Cllr. Jill Whitehead takes part in Emergency Planning Exercise

This photo is taken of Cllr. Jill Whitehead and colleagues from last week’s emergency planning exercise at Sutton Life Centre where the exercise focused on a hypothetical emergency outside Carshalton railway station. All the emergency services were working together e.g. the Council, police, fire service, ambulance service, red cross, and others.

The Life Centre doubled as a centre for the “walking wounded” in the exercise, and a total of 75 volunteers took part acting out roles of those affected by the emergency. The exercise had been planned for some time but was very relevant in the current situation, with the recent Paris events uppermost in many people’s minds. 

Cllr. Jill Whitehead and others at the emergency training event

Cllr. Jill Whitehead and others at the emergency training event

Sutton Life Centre – Film Night 7pm Friday 29th May 2015


Sutton Life Centre

Sutton Life Centre

The film for May at the Sutton Life Centre is Belle (Cert 12A), a 2013 British period drama starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Miranda Richardson and Penelope Wilton.  Directed by Amma Asante Belle tells the story of the relationship between an aspiring lawyer and the mixed-race daughter of an aristocrat.  It is set against the background of a court hearing which helped to contribute to the abolition of slavery in Britain.

“…a handsomely mounted and emotionally engaging drama that smartly examines issues of race, class and gender while leaving nary a dry eye in the house.”  Critic Mark Kermode in the Observer

Belle is presented by the Friends of Sutton Life Centre.

Friday, 29 May at 7pm.  (Refreshments, £2). No booking needed. Sutton Life Centre, 24 Alcorn Close, Sutton, SM3 9PX

Young people speak up at borough’s annual youth summit, as councillors pledge to visit every Sutton secondary school

Young people voice views on bullying, equalities, keeping yourself safe, youth being listened to and mental health
  • Leader of Sutton Council pledges to send a councillor into every Sutton secondary school
  • Detailed report of summit findings to be published 
Back row l-r: Harry Ward, Daigan Reid, Erin Horsley, Ethan Smith. Front l-r: Shabnam Khan, Rahma Salia, Granthic Barua and Farida Augustine. Click image to download.

Young people well and truly had their voices heard, as the council held its second annual Sutton Youth Summit last week, Wednesday 18 March.

Teenagers from 12 of the borough’s secondary schools spoke up at Sutton Life Centre about the best ways to tackle issues from bullying and mental health to equality among minority groups and keeping safe online.

The summit, organised by the council’s Integrated Services for Young People, aims to  inform the council and service providers of what young people think. It supports  the work being done by the Sutton Youth Parliament and Teens with a Voice.

Ethan Smith, the Youth Parliament member for Sutton, said:

“We don’t have the right to vote until we are 18, so we can’t align with a political party. Young people have to find other ways to affect their futures.

“At the end of the day, young people and adults – we are both human. Young people aren’t stupid. Our views are just as valid and they need to be heard.”

Cllr Ruth Dombey, leader of the council, said:

“It was inspiring to hear just how passionate our young people are about the future of their borough. We want and need our youth to care about making Sutton a better place.

“That is why I have pledged that every secondary school in Sutton will have a councillor visit to listen to the pupils’ views. I am confident that, together, we can start working towards some practical changes to help improve the lives of our young people.”

Having councillor open days in schools was one of Ethan Smith‘s pledges for the year.

The crowd at last Wednesday’s summit.

Five different topics were discussed and considered in workshops at the summit, as decided on by more than 100 of the borough’s secondary students.

The topics were:

  • Bullying
  • Equalities
  • Keeping yourself safe
  • Mental health
  • Young people people listened to

Young people from Sutton Youth Parliament planned and delivered all five of the workshops. They included: Rose Baker (Greenshaw High School), Granthic Barua (Wallington County Grammar School), Farida Augustine (Sutton High School), Harry Hamilton (Overton Grange School), Erin Horsley and Shabnan Khan (both of Wallington High School for Girls), Rahma Scalia (Sutton High School), Youth Parliament Member for Sutton Ethan Smith (Stanley Park High School) and  Deputy Member Daigan Reid (Wilson’s School).

Almost 100 people attended the day-long event of workshops and speeches, including pupils from Greenshaw High School, Wilson’s School, Sutton High School, Wallington High School for Girls, The Limes College, Overton Grange School, Stanley Park High School, Wallington County Grammar School , Sutton Tuition and Reintegration Service (STARS), Cheam High School, Carew Academy and Sutton Grammar School.

Listening to the young people’s concerns were representatives from Sutton Council including leader Cllr Ruth Dombey and chair of the Children, Family and Education Committee Cllr Wendy Mathys, Sutton Police, Sutton Black History Group, the Sutton LGBT Forum, Jigsaw4u and the British Youth Council.

The young facilitators will publish a paper on the summit’s findings in coming weeks.

Sutton’s cultural gems on display for Open House weekend

Sutton’s cultural gems on display for Open House weekend

The magic and majesty of Sutton’s heritage will be open to the public this month as part of the capital’s annual Open House Weekend. Twelve historic or innovative buildings will be open for free to the public for the annual event which takes place on Saturday, 20th September and Sunday, 21st September 2014.

Honeywood in full bloom on 22nd September

Honeywood Museum

Residents can explore historic buildings, see exhibitions and discover more about sustainable architecture.Among the buildings taking part this year are The Circle Library in Carshalton, Whitehall in Cheam, BedZED & Regeneration of Hackbridge and Little Holland House in Carshalton. The Sutton Life Centre will be hosting kids activities and tours on Saturday, 20th September. Two guided walks have also been organised on Sunday, 21st September 2014. One is ‘A Look at Old Carshalton’, led by local historian Andrew Skelton. The other is a 75-minute tour of sustainable buildings in the borough, starting in Sutton.

More information can be found by visiting and check if you need to book in advance.

Councillor Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee, said:

“We have a rich heritage right here on our doorstep and Open House weekend is a great chance to uncover the borough’s past. It’s also a great opportunity to explore the kind of modern buildings we all see on TV and look at the technology behind sustainable buildings. Not only that but there are special activities going on for all the family so there is something for everyone.”

Sutton Life Centre

Sutton Life Centre

Buildings in Sutton taking part are:

The Circle Library, Green Wrythe Lane, Carshalton (Sat only)

Sutton Life Centre, Alcorn Close, Sutton (Sat only)

All Saints Church, Carshalton (Sat & Sun)

Honeywood Museum, Honeywood Walk, Carshalton (Sat & Sun)

Whitehall, 1 Malden Road, Cheam (Sat & Sun)

St Nicholas Church, Gibson Road, Sutton (Sun only)

BedZED & Regeneration of Hackbridge, 24 Helios Road, Wallington (Sat only)

Carshalton Water Tower & Historic Gardens, West Street, Carshalton (Sat & Sun)

Lumley Chapel, St Dunstan’s Churchyard, Cheam (Sat & Sun)

Little Holland House, 40 Beeches Avenue, Carshalton (Sat only)

Russettings, 25 Worcester Road, Sutton (Sun only)


Summer fun at Sutton Life Centre

Are your children looking for something fun to do with their friends in the school holidays? Are you looking for fun day out with a difference? If the answer is yes, then we have something for you! Come along to Sutton Life Centre on Thursday August 7 for a day packed full of fun.

Sutton Life Centre

Sutton Life Centre

Following on from its hugely successful fun day in April the Centre is hoping to break its own record by attracting more than 1,600 people to the various events – the vast majority of which are completely free.

Specifically aimed at young people aged between four and 10 the organisers are offering the widest possible range of activities – with fancy dress being positively encouraged! So much so that there will be a prize for the best fancy dress!

There will be stalls including Tombola, Face- painting and even a Treasure Hunt.

Every room of the unique venue will be being used, with the 360 room offering the opportunity for a free performing arts session between 10am and 1pm and in the afternoon it will be converted the a games room.

For a small cost there will be a craft session and an inflatable obstacle course and ball pit. Crystal Palace will be organising football fun and there will be cupcake decorating.

Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council said:

“We have tried to put together a programme that will appeal to everybody. We all know it can sometimes be a challenge to keep children busy over the summer holidays. This promises to be a fantastic and affordable day out with a huge variety of activities.”

For further details please email

Top MP ‘very impressed’ by Sutton’s community vision

Sutton’s work to tackle climate change and involve all sectors of the community has been described as “very impressive” by a Government Minister, who visiting the borough to witness a host of community projects first hand.

Don Foster MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government visited Sutton and heaped praise on the borough after being shown a number of key projects.

Communities Minister Don Foster said: “I have seen for myself today what a terrific example Sutton is of what can be achieved when local councils and communities work together. I’ve been very impressed by projects like the BedZED low carbon development that showcases the type of buildings we need to build everywhere if we’re serious about tackling climate change, and the Circle Library that has involved the whole community in its development.

“And I’m also impressed that Sutton isn’t being complacent and is embracing new community rights devolved from central government such as neighbourhood planning, giving Hackbridge residents a real say in how they shape their community for the future.”

During the visit Mr Foster was taken to the Heart of Hackbridge Exhibition, BioRegional’s HQ BedZED and the Circle Library and met with leading local figures to discuss future plans.

Following the visit Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Borough Council said: “We were delighted to welcome Don to Sutton and show him some of the borough’s most innovative schemes.

“He was extremely complimentary about the vision we have for the borough and the work we do here to include all sectors of our diverse community. We will now continue with our plans to make Sutton a greener cleaner borough and look for new and innovative ways to ensure it remains prosperous for all of our residents, encouraging local economic growth and new jobs.”

The Minister stopped at the BedZED development – an environmentally friendly low carbon housing development in Hackbridge – where he met with Bioregional representatives, the Chair of the Neighbourhood Planning Group and borough councillors. During his visit he heard about the development of a Neighbourhood Plan, the Hackbridge Improvement Plan and the proposed district heating system.

BedZED, BioRegional’s Chief Executive, Sue Riddlestone said: “The Minister stated that he’d ‘never come across anywhere where there is so much going on in one place!’ This is a tribute to the successful partnership between ourselves, Sutton Council and Neighbourhood Development Group and indeed the dozens of local people at the Heart of Hackbridge exhibition who, only today, were actively engaged in making their community a better place.”

Mr Foster arrived at Hackbridge just after 1pm before returning to central London during the evening. He became an MP in 1992 and currently represents the people of Bath. He is married with two children. on Foster MP (six from the right) meeting councillors, council officers and library staff at the Circle Library.

Greener Travel

Carshalton Central ward Cllr. Alan Salter says: “The Council supports the use of zero and low emission vehicles as a way of improving air quality and reducing CO2 emissions, as well as reducing noise pollution.”

He added: “Sutton Council is one of the first boroughs in the country to install public electric vehicle charging points in our car parks in the late 1990s as part of an European Union project. The Council have recently upgraded some of the charging points in Sutton so that they are part of TfL’s Source London network. The Council is in the process of installing further points in the Wallington Library car park and at the Westcroft Leisure Centre and Sutton Life Centre car parks. The Council will consider installing additional points, including in disabled bays, should there be sufficient demand, which at present is very low.”

Acting up at the Life Centre

Sutton Life Centre

Sutton Life Centre

Youngsters can flex their acting muscles next week as a borough community centre hosts its first performance class.

The weekly sessions, entitled Presto Performing Arts, will take place at the Life Centre and will give children aged between four and seven the chance to enjoy acting and singing.

Classes will be run by Presto, a performing arts group who like to offer fun and affordable classes that teach and encourage children, stretch their imaginations and boost their confidence.

They will include drama-based games, catchy songs and energetic dances to enhance the learning and creativity of every child.

The first classes will run on Saturday 12 January between 9:30am and 11am, and 11:15am and 12:45pm. They will then run every Saturday following.

Cllr. Jill Whitehead, Chair of the Environment and Neighbourhoods Committee, said: “Letting children explore their creativity from an early age helps them develop skills that could be useful in later life. We want these sessions to be fun and enjoyable but also help our borough’s children develop a love of acting, singing and the performing arts.”

For more information and to book a place contact Rhiannon on 07525 456736 or email: