Another good Local Committee meeting with plenty of discussion with community representatives and local residents.
Alison Navarro told us about the work of Community Action Sutton
(formerly Sutton CVS). They provide support and advice to local community groups and charities. So if any of you are involved with local groups which need a bit of advice with constitutions/ governance, training, seeking grants or finding volunteers, they are the people to go to. Contact them at the Granfers community centre, Oakhill Road or via their website: https://www.suttoncvs.org.uk/
We also had an update on Sutton’s Local Plan. This is the document that sets out our aspirations for the Borough and the policies against which planning applications are judged. It includes the targets for new housing, associated schools and transport links. The plan has now been approved by the government inspector and by Sutton Council. It has stronger policies to limit back garden development, protect parks and open spaces, protect the heritage and biodiversity of the Borough and support family housing. The associated Town centre Masterplan looks to diversify our High Street, by introducing more leisure and cultural activities to complement the retail uses.
The Council is fighting to oppose the Labour London Mayor’s proposal to double our housing target, which he wants us to do by building on back gardens and allowing more house conversions into flats. If he succeeds he will ruin the character of the area.
There were questions about:
- the proposed tram – which is a TfL project for which the significant funding needed has not been agreed (our proposal is to route the tram down the Sutton Common loop railway line);
- the proposed school at Rosehill – which is proposed for the built-on sports pitch. We are awaiting a planning application from the government’s education and Skills Funding Agency, as under the government’s rules this has to be a ‘free’ school. At the meeting it was explained that the application would almost certainly be ‘called in’ by the London Mayor, and there would be an expectation that the applicant would conduct a major consultation with residents.
- what gain do residents get from the new developments in the High St? There is a need for more activities for children: a swimming pool, soft play area, etc. It was explain that these would be for private developers to provide and a swimming pool was unlikely. The masterplan will encourage more leisure activities.
The committee agreed budget allocations for traffic schemes for 2019/20. these included:
- Collingwood Road: speed reduction and safety measures. There is already money in this years budget which is being used for traffic monitoring and collecting other data. Consultation on options for improvements is expected in the autumn. The committee agreed funds for next year, when the necessary measures will be implemented.
- Oakhill Rd/ High St junction. Work has started on traffic monitoring. This is a difficult junction. Traffic lights might be an option, but would be expensive, so officers will also look at other options.
There is a concern that budgets for scheme such as these, which come from TfL, will be reduced in future years due to government austerity cuts.
The committee watched a video
which highlights many of the achievements funded by the Local Committee in recent years. It showed some of the benefits that can come from small sums of money being well spent – neighbourhood grants, and public realm funding – and the value that the Local Committee can bring. Many central budgets are being cut – for example for replacement street trees and for litter bins – so that the Local Committee is the only source of funding for many items.
The committee agreed to replace three trees on Sutton Green, along the Hallmead Road side. Also it agreed a new litter bin by the new outdoor gym in Rosehill Park East, a cherry tree in Woodend, and two extra pieces of gym equipment in the leisure area at the back of Chaucer Gardens.
At the public question time, a resident asked about the warning signs for the railway bridge in Collingwood Road. There has been a long delay in dealing with this, due to the need to consult with TfL and Network Rail. The new signs are now being prepared for erection.
Another residents raised his concerns about parking in Marlborough Road, and that his request for a dropped kerb has been refused.
The next meeting of the Local Committee is on Thurs 6 Sept. The agenda is likely to include a report on the Parking strategy and on Market Place Sutton (the northern end of the High St).