Diary of a Sutton Councillor

Sutton’s response to the Consultation on the Draft National Planning Policy Framework

10 May 2018

The Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP
Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government

Dear Secretary of State,

Consultation on the Draft National Planning Policy Framework

The current focus on addressing the housing crisis is to be welcomed. However many of the policies and ideas put forward will either be ineffective in addressing the crisis, undeliverable or will produce negative consequences.

First there is the focus on delivering units of housing. This is reducing the very human requirement of needing a place to reside down to the basics of simply a place of shelter, a roof over their head. This ignores the social impacts of poor quality housing and overcrowding.

Space standards are allowed to be reduced to squeeze in more units, and place-shaping, infrastructure and community-building are all inconveniences subsumed to the demand for greater housing numbers. The result will be social malaise, poor health both mental and physical, and a reduction in the attractiveness of our towns and cities.

Design appears to have been relegated to an afterthought, only seen as a function to be able to deliver more houses in ever smaller spaces.

People do not want units or boxes, they want quality homes with local schools, accessible transport and access to green and open spaces.

The second failure of the focus on units is that development is encouraged that does not meet the underlying need.

Why are we filling all available space in our towns and cities with accommodation that the vast majority cannot afford?

Developers will require a minimum 65% luxury apartments to subsidise the 35% affordable element. So we are getting yet more units of unaffordable housing that no one wants or needs squeezed in just to deliver a few affordable units that are desperately in demand.

This failure in previous housing delivery policy is now expected to be addressed by removing all sense of character and place in the drive to now provide housing units. Top-down targets imposed on local areas allow for no sensitivity to heritage, character and place, and may end up largely undeliverable as sites are already at a premium.

As ever the Planning System is being wrongly blamed for the crisis, and then held accountable for delivery that is outside of its influence.

The response to policy papers by tweaking the NPPF will not resolve the underlying causes of the housing crisis but will instead erode the quality and offer of our towns and cities making the UK a less attractive place to live, and may result in social tensions and disharmony similar to the previous impacts resulting in ghettos and sink estates that previous flawed attempts to address housing issues created.

We have responded to the questions put, but suggest that the thinking around addressing the housing crisis needs broadening  beyond planning policy.

Yours sincerely

Councillor Jayne McCoy
Chair of the Housing, Economy & Business Committee, London Borough of Sutton

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June 9, 2018 Posted by | Information, Liberal Democrats, Opinion | , , , | Leave a comment

Thank you

Steve Cook, Muhammad Sadiq and myself are honoured to have been voted back in as representatives for Wallington South ward on Sutton Council.

It is always a pleasure talking to residents on the doorstep, hearing about local issues and your aspirations for the area. It was also lovely to receive good wishes and thanks for the work we have done on your behalf previously.

We are inspired by the faith residents have placed in us and we will continue to work hard to keep Wallington a lovely place to live or work, stand up for our area in council, and keep you informed of decisions that impact upon you or the area, as well as local events and activities that might be of interest.

Do contact us by email if you think we can be of help, or if you would like more information about the council or local issues. We are happy to visit you by appointment.

We will continue to hold our monthly surgery at the rear entrance of Wallington Sainsburys, third Saturday of every month (except August) 10 – 11.30am. Feel free to just pop by and say hello, no appointment necessary.

 

Thank you once again

Steve Cook, Jayne McCoy & Muhammad Sadiq

May 9, 2018 Posted by | Liberal Democrats | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wallington South Councillors’ Spring Update

Spring appears to be playing peek-a-boo with us, with one day the bulbs and seedlings starting to show, the next they are lost under a pile of snow. But the promise of warmer days and lighter nights is definitely there, so it is time for an update from your ward councillors.

Ward News

Street cleaning

Veolia have taken over responsibility for keeping the borough’s streets clean, and they are required to maintain them to a certain set standard. Whilst most of our streets are being maintained, there are a few areas that persistently fall well below standard and we have had to chase Veolia to do a proper clean. One of the key issues has been clearing up the debris left by leaf fall.

Please do let us know if your street is not being cleaned to a good standard as we will inform the council which has the power to levy fines if Veolia are not meeting the standards in the contract.

Bins

Most households are now receiving a regular collection, with just an occasional missed bin due to the weather or roadworks. However there are still a few persistent problem areas, usually flats. In the first instance please report a missed collection online, however if the bin is not collected after a couple of days then please let your ward councillor know. We can escalate the matter and ensure that the council is aware that Veolia are not performing and penalise them accordingly.

Veolia are no longer issuing new bins or recycling boxes in response to new requests. However if you put in a request prior to November 2017 let us know as they should still be honouring these requests. The same goes if you never received the correct receptacle in the first place.

Tree pruning

It is tree pruning season for Wallington South this spring, and the biggest problem our contractors face are vehicles ignoring the temporary No Parking signs so they cannot access the trees. Please note the date if notices go up in your road and try to park your vehicle elsewhere on that day.  However we realise that in many cases it is not residents but commuters or non-residents who are the worst offenders. However they are more likely to take notice if there are not lots of other cars parked despite the signs.

Wallington Music Festival

On to happier things: the Wallington Music Festival will be back again on Saturday 23rd June and the local team are already busy arranging for the best local talent to perform for your delight.

 

Beddington & Wallington Local Committee feedback

Road safety schemes

The Beddington & Wallington Local Committee deals with requests for road safety improvements and the committee and community representatives decide on which schemes should be prioritised for funding out of the (shrinking) TfL funding allocation.

The committee agreed that funding should be allocated to implement School Keep Clear markings outside Sherwood Hill School on Stanley Park Road and for improvements to the vehicle access here.

It was agreed for HGV restrictions in Clyde Road to be put forward for funding from the TfL allocation.

A further junction assessment will be undertaken of the Woodcote Road/Stafford Road (Sainsburys) junction to see if it can be improved without increasing delays to the wider highways network.

Design options to improve the Foresters Drive/Wordsworth Road/Sandy Lane South junction are being drafted.

Speed activation signs are to be installed to slow vehicles approaching the Sandy Lane South/ Hillside Gardens mini-roundabout following concerns raised with us by residents.

Other local projects

With funding cuts the council can no longer afford to automatically replace trees that have had to be felled due to disease or damage, but using local committee public realm funding we have been able to replace a number of felled trees across the area including two in Wallington town centre and six in Heathdene Road.

A damaged bench in Woodcote Road close to Woodcote Avenue will also be replaced and funding was agreed for the lovely hanging basket displays around the Local Committee area.

Slightly further afield but within the local area a new heritage post was purchased for Wallington Green to support hanging baskets there.

The committee had also agreed for two pieces of play equipment for disabled children to be installed at Roundshaw Park.

Mellows Park will have its tennis courts relined and the Multi-use Games area pressure-washed and relined.

A zebra crossing will be installed in front of Highview Primary School.

All of the projects and safety schemes were suggested by local residents either directly or through their ward councillor. So if you have any ideas for projects to spend the funds allocated to the Local Committees do get in touch with us. There are also Neighbourhood Grant schemes available for community events which have been used to help support the Wallington Music Festival and Christmas Lights Switch on as well as for community street parties.

Bandon Hill Cemetery WW1 war graves project

Most of our war dead were buried in graves on the continent but did you know that there are 55 war graves in Bandon Hill Cemetery? With funding from the Heritage Lottery fund the Council, with support from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, is running an initiative to help care for these war graves and to research the lives of those buried there. For more information about the project and to get involved email steve.penneck@sutton.gov.uk.

Working with the Local Police Team

Steve, Muhammad and Jayne attend the Safer Neighbourhood Team Ward Panel quarterly meetings along with residents to discuss local policing matters. We were pleased to learn that Wallington South is one of the safest wards in the borough, and therefore in London. However nowhere is crime-free and the most frequent incidences are burglaries, motor vehicle crime and moped enabled crime. The advice to prevent the first two is simple: ensure your car and house are locked and don’t leave valuables on display. The local team advised however that the biggest criminal activity they face across the board is online scamming.

You can find out more about the local team’s work on their website or like their facebook page

More worrying was learning about the cuts to London’s Police funding by the Treasury, meaning that there are proposals to merge boroughs in order to make savings. For us that would mean Sutton merging with Bromley and Croydon under one Area Commander. This is concerning as it is expected that most of the resources would go to Bromley and Croydon as they have higher crime rates, leaving Sutton exposed. The over-stretched police force would also have to make compromises in the way it deals with crime. We have a petition running against this merger.

Wallington High School for Girls

Wallington Girls circulates information about upcoming events at the school which may result in additional traffic in the area:

  • April 18th Parents’ Evening 4 -7pm
  • April 24th e-Safety Evening 6.30pm and Welcome to WHSG evening (for prospective 6F students – to be confirmed)
  • April 26th Parents Evening 4 – 7pm
  • May 24th GCSE Art exhibition in the hall 5pm

Planning News

The application to develop the Wallington Public Hall site was agreed unanimously at the Planning Committee on Wednesday 21st March.

There is an application in respect of Wallington Square to allow construction work between the hours of 6pm and 11pm over a six week period to allow the installation of the canopy over the square. This is to prevent having to close the square during the day which would impact on businesses. Although the consultation deadline for this application is 2nd April, work has already started out of hours. It is therefore subject to an enforcement notice.

If you are disturbed by noise as a result of this out of hours working you should report it to the council’s Environmental Health team – call 020 8770 5000 – there will be a 24/7 duty officer who can take calls out of hours if necessary.

Borough News

The council elections will be held on 3rd May and we appear to be already into the silly season of misinformation, smears and in some cases, downright lies. Sadly some people think that this is the  way to do politics. We would disagree – if you can’t make your case based on the truth, then you have no case. We would rather give you the facts, even if some of them are uncomfortable, or you disagree with our decisions, at least we are being honest with you.

It is very easy to make allegations, but harder to defend, more especially now social media allows things to be reposted and shared repeatedly. It would be impossible to post the facts in response to every single time misinformation is posted or reposted on social media, not to mention time consuming, but that does risk the lies and misinformation becoming accepted as fact.

Your Lib Dem councillors would rather spend their time working for residents, which is what we were elected to do. So please take the claims you read with a pinch of salt, and if you do come across stories on social media or election leaflets that particularly concern you then please contact us to get the bigger picture and the facts.

Local events diary

Wallington Community Wellbeing Group

Come and Meet Us Event Friday 27th April 11am to 3pm. Get healthcare advice and try taster sessions for new activities like yoga, hand drumming, singing and Tai Chi. Lunch provided by Chef Arif. www.wallingtoncommunitywellbeing.org. This group also collates a calendar of local activities and groups for the over 50s.

Carshalton & Wallington Morning Townswomen’s Guild

A new guild is opening and looking for new members. The grand opening will be on Wednesday 11th April 10am at The Scout Hall, 72B Woodcote Road, Wallington, SM6 0LH. For info call Mary 0208 395 1161

Get Active and make new friends

Hillside Gardens Tennis Club is offering free cardio tennis sessions throughout March. For more info contact tenniswallington@gmail.com

Walk for health meets every Tuesday at 10.30am outside Wallington Girls School for a 30 minute walk, with options to extend the walk. Call 0208 647 3000/07770 533000 email: walks@wallington-community-group.org

Wandle Valley Regional Park also organises walks every Monday at 10am in front of the Pavilion Café in Beddington Park and Fridays at 10am in front of St Mary’s Church Beddington. Contact Anna on anna.desogus@wandlevalleypark.co.uk tel. 07809458494

Beddington Park Gardening Club

Every 2nd Tuesday of the Month, 10.30am. Contact sarah.price@sutton.gov.uk or call 020 8770 6060

Councillors Ward Surgery

We hold a drop in surgery every third Saturday of the month (except August) 10 – 11.30am in the Wallington Sainsburys at the Wallington Square end. No appointment necessary, or feel free to just drop by and say hello. Our next surgery is Saturday 21st April.

Other News

Jayne is walking 25 miles to fundraise for UK Sepsis Trust

Jayne is doing the 25 mile Easter Walk on 31st March together with her husband and youngest son to raise funds for UK Sepsis Trust. Any donations for this worthy cause would be very much appreciated: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/colin-mccoy1

 

That is it from us. Don’t be fooled by the glimpses of sunshine yet – remember the saying Ne’er cast a clout ‘til May is out so keep a coat handy so you don’t get caught out by a chill wind or April shower.

Have a lovely Easter

Jayne McCoy, Steve Cook & Muhammad Sadiq

Liberal Democrat Councillors for Wallington South

London Borough of Sutton

March 30, 2018 Posted by | Information, Liberal Democrats | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Charles Cryer and that Tory Amendment to the Council Budget

The Conservative opposition led by Cllr Tim Crowley circulated an eleventh hour amendment to the Council’s budget at the last meeting of this term. It was only circulated after the meeting had already begun.

Essentially it called for a freeze on councillors’ allowances to be spent on subsidising the Charles Cryer Theatre. It was their only amendment to the budget.

Because of a historic decision to take the matter of setting and agreeing our own council allowances out of councillors hands, this was a proposal that the Tories knew we could not honour.

The decision had been taken and had cross-party agreement many years ago to take the politics out of councillors allowances and pin them to the national public sector pay settlements. So if public sector workers get a pay freeze, so do we. If they are given a pay rise, ours rise by the same amount. This takes the issue of voting on giving ourselves pay rises out of the equation and keeps this sort of politics out of the argument. However any change does have to be included as part of the annual budget and therefore agreed as part of that. Para 11.7 and 11.8 in the budget papers record this.

Council inviting bids to keep the Cryer in community use

The council & Lib Dem councillors are still working to ensure use of the Charles Cryer for community benefit and there has been significant interest with some really exciting ideas. It was agreed some time ago that in light of the financial pressures across all council budgets we could no longer afford to subsidise the theatres, especially considering that attendances were so low. We can’t justify subsidising such low visitor numbers to the tune of £500,000 a year when we are struggling to find funds to support our children with special needs, or adults needing meals on wheels and carers.

You have also got to ask the question, of all the things the Tories could have suggested a reduction goes to fund, why the Charles Cryer? They didn’t suggest putting the money towards children with special needs, helping the elderly or the homeless. They chose the Cryer because it is a popular issue of concern with residents, who may not realise the extent of the financial pressures councils across the country are under.

A political stunt

The proposal of reducing allowances to pay for the Cryer was therefore just a political stunt by the Tories so they can then put up posts about it on Facebook and in their literature.  The Tories know this, which is why they proposed this amendment, knowing we couldn’t honour it.

What the Conservatives did do in the debate was defend their government and claim that reductions in local services are due to council mismanagement rather than their government’s cuts to funding. That mismanagement is just their political narrative too, and without grounds, as in local government circles Sutton is held up as a bastion of sound financial management and innovative solutions. It’s current external Audit Statement on Value for Money states:
The Council have historically managed their finances well and have consistently achieved planned savings targets.

The Carshalton Central councillors have provided more information about the Charles Cryer and other heritage buildings in Carshalton on their website.

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Committee Meeting, Information, Liberal Democrats, Opinion | , , | 1 Comment

Supporting business in Sutton

What is Sutton Council delivering for you?

As a continuation of a series of posts setting out current activities in the areas covered by my committee portfolio – the Housing, Economy & Business Committee I have previously posted about Housing, and Employment and Skills. This post focuses on business.

 

SUPPORTING BUSINESS IN SUTTON

Sutton Lib Dems are ambitious for Sutton, and we want to see growth in Sutton, good growth that benefits the community and existing businesses.

 

Attracting new business and investment

To achieve those ambitions Sutton’s Lib Dem Council has taken a proactive role to stimulate economic development in the borough. We have deliberately sought to attract new business and investment, and to support and encourage our existing businesses to grow and flourish.

We have put money in, we have put work in, and we have vastly changed the way we work to make things happen.

 

 

Making the borough a great place for business

Making our district centres  more attractive for shoppers and easier to access.

We have improved Wallington, Hackbridge, and Worcester Park and we are currently working on a major programme in Beddington. Sutton Town Centre has its own Masterplan.

 

We have encouraged Business Improvement Districts and now have three established BIDs: Successful Sutton, Kimpton Park and our second Industrial BiD in Beddington. Successful Sutton and Kimpton Park have both been successfully renewed. We expect a new BID in Worcester Park to be voted on later this year.

 

We have lobbied hard for improved transport links that are an essential for business.

We have succeeded in getting the Sutton Tram extension included in the London Mayor’s plan, successfully lobbied for retention of the Thameslink loop line, and we expect to benefit locally from the Mayor’s plans to increase the frequency of trains on our networks. We succeeded in securing significant TfL funding for improvements to the road network in our Beddington industrial area.

 

 

Supporting small businesses

We have over 6,000 small businesses in Sutton, representing a significant proportion of the business community.

We have worked specifically to provide the right conditions for small businesses to start up, thrive and grow, and we arrange key advice and new opportunities to grow small businesses into larger ones. We encourage start ups with schemes such as our local business rate relief scheme for business keen to expand into Sutton town centre, and our Award-winning Pop Up Sutton project.

 

We also worked to ensure that small businesses can compete equally with larger firms to win council contracts. Our Procurement Strategy was redesigned to create a more level playing field, and now 80% of our contracts are awarded to SMEs, amounting to 50% of the total value of our awarded contracts. We also require our larger contractors to use local suppliers and sub-contractors, to make sure that small businesses can still benefit when they win a tender.

 

 

Skills training to improve the local workforce offer

Very importantly we have been keen to ensure that it is our businesses and residents that reap the benefits of this business expansion and investment by ensuring that our residents have the necessary skills to take up the enhanced employment offer this presents. This has been done through our Skills Match programme, with a special focus on Sutton for Science to ensure local people benefit from the new job opportunities offered by the London Cancer Hub development.

 

Achieving success

Our ambitious approach has already proved fruitful. We have attracted new business, new development, new interest and new investment into Sutton.

New investment to the tune of £330 million pounds. 939 new businesses and 33 new shops opening in just the first few years, resulting in a 137% increase in net growth.

 

New businesses coming to Sutton like Metro Bank, Patisserie Valerie, Shinner and Sudtone, The Slug and Luttuce, Sainsburys, Lidl, El Mexicana, Foxtons, GoGym, and with H&M now confirmed as taking over the old BHS site.

 

New investment like Subsea 7’s expansion into new headquarters, Sutton Point‘s hotel, shops and housing currently in development, new housing from big developers like L&Q, Barratt’s & Redrow, the redevelopment of Times Square shopping centre and new ownership of the St Nicholas Centre, the refurbishment of the Empire Cinema, the Maggie Centre development by the Royal Marsden and the new Diagnostics Centre being built by the ICR.

We have also seen an increase in ambition and optimism for the borough amongst our businesses, and we have been making our mark on the national stage too. Our London Cancer Hub Opportunity is being marketed around the world.

 

March 12, 2018 Posted by | Information, Liberal Democrats | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chair’s update on the work of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee

HEB Meeting held on Tuesday 13th February

Key items of business:

  • Local Plan adoption – agreed unanimously. The Plan was fully approved at Full Council
  • Local Development Scheme – programme of ongoing strategic planning work agreed
  • Locally Listed Buildings of Sutton document- excellent catalogue of listed buildings in the borough which we hope to publicise more widely.
  • Brownfield site register – new requirement for a list of sites available for development – taken from Local Plan
  • Economy Watchlatest economic statistics for the borough
  • Discretionary Rate Relief – Pub Scheme extended for another year

 

 Other Business since last meeting

Tram extension to Sutton

Myself, Cllr Whitehead and Cllr Dombey, along with senior officers and the Merton Council Leader met with the London Deputy Mayor for Transport and TfL to discuss progress on delivering the tram extension. TfL were extremely positive about the plans and appeared dedicated to making it happen. Some new options have been proposed to bridge the funding gap with external sources. This was followed up with a joint presentation by Merton & Sutton to the Mayor’s Good Growth Board on 28th February.

 

London Plan

The Mayor’s London Plan is currently out for consultation until 2nd March. It contains new worrying housing targets that are double those in our Local Plan and the Mayor expects these to be delivered on small sites i.e. backgarden land, house conversions and flats in the middle of suburbia. This flies against our Local Plan where we seek to preserve the historic and suburban character of our borough and direct housing to town and district centres, with regeneration providing both additional housing and improved environments for existing residents.

Positive aspects of the Mayor’s Plan are the highlighting of Sutton as an Opportunity Area in light of the London Cancer Hub potential, and inclusion of the Tram extension to Sutton.

More here.

The council has submitted a response to the consultation.

 

Employment and Skills Board Meeting on 5th March 

Agenda included:

  • A talk on the work of the Early Help Board
  • A presentation by Reed in Partnership, the organisation procured by the South London Partnership to deliver the Work and Health Programme (now Better Working Futures)
  • An update on the Sutton for Science strategy and Big Bang Festival of Science activities
  • Regular Partners Updates 

 

SHP

I have continued attending regular Fire Safety Meetings of SHP and the Council following the Grenfell Fire.

HEB Members Cllr Melican and Cllr Emmerson attend SHP board meetings and associated events as the council’s representatives on the SHP Board.

Steve Tucker, previously Interim CE of SHP has now been confirmed to the permanent post of Managing Director of SHP – a posting that has met with widespread approval by tenants, leaseholders, staff and the council as great improvements in approach and service have been noted since Steve took over from the previous CE.

 

Beddington Farmlands

A petition has been raised by the Wandle Forum for enforcement of the planning conditions requiring the restoration of the landfill site at Beddington Farmlands into a country park and wildlife reserve. Cllr Piracha and myself met with Planning and Biodiversity Officers for an update on the situation. It was confirmed that progress has been ongoing with restoring the site and there has been oversight by Planning Enforcement, but there has been no breach and therefore no fault on the council’s part, or Viridors. The only delay to the restoration was due to the Judicial Review brought by the Green Party PPC which meant all work has to be stopped until the JR was concluded.

Officers plan to meet with representatives of the Wandle Forum to explain the situation and talk about the next steps for the restoration.

 

Sutton Living Ltd

A planning application for the Wallington public hall site has been submitted.

Rather than selling the site to a private developer the council is using its new Housing Development Company, Sutton Living Ltd, to build new homes for local people on the site. The plans propose using the hall site and half of the associated car park to deliver 31 flats of mixed sizes in two blocks of three and four storeys with a commercial retail unit fronting Stafford Road.

The development will provide the maximum required number of affordable units, and under the terms of the council’s company all the residential units are required to be marketed to Sutton residents first, with special discretion for care-givers moving in to look after a Sutton resident, or ex-forces personnel. The layout also preserves the access to garages of properties in Onslow Gardens.

Other projects in train are listed in the papers for the last Sutton Shareholdings Board on 6th December.

 

Council housing new build

I took the council leader to view progress with the council house new build at Fellowes Road and Ludlow Lodge. Kind & Co, the build contractors are ahead of schedule so we hope to see people moving in this year.

 

 

SDEN 

I attended a Golden Shovel event with Cllr Whitehead and partners Viridor, Barratts and Eneteq to celebrating getting the first pipes in the ground for the decentralised energy network. We were also able to view the properties being developed by Barratts in Hackbridge on the old Felnex site.

The company is currently billing new residents who have moved into the New Mill Quarter properties. A temporary energy centre is on site to provide energy until the pipes are connected which is expected to be July next year.

 

Economic Development

An investor conference was held on 1st March at the newly refurbished Empire Cinema. This is part of the work to attract quality developers and investors to Sutton to enable us to deliver the best quality environment we can. It also launched the Sutton for Science programme which aims to encourage Sutton residents and young people to take up training opportunities so that they can take advantage of the new employment offer arising from the development of the London Cancer Hub. It is a programme that local schools have been keen to participate in.

Cllr Dombey and I accompanied Vince Cable and Tom Brake on a visit to the ICR for Vince to learn more about the Cancer Hub project, which later appeared on BBC London News.

Other

I attended a Sutton Chamber Business Networking event that featured Paul Scully MP invited to talk about ‘The Future of Sutton’.

I attended another LGA Grenfell Task & Finish Group overseeing the work of the LGA on the response to Grenfell, this time in conjunction with the FAMC and the new London Deputy Mayor for Fire Services.

I joined Cllr Gordon and Cllr Wales on the Sutton Shareholdings Board, a sub-committee of Strategy & Resources which has oversight of the council’s trading companies on 22nd February.

 

March 6, 2018 Posted by | Committee Meeting, Information, Liberal Democrats | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sutton’s council housing new build progressing well

Fellowes Road site

Yesterday I took the Leader of the council, Ruth Dombey, to see the progress we are making with our new build council homes.

We are delivering 93 new affordable homes across three sites: Fellowes Road, Carshalton; Richmond Green, Beddington and at the old Ludlow Lodge site on Alcester Road in Wallington.

At the first site, Fellowes Road, we are delivering 15 new family houses, at Ludlow Lodge there will be 57 flats, and the remaining 21 will be family houses at Richmond Green.

All the homes are being built to a high standard both in specification and design, and some are being specially adapted for families with disabilities.

The council has contracted a smaller construction firm, Kind & Co, to build the new homes, who are proving a joy to work with with their professionalism, quality planning and accessibility.

With ward councillor Joyce Melican at the Ludlow Lodge site

The next celebration will be seeing families on our housing waiting list moving into their new homes.

For more information see www.sutton.gov.uk/newcouncilhousing

February 9, 2018 Posted by | Information, Liberal Democrats | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Pipes in the ground to deliver Sutton’s decentralised energy network

Achieving a key milestone

Sutton’s groundbreaking decentralised energy network project (SDEN) has achieved a key milestone with the highly insulated pipes now being laid into the ground.

Reaching the delivery phase of this unique scheme to deliver low-carbon heating and hot water to local homes and businesses was marked with a Golden Shovel event attended by representatives of the key partners Viridor, Barratts and Eneteq, as well as the Govt. Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the council.

A unique project for the UK

This decentralised energy network is unique in two ways:

Unlike most decentralised energy networks it does not use fossil fuels powering high-efficiency energy plants, but instead captures low carbon heat from an independent source – the Viridor ERF. That heat is then delivered through pipes owned by the council’s energy company SDEN to an independant development.

This investment by Sutton Council into delivering the decentralised energy network infrastructure, without owning either the heat source or the development receiving the energy, is the first of its kind in the UK. It represents a bold commitment by the council to meeting its target to be a zero-carbon borough by 2025, as it reduces our reliance on fossil fuels, and maximises energy-use efficiency with its capturing of heat energy that would otherwise be wasted.

Sutton powering ahead

As a result of this far-sightedness, Sutton has powered ahead of other areas with similar ambitions and actually reached the delivery stage of its decentralised energy network.

Seeing the specially made pipes it was noted as feeling more like being in Scandinavia than the UK, where national investment in infrastructure is less uncommon.

London’s first sustainable borough

SDEN’s renewable energy supply to the Barratt’s development on the old Felnex site in Hackbridge, together with the proximity to the new Viridor plant turning residents’ waste into electricity, and the well established and internationally recognised BedZed development, puts Sutton on the map and truly marks out Hackbridge as London’s foremost Sustainable Suburb.

It has given me immense pride to have been able to deliver the vision for a decentralised energy network in Sutton that originally came from my colleague Cllr Colin Hall, who sadly died suddenly before he could see the project implemented. As a strong environmentalist who was behind much of what has made Sutton famous for its green credentials, I think Colin would be have been pleased with his legacy.

February 8, 2018 Posted by | Information, Liberal Democrats | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Wallington South Councillors’ Autumn Update

When Autumn leaves start to fall… we start to worry about blocked drains and slippery pavements!

But we hope that you all still have the chance to enjoy this mild autumn weather, and maybe visit our beautiful (and award-winning) local parks to appreciate the fall colours and busy wildlife.

It also means that it is time for an update on the work of your ward councillors and news of activities and events in and around Wallington.

Ward News

Goodbye to the Lavender Lights

Sadly the lavender lights along Woodcote Road have come to the end of their life and are beyond repair. The Beddington & Wallington Local Committee, made up of the local ward councillors and community representatives, reviewed the costs of replacing them, but because they are not a standard design they would cost almost double that of traditional festive lights – £73,000 compared with £39,000 over a five year supply contract.

The committee, therefore, decided to replace them with traditional festive lighting which will be put up and taken down each Christmastime along with the Stafford Road lights.

But we are still having a Wallington Switch-on event!

Ric Adams our stalwart community events man wants this year’s event to be bigger and better than ever, so we hope to have more stalls, more food and a return of Santa’s Grotto.

The Christmas festivities will take place on Friday 24th November starting at 5pm with festive live music, local choirs and stalls including children’s activities, rounding off with the lights being switched on at 7pm.

Do come along and join the Wallington community in welcoming in the festive season.

High School Open Days

The local secondary schools Open Days always cause traffic congestion and complaints about inconsiderate parking.

Wallington Girls school alerted local residents to the Open Evening and had made special arrangements with a local business to provide extra parking on the day, and we had arranged additional Parking Enforcement Officers to patrol the area. However, we later discovered that other local schools, Wilsons and Wallington Boys, had also held their Open Evenings on the same day. As a result, there was traffic congestion across the area.

In response, we have asked the Council to encourage the schools to stagger their Open Days to avoid this widespread chaos and to enable the council to use its limited number of Parking Enforcement staff to help deter inconsiderate parking by attendees at these events.

Your help needed to Keep Wallington Tidy

Veolia have taken over the street cleaning contract. Previously residential roads were swept fortnightly, no matter how dirty they got in between times. The new contract requires all streets to be maintained to a set standard, with cleaning to take place as often as is necessary to meet that standard. The standards are set out on the council website here.

There will be a period of learning as Veolia get to know which streets are more prone to littering. We need your help to let Veolia know when our streets fall below the standard. Simply go online and report a street in need of cleaning here.

District centres will continue to be cleaned daily.

Of course, the best way to keep Wallington tidy is for people not to drop litter in the first place!

It will also help to keep Wallington looking spruce if you report overflowing litter or dog bins here. You can also use the Report it function to report blocked drains, especially in areas with excessive leaf fall.

Local Police Safer Neighbourhoods Team call for Community Speedwatch volunteers

Wallington South SNT are currently looking at organising a Volunteer Community Speedwatch for the area. They need a few members of the community who are Coordinators and all others will be Volunteers.

Coordinators will be organising a time and date with a few of the other Volunteers in their area and collect a speed gun from Sutton Police Station and will then go to a location that has been risk assessed by the police.

The group will then spend time watching the cars with the speed camera and noting down the speeding vehicles/their speed/times/vehicle make/model/registration number etc.

The Coordinator will then feedback a list of the offending vehicles to the police and a warning letters system can be used for the drivers of the vehicles which are doing over a certain percentage of the speed limit.

There will be training given by the Police for use of the camera and the process etc.

If this is anything that you feel you might be interested in please email your: Name, Address, a Contact Number and whether you would be interested in being a Coordinator or not to: wallington.snt@met.police.uk

Planning News

Wallington Public Hall site development

The Council is drafting plans for developing the Public Hall site comprising residential units in two blocks with a commercial frontage onto Stafford Road. We know that residents were very fond of the hall and its history, and you can read about the reasons it has had to be closed on Jayne’s blog. Your ward councillors have asked that the new development reflects the Art Deco style of the original hall and have been pleased to see these elements incorporated in the plans. We will keep you updated when plans are formally submitted.

Old BP Garage site Stafford Road

Having successfully seen off the McDonalds Drive-through proposal, construction is now underway of a three and four storey block of flats on this site with ground floor retails at the front.

Garages next to Julian House, Ross Road

The application to build flats in place of Julian House garages was refused by the council’s Planning Committee, however, the developers, A2Dominion have now exercised their right to appeal that decision and it will be reviewed by the independent Planning Service based in Bristol.

Wallington Square

Will it ever be complete? Well it is getting there and current work excavating the land in the middle of the square is for the supports for the new transparent canopy intended to make the square rainproof. It will incorporate lighting. Works are expected to continue here beyond Christmas.

Construction site Alcester Road next to Trinity Church

This is the old Ludlow Lodge site, and although it is in Wallington North not Wallington South, we are rather proud that it is where the council is building its first new council houses for over thirty years.

Local events diary

Thursday 26th October 1pm African and Caribbean Heritage Association AGM

Community Hall, 1st Floor Phoenix Centre, Mollison Drive, Wallington attended by the Sutton Mayor

Friday 27th October 7pm Cancer Research UK Charity Quiz Night

The Woodcote Flying Club are hosting a Charity Quiz Night on behalf of our local Cancer Research UK charity shop. Tickets are £7 per person and all funds raised go to this excellent charity. Call into the Cancer Research UK shop in Wallington town centre to book your place, or get them from the Woodcote Flying Club.

Saturday 11th November 9.30am Poppy Planting Ceremony

The annual Poppy Planting ceremony takes place on the Saturday before Remembrance Sunday in front of the Wallington Old Town Hall. Arranged by the local branch of the Royal British Legion.

Sunday 12th November Remembrance Day

Acts of Remembrance at local war memorials are led by churches across the borough with the Civic Act of Remembrance this year taking place at the Manor Park War Memorial 10.45am in Sutton followed by a service in St Nicholas Church.

Our nearest local service will be in Holy Trinity Church, Maldon Road, Wallington at 10.30am followed by a march to Wallington Green War Memorial for wreath laying at 11.45am.

Monday 20th November 7.30pm Beddington Park Lecture Series

Beddington Park Lecture Series presents a free talk on The Tudors and Jacobeans in Beddington Park by John Phillips at St Mary’s Church Centre, Church Road Beddington.  To book call 020 8770 6060 or email: sarah.price@sutton.gov.uk.

Friday 24th November Wallington Festive Lights Switch on Celebration

Starting at 5pm in Wallington Town Centre.

Saturday 25th November 10am – 3pm Wallington Stem Cell Donor Registration event

You may have read about Terry Dawkins. Terry was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia and has been told his only chance of survival is to find a matching stem cell donor.

Moved by Terry’s story, some local residents are organising a registration event in Wallington, alongside DKMS, who have registered more than 300,000 people as potential blood stem cell donors in the UK alone.

The event will take place on Saturday 25th November, 10am to 3pm in the meeting room on the first floor of Wallington library and will involve completing a registration form and allowing your mouth to be swabbed. The whole thing taking no more than 15 minutes. To find out if you are eligible as a donor, please visit https://www.dkms.org.uk/en/match4terry.

Terry is currently being treated at St. George’s Hospital, in Tooting.

That is it from us. Don’t forget the clocks fall back on Sunday 29th October this year!

Best wishes,

 

 

Jayne McCoy, Steve Cook & Muhammad Sadiq
Liberal Democrat Councillors for Wallington South

October 25, 2017 Posted by | Information, Liberal Democrats | , , , , , , | 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

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