A Message from the Leader of Sutton Council, Cllr. Ruth Dombey & Get your tickets for Sadiq Khan’s Question Time when he comes to Carshalton!


Dear Hamish,

Lots going on at the moment. Here are just a few things that I hope you’ll find interesting:

Preventing homelessness

Sadly homelessness is a growing problem across the country. While here in Sutton it’s not as bad as some inner cities, the problem is growing and we need to do what we can to help people in difficulty and in particular to help prevent them becoming homeless in the first place.

So Sutton, Kingston and Merton councils have joined together to radically rethink homelessness prevention and together we have managed to obtain £1 million in government funding to help families avoid crisis and prevent them becoming homeless.

Only 28 out of 122 bids to central government were successful and we will be developing a range of innovative, pro-active approaches that will radically reshape the way we tackle homelessness. We will be working together with the voluntary sector, in particular, the charity SPEAR and the aim is to work closely with families at risk of homelessness so fewer people will need to be housed in temporary accommodation.

This is an enormous opportunity to provide tangible, sustainable support to people to prevent them becoming homeless and to help them stay in their own homes.

Tackling London’s air quality

The Mayor of London has announced funding for six innovative “Neighbourhoods of the Future” across London which will combine new green technology to improve London’s air quality. The Beddington Industrial Area will be one of these 6 neighbourhoods and electric vans and trucks will be loaned to local businesses to reduce pollution and encourage businesses to adopt greener business methods.

Ask Sadiq a question

And finally – if you’re fed up with the appalling train service, if you think Sutton should get better and more frequent public transport, if you’re worried about air quality, if you think the Mayor of London should spend more on policing – and you’d like to ask the Mayor of London a question, then I’ve got good news for you.

Sadiq Kahn is coming to the Borough for People’s Question Time. We think this is the first time it has happened since the Mayoralty and the Greater London Authority were first set up in 2000. Tickets are free but numbers are limited so sign up soon. It will be held at the Westcroft Leisure Centre in Carshalton at 7pm on Thursday 2nd March. You can get your tickets here.

That’s all for now. Thank you to everyone who has replied with positive comments about these emails – I really appreciate it. And if you think there are issues (good and bad) that it would be helpful to address and provide information, do let me know.

Best wishes,


Cllr Ruth Dombey
Leader of Sutton Council

News in from Caroline Pidgeon- Lib Dem London Assembly Member

Tackling congestion and air pollution

In the last week the issue of air pollution affecting London has received extensive media coverage – and rightly so, with some reports saying that air pollution has recently been worse in London than in Beijing.

Another big issue, which has attracted much coverage, is that of tackling the growing level of congestion on London’s roads.  An issue it seems everyone has views on from cyclists through to taxi drivers, not to mention every motorist and van driver.

The two are of course connected, with traffic, especially from diesel vehicles, being a major contributory factor to air pollution.

Tackling congestion

In recognition that all parts of the capital have been seeing a significant growth in congestion, the London Assembly Transport Committee (which I chair) recently undertook an extensive investigation with evidence submitted from hundreds of organisations and individuals.

Congestion annoys everyone.  However it also has a staggering financial cost.  The overall annual cost to London from traffic delays on busy roads now stands £5.5 billion.  This figure represents a huge 30 per cent increase in just two years (£4.2 billion in 2012/13).

Our investigation revealed that the causes of congestion are far wider and more complex than many people imagine – stretching from pressures caused by a growing population through to the growth in internet deliveries.

Our report London Stalling’ calls on the Mayor to reform the Congestion Charge and ultimately replace it with road pricing. The Committee suggests a way of charging people for road usage that is targeted at areas of congestion and at the times when it is most severe.

In the short-term, the Congestion Charge should be reformed to better reflect the impact of vehicles. The daily flat rate should be replaced with a charging structure that ensures vehicles in the zone at peak times, and those spending longer in the zone, face the highest charges.

The report also recommends:

  • reducing restrictions on night-time deliveries
  • piloting a ban on personal deliveries to offices starting with TfL and GLA staff
  • reconsidering ‘click and collect’ at Tube and rail stations
  • devolving Vehicle Excise Duty to the Mayor
  • piloting a local Workplace Parking Levy

I am pleased to say that the report has received extensive media coverage and initiated a serious debate about how to end gridlock on our roads, including front page coverage in the Financial Times.  Many groups have supported or broadly welcomed the recommendations, stretching from the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Campaign for Better Transport, through to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Tackling air pollution

Last week Sadiq Khan was absolutely right to issue a high air pollution alert.  Every Londoner is entitled to know just how poor air quality is in London.

But the real challenge is to reduce the high levels of air pollution.

While traffic is not the only cause of air pollution, diesel fumes are the most significant contributory factor and that is why London Liberal Democrats have long advocated a number of measures to:

  • switch London buses and taxis from running on diesel, with a switch to running entirely on electricity where possible
  • ensuring that walking and cycling are made far safer and more attractive forms of transport
  • advocating sustainable forms of improved river crossings as opposed to the proposed Silvertown road tunnel, which will generate many long distance car journeys.
  • improving public transport and ensure that there are real alternatives to private transport in areas of London with poor public transport links

Some useful information on this issue can be found at the Clean Air for London website.

Helping parents return to work

With last week being a busy week for news one announcement that might have gone unnoticed was the Mayor’s decision to introduce a childcare loan scheme to allow employees of the GLA Group (including the Met, London Fire Brigade and TfL) to receive a loan to cover upfront costs such as the deposit and first month’s nursery fees, that are faced by parents returning to work.  The loans will work in a similar way to loans offered to many employees to cover season tickets on public transport.

This proposal is just a further example of the Mayor adopting ideas that I first proposed before last year’s Mayor and London Assembly elections.  The idea was set out in a package of policies I proposed to make childcare more accessible in London.

Some interesting Mayoral Answers

I hope some of the following Mayoral Answers to questions I have recently asked are of interest:

The Mayor admits that both the Piccadilly Line and the Central Line failed to provide the scheduled numbers of trains on every week day during the whole of December.

Mayors confirms London police numbers were at 31,067 officers in December, despite the objective being a police force of 32,000 officers

Confirmation that noise levels, including helicopter noise, will be included in the Mayor’s new environment report published this Spring for consultation with the public

The Mayor confirms that the earliest starting date for strengthening work on Hammersmith Bridge is Autumn 2018

Keep in touch

I try to tweet on a regular basis.  If you would like to follow me, my twitter handle is @CarolinePidgeon.

Finally, if you would like me to raise an issue, especially through Mayor’s Question Time, please send your suggestions to info@glalibdems.org.uk

News in from the Woodland Trust which may be of interest to Carshalton Central residents

Cllr. Hamish Pollock recently received this news bulletin from the Woodlands Trust which may be of interest to Carshalton Central residents and others!

The Woodlands Trust’s work with The Climate Coalition

Woodland Trust staff, volunteers and supporters joined The Climate Coalition’s Speak Up lobby at Westminster (Photo: M Larsen-Daw/WTML)

The Woodland Trust is a member of The Climate Coalition, a group of over a hundred organisations working together to call on government to commit to action on climate change. They are dedicated to limiting the impact of climate change on the people, places and life we love at home in the UK and around the world. It’s a positive movement to highlight just how much we all care about the challenges we and future generations face.

Climate change impacts woods and trees

The trees that line our streets and gardens. The hedges that adorn our countryside. The woods where we walk. They provide and purify our air, clean and encourage water storage, give our wildlife homes, lock up carbon and make our landscapes green and beautiful. Simply by being around them we feel happier and healthier. Ancient woodland invokes a sense of wonder whilst hosting centuries-old ecosystems that cannot exist anywhere else. But the biggest long term threat to these benefits, and the trees, woods and wildlife themselves, is that posed by climate change.

It can exacerbate the likelihood of pests and disease, result in loss of synchrony in the workings of ecosystems’ and species’ competitive advantages, it may cause habitat fragmentation and changes in species’ ranges and it will mean our natural world is less able to adapt in its battle for survival. Ancient woodland, as a habitat made up of unique delicate ecosystems, is particularly vulnerable. They are irreplaceable special places that can never be compensated for once they are gone.

The Trust is working to address climate change and its impacts. We aim to increase resilience of natural ecosystems within urban and rural areas to climate change. We promote the role of trees and woods in mitigating the impacts. We raise awareness of the issues and encourage personal action, such as planting trees. As an organisation we continue to reduce the Trust’s own impact on the environment.

Find out more about we are doing in our position statement on climate change

Latest news

In February, green hearts will be worn far and wide across the UK to ‘show the love’ for the special places and cherished memories that could be lost to climate change this Valentine’s Day. From football clubs to rock bands everyone is getting involved. Here at the Woodland Trust we know that some of our special places and most cherished memories involve the beauty and adventure provided by trees, woodland and their wildlife, so for them we will be showing the love.

Get involved

Heart, woods and trees

Don’t lose what you love climate change just because no one knew you cared. Show that you care about special places like ancient woods and wise old trees for The Climate Coalition’s Show The Love nationwide event.

Create a green heart to wear, share or show. Whether its crochet, card or a drawing we’d love to see your creations, share them on social media with #ShowTheLove and #TreeCharter. Get some inspiration and print-outs to use from the For the Love Of website.

Do you have a story or cherished memory of a tree? Could it be threatened by climate change? You can share your own story by writing it on a green heart and hanging it on a tree. Why not go one further? Tell us your story online by the end of February and help build a Charter for Trees, Woods and People.

Sutton Community Farm

Councillor Jill Whitehead says:
“Here is a photo of my recent visit to Sutton Community Farm which is a brilliant project. It provides organic fruit and veg boxes to members of the public (cheaper than big companies and more fresh as these are locally produced), and it sells produce to top London restaurants, such as Mark Hix, who has been on Masterchef.  It also provides training and advice in fruit and veg growing”.

Recipes be found at vegbox.suttoncommunityfarm.org.uk and details of how to volunteer to help at the farm can be found on their website at suttoncommunityfarm.org.uk.

Jill and colleagues down on Sutton Community Farm

All smiles please…Jill (in blue coat) and colleagues down on Sutton Community Farm


Everything you wanted to know about recycling, but were afraid to ask!

Sutton Council

Please find below a link to Sutton Council’s new video release ‘Everything you wanted to know about recycling, but were afraid to ask!’

Click on:- http://www.newsroomsutton.co.uk/?p=4099

Kind regards,

Nick Dovey, Communications Officer

London Borough of Sutton, Civic Offices, St. Nicholas Way, Sutton SM1 1EA      

020 8770 5634

Sutton Council launches recycling campaign to sort fact from fiction


Sutton Council has launched a recycling campaign explaining what can and cannot be recycled, and to sort out recycling fact from fiction.

The campaign seeks to clarify which items should go in the brown waste bin or the green recycling bin – for example, disposable coffee cups cannot be recycled, but their lids and sleeves can be.

The council is also seeking to dispel some recycling myths by encouraging borough residents through social media to ask the experts their questions about recycling.

Before launching the campaign, more than 300 Sutton residents were interviewed to assist in understanding borough recycling behaviours.

Sutton Council is working with borough primary schools to run a series of recycling workshops that will be led and delivered by young people.

Sutton residents have also been involved in the project, putting forward ideas and visiting the material recycling facility in Crayford, Kent to see first-hand how the recycling process works.

Graham Catt, a Beddington resident who went to the material recycling facility, said:

“We all need to be careful what we put into the green bin. It surprised me just how much unwanted material, such as plastic bags, had to be removed by hand, at great time and expense.”

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

“We know that people in Sutton want to do the right thing when it comes to recycling, and it’s our job to make it as easy as possible for them to do this. This is the message at the heart of our campaign. Encouraging people to recycle more is all part of our One Planet Sutton vision for Sutton, where people lead happy and healthy lives with a fair share of the Earth’s resources. Sutton Council has committed to becoming a One Planet Borough by 2025.”

Sutton Council successfully bid for funding from the Department of Communities and Local Government and the London Waste and Recycling Board to help residents waste less and recycle more. 

Sorting out recycling fact from recycling fiction

Myth: All my recycling ends up getting thrown away with the rubbish anyway.
Not true. We know the lorries that collect your recycling and rubbish look the same but your recycling is collected in a separate lorry than the rubbish. Your recycling is taken to a Waste Transfer Site in Beddington before being placed onto large freighter trucks and delivered to a Materials Recycling Facility (MRF). At the MRF recycling is sorted by machines and people by material type (i.e. paper, aluminium) and then bailed. Then it is sent to reprocessors to be recycled into new products.

Myth: There is no point recycling, it doesn’t make a difference.
Recycling stops tonnes of rubbish being buried in landfill. In the UK, recycling saves about 10-15m tonnes of carbon emissions a year – the equivalent of taking 3.5m cars off the road. Recycling costs less than sending waste to landfill so it helps to reduce the costs of waste management in Sutton.

Myth: You can only recycle paper a few times.
Fibres in paper start to break down after they have been recycled five or six times, but the material can still be used to make egg cartons, packaging, loft insulation, paints and even new road surfaces.

Myth: Recycling metal uses more energy than extracting the raw material in the first place.
Recycling aluminium cans saves up to 95 per cent of the energy needed to make new cans from fresh raw material. The energy saved in not having to make just one aluminium can from scratch is enough to power a TV for three hours. Every tonne of new aluminium made creates four tonnes of waste, whereas a tonne of recycled aluminium creates no waste.

Myth: Recycled glass is worse quality than other glass.
Glass can be recycled endlessly without any loss of quality.

Recycling Top Tips

  • Remember to wash, squash and take the lids off your plastic bottles before you recycle them.
  • Keep a container for recycling right next to the bin at home, so recycling becomes an easy option.
  • Buy goods made from recycled materials – this is great for the environment and for encouraging people to recycle more.

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 tim.taylor@sutton.gov.uk and/or register on Eventbrite by going here

Sutton residents encouraged to ‘Bin it for Good’ and support local charities


From left, Cllr Chris Williams, Ian the streetcleaner and Cllr Jill Whitehead at the charity litter bin in Carshalton High Street

Sutton Council is encouraging residents to play their part in keeping borough streets cleaner – and local charities and good causes will benefit by their doing do.

The council is taking part in an anti-littering project that was launched this week in four areas across England. It has joined forces with the environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy and The Wrigley Company in a bid to keep the streets of Sutton cleaner.

Carshalton High Street and Westmead Road are taking part in the three-month project, where litter bins will be transformed into charity collection pots, featuring a different charity each month. The three charities are The National Autistic Society (Sutton branch), Sutton ShopMobility and St Raphael’s Hospice.

The more litter that goes into the bins and the less on the ground, the more money the featured charity of the month will receive from an allocated budget.

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

“We are excited to be taking part in the Bin it for Good project in Carshalton High Street and Westmead Road. Sutton spends over £3m a year on keeping our streets, parks and open spaces free from litter. At a time when our budgets are being severely cut, any savings can make a big difference and save taxpayers money. We can’t keep cleaning up after those who litter and the only way to really tackle this is to alter the habits of people who drop litter without thinking. The Bin it for Good project supports Sutton Council’s One Planet goals to work to improve the quality of our local areas.”

A three-month pilot scheme in Rayleigh, Essex in 2014 saw a reduction of over 42 per cent in the amount of litter. At the same time, three local charities received more than £1,300 in donations and the project was also nominated for two Local Government Chronicle Awards.

In 2015, Bin it for Good was successfully extended to a further five locations to test the initiative in different locations. The project was well received by all partners and by the public, achieving on average a 30 per cent decrease in litter where it was successful, with Prudhoe town centre in Northumberland seeing a 52 per cent reduction in litter.

Allison Ogden-Newton, Chief Executive of Keep Britain Tidy, said:

“Bin if for Good is a win-win for communities. It cuts the amount of litter on the ground at the same time as supporting local charities. We are delighted to be working with Sutton Council as part of this rollout and look forward to seeing some more fantastic results.”

Sutton Council is working to reduce littering in partnership with borough residents of all ages, as well as local businesses. So far, 110 Sutton businesses have signed the #CleanStreetsSutton pledge to reduce the amount of litter around their shopfronts and business premises.

Local people have also been involved in sharing their litter loathes to encourage residents and visitors to take pride in the borough, helping to create an attractive and environmentally sustainable place to work, live, and play.

Mark Andrews, General Manager of Wrigley UK, said:

“After more than a decade of experience in supporting programmes to tackle litter it is clear to us that the challenge will only be solved through behaviour change, education and encouraging responsible disposal. Bin it for Good shows the huge potential in harnessing people’s support for local charities to change behaviour on litter and it is exciting to work with Keep Britain Tidy to refine the scheme so it can be used more widely. This is one of a series of new and deepened programmes that we are undertaking this autumn to help make a substantial difference on this issue.”


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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