Tom Brake MP’s message on Parking

Tom Brake MP

Tom Brake MP

Hamish — Parking is one of the biggest challenges facing our area. Sutton has the 6th highest level of car ownership and use in London, and therefore suffers from traffic congestion and a shortage of appropriate parking in many areas across the borough. To show the scale of the problem, approximately 320 requests for minor parking arrangements covering 228 streets across the borough were made last year. This is reinforced by a recent boroughwide survey of local residents where parking came out as one of the three most important issues. For those reasons, I am pleased that Sutton Council has prioritised this issue and recently published the Council’s new parking strategy.

In the past, parking schemes were considered and rolled out in an ad-hoc way with the unwanted consequence of simply pushing the problem onto surrounding roads.

The new strategy will be more cohesive, borough-wide, evidence-driven and with a well thought out 5 year delivery plan. It will be built into the wider plans for the borough and focus particularly on areas known as traffic attractors and generators – St Helier hospital, local schools, train stations and town centres.

The specific details are yet to be determined but in these areas parking schemes like Controlled Parking Zones (CPZ) will be considered and local residents will be consulted.

In the coming years, it is inevitable that we will need to reduce our dependency on cars and use other sustainable modes of transport – public transport, walking, cycling etc. I am are aware that because South London currently lags behind other parts of London when it comes to public transport, many residents are often forced to use their cars. That’s why securing better local transport links has always been one my top priorities.

In these difficult financial times for local authorities, fixing our parking problem will not be easy and will take some time, but I can reassure you that I will work with local residents, businesses and Councillors to ensure a strategy is implemented which creates sustainable and fairer parking for all. Best wishes, Tom Brake MP

News from Calladoodles Shop, High Street, Carshalton

Carshalton’s Calladoodles Brings ‘Hygge’ to Your Home!

Snuggle up Scandi style this autumn… award-winning card & gift shop Calladoodles is celebrating the latest Nordic trend, ‘hygge’ – the art of achieving happiness and the biggest Danish export since Lego!

Hygge (pronounced ‘hoo-gah’) is said to make homes nicer and people happier through comfort and relaxed living, surrounding yourself with things you love and embracing all the little luxuries and special moments that make life great.

Think warm, woolly socks, hot chocolate, roaring fires, time with family & friends… cosiness!

Carshalton High Street’s unique concept store, which recently relaunched its online presence with sensational photography, creating glossy magazine-style aesthetics, platforms the very best of British handpicked gifts, for you, your family, friends and home. Specialising in gifts and cards, alongside bang-on-trend fashion and accessories, the beautiful bricks-and-mortar outlet also offers high-quality homeware, shabby-chic furniture and stylish décor, while its state-of-the-art website brings the current market must-haves, along with inspirational ideas for designing and accessorising your living space, direct to your home.

With a focus on styling and visual merchandising, the stunning new website at offers striking illustrative examples of how you can create a beautiful environment to live in, representing the latest trends and creating some new ones, too!

The website is dedicated to showcasing the store’s mainstream and original one-of-a-kind products displayed in the home (and outdoor) environment, maximising their visual impact and thereby fostering fresh ideas for injecting style into your own abode.

The impressive imagery attracts established and new customers alike, drawn to the creative ‘combining’ ideas, which are cleverly designed to imaginatively liven up your living space and bring breathtaking harmony to the home. With its eye-catching, online magazine feel, the newly-launched website achieves all the appeal of a glossy magazine brand, oozing cutting-edge Calladoodles’ sense of style and inspiring customers with the dedicated team’s own energy and enthusiasm for their products and the environment around them.

The trendsetting store’s manager and photographer, Kate Luscombe, conceived the website’s show-stopping visual merchandising and recently carried out a wonderful ‘hygge’-themed photoshoot with Calladoodles’ Casting Call competition winner for the October blog.

‘We’re all about hygge this season,’ says executive manager, Clare Callanan, who is at the helm of a talented team. ‘Our books on the Scandinavian concept are literally flying off the shelves and we’re stocking up on all sorts of hygge-style, feel-good products, such as fluffy scarves, mitts and bed socks from AURA QUE, which are going down a storm!’

Last year, Calladoodles was honoured with the award for ‘Best Non-Specialist Independent Retailer of Greeting Cards – South’ at the prestigious Retas awards in recognition of its comprehensive card collection. Whatever the occasion, Calladoodles has it covered.

What’s more, community-led Calladoodles has a fascinating, inspirational success story behind it…

The trendsetting ‘business that brought handmade to the high street’, empowers local and national independent designers, artists and publishers by providing them with a launchpad for their work. It has rocketed from its humble beginnings as an indoor market to a raved-about, leading-edge store, which weathered the economic downturn and has set standards in the small-business sector.

As pioneering businesswomen flying the flag for female entrepreneurship, the executive manager and her mother co-founded the company and are supported by an all-girl team.

Calladoodles is all about the community and is on a mission to promote its all-important ‘shop the high street’ message, too.

With exciting expansion plans in the offing, Calladoodles is set to grow. The company aims to open more stores and the team is passionate about emulating the community ethos they have so proudly established, elsewhere. The store already manufactures its very own brand of cards, wrap, tags and bags and, in further developments, plans to produce its very own fairtrade products, which will be ethically made in a village in Nepal.

In the meantime, get ‘hygge’ with it… head to Calladoodles and get your hands on some hygge-style happiness for YOUR home.

It’s set to be THE trend this autumn and winter,’ Clare continues. ‘So, don’t miss our hygge-themed window displays for inspiration and visit us in store for much, much more!’

Pharmacies under threat… Tom Brake MP reports…

Hamish —  I’ve just spoken in Parliament about the impending cuts to local pharmacies.  I told the Health Minister that I agreed with our award-winning Sutton pharmacist Reena Barai that the Government’s plans are putting 1 in 4 pharmacies at risk. He responded by saying he had no idea how many will close. That is simply shocking. We need to step up and show the Government just how important local pharmacies are to our community.

By spreading the message on social media, you can help us reach more people with our campaign and get more signatures on our petition (we’re closing in on 1,000 signatures). Thank you for everything you do.

Best wishes, Tom Brake MP

Sutton Council invites organisations to submit offers to rent borough theatres


The Secombe Theatre

Sutton Council is inviting local organisations that have expressed an interest in renting the Secombe and Charles Cryer theatres to submit formal offers.

The request follows the recent  financial collapse of Sutton Theatres Trust, the private company that took over the running of both theatres last year.

A Sutton Council spokesperson said:

“Sutton Theatres Trust collapsed in August and the Secombe and Charles Cryer theatres have now been returned to Sutton Council. The council has no intention of running these theatres itself, nor, given the financial constraints under which the council is working, can it afford to subsidise their operation.

“Following the demise of Sutton Theatres Trust the council has been contacted by a few organisations who have expressed an interest in using the buildings. The council consequently wishes to establish the viability of these proposals by formally inviting offers from those interested in the buildings.

“All those who have already contacted Sutton Council will be invited to submit rental offers, setting out details of what they wish to use the buildings for and the level of rent they are able to pay. Additionally, the council will advertise the availability these buildings in the local press.

“We plan to complete this process by the end of November and will be looking place the advertisement within the next two weeks. We will be sending out brief property particulars to all those who respond to the advertisement and to those who have already contacted the council.”

Sutton Council is to consult about new borough parking strategy


Sutton Council is to consult with residents and local businesses on a new parking strategy for the borough, following recent surveys that found inconsiderate parking to be residents’ number one issue. The council is now acting on those parking concerns, especially since anticipated population growth is likely to put extra pressures on available parking space in the future.

Sutton has the sixth-highest levels of car ownership and usage out of the 33 London boroughs. This has led to issues about traffic congestion and air quality in the borough. A high level of car ownership in streets with older houses without garages and with a concentration of flats has contributed to parking stresses as off-street parking can be difficult in these areas.

The Parking Strategy and Policy document, which has been approved by Sutton Council’s Environment and Neighbourhoods committee, sets out how the council plans to assess, review and manage on-street parking in the borough in the coming years.

This will mean proposals for new schemes in some parts of the borough that have no schemes at present, but which experience particular parking problems, for example around St Helier Hospital. 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 first three years of the five-year strategy, starting in April 2017, will focus on the borough areas with the most parking problems on an area-by-area basis. Particular emphasis will be on looking at so-called “attractors and generators”, such as around railway and bus stations, hospitals and clinics, schools and colleges, local High Streets and shopping areas, and superstores and new development sites, to see how the on-street parking situation can be improved.

Car parks will also be looked at to see how their use can be made more attractive to reduce problems with on-street parking.

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 Sutton has 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 followed an increasing number of enquiries to the council from residents and businesses having problems with on-street parking.

Reviewing parking conditions in an integrated fashion borough-wide across the six local committee areas will prevent random ad hoc approaches being taken in different places across Sutton. This will mean a consistent approach across the borough.

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. Our key transport objectives are to improve public transport links and to encourage more short journeys undertaken by bicycle or on foot. But the parking policy and strategy will also be key in improving traffic flow and regulating the movement of traffic to prevent gridlock.

“The rising population of London means that a better transport system is a priority. But we need a parking strategy that deals with increased demand for road space. We are inviting residents and local businesses to have their say about the parking strategy and how to avoid a crisis of road space in future.”

The Parking Strategy supports 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.

Labour councillor joins Lib Dems

Dear Hamish,

Leading Labour councillor quits the party and joins the Lib Dems.


Cllr Andrew Lomas has quit as deputy Leader of the Labour group on Kensington & Chelsea Council, and will now sit for Colville ward as a Liberal Democrat.

Following the three major party conferences, Cllr Lomas said: “Faced with a Conservative Brexit Government retreating to base nationalist rhetoric, I am not prepared to be complicit in the Labour party’s silence. I’ve left a party only interested in talking to itself, and joined the Liberal Democrats.

“I’ve been thinking hard about this for some time. After watching what was said at their conferences, it’s clear to me that leaving the EU without crashing the economy is going to be an astonishing difficult task that neither the Conservatives nor the Labour Party seem to be willing or able to face up to.

“I want to be a member of a party that stands against the noxious language unleashed at the Tory conference about foreigners, and the implied threat to fight a culture war against those who want a Britain that is open, tolerant, and engaged with the world.”

Welcoming him to the Liberal Democrats, chair of the London Region, Chris Maines said:

“Andrew’s decision to become a Liberal Democrat councillor will help us to hold the Conservative Kensington & Chelsea administration to account. Many other former Labour members and supporters across London have joined the Liberal Democrats over the past few weeks, and they will help us provide the real opposition to the Brexit Tories, who do not reflect the majority”.

Chris also told us that London membership was boosted by 125 over the weekend that Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Labour party leader.

Sutton Council and Sutton Theatres Trust

Sutton logo big full colour

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

“Beri Juriac’s article in The Stage newspaper makes interesting reading. He helpfully suggests councils should sponsor the arts, whilst recognising councils have no money to do so due to unprecedented Government cuts to funding.

“We made no secret of the fact we could no longer afford to run and heavily subsidise the Secombe and Charles Cryer Theatres. For each show we put on, more than four seats in five were empty. It was simply unsustainable.

“With cross-party agreement we held a six-month process to find the talented, industry-leading operators the theatres in Sutton deserved. This thorough process, including compelling presentations and interviews, recommended Beri Juriac and Sutton Theatres Trust as the people who could save Sutton’s theatres.

“It is disappointing then to read Mr Juriac’s comments, given how well he promoted his ability to lead the theatres into profitability. He should perhaps consider his own role, rather than blame the council for the failings of Sutton Theatres Trust. The Trust benefitted from 15 months of rent-free use of the theatres, received free repair work to the theatres before the transfer, and received the equipment and fittings the Trust needed to succeed. Usually when you take a building on a lease, you take on responsibilities. To give the Trust the best chance of success we gave them the best-possible start.

“At no point did the Trust ever indicate any financial problems when meeting with the council. We were therefore as surprised as many to learn of their failure. Many residents I have spoken to were concerned, however, by the Trust’s approach to theatre production and promotion. Many residents suggested shows could be better advertised in the borough, noting there were no posters or leaflets in our local shops, on our noticeboards or interestingly, in our local newspapers.

“The reasons why Sutton Theatres Trust failed are many, just as is the case with similar stories across the country. Beri took on the deal Sutton Council offered with his eyes wide open. He failed to make it work, and that failure will further damage the cause of local theatre in Sutton. To try and lay the blame at the door of those who tried to help you the most, without recognising your own role, is disingenuous at least.”

Sutton to host international sustainability summit

Sutton logo big full colour

Delegates from across Europe are visiting the south London borough of Sutton later this month for an international summit where they will share their experiences of growing sustainable economies.

The Energising the Sustainable Economy in Cities summit is being hosted by Sutton Council and the Covenant of Mayors Office. Representatives from pioneering cities, organisations and businesses will share strategies and case studies to help cities take a best-practice approach to delivering innovative sustainability policies.

The summit will highlight best practice and innovative approaches to financing and delivering sustainable energy investment in cities. There will be presentations by representatives from Vienna, Copenhagen, Ljubljana, Gothenberg, Almada and Brussels.

Chris Jill and Hamish

Chris Jill and Hamish: out and about in Carshalton Central

Carshalton Central Cllr Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhood Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“As a One Planet borough, Sutton has long been committed to environmental sustainability. Through this summit we are bringing together partner organisations and delegates from across the UK and Europe to share advice and good practice, and learn from each other. We look forward to welcoming cities to join us for what will be an enjoyable and enlightening summit.”

The summit is at the Sutton Holiday Inn on Tuesday 18 OctoberAdmission is free, through places are limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. To book a place, either email and/or register on Eventbrite by going here

North Street : This November… Road re-surfacing works

sutton_council_logoA message has just been received by Jill, Chris and Hamish…
Dear Councillors
I trust that you are well.
Our Planned Maintenance people need to re-surface North Street Carshalton, from 59b to Nightingale Road. It will be day work on 18th and 21st November 2016. This will necessitate a road closure between these two points but it will only be in place on the Friday and the Monday whilst the works are actually going on.
A suitable, well signed diversion will be in place.
Access will be maintained at all time for pedestrians but during the day access for vehicles will be restricted.
If you require more information, then please either contact me, or Alan Baldock, who is the engineer in charge of the project.
Martin French
London Borough of Sutton and Royal Borough of Kingston
Streetworks and Network Manager
24, Denmark Road
Surrey SM5 2JG
020 8770 6426 (General Streetworks enquiries only)