Diary of a Sutton Councillor

International Older People’s Day 14th October

Final proof

October 11, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Flytipping in Ross Road

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A resident alerted me to this appalling flytipping in Ross Road that took place around 2.30am on Sunday 9th October.

The Police and emergency Sutton Council staff had tidied the waste up to keep the road accessible to vehicles. Unfortunately the contractors the council normally calls on to get flytipping removed at weekends were busy elsewhere.

Talking to local residents it was clear that if the flytip stayed where it was there would be traffic bedlam along Ross Road on Monday morning. Ross Road is already a nightmare with all the local movement of parents dropping their children at the nursery, people trying to get to work, businesses, employees and commuters parking in the roads, and the ever present problem of obstructive parking.

I have pressed the council and been assured that they will send out a team first thing Monday and hopefully have it cleared by 6.30am.

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October 9, 2016 Posted by | Information | , , | 1 Comment

Apprentices are good for business

Suttonapprentices Council is promoting apprenticeships as good value for local businesses and offering great opportunities for young people.

Last year it launched the Sutton Apprenticeship Hub which brings together information, apprenticeship opportunities and people seeking apprenticeships all in the one place.
The site is currently listing 270 vacancies in the local area and highlighting a number of success stories to inspire.

And leading by example the council has a great track record of taking on apprentices, employing 12 at present, with another 2 just being recruited.

We are also extremely proud of the recent success of one of our apprentices working in the Opportunity Sutton Team, who won the London Borough Councils’ Apprentice of the Year Award seeing off stiff competition from across London.

Delivering an Apprenticeship Hub was in the Sutton Lib Dem 2014 manifesto so we are delighted to see it launched and bringing businesses and job seekers together to improve local skills.

October 7, 2016 Posted by | Information, Liberal Democrats | , , | Leave a comment

Local photographer helps raise funds for Marie Curie

I marie-curie-calenderwas very pleased to be invited to the launch of the 2017 Wallington and Carshalton Marie Curie Calendar, raising funds for the charity to provide care and support to people with terminal illnesses.

This calendar is extra special as the photographs are of Carshalton scenes taken by popular local fine art photographer Julian Heath.

The  Wallington & Carshalton Marie Curie Fundraising group hope to sell enough calendars to meet their target of £1,000 which would cover the cost of 50 hours of nursing care in the night sitting service for the terminally ill.

Calendars are available from the Marie Curie Charity shop in Wallington.

October 5, 2016 Posted by | Information | , , | Leave a comment

Free local courses on money management

Schristians-against-povertypringfield Church in Wallington is offering a free Money Management course running for three weeks starting on 6th October.

The CAP Money Course will teach you budgeting skills and a simple cash based system that works. In just a few weeks you will get to grips with your finances so you can budget, save and prevent debt.

Springfield Church is running its next Money Management Course from the Phoenix Centre in Mollison Drive, Wallington 7.30 – 9.30pm from Thursday 6th October 2016.

To book on this free course contact jean@springfieldchurch.org.uk or call 020 8647 3410.

You can find out more information about the courses on the CAP website.


September 29, 2016 Posted by | Information | , , , , | Leave a comment

Get Active Wandle Valley weekly events


Fancy archery, cycling, skateboarding or yoga in the beautiful setting of the Wandle Valley Park?

Get Active Wandle Valley is new project being delivered by the Wandle Valley Regional Park Trust with funding from Sport England and the National Trust together with the four Wandle boroughs: Sutton, Wandsworth, Merton & Croydon.

It is the first project of its kind aiming to get people more active throughout the Wandle Valley and discover the benefits of having the Wandle Valley Park right on your doorstep.

Get Active Wandle Valley Activities are currently running in a range of locations:

– Forever Fit, Yoga at Morden Hall Park (every Tuesday – 11:00am)
– Forever Fit, Yoga at Beddington Park (every Saturday – 10:00am)
– Club 150, Golf at Beddington Park (every Saturday – 10:00am)
– Club 150, Golf at Wandle Park (every Sunday – 10:00am)
– Club 150, Archery at King George’s Park (every Friday – 4:00pm)
– Forever Fit, Healthy Walks at Duppas Hill (every Friday – 10:30am)
– Forever Fit, Healthy Walks at The Canons (every Wednesday – 09:45am)
– Forever Fit, Green Gym at Ravensbury Park (every Wednesday – 11:00am)
– Fit Families, walk-to-run at the Canons Leisure Centre (every Thursday – 6:00pm)
– Fit Families, zero-5k at Beddington Park (every Sunday – 10:00am)
– Fit Families, Family Runs at King George’s Park (every Tuesday – 7:00pm)
– Club 150, Skateboarding at King George’s Park (every Wednesday – 3.30pm)

For more information visit the Active Wandle page on the Wandle Valley Park website


September 7, 2016 Posted by | Information | , , , , | Leave a comment

Bridge Road barrier repair


I reported this damaged barrier in Bridge Road off Ross Parade to the council earlier this week.

I am advised that the bollard has been removed for safe keeping as the base plate is damaged beyond repair and a new one has been ordered. In the meantime plastic barriers are being used to prevent vehicular access until the bollard can be reinstalled.

August 11, 2016 Posted by | Information | , , | Leave a comment

Local Conservatives’ grubby campaign of lies and smears

poison penOnce again our residents here in Sutton are being fed toxic literature from our local Tories full of lies and smears against the Lib Dems.

We saw these tactics in the Wallington South by-election, and observed the ruthless Tory in-fighting during and after the EU referendum, so perhaps we should not be surprised when the local Conservatives employ them here yet again.

Deliberately misleading

In the Wallington by-election they circulated made up stories of high rise buildings planned for the car park, the selling off of heritage buildings, and removal of pedestrian crossings, none of which proved true.

Now they are peddling lies about The Lodge claiming the council sold it off when in fact it remains in council ownership and has been leased to a local charity to retain it in community use – just as residents asked us to.

The Conservatives also claim in their leaflets that the Belmont site is too small for a secondary school despite knowing that plans are being drafted to build a 6-form entry secondary school that will offer fantastic opportunities for our young people due to its co-location with the London Cancer Hub. Sutton actually has an excellent track record for delivering school places at its award winning and high performing schools.

A smear campaign 

Worse still is the Conservatives’ deliberate and grubby smear campaign to trash the reputation of hard-working local Lib Dems. They slyly insinuate that the allegations against the councillor who resigned is connected with the council, and leak internal email conversations to imply Cllr Mathys meant something she didn’t in a campaign that amounts to bullying. Anyone who works with Wendy knows she always has the best interests of the borough’s young people at heart and fights tooth and nail to get the best deal for them despite the Tory cuts imposed on councils. Nor does our MP Tom Brake escape from their malicious smears, or indeed ex-councillors who are no longer around to defend themselves. Legal action has had to be taken against the Conservative libel because it is pure fiction.

Tory resignation in disgust

So unpleasant have Tory tactics become since the last election that one of their own Cllr Graham Whitham, twice the leader of the Conservative council group, resigned his membership of the Conservatives in absolute disgust at the nasty party they had become both nationally and locally. Cllr Whitham was one of those Conservatives who always conducted himself with honour and reasonableness and with whom I have been pleased to work. It is sad for him that he felt that his party had strayed so far beyond the pale in its tactics that he could no longer be a member.

So when the Conservatives come knocking, be sure to ask them if they condone the use of smears as campaign tools, and stand by the lies in their leaflets.

A high performing and caring Council

It is also a shame to see the public misled when the council has such a fantastic reputation for being a  good and innovative council that delivers for its residents.

The Liberal Democrat run Sutton council is regularly quoted in best practice examples by the Local Government Association and others and receives awards. It’s recent peer review was glowing and we have one of the highest resident satisfaction ratings in the UK.

Our residents tell us the reason they keep voting The Liberal Democrats back in here is because they trust us to do our best for them, and be honest with them about the issues we face. We engage widely and regularly with our residents, work alongside them in the community ourselves, and we are not afraid to consult on the difficult issues as well as the good ones. And we listen, because we are here to try our best to deliver the borough our residents want.


July 17, 2016 Posted by | Liberal Democrats, Opinion | , , , | 4 Comments

Sutton CAB new service

Citizens Advice Sutton is the lead agency for Advice Link Partnership Sutton (ALPS). ALPs is a partnership of local Not for Profit organisations providing free, confidential, independent and impartial advice for people who live or work in the London Borough of Sutton. You can contact Citizens Advice Sutton, Sutton Carers Centre and Age UK in the following ways:
Alps Web site – www.suttonalps.org.uk –No email address is needed as we can call you back.
By Telephone call 020 8254 2616 between 9.00 and 5.00 Monday to Friday. Sutton Library & Heritage Service provides local community information from this number Monday – Friday from 9.30 – 5.00 pm.
The ALPS number also provides access to the following national organisations:
• Samaritans
• Citizens Advice Consumer Service
• National Domestic Violence Helpline
• Age UK Advice line
• Carers Direct Helpline

Citizens Advice Sutton, Sutton Carers Centre and Age UK Sutton are established registered local charities who have served the people of Sutton for many years providing free, confidential, independent and impartial advice on issues such as welfare benefits, debt, housing, employment and social care issues.

Services from Citizens Advice Sutton
Citizens Advice Sutton holds the Advice Quality Standard for Advice. Our services are provided by both paid staff and volunteers.

Citizens Advice Sutton also provides various specialist services:

Pension Wise

Pension wise is a new, free, impartial and confidential guidance service from Government, to help people understand their pension choices. If you are aged 50 or over and have a Defined Contribution pension you are eligible for a face to face appointment. You can book an appointment by visiting http://www.pensionwise.gov.uk/ or telephone 0800 138 3944

Debt Advice
The Capitalise team at Citizens Advice Sutton provides advice on all aspects of your debt and money issues. We are part of the Capitalise partnership and funded by the Money Advice Service.

We can help you to budget, maximise your income and provide you with all the options available to you to deal with your debts. We also have approved debt relief order intermediaries within the bureau to process debt relief orders (DROs).

We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN 617761

You can contact us on either online http://www.suttonalps.org.uk
or telephone 020 8405 3552 Monday- Friday 9:00am – 5:00pm.
You can also directly access debt advice from debt hotline located in the Jubilee Health Centre.

Specialist housing advice
The housing solicitor at Citizens Advice Sutton can assist clients entitled to legal aid with certain housing issues including possession, disrepair, homelessness, anti-social behaviour and eviction To book an appointment please call us on 020 8405 3552 between 9.00 and 5.00 Monday to Friday or submit an enquiry via our website http://www.suttonalps.org.uk

Carers Centre – outreach sessions
Citizens Advice Sutton offers appointments at Sutton Carers Centre ,on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9am & 5pm at 12-14 Benhill Avenue, Sutton SM1 4DA · To book an appointment call the Carers Centre on 020 8296 5611 or call 020 8254 2616 .

Sutton Mental Health Foundation (SMHF) – outreach session
Citizens Advice Sutton provides advice at Sutton Mental Foundation on Thursdays for people experiencing mental distress. SMHF is at 63 Downs Road Belmont, Sutton SM2 5NR and Cheam Resource Centre, 671 London Rd, North Cheam SM3 9DL. To book an appointment to see a Citizens Advice Sutton adviser at SMHF telephone 020 8770 0172

Direct into advice line (DiAL)
DiAL is funded by the big lottery to provide priority access to telephone advice for those in urgent need or those with difficulty accessing advice services. You can get immediate, direct telephone advice from Citizens Advice Sutton, Age UK Sutton and Refugee and Migrant Network Sutton by asking staff to connect you at Homestart, Children’s Centres, Sutton Mental Health foundation and the Womens Centre. It operates Monday to Friday between 10.00 am to 12.30 pm and 1.00 pm to 3.00 pm

Royal Association for the Deaf (RAD)
RAD provides a drop in service and appointments on Mondays between 10am and 4pm at Citizens Advice Sutton, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA. An RAD adviser provides BSL advice on benefits, employment, debt, form filling and understanding correspondence. Text 07749965727 to book an appointment or call 0845 688 2525. Email advice@royaldeaf.org.uk

Sutton Uplift
Sutton’s Primary Care Mental Health Service, Sutton Uplift, hold a Wellbeing Drop in Clinic in the Sutton bureau every Monday between 9-5pm. The Wellbeing Navigators will be able to offer information, and advice around wellbeing and practical issues that may be impacting on people’s daily lives, including offering ongoing short term one to one sessions if needed. Sutton Uplift aims “to help people to connect and access activities and resources to meet their physical, social and emotional needs. Our team are experienced in supporting people with their Wellbeing, either professionally or through lived experience.” Contact them on 0800 032 1411 or 020 3513 4044, lines are open 9am to 6pm. Website http://www.suttonuplift.co.uk/

July 13, 2016 Posted by | Information | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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