Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Tuesday 5th January 2010 7pm

Beddington & Wallington Local Committee

The main focus for this meeting was to seek new ideas for spending the committee’s public realm allocation for 2010/11. I was pleased to see a good turnout of residents (and members) despite the threatened snow.

 Some suggestions had already been submitted in advance of the meeting and representatives came along to the meeting to give a little more detail about their ideas. They included a request for match funding to refurbish the Mellows Park pavilion to make it a more useable community space. This suggestion came from the Friends of Mellows Park. Colin Wadeson requested replacement of the Christmas lights over Wallington Square which are now unsafe to use, and converting the area at the back of the Old Town Hall into a performance area. Mr Goswell of the Croydon Airport Society came to request a permanent record on Roundshaw of the early flying history of the site and restoration of two noticeboards that previously existed. The Friends of Beddington Park had submitted their proposals for an adventure playground in Beddington Park and ideas for improvements to the boating lake there. There were other suggestions from the public and councillors. I was very pleased to see that there were still lots of ideas for projects as I had been a little worried that we would struggle to find new ones.

All the suggestions submitted at the meeting and beforehand will be noted and initially assessed to see whether they fulfil the criteria for public realm spending and whether they are achievable. We will then have a ‘wish list’ which the committee will need to decide on which projects should be costed up with a view to implementation. Those projects which don’t match the criteria will still be kept in mind as it may be possible to find funding through other sources that become available.

 There was still the Elms Pond project to progress using 2008/10 funding and a report was presented to the committee on the latest costings to undertake the required works. The rosebowl suggestion from a previous meeting had been found to be unworkable but it was felt that sufficient work could be done to bring the pond and fountain back into workable order for a sum a little larger than the amount originally set aside for the project. There was some concern about the cost of the project from members, but it was pointed out that the costs were considerably down from the original consultants’ estimate of over £100,000, and that it had to be borne in mind that the original estimate of £30,000 had been very much an estimate. The issue came to a vote on whether to give the project the go ahead on the costings given, or to continue to seek a cheaper option. In the end it came to me as chair to give the casting vote. I voted in favour of getting on with refurbishing the fountain as a lot of officer time had been spent on assessing the project already, and there was no guarantee that further work would result in significant savings that were not cancelled out by the additional expenditure on officer time. The decision met with a round of applause from the public who were pleased that work could get started on the pond in time for the summer.

 We also had a presentation from Susanna Bennett of the Sutton Centre for Voluntary Services to talk about two projects she was involved with. One was the Link organisation, a voluntary body of local residents with the aim of reviewing local health and social service provision to ensure local people were receiving the best care available. The other was Sutton Take Part, which encourages residents of the borough to get involved in voluntary and community activities. Contact information was provided for both organisations.

 We also had Suzy Humphries to explain the idea of an area street party for Take Part Take Pride Week in July and hoping for a residents association or community group to run with the idea with the support of the Council. Suzi made a useful contact with the local Round Table group as a result of the meeting.

 Rupert Townsend reported back on the Steps Zones 20 & 21 and Stanley Park Road consultations and received approval to go to formal consultation on those items that required it.

I am quite excited about the next Local Committee meeting to be held on 9th March as we will be having a presentation on new concepts in traffic safety schemes. This will cover the idea of shared space and look at how schemes implemented in Europe and in the UK have worked with this idea. All interested residents from the Beddington & Wallington area are welcome and there will be the opportunity to ask questions on the presentation.

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February 19, 2010 - Posted by | Committee Meeting

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