Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Sainsburys box junction

The yellow lines at the box junction of Woodcote Road and the B271 (Stafford Road/Stanley Park Road) have been faded for some time now.

Your ward councillors raised this with the council and asked for them to be repainted.

We have been informed that, weather permitting, they will be repainted by the end of February.

The works are expected to be scheduled to take place with minimal disruption to traffic.

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February 21, 2018 Posted by | Information | , , , | Leave a comment

Plans submitted for Wallington Public Hall site

Stafford Road view

 

The old public hall was closed in 2015 as the income the hall could generate fell well short of the maintenance and restoration costs required to bring the building up to a modern and safe standard.

Rather than selling the site to a private developer the council is using its new Housing Development Company, Sutton Living Ltd, to build new homes for local people on the site. The plans propose using the hall site and half of the associated car park to deliver 31 flats of mixed sizes in two blocks of three and four storeys with a commercial retail unit fronting Stafford Road.

 

East elevation

The development will maximise the amount of affordable units, and under the terms of the council’s company all the residential units are required to be marketed to Sutton residents first, with special discretion for care-givers moving in to look after a Sutton resident, or ex-forces personnel. The layout also preserves the access to garages of properties in Onslow Gardens.

You can comment on the plans via the council’s website under reference D2018/78694 up to 20th March 2018

Of the many planning documents listed the best one for an overall picture is the Design and Access Statement.

February 13, 2018 Posted by | Information | , | 3 Comments

Sutton’s council housing new build progressing well

Fellowes Road site

Yesterday I took the Leader of the council, Ruth Dombey, to see the progress we are making with our new build council homes.

We are delivering 93 new affordable homes across three sites: Fellowes Road, Carshalton; Richmond Green, Beddington and at the old Ludlow Lodge site on Alcester Road in Wallington.

At the first site, Fellowes Road, we are delivering 15 new family houses, at Ludlow Lodge there will be 57 flats, and the remaining 21 will be family houses at Richmond Green.

All the homes are being built to a high standard both in specification and design, and some are being specially adapted for families with disabilities.

The council has contracted a smaller construction firm, Kind & Co, to build the new homes, who are proving a joy to work with with their professionalism, quality planning and accessibility.

With ward councillor Joyce Melican at the Ludlow Lodge site

The next celebration will be seeing families on our housing waiting list moving into their new homes.

For more information see www.sutton.gov.uk/newcouncilhousing

February 9, 2018 Posted by | Information, Liberal Democrats | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pipes in the ground to deliver Sutton’s decentralised energy network

Achieving a key milestone

Sutton’s groundbreaking decentralised energy network project (SDEN) has achieved a key milestone with the highly insulated pipes now being laid into the ground.

Reaching the delivery phase of this unique scheme to deliver low-carbon heating and hot water to local homes and businesses was marked with a Golden Shovel event attended by representatives of the key partners Viridor, Barratts and Eneteq, as well as the Govt. Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the council.

A unique project for the UK

This decentralised energy network is unique in two ways:

Unlike most decentralised energy networks it does not use fossil fuels powering high-efficiency energy plants, but instead captures low carbon heat from an independent source – the Viridor ERF. That heat is then delivered through pipes owned by the council’s energy company SDEN to an independant development.

This investment by Sutton Council into delivering the decentralised energy network infrastructure, without owning either the heat source or the development receiving the energy, is the first of its kind in the UK. It represents a bold commitment by the council to meeting its target to be a zero-carbon borough by 2025, as it reduces our reliance on fossil fuels, and maximises energy-use efficiency with its capturing of heat energy that would otherwise be wasted.

Sutton powering ahead

As a result of this far-sightedness, Sutton has powered ahead of other areas with similar ambitions and actually reached the delivery stage of its decentralised energy network.

Seeing the specially made pipes it was noted as feeling more like being in Scandinavia than the UK, where national investment in infrastructure is less uncommon.

London’s first sustainable borough

SDEN’s renewable energy supply to the Barratt’s development on the old Felnex site in Hackbridge, together with the proximity to the new Viridor plant turning residents’ waste into electricity, and the well established and internationally recognised BedZed development, puts Sutton on the map and truly marks out Hackbridge as London’s foremost Sustainable Suburb.

It has given me immense pride to have been able to deliver the vision for a decentralised energy network in Sutton that originally came from my colleague Cllr Colin Hall, who sadly died suddenly before he could see the project implemented. As a strong environmentalist who was behind much of what has made Sutton famous for its green credentials, I think Colin would be have been pleased with his legacy.

February 8, 2018 Posted by | Information, Liberal Democrats | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Stop the Labour Mayor’s plans to concrete over the borough

The London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has published his draft London Plan which proposes to deliver thousands of new houses. That ambition is great, but the way he wants to do it is not, as he expects outer London boroughs like Sutton to deliver most of the housing, and that would mean turning suburbs into intensively developed estates. For Sutton this would make us look more like Croydon or inner London. You can view the Mayor’s plans and submit your comments here.

Sadiq Khan overruling our Local Plan

Our own Local Plan has just been through its Examination by the Planning Inspector and is to be approved at the Council meeting on 26th February. Our plan was drawn up after extensive consultation with residents and sought to balance the ambition to provide new homes to meet local need with keeping all the things we love about the borough, particularly its historic and suburban character. Our plan proposes:

  • Delivering 427 homes per year, with 35% affordable (the Inspector made us reduce this from our original plan for 50%)
  • directing development to town & district centres to protect our suburban areas
  • restricting backgarden land development
  • ensuring supporting infrastructure like schools, health centres and transport links
  • tighter limits on takeaways
  • greater protection for pubs
  • strong protection for our green spaces
  • greater protection for heritage assets
  • minimum parking standards for developments

The London Mayor wants to overrule all that and is proposing Sutton delivers more than double our number of homes – he wants 939 per annum, and he says that back garden developments and infilling is how we are expected to deliver most of this housing. That would mean an urbanisation of our borough, making us look more like inner London, or Croydon, which we know from our consultation, is exactly what you didn’t want to happen. Wallington South is one of the areas that would be particularly at risk, as we know that there have been many proposals for squeezing blocks of flats onto back gardens and in residential streets that we have fought hard to prevent. The London Mayor’s plan would give all these applications the go ahead.

We need you to fight for Sutton’s future, and tell the London Mayor that you do not accept his plans to change the character of our borough.

The consultation on the draft London Plan is open until 2nd March 2018.

Chapter 2 includes the expectations for outer London boroughs:

If London is to meet the challenges of the future, all parts of London will need to embrace and manage change. Not all change will be transformative – in many places, change will occur incrementally. This is especially the case in outer London, where the suburban pattern of development has significant potential for appropriate intensification over time, particularly for additional housing.

The key section of the London Plan is Chapter 4 Housing, which includes the table 4.1 showing Sutton’s expected 10 year target of 939 homes pa, and tabel 4.2 showing how the majority (79%) are expected to be delivered on small sites.

It states:

To deliver the small sites targets in Table 4.2, boroughs should apply a presumption in favour of the following types of small housing development which provide between one and 25 homes:

  1. infill development on vacant or underused sites
  2. proposals to increase the density of existing residential homes within PTALs 3-6 or within 800m of a Tube station, rail station or town centre boundary through:
    1. residential conversions
    2. residential extensions
    3. the demolition and redevelopment of existing buildings
    4. infill development within the curtilage of a house

February 4, 2018 Posted by | Information | , , , | Leave a comment

Missed Green Garden Waste Collections

We are aware that a number of streets in Wallington South did not have their green garden waste collected on the scheduled day.

We have raised this matter with Veolia who have advised that all the missed green garden waste collections will be completed by Monday 22nd January. Veolia also apologised for the delays.

If your Green Garden Waste Collection was missed please leave your bin out so it is clear it needs emptying.

UPDATE 23RD JANUARY

Garden waste collections are still running behind with the promised collections on 22nd failing to materialise. We have been advised that this is mostly due to driver shortages over the last week. Veolia had crews working last weekend to try to catch up, however there are still a number of collections especially in Carshalton and parts of Wallington that have been delayed.

To address this and catch up all the missed collections and Christmas tree pick ups, Veolia are running additional crews this week and intend to service all properties due last week and all properties due this week.

To compensate residents for the missed collections they will get two months Garden Waste collections free, so the period covered will now be 14 months rather than 12.

January 19, 2018 Posted by | Information | | Leave a comment

Useful health information for over the Christmas period

December 21, 2017 Posted by | Information | , , , | Leave a comment

Seniors invited to a Christmas Lunch 12th December 2017

The lovely Wallington Arms is once again inviting our local senior residents to celebrate Christmas with them on Tuesday 12th 

December 2017. The pub will be providing a free festive lunch for Wallington’s older people.

Please do call and reserve your place so the pub knows how many to expect: call 0208 773 0404 or email wallingtonarms@anticlondon.com.

The Wallington Arms has put on a number of free lunch events for our older residents that have been well attended and much appreciated. Their Christmas Lunch is a firm favourite.

November 27, 2017 Posted by | Information | , , | Leave a comment

Support for rough sleepers in LB Sutton

We are fortunate in the borough as we rarely record more than ten rough sleepers at any one time.

The council has a multi-agency approach to addressing rough sleeping involving the police, the council, the NHS and the voluntary sector.

The first service to contact if anyone comes across a rough sleeper is StreetLink. This is a cross-London service that records all rough sleepers to ensure a co-ordinated and informed response as a rough sleeper may move between boroughs. Members of the public can also report rough sleepers to StreetLink via their website  or through twitter.

Following a report to StreetLink, new rough sleepers will be offered a space in the No Second Night Out Hub run by St Mungos Broadway, if they have room. St Mungos will continue to work with them to try to resolve the rough sleeping.

Sutton Council also operates a special local outreach project in conjunction with Kingston and Merton called SPEAR (Single Person Emergency Accommodation and Resettlement Service). This is an early intervention approach seeking to address the complex issues that lead to rough sleeping. SPEAR also has access to emergency accommodation.

A Severe Weather Emergency Provision comes into force when the overnight temperature is below zero degrees for three consecutive nights, which places rough sleepers into emergency bed & breakfast accommodation until the temperature rises above zero.

There are also voluntary organisations in the borough that offer support for rough sleepers.

Sutton Community Works is a Christian charity of 15 churches in the London Borough of Sutton working together. Their initiatives include the Street Pastors who will identify rough sleepers on their late night patrols, alerting, and signposting to appropriate agencies, and providing food and sleeping bags where appropriate. Sutton Community Works also run the Sutton Foodbank, providing emergency food to clients, including to individuals sleeping rough.

Sutton Salvation Army also welcome rough sleepers in the borough and will give advice with signposting to appropriate services.  They can also provide hot snacks and hot drinks, internet access, emergency phone calls and hosts the Foodbank each week.  They also have basic shower facilities that the homeless can use.

Sutton Nightwatch is a voluntary group more recently establishing themselves in the borough and provides a soup kitchen and signposting to relevant support from their current base in the Secombe Theatre.

Emmaus provides accommodation and work for ex-rough sleepers offering a supportive community so they can rebuild their lives.

The council then uses its multi-agency team to co-ordinate all this work. The group meets monthly to share information and a plan of action is agreed for each rough sleeper. The group is chaired by Encompass – the Council’s Housing and Support Service, and is attended by representatives from the police, the Salvation Army, StreetLink, St Mungos, Sutton Community Works, Mental Health, Drug Services, Adult Social Care, DWP, CAB, SPEAR and Thames Reach Supported Housing.

A key part of the multi-agency approach is to avoid creating dependency for rough sleepers and facilitating this lifestyle. The aim is to provide the specialist support and help needed to move people out of rough sleeping.

As part of the broader issue the council is acting to increase the amount of temporary accommodation available for people finding themselves homeless. It recently agreed a programme of property acquisition to address the lack of supply, and to try to offer as much accommodation within, or close to the borough as possible. This is on the understanding that this helps families retain their employment, education and support networks until they can secure a more permanent address.

Of course the issues of homelessness are far wider-ranging than just rough sleeping, and Sutton Council is seeking to address these matters through its council-house building programme, and via its council-owned housing development company seeking to increase the amount of overall properties available to local residents. More information is available here.

 

 

November 23, 2017 Posted by | Information | , , | 1 Comment

Wallington Christmas Festival this Friday 24th November 2017

November 22, 2017 Posted by | Information | , , | Leave a comment

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