Proposals for a new waste collection service include a weekly collection of food waste.
There will continue to be fortnightly collection of re-cycling waste. The waste that currently goes in the brown bin will be divided, with the food waste collected weekly and other waste collected fortnightly. At present around 40 per cent of brown-bin waste is food waste, so this will mean residents will be able to reduce significantly the amount of waste in their brown bins. These changes will mean less waste goes to landfill, which is good for the environment.
Garden waste collections for paying residents will be extended from nine months a year to all year round. This will be collected in the same green and brown wheelie bin.
Street cleaning operations will be extended to 10pm from the current 6.30am start.
The new contracts will enable Sutton Council to save £10.3m over the first eight years. It is estimated that Sutton’s recycling rate will increase from 37 per cent (2014/15) to 42 per cent by the end of the first year of the contract.
Sutton Council has agreed to the shared service approach with its neighbours due to the unprecedented Government cuts to the Council’s budget, along with the opportunities to increase recycling rates. Currently Sutton has to save £31m from its annual budget due to Government cuts. The Council’s annual budget is £148.4m.
Trish is continuing her campaign to seek action on the allegations that pornographic films have been shot at locations in the Borough. She has recently been interviewed by both BBC radio and BBC television about these allegations, that pornographic films have been shot at public locations in the Borough, including one close to her home. Trish rightly said she was outraged by this, as it was an act of indecency in public, and children or other members of the public might observe it. The police should take action if they encounter such behaviour and seek additional powers if more powers are needed.
There is, of course, no evidence that this type of filming of obscene acts is any more prevalent in Sutton than elsewhere, as no-one is collecting data, but one has to have a concern about the people taking part in such filming (are these trafficked women?) and the possibility that such public acts of indecency might be observed by people, who will of course be horrified. And we all deplore pornography.
Every borough in London is struggling to keep place with the increasing demand for school places. Sutton has done well to cope with the increased demand for primary school places. The bulge is now working its way through to secondary schools. Hence the need for Overton Grange school (the only secondary school in our Ward) to expand, and the need for a new school.
Sutton is doing well. It has the third-highest first-preference rate for secondary school places in London, with almost 80 per cent of local families receiving their first choice of school for their child – well above the London average of 68.52 per cent.
Sutton has once again achieved one of the best rates overall, with the percentage of families receiving one of their top-three preferences increasing to 94.5 per cent – up 1.5 per cent from 2015 and almost six percentage points above the London average of 88.64 per cent.
Parents in the borough have been told which secondary schools have made offers of places for their children for the September 2016 intake.
In September, these children will start at our secondary schools, officially ranked as being among the best in England for teaching and exam results. In 2015, the proportion of Sutton students scoring 5 or more A* to C grades including English and Maths was 76.9 per cent, well above the 2014 national average of 53.4 per cent. Across the borough, 83.5 per cent of pupils achieved five or more GCSEs.
Almost two-thirds (65.1 per cent) of students across the borough achieved the highest A-Level A*, A and B grades in 2015 and the percentage of Sutton students achieving an A-Level pass grade (A* to E) increased to 99.7 per cent from 98.5 per cent in 2014. This was well above the UK average.
Sutton Council’s Planning Committee, which Richard chairs, has agreed expansion plans for Overton Grange school, the only secondary school in Sutton South Ward.
Sutton Council, like every London Borough, has been pursuing a strategy to cope with the increased demand for school places. Having successfully coped with a surge in demand for primary school places, the bulge is now moving through to secondary schools. The Council continues to work on its proposals for at least one new secondary school in Sutton, while almost all of the existing secondary schools – including Overton Grange – are submitting plans to expand the number of places.
Overton Grange school is the only secondary school in our Ward and, while it takes students from all over Sutton, many local parents send their children there. Like many Sutton schools, it is planning to expand its intake to meet the additional demand for secondary school places in the Borough due to rising numbers of children. Currently the school takes in 210 students each year and it plans to expand the school by increasing its intake by a class of 30 each year from autumn 2016.
The school, which has “Academy” status so it is not under the control of the local authority, staged an exhibition of its building plans on 22 April, at the school. A new teaching block is proposed, and the school is taking the opportunity of the building work to expand its canteen, which is not large enough for the current size of the school.
At the time of the last local elections, last May, scare stories were put round that the school planned to expand into Overton Park. This is not the case.
Richard said, after the Planning Committee decision ” The rising number of children reaching secondary school age means that expansion of our schools is necessary, alongside the proposals for new schools, and I am pleased the Council is taking effective action to avert any crisis in school places. I am pleased there is no intention to expand into the park, a story that had no foundation and was a political scare story.”
Overton Grange plans to expand its intake by 30 pupils per year, a one form intake, from the autumn of 2016. The Planning Committee considered a report on an application for the erection of a part ground, part first, part second floor extension, to provide five additional classrooms with ancillary accommodation, three single storey extensions to provide additional canteen, kitchen and storage facilities, together with roof canopy to the main front entrance, a detached store, with soft and hard landscaping.
Overton Grange is a popular local school and this extension will continue to ensure there are sufficient places locally for children reaching secondary school age, so this is good news for the many parents in the area who have young children. Secondary school provision in the area will be further enhanced by the decision to build the first of the new secondary schools we need on the nearby Sutton hospital site.
On 15 July Sutton Council debated our on-going commitment to the sustainability agenda and Sutton’s desire to be London’s most sustainable suburb. Sutton is ranked the highest outer London Borough in having the lowest CO2 emissions.
We represent Sutton South Ward, which has only one open space, the Devonshire Avenue Nature Area, an oasis of open space in an area dominated by small blocks of flats, where a study showed half the children live in properties without a garden. We think it commendable that Sutton Council has ensured that this site remains a nature reserve. But a few years ago that meant leaving it as jungle. It was little used, except for anti-social happenings behind the brick walls that still occupied part of the site. Today it remains a nature area, aiding the survival of the rare small blue butterfly (a talisman of Sutton South Ward), but it has benches, paths and a nature trail. We wanted to take the opportunity the motion afforded to pay tribute to Sutton Nature Conservation Volunteers, who maintain the site, and to those who distribute the funds to aid community projects provided by the landfill operator Viridor, whose funding, in 2012, paid for the renovation of the site.
On 26 March the Sutton South Hello! Thursday afternoon group launched a major exhibition of their work at the Council’s historic museum Honeywood, in Carshalton. The launch was well attended and our picture shows Heather Honour with the Mayor of Sutton, Councillor Arthur Hookway, the Care Minister Norman Lamb MP (who launched the Hello! project on 9 May 2012, see below) and local MP Paul Burstow.
On 24 February 2015 Sutton South Hello! received an award in the Sutton Community Awards annual awards ceremony. This was in the “Community Spirit” category for actions that have brought the community together through community events. The photo shows the Hello! team with the certificate. Left to right the Hello! team who came up to collect the award are Colin Iddles (chair of South Sutton Neighbourhood Association), Gerry Benworth (Skill), Fran Wilson (secretary of the Hello! board), Heather Honour (Chair and Founder), Nedal Ali, Councillor Nali Patel.
South Sutton Hello! is the brainchild of our former Liberal Democrat Councillor Heather Honour, an initiative to combat loneliness and isolation. It is supported by major local charities like AgeUK, Citizens’ Advice Bureau, Sutton Mental Health Foundation, and local residents’ Associations such as the South Sutton Neighbourhood Association and the Highfields Residents’ Association. Heather chairs the Board and has been the driving force behind the project.
It was launched at Christchurch, in Christchurch Park, on 9 May 2012 by the Care Minister, Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb, and is intended to be a pilot for similar initiatives elsewhere. There are now similar Hello! clubs elsewhere in Sutton, such as Worcester Park.
Sutton South Ward was chosen as, on the basis Campaign to End Social Isolation toolkit, it is a ward where the risk of social isolation is particularly high:
– the Ward has the highest proportion of over 65’s of any Ward in Sutton
– the proportion over 85 is double the Sutton and national average
– there are a large number of people living in sheltered accommodation for the elderly or in single occupancy flats
– over three quarters of residents live in purpose-built blocks of flats
– almost half of all households are single person households
– but a quarter of residents in the Ward say they regularly volunteer in some capacity, so there is a high level of community activism.
The project has drawn together a listing of the various community initiatives in Sutton South, particularly those run by the churches and AgeUK. It has produced newsletters. There are a number of specific activities it has promoted, in particular the Wednesday “Hello Club” at Christchurch and a Thursday club on craft activities. The project has been aided in setting up these activities by SCILL (Sutton Centre for Independent Living and Learning) and AgeUK
AgeUK has assisted with the organisation of chair based exercises. Councillor Nali Patel often attends and forms a link with the Sutton and Surrey Senior Citizens Club, which meets at the Thomas Wall Centre and is in particular a friendship club for Asians living in Sutton. Other activities in the Ward include the “Second Saturday” social club for older people at the Friends’ Meeting House on the second Saturday of each month.
AgeUK say there has been a 106% increase in callers from our Ward to its Information and Advice service since the project started promoting it. The project is seeking volunteers, particularly as befrienders. These are organised by the Sutton Centre for Independent Living and Learning (Skill). There is a phone number 0208 770 4065, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sutton Council issued a call to local people to get involved in the country’s first ever Community Clear Up Day on Saturday 21 March.
Richard joined with other residents organised by his local residents’ association, the Highfields Residents’ Association, to help clear his local neighbourhood of litter. Richard is a former chair of the Association.
The Council supported volunteer groups willing to help clear their local area, by providing litter picking tools, rubbish sacks and gloves.
As well as being an awful blight on the green borough of Sutton, litter costs the council up to £4m a year to clean up. That is the equivalent of running a library service for a year; repairing 100,000 potholes, providing 210 residential care places for the elderly; or building half a primary school.
The Council successfully campaigned against litter last year – hiring two new enforcement officers to issue penalties to those who litter in Sutton; installing 300 new bins; and even displaying 11 tonnes of rubbish on the high street, to demonstrate a year’s worth of litter.
But there is still work to be done to keep Sutton clean and save the taxpayer money.
On 6 January (Twelfth Night) Richard and his wife Gloria had lunch at “The Clink” restaurant which is in Her Majesty’s Prison High Down, in Banstead. Richard now regards this as the best restaurant within a half mile radius of Sutton South Ward.
Negotiating the website and the security checks to get a booking at this restaurant is a challenge. We tried to go before Christmas but it was full. Today the restaurant, which can seat about 60, was fairly empty. You have to turn up early, bring lots of photo ID, not have a mobile phone on you, and be prepared to pay by cheque. It is a bit of a walk from the reception area to the main gate of the prison, where, accompanied by a warder, you are taken through numerous gates that are opened before you and locked behind you, and across various internal courtyards. When you reach the restaurant it has the ambience of a good central London restaurant, and the food is superb.
The restaurant is run as a training restaurant and the prisoners so trained are helped to find jobs in catering after they leave the high security prison. Richard had a Caesar salad, some duck, and a peach desert. Gloria had soup, some beautifully presented fish, and the peach desert. No alcohol of course. All for a little over £50 for two, with an option to leave a donation for the charity, devoted to the rehabilitation of offenders.
The restaurant can be found, and a booking made, at this address (click on “at”).
Work will be carried out between 24 October to 11 November to clean the gulleys in roads in our Ward. This is essential work to avoid flooding.
The work will require temporary waiting restrictions – ‘no waiting’ – and loading restrictions – ‘no loading / unloading’ – in those roads or lengths of roads where cleaning is taking place on the day of the cleaning. Advance notice will be given to residents three days before the restrictions are due to apply. The restrictions will be removed as soon as the works are completed. The works will take place between 7am and 2pm on Mondays to Fridays.
The work will require the temporary suspension of any disabled persons parking places, permit parking place, shared use permit/pay and display parking place, loading place or any other free parking place in those roads or lengths of roads that are adjacent to a drainage gulley, on the days cleaning is taking place.
The days the work will take place are:
24/10/2014 Abbottsleigh Close, Audely Place, Carmborne Road and Stanley Road (between Worcester Roadand Ventnor Road).
27/10/2014 Blackbush Close, Effingham Close, Grange Road (Overton Road to Worcester Road), Grange Vale, Tapestry Close. Upton Dene, Ventnor Road and Westmorland Drive.
28/10/2014 Bonchurch Close, Brighton Road, ( Devonshire Avenue to Mulgrave Road), Devonshire Avenue, Devonshire Road Sutton (Langley Park Road to Devonshire Avenue).
29/10/2014 Christchurch Park, Milestone Close, Walnut Mews and White Lodge Close
30/10/2014 Albion Road, Downside Road. Farm Close Sutton, Farm Road, and The Ridgeway.
31/10/2014 Ambleside Gardens, Cavendish Road, Prior Avenue and Upland Road
10/11/2014 Cedar Road, Chalgrove Road, Eaton Road, Langley Park Road, (Chalgrove Road to Railway Bridge), Mitre Close.
11/11/2014 Cedar Gardens, Cumnor Road, Hillcroome Road, Mayfield Road, Rutherford Close and Wellesley Road.
12/11/2014 Coniston Gardens, Copse Hill, Eastleigh Close, Ferndown Close, Kayemoor Road, Leslie Gardens, Summers Close, Willis Avenue and Worcester Road (Overton Road to Mulgrave Road).