Many Sutton residents commute to London by train, and the combination of good schools, low crime, a green and leafy borough and proximity to local railway stations is what attracts many London commuters to the area.
For this reason, local Councillor Trish Fivey and Richard Clifton, are concerned at the reports they are getting from many residents that the train service is not adequate. Both of them have, at times, been commuters into central London and they know the frustrations.
In September, Trish made an impassioned speech to Sutton Council on the problems residents have experienced, quoting the stories residents have shared with her of cancelled services and broken down trains. The Council called on the Government to review the franchise of Southern Railway and Govia, and implement stringent penalties for failure to deliver an adequate service.
Since Richard was elected he has fought successful campaigns to save the Thameslink service and to get the side entrance to Sutton station open. They are now campaigning to increase the capacity of the station car park and want to monitor the performance of the railway -- please continue to contact them with your thoughts and experiences.
Your local Lib Dem Councillors have been working with the organising committee, headed by Ric Adams, to make the 2016 Christmas lights switch-on event even better.
The committee has received a neighbourhood grant from the Beddington and Wallington Local Committee, to help fund street food stalls and a bigger PA system.
The event will start at 5pm on Friday 25th November, with the switch on at 7pm by the Mayor of Sutton Councillor Richard Clifton.
There will be choirs and two bands until 8pm plus food supplied by Chef RF, The Woodcote Flying Club and more.
Local Councillor Mary Burstow is working hard to improve Cheam Recreation Ground, building on her record of delivery for Cheam's lovely green spaces.
Mary is working to secure funding for a new path across Cheam Rec that will link the newly refurbished pavilion with the existing path to Nonsuch Park.
In the six years Mary has been Cheam Ward Councillor, she has secured funding for three new paths across Cheam Park, Cheam Rec and into Nonsuch Park.
Mary said: "This fourth path will allow people to walk, cycle and push prams across Cheam Rec in the winter and not get their feet wet. It also means people can do a circular walk, taking in Cheam Park, then the newly planted trees and stunning views of the London Basin from Cheam Rec".
Rail bosses want to demolish the two Victorian railway bridges in Hackbridge – Hundred Acre and Irrigation bridges - despite protests from local residents and Councillors.
Hanna Zuchowska, Lib Dem Councillor for Wandle Valley and Hackbridge, said: “Network Rail are refusing to pay for essential maintenance to the bridges, so they’re pressing ahead with the demolition, despite strong opposition from the local community and Sutton Council.
“Tory Cuts to the Council’s funding mean we have to reduce our annual budget by 50% by 2019, and there are more cuts to come, so it’s unreasonable and unrealistic of Network Rail to demand that we take on all the repair and future maintenance costs.
“We are disappointed that they are not willing to help the Council and community find a more satisfactory solution and we’re calling on the company to reconsider its position.”
Please sign our petition calling on the rail bosses to save the bridges here.
Carshalton South & Clockhouse is one of the greenest parts of Sutton, with so many great parks and open spaces. Local Lib Dem Councillor Amy Haldane is determined to ensure green spaces, large and small, are preserved and protected.
At the Carshalton Local Committee on 18th October, funding was agreed for 43 new trees in various locations throughout the area.
As well as new trees, funding was also agreed for a new picnic table for Oaks Park, a new illustrative map of Oaks Park and a second noticeboard for Queen Mary's Park.
Amy said: “The lovely parks and abundance of trees across Carshalton South and Clockhouse make it such a great place to live, work and raise a family.
“I’m really pleased that we’ve secured more trees for the ward and more amenities for our parks.”
Traffic in Worcester Park has been a problem for some time now and your local Councillors are determined to tackle it.
One recurring problem is around Central Road, where motorists try to avoid the busy road by rushing through neighbouring side streets.
Early in the morning of 20th September, your local Councillors Paul Wingfield and Richard Marston joined police officers in Ruskin Drive to make sure everyone was sticking to the 20mph speed limit.
They caught around a dozen motorists speeding in just two hours. These motorists will be receiving letters from the Police.
The team will be out again to calm down the speeds on a few more of our local roads - residents are more than welcome to join in, so please get in touch if you would like to.
Recently, several cases of anti-social behaviour (ASB) around Rosehill came to the attention of your St Helier's Lib Dem Councillors. As a result, Cllr Jean Crossby met with local shopkeepers and police officers to discuss what can be done to combat this.
As well as the reports of ASB at Rosehill, it also came to Jean’s attention that motorbikes were being driven dangerously through the alleyway at the bottom of Stavordale Road.
Jean said: “We want to ensure that local residents feel safe in their own community. As your Councillors, we’ll be working alongside the police to combat ASB.
"We’re also working with the police and Council to stop people illegally driving through the alleyway in Stavordale Road. We will keep you updated on our progress.”
Local Lib Dem Councillors - David Bartolucci, Vincent Galligan and Ali Mirhashem - are working to improve our High Street.
Safety Improvements in Throwley Way
As part of their plan to improve road safety in our area, David, Vincent and Ali were successful in securing funding for improvements on Throwley Way.
The works are expected to reduce conflict between vehicles turning right into Benhill Avenue and buses using the bus lane. In addition, the surfacing within the bus lane was improved.
The work involved; removal of the bus lane, resurfacing of the existing bus lane, installation of new paving at the crossing at the bus stop north of the junction.
Cllr Vincent Galligan said: "We are constantly working to improve the access from Benhill Avenue and the High Street and I'm delighted that another piece of this puzzle has been completed. This follows funding we secured to improve the landscaped area opposite the Salvation Army".
Sainsbury’s coming to Sutton High Street
As part of the on-going regeneration of Sutton Town Centre, David, Vincent and Ali all welcome the forthcoming opening of the new Sainsbury’s at the northern end of the High Street.
This will be one of Sainsbury’s larger stores (at 50,000sq ft) and will include an in-store bakery, a café and a full counter service, whilst also creating more than 300 jobs in the local area.
There will also be more shop units, to rejuvenate the northern end of the High Street, with new flats above.
Finally, thanks to funding from Sainsbury’s, the pavement and road adjacent to the development has been revamped to enhance the area.
Cllr David Bartolucci said: “We are pleased that Sainsbury’s have redeveloped the northern end of the High Street.
“Having been a life-long resident of Sutton, I remember the many years the site was derelict. I’m also delighted that this development will supply more new jobs and affordable housing to local residents.”
Excellent news: the much-loved War Memorial on Wallington Green has been given Grade II listed status.
The First World War memorial was unveiled on 1st March 1922, with later additions for the Second World War.
The memorial is being given the designation because of its historic interest and its architectural interest, particularly the high level of craftsmanship on the pillar and the good quality materials used.
In the last Wallington North Focus newsletter, local Councillors Joyce Melican, Marian Radford and Sunita Gordon asked for volunteers to become ‘Friends of Wallington Green’ to help with the upkeep of the beautiful green. Several replies were received but due to technical problems have been lost. If anyone is interested, please get in touch with your Councillors here.
Local businesses are working with Sutton Council and Councillors to investigate the possibility of creating a Worcester Park Business Improvement District (BID).
All businesses in and around Central Road have had the opportunity to complete a questionnaire and will be asked to vote on the idea early next year.
If the required number are in favour of the idea the council will add an agreed percentage to their business rates then pass the additional amount collected to a new BID company set up by the members.
After this, it is up to the company's Board to decide how they spend the money to improve shopping in Worcester Park. Please contact Cllr Richard Marston if you would like to know more.