Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Wallington South Ward Councillors’ Summer Update

Who would have believed back in March 2020, that we would still be battling the Covid pandemic in July 2021 after over a year of significant changes to our way of life? We missed our overseas holidays last year, and many will have to forgo them again this year. If we want 2022 to allow us a lot more freedoms then we all still need to take a cautious approach to the lifting of restrictions, and also a selfless one as the wearing of masks protects others, not ourselves.

Covid is not the only major threat to our way of life. The wildfires, floods and soaring temperatures in Greece, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands and Russia make the impacts of global warning feel a lot closer to home. Flash flooding and thunderstorms are becoming more common in the UK and we will need to be prepared for more potential extreme events.

As with Covid, the only response is to adapt our own behaviour, and push the government to use a mix of regulation and investment to drive industry and science to make the changes and innovations to enable us all to live more sustainably.

WARD NEWS

Bin collections disrupted by national driver shortage

We have received a number of complaints about bins being uncollected in recent weeks. This is due to a national HGV driver shortage and other councils are experiencing similar problems.

To try to keep on top of collections Veolia are asking drivers to work the maximum weekly hours, additional staff working weekends and overtime, and pooling staff from other contracts. There is also a major driver recruitment programme underway.

Most affected are communal collections at flats, with delayed collections, sometimes until the weekend, including on Sundays.

The online Report it function is updated to note delayed collection schedules but if your waste goes two weeks without collection get in touch with us for us to chase up.

Bandon Hill School Street in Beddington Gardens

The consultation following the Beddington Gardens school street trial showed a large majority of parents and local residents were in favour of the scheme. This means the school street scheme will be reinstated and effective from the October half term this year, subject to the formal statutory process.

The restrictions will prevent motor vehicle entry to Beddington Gardens west of Boundary Road  from 8:15am till 9:30 am and 2:15pm till 3:30pm weekdays during term time, enforced by automated number plate recognition cameras (ANPRs).There will be exemptions for residents and carers, SEND vehicles and emergency services.

Budget pressure sees library car park charges increase

Through ten years of austerity and massive cuts to government funding for councils we managed to keep the half an hour free parking at Wallington Library car park. Unfortunately, the additional financial pressures from dealing with the pandemic and government failure to properly fund social care means we can no longer argue for Wallington to be treated differently from other district centre car parks.

This year all the car park charges will be aligned and increased slightly. This still keeps Sutton as having some of the lowest parking charges in London.

This move also fits with the council’s aim to improve air quality by encouraging residents to make healthier choices about how they travel to their local high street.

There are still a good number of short stay free parking spaces in Ross Parade, Shotfield and along Stafford Road. There are plenty of disabled parking spaces in the library car park and on surrounding streets. So people wishing to use their cars will still have a choice to use free spaces that is far in excess of the numbers in other district centres, in addition to the excellent public transport links in Wallington, another reason we found it hard to argue for special treatment for Wallington district centre.

I know that some people will be concerned about the impact on local shops. Studies show that people who walk, cycle or use public transport to travel to a district centre tend to spend more per visit than those who drive. Indeed the 30 minute free parking could be detrimental to local businesses as it encourages visitors to only stay for half an hour as it is free. This stops them from lingering for a coffee or lunch, or browsing other shops and instead sees them attend to their immediate business and then rush back to their cars.

Grass verge cutting

The council’s contractors IDVerde have experienced some staff shortages that combined with weather conditions has delayed the cutting of grass verges and mowing in parks. To catch up on the schedule IDVerde are using additional subcontracted labour and are working weekends.

The cut grass is left in situ to mulch down as the most environmentally approach, but with the grass being longer than usual this may look a bit messy for a while.

The Council is trialling biodiversity verges in a few locations around the borough. Biodiversity verges will have a different mowing regime designed to encourage wildflowers to thrive and set seed, which is beneficial to birds, insects and other wildlife. Reduced mowing also saves on fuel and exhaust emissions too.

These verges will be cut towards the end of August and all the arising will be cleared away.

The verges will then be mowed again in the autumn and possibly again in the early spring if the grass starts into growth. This means the verges will flower to benefit wildlife during the spring and summer, but then be tidied up again for the autumn and winter period.

Iceland Summer Event Saturday 21st August

Our Wallington Iceland store has arranged a special summer event to raise funds for Home-Start Sutton as their charity which is also a Mayor’s Charity.

This will take place in the afternoon in front of the Old Town Hall with stalls, Tombola and the Met Police Bus.

Do come along and show your support to help this excellent local charity.

Double Yellow Line painting

As a result of the Parking Consultation double yellow lines will be introduced to all junctions where they are not currently, to improve sightlines and safety, and yellow lines proposed for most of Woodcote Road, and in Stanley Park Road close to schools and the roundabout. The lining works in Wallington will take place during July and August so please observe any temporary parking restrictions to enable this work to be done.

Greenbelt reprieve as care home development rejected

Sutton Council Planning Committee refused the application to build a 70-bed care home on Woodcote Greenbelt land behind Wallington Girls School.

Jayne spoke at the meeting objecting to the application due to its encroachment on the Greenbelt and overdevelopment of the site.

The claims by the developer that there was a need for a dementia care home that overruled the Greenbelt status protecting it from residential development was refuted by the Head of Adult Social Care who had advised there was an oversupply of such provision in the borough.

Local resident Mr Simms also spoke at the meeting and pointed out the same developer was building a care home less than a mile away in Purley.

I know local residents affected by the development and all those who want to preserve our precious Greenbelt will be pleased that the Committee supported the officer decision to refuse.

Tackling litter hot spot at Charlotte Road

The litter bin in Charlotte Road close to the junction with Stafford Road is proving to be an attractor for flytipping. Waste illegally left here often contains food so the bags are regularly ripped open by foxes and strewn across the street. It is extremely unpleasant for local residents and their children to wade through this mess everyday on their way to school or work.

Your ward councillors have been working with the council to put a stop to flytipping here. Regulatory services have carried out enforcement visits to the local shops and takeaways to confirm they have trade waste arrangements in place and advise that any waste left by the bins constitutes flytipping.

Flats above shops are provided with marked bags that they are authorised to leave by the bin for collection on one agreed day per week, but no other waste should be left here.

We have also asked for additional street cleaning of this area, and continual monitoring to catch the flytippers.

The council is also cracking down on littering and anyone caught dumping their rubbish or takeaway packaging in the road will be liable to a hefty fine.

Wallington Mini-Music Festival this September 18th

We very sadly had to cancel last year’s Wallington Music Festival. This year it is back, but in light of the ongoing concerns about the virus we will be limiting it to a daytime event in the Wallington Library Gardens, and postponed it to September.

There will still be food and drink stalls and free entertainment for all the family. Bring a picnic and a blanket and enjoy our exceptional local talent.

Thanks to the All In Wallington team for continuing to organise this free local event, and to Carpentors Solicitors for once again generously sponsoring the event.

The Mayor of Sutton Cllr Trish Fivey will attend to open the event.

Wallington comes together to Support the England Team

It was lovely to see the community come together to support our England Football Team as they geared up for the final game of the Euros against Italy. We gathered red and white T-shirts, some with good luck messages to the team, and made them into a giant England flag in front of the old town hall.

Sadly England couldn’t quite best the experience of the unbeaten Italian team, but our boys did us proud and we can dream of glory for the World Cup.

Ward Surgeries and casework

We suspended our face to face councillor ward surgeries during the pandemic. However, we hope to return to in-person surgeries in Wallington Sainsburys from September. Do stop by to say hello, we have missed you.

We can also undertake site visits and meetings to discuss casework issues. Contact us via email or telephone as usual.

BOROUGH NEWS

Changes to the Kimpton Way Household Reuse & Recycling Centre

The booking system will continue as it has proved popular and minimising queuing into the centre. However the centre has sadly been misused by some commercial companies which are disposing of their commercial waste at the taxpayer’s expense.

To address this a fair use policy has been introduced limiting residents to 12 bookings in a calendar year.  Thanks to the booking system we have a better idea of the number of times that residents use this site. The vast majority (96%) of residents use the HRRC less than 12 times a year and 50% use it once only, so there are many opportunities for them to increase usage and their recycling frequency.

For any resident who has a genuine need to use the HRRC more than 12 times a year, they can contact the Council who can provide them with advice and support. The Council is willing to be flexible to address genuine need when there are exceptional circumstances.

Free school meals in school holidays

The council will continue to provide free school meals over the summer holidays to eligible families. Parents of children who are already registered to receive free school meals do not need to apply. Other low-income with pre-school or home-educated families may also be eligible and should visit the council website to apply.

WARD PLANNING NEWS

DM2020/01805  Land At Woodcote Green Garden Centre Woodmansterne Lane Wallington SM6 0SU Demolition of existing structures, and erection of a two storey nursing home comprising 70 bedrooms, car parking, cycle storage, bin storage, access, landscaping and other associated works Refused by Planning Committee 7th July 2021

DM2020/01589 31-35 Stafford Road Wallington SM6 9AP (old BP Garage site) Prior Approval in relation to the erection of 2 new floors to provide 10 self contained residential units. Prior approval refused

DM2020/00450 Monarch House 7 Stafford Road Wallington SM6 9AN Erection of a single storey rear conservatory, enclosure of under croft to form additional office floor space, alteration to parking, vehicle access from Onslow Gardens with new gates and boundary treatment. Still pending decision

New Applications:

DM2021/01033 1 Elgin Road Wallington SM6 8RE Erection of a two storey detached dwellinghouse

DM2021/00985 6 Woodcote Road Wallington SM6 0NN Change of use of 1st floor to 7 room larger HMO Conversion of upper floors of previous Wallington Arms to residential

DM2021/00526 74 Park Hill Road Wallington SM6 0RQ Erection of a detached dwelling with associated access, parking and landscaping Backgarden development

DM2021/00429 Roy Smith Garage Ltd Elgin Road Wallington SM6 8RE Demolition of existing garage and existing building and erection of two two-storey detached buildings (one with roof accommodation) to provide 8 self contained residential units with car parking

DM2021/00224 13 Milton Road Wallington SM6 9RP  Change of use from C4 to Sui Generis for use as a larger House in Multiple Occupation, erection of a single storey rear extension and conversion of loft space involving alterations a dormer extension at rear and rooflights to front roofslope

We hope you find our updates useful. Feel free to pass them on to your friends and neighbours if you think they will be of interest. Continue to stay safe.

Cllr Steve Cook, Cllr Jayne McCoy & Cllr Muhammad Sadiq

Your Lib Dem team for Wallington South

P.S. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if there is anything we can do to help: wallingtonsouth.libdems@gmail.com

July 28, 2021 - Posted by | Information | ,

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