PREVENTING SPEEDING: AND GRANGE VALE CLOSED AGAIN ON 5 FEBRUARY

Two speed signs – one in each direction – in Farm Road

Two new developments in our war on speeding – new speed indicator signs in Farm Road. These do have an impact on traffic speeds, as people are reminded how fast they are going. Where else should we have them?

And the width restriction has now been installed in Grange Vale to slow traffic passing under the bridge, which will be of benefit to pedestrians passing along the narrow pavement under the bridge against the flow of traffic (in particular if pushing a buggy).

Almost as soon as the width restriction was installed on 22 January it was vandalised, with one of the bollards being removed. This must have been done by someone with sophisticated cutting equipment. the road will be closed again on Monday 5 February for the bollard to be replaced.

CONCERN OVER LATE NIGHT DRINKING

 

On 24 January Richard attended the meeting of Sutton Council’s Licensing Committee and spoke to the Committee about the new licence application submitted by the Noor Jahan Tandoori bar, at 10 Station Parade, Sutton, just south of Sutton station on the Brighton Road.

The bar has a current Premises Licence to sell food and drink, but wanted to extend the hours of trading to 02:30 hours, to sell alcohol and food.  Therefore, instead of varying the existing licence, they submitted a new application.

Applicants for licences are required to stipulate how they will promote the licensing objectives of:

  • Prevention of crime and disorder
  • Protection of children from harm
  • Public safety
  • Prevention of public nuisance.

The bar is in an area where special considerations apply and applicants have to demonstrate to a high standard how they comply with and promote these objectives. The bar is in a well populated residential area. We had doubts about it continuing to sell alcohol till 2.30am, even though this would be to people consuming food, as there could be noise problems for local residents in the wee small hours when it closes.

​We sought the views of residents before commenting. A significant number of residents wrote expressing concern so Richard registered an objection to ensure the application was considered by the Licensing Committee.

The decision of the Committee was to restrict the hours of opening, so the bar will not stay open till 2.30 am.

COLLECTION OF CHRISTMAS TREES

The normal pattern of waste collection resumes on Tuesday 9 January (food, recycling (cans, glass, plastics, cartons), rubbish)

From Monday 8 January to Saturday 20 January 2018, we will be collecting real Christmas trees from the kerbside for composting.

Place it out for collection by 6am on the same day that your non-recyclable waste is collected, that is Tuesday 9 January. Please remove all decorations and pots and place your tree out for collection by 6am.

If you live in a flat and use communal bins please leave your tree next to the bin store and this will be collected. Please do not place your Christmas tree inside the bin store as this may prevent other residents accessing the bins.

If you prefer, you can take your tree free of charge to the Recycling Centre at Kimpton Park Way.

Happy New Year

CHANGES TO RAIL SERVICES FROM SUTTON STATION

There is continuing consultation being carried out by Southern and Thameslink on changes to the timetabling of trains from Sutton station. There is a further consultation on changes to weekend and late night services which you can find at 

 www.transformingrail.com.

This website invites comment on the changes. The website gives no closing date for comments but we understand that this will be 18 December. 

You can also give feedback at

RICHARD SPEAKS OUT ON HOMELESSNESS

On 20 November Sutton Council debated the subject of homelessness.

This is the text of Richard’s speech.

“During my year as Mayor I was continually struck with admiration for the massive contribution to Sutton made by volunteers. Volunteers for a great range of organisations, and in particular volunteers for organisations like Nightwatch, like the Street Pastors, like Sutton Community Works,  and like the food banks, all of whom are dedicated to helping the poorest and most dispossessed in our society.

But I could never escape from a feeling that in a rational and caring society organisations like the food banks and those providing in effect soup kitchens and advice for rough sleepers and those with no resources, like Nightwatch, would not exist. They would have no clients. How is it that in an affluent society like Britain we are such an unequal society that we have people in such poverty that they need food banks to feed themselves and they lose the roof over their heads, reduced at worst to rough sleeping, at best to the local authority finding them emergency bed and breakfast accommodation probably some miles from Sutton.

This would be an entirely academic observation were it not for the fact that this problem is not diminishing, it is increasing. Not just in Sutton, but nationally.

The statistics for Sutton show that in April of 2015 the number of homeless households the Council had placed in temporary accommodation stood at 280, a year later it was 411, last week it stood at 581. But it is not a Sutton problem, it is a national problem. It is everywhere.

As a Councillor I have found increasing casework concerning families given notice to quit and that the Council then has to place in emergency accommodation often miles from their roots, miles from the schools their children attend, miles from their employment in Sutton. In one recent case I dealt with this eviction appeared to be largely because the family had complained to the landlord about the all pervading damp in the flat.

What can be done to turn the tide ? What local authorities and volunteers like Nightwatch can do is no more than picking up the pieces. The Council has the difficult task of finding accommodation. When I was Chair of Planning Committee three years ago one of the decisions we took, controversial at the time and I recollect it was not without opposition, was to convert the Oakleigh home to be a hostel for families in need of emergency accommodation. But we would need many more Oakleighs now just to meet the increase in that need since that time.

The failure here, leading to the problem escalating, is a failure of policy. It is the welfare and housing policies of central Government that are failing to address the problem and leading to its escalation.

I could spend a long time detailing these failures – the bearing down on those already in poverty through the benefits freeze and through changes to support of those unable to work due to disability and illness, the introduction of Universal Credit in a way that is most concerned to save money, the loss of the Council’s stock of social housing due to the right to buy, the decline nationally in the construction of new Council houses and affordable homes, which we are trying to address here in Sutton with our ambitious programme to build the first new Council homes in 30 years. Changes to the Local Housing Allowance. The loopholes in planning law that enable developers such as those who refurbished Northumberland House in my Ward to evade requirements to provide any affordable homes atall. The list goes on. It is part of a war on what my generation cherished as the welfare state.

My colleague Councillor Fivey, who sadly cannot be here tonight, has had discussions with Nightwatch since the organisation was formed and assisted in their obtaining £586.13 from the Council through the Neighbourhood Grant programme to pay for the tent, a gazebo, from which they operate three nights a week in our Ward, providing food and help to rough sleepers and others without resources. Current discussions about the best practical further help for Nightwatch, and other organisations, will continue.

We all support the work of Nightwatch but there is no logic in expressing our support for organisations like Nightwatch while not mentioning what should be done to stop these problems occurring in the first place, which is to change Government policy.”

 

 

SUTTON POLICE STATION SAVED AFTER OUR CAMPAIGN

Our police station in Carshalton Road

After a long consultation, to which the Council contributed, the Mayor of London has announced the closure of counter services at a swathe of police stations across London. We campaigned to save the service at Sutton station, and we have been successful.

Sadly, the counter service at Worcester Park station is to close. Shame on you, Sadiq Khan!

CONSULTATION ON WIDTH RESTRICTION IN GRANGE VALE SHOWS SUPPORT FOR THE PROPOSAL

Where the width restriction will go

The Council is proposing to introduce a width restriction in Grange Vale at the point where the road passes under the railway bridge.

The problem with the road at this point is the risk to pedestrians walking along the narrow footway against the flow of traffic, particularly those pushing buggys with small children. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the road turns right at this point, which means that drivers see pedestrians passing under the bridge quite late. The width restriction will slow traffic and ensure that larger vehicles do not use Grange Vale.

Consultation is taking place on this proposal. If you respond to the consultation, do please let us know your views.

The consultation letter reads as follows:

“The London Borough of Sutton are proposing to make a Traffic Order. The general effect of the Order will be as follows:

Introduce a width restriction of 2 metres (6 feet 6 inches) to prevent all but cars, two wheelers and light good vehicles from using Grange Vale, Sutton in advance of the railway bridge.

The Council is seeking your views on the above proposal; A copy of the statutory documents are available to view by visiting our web page following the link below:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B3xEZj_zdZK3aGZvU1hnTVVjUUk

If you wish to make any representations on this proposal please do so by filling in the online form which can be found on our web pages in the location mentioned above. Your comments need to be with us by Thursday 30 November 2017.”

STOP PRESS: Most residents supported this proposal so we are pushing for it to go ahead.

 

POLICE PRIORITIES CONFIRMED

Our police station in Carshalton Road

Although Sutton borough has one of the lowest crime rates in London – and Sutton South Ward is among the Wards with the lowest crime rates in the borough – we must never be complacent.

We take part in regular consultation meetings with the police to discuss crime trends and priorities for police action in our Ward, and on Tuesday 31 October we met the police at Christchurch hall in Christchurch Park.

Our new Dedicated Ward Officer, PC Kellie Heath, is fitting in to her role and has been very active in meeting local community groups. Although the revised policing model promised by Borough Commander Mark Lawrence promises two Dedicated Ward Officers, supported by a PCSO, by the end of 2017, Kellie is at the moment something of a one woman band.

We were delighted that Frank Berry, who lives in Christchurch Park and was formerly chair of the Sutton Federation of Residents and Tenants’ Associations has agreed to chair future meetings.

The meeting ran through the crime statistics for the last three months. A theme in the four burglaries from houses was windows left open, and in motor vehicle crime carelessness about locking vehicles and leaving SatNavs on display inside the car. Other themes discussed at the meeting were incidents of rough sleeping in stairwells of blocks of flats. The meeting agreed that police priorities should continue to be burglary, anti-social behaviour and speeding.

This consultation meeting was much better attended than recent meetings in this series so our efforts at publicity are bearing fruit.

TEMPORARY CHANGES TO THE S3 BUS ROUTE

We have received the following information from TfL. From Saturday 28 October 2017 until further notice route S3 will no longer serve Sutton Hospital or Cotswold Road.

This is due to development work at the London Cancer Hub site which means TfL is temporarily unable to use the bus stop in the hospital grounds, where buses currently terminate and stand. Route S3 will now run the full length of Downs Road to terminate and stand at Belmont rail station. It will continue to serve stops in Downs Road (near Cotswold Road) and the stop in the grounds of Royal Marsden Hospital. TfL are working with the developers to reinstate route S3 to the redeveloped site when possible.

For more information, please visit tfl.gov.uk/TempBusChanges .