Wellesley Road: the passageway

Wellesley Road is divided into two with a passageway linking the two sections. Residents in Wellesley Road have mentioned to us the quality of the lighting in the interconnecting passageway.

We took this up with the lighting engineers. Aiming to improve matters, they are going to replace the existing light fittings with units that provide a better light distribution. In addition they will arrange for a tree that is affecting one of the lights to be trimmed to remove blocking foliage.

The work may take six to eight weeks to implement. We have asked residents to let us know if there are other ways we can help as hard working local Councillors.


A number of residents of Cedar Road have drawn our attention to problems of late night noise and disturbance, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights. We believe this is often from people walking along Cedar Road to get home from nightclubs in Sutton town centre, often in the early morning. We have resisted efforts to open more clubs and extend their hours of operation to yet later in the early hours of the morning (see our post below “Late Night Noise Danger Averted”).   

We raised the matter at a recent meeting with the police. The police say that their planned use of resources are mainly influenced by the priorities set in the ward (currently non-residential burglaries and vehicle crime) and what crime or anti-social behaviour is reported. They pointed out that they had received few reports from residents of noise problems.

We suspect residents are not reporting these incidents to the police at the time as they believe the police can do nothing immediately, or that it is not a serious enough issue with which to bother them. However it is still worth  reporting these incidents to the police – using 101 not 999 – as it gives the police a better picture of behaviour in our Ward and they can target their resources accordingly. 

We have written to residents in Cedar Road with this advice. If you want to discuss any aspect of local policing with a police officer you can contact our excellent Safer Neighbourhoods Team on 020 8721 2497, but let us know your views.



Richard and Heather with SHP staff inspecting the Sutton Court estate

Every day we are involved in some activity as Councillors, be it on behalf of our residents in Sutton South Ward or in respect of our responsibilities as Vice-Chair of the Council’s Adult Social Services and Health Committee (Heather) and Vice-Chair of the Council’s Housing, Economy and Business Committee (Richard). The 12th and 13th of September were no exception.  

On 13 September we attended the police consultative panel for the Ward. The attendance was a little disappointing, though with new members representing the Sutton Court residents’ association and the Highfields residents’ association. The panel congratulated the police on the latest crime figures, showing an overall drop in crime in the Ward in the year to date of almost a quarter. There were some significant variations between categories, with assaults causing injury and harrassment both up. However, there were large falls in non-residential burglaries and criminal damage, which mainly accounted for the overall reduction. The area remains a low crime area with the police confident they are on top of the overall situation.

The panel discussed the three Ward priorities – drug use in the Brighton Road, motor vehicle crime and theft from garages. Theft from garages and motor vehicle crime have fallen but it was agreed that we want to keep it that way and these should remain priorities. It was agreed that drug dealing and drug use in the Brighton Road would be put into a “normal vigilance” category for the immediate future. Significant action also continued to be taken on the theft of metal.

Other issues discussed included:

– late-night noise problems at the weekend in Cedar Road

– the application of a nightclub in Sutton town centre to extend its opening hours from 2am to 3am

– cutting of a hedge at the ball court at Sutton Court to increase the visibility of the ball court and its surrounding area

– fencing at Sutton Court

– petrol theft from a local garage

– speeding in Cavendish Road

– security arrangements concerning some specific locations

– a cannabis factory in Ferndown Close. 

The meeting was pleased that the local police had kept things under control when the Olympics had placed a strain on resources, though the Sergeant felt this had been less of a strain than expected. While we were pleased the Olympics were now over and demands on police resources would return to normal, we felt the police had done a superb job during the Olympics.

On Thursday 13 September we both went to Sutton Court to the estate “walkabout” with staff of Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP). These are essential to keep on top of the repairs and maintenance work needed on the estate. We met a number of residents who have problems we have taken up and were able to check on the progress of issues as varied as the work on the fence separating Sutton Court from Forest Dene Court, the cutting of the hedge separating the children’s play area from the ball court (discussed yesterday with the police), the repairs to the garages and the operation of the lighting system. We then went to Beauclere House where there are various issues of concern to us raised with us by residents, including the arrangements for disabled residents to enter and exit the building and how they can make better use of the grass area at the side.

Resident served with Sutton’s first ‘Acceptable Behaviour Contract’

A resident has been served with Sutton’s first ‘Acceptable Behaviour Contract’ for the alarm and distress caused to her neighbours by her dogs.

The 24-year-old female dog owner, who lives in a block of flats in Langley Park Road, Sutton, allowed her two Staffordshire Bull Terriers called ‘Roxy’ and ‘Governor’ to:

  • Run out of control off the lead
  • Jump up and intimidate residents
  • Carry on barking for long periods

In addition, she also repeatedly failed to clear up after her pets.

Police decided to take formal action following an incident on Friday 30th March when her dogs ran out of their home in pursuit of a man making a delivery in Langley Park Road. The man was forced to run and jump onto a vehicle to avoid being bitten.

As a result the resident was sent a letter on the 13th April advising that this incident had come to the attention of police. A second letter was sent on 2nd July after her dogs had continued to behave in an unacceptable way.

This second letter included an Acceptable Behaviour Contract – a voluntary agreement between the resident and Sutton Council, the Met Police in Sutton and London and Quadrant Housing Trust – the resident’s landlord.

The contract only named one of her dogs – Governor – as she had given up Roxy at around this time. The conditions in the agreement include:

  • The dog being kept on a lead no longer than three metres in a public place including Langley Park Road, public footpaths and roads within Sutton borough
  • Clearing up after her dog
  • Regularly exercising her dog

Failure to comply with the agreement may result in an Anti-Social Behaviour Order being obtained to stop the resident causing harassment, alarm or distress and the tenancy agreement being reviewed and even revoked.

The action is part of borough’s Local Environmental Awareness of Dogs (LEAD) initiative to make owners of all breeds of dog aware of their responsibilities to their pet and the wider community.

Since August 2011 a total of 27 letters have been sent to residents whose dogs have come to the notice of police.

PC Heath Keogh, of Sutton Police station, who is co-ordinating the LEAD initiative for the borough, said: “Whilst we want to work with residents to reduce the nuisance and concerns caused by their pets, we are equally determined that we will take whatever action we need to make sure that this happens in reality.

“The bottom line for Sutton residents is a breach of an ASBO which could result in five years jail or a fine or both, and a possession order leading to a tenant’s eviction, for those in rented accommodation.”

The LEAD initiative was prompted by the fatal dog attack in Demesne Road, Wallington, on 23 December 2010, when a 52-year-old woman died after being attacked by a dog.


We were recently approached by residents in Worcester Road concerning the licence application to re-open the former “Academy” public house in Grove Road as a nightclub. They were concerned at a likely impact on late night noise problems in the area.

Following discussions with residents, Richard submitted representations on the prevention of public nuisance to Sutton’s Licensing Committee, and spoke at the public hearing held on 28 March.

He pointed out that it would be a matter of concern for premises so close to many residential properties to be offering music, dancing, films and sale of alcohol (for consumption on and off the premises) until 4.30am, seven nights a week, and then – after a break of just a few hours – starting again at 9.00am.  The application, if approved, would lead to an unacceptable degree of public nuisance, particularly due to noise from people coming away from the premises into neighbouring streets in the early hours of the morning.

Although the premises are not in Sutton South Ward, some of the people coming away from the club in the early hours would walk through our Ward. Concerns had been raised by the police about disturbance and noise late at night, drunken people walking home, alcohol-related brawls and anti-social behaviour. The application should be refused. 

We are pleased say that the application was refused, the Committee citing in particular problems with noise, community impact and alcohol-related crime.



Sutton Police Station

On 18 April we both attended the consultative panel, at which the representatives of the local community discuss police priorities with our local “Safer Neighbourhoods” police team.

The panel welcomed Sergeant Geraldine Costello, our new sergeant, whom we share with Belmont Ward.

The latest crime statistics show Sutton South remains a low crime area and crime has, overall, fallen further, but with a small increase in residential burglaries, many from garages. There is a welcome reduction in thefts from motor vehicles and criminal damage.

The panel confirmed as police priorities for the next three months:

– theft from motor vehicles, to keep on top of this following the recent reduction

– drugs and anti-social behaviour in the Brighton Road

– garage burglaries

– support for “Operation Ferrous”, which relates to the theft and trading of scrap metal, a particular problem due to the escalation in the price of scrap metal.

The panel discussed “community payback” work by offenders. It also had a discussion of ways of improving how it represents the local community and provides information on its work, to have a better dialogue with the police on behalf of the community.


Sutton South Ward is a low crime area, but we have felt a need to express concern about the resources available to the local police. This was after the meeting of the consultative panel for our Ward arranged for Wednesday 14 March was called off due a shortage of available police personnel.  

We both sit on the panel, which is a vehicle for consultation with the community about police priorities and is also a mechanism for the community to help the police. More information about the panel is available on the page on “Sutton Police”.

The text of our letter to Sutton’s senior police officers was as follows:

“To Superintendant Phil Willis, Head of SPSS
    Chief Inspector Alan Chambers
Dear Colleagues
The scheduled police consultative panel meeting that was due to take place tonight in Sutton South Ward of the London Borough of Sutton has been postponed by the police.
Councillor Heather Honour and I, the two Liberal Democrat Councillors for the Ward, are concerned at this cancellation, which appears to be due to problems related to police resources. I am writing to you to express our concern and to seek re-assurance that there are not going to be longer term problems with the policing of our Ward.
The Sutton South Ward Safer Neighbourhoods policing team used to have its own sergeant. Last year that was taken away from us, when the long-serving Dave Williams retired, and a single segeant was appointed to cover both Belmont and Sutton South. We did not protest at this, since analysis we regularly carry out of crime trends in Sutton South compared to the rest of the Borough show it is a low crime area, and Belmont Ward has similarly low figures. Sergeant Brendan Mcwilliams was appointed.
Since then there has been a continuous pattern of change. Sergeant McWilliams is now leaving us and we find that the resources of the team are almost continuously depleted by training and by officers being deployed away from the area to help with operations elsewhere. This depletion is the reason we have been given as to why it is not possible to hold the scheduled meeting of the panel thisevening.
We fully appreciate that there are times when local resources have to be offered up to assist in wider policing exercises, and recognise that as the Olympics approach this may happen more often. However, we would be concerned if our area was left with so little cover that normal policing tasks for the community were put at risk, and if this were to impact on crime levels.
We would welcome your reaction to these concerns and trust you can put our minds at rest.
Best wishes.
Richard Clifton
   Councillor for Sutton South Ward”


Sutton Council held its annual event for Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday 27th January 2012 in the Europa Gallery in Sutton Central Library. We both attended. The theme of this year’s event was ‘Speak Up, Speak Out’ and had the aim of encouraging people to challenge injustice and hatred, thus creating a safer, better future. There were speeches from the Mayor of Sutton, Councillor Gerry Jerome, Holocaust survivor Marcel Ladenheim, Mr. Meddie Kakyama-Mayanja, who spoke on the African genocides, and Reverend Meir Lev, Minister of Sutton and District Synagogue. There were references to local experiences of hate crime in Sutton, along with a stall from the Safer Sutton Partnership on reporting hate crime, to bring a local perspective to the theme of ‘Speak Up, Speak Out’. There was also an exhibition with information and photographs on the theme.



[ The corner of Cedar Road and Brighton Road, where drinkers sometimes congregate. This picture shows Sutherland House – it is hoped that the seat outside Sutherland House can be restored if the problems associated with public drinking in this area can be dealt with ]


Sutton Council has extended what is popularly called the “No Drinking” zone to our Ward.

Even before we were elected, we were aware of the concerns of local residents and the problems of anti-social behaviour associated with a group of what are sometimes called “all day drinkers”. These people often congregated at the Brighton Road / Cedar Road intersection. 

Following a number of discussions that we, as Ward Councillors, had with the Council Executive member responsible for public order matters, Councillor Graham Tope, the Council has taken steps in a policy direction that we have advocated, to deal with the problem.

At present, the town centre in Sutton is a “Designated Public Place” – popularly called a “No Drinking” zone.  An effect is that the group of people who drink on the street for much of the day congregated just outside the zone, in particular at the street corner at the end of Cedar Road where it meets the Brighton Road. This is close to Forest Dene Court, a large block of flats for elderly people, some of whom have expressed to us their concern about this group of drinkers. Now, the Council has extended the zone to cover an area of Sutton South Ward.

The area covered is a square bordered by Cedar Road, Langley Park Road, Egmont Road and the Brighton Road. The police were able to provide evidence of anti-social behaviour associated with drinking to justify including this area in the zone. Now the zone is extended to this area, the police will monitor the effect. If the problem is simply displaced to a different area, consideration can be given to a further extension.  

The legal effect of the Designated Public Places Order is that if someone is drinking alcohol in public in this area the police can ask them to stop. If they do not stop, they are guilty of an offence.

The designation of the Sutton South zone was subject to public consultation. Statutory notices were placed in newspapers and on relevant websites on 11 January. Representations could be made during the consultation period, which ended on 7 February. A second statutory notice was published. The order came into force on 15 March 2011.

As your local Councillors, we are delighted with these developments, which we have pressed for, with the Council. We have had the support of the local police and the Sutton South police consultative committee (whose activities are reported elsewhere on this website, on the page on police matters). As a result of this development the police will be able to spend less time dealing with the anti-social behaviour associated with public drinking and spend more time on their two other priorities for our Ward, car crime and drug dealing.

When the results of the new measures are clear, we hope it will then be possible to restore the seat outside Sutherland House, which was removed as it became associated with public order problems caused by this group of people.