RE-LAUNCH OF THE COMMUNITY-POLICE CONSULTATIVE PANEL

Our police station in Carshalton Road

An effort is being made, on 8 March, to re-launch the Community-Police Consultative Panel for our Ward.

This will be a meeting to which the public are invited, at 6pm, at Christchurch in Christchurch Park.

We were concerned after the last meeting of the panel, on 29 November, that numbers attending and the importance the police placed on the work of the panel were slipping. It was the first meeting for a long time as the summer meeting was cancelled at a late point due to it being on the evening of one of the football matches England were involved in in the World Cup. It was a meeting that left us feeling worried. An increase in crime, in burglaries and thefts from motor vehicles, was reported for the first time for some time. This may not be unrelated to problems of police numbers following the merger with Croydon and Bromley. There were a significant number of unfilled posts, vacancies, that the police were struggling to fill, particularly PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers). These officers are important for work on community relations. One member of staff was about to be moved to work in Croydon and we have again lost our Dedicated Ward Officer, Kellie Heath. Kellie has also moved to Croydon.

We hope for a better attendance on 8 March and welcome a new Chair, Aime.

 

RICHARD AND TRISH MEET STUDENTS AT THE GLENTHORNE SCHOOL CAREERS FAIR

At the fair

Richard and Trish were invited by Glenthorne school to attend their careers fair, where they met many of the school’s students. They discussed the work of local Councillors, political life in general, and careers as a local Government officer. Councils employ local Government officers as managers but also a wide variety of specialists, including town planners and traffic engineers.

Richard commented that during his year as Mayor he went to most Sutton schools and was particularly impressed by Glenthorne.

WELCOME TO OUR SITE

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

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 for the stop Brexit march. 20 October

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

Richard’s band entertained the Mayor and the regulars at the Robin Hood pub in Sutton in December

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

RESULTS OF SECOND ROUND OF CONSULTATION ON PARKING AWAITED

 

Are car clubs part of the solution?

The second round of consultation on parking proposals for the Ward has concluded and we await the results, which will be consulted on further. Here is the text of Richard’s speech on the parking consultation to the recent Council meeting.

“I am in my ninth year as a Councillor.

From day one, parking has been one of the major issues my residents complain to me about.

And it is obvious why – Sutton South Ward is close to the town centre, in the area close to the station there is intense demand for parking so it is rationed by making it a controlled parking zone, then you get to the area just outside the zone.

The example I always give is Mayfield Road which is the first road you come to outside the controlled zone walking east. So this road has bumper to bumper parking every day except Sunday, and the residents get fed up with it and campaign continuously for parking controls.

Over my nine years there have been several surveys of residents’ views on parking controls in Mayfield and neighbouring roads, including in 2016 when the three Ward Councillors – Councillor Shields, Councillor Fivey and myself, working across party lines as we often do – agreed a scheme with the traffic engineers which residents in Mayfield and neighbouring roads were consulted on. That scheme was abandoned as residents in other roads nearby said “What about us?” Fortunately the Parking Strategy Consultation had just been agreed so we were able to abandon the more limited scheme and promise a wider consultation of a wider area. I particularly remember this as the residents of Mayfield Road were not happy at the abandonment of the parking scheme for their road and came to the local committee to protest, where Councillor Shields told them we now intended to undertake a more “holistic” survey of the whole area. I particularly remember this as he used the word “holistic” and the residents looked at each other, seemingly wondering what this word meant.

So we, the Ward Councillors, jointly made a commitment to this consultation.

I think the staged consultation exercise is the best approach. It enables residents to see what is proposed for the wider area around them, based on the opinions of residents in the first round of consultation, and to modify their views accordingly in the second round.

And there will be a third round of consultation. Some residents say to me you are endlessly consulting, when are you going to do something?

The aim is to discover what the prevailing opinion is, and do what residents want.

Of course, whatever the result, even in some roads where there is a strong prevailing opinion, some people will be unhappy.

But that is no reason to hide under the table and not tackle what residents see as an important problem. We should not ignore it.

Now there are some bits of misinformation and distractions put about.

The “an abstention will be a positive vote” story has been adequately discredited. Of course, in Sutton South as a whole most residents are unaffected by these changes but in the roads affected there is a ferment of debate and social media helps spread awareness – every day someone tells me of some new Whatsapp or Facebook page. I cannot keep up.

The cash cow: parking schemes bring enforcement costs which have to be covered, though in fact of the 32 London Boroughs Sutton is one of the cheapest places to park. And we all know that the decision in the 2013 Barnet Council v Attfield case prohibits cross subsidisation of other Council services from parking charges, and as chair of the Audit and Governance Committee I can tell you that the external auditors would come down on us instantly if we breached that. In Sutton South the changes currently out for consultation would not increase revenue but would have costs.

Emissions based charging: I am not very green, we have two cars. The road tax – a charge set by Government – on my petrol driven Nissan is £120 a year. On my hybrid Honda it is £10. A massive difference. So relating charges to vehicle emissions is not an idea invented in the London Borough of Sutton, it is Government policy, a Conservative Government.

From next year the Ultra Low Emissions Zone will mean I will pay to drive my Nissan – but not my Honda – north of the south circular road, and with current public concern over the impact of vehicle emissions on air quality I would wager that the general direction of public policy in the UK in the next few years will be further in this direction, not in the direction of the abolition of such differential charges, which I see is the policy of Sutton Conservatives, but evidently not that of the Conservative party nationally.

Some residents in my Ward ask about the closure of the Brighton Road car park, six years ago. We can draw a distinction between people who are prepared to pay for parking and those not prepared to pay. If the people who park in the roads near Brighton Road were prepared to pay for parking – so might have parked in the Brighton Road car park, demolished six years ago – they could park at the Gibson Road car park, closer to the town centre, ten minutes walk from Brighton Road, which is never full.

The choice for Brighton Road is – is this site better used as the HQ of a major international company, creating 900 jobs in Sutton that would otherwise have been in Epsom, or as a half-empty car park ten minutes walk from another multi-storey car park which is never full.

My simple point on the parking strategy is this, we should consult our residents, and then do what they want us to do. It is not complicated.”

 

 

OUR “COMMUNITY WALKABOUT” AT SUTTON COURT AND BEAUCLERE HOUSE

The state of the fencing has been an issue at Sutton Court

On 31 January Trish and Richard joined residents of Sutton Court and Beauclere House on a “Community Walkabout” organised by Sutton Housing Partnership (who manage the estate) to look at problems on the estate.

In freezing weather, the group toured the estate and found a number of instances of outside pipes and overflow pipes that are leaking, fencing in need of repair, fly tipping needing to be removed and lights that are not working – or in some cases still on in broad daylight, when they need not be.

The walkabout provided opportunity to discuss the problems of the estate with senior SHP staff. The “right to buy” has reduced the number of properties occupied by social housing tenants, with just under half of the properties in Sutton Court sold off and just over half in Beauclere House. In Beauclere House over a fifth of tenants are in receipt of Universal Credit, and over a fith are in arrears. This indicates the financial problems that many face.

A community event at Sutton Court – with an inflatable

ENSURING TREES ARE REPLACED IF THEY HAVE TO BE FELLED

 

A new tree recently planted, in the Ward

Our first major success to kick off the New Year New Year was at the meeting on 10 January of the Local Committee, held at the Banstead Downs Golf Club. The main decision was to replace twelve trees in the Ward that, following a survey of the 2000 or so street trees in the Ward last year, were identified as diseased and as needing to be felled. Trish and Richard sought and obtained funding for replacement trees to be planted. These will be:

3 in Camborne Road

2 in Devonshire Avenue

1 in Effingham Close

3 in Langley Park Road

1 in The Ridgway

2 in Upland Road

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Richard’s band played carols in the St Nicholas centre before Christmas to raise money for the Mayor of Sutton’s charities

If your bin collection is missed report it at the end of the day by clicking on the “Report it” button on the Sutton Council website, www.sutton.gov.uk. However leave your bin accessible as there is a fair chance it will be collected a day late.

Real Christmas trees will be collected over the period from January 14 to 26, for “kerbside” collections on the day your brown wheelie bin is collected. Those in blocks of flats should leave the tree by the bins. Or you can take it to the dump at Kimpton Park Way.

A NEW BUS ROUTE

We have been asking local residents to have a look at this consultation by TfL.

https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/lsp/56861abb/

This concerns a possible new bus route between St Helier Hospital and Epsom General Hospital, going along Brighton Road. This would be of benefit to local residents, particularly those elderly or infirm residents who do not have a car and frequently visit one of these hospitals. I am encouraging residents to respond positively to it.

FURTHER CONSULTATION ON THE PARKING SURVEY RESULTS: MAKE SURE YOU RESPOND: DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 30 DECEMBER

Are car clubs part of the solution?

Analysis has now been concluded of the survey of residents views on parking conducted at the start of this year. Residents responded to the survey and officers have prepared street-by-street proposals reflecting the views expressed.
A further survey, of views on the proposals officers have made following the survey, is now underway.
Residents have received a consultation letter and were asked to respond by 16 December, but the deadline is now extended to 30 December..

Many residents tell us of concerns about parking, particularly near Sutton station, and residents in many roads at the edge of the current Controlled Parking Zone have told us they would like parking controls in their road. For that reason the Council has put aside funds for a comprehensive consultation exercise. Further consultation of residents of Sutton South Ward on parking issues is underway, asking for responses by 16 December. You can look to see if there are proposals for your road, and comment on them, by going to

www.sutton.gov.uk/parkinghaveyoursay

Residents were consulted earlier this year asking if there were parking problems in their road and, if the answer was yes, what they would like done. The further stage in the consultation sets out information on street by street proposals from the traffic engineers, based on the responses.

Now in my ninth year as a local Councillor (Richard) and my fifth year (Trish), we both find parking to be one of the most difficult issues. Residents often have strong views but in many roads there are strong views in different directions. It is inevitable that in some roads some people will be delighted by the proposals, some opposed, and some indifferent. Officers and Councillors can only be guided by views set out in the responses to consultation, so do respond to the further consultation exercise.

A WORRYING MEETING WITH THE POLICE

Our police station in Carshalton Road

On 29 November we attended he first meeting for a long time of the Sutton South Ward Police Community Panel, held in the Parish Office at Christchurch in Christchurch Park. The summer meeting was cancelled at a late point due to it being on the evening of one of the football matches England were involved in in the World Cup. This was a meeting that left us feeling worried. An increase in crime, in burglaries and thefts from motor vehicles, was reported for the first time for some time. This may not be unrelated to problems of police numbers following the merger with Croydon and Bromley. There are a significant number of unfilled posts, vacancies, that the police are struggling to fill, particularly PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers). These officers are important for work on community relations. One member of staff is about to be moved to work in Croydon, though she did not request this move, and we are again losing our Dedicated Ward Officer, Kellie Heath. Kellie is also being moved to Croydon.