Update on Sutton Council’s Parks, Cemeteries and Grounds Maintenance

150803 carsh parkThe following is a statement the councillors have recently received from Mary Morrissey, Strategic Director of Environment, Housing and Regeneration at Sutton Council.

“I am pleased to report that the contract with idverde to provide parks, cemeteries and grounds maintenance services on behalf of Merton and Sutton Councils has now been signed. idverde will formally take on responsibility for delivering these services from Wednesday 1 February 2017.  Over the last few months, the Council (through the South London Waste Partnership) has been fine tuning the details of the new contract with idverdeidverde has been meeting with Friends of Parks Groups in the borough to help identify priorities and reassure Friends Groups that they can continue to play a key role in their parks going forward.  idverde is an award-winning horticultural specialist with 100 years of experience under its belt. I have no doubt that they will continue to provide a very high quality of service for local residents at a reduced cost to the council.” 


Carshalton Frost Fair 2015

Carshalton Ponds in the Snow
Carshalton Ponds in the Snow 6 years ago…

Carshalton will be welcoming its third annual Frost Fair on Saturday 5th December between 1pm and 6pm. The event is organised by The Friends of Honeywood Museum and local charity EcoLocal with lots of local community support. Please help spread the word about this exciting and atmospheric family event.

The 2015 event will use the same layout as last year to allow for more space between stalls and more twinkly lights.

Eco-Local are looking for a few more volunteers to help with the event on the day. If you would like to help, please contact Tansy on tansy@ecolocal.org.uk

The start of the event will be signalled by the ringing of All Saints Church bells (feel free to pop into their coffee afternoon 2.30 – 6pm on your way to or from the Frost Fair) and please don’t forget to visit Carshalton’s wonderful High Street shops.

Carshalton’s Frost Fair is a traditional winter event with activities for all of the family set in beautiful grounds next to historic buildings by Carshalton Ponds. Outside Honeywood Museum, along Festival walk and in the nearby Memorial Gardens there will be a varied range of Farmers’ Market and Craft stalls offering tasty supplies and treats and unique wonderful gift ideas.

As it gets darker, the area will be lit with twinkling fairy lights and there will be the smell of hot food & hog roast in the air. There will be choirs, a brass band, clog & morris dancing, live folk and popular music and entertainment of various types with a seasonal feel. There will be a bar and hot drinks.

Inside Honeywood Museum look for traditional story telling with puppets, Punch and Judy shows and a Father Christmas’ Grotto in the magic of the refurbished ‘childhood room’ surrounded by toys from a bygone era.

The Friends of the Ecology Centre are running their Christmas Fair and Winter Wonderland Trail alongside the Frost Fair. This will include hand-crafted gifts, teas, coffees and homemade cake. The Winter Wonderland Trail offers the chance to explore the delights of the award winning Ecology Centre.

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact Heather on 020 8404 1522020 8404 1522 or email heather@ecolocal.org.uk.


Carshalton Village – Focus Team’s Actions

In recent years we have been fully involved amongst many other matters with the following activities:-

1) More School Places. We successfully worked with Carshalton All Saints C of E Primary School and with local residents to bring a new form of entry.

2) Preserving and Enhancing our Heritage. We designed and obtained funding for a new Carshalton Second World War Memorial to be completed this year. We are also deep cleaning all the borough’s war memorials.

3) Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour. We worked with local police to ensure that anti-social behaviour is minimised and Carshalton High Street and local parks kept safe.

4) Heritage Centre. We refurbished the Heritage Centre at Honeywood Walk, Carshalton with improved displays, using Lottery Funding.

5) Improved Leisure Facilities. We refurbished and modernised Westcroft Centre including a new Carshalton Library.

6) Invested in our High Street. We secured funding for new Carshalton village signs which will be installed soon, introduced the Carshalton Christmas lights and brought the new Frost Fair to help local businesses thrive.

7) Listening to You. Carshalton Council buildings including The Lodge and The Grove House: We consulted extensively with local residents and Friends Groups over re-use of the redundant council buildings whose future re-use is now assured.

8) Better Transport. We successfully campaigned with Tom Brake MP and other Lib Dem councillors to save the cross London Thameslink loopline trains service.

9) Safer Roads 1. We installed safer crossing facilities at the junction of Ruskin Road and Park Lane following the All Saints School expansion nearby. We got pavement bollards installed at the junction of Ruskin Road and Woodstock Road.

10) Safer Roads 2. We successfully campigned for TfL to install new railings around Carshalton Ponds.

11) Carshalton Park. We installed marker posts to protect the air raid shelter discovered in 2012 and various brick piers to the park railings rebuilt/repaired. We have got the “Ornamental Garden” between Talbot Road/The Square junction and Ruskin Road improved.

12) The Grove Park. We install a new waste bins and a new multi-gym at the award winning park.

Ecology Centre – Council’s Successful Bid for Heritage Lottery Funding

Environment & Neighbourhoods Committee chair and local councillor Jill Whitehead says:

“Sutton Council is bidding for heritage lottery money for a number of important heritage type projects in our borough and has been successful in a bid for the Ecology Centre, Festival Walk, here in Carshalton, the jewel of the borough’s crown, as it were.”

The project is designed to encourage greater use of local nature sites by creating Nature Explorer backpacks which parents will be able to hire from the Ecology Centre to use with their children. This will benefit a new generation of schoolchildren who will learn more about nature, local sites and associated fauna. Sutton Council was successful in achieving grant funding of £6,500 (“every little helps!”) and Sutton Council itself will provide another £2,000. The preparatory work has been carried out on designing maps and backpacks.

A launch event will take place in early Summer 2014 and we’re told that the backpacks will be in use throughout next summer onwards.

An Older House in Carshalton - The Old Rectory in times past

The Old Rectory in times past before it became the Sutton Ecology Centre in the heart of Carshalton Village

Friends of Ecology Centre are to hold a Summer Garden Party on Saturday 3rd August 11am-4.30pm

Jill, Hamish and Alan have received a message from the Friends of Sutton Ecology Centre in Carshalton to say that the Friends are holding their Summer Garden Party at the Ecology Centre, Festival Walk, off Honeywood Walk near Carshalton Ponds from 11.00am until 4.30pm on Saturday 3rd August. 

The “Bioblitz” and launch of the “Nature Discovery Backpacks” are also taking place on the same day, so there will be lots going on. 

Ecology Centre: Councillors spend a morning in the grounds

Local Councillors Jill Whitehead and Hamish Pollock spent a very enjoyable hour or two exploring the huge variety of features in the grounds of the Ecology Centre, Festival Walk off Honeywood Walk, Carshalton on Sunday 2nd June 2013 with Barbara O’Keeffe and Angela Baughan, who are both on the committee of the Friends of the Sutton Ecology Centre and Carshalton residents.

There is indeed a lot to explore at the Ecology Centre and a visit at any time is highly recommended!  Afterwards why not have a refreshment at the tea rooms of the Heritage Centre almost next door.

Please click on: https://www.sutton.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1627  and https://sites.google.com/site/friendsofsuttonecologycentre/ for information about the grounds and the Friends group respectively.

Hamish and Jill having a sit-down in the grounds of the Ecology CVentre

Hamish and Jill having a sit-down in the grounds of the Ecology Centre

The Pond at the Ecology Centre

The Pond at the Ecology Centre

Friends of Sutton Ecology Centre – Volunteers needed

Mrs. Angela Baughan, Chair of the Friends of Sutton Ecology Centre and the former Lib Dem councillor for Carshalton Central (from 1994 to 2006) says:

“If you want to support a wonderful community asset, why not join the Friends of Sutton Ecology Centre. The Friends are local people who help the Centre on Festival Walk, Carshalton through volunteering and organising fundraising events. The grounds, situated close to Carshalton Ponds, are open to the public all year.”

Come and visit the Friends’ – their next event is on Saturday 8th June, 11am to 4pm.

Join the Friends Group for only £3 a year. To find out more phone 020 8647-3858.

See the Friends on Facebook: www.facebook.com/FriendsOfSuttonEcologyCentre

Sutton Ecology Centre Building, Old Rectory, Festival Walk, Carshalton – Cllr. Hamish Pollock asks officers if internal repairs can be made…

Ecology Centre Building

Ecology Centre Building

Local councillor Hamish Pollock has asked if some repairs can be made at the Ecology Centre Building (Old Rectory). Jill, Alan and Hamish have since been told that a stock condition survey of the Ecology Centre was carried out in 2011 (they are done on a 5-year cycle).

The overall comment on the condition was that it was satisfactory but certain works were identified to the building. Overall these would cost around £32K, and are primarily work to the roof gutters, flashings, external walls and windows and internal decorations. About a third of the costs were associated with the internal decorations.

The regime for the maintenance of Council buildings generally is firstly to carry out works that ensure the health and safety of users and occupiers. This is carried out on both a proactive and reactive basis, depending on severity of the problem. However, every building has as a minimum, a scheduled annual inspection and service visit to service all mechanical and electrical installations that require it. For larger pieces of work, there is a capital budget – currently £800k, for all operational buildings to carry out planned maintenance work. The current year’s budget was agreed by the S & R committee on the 18 March.

Unfortunately, the relatively small size of the budget means that higher priority work are the ones that are funded from this budget, and looking at our forward plan, the Ecology Centre is not on the projects scheduled over the next 4 years. However, the property department of the council will ask for the building to re-inspected by staff to ascertain whether the condition has deteriorated significantly since the stock condition survey was carried out to warrant it being placed on a higher priority. 

The Ecology Centre itself does not have a dedicated responsive repairs budget but any such works are paid for by the Environmental Sustainability Team, and last year, around £2.5k of responsive repairs was carried out to the building. 

Council officers are not aware of any bids for external funding for repair work to the building. From their experience, they tell us that funding is hardly ever provided by bodies like the Heritage Lottery Fund to Local Authorities for the type of work required to the Ecology Centre.

Cllr. Hamish Pollock is currently liaising with the committee of the Friends of Sutton Ecology Centre as to any issues that can be sorted out with regards to maintenance and management of the Ecology Centre Grounds.

Festival Walk

Festival Walk between West Street and Honeywood Walk

Festival Walk between West Street and Honeywood Walk

A pleasanter spot you would be hard pushed to find anywhere in suburbia.   

This is a picture of the western end of Festival Walk which runs past the south side of the Ecology Centre building (Old Rectory) and the side of the Heritage Centre (Honeywood Museum). Festival Walk is at the western end of Honeywood Walk and can be approached also from West Street opposite the Carshalton Water Tower.

Carshalton Calendar of Events

In Carshalton Central ward we have the following community events coming up not all of which times/dates are fully known. Please tell us if you know more!
Thursday, 23rd May 2013 – 730pm AGM of Friends of the Heritage Centre (Borough Museum) at the Heritage Centre.
Saturday, 25th May 2013 – approx. 10am -2pm the first Carshalton Village Market being set up jointly by “Carshalton Mums” and Eco-Local. Name of event and date/times subject to confirmation by Eco-Local.  About 10 stalls anticipated to be sited on the east side of the east pond near the driveway by the side of The Grove Park Lodge and the gates by the “old bank”/opposite the Woodman Wine Bar.  This event is likely to recur at four weekly/monthly intervals subject to confirmation.
Saturday, 8th June 2012 – start of Carshalton Carnival. With a parade of floats starts, I think, in St. Helier Estate somewhere and usually goes around the Village area about lunchtime: High Street, Park Lane and Ruskin Road.  See link: http://www.carshaltoncarnival.org.uk/Saturday, 6th July 2013 – Carshalton Charter Fair. Details/timings not yet known. Event to be held somewhere near Carshalton Ponds.

Saturday, 3rd August 2013 – Friends of Sutton Ecology Centre Fair. At Ecology Centre grounds by the Old Rectory, Festival Walk. The community representative will be providing details to me shortly.

Carshalton the jewel in the Crown

Carshalton yesterday – the jewel in the Crown

Bank Holiday Monday, 26th August 2013 – Environmental Fair at Carshalton Park, Ruskin Road.

Late November/Early December – Carshalton Village Frost Fair. The inaugural event took place last year on Saturday, 1st December with the switching on of the Christmas Lights for the very first time. Not sure of exact date for this as yet.