Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Thursday 3rd April 7.30pm


For me this is the most important meeting I attend. First because I chair the meeting, but mostly because it is the place where we can get residents directly involved in local decisions and get a steer from them on policies for the area.


Tonight was a particularly important night as we were at the stage of making decisions about which of the many capital projects suggested for public realm funding we would initiate. As we had enough money available to fund the majority of the projects if we eliminated those which were disproportionately expensive (paving central shopping areas with higher quality slabs) and those that needed more detailed proposals, I was disappointed at the reluctance of members of the committee to agree all the remaining projects. It seemed like a slap in the face to the many residents who had taken the time to come to meetings and put forward proposals for projects for the committee to refuse to initiate the work when the money was available to do so. I was aware that there would need to be consultation and discussion on some of the proposed projects but the majority of the discussion centred on what we couldn’t do and talk of things that needed doing but which either hadn’t been submitted as a project or did not fall within the capital criteria for public realm.


I was especially disappointed that the ‘EGG’ seating suggested by the Police Youth Panel did not get the opportunity to be discussed and receive input from Inspector Baker, who patiently sat through the whole meeting without needing to be called upon for opinion on relevant projects. Having heard from residents & special advisors that we need to hear what young people would actually like to see, when they do make a suggestion it gets summarily dismissed by our Tory members. There will still be opportunity to have a discussion on the seating at a future meeting as no vote was taken to exclude it; it was only omitted from the first agreed list as we were out of time to debate it when the dissent was voiced by Cllr. Marion Williams.


However we did agree to fund a large number of projects which will greatly benefit the area and I hope that residents will take pride in the fact that it was their input that made these things happen.







May 11, 2008 - Posted by | Committee Meeting

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