News just in from The Woodland Trust……

 

It’s great news – but…

The fight is not over yet - Woodland Trust

Breakthrough in fight to protect ancient woodland

It’s great news – the Government’s Housing White Paper has conceded that ancient woods and veteran trees need better protection. But the fight’s not over yet – we must keep pushing to ensure this becomes official policy. Our blog explains what needs to be done.

Read now

A new horizon for Tring

Thanks to amazing support, we have secured almost £430,000 towards our target to buy farmland to extend Tring Park. We are still fundraising for the shortfall – please help us put the final piece in place at Tring Park.

Find out more

Vote now or it will be Eurovision all over again!

After being crowned England’s Tree of the Year, the Sycamore Gap needs your votes to be in with a chance of winning the European Tree of the Year contest.

Vote now

When does winter end? How will we know?

It may seem as if it’s going on forever but winter will end – honest! Our blog explains what to look for.

Have you seen any signs?

Join the fight against tree disease

Plant our Targeting Tree Disease pack of trees to renew your landscape, please restore existing woodland and hedgerows and regenerate countryside that is threatened by disease.

£60 for 45 trees – part funded by Woodland Trust

 

Sutton United score FA Cup success

Our local team Sutton United are celebrating a fantastic run in this year’s FA Cup!

After swatting aside AFC Wimbledon and humbling Leeds United, Sutton face the mighty Arsenal FC at Gander Green Lane on Monday 20 February. Whatever the result we’d all like to say how proud we are of the team for this incredible achievement – it’s Sutton’s best run in the Cup since 1989.

If you can’t make the match or didn’t manage to get tickets never fear! The encounter will be live on BT Sport 2 from 7pm. Make sure you support the borough’s footballing heroes and you never know… This could be the year!  

Parks News

 

Fields in trust logo
Dear Hamish,

Last week was an important one for those of us interested in the UK’s parks and green spaces.

On Saturday the long-awaited report from the Parliamentary Communities and Local Government Committee’s Public parks inquiry was published, setting out a series of recommendations for government and calling for clear leadership of the sector.

Fields in Trust Chief Executive Helen Griffiths was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme, BBC Breakfast TV and Sky News to respond to the report and champion our parks and playing fields. The report came just days after the publication of the Housing White Paper which could open the door to increased housing development on recreational land. We will be monitoring these policy developments over the forthcoming months and publishing our own research findings.

The CLG Committee’s report recommends recognising the wider value of parks to contribute to the health and wellbeing of communities; our new research report focussed on Centenary Park, Rugby illustrates, in microcosm, the value that access to green space provides for communities across the UK.

Also this month, our ezine highlights some funding opportunities that may be available for green space community projects and shares information about the Great British Spring Clean, a campaign we are supporting.

Remember, between ezine updates you can keep in touch with Fields in Trust via social media: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Thank You

Helen Griffiths appears on BBC Breakfast
Parliamentary Inquiry reveal our parks are at a “tipping point”

Over the last few months the Communities and Local Government Committee has been reviewing the future of Public Parks, examining the impact of reduced local authority budgets on our open spaces and considering their future. The Inquiry report warns that parks face a period of decline from their current tipping point with potentially severe consequences unless their vital contribution to areas such as public health, community integration and climate change mitigation is recognised.

Fields in Trust Chief Executive Helen Griffiths appeared on radio and TV to respond to the report and champion our parks and recreation spaces.

Centenary Park in Newbold
Centenary Park, Rugby – A Case Study

The creation of a new public park on derelict land in Newbold, Rugby has resulted in local residents feeling healthier, happier and becoming more active.

The findings in a newly published research report focussed on Centenary Park, Rugby illustrates, in microcosm, the recommendations of the CLG Parliamentary report and demonstrates the value that access to green space provides for communities across the UK.

Our case study of this newly opened park shows the positive impact on the local community that has resulted from having local access to open space.

Guidance for Outdoor Sport and Play front cover
New Guidance for Outdoor Sport and Play

Our new Guidance for Outdoor Sport and Play has been published in versions which take account of the devolved planning administrations in Scotland and in Wales, including a Welsh language version. These new benchmark guidelines for the design of spaces for outdoor sport and play and will provide a crucial tool for local planning authorities, developers, planners, urban designers and landscape architects in the design of outdoor sport, play and informal open space.

Guidance for Outdoor Sport and Play front cover
Since the 1930s the Six Acre Standard has provided valuable information to planners and designers creating and maintaining sports and play infrastructure.

These new, updated versions are available as free to use interactive PDFs on the Fields in Trust website.

The Great British Spring Clean logo
The Great British Spring Clean

Fields in Trust is supporting the Great British Spring Clean, a UK-wide campaign with one simple ambition – to bring together like-minded people from all walks of life to clear up the litter that blights our towns, villages, countryside and coastline.

The campaign aims to get half a million people to get outdoors, get active and help clear up the rubbish that lies around us, over the weekend of 3-5 March 2017. By bringing people together organisers hope to create new community bonds and inspire volunteers to take further action to improve their neighbourhoods. Community groups, Friends of Parks, schools, charities, sports clubs, and Housing Associations are all invited to sign up and take part.

Community group
Focus on Funding

As well as legally protecting sites for play, sport and recreation, Fields in Trust is also keen to see these facilities supported and improved. It can be difficult to secure funding for improvement projects; to help identify sources we have upgraded our advice note detailing a wide variety of external funding sources available for parks and playing fields, which is available on the Fields in Trust website.

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Fields in Trust
Woodstock Studios, Woodstock Grove, London W12 8LE

www.fieldsintrust.orginfo@fieldsintrust.org

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

Sutton prepares to remember

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Sutton residents are being invited to commemorate Remembrance Day in the borough.

Sutton Council’s official Civic Act of Remembrance for Armistice Day marking the end of the First World War will take place in Trinity Square on Sutton High Street on Friday 11 November. The ceremony will begin at 10.30am with the Mayor of Sutton Cllr Richard Clifton, the Mayoress and the Deputy Mayors, Cllr Steve Cook and Cllr Nali Patel, in attendance. Members of the public are invited to attend and join in the observance of the two-minute silence starting at 11am.

The council’s Civic Offices will also be marking the two-minute silence. All staff and visitors to the building off the High Street will be advised when it starts and ends so they can observe it with respect.

Cllr Ruth Dombey, Leader of Sutton Council, said:

“Armistice Day is a chance for us to pause and remember all of those who made sacrifices serving their country. A century ago young men and women of this borough were prepared to give up their lives for freedom and we must never forget their courage. I invite everyone who can to join us on Friday and honour the sacrifice made by these brave servicemen and women on our behalf.”

The Day of Remembrance is held nationally each year on the nearest Sunday to 11 November. The year Remembrance Day Services will be held throughout the borough on Sunday 13 November, with the main Civic Service being held at Holy Trinity Church, Maldon Road, Wallington. The service to remember those who gave their lives for us in serving our country starts at 10.30pm, with the Mayor and Mayoress both in attendance, as will members of the Royal British Legion and the Boys Brigade.

There will also be a service of remembrance by the War Memorial in Manor Park. The 10.30am service to formally pay tribute to all those who have given their lives in the service of this country will be conducted by the Rev. Justine Middlemiss, Rector of St Nicholas Church in Sutton.

Members of the Royal British Legion, the Scouts, Guides, Beavers, Sutton Police Cadets and the Boys Brigade will be present, and Sutton Music Service is sending a young trumpeter to play ‘The Last Post’.

Wreaths will be laid at the War Memorial by the Manor Park Friends Group, Sutton Local Committee and the Sutton & Cheam Rotary Club.

At Trinity Church in Cheam Road, Sutton the Remembrance Day service starts at 10.30am and is led by the Rev Dr David Dickinson. The preacher will be the Rev Dr William Beaver, Chaplain to the Light Cavalry, Honourable Artillery Company in the City of London.

Sutton Council is to consult about new borough parking strategy

parking

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.

Former Mayor John Dodwell – a tribute

John Dodwell

The Mayor of Sutton, Cllr Richard Clifton, said:

“I am sorry to inform you of the sad news that former councillor and Mayor John Dodwell has passed away after a short illness.

“John was a civil engineer who devoted most of his retirement years to community service in the London Borough of Sutton. He served for 12 years as ward councillor for Wallington North from 1994 to 2006 and was Mayor of Sutton in 2002-03.

“John had a particular interest in education issues, serving on a number of council education bodies and committees, and was Chair of the Education Committee in 1998-99.

“One of the highlights of his busy year as Mayor was his opening of the new Sutton Arena (now David Weir Leisure Centre) in which he emphasised the importance of the centre to the local community. On that occasion he played host to the official guest, world champion hurdler Colin Jackson.

“On his retirement from Sutton Council, John continued to play an active role in community affairs. He was Chair of the Friends of Beddington Park and played a major part in helping to secure £3m from the Heritage Lottery and Big Lottery Funds to restore and upgrade the park.

“John was very committed to the voluntary sector and also championed many projects to make improvements to the local area. An active Catholic, he took a keen interest in housing and homelessness issues.

“John will be sorely missed by his many friends in the voluntary sector to which he gave so much support. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Anne and his family at this sad time.”

Carshalton Park – Road Traffic Order for November’s Firework Event

Bulbs in Carshalton Park by the Grotto

Spring Bulbs in Carshalton Park by the Grotto

Hamish, Jill and Chris have recently received notice of an order that the council wish to put into effect for managing the traffic on Bonfire night, Saturday 5th November 2016.

Dear Councillor,

The London Borough of Sutton are proposing to make a Traffic Order. 

The principal objective of the Traffic Orders is to improve crowd safety and extend management of traffic flows in additional roads within the vicinity of Carshalton Park on days when particular events are being held (e.g Fireworks).

Copies of the statutory documents can be viewed by visiting our web site www.sutton.gov.uk/trafficpublicnotices under “view our Permanent Traffic Order Consultations” selecting “Notices of Proposals” and then reference “TR1027 Carshalton Park”

If you have any comments on this proposal please make use of the on-line form which is available on the web page mentioned above.

Please note that the closing date for receiving comments will be Thursday 8 September 2016.

Denise Thompson, Technical Officer, Technical Operations Team

Highways and Transport, Kingston & Sutton Shared Environment Service

London Borough of Sutton, Denmark Road, Carshalton, Surrey SM5 2JG

Tel: 020 8770 6452020 8770 6452 | Email denise.thompson@sutton.gov.uk

 

RELATING TO STREETS IN THE VICINITY OF CARSHALTON PARK

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Council of the London Borough of Sutton proposes to make the Order listed below under sections 6 and 124 of, and Part IV of Schedule 9 to, the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, as amended by the Local Government Act 1985, the Road Traffic Act 1991 and the Traffic Management Act 2004.

1. The principal objective of the Order is to improve crowd safety and extend management of traffic flows in additional roads within the vicinity of Carshalton Park on days when particular events are being held (e.g. fireworks).

2. The general effect of The Sutton (Traffic Restriction) (Carshalton Park Area) (No. *) (Amendment No. *) Order 201* will be to add additional roads to the existing prohibition of vehicular traffic; Brookside, Carshalton Place, Rotherfield Road, The Square, Woodstock Road, and extend to the full lengths of Ruskin and Talbot Road.

3. A copy of the proposed Order, of the Council’s Statement of Reasons for proposing to make the Order (and of the Orders that would be revoked or amended by the proposed Order) and a plan showing the locations and the effects of the proposals may be inspected at the Council’s Civic Offices at St. Nicholas Way, Sutton and at the Environment, Housing and Regeneration Offices at 24 Denmark Road, Carshalton between 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday. Alternatively, a copy of this statutory public notice of proposals and a copy of the plan can be viewed by visiting our web site www.sutton.gov.uk/trafficpublicnotices under “view our Permanent Traffic Order Consultations” under “Notices of Proposals” and “Reference TR1027 Carshalton Park”.

4. If you wish to object to the proposed Order you should send a statement in writing, including the grounds for your objection and quoting the Reference TR1027 Carshalton Park to Caroline McGlynn, Highways and Transport, Sutton and Kingston Shared Service, London Borough of Sutton, 24 Denmark Road, Carshalton, Surrey, SM5 2JG by Thursday 8 September 2016. Further information may be obtained by telephoning Highways and Transport on 020 8770 6455.

 Warren Shadbolt

Executive Head of Safer and Stronger Communities

Dated: 18 August 2016

Note: Persons responding to the proposed Order should be aware that the Council may be legally obliged to disclose the information provided to third parties.

 

Local Citizens’ Help and Advice

www.suttonalps.org.uk

020 8254 2616

Citizens Advice Sutton is the lead agency for Advice Link Partnership Sutton (ALPS). ALPs is a partnership of local Not for Profit organisations providing free, confidential, independent and impartial advice for people who live or work in the London Borough of Sutton. You can contact Citizens Advice Sutton, Sutton Carers Centre and Age UK in the following ways:

Alps Web site – www.suttonalps.org.uk  –No email address is needed as we can call you back.

By Telephone call 020 8254 2616   between   9.00 and 5.00 Monday to Friday. Sutton Library & Heritage Service provides local community information from this number Monday – Friday from 9.30 – 5.00 pm.

The ALPS number also provides access to the following national organisations:

  • Samaritans
  • Citizens Advice Consumer Service
  • National Domestic Violence Helpline
  • Age UK Advice line
  • Carers Direct Helpline 

Citizens Advice Sutton, Sutton Carers Centre and Age UK Sutton are established registered local charities who have served the people of Sutton for many years providing free, confidential, independent and impartial advice on issues such as welfare benefits, debt, housing, employment and social care issues. 

Services from Citizens Advice Sutton

Citizens Advice Sutton holds the Advice Quality Standard for Advice. Our services are provided by both paid staff and volunteers.

Citizens Advice Sutton also provides various specialist services:

Pension Wise

Pension wise is a new, free, impartial and confidential guidance service from Government, to help people understand their pension choices. If you are aged 50 or over and have a Defined Contribution pension you are eligible for a face to face appointment. You can book an appointment by visiting www.pensionwise.gov.uk/ or telephone 0800 138 3944 

Debt Advice

The Capitalise team at Citizens Advice Sutton provides advice on all aspects of your debt and money issues. We are part of the Capitalise partnership and funded by the Money Advice Service.

We can help you to budget, maximise your income and provide you with all the options available to you to deal with your debts. We also have approved debt relief order intermediaries within the bureau to process debt relief orders (DROs).

We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority FRN 617761

You can contact us on either online www.suttonalps.org.uk

 or telephone 020 8405 3552   Monday- Friday   9:00am – 5:00pm.

 You can also directly access debt advice from debt hotline located in the Jubilee Health Centre.

Specialist housing advice

The housing solicitor at Citizens Advice Sutton can assist clients entitled to legal aid with certain housing issues including possession, disrepair, homelessness, anti-social behaviour and eviction  To book an appointment please call us on 020 8405 3552 between   9.00 and 5.00   Monday to Friday or submit an enquiry via our website www.suttonalps.org.uk

Carers Centre – outreach sessions

Citizens Advice Sutton offers appointments at Sutton Carers Centre ,on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9am & 5pm at 12-14 Benhill Avenue, Sutton SM1 4DA · To book an appointment call the Carers Centre on 020 8296 5611or call 020 8254 2616   .

Sutton Mental Health Foundation (SMHF) – outreach session

Citizens Advice Sutton provides advice at Sutton Mental Foundation on Thursdays for people experiencing mental distress. SMHF is at 63 Downs Road Belmont, Sutton SM2 5NR  and Cheam Resource Centre, 671 London Rd, North Cheam SM3 9DL. To book an appointment to see a Citizens Advice Sutton adviser at SMHF telephone 020 8770 0172. 

Direct into advice line (DiAL)

DiAL is funded by the big lottery to provide priority access to telephone advice for those in urgent need or those with difficulty accessing advice services. You can get immediate, direct telephone advice from Citizens Advice Sutton, Age UK Sutton and Refugee and Migrant Network Sutton by asking staff to connect you at Homestart, Children’s Centres, Sutton Mental Health foundation and the Womens Centre. It operates Monday to Friday between 10.00 am to 12.30 pm and 1.00 pm to 3.00 pm.

Royal Association for the Deaf (RAD)

RAD provides a drop in service and appointments on Mondays between 10am and 4pm at Citizens Advice Sutton, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA. An RAD adviser provides BSL advice on benefits, employment, debt, form filling and understanding correspondence. Text 07749965727 to book an appointment or call 0845 688 2525. Email advice@royaldeaf.org.uk.

Sutton Uplift

Sutton’s Primary Care Mental Health Service, Sutton Uplift, hold a Wellbeing Drop in Clinic in the Sutton bureau every Monday between 9-5pm.  The Wellbeing Navigators will be able to offer information, and advice around wellbeing and practical issues that may be impacting on people’s daily lives, including offering ongoing short term one to one sessions if needed. Sutton Uplift aims “to help people to connect and access activities and resources to meet their physical, social and emotional needs.  Our team are experienced in supporting people with their Wellbeing, either professionally or through lived experience.” Contact them on 0800 032 1411 or 020 3513 4044, lines are open 9am to 6pm. Website http://www.suttonuplift.co.uk/.