Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Chair’s Update on work of the Housing, Economy & Business Committee (HEB)

HEB Meeting held on 13th June key items of business:

Review of Planning Pre-application Service We agreed an amendment to the rate of charges to introduce an additional category to reduce the fees for smaller developments (1-4 units), formalised notification of councillors of major pre-app proposals, and asked officers to investigate whether we could publish the pre-app advice letter as part of the report to committee as standard practice.

Draft Character Appraisal of the Burton Estates Area of Special Local Character (ASLC) (produced by the Belmont & South Cheam Neighbourhood forum) This was agreed and we would encourage other Resident Associations to undertake their own Character Appraisals of ASLCs to strengthen their influence when determining planning applications.

Management of Housing Stock Review This considered whether we continue with Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP) as our Arms Length Management Organisation, bring the service in-house, or form a shared service with Kingston. On evidence gathered and external consultants’ report we agreed the option to progress with SHP as an improved ALMO. It was noted that this option could deliver the required savings.

Estate Regeneration Resident Engagement Proposals This set out the principles of engagement and transparency the council will adopt with residents in estates with potential for regeneration. The aim is for residents themselves to shape how their areas could be improved and intensified to make better use of space and provide improved communities and housing. It is noted that decisions to proceed with regeneration can only be made when the viability of proposals incorporating the needs and desires of residents has been assessed and shown to be feasible.

Annual Review of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme No changes proposed whilst new income band scheme beds in as it was only introduced from April 2017.

Discretionary Hardship Relief scheme for businesses re rate review Task & Finish Group set up to propose a scheme. This has met and a consultation has been undertaken recommending relief for small businesses (< £200,000 rateable value) facing increases greater than 12.5% of 100% in first year, 50% relief in second year , with businesses in CR4 getting 100% in both years to reflect the disproportionate increase in rateable value in that area. Final decision will be made in light of the results of the consultation at the 26th September Housing, Economy & Business Committee Meeting.

Ongoing business since last HEB meeting

Local Plan The Independent Examination-in-Public is to be held on 12-15th September 2017.

SDEN The agreement has now been signed with Barratts. Contractors have been procured to commence work delivering the pipes and installing them.

Tramlink Transport for London have allocated funding of £70m from the Mayor’s Growth Fund for the Sutton Tramlink, but this still leaves a significant funding gap. However it very much feels like it is back on the table with TfL keen to find ways to plug the gap either by saving costs or finding alternative funding mechanisms.

Sutton Economic Support Taskgroup (SEST) Quarterly meeting with Council post-14 Education Services, local colleges and training providers, JobCentre plus, and business representatives to discuss employment and training in the borough. Agreed to refresh aims for coming year and focus on engagement with businesses.

Meeting arranged with Children, Families and Education Directorate staff in August to discuss joined-up working across SEST & the Post 14 Progression and Employability Board.

Sutton Town Centre Masterplan Delivery Oversight and work with ward councillors continues in respect of delivery of the STC Masterplan. Includes North Sutton Gateway Scheme and estate regeneration work.

Jayne gave a presentation in July to open an Investor Tour event for investors and businesses expressing an interest in Sutton. Officers also gave presentations on the opportunities and sites in the town centre and at the London Cancer Hub and took them to visit the actual sites.

Open for Business Board Chaired by Cllr Wales this board is under the remit of Opportunity Sutton seeking to support local businesses. Last meeting looked at future of the Pop-up Sutton programme and will be seeking ways to build on its success.

Beddington Programme Consultation now out on various transport improvements along Beddington Lane in respect of the £7m awarded by TfL as a Major Scheme. https://www.opportunitysutton.org/beddington-gets-moving/

Sutton Housing Partnership Since the HEB agreement to continue with SHP as its ALMO in improved form Jayne has continued to meet with officers and SFTRA reps. Recent discussions focussed on governance improvements and oversight of the changes to sheltered housing support.

Business Improvement Districts (BIDS) Jayne was invited to provide an update on the Town Centre Masterplan at an event to celebrate the successful Sutton Town Centre BID renewal vote.

Work is also ongoing with traders to establish a BID in Worcester Park.

Sutton Living Ltd New plans are being drafted for the first of the company’s developments on the site of the old Wallington Public Hall.

Grenfell Tower fire local implications Jayne has been attending regular Fire Safety Briefings with Sutton Housing Partnership and Sutton Council senior officers and the local London Fire Service team to ensure that all council-owned residential properties in the borough have adequate fire safety measures in place and to respond to the latest advice and information following the Grenfell Tower fire.

Council Housing new build Work has commenced on the first council house new build, previously the Ludlow Lodge site. HEB members and ward councillors attended a ceremonial ground-breaking event at the Ludlow Lodge site and met with the building contractors Kind & Co a smaller construction company who impressed us with their commitment to award-winning build quality and consideration for neighbours.

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August 18, 2017 Posted by | Committee Meeting, Information | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Report back from July Beddington & Wallington Local Committee

Cllr Steve Cook has provided the following summary of the July Beddington & Wallington Local Committee meeting attended by your ward councillors:

The meeting started with Public Question Time which majored on the current situation with Veolia, collection of waste, street cleaning and re-cycling.

Scott Edgell (local area manager from Veolia) and Mark Dalzell (Sutton Council Head of Waste Services) were in attendance to answer questions on this area. Many questions were put by local residents and councillors alike, wanting updates and answers on the new service which began in early April this year. It has been a lack lustre start-up which has received countless complaints and queries on to the council web-site. However, the answers received from both Scott and Mark were most helpful and we finally felt the tide was turning in resident’s favour. Scott said in closing “We (Veolia) will not rest until the service is better than it was previously” which gave us all cause for encouragement, as the prior service provided by Sutton Council directly, was of the highest quality

A petition was then heard from Mr Bernard Rofe of Elles House, Shotfield in Wallington. He was requesting the highways department look into creating a central refuge to help pedestrians crossing Shotfield outside Elles House. This was approved in principal and the department concerned will look at the options available for this proposed scheme. The immediate difficulty was the current positioning of the bus stop between the entrance and exit of the library car park, which obstructs the view of pedestrians crossing at this point.

Another petition was heard, this time from Mr Peter Coughlan, who expressed concern about the random and illegal pavement parking that takes place outside his bakery shop and the impact on his business on Stafford Road and the corner of The Chase. He is seeking a Controlled Free Parking Zone and this will be explored by the councils Chief Parking Officer.

Sgt O’Brien on behalf of the Safer Neighbourhood Teams delivered an up-date which covered all the Beddington and Wallington wards and gave an in-depth view of the current policing plans and a report of recent local activity in fighting crime and dealing with anti-social behaviour.

A presentation was then given by Mandar Puranik and his colleague Holly on the exciting plans for the improvements to Beddington Village and the new traffic scheme.

Following this, Christine Lindsay gave an interesting and rewarding talk about the Wallington Wellbeing Group and their calendar of activities for the up-coming summer. Health and Wellbeing amongst our community is at the forefront of all our concerns and these events are of particular interest to the retired and more elderly residents in our borough, especially those who may feel isolated.

All the new Public Realm Projects and Neighbourhood Grant applications were unanimously approved.

Finally we received a Highways up-date from Sutton Principal Engineer Ian Price.

Full papers and minutes of the meeting can be read online.

The next meeting of the B&W Local Committee will be held on 10th October 2017 at 7pm.

The venue is yet to be confirmed.

We hope you will be able to attend and join in.

July 24, 2017 Posted by | Committee Meeting, Information | , | Leave a comment

Wallington South Councillors’ June Update

Its June already and certainly feeling summery – in between the showers!  So time for an update from your Wallington South Ward Councillors:

Ward News

High Street Loading Bays

The bay outside the KFC has now been changed to goods vehicles loading only, and for the first time in ages we have seen the bay being used correctly.

We expect a few complaints when people get a parking ticket if they haven’t realised it has changed, but it should make the bay much safer all round.

Road safety schemes implemented

​We are pleased to see the implementation of a number of schemes residents requested through us. Yellow lines have gone in in Woodcote Road and Elgin Road, with new signs to deter HGVs from using residential roads at Boundary Road, Elgin Road and St Michaels Road.

The new build-out is now in place in Beddington Gardens to provide a safe crossing point across this road to Shotfield.

Where next?

Double yellow lines have been requested for the junctions of Clyde Road with Carew Road and Ross Road. Speed surveys are currently being undertaken in Clyde Road too as part of the evidence gathering following a petition submitted by residents concerned about speeding and rat-running in this road.

Following a petition from residents in Tharp Road (actually Beddington North ward) it is proposed to trial a one-way system for a year in this road. There is to be a further meeting with councillors and residents before this goes ahead.

​We have had concerns raised about the safety of the mini-roundabout at the junction of Hillside Gardens and Sandy Lane South which we have raised with the council and officers will be looking at this and seeing what might be done to improve the situation here.

Residents have also pointed out that there needs to be a safe crossing point across Demesne Road near the Carew Road junction, especially as this area is widely used by primary school children.

It has also been pointed out that the Park Hill Road junction with Stanley Park Road is extremely difficult to get out of.

Please let us know your views which will help us campaign for improvements to these junctions.

A number of lines and road markings have been refreshed. If you notice lines that have become very faded please let us know and we can get them refreshed too.

Wallington Music Festival Saturday 17th June!

Our free music festival, brought to you by dedicated local residents and businesses, is back for its third year on Saturday 17th June. It will be opened at noon by the Deputy Mayor in the Wallington Library Gardens with a fabulous line up in the bandstand and gardens through to 4pm. There will be stalls selling a variety of delicious food alongside the Library Café. Then the Brook, the Wallington Arms, Byrnes Eel & Pie House, Sizzle & Shake, Hotrocks, The Woodcote Flying Club and The Duke’s Head will all be hosting live music acts from early evening until late.

The event has been kindly sponsored by The Real Coffee Company Wallington and Carpenter And Co, in association with Arts Network Sutton. The Gary Mason Charity and also funded by a Neighbourhood Grant from the council.

Bins!

The transition to a new collection system delivered by an external contractor – Veolia, has proved difficult and frustrating. We are still a long way off from them delivering a service to match the efficiency of the previous in-house delivery. We have been given lots of reasons and excuses from IT failures to lorry breakdowns to unexpected recycling volumes. However, in the end we just want our bins emptied on time, and in the right lorry after we have gone to the trouble of sorting it.

Your ward councillors have met with Veolia reps and are escalating matters where we can, although we haven’t always been happy with the responses.

We are starting to see improvements, but there are a number of areas in our ward where the problems are persistent and the resolution of them feels frustratingly slow.

These are the places where we know there are continuing problems that we are keeping an eye on:

Waleton Acres, Tansley Court, Sycamore Manor, Birdhurst Court, Jefton Court, Ellerslie Court, Beech House, Coriander Court, Mulberry Mews, various flats above shops, Hannah Mews, Brambledown Road flats, Derwent Walk, Woodbourne Gardens, Burns Court, Hinton Road, Charlotte Road & Francis Road.

If you are having persistent problems with your waste collection and it isn’t listed here then please let us know so we can try and help get it sorted.

The general advice is that if your expected collection isn’t taken on the due day, leave it out and it should automatically be collected the next day. Only if it is not collected by 8.30pm on the second day should you report it as a missed collection. However if yours is the only uncollected bin, report it after 8.30pm on the due day. We recommend using the online tool rather than telephoning, as the council’s contact service is often busy and they will only be logging your problems using the same online tool. We are happy to report it for you if you can’t get the online tool to work.

The green garden waste bins are being delivered but there is a backlog. You are only charged once you have the bin and collections started.

Similarly if you have ordered additional recycling boxes or wheelie bins these are being delivered, but again there is a backlog. If you placed your order at the beginning of the service change we would recommend you reorder as we are not confident that all these orders have been logged.

Veolia are also responsible for collecting the waste from the street bins and the green sacks from the street cleaning. Again you can report overflowing bins using the online tool.

One bit of good news is that the level of recycling has increased enormously because you have all been prepared to do your bit so diligently. So well done you all at lightening the load on our planet. I know that as a result of greater awareness of the waste we produce a number of residents have told us they are trying to seek out items with less packaging and be more careful about using up leftover food.

Open Day Alert

Wallington Girls School have given advance warning of their Open Evening on 28th June from 4 – 8pm which usually sees an increase in traffic and parking pressure in the vicinity of the school. Woodcote Nursery has agreed to let parents use their car park on the day to help alleviate the problems.

Planning News

Julien House in Ross Road is recommended for approval by officers so it will be decided by councillors at the Planning Committee on 20thJune from 7.30pm at Sutton Civic Offices. Jayne & Steve will be supporting residents in their objections to this application. Do come along if you want to show the strength of objection to this application.

Flooding

The short sharp but torrential downpours like the one experienced recently are likely to result in localised surface flooding as the drainage system is simply unable to cope with high volumes of water in one go. However they should drain away quickly. Any flooding that takes a long time to drain away should be reported so it can be checked to see if there is an underlying problem.

We are aware of persistent flood problems in Demesne Road and Beddington Gardens. The council is undertaking work to map areas across the borough that regularly suffer from flooding so they can source funding for mitigating measures. A survey is now online so please do complete it if your area suffers from flooding.

Steve’s term as Deputy Mayor ends

Steve spent a fair amount of time in the last twelve months representing the borough as deputy mayor. He has met with some amazing groups and organisations and had the opportunity to take part is some interesting events. I know he feels privileged to have had the opportunity to represent both Sutton and Wallington in this role, and we think he has done us proud.

Borough News

Sutton in Bloom

There is still time to enter your garden for the Sutton in Bloom competition. Closing date is Friday 16th June. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a winner from Wallington!

Trading Standards

Flyers are currently in circulation for work such as roofing and driveways, some claiming to be on the Checkatrade scheme when they are not. Advice is to be extremely cautious about responding to leaflet drops for such work and instead recommend using the Safer Sutton Trader Scheme.

Carers Week

12th-16th June is National Carers Week where we recognise the informal support many of us provide to family, friends and neighbours. This saves the NHS and social services many thousands of pounds, but can prove very stressful for the carer. Sutton Carers Centre has a number of events to both recognise and celebrate the work of these many carers, and also highlight the support that is out there for them. For more information visit the website.

 

Have a lovely summer, and good luck to all those currently sitting exams.

Jayne McCoy, Steve Cook & Muhammad Sadiq

Liberal Democrat Councillors for Wallington South

London Borough of Sutton

June 12, 2017 Posted by | Information, Liberal Democrats | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Things are happening in Sutton Town Centre

Exciting things are happening on Sutton High Street as some of the council’s projects and work to promote the town centre come to fruition.

Look up at Market Place Sutton to admire the improved frontages

Check out the new pubs

Our green wall looking succulent

Planters brighten up Trinity Square

Times Square renamed and refurbishment almost complete

TKMaxx reopening 15th June

Painting the Carshalton College ‘Live Art’ mural

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The award-winning entrepreneurs market

The Empire Cinema is also undergoing refurbishment and a big brand retail outlet is planning to move into Sutton.

With the additional development bringing housing, a new hotel, and new retail units around the station, and the new Sainsburys, flats and restaurants at the north end, Sutton certainly feels like it is booming.

May 29, 2017 Posted by | Information | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wallington Music Festival 2017

Final line up confirmed, and additional sponsorship from Carpenter & Co:

May 24, 2017 Posted by | Information | , , | 2 Comments

Ward walkabout with Veolia

On Wednesday Cllr Cook & I took Veolia reps around the ward to show them some areas where there are persistent issues with the new waste collection service.

At some places we called on the residents who had complained so Veolia could hear direct the problems they were having.

 

It was clear that the existing bin stores and range of bins at some blocks of flats do not work with the new system, and it will require some discussions with residents and the managing agents to make it work.

We will continue to monitor the situation and Veolia’s response.

 

May 19, 2017 Posted by | Information | , | Leave a comment

Sutton honours Wallington WW1 Victoria Cross Hero

A ceremony was held on 29th April 2017 to commemorate the centenary of the action that led to the award of the Victoria Cross to 2nd Lieutenant Pollard VC. At the ceremony in Wallington Library Gardens a memorial stone to Alfred Pollard was unveiled by the Mayor of Sutton, Cllr Richard Clifton.

2nd Lieut. Pollard was born and raised in Wallington, and members of his family were in attendance.

May 2, 2017 Posted by | Information | , , | Leave a comment

Phone mast threat to Woodcote Green seen off

Cllr Steve Cook views the proposed location with residents

Vodafone recently put in notification of their intention to put a telecom mast and large cabinets on Woodcote Green, next to the air raid shelter.

Not only would this be an eyesore on a beautiful village green opposite Wallington Girls School, it was right where local residents had asked the Local Committee to locate a new heritage sign explaining the history of the green.

Through the Beddington & Wallington Local Committee residents have previously secured restoration of the air raid shelter on the green, moved the the horse trough back to its original position, and received funds for spring bulb planting. So what an insult to spoil it all with an ugly mast and cabinets.

Your ward councillors worked with our Beddington South ward colleagues and the local residents association to submit our objections to the plans. This has paid off and the council’s planning officers agree that it would be wrong to allow the mast here and have now refused the application.

So thanks to a bit of people-power the mast threat has been seen off and the lovely new heritage board is now in place.

 

The original plans

May 1, 2017 Posted by | Information | , | Leave a comment

Safer crossing in Beddington Gardens

The council is currently undertaking works in Beddington Gardens to make a safer place to cross near to the junction with Shotfield.

There are a number of older people living in special residential accommodation in this area and some of them told Steve, Muhammad and me that they found it daunting trying to cross Beddington Gardens. Many of them regularly use the Jubilee Health Centre or the library.

We put a request in for this to be looked at. A zebra crossing was not possible as it would have required removing part of the hedges, which are protected as a heritage feature of the area.

Officers are therefore building out the pavement here, which both slows down traffic and narrows the road to reduce the distance pedestrians have to get across the road.

We hope that when complete this will make life a little easier for our more senior residents.

April 28, 2017 Posted by | Information | | Leave a comment

Reporting your bin collection issues

Please report your issues online via the council website to free up the phone lines for people who don’t have internet access.

There is a dedicated webpage with information and special links for reporting issues – look under Waste and Recycling on the Sutton Council website.

This page also allows you to check the collection days for your recycling and general waste at your address. The address finder is a bit quirky, especially for flats. If you enter your address and it says it is not recognised try entering your flat or house number, and then the street rather than the name of the flat block. Then enter your postcode. If that doesn’t work just enter your flat number and postcode.

All issues reported online will be logged for action.

If you still have problems reporting your issues online then contact your local ward councillor. You can find who are your ward councillors and how to contact them here.

If you have still not received new recycling bins; or your street does not appear to be on a scheduled round; or you are in a block of flats and it is clear that Veolia still do not understand what your collection should be, then please raise this with your ward councillor as well as reporting it to the council. That way we can understand the extent of the problems and take it up with senior council officers and Veolia.

Not sure what goes in which bin? There is an A-Z of rubbish and recycling on the council website.

 

April 26, 2017 Posted by | Information | , , | 1 Comment

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