Planning Aid for London Charity

Dear Planning Committee Members


The charity Planning Aid for London has, for over 40 years, been providing support to individuals, community groups and other community organisations that cannot afford to pay for planning consultants.  Planning Aid for London can assist with:

1.         Understanding and interacting with the planning system
2.         Taking part in preparing policy plans
3.         Making community plans
4.         Commenting on planning applications
5.         Giving advice on planning appeals
6.         Gaining confidence for planning committee and public inquiry appearances
7.         Training planning committee members is aspects of the planning system.

The increase in charges for planning advice and the reduction of duty officer services makes reaching the hard-to-reach ever more pressing.   The Planning Aid for London advice-line, 0300 77 29 808, provides independent professional assistance.

The dedicated volunteers at Planning Aid for London are here to help you:
0300 77 29 808

Circulating this email to your colleagues and to officers would be much appreciated.

Yours sincerely

The Trustees
Planning Aid for London

Sutton Council’s Admiral Nursing Service makes prestigious Health Service Journal Awards shortlist

Sutton Council’s Admiral Nurses service, which provides specialist support for borough families living with dementia, has been shortlisted for this year’s Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards.

The service has been shortlisted in the category of CCG and Local Authority Integrated commissioning for Carers. Judges had a tough job scoring and commended the high quality of entries this year.

The Admiral Nurses are specialist dementia nurses who play a unique, caring role by working across different parts of the health and social care system. They ensure that the needs of family carers and people with dementia can be addressed in a co-ordinated way.

Sutton is one of a few local authorities in England to host an Admiral Nurse Service team. The service is a partnership between Sutton Council, NHS Sutton CCG and Dementia UK, the national charity that develops and maintains Admiral Nursing.

Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council and a trained dementia friend, said:

“Sutton Council congratulates everyone in the Admiral Nursing Service team. Being shortlisted for this award is fantastic news and well deserved recognition of the valuable contribution they make to those living with dementia and their carers. The team is an inspiration to us all and I keep my fingers crossed for more good news when the winner is announced.”

Alastair McLellan, Editor of HSJ, said:

“With the NHS experiencing a tough time as funding fails to keep up with demand, the HSJ Awards are once again the best reminder of the excellence the service is capable of. Taken together the entries to the HSJ Awards represent work which, directly or indirectly, has saved thousands of lives and enhanced many times that number.”

The shortlisted organisations will complete presentations and interviews to a judging panel made up of senior and influential figures from the health sector.

The winners will be announced at a prestigious ceremony on 23 November at the Intercontinental O2 in London.

Save our Pharmacies – Tom Brake’s Campaign


Many residents, whether they are young or old or have children, use local pharmacies. Pharmacists take pressure off GPs and St Helier’s A&E, meaning people in need of urgent care are seen more quickly. They don’t just give out medicines — pharmacies can provide medical assistance and advice and treat minor ailments.
Earlier this year the Government had decided that £170 million would be cut from pharmacies in 2016/17.

That would be an estimated £660,000 cut for Sutton’s pharmacies or the closure of 11 pharmacies in our borough — or 1 in 4 of them!

I was and remain concerned about these proposals which are nothing more than a backdoor health cut. When I met with local pharmacists, they told me that the reasons for the changes were not explained and the public will receive a worse service because of the cuts.

Although I welcome this week’s pause in Government plans for these cuts, the battle isn’t over yet. Knowing this Government, their ‘pause’ could easily switch into an attack on pharmacies. We must all remain vigilant.

So… will you add your voice to my campaign?

I will continue to work with our local pharmacists in putting pressure on the Government to abandon these plans once and for all.


Tom Brake MP

PS. Please forward this email onto friends, family, and neighbours who may want to sign the petition.

Open House as Sutton heritage buildings open their doors to public


There are lots of interesting buildings that will be open to the public Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 September.

Sutton residents will have the chance to explore some of the borough’s more unusual buildings during Open House London 2016.

The annual event, which takes place on the weekend of 17 and 18 September, will see the doors of heritage buildings in London opened to the public so that they can learn more about their fascinating histories.

Several Sutton Council-owned properties will be taking part in Open House London 2016. These include Carshalton’s Honeywood Museum, Russettings Register Office in central Sutton, and the state-of-the-art Sutton Life Centre on Alcorn Close, off Oldfields Road.

In addition, a number of privatelyowned properties around the borough, including Carshalton House at St Philomena’s School, Sutton Police Station, and the pioneering bedZED eco-village in Hackbridge, will also be open for the public to enjoy.

Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“The Open House events are a really important way to connect residents with the histories of their local areas. It’s a great chance to explore some buildings that aren’t usually open to the public, and learn more about them and the roles they have played in their communities. We’re really excited that Carshalton House and Sutton Police Station will be taking part in this year’s Open House London events. I encourage everyone to get out and visit at least one of the Open House venues – you won’t regret it.”

A full list of properties that will be open for the public to enjoy in the borough can be found on the Sutton Council website here. You can also find out what’s going on across the capital on the Open House London website here.

Heat Alert for this Week!

Jill, Chris and Hamish have received this message….
Dear Colleagues
The Met Office has issued a level 2 heat alert for London and the South-East from 6pm on Monday 12 September until 9am on Thursday 15 September 2016
Temperatures are expected to exceed 30C on Tuesday
Advice on what measures can be taken during a heatwave are detailed in the LBS guidance for staff and service managers. Please consider the impact this could have on yourself, colleagues and service users, particularly those vulnerable to higher temperatures.
Mike Lewis, Emergency Planning Officer
Communications Team

London Borough of Sutton
Civic Offices
St. Nicholas Way
Sutton SM1 1EA 
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Carshalton Road by Alfred Road, Sutton: traffic light upgrade works

A message is in from Transport for London….

Dear Stakeholder

Carshalton Road: traffic light upgrade works planned from 19 September 2016

I am writing to let you know that we are planning to carry out traffic light upgrade works on Carshalton Road, at the pedestrian crossing by Alfred Road, from 19 September. The new lights have been designed to current standards and employ new technology to use less energy. 

Temporary traffic lights from 19 September

The works are planned from 08:00 to 17:30 on Mondays to Fridays between 19 September and early October. Carshalton Road will be open as normal while the upgrade is completed although temporary traffic lights will be in place.

For live road travel updates, please visit or follow @TfLTrafficNews on Twitter.


Some barriers will be in place around the works area for safety reasons. Please follow the signage that will be in place and take extra care. Pedestrian crossings will remain open, wherever possible, although some temporary closures may apply. Any closures will be clearly signed, while pedestrian access to properties will not be affected.

Working hours

The working hours outlined above have been agreed with the London Borough of Sutton. We apologise in advance for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience while these improvements are completed. 

Find out more 

This work forms part of Transport for London’s Road Modernisation Plan, the largest investment in London’s roads for a generation. Visit for more information about the Plan. The attached letter will be distributed to local residents and stakeholders.

Kind regards

Joseph Bowkley, Principal Traffic Control Engineer -TI Modernisation Programme, Transport for London

Former Mayor John Dodwell – a tribute

John Dodwell

The Mayor of Sutton, Cllr Richard Clifton, said:

“I am sorry to inform you of the sad news that former councillor and Mayor John Dodwell has passed away after a short illness.

“John was a civil engineer who devoted most of his retirement years to community service in the London Borough of Sutton. He served for 12 years as ward councillor for Wallington North from 1994 to 2006 and was Mayor of Sutton in 2002-03.

“John had a particular interest in education issues, serving on a number of council education bodies and committees, and was Chair of the Education Committee in 1998-99.

“One of the highlights of his busy year as Mayor was his opening of the new Sutton Arena (now David Weir Leisure Centre) in which he emphasised the importance of the centre to the local community. On that occasion he played host to the official guest, world champion hurdler Colin Jackson.

“On his retirement from Sutton Council, John continued to play an active role in community affairs. He was Chair of the Friends of Beddington Park and played a major part in helping to secure £3m from the Heritage Lottery and Big Lottery Funds to restore and upgrade the park.

“John was very committed to the voluntary sector and also championed many projects to make improvements to the local area. An active Catholic, he took a keen interest in housing and homelessness issues.

“John will be sorely missed by his many friends in the voluntary sector to which he gave so much support. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Anne and his family at this sad time.”

Sutton Council set to review on-road parking arrangements across borough


Sutton Council is to review on-street parking and consult on proposed changes that will take a more united approach to parking across the borough.

Sutton has the sixth-highest levels of car ownership and usage in London. This has led to issues about traffic congestion and air quality in the borough. High levels of car ownership in streets with older houses without garages has contributed to parking stresses as off-street parking can be difficult in these areas.

The Parking Strategy and Policy document, to be discussed by the council’s Environment and Neighbourhoods committee on 15 September, sets out how the council plans to assess, review and manage on-street parking in the borough in the coming years.

The first three years of the five-year strategy, which is proposed to start in April 2017, will focus on the borough areas with the most parking problems. The borough’s current Controlled Parking Zone (CPZ) arrangements will also be reviewed to assess if these on-street parking schemes are still fit for purpose.

The aim is to have a borough-wide parking management and enforcement policy that manages predicted demand for on-road parking and avoids a future where there are too many cars and too few parking spaces.

On-street parking has already been reviewed and residents consulted in the six local committee areas of Sutton Local; St Helier The Wrythe and Wandle Valley; South Sutton, Cheam and Belmont; Carshalton and Clockhouse; Cheam North and Worcester Park; and Beddington and Wallington. This follows an increasing number of enquiries from residents and businesses about problems with on-street parking.

The council has drawn up with a list of 170 parking hotspots throughout the borough, focused on schools and colleges, transport hubs such as railway stations, town centres, superstores, hospitals, council car parks and new development.

Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“Sutton is proud to be a green borough and traffic congestion is a major challenge, given the potential for significant population growth in the coming years. This is why it is vital that we have in place a sound strategy for managing the anticipated increase in demand for parking space. Sutton has the sixth-highest levels of car ownership and usage in London and one of our key transport objectives is to reduce car use, through improved public transport links and more short journeys undertaken by bicycle or on foot.

“The rising population of London means that better transport such as the tram is a priority and we need a parking strategy that deals with increased demand for road space. We want to hear from residents and local businesses about this strategy, which will support the aspirations of One Planet Sutton, the Sustainable Transport Strategy, the Cycling Strategy, the Local Plan, the Town Centre Masterplan and the Sutton 2031 growth agenda.”

Tom Brake MP on housing issues

Hamish —

Recently at one of my advice sessions I met a distressed young woman who came to see me with her mother. They have numerous repairs outstanding on their rented property but the landlord is flat-out refusing to sort them out — at the same time the landlord is putting pressure on them to leave their home. She didn’t know where to go or what to do.

Not all landlords are bad but I am hearing stories like this way too often, Hamish — and that’s why I’ve launched a campaign to reform renting once and for all. Will you add your voice to mine and join my campaign?

The number of private renters in Britain is growing constantly. But with sky high fees, homes unfit for human habitation, bug infestations, repairs left for months (sometimes indefinitely) they are being left behind. It’s just not good enough.

Personal stories are the most powerful arguments on our side. That’s why if you’ve got a renting horror story, I want to hear it — please share it with me:


There is no silver bullet that will solve London’s housing problems, because the fundamental challenge is a lack of supply, which takes time to fix. But there are things that can be done to make renting cheaper, safer and more secure.

Every renting horror story we receive will make our case to reform renting stronger.

Thank you, Hamish, I really appreciate your support.

Tom Brake MP

PS: This might not directly affect you, but chances are it will affect one of your relatives or friends or colleagues. Please forward this onto anyone who may be affected and encourage them to back our campaign and share their story.

Sutton GCSE students celebrate another year of outstanding results


Sutton Council is congratulating pupils, staff and governors in schools across the borough as their GCSE results on their outstanding GCSE results.

This year 83.7 per cent of pupils across Sutton achieved five or more GCSEs. This is up slightly from 2015, when the figure was 83.5 per cent.

The proportion of Sutton students scoring five or more A*-C grades including Maths and English is 79.0 per cent.

Amongst the standout results were Carshalton Girls, Greenshaw, John Fisher, Nonsuch Girls, Overton Grange, St Philomena’s, and Wallington Girls, all of which saw an increase in those achieving five A*-C including English and Maths.

Stanley Park High celebrated its best set of GCSE results to date, with 67 per cent of students achieving five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C, and 62 per cent securing A*-C in both Maths and English. Fifteen per cent of students achieved A*/A grades, an increase on the previous year, while 13 per cent achieved at least 5 A*/As, double the 2015 percentage.

Nonsuch, Sutton Grammar, Wallington Girls and Wilsons had a 100 per cent pass rate, with all students receiving A-C in English and Maths.

Wendy Mathys, Chair of the Children, Families and Education Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“Once again the GCSE results achieved by the young people in Sutton’s schools are outstanding. I want to congratulate all of the students on their excellent results and to thank all of our schoolteachers and the school governing bodies for all of their hard work. Results day is a big occasion in our young people’s lives and I hope they will build on their success, whether in an apprenticeship or further academic studies.”