Shocking But True: Slavery Still Exists

What does Anti-Slavery Day and Child Trafficking mean to you?   Do you shift about on your seat at the very mention of the word “sex”?  Does it make you feel uncomfortable?  Would you rather leave it to someone else to deal with?

An annual date was established last year to raise awareness about people including children in the UK and around the world who are exploited on a daily basis.  We need to open up our hearts and minds, here and now – watch out for the signs that might and have been staring us in the face.  Our personal embarrassment will not stop modern day slavery but the will and courage to act upon it, here and now, will help and save those caught up in the cruel world of human trafficking and slavery.

Sutton Council marked Anti-Slavery Day on Tuesday 18th October – please think about it and do something that will speak volumes – look at that child, look at that woman, look at that man – sign a pledge today!

End of the Line for Thameslink service? We sincerely hope not!

Network Rail has said it may cut the direct link between south London, the City and central London, commonly known as the Wimbledon loop, after the Thameslink upgrade is completed in 2016. Local MPs Tom Brake and Paul Burstow, with the support of local Lib Dem Councillors, are building momentum in their campaign to stop the planned termination at Blackfriars in 2016 after planned upgrade work.

Cllr. Jill Whitehead who is a regular train commuter says: “As a result of the change, trains would terminate at Blackfriars, leaving thousands of commuters without a direct link to several London stations and other busy train stations throughout the south east. It is seen as yet another blow for South London commuters, after Southeastern confirmed other cuts from Victoria and Charing Cross, two commuter hotspots which, combined, are linked to the majority of stations in the south London area.”

The service under particular scrutiny, the Wimbledon Loop, is a popular and frequently used one, and is regularly used by Sutton residents to travel to the Eurostar station, as well as Luton Airport.

Executive Lib Dem councillor, Simon Wales, stated: “Network rail is letting down the thousands of commuters in outer London who rely on this service every day. We already get a raw deal when it comes to rail services, suffering serious overcrowding and having to pay for Crossrail without getting any substantial benefits. Losing this lifeline is the final straw and that’s why we are determined to do all we can to save it.”

Carshalton & Wallington’s MP Tom Brake  has been in regular contact with Theresa Villiers, Transport Minister and also representatives from Thameslink to express the worries and concerns of Sutton residents. He was also seen at Hackbridge and Carshalton stations to meet commuters and to explain the campaign.

Recently Lib Dem councillors for Carshalton Central, Alan Salter and Hamish Pollock helped Tom out with his campaign by handing out leaflets at Carshalton Station early one morning.

If you would like to learn more about this campaign, have a look at the Facebook group:

Please sign the petition and pledge your support for the campaign:

A232 Pond Railings and North Street Railings Update

Cllr. Jill Whitehead reports: “In September, Transport for London (TfL) submitted a planning application to Sutton Council for the replacement of the old heritage railings around the Ponds on the A232 High Street Red Route. Your local Lib Dem councillors have been fighting for over 20 years to get to this stage of development, and during this time far too many vehicles have crashed through the old railings into the Pond. TfL’s planning application was approved following lengthy discussions with and approval from English Heritage as these are statutorily Grade 2 listed.  As Sutton Council has responsibility for that part of the railings alongside the nearby North Street Bridge, the Council’s Carshalton and Clockhouse Local Committee hopes to find what are known as Public Realm Funds. If funds can be found, these would be used to make repairs and to repaint the original old Victorian railings along North Street to match the new TfL ones along the A232 High Street.  We’re hoping this work will be completed more or less in tandem with the refurbishment of the popular Honeywood Museum by the Ponds which has received hundreds of thousands of pounds of Heritage Lottery Funds to upgrade its status to a full borough museum.”  

Cllr. Jill Whitehead is pictured by the old railings earlier this year. We will try to keep you posted in local Focus newsletters and on our local web site too!

Impact of Boundary Commission proposals on Carshalton and Wallington

Sutton Constituencies Map

In September, the Boundary Commission for England announced proposals to redraw constituencies, in line with the Coalition Agreement to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600.

If adopted, these proposals would see the London Borough of Sutton covered by three Parliamentary constituencies, all of which would include wards from neighbouring boroughs. In Carshalton and Wallington the constituency would be divided into two new constituencies, Central Croydon and St Helier, and Purley and Carshalton. For more details about these proposals please visit the Boundary Commission website;

Residents may be concerned about the impact these changes will have on local democracy, especially as it will lead to historic communities, such as Beddington and Wallington, being separated. Working with local people and groups the local Liberal Democrats will be looking at these proposals in detail and will be submitting a response to the Boundary Commission that will include viable alternatives that will protect historic local links.

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

Get Your True British Grit

Remember the Snow Last Time?

Each household is entitled to free grit and there is still enough time to collect your free 10 kg grit on the weekend of 22 & 23 October 2011.  Please refer to the link for gritting and snow advice.

Not snowing yet?  We all know that the British weather is pretty unpredictable and unless you have a crystal ball – do not delay whilst you have the chance to plan in advance . . .

This weekend is your last chance to pick up 10kg of free grit for yourself and for any neighbours that may need help.
B&Q – Carshalton Road, Sutton (underground car park). Grit can be collected from 7am – 5pm Saturday, 10am – 4pm Sunday

Woodcote Green Garden Centre & Nurseries Woodmansterne Lane, 8.30am – 6pm Saturday, 10.30am – 4.30pm Sunday

Kimpton Park Way Reuse and Recycle Centre 10am – 5pm Saturday, 10am – 2pm Sunday.
You will need to take your own plastic bag or container to collect the grit at Kimpton Park Way but grit at Woodcote Green Garden Centre and B&Q will be ready-bagged. In order to collect free grit, you will need proof that you live in the borough, so please bring along relevant council tax or utility bills for each household you are collecting grit for. Elderly or disabled residents who currently receive an assisted bin collection can arrange for the council to deliver the grit to them by calling 020 8770 5070

Ringstead Road and Carshalton Road Bus Stop Controversies


Trolleybus in Ringstead Road

Cllr Jill Whitehead says: “Local residents have asked your Lib Dem councillors to take up bus stop concerns with Sutton Council and Transport for London (TFL).  The proposal requested by TFL to move the bus stops at the bottom of Ringstead Road has proved to be very controversial and was discussed at some length at the Carshalton & Clockhouse Local Committee held on 18th October 2011” .

Local Cllr. Hamish Pollock says: We are pleased that all the local committee agreed with many local residents’ objections and completely rejected the proposals to move the bus stops in Ringstead Road near the junction of Westmead Road.

Cllr. Alan Salter adds: “With the new development of flats at 229-245 Carshalton Road, building work is impacting on residents in Shorts Road with a number of complaints made about works traffic impeding travel.  These works have reduced the space at the bus stop on Carshalton Road for St Philomena’s School pupils. We have asked for the stop to be moved but we have been recently told that it is not feasible.”

Westmead Road Former Bus Garage Site: New housing development on site of former trolleybus garage

Local Poets’ Estate resident and councillor Jill Whitehead who lives off Westmead Road says: “We have been advised that a planning application has been submitted to Sutton Council to develop the Access Self Storage site at 107 Westmead Road, former site of the tram/trolleybus depot/bus garage. The application is for a new road in between Harold Road and Byron Avenue, consisting of 29 new homes plus three commercial units on the Westmead Road frontage”

Cllr. Alan Salter says: “This is one of two different applications for the area submitted recently, with the proposal to redevelop part of Westmead Business Centre being approved earlier in the year. This should help regeneration of the area.“

Cllr. Hamish Pollock who used to live off Westmead Road says: “Residents have told us how keen they are to retain the transport heritage of the area, and some have even suggested the new road might be called “Trolleybus Way”. Should the planning application for the Access Storage site be approved, we will ask the council if an appropriate transport-themed name could be adopted.”

Carshalton Railings News Flash!

Caroline Pidgeon, Lib Dem GLA member has been working closely with us to try to get the pond railings by the A232 properly sorted out. The railings are owned and maintained by Transport for London and not Sutton Council. Her report has just been received and she tells us in answer to her questions to the London mayor Boris Johnson:-

Further to your answer in June 2009 to MQ (1574/2009) what are the reasons for:
a) the delay in replacement railings around Carshalton Ponds being installed, and
b) Transport for London submitting a planning application for the new railings.

Written response from the Mayor:-
The consultation on the design of the railings took longer than originally envisaged as it was necessary for Transport for London (TfL), the London Borough of Sutton and English Heritage to find an appropriate balance between the requirement to meet technical design standards and the need to provide an appropriate aesthetic design.

Carshalton Road B&Q Junction Alterations

Cllr. Alan Salter says: “Enterprise Mouchel, on behalf of Transport for London (TFL), is carrying out a series of highway safety improvement works along the A232 Carshalton Road. The next part of the work is being carried out at the junction with Langley Park Road, Sutton and is expected to be completed within three weeks. This work is being done prior to resurfacing this section of Carshalton Road, scheduled for later in the year.”

Cllr. Jill Whitehead says: “The work involves: The removal of the existing traffic island and construction of a new pedestrian refuge; New dropped crossing points and paving and Widening of the footway on the west (B&Q) side of the junction, to enable the give-way line in Langley Park Road to be brought forward. The work will be carried out in two phases: Phase 1, which is expected to take up to six days, will require the closure of Langley Park Road at the junction with Carshalton Road. Phase 2, which is expected to take up to six days, will require a no-entry from Carshalton Road into Langley Park Road, but traffic will be permitted to exit from Langley Park Road. During this phase, pedestrians will be requested to cross away from the works at the pelican crossing near Lind Road and the traffic signals at Manor Park Road.”

Cllr. Hamish Pollock says: “The closures will be in place on weekdays from 09.30 to 15.00hrs. Traffic, including the S3 bus route, will be directed to use alternative routes. Diversion routes will be clearly signed. TFL is firmly committed to minimising disruption to traffic and all stakeholders, including the London Borough of Sutton, have been consulted and support our coordinated approach. TFL apologise in advance for any inconvenience that these essential works may cause. Should you require any further information please contact TFL’s Streets Customer Services department on 0845 305 1234 or via their website at”