The Future of Accident & Emergency Service at St Helier Hospital

St Helier Hospital, CarshaltonLib Dem run Sutton Council has expressed concerns after NHS London bosses refused to give assurances on the future of A&E services in the borough.

Following a presentation to councillors at the full council meeting on Monday 17th October, Andrew Woodhead, Head of Mergers and Acquisitions at NHS London, said the transition board was “working on an assumption that services would remain”, but would not guarantee that St Helier Hospital could continue to provide A&E and maternity services in the future.

He said the proposed merger of St Helier and St George’s Hospital in Tooting was an organisational matter, which would allow the hospital to achieve Foundation Trust status. The future of services is being dealt with by a separate review of healthcare in south west London called Better Services Better Value, he said.

All NHS organisations must become foundation trusts by 2014 but to do that they have to meet strict criteria including proving they are financially sustainable and well governed.

The government has confirmed that St Helier Hospital does not meet the criteria and cannot become a Foundation Trust without merging. The only other NHS Trust interested in a merger is St George’s Hospital, Tooting.

Following questions from councillors, senior members of staff from NHS London confirmed that phase one of the redevelopment of St Helier would go ahead, despite the planned merger.

Councillors also quizzed them on what would happen if the St George’s bid was unsuccessful. They were told the board is already looking into the various scenarios, and Cllr. Colin Stears who represents the neighbouring ward of The Wrythe earned a promise that the council would be involved in these discussions.

Cllr. Stears said: “It was disappointing, but not surprising, that we did not receive the guarantees we had hoped for. The council was united in wanting assurances on the future of local A&E services, which look increasingly under threat in the light of this proposed merger.

“One positive outcome was the promise that the council would be involved in discussions from an early stage about the options for St Helier if the St George’s bid falls through. The lack on consultation with local people throughout this process has been extremely frustrating so I’m glad the trust is finally taking notice.”

Residents can have their say on the possible merger with St George’s until 11 November. A final recommendation, will be made by the transaction board which is overseeing the merger in January next year

Wallington Town Centre Survey

Wallington High Street After Refurbishment

Following completion of the improvement works to Wallington Town Centre as part of the Wallington Integrated Transport Package, the Council is carrying out a survey to gain some feedback on what people like about the enhancements to the town centre.

The survey is available online at:-http://www.opinionsuite.com/sutton/consultation_finder and copies can also be collected from Wallington Library.  Completed surveys can be returned to the council by post or handed in at the library.
 
The closing date of the survey is Friday, 28 October 2011.

Please note that there are also some unofficial surveys being carried out by parties trying to influence a return to on-street parking which we have received some complaints about. The council’s survey is in the form of a colour leaflet: Wallington Evaluation Final[1] and is being carried out by independant parties.

Diamond Jubilee & Olympic Games 2012

A Better Logo for 2012...

Cllr. Hamish Pollock reports: “We look forward to celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen next year. Last Tuesday, 18th October we heard about the equally exciting plans that are being drawn up for the celebrations locally for the London 2012 Olympic Games.  

The London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG), in keeping with previous host cities has been working to create a London 2012 ‘Look’, which can be introduced across the whole country. In London, the Greater London Authority (GLA), has granted each London Borough £50,000 to purchase items from this catalogue. Purchases will need to be made by 15 December 2011 and each area’s local committee has been allocated the princely sum of £7000. In addition, The Olympic Torch Relay will probably be visiting the London Borough of Sutton on Monday 23rd July (provisional date at present).”

 
Cllr. Alan Salter adds: “There will be the Olympic Torch Relay. This is an iconic Olympic activity which will be visiting every London Borough in the final week prior to the start on the London 2012 Games.”
We have received a report which sets out some of the issues relating to the Torch Relay and ‘Look and Feel’.

In coming months the Carshalton & Clockhouse local committee (like the 5 others in the borough) will have to agree how the allocation of the GLA grant (£7K) should be spent, which must be in line with the “Look and Feel” guidance. We have agreed the formation of a small group of Local Residents and Councillors, to work with relevant council officers to decide on priorities which will be further discussed at future local committees in the run up to the Games (no pun intended!). 

If you are interested in participating in this group please let us know as soon as possible.

Also we noted the celebrations will be linked to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee that are also taking place next year throughout the UK and will be considering ideas for further support.

We will report further on our Web Site and in our regular FOCUS newsletters.

Westcroft Centre & New Carshalton Library News Update

Westcroft Leisure Centre is set to close its doors on Sunday 23 October 2011 to undergo a major revamp to make it fit for the 21st century and become our legacy for the Olympics.

The building in Carshalton will reopen for business in just over a year’s time, with users directed to other leisure centres across the borough during the closure period.The council and our contractor, Everyone Active, say the refurbishment is necessary because a condition report revealed millions would have to be spent over the coming years just to keep it running. Improvements include an upgraded competition-size pool, a larger teaching pool and a new fitness centre. The building will also house a crèche, café and a new library replacing the current Carshalton Library.

Two other Sutton leisure centres, at Cheam and at Sutton Arena, have received a £950,000 refurbishment at no cost to the taxpayer to help them cope with the extra demand while Westcroft is shut.Carshalton Library will remain open in its present building until the new library is ready to open. Westcroft, which was built and opened in 1977, is the largest of the borough’s four leisure centres, with 600,000 users visiting every year.

For further details click on http://www.everyoneactive.com/tabid/1649/default.aspx

More Heritage Lottery Fund Good News

The refurbishment of Honeywood is now well under way, in readiness for its re-opening next year, as the borough’s main heritage museum, benefiting from £790,000 of Heritage Lottery fund grants. More news in a future edition of Focus.

We will keep you posted of developments in this exciting project.

Westcroft Centre rebuild to start shortly

Cllr. Alan Salter says: “The Westcroft Centre in Westcroft Road will close this Autumn to allow major refurbishments to take place, including improved leisure facilities and the building of the new Carshalton Library.
The Council has just granted planning permission for the “Refurbishment, enlargement and cladding of the existing building, incorporating a part one part two storey front extension, a two storey rear extension and raised parapet walls all to provide additional sporting and leisure accommodation, public library and café together with car, coach, cycle, motorcycle, refuse and recycling facilities and associated lighting and landscaping”.

Cllr. Hamish Pollock adds: “Alternative leisure facilities are being provided all over the borough, including at the local Sutton Arena in the northern part of Carshalton and at Cheam Leisure Centre, whilst the building works take place. No-one should miss out, and it will be worth the wait to see the new state of the art facilities next year.”

Cllr. Jill Whitehead says: “The police will be patrolling the area to ensure no crime or anti social behaviour will take place at or near the building site, during the redevelopment. The new Westcroft Centre is scheduled to re-open at around the time of the London Olympics in 2012.”

Protecting Carshalton’s Heritage Report back from Special September Local Committee

 

Local Committee chairman, Cllr. Hamish Pollock reports: “Over seventy local residents came to the recent Carshalton & Clockhouse Local Committee on 15th September, to listen to and discuss ideas for protecting Carshalton’s historic buildings. It proved to be a highly successful event.”
“A local historic buildings expert talked about The Lodge, Stonecourt and The Grove, for which new uses will need to be found, if the Council decides to move staff to the Civic Offices, Sutton in a few years’ time under the One Council, One Roof project.”

Local Committee Vice-Chair Cllr. Jill Whitehead says: “During the summer the Council consulted a number of local groups to seek suggestions as to proposed new uses for these buildings. We talked to The Friends of the Grove, The Friends of Carshalton Park, Friends of The Water Tower, The Friends of Sutton Ecology Centre, Westmead Allotments Association, and also the Carshalton Society.
Two of the groups made presentations at the meeting namely Friends of the Grove and Friends of the Ecology Centre. They were joined by Sutton Council for Voluntary Service who put forward a proposal to use The Grove as a voluntary sector “hub” for local groups, and Eco-Local, a well-known local environmental organisation which proposed using The Lodge and The Old Rectory as a major local centre for environmental research and activity.”

Cllr. Alan Salter adds: “The Council will now take all the ideas forward for further consideration. The Council’s Executive Committee will meet in November to assess if the One Council project should go ahead. If it does, it will be discussed in detail at further Local Committee meetings in December 2011 and April 2012, before any final decisions on buildings uses are made.”