WELCOME TO OUR SITE

Richard and Trish attended the "topping out" ceremony at the Subsea7 building in Brighton Road on 4 September

Richard and Trish attended the “topping out” ceremony at the Subsea7 building in Brighton Road

Contact Richard at  richard.clifton@sutton.gov.uk and Trish at trish.fivey@sutton.gov.uK

Richard’s Twitter feed, as Mayor, is at  @mayor_sutton

R and T at station small

Welcome to our site. This site aims to tell you the latest news about Sutton South Ward and our work as your local Councillors.

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Sutton South Hello!
Find out about this pioneering local initiative to combat loneliness in Sutton

Public Art in Sutton South
Some of Sutton South Ward’s best public artwork

Richard’s Blog
Richard reports back on his recent activities

Sutton police
Contact details and information on our local police force

Who Are We?
Trish and Richard introduce themselves

Richard leads the throng in song at the Sutton South Hello party for the Queen, 15 June

Richard leads the throng in song at the Sutton South Hello party for the Queen, 15 June

On 3 July Richard, the Mayor of Sutton, opened the Belmont Festival in the company of Miss Surrey

On 3 July Richard, the Mayor of Sutton, opened the Belmont Festival in the company of Miss Surrey

The Mayor and Mayoress turned on the lights in St Nics on 17 November, with the Gruffalo

The Mayor and Mayoress turned on the lights in St Nics on 17 November, with the Gruffalo

A nice picture of Richard's grandson Ciaran

A nice picture of Richard’s grandson Ciaran

FREE CHRISTMAS PARKING – AND PREPARING FOR WINTER

PREPARE FOR THE SNOW

PREPARE FOR THE SNOW

Sutton Council is providing free parking for shoppers at a number of locations in the run up to Christmas.

Gibson Road multi-storey, Sutton, SM1 2RF

This car park will have free parking for shoppers during the first three weekends in December, so will be free on December 10&11 and 17&18.

The car park is open from 6am – 11.30pm on Saturdays, 9.30am  – 6pm Sundays.

Visitors to the car park will need to take a ticket upon entry as usual, however the exit barriers will be raised and no payment is necessary.

FREE GRIT – Sutton Council’s offer to residents and businesses in Sutton Borough the opportunity to collect 10kg of free grit per household/business to use on their drives, paths and nearby pavements, over the weekend of 26 and 27 December, was again a great success.

I hope you’ll join us in checking in with vulnerable neighbours to see if they need help in cold weather.

POWER CUTS – The cold weather is upon on us. Do you or someone you know need extra support during a power cut?

Although power cuts don’t happen very often when they do they can be worrying.  UK Power Networks is the electricity network for London and it provides a ‘Priority Services Register’ for people who might need extra help in a power cut.  Older people, families with very young children, and people with specific medical conditions are among the many people who are eligible to register for free support.  You can find more details and register by visiting ukpowernetworks.co.uk/prioritysupport or calling 0800 169 9970.

SUBSEA7 BUILDING FINALLY COMPLETED – ALMOST

The design for the Subsea7 office in Brighton Road

The design for the Subsea7 office in Brighton Road

On 24 November we attended the final meeting of the liaison group with Subsea7 and local residents that has monitored the progress of the project to build the new headquarters of Subsea7, here in Sutton.
Building of the new Subsea7 building in Brighton Road just south of the station will be completed on 5 December. Subsea7 will move their staff into the building in the first months of 2017. By this time next year there will be 750 people working in the building.
The Sutherland House building – now re-named Northumberland House – almost opposite, is being converted to 128 flats, with parking spaces, that are being offered for rent. Shops at the bottom of Northumberland House will include a Sainsburys.
Occupation of these two buildings, increasing footfall in the area and business for local shops, restaurants and hotels, will have a positive effect on the local economy. And the Subsea7 project will bring many hundreds of jobs to our area that would otherwise have been in Epsom or Leatherhead.
The company will arrange visits for local residents to see inside the building when it is fully occupied next year. And discussions continue on a new pedestrian crossing outside the building, crossing Brighton Road, given the massively increased footfall from those who work in the building arriving at Sutton station and walking down Brighton Road.
On 4 September last year the Subsea7 building was “topped out.”
subsea on the roof 1
“Topping out” is a ceremony traditionally held when the building has been built to its full height. Richard and Trish were there on the roof of the building when the final piece of concrete was put in place on 4 September.
The site won the Ivor Goodsite Hoarding Competition 2015!  The site was one of 8 winners out of 48 entries nationally to receive the award which showcased the great artwork used on the hoarding, produced by local schools; Devonshire Primary and Overton Grange Secondary.  The schools produced widely praised artwork on the themes of ‘Under the Sea’ and ‘Subsea 7’.
The picture below is of Trish and Richard with the Devonshire Avenue primary school artwork displayed at the site.
Consultation has concluded with residents on the parking arrangements in the side road separating the site from Raeburn House and Girtin House, now named Berridge Close. The road is now included in the controlled parking zone with parking bays in the road reserved for residents with parking permits.

TWO OF US SMALL

SUTHERLAND HOUSE – NOW NORTHUMBERLAND HOUSE: HOW TO RENT A FLAT

sutherland house

The block in the Brighton Road just south of Sutton station that we all know as Sutherland House has a new name – Northumberland House. Just why the owners want to change the name is not clear but perhaps – after it being empty for five years – they want to signal a new beginning for this building.

The apartments in the block, a few hundred yards south of Sutton station and in our Ward, will be available to rent. The Acorn Group, who are in charge of renting out the flats, will shortly hold an event for viewings. If anyone is interested in renting they can contact Kimberley Ellen (kimberley.ellen@acorn.ltd.uk or ring her 020 8315 6917). She will make sure that any interested parties are registered and then contacted about viewings.

Residents often ask us what is happening to Sutherland (now Northumberland) House in the Brighton Road. We had confirmation last year from the owners, Criterion Capital, of their plans to renovate the building. The renovation is converting the building to 128 luxury flats with car parking spaces, one per flat. In December 2015 we met with Council officers and the developer to discuss renovation of the front, to fit in with the Gateway scheme further north. We have sought agreement that the owners fund the renovation of the area in front of the building, to bring it up to the same standard as the area renovated during the “Gateway” project just to the north.  The shops at the bottom will include the supermarket (Sainsburys), though we have hopes that the area just south of the station will include of a mix of good restaurants, shops and maybe a wine bar as the area will have so much  more footfall. We are pleased that the Rose cafe and Sofra are surviving.

The owners had previously indicated that the work would be finished by mid 2016, but this date has passed. We are a little surprised that they are to be offered for rent rather than sale, but given the location close to the station there will be no shortage of demand.
We have been critical of the developers as they used a route to bypass normal planning permission requirements, but at last the building will be occupied. The year 2017 will be a good one for the area with the occupation of the Subsea7 building and Sutherland House, bringing people into the area who will spend money in local shops and restaurants, which will give the whole area an uplift. The opening of the new Sainsbury’s at the bottom of Sutherland (Northumberland) House will be a bonus.

Sutton Council’s Licensing Committee met on 21 March 2016 and agreed the application by Sainsburys for a licence to sell alcohol in the store they plan to open at Sutherland (Northumberland) House. As the Tesco opposite already has a licence to sell alcohol, there was never much doubt that this application would be agreed.

The area has in the past suffered from a group of “all day drinkers” who walk the streets drinking alcohol from cans. However, one of Richard’s first acts when elected in 2010 was to get the “no drinking” zone extended from Sutton town centre into Sutton South Ward. This makes it unlawful to drink alcohol in public in the area if a police officer asks you to stop.

The Licensing Committee has imposed conditions in an effort to control such drinking, including that the store will not sell cans of beer or lager individually.

The frontage of the building will be renewed and improved and the vacant shops let out, including the small Sainsburys store.

Richard and Trish held a surgery at Sutherland House to advise residents

Richard and Trish held a surgery at Sutherland House to advise residents

TRISH LEADS THE FIGHT FOR A BETTER TRAIN SERVICE

R and T at station smallMany of our residents commute to London by train, and the combination of good schools, low crime, a green and leafy borough and proximity to local railway stations is what attracts many London commuters to Sutton South Ward.

For this reason we are concerned at the reports we get from many residents that the train service is not adequate. Both of us have, at times, been commuters into central London and we know the frustrations. In September Trish made an impassioned speech to Sutton Council on the problems residents have experienced, quoting the stories residents have shared with us of cancelled services and broken down trains. The Council called on the Government to review the franchise of Southern Railway and Govia, and implement stringent penalties for failure to deliver an adequate service.

Since Richard was elected he has fought successful campaigns to save the Thameslink service and to get the side entrance to Sutton station open. We are now campaigning to get Network Rail to increase the capacity of the station car park. We want to monitor the performance of the railway so please continue to contact us with your thoughts and experiences.

tunnel train

CELEBRATING THE CONTRIBUTION OF BLACK CULTURE TO SUTTON

Richard and Gloria at the Black History Month Closing Event

Richard and Gloria at the Black History Month Closing Event

On 29 October Richard, as Mayor of Sutton, delivered a strong message of support for the contribution those of African and Caribbean heritage have made to the borough. This is a concern Richard and Trish share – on 8 October Trish attended a service in St Paul’s Cathedral to express our detestation of the racist hate crimes that followed the Brexit vote.

Richard was making a speech closing Black History Month, which he had opened at an event at the start of October, and he repeated themes he had raised the previous day when addressing the Annual General Meeting of Sutton’s Afro-Caribbean Heritage Association.

While drawing attention to positive developments in the promotion of diversity and multiculturalism he said he had been shocked by the racist hate crimes that followed the Brexit vote, and hoped this was a phase we would quickly move on from.

The Mayor said:

“Each year October is Black History Month, focused on raising the awareness of African and Caribbean history and cultural heritage, and celebrating the positive contribution of this heritage to the political, economic and cultural life of Britain.

My own family has a great interest in black history, in diversity and multiculturalism. Our daughter is married to man whose family comes from Ghana, so we have a grandson who is of mixed race. I look forward to having long, deep and meaningful discussions with him about diversity and multiculturalism, and what he can draw from a heritage that is both British and African. But he is only one year old, so not yet.

First celebrated in the UK in 1987, Black History Month is marked annually as an important point of reference for the black community. I believe we have made progress in the UK over recent decades in tackling racist attitudes, increasing diversity, and improving equality, within Sutton and in Britain as a whole. I tell my daughter and my son-in-law that when I was growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in this country, her marriage, a white woman marrying a black African man, would have been unusual and provoked openly racist comment in the white community.

Today, where she lives in Brixton, it is quite usual, and when I take my grandson to play groups there, such as the one I took him to in Brockwell Park last Monday, I cannot help but notice what an enormous melting pot there is of children of many different colours and racial groups, and many variation of mixed race, playing happily together. It makes me optimistic about the prospects for further progress in building a diverse community, something that is re-enforced every week when I represent the community, as Mayor, at Citizenship ceremonies, where people of many different cultural backgrounds take British citizenship.

For that reason I have been shocked, we have all been shocked, by the racist attacks and hate crimes following the Brexit vote, and we must pray that this is a phase we will, as a community, quickly recover from.

Sutton’s Black History Group was established in 2010 and has promoted a wide range of free community-wide events. The Group has been strongly supported by Sutton Council which is why I, the Mayoress and the Deputy Mayor Councillor Patel are here today, to show that support.”

TAKING CRIME SERIOUSLY

With Chief Superintendent Stringer

With Chief Superintendent Stringer

Sutton South Ward has one of the lowest crime levels in London, but we cannot be complacent and need to take the simple precautions necessary to avoid making life easy for the criminal.

We are well served by our local police, and we meet them regularly to assess crime trends in the Ward. There are many blocks of flats in the Ward and recently there have been a small number of incidents reported to us of rough sleepers spending the night in stairwells.

The problem of homelessness has, of course, increased recently due to Government housing policies. We have been involved in discussions with housing managers and the police about precautions such as entryphone systems and sought to help local groups that are trying to deal with the problem of homelessness and rough sleeping. If you observe rough sleepers in stairwells it is best to contact the police on the non-emergency 101 number. They can also be directed to sources of advice such as the Salvation Army (02086429862), Shelter (02034686293) and the Sutton Civic offices (02087705800).

Sutton police station in Carshalton Road

Sutton police station in Carshalton Road

A MORNING OF CELEBRATION OF DANCE IN SUTTON TOWN CENTRE

The dancers wore traditional dress

The dancers wore traditional dress

On 17 September Sutton hosted a performance in the town centre from the famous dance group L’Aubade de Quercy, who come from Sutton’s twin town of Gagny near Paris.
The group danced for an hour in Trinity Square in the centre of Sutton, alongside the Pennyroyal Clog Dancers and the East Surrey Morris Men, making it a remarkable international festival of traditional dance. L’Aubade de Quercy specialise in traditional French folk dancing, performed in traditional costume. The group included ladies who demonstrated lace making, traditional in this part of France.
The lace makers

The lace makers

Prior to the performance Richard, as Mayor, welcomed the group to a reception in the Mayor’s Parlour, where the dancers from Gagny presented the borough with an emblem made in lace, and Richard presented them with a copy of the Sutton Coat of Arms.
Richard holding the lace emblem presented to the borough

Richard holding the lace emblem presented to the borough

WELCOMING RABBI SHMULI SAGAL

With Rabbi Shmuli Sagal

With Rabbi Shmuli Sagal

There are three places of worship in our Ward – Christchurch in Christchurch Park is a Victorian Church of England church while in Cedar Road there is the Friends Meeting House and the Sutton and District United Synagoge.

On 11 September Richard attended the induction service to induct Rabbi Shmuli Sagal at the Sutton and District United synagogue in Cedar Road. Rabbi Shmuli Sagal studied in Israel and the USA, as well as the UK, in completing his studies prior to his appointment. The service was attended by the Chief Rabbi, Ephraim Mirvis, both Sutton and Carshalton Members of Parliament, and the Leader of Sutton Council, Councillor Ruth Dombey. It coincided with the 70th anniversary of the founding of the synagogue and was celebrated by the dedication a set of renovated Torah Scrolls.

CRIME REMAINS LOW IN SUTTON SOUTH

Sutton police station in Carshalton Road

Sutton police station in Carshalton Road

 

At the local committee meeting on 8 September the police reported that crime in our area remains low.

In the quarter covered by June, July and August, for the most commonly reported crimes (burglary and theft from vehicles), there were 7 residential burglaries in our Ward, 3 thefts from motor vehicles. The police have obtained a “closure order” for a flat in Brighton Road where drugs were being used. This requires the occupants to leave the property.

There are 250 Neighbourhood Watch members in the Ward. The police consultative panel next meets at Christchurch hall in Christchurch Park on 4 October. This is a public meeting. See if you can come.

There was a “Speedwatch” event in Cedar Road and Christchurch Park during the summer, using a speed gun to catch and warn speeding motorists.

Richard at an earlier Speedwatch event in The Ridgway

Richard at an earlier Speedwatch event in The Ridgway

 

PROGRESS ON TRAFFIC AND PARKING SCHEMES IN THE WARD

 

The extended yellow lines at the bottom of Downside Road

The extended yellow lines at the bottom of Downside Road

There is further progress on the traffic and parking schemes under consideration for the Ward to report following the meeting of the South Sutton, Cheam and Belmont Local Committee held on 8 September 2016 and the discussion at the Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee on 15 September of a global strategy for parking. To ensure a consistent approach throughout the Borough, all local schemes will be drawn into a central strategy and progressed on the basis of an assessment of priorities.

An ambitious scheme for the introduction of a 20mph scheme across most of the area of Sutton South Ward west of the Sutton to Belmont railway line has now been included in the “Local Implementation Plan” prepared by Transport for London. This was the subject of proposals put to the local committee in 2015. However, it is on the “reserve list” which means that implementation in the near future is most unlikely.

A parking scheme for the newly-named Berridge Close is agreed, implementation to coincide with the opening of the adjacent Subsea7 building, as this will lead to more intensive use of the road by those working in the building and accessing the underground car park. Obstructive parking in Berridge Close could lead to problems when the building is occupied, so needs to be avoided. It is proposed that the road will be included in the controlled parking zone with four parking bays in the road, reserved for residents with parking permits. Completion of the building is unlikely before December.

Traffic and parking schemes were the subject of a session at the December 2015 meeting of the South Sutton, Cheam and Belmont Local Committee, when residents noted down parking and traffic problems. A list of the proposals raised by residents was reported back to the local committee meeting on 10 March.

In relation to our own area, the proposals fell into three main categories.

First, concerns about intensive and sometimes obstructive parking in Mayfield Road and roads nearby (The Ridgway, Chalgrove Road, Upland Road).

Second, concerns about visibility at the Farm Road / The Ridgway junction.

Third, a set of other concerns, mostly about speeding at various locations.

This listing will form the agenda for further work by the traffic department within a wider cross-Borough study, which is centrally managed by the Council. A number of minor, initial proposals were agreed on 10 March, including to restrict parking at the Prior Avenue / Banstead Road junction due to visibility issues.

The question of a parking control scheme in Mayfield Road and the surrounding area was the subject of a consultation exercise by local Councillors last year which showed support in Mayfield Road but not adjacent roads. On 10 March the local committee agreed to devote some of its public realm funds to fund the traffic department to “kick start” a study of potential for parking controls in this area. A discussion between traffic engineers and Ward Councillors to consider this study was held on 8 June in Mayfield Road. The traffic engineers will design a parking control scheme for consultation. The precise parameters of this scheme and the consultation have yet to be finalised. Consultation with residents is due to begin in January 2017.

Some residents of Audley Place have commented to us that there is difficulty when driving out of Audley Place in seeing vehicles coming down Camborne Road, if cars are parked close to the corner. We raised this issue with traffic engineers and the Council is proposing a small extension of the yellow lines on each side at the exit from Audley Place. We think this will do the trick in terms of making it easier, and safer, to drive out into Camborne Road.

Residents of Tapestry Close have complained to us about obstructive parking in the Close. We raised this issue with traffic engineers and a scheme of yellow lining was proposed. Further consultation with residents, required by law, found some residents objecting and this scheme is currently on hold.

Several schemes consulted on some time ago have now been implemented, including yellow lining at the bottom of Downside Road to deal with obstructive parking (see photo above) and switching some “pay and display” bays to “dual use” so residents with parking permits can use them, in Grange Road and Langley Park Road.