Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Colin Hall Memorial Event Saturday 4th July

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Join us to celebrate the life of Colin Hall

We want to bring together all who knew Colin, to share happy memories of a wonderful husband, father, friend, councillor and colleague

Saturday 4 July 2015

United Reform Church Hall
Holmwood Gardens
Wallington
Surrey
SM6 0EU

6-8pm

Please bring a bottle to drink a toast in Colin’s memory

R.S.V.P. to Debbie Hughes, Leadership Office, LB Sutton, Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, SM1 1EA or leadership.office@sutton.gov.uk

 

Anyone who knew Colin is very welcome to attend this event, but please inform us so we know how many to expect. This will be an informal gathering of Colin’s colleagues, friends and family sharing their memories of Colin. If you would like to say a few words please let me know on the night.                                             Jayne

June 30, 2015 Posted by | Information | , , , | Leave a comment

Parking obstructing driveway access

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The most common complaint we hear from residents we speak to in Wallington South is about inconsiderate parking.

Muhammad, Steve & I have heard numerous sad tales of people being unable to get off their driveway to get to work or appointments because of parked cars obstructing their driveways. The worst offenders are seen as parents transporting their children to and from school,  commuters and staff from local businesses.

The key number you need to have to combat this is 020 8661 0096. This is the telephone number of the Council’s new enforcement contractor -VINCI Park. If the wheels of the offending car are alongside a dropped kerb then VINCI can issue a Penalty Charge Notice.

The phone line is open from 7:45 – 21:30 Monday to Saturday and 8:30 – 21:30 on Sunday. If you wish to report a vehicle parked in front of your dropped kerb without your permission please ring VINCI Park on 020 8661 0096. You will be asked for your name and address and the Civil Enforcement Officer will knock at your door to confirm you are the householder before issuing a Penalty Charge Notice on the offending vehicle.

None of us is happy when this is done to us, so please park with consideration for others, and avoid risking a ticket.

June 15, 2015 Posted by | Information | , , , | Leave a comment

Wallington South by-election result

I am pleased to announce that the Liberal Democrat candidate Steve Cook was elected to be the new councillor in Wallington South.

The results were as follows:image

UKIP   164

Liberal Democrats  1251

Labour. 181

Independent  180

Greens. 122

Conservative 936

Total votes  2834              Turnout 35.4%

A huge thank you to the residents who voted for Steve, and for all the help we had in the by-election from Liberal Democrats across the country.

But if Steve thought getting elected was hard work, wait until he sees what we expect of him as a Sutton Councillor!

June 12, 2015 Posted by | Information, Liberal Democrats | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Oh dear…………

When political candidates put out dishonest information in their literature when seeking office, how can they be trusted to show honesty and integrity should they be elected?

Sadly the Wallington South residents have been subjected to the unpleasant tactics of vague and unsubstantiated insinuations as well as outright fabrications from opposition candidates in the by-election.

The Independent candidate has suddenly invented a second incinerator, UKIP have nothing but smears and allegations to peddle, and the Conservative messages contain yet more fabrications deliberately to plant doubt in people’s minds – the same tactic they used in their General Election campaign to ruthlessly eliminate the Liberal Democrats.

To address just a few of the worst claims:

The Wallington town centre improvement scheme was only completed in 2011 – why would we plan to do any further works, especially as the current scheme was so well received by local people?

As the custodians of public money councils are subject to very high levels of scrutiny – often viewed as excess bureaucracy.  Yes council assets could be sold off to the highest bidder, however as Liberal Democrats we listen to the views of our residents. Our residents told us that they would prefer our heritable properties to continue in community use so when voluntary sector organisations like Ecolocal and SCVS offer to take on the costs and provide a service to the community from the buildings we think that is a good deal saving the council money but retaining the buildings.

Lib Dem, Conservative and Labour run boroughs of Kingston, Croydon, Merton and Sutton jointly agreed to enter into a contract with Viridor to cease the use of the landfill site in Sutton and have their waste treated instead in an Energy Recovery Facility. But only the Lib Dems in Sutton have been honest enough to stand by that decision and try to explain to its residents how incineration techniques have become the modern and safe way to deal with waste across Europe, and how having the facility in Sutton will improve air quality, save taxpayers money, and mean funding for improvements to the Beddington area.

The decision about whether to sell the Wallington public hall site or have the council develop it itself has not yet been made. There has been no developer interest in the site so talk of mosques and tall buildings are pure myths. Also a bit hypocritical of the Conservative candidate to have raised this spectre given Rosemount was built when the Tories had control of the council, and now they have taken power in Kingston they are being criticised by residents there for approving new tower blocks.

As for Lib Dems not listening to residents, when local people were loud and clear about their opposition to the McDonalds drive-through proposed for Stafford Road the Conservatives were tweeting that  they ‘didn’t see a problem with it.’ Fortunately the Lib Dems did champion their residents and together we stopped McDonalds.

There is a reason that Sutton residents have trusted the Liberal Democrats to run the council for the last 29 years, and that is because we are honest and we listen to our residents. We cannot always deliver everything our residents ask for, but they know that we do what it is in our power to do. Basic things like keeping the streets clean and well maintained, our parks and open spaces of a high standard for everyone to enjoy, and supporting and encouraging businesses to thrive and grow. Residents told us they want to be ‘green’ and protect the environment, and so Sutton has been at the forefront on issues of sustainability with its BedZed development, One Planet Borough accreditation and Sustainable Suburb initiative.

And, as for any individual or organisation, it is impossible to get everything 100% right. But when things do go wrong residents have seen the council be transparent and most importantly, learn lessons and make changes to improve.

So after 29 years of Lib Dem control we have seen Sutton voted one of the best places to bring up a family, our schools and green spaces winning awards, the fastest house sales, and one of the highest levels of resident satisfaction with its borough in the country.

I have heard these election smear campaigns dismissed as just to be expected in politics. I disagree. Politics and politicians have a bad name because of such tactics. Just because you are a politician it does not mean that this is the way you have to behave. Yes it is harder to be an honest politician, and to tell people the truth rather than what they want to hear. To make difficult decisions and try to explain why they are necessary, rather than taking a populist stance that sounds good but makes no actual contribution to solving the problem.

I know what kind of politician I try to be, and the kind of politician I want representing me, which is why I am a Liberal Democrat. Not perfect, but honest,  prepared to stand up for all members of society, and most of all, principled. The Liberal Democrat Party is made up of people like Steve Cook, whose drive is purely to do his best for his fellow residents. Steve saw how the Lib Dems work with people locally, and decided that was the way to do things, the way he could give something back to his community. I hope he gets the chance to.

 

June 10, 2015 Posted by | Liberal Democrats | , , , | 2 Comments

Amnesty advert in today’s Times

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May 26, 2015 Posted by | Liberal Democrats, Opinion | , , | Leave a comment

Wallington booming and blooming

IMG_0284 (1)There are a few things that indicate when an area is on the rise: one is the presence of cranes overhead, the other is estate agents Barnard Marcus moving into town. We have both of these in Wallington as work on the redevelopment of Wallington Square continues, and Barnard Marcus has moved into one of the units at Canon House.

The owners of Wallington Square decided the time was right to invest in IMG_0301 (1)redevelopment following our own investment into improving Wallington town centre. This is part of a borough-wide initiative, Opportunity Sutton, the council’s programme of work aimed at growing and supporting the borough’s existing businesses and attracting new  investment. A key part of the programme is investing in key areas, like Wallington, to make them more attractive to shoppers and therefore boost local business.

IMG_0337 (2)One of the other things that make Wallington attractive is the hanging baskets and flower troughs that local people have championed and the council funded through its local committee public realm funding scheme.IMG_0328 (2)

As well as Barnard Marcus there have been other new businesses moving into Wallington including Byrnes Pie & Eel Shop, Paddy Power, a new florist in the Square, the Cactus Grill, Sue Ryder, Cox’s Pippin, a new cake shop in Stafford Road and the Wallington Arms which has taken over from the Jon Jackson. The pub is a particularly pleasing addition as it is a very welcoming community pub which also puts on live music and good food.

Since the town centre improvements local people have told us that they have returned to shop in Wallington, the parking is plentiful and the shopping area is particularly good for people with disabilities to navigate.

Richard Mark Menswear who are located in Wallington Square are keen to highlight that they are open for business as usual whilst the redevelopment work is ongoing and they will remain a key store in the square once it has been redeveloped.

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May 25, 2015 Posted by | Information, Liberal Democrats, Opinion | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Muhammad is the new Mayor!

Muhammad mayorWallington South ward has the honour of providing the First Citizen of the borough as our Cllr Muhammad Sadiq has been appointed as the new Mayor of Sutton for 15/16.

The official Mayor-Making took place at Civic Offices on 18th May and I was very proud to be Muhammad’s official proposer. This gave me the opportunity to talk about Muhammad’s work and commitment to the residents of the borough, but also the chance to crack a few jokes at his expense. Cllr Joyce Melican, Chair of the Beddington & Wallington Local Committee seconded Muhammad’s nomination, and was then asked to support him as his Deputy Mayor, a role Joyce has undertaken previously.

Muhammad’s Mayoress will be his wife Aasia, and he will be assisted by his son and daughter. I know that his family were very proud to see Muhammad duly elected as mayor.

The charities that Muhammad will be officially supporting and raising funds for during his term as Mayor are St Raphael’s Hospice in Cheam and The Change Foundation in Beddington.

May 24, 2015 Posted by | Information | , , , , | 1 Comment

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