Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Tuesday 18th January 2011 7pm

Beddington & Wallington Local Committee

An update & decisions on public realm funding took up a great part of the beginning of the meeting. Plans for new playground equipment for younger children in Mellows Park were circulated. They included a cradle seat suitable for children with disabilities which was welcomed. It was agreed to release £28,000 for this scheme. Community representative Colin Wadeson presented a design for the staging area at the rear of the old town hall in Wallington. Originally £15,000 had been set aside for this project but we were informed that after including planning consent and fitting the total cost was expected to be in the region of £24,000.

Some young people from Roundshaw who had attended a previous meeting requesting enhancement to the skatepark the committee had implemented last year returned to present their proposals. They had worked with a voluntary organization, Sutton Ramp Events, to produce a design that would allow skateboarders, BMX riders and rollerbladers to all get the most out of the park without getting in each others’ way. Local residents described how popular the wheels and ramps park was and how it kept the kids engaged. The committee agreed to implement the young people’s favoured design costing £24,000.

I was permitted to put forward a new public realm proposal for match funding a community safety project together with the police and local housing association A2 Dominion. The police only had a limited period to allocate their funds which is why the project had to come to this committee. The proposal was to replace the shabby wooden fencing along Ross Road which formed the boundary of the Russell Court estate with smart metal railing similar to that which had been put in along Carew Road. Ross Road is a known focal point for anti-social behaviour in Wallington South and the fence had been identified by the police, local residents and councillors as contributing to the problem. If an area looks run down and uncared for there is a propensity for it to be treated that way. The current fence provides a hiding place for persons wishing to elude the police or conceal their activities and generally detracts from the public realm. Replacement of the fencing was costed at £27,000 and it was requested that all parties contributed £9,000 each. Although one resident felt it should be the sole responsibility of the housing association to fund the scheme it was acknowledged that A2 were unlikely to be able to prioritise the full £27,000 to this project. A number of resident representatives from the Wallington South Safer Neighbourhood Team Ward Panel, where the project had been discussed for some time, attended the meeting to show their support and were pleased that it was agreed by the committee.

I also had to advise that the library mosaic project had stalled as I had lost contact with the original student volunteers so the allocated funds were released for other projects. I put out a plea for any other volunteers who might be able to help take this project forward.

The item about the closure of the cash hall at civic offices was taken early. Janette Garlick circulated & explained information about what and where the new payment options were. It was hoped that the new options would prove more convenient for residents and reduce the need to travel.

After questions from the public and community reps issues we had an update from Inspector Colin Baker about the ward priorities of the local safer neighbourhood teams. The committee also received reports on traffic matters raised at the previous meeting.

Annette Madden attended to provide an update and feedback on the gritting service over the last couple of months. The committee and residents welcomed the new measures that had been implemented and Mrs Madden answered a number of questions.

Russell Troup, Senior Project Engineer for the Wallington Integrated Transport Package updated on the progress of the project highlighting the decisions made by the expanded Steering Group, comprising resident & business representatives as well as the relevant ward councillors. As information hadn’t been ready for the last Steering Group meeting that group had agreed that the choice of seating style be brought to the Local Committee to enable a prompt decision to be made. There was much discussion about the four styles presented taking account of cost, comfort and maintenance. There was no clear preference but one style was agreed by a small majority vote.

Sally Blomfield gave a presentation on the proposed Sutton Town Centre conservation area covering the area from the station down to Trinity Square. She showed slides with pictures from the 1800’s and more recent ones of the same vista which highlighted how little the upper Victorian façade had changed. The committee was also advised of the buildings in the Beddington & Wallington area which had been nominated to be locally listed. On behalf of Wallington South I requested that the magistrates court be considered for listing so that some sense of its place in the ‘civic quarter’ could be retained should developers show an interest in the site now the closure of the court has been confirmed.

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January 25, 2011 - Posted by | Committee Meeting

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