The community notice board in our Ward, in Brighton Road, has been restored after being demolished by a lorry.
On 22 May Louise was elected as Deputy Mayor of the London Borough of Sutton. Louise was elected to Sutton Council, joining Trish and Richard as Councillors for Sutton South Ward, on 5 May 2022. Louise – Louise Phelan – has lived in Sutton for over 20 years and her son Harry, who will be officially titled her “Consort” as Deputy Mayor, attends Overton Grange school in our Ward. She is an active member of many local community organisations and was a leading member of the Sutton New Town Community Festival, serving as chair of the organisation. Harry is a member of Sutton Police Cadets.
Following the Annual Council Meeting, held on 22 May, where membership of Council committees is decided, Trish, Richard and Louise have important new responsibilities. The most significant change in our responsibilities is that, while Trish steps down as Mayor, Louise is now our Deputy Mayor. Trish has stood down as Mayor of Sutton after three years and is now chair of the important Audit and Governance Committee. She will sit as a member of Planning Committee. Richard will chair the Council’s Planning Committee and sit as a member of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee. which takes major strategic decisions on housing policy and proposals for economic regeneration. He will also sit on the Licensing Committee. Louise is Deputy Mayor and vice-chair of Licensing Committee. She is also a member of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee.
The Coronation weekend saw a rash of street parties throughout Sutton South Ward, though there were fewer than there had been for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations last June. Louise, Trish and Richard dropped in at some of the parties, including the street party in Prior Avenue, which was a more modest affair than their Jubilee street party last summer. Richard also dropped in at the Highfield Residents’ Association event.
Our Mayor and the two other Ward Councillors at the Effingham Close street party last June.
The three Sutton South Councillors are united in opposing the extension of ULEZ to Sutton. While everyone is concerned about air quality, it will have a detrimental effect on so many of our residents, particularly those who run businesses or depend on using a car to get to work or to see family. At the Sutton Council meeting on 24 April we debated ULEZ. This is the speech Louise made.
“So ULEZ… I don’t have a car and I don’t drive, so it won’t affect me…
Only, actually it will…
You see, as I don’t have a car I have to rely on people that do, and many of the people I know do not have ULEZ compliant vehicles…
I rely on
The friend that’s taken me and my son on days out to places that we wouldn’t be able to get to by public transport,
The neighbour that’s taken me and my son Christmas shopping so we didn’t have to carry everything on a long bus journey,
The friend that’s picked me and my son up from hospital when my son was taken in for an emergency,
The friend who has moved furniture for me in his van.
The family and friends that come and visit me from outside the borough.
This is just a tiny snapshot of the people who I and people like me depend on who will have to change their vehicles because of the ULEZ, but these people are all going to struggle to replace those cars or vans because they are already wrestling with the after effects of COVID and the cost of living crisis. Public transport isn’t currently an alternative in Sutton, it’s too expensive, too infrequent and too patchy throughout the borough.
Don’t get me wrong, I live on a busy cut through road and would appreciate cleaner air and all the health benefits, but the effects on the quality of life and opportunities for me and my son are just too great. This will leave so many people like me without that extra help they need and rely on, they will find it harder to work, socialise and access healthcare and become even more isolated than before.
So you can see, this doesn’t just affect a small amount of vehicles as the Mayor of London claims in his now withdrawn advert, the knock on effect if this is brought in its current form will actually affect a much wider community of people whose lifelines will be cut. “
At the Sutton Council meeting on 24 April Councillors passed a vote of thanks to Trish for her service, for the third consecutive year, as Mayor. Here is the speech Richard made moving the vote of thanks.
“It is often the case that these votes of thanks at the end of a period of office are seen as routine.
I would like to suggest to you some reasons why this particular vote of thanks is far from routine and
should be a heartfelt “thank you” from all of us.
First, stamina. This is Councillor Fivey’s third successive year as Mayor. I recollect from my own year as Mayor how drained I felt at the end of it. I know that activities in Councillor Fivey’s first year as Mayor were limited by the pandemic, and she was evidently ready to have another go at it when it came to the end of the year. But to go on for a third successive year is extraordinary.
And my observation is that she was such a success in her first two years – so energetic, so popular, someone who brought real fizz and energy to any event she went to – that the invitations and the demands on the Mayor kept increasing, as people wanted to see her again, and again,
and again. She has taken whatever workload has been thrown at her in her stride. And her sparkling and warm personality has been the key to her popularity and her success.
What I have really admired in the past year, though, is her remarkable good judgement in the handling of these Council meetings. We have seen interruptions and behaviour at recent meetings that were not problems, on the same scale, that her predecessors, in my thirteen years as a Councillor, have had to deal with, and all of us would have struggled with. Trish has shown great ability, great common sense and impeccable judgement in the way she has handled these problems.
Councillors, it gives me great pleasure to move this vote of thanks.”
Louise made an excellent speech on ULEZ at the Council meeting on 24 April. Richard had prepared a speech but was not called to speak, as so many members of the public and Councillors wanted to speak. So here is what he would have said.
“My own objections to ULEZ are because it does something that is rare in British public administration – it
creates massive winners and losers on a random basis, for some of the losers it is devastating, and these are ordinary families not corporations or organisations.
To illustrate, I have a resident who purely by chance has a car that is not ULEZ compliant, who has to travel each day to a workplace not easily accessible by public transport, and for whom the consequence of paying £12.50 a day to go to work is not supportable from his income. Selling his car is difficult as the bottom has fallen out of the market for non-compliant cars. It is difficult now to obtain a second
hand complaint car, and the cost is prohibitive even if you can find one. The supply of new cars has been disrupted by the problems related to computer chips – I have a resident who has been on a waiting list for a year, waiting to buy a new van for his business. Re-distributing non- compliant cars does nothing to improve air quality and the replacement of old cars by new is proceeding at a pace determined by supply, so quite unaffected by ULEZ. ULEZ may lead to some trips in cars being undertaken by public
transport, though not so much in Sutton where the public transport infrastructure is less well developed.
So ULEZ will, randomly, reduce some families to poverty with at best a small effect on air quality.
Clearly a major factor is the deal Sadiq Khan made with the Government to offset part of the implications of the post-pandemic collapse in TfL finances through ULEZ, in return for Government subsidy to cover the rest. So let us be clear that the Tory Government is as much implicated
in this as the Mayor of London. In this chamber, the only political party leading the fight and not implicated in causing the problem is the Liberal Democrats.”
The owner of 34 Mulgrave Road is seeking planning permission to extend the building – in effect adding an extra storey to the top of the block of flats.
As local Councillors, we object to these proposals. While there is a need for more accommodation, the changes to the building will make it look incongruous and ugly, not good enough for Sutton. The changes will also involve building work that will disturb the current residents of the block The owners have used a mechanism called “prior approval” when submitting their application which, in our view, was introduced by the Government to undermine the planning system. As a result, we cannot take the application to the Council’s Planning Committee, which Richard chairs, for decision by Councillors. We may not be able to stop these changes taking place given the powers of the Planning Inspectorate to over-ride local decisions. However we are seeking to ensure that a number of conditions are stipulated in any planning permission, if one is ever granted, to try to protect the peace and quiet of the building during construction work. These include that access to the roof should be via an external hoist with all materials for work on the roof transported to the roof by an external hoist and not brought up via the well of the building. The interior of the building should not be a storage area or building site. There should be a construction management plan to minimize disruption to existing residents and ensure there are controls on dust and noise, and on hours of work. The contractors should join the Considerate Contractors’ Scheme. There should be a liaison officer that residents can contact if they observe poor behaviour. If scaffolding is erected outside residents’ windows it should only be erected when needed and removed as soon as it is not needed. We would welcome feedback from residents on your views on the proposals. You can look at the details of the application (number DM2012/00430 for 34 Mulgrave Road),
The four yearly survey of the over 800 street trees in our Ward has found that most trees are in excellent condition. Inevitably there are a few (twelve) that are diseased and have to be removed. Where this happens, the residents living close nearby get a letter explaining the reasons for the removal. There has been a programme of pruning of the trees in the Ward over the autumn and winter period, in the light of the survey.
Many new trees have been planted in the Ward in the last year. This has included new trees in Farm Road, Devonshire Avenue, Effingham Close, Prior Avenue and Kayemoor Road.
The many trees in our Ward are a delight, and help give us the pleasant, green, suburban feel that is so attractive. They are also a major part of our efforts to reduce global warming. Richard, Trish and Louise have got many new trees planted in the Ward, over recent years, and we will continue our efforts to increase tree planting.
We are looking into the replacement of the trees that had to be felled. We have obtained funding to replace what was undoubtedly the most prominent tree to be removed, the one in Brighton Road outside Northumberland House. This is the tree pit we hope to fill.
The other trees being removed are:
Blackbush Close – adjacent to Brighton Road (two trees)
Camborne Road – outside Lorraine Court (number 32/34)
Adjacent to the drive of 12
Cavendish Road – outside Melford Court (opposite 16)
Chalgrove Road – outside 7
Kayemoor Road – outside 44
The Ridgway – outside 36
Upland Road – outside of 5A
Willis Avenue – outside 13