council website and check to see if you are eligible to pay less council tax.
For anyone experiencing difficulties in making payment, the council can make alternative arrangements with you that take account of your circumstances. This may include rescheduling or delaying payment. Email counciltax@sutton.gov.uk or call 020 8770 5000.

Risk of homelessness or eviction
The government lifts its ban on evictions from 24th August however landlords still have to follow legal process before they can evict you from your home. If your landlord alerts you to their intention to evict you contact the council’s homelessness advice service, Encompass, who can advise of your rights and assist in negotiations with your landlord, or help to secure alternative accommodation.

Financial Support for Businesses
The council provided a discretionary business support grant for businesses, including the self-employed, that did not qualify under the government’s initial schemes. This has seen £885,000 distributed to over 100 local businesses who have very much welcomed the help. Further applications from the second round are currently being processed and grants distributed.

If you were eligible but hadn’t previously applied for any the Government’s business grants schemes because at the time you didn’t need it, you can still apply. It is expected that the government will start to close some of these schemes as we move out of lockdown.

PLANNING NEWS

 

DM2018/01835 25-27 Beddington Gardens And 18 Holmwood Gardens Wallington SM6 0JG Outline planning application to determine access, layout and scale for the demolition of existing houses and the erection of a part 4 storey building and basement comprising a total of thirty seven self-contained flats, with associated hard and soft landscaping, refuse and cycle storage and thirty nine off street parking spaces Refused Feb 2019, Appeal lodged Sept 2019, Appeal dismissed

DM2020/00361 Geyfords Car Showroom/Store Elgin Road Wallington SM6 8RE Demolition of the existing garage and erection of 7 two storey terraced houses with associated parking Application refused April 2020

DM2020/00251 50 Woodcote Road Wallington SM6 0NN Demolition of existing single storey commercial building and erection of four storey building comprising 1 self-contained residential unit over three upper floors and a ground floor commercial unit Application Granted April 2020

DM2019/01775 Cloverdale Court 10 Stanley Park Road Wallington SM6 0EU Alterations and extension including the erection of a two storey front extension, a two storey side extension (north west), a three storey side (North east) extension and conversion of loft space all to create 22 additional self-contained residential units. Provision of a new community day centre, cycle spaces, refuse store and associated landscaping works. Application granted

DM2019/01756 Wallington Court, Pulse Strength And Fitness Stanley Park Road Wallington SM6 0HG Application to vary condition 4 (hours of operation to 24 hour) of planning permission Ref: D1997/41910 for the Use of ground floor of premises as a gymnasium Application Withdrawn

New Applications:

DM2020/00810 6 Onslow Gardens Wallington Sutton SM6 9QN Demolition of existing outbuilding and erection of a detached dwelling with vehicular access from Onslow Gardens.

DM2020/00501 50-52 Stanley Park Road Carshalton SM5 3HW Demolition of existing semi-detached dwellings and erection of a detached two storey building including accommodation in roof space to provide 7 self-contained residential units, provision of cycle/refuse stores, parking spaces and altered vehicular access to and from the front of the property.

DM2020/00450 Monarch House 7 Stafford Road Wallington SM6 9AN Erection of a single storey rear conservatory, enclosure of under croft to form additional office floor space, alteration to parking, vehicle access from Onslow Gardens with new gates and boundary treatment.

So that is it from us for now. Stay safe, shop local and enjoy the summer weather.

Cllr Steve Cook, Cllr Jayne McCoy & Cllr Muhammad Sadiq

Your Lib Dem team for Wallington South

October 1, 2020 Posted by | Information, Liberal Democrats | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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