HOW IS SUTTON DOING DURING THE RECESSION ?
People often ask us, as local Councillors, how Sutton is faring during the recession. We all see evidence of the difficult times the economy as a whole is going through, including empty retail outlets.
You might therefore be interested in the analysis below, taken from figures presented to the meeting held on 12 September of the Council’s Economic Development Advisory Group, of which Richard is member.
The figures show that Sutton has a vibrant local economy which is surviving the recession well. Data for the quarter to June 2011 show:
• Sutton has the highest economic activity rate of any Borough in London . There are 106,500 economically active residents in the Borough, with an economic activity rate of 82.3% compared to 74.8% for London as a whole
• The number of long-term unemployed in Sutton is falling, with the figures for June down 15% on the previous year
• The volume of house sales and the number of planning applications (both important indicators of activity) have been rising, in the case of house sales by over 20% on the previous year’s figures. House prices have however fallen, by 2.8% on the figures for this time last year
• The number of businesses going into administration has decreased. Business failures are of course compensated for by new local business start-ups and established companies moving into the area, on which data is less reliable
• The percentage of vacant properties in the borough has decreased.
The conclusion is that Sutton is weathering the recession well. People in Sutton find it easier to find work than is the case elsewhere, and Sutton is an attractive centre for inward investment that brings development and jobs. It thus remains a growing and successful London Borough and, despite the current economic climate, is one of the most attractive places to live in the country, with good transport links to central London and beyond, plenty of green space, good leisure facilities and some of the best performing schools in the country.
Transport links are of course vitally important to our attractiveness to investors. They also are important to the people of Sutton, many of whom commute to central London. For this reason, the threat to terminate the Capital Connect (Thameslink) services at Blackfriars, so they do not run further north of the river, is something we are personally committed to fighting. You can find a link to a petition on this issue on this website if you scroll down the posts to find “Protect Commuter Services From Sutton”.