WELCOME TO OUR SITE

Ed, Richard and Trish at our outdoor surgery in Brighton Road

WE ARE VERY BUSY RIGHT NOW WORKING FOR OUR CANDIDATE HINA BOKARI, WHO IS STANDING IN THE ELECTION ON 12 DECEMBER.

MAKE SURE YOU VOTE. CAN YOU HELP OUR CAMPAIGN? DO CONTACT US. 

STOP PRESS – The area covered by the GO SUTTON bus has been extended. Sign our petition to make the service permanent rather than a one year trial. Scroll down the page to find out how.

MUSICAL STOP PRESS: MUSIC IN SUTTON SOUTH WARD

Local band The Phoenix Concert Band played at Christchurch in Christchurch Park on 21 September. The next performance of the band in our Ward is on Saturday 14 December in the Friends’ Meeting House in Cedar Road, at the monthly “Second Saturday” tea.

Richard plays trumpet for this 20 piece concert wind and brass band.

Richard and Trish on the top of the Subsea7 building during its construction

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

Richard was first elected to Sutton Council in 2010, and was re-elected in 2014 and 2018. Trish was first elected in 2014 and was re-elected in 2018. Richard’s charitable appeal, as Mayor of Sutton for 2016-17, to support Sutton Shopmobility and the Alzheimer’s Society, raised over £26 000.

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.

CONTINUE DOWN THE PAGE TO OUR CURRENT NEWS STORIES

OR CLICK ON THE LINKS BELOW TO GO TO OUR SPECIFIC PAGES

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

Public Art and Historic Buildings in Sutton South
Some of Sutton South Ward’s best public artwork and the important historic buildings in our Ward

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 and Trish with fellow LibDems assembling at Sutton station to travel up to London for the People’s Vote march

Trish with the Leader of the Council, the Mayor, Tom Brake MP and others, at the Sutton Peace March

Trish won an award from Pimlico Plumbers – who are strong supporters of Remain – at the LibDem annual conference

Here is Trish on an electric bike

Trish and Richard met students from Glenthorne school at their Careers Fair

 

On Remembrance Sunday Richard had the honour of being asked to play the Last Post at the Manor Park war memorial

PREPARING FOR WINTER

Ready for the snow

Sutton Council has again, this year, offered residents and businesses in Sutton the opportunity to collect 10kg of free grit per household or business to use on footpaths, pavements or roads in front of their homes or business premises. Residents could also collect grit for elderly friends and neighbours, or residents and businesses who do not have cars. 

SUPPORTING OUR RESIDENTS FROM OTHER EU COUNTRIES

Almost one in eight of our residents in Sutton South Ward are European Union citizens – an unusually high proportion. Hard working EU citizens have been vital to our economy, particularly in the health service, social care, transport and catering. We value the huge contribution they make to our economy and to local life. At the moment, the outcome of Brexit is uncertain, but we urge our residents who are EU citizens to take action to ensure they and their family can stay in the UK by applying to the Government’s settled or pre-settled status scheme, details of which are on the website www.gov.uk. If you are a citizen of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland you can apply now. You can also apply through the Council at no cost by going to www.sutton.gov.uk and typing “nationality” in the search line.

We meet many hard-working EU citizens who have lived here for years and contribute massively to our economy. Whatever happens, the UK needs what they contribute to our society.

THE FINAL STAGE OF THE COUNCIL’S CONSULTATION ON PARKING

STOP PRESS – The article below was published in November just before the final consultation on parking commenced. It summarises the position reached following earlier rounds of consultation. The consultation is now closed and the results are being analysed.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED SO FAR

The Council decided that, as parking is often raised as a problem in the regular surveys of residents on what they like about living in Sutton, it would ask all Sutton residents if parking was a problem in their road and what they would like done. Earlier rounds of consultation in our Ward led to proposals that were not given sufficient support by residents for the Council to proceed with them.

Responses to consultation highlighted two problems. First, unless the controls cover the whole local area parking will be displaced into roads without controls. Second, “free to park at any time” bays would be a magnet for commuters and long stay parkers, squeezing out residents. The only alternative to schemes that have these disadvantages is a residents-only Permit Parking Area.

WHAT IS NOW PROPOSED

Consequently, the Council is now consulting on a proposed Permit Parking Area. As roads not within the scheme will suffer from displaced parking if the roads nearby are in the scheme, the area consulted on is wide and runs from Egmont Road to Willis Avenue and Prior Avenue – including Chalgrove Road, The Ridgway, Mayfield Road, Farm Road, Farm Close, Upland Road, Kayemoor Road, Downside Road, Willis Avenue and Prior Avenue.

Individual roads in this area could be left out of the scheme if there is strong resident opposition in their road, but they might then find they suffer significant parking pressure if adjacent roads are all in the scheme. This would be a problematic outcome for those roads so one we hope to avoid.

The way the Parking Permit Area works is that only residents can park their vehicles in the road for a “control period”, 9 to 11 AM each day on weekdays, thus removing commuters and long stay parkers. Residents who need to park a car on the road rather than in their drive during the “control period” can obtain a parking permit to display on any vehicle they want to park in the road during the “control period”, and obtain “visitors’ permits” for their visitors. As this scheme will involve some costs of administration and enforcement there would be a charge for a permit, to cover costs. The Council can only cover costs, not use parking charges to subsidise other services. Parking charges in Sutton are amongst the lowest of any London borough. Charges per vehicle for permits in the CPZ area are on a scale you can find on the Council website and start at £40. A similar charge in Croydon is £80, Merton and Kingston £90, Richmond £99. You only need a permit if you need to park a car in the road during the “control period.” A Permit Parking Area involves notices to advise of parking controls but there is no need for yellow lines.

The Council is consulting residents on this proposal. Consultation closes on 21 November.

Residents of the area described above can fill in the online form at www.sutton.gov.uk/parkingstrategy, or write to

Parking Strategy, Highways and Transport, London Borough of Sutton, 24 Denmark Road, Carshalton, Surrey, SM52JG.

Even if you are indifferent to the outcome, it would be helpful to know that, so please respond. If you support the proposal, say so. If you are opposed to this proposal make sure you explain your reasons, related to parking, for not favouring the scheme.

We are not making any recommendation – as local Councillors we simply want to do what our residents want. But you should be aware that the Council’s consultation is comprehensive and it is possible that almost all the roads in the area from Sutton station to Carshalton Beeches station will eventually have parking controls, so those roads left out will inevitably attract commuter parking.

Many residents are concerned about parking and we are pleased they now have the opportunity to put their view on a concrete proposal developed on the basis of earlier consultation.

We hope residents will respond to the consultation so we have a full picture.

LIVEABLE NEIGHBOURHOODS

A cycle hanger provides secure bike storage

Sutton Council has put in a bid to a fund financed by the Mayor of London called “Liveable Neighbourhoods”. It will be in competition with lots of other bids from other boroughs and Sutton has a poor record of getting funds from the Mayor. So it is a bit of a gleam in the eye. If Sutton is successful we will know by about next March.

The scheme would fund consultation and research, and (depending on the outcome) action, into a range of measures that would improve the environment locally. If successful we could get funds to invest in our neighbourhood. This money could be spent on issues like safer crossings, reducing cut-through traffic, better roads so children can walk to school safely, more electric charging points and better cycling infrastructure. This would include measures to encourage walking and cycling, and to improve air quality. There is a website with details and a survey you can complete.

https://sutton.citizenspace.com/highways-environment-and-planning/sutton-liveable-neighbourhoods/

There is also information on the fund on the TfL website. This says:

“Our Liveable Neighbourhoods programme gives boroughs the opportunity to bid for funding for long-term schemes that encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport.

The programme supports the aims of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy by funding local schemes to reduce car trips and improve neighbourhoods for walking, cycling and public transport.

Grants will be provided for a wide range of community-supported projects. These could include creating green spaces and cycling infrastructure and redesigning junctions. The programme can also fund the widening of walking routes to improve access to local shops, businesses and public transport.”

Trish and Richard visited Waltham Forest where they had funding under this scheme, in the time Boris Johnson was Mayor, for a scheme known there as “Mini-Holland” as one of the objectives, but not the only one, is to promote cycling.

One of the ideas, just to give an example, is “cycle hangers” which provide secure outside storage for bikes – very popular in areas where there are blocks of flats and people have little room for bikes in their flat. This is particularly so if they do not live on the ground floor so have to lug a bike upstairs. A majority of residents in our Ward (Sutton South) live in flats, a majority of these people living in upstairs flats, so we think there would be great demand for these spaces. The hangers take up one parking space in the road. See photo above.

Closing roads outside schools for half an hour when the pupils are going in and out is an idea, but this is now a common practice in some parts of London, for example at the school Richard’s grandson goes to in Herne Hill, where there is a rota of parents who erect temporary gates.

Investigating the scope for road closures to reduce rat-running down otherwise quiet residential streets and move the traffic onto main roads is certainly an aspect, but it needs approaching with care. There are undoubted pros and cons that need careful examination, research into the consequences and consultation with residents. There is a good example locally, in Belmont, the gate in Dorset Road close to the junction with Holland Avenue. This is inconvenient to motorists and many residents, and adds to traffic in roads like Holland Avenue. But it massively adds to the quality of life, quiet and clean air of residents of the Homeland Drive area, who otherwise would experience a lot of rat running traffic. It is surely worth at least investigating whether there is scope for similar interventions locally. Traffic is like water so one could not just shut roads without a lot of research and consultation as traffic will move elsewhere, so any proposal would have to be preceded by analysis and consultation. This analysis has to be worth doing – if Sutton got the funding. We were told that the experience in Waltham Forest was that they put in some “modal filters” as they call these closures in some roads for a six month trial. In most but not all cases the residents wanted to keep the controls in place at the end of six months, and in some cases where the residents wanted them removed the residents now want them back. Some residents find them inconvenient as they make their own journeys by car more complicated, but it seems most feel this downside is outweighed by having quiet streets with reduced traffic and less air pollution. There is also the fact that if there are comprehensive parking controls introduced in an area, reducing parking, there will be speeding and probably increased through traffic.

Some concern has been caused by the circulation of a list of possible road closures. The origin of this list is some illustrative examples prepared by consultants working on the bid to demonstrate what might be done. In fact the Dorset Road example is a much better example as it is real and already exists. No road would be shut without a lot of initial analysis and discussion.

So we think it worthwhile bidding for this money – but it would lead on to analysis and consultation next year so nothing immediate. The Council has made no announcement about it as we do not know yet if the funding will be forthcoming.

GO SUTTON BUS AREA EXTENDED: SIGN OUR PETITION TO KEEP THE BUS

The Go Sutton bus trial is attracting a lot of attention. Information is at www.gosutton.co.uk.

The year-long trial for this on-demand bus service has had positive feedback and is being extended to cover the area shown on the map. Register online and phone when you want to use the bus. It is £3.50 (plus additional passengers at £2) but free if you have a Freedom Pass, like Richard.

The bus service an innovative, on-demand scheme which picks up
residents close to where they live and takes them to any destination
across most parts of the borough. The scheme started earlier this year
and is due to end in May 2020 but Liberal Democrats in Sutton are keen for the service to become permanent.
Residents have told us, especially elderly people or those with learning difficulties, that the bus scheme has proved to be a lifeline for them.
That’s why Liberal Democrat councillors have set up a petition calling
on the Mayor of London and Transport for London to make the
scheme permanent.You can sign the petition by clicking here – please
do pass it on to your neighbours, family and friends in Sutton. Apart
from helping people to get around the borough,  the scheme is helping us to improve air quality, reduce congestion and cut down on the
number of individual car journeys.Please sign the petition and help us
to keep making Sutton a great to place live.

RICHARD AND TRISH WIN IMPORTANT CHANGES TO LICENCE APPLICATION IN WORCESTER ROAD

The Russettings

Trish and Richard intervened in the debate over an application for a licence to sell alcohol, from the Registrar’s Office in Worcester Road, The Russettings. They persuaded the office to limit the hours sought so that it did not extend into the evenings.

The office was happy to do this as they are closed in the evening. It seems the application for a licence in the evening was a mistake. They want to be able to provide the happy couple at the weddings they conduct with a glass of champagne. These weddings are always daytime events.

Richard spoke at the hearing on the licence application. This is his speech:

“The task of the committee is to satisfy itself that two very important objectives can be achieved simultaneously. There is no reason why they cannot be.

These are:

First, the Registrar’s Office should be able to properly perform the important functions it discharges for the residents of Sutton, in a world where (I accept) the expectations of the community as to how these functions are discharged has changed a little.

Second, the Office should be a good neighbour and not disturb the peace and quiet of the residential area where it is situated.

I would like to say a word about each of these objectives.

The Registrar’s Office has been in Worcester Road for over 50 years and its functions have changed little over time. I have been to weddings at the office, as a guest, to meetings and conferences there, and to Citizenship Ceremonies. During my year as Mayor I attended these every week to make a speech of welcome to new citizens. The importance of these functions to those who take part needs to be recognised. The day you get married, the day you take British citizenship, these are massive moments in life that stay in the memory and I know the office does all it can to ensure these are happy events. I have been to these events and found champagne is being served when it has been brought by the happy couple or, very occasionally, the new citizen. I think it quite appropriate that a glass of champagne should be available at these events. Those involved all want to make this a happy day and there is no reason atall to suppose that this will lead to disorder in the context of these carefully organised and conducted ceremonies. In fact, there is more of an element of control if champagne is being provided in a managed way rather than people bringing their own.

On the second objective, the expectations of the Councillors and the residents is that the Office will continue to be a good neighbour. That is vital and I am pleased the Office has emphasised its commitment to do this. I am pleased with the assurances that have been given about a limit on the supply of champagne and how these events will continue to be carefully organised. The changes the Office have made to the application to limit the hours and to daytime are, of course, of massive importance and re-assurance.

There was no reason why the licence should extend into the evening. These weddings are daytime events and the office is normally closed in the evening.

I think it important this hearing today had taken place so we can get these assurances from the Office. The officers who run the Registrar’s Office know that were there to be any disorder and disturbance to local residents in the future, the Councillors and their employers would be immediately investigating. I very much hope the Office will continue to discharge these very important functions – which bring happiness to those who take part are are important, memorable days in their lives – without any undue disturbance to the neighbourhood beyond what has happened for the many years the Office has been in Worcester Road. “

SUCCESS FOR TRISH AND RICHARD IN GETTING PLANNING APPLICATION IN COPSE HILL THROWN OUT

Dunsfold Court in Blackbush Close is opposite the site and residents already say it is difficult to find a parking space

Richard and Trish had major concerns about a planning application
DM2019/00925 for a site that includes numbers 2 and 4 Copse Hill plus an adjacent block at 52-54 Brighton Road. The application proposed over-intensive development of the site, to erect a block of flats with 65 flats. We considered this overdevelopment of the site, incongruous in the local context and likely to cause unacceptable problems relating to parking in the area, with an inadequate number of parking places proposed for 65 flats in an area that already has a shortage of parking spaces.

Following representations that we, together with many residents, made concerning this planning application, it was turned down by Council Planning Officers.

It was been turned down for a number of reasons including the scale, mass and bulk of the development, the quantum of development representing an overdevelopment of the site, the lack of affordable housing and technical reasons such as the lack of biodiversity accounting.

The developer now has a right of appeal to the Planning Inspectorate and we cannot control that part of the process. Also, we will watch out for a revised application as developers often go through the reasons the Council has given for rejection and submit a further application tweaked to, in their view, dispose of the objections.


The site of the proposed block, viewed from Brighton Road

ARE THE BOUNDARIES OF OUR WARD RIGHT?

Are the boundaries of Sutton South Ward right?

The Boundary Commission is reviewing the boundaries of the local Government Wards in Sutton prior to the next local elections in 2022. You can write to the Commission if you think the boundaries are not right.

The Ward runs from Sutton station in the north to Devonshire Road in the south, Banstead Road South in the east, Overton Road in the west. It is mostly a Ward of residential roads with three schools, one small park, three places of worship, split into three parts by Langley Park Road and Brighton Road running north-south. Should the boundaries change?

The independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is asking local people for their help to draw up a new pattern of council wards for Sutton Council.

The consultation is the first part of an electoral review which will re-draw ward boundaries across the council.

In drawing up new boundaries, the Commission aims to deliver electoral equality for voters in council elections so that each councillor represents roughly the same number of voters. The review also aims to ensure that the new council wards reflect, as far as possible, the interests and identities of communities across Sutton.

Residents will have a further chance to have their say after the Commission publishes draft recommendations in January 2020.

Local people can submit their views in this consultation. Further information on the review and interactive maps of the existing wards can be found at

consultation.lgbce.org.uk and www.lgbce.org.uk

After a debate on 14 October Sutton Council has submitted some proposals. Richard spoke in this debate, commenting in particular on the proposals fro Sutton South Ward. He said:

“I recognise that there is always a tension between drawing lines on maps that create sensible geographical structures in terms of communities and natural boundaries and getting the numbers right in terms of residents per Councillor. I would like to stress that where these create tensions I think it important to give priority to getting the boundaries right, creating areas that residents recognise as communities, in particular respecting natural boundaries such as main roads and railway lines, and keeping recognised communities together, and this should be the priority even if it does lead to some unevenness in Ward sizes. I think that in the south of the borough the right decisions have been taken though it does lead to some disparity in the size of Wards.

So, in any exercise like this there will inevitably be some disparity in the size of Wards with some outliers. I was interested to note that my own Ward seems to be an outlier.

Now this is all information to the Local Government Boundary Commission who will have a lot of representations and could throw all this in the bin. But this could be adopted.

I could be a candidate in 2022 (no promises) with these new boundaries.

Should it worry me that Councillors for Sutton South will have to do a bit more work than the average Councillor? No, of course not.  

My particular focus is on my Ward and the south of the borough. I think the proposals are right.

In the south of the borough there are some natural community hubs such as Belmont village and Cheam. But there are other factors that create communities including the location of churches and schools – where, for example, the geographical area a school draws from creates a community with a shared interest. We have very good schools in Sutton, including, adjacent to my Ward and taking the children of many of my residents, a new one – the Harris Academy. I was delighted to attend the opening of the school and to learn that the school is proving a popular choice for parents.”

HARRIS ACADEMY IN BELMONT OPENED

On 8 October we both attended the opening of the new Harris Academy secondary school in Belmont. We were very impressed by the school, which is already vastly over-subscribed. We recollect the fuss and opposition when building a school on this site was first proposed. Quite a few of our residents in Sutton South Ward now have children at this school. ~It was opened by the broadcaster Jim Al-Khalili.

Jim Al-Khalili, third from left, opens the school