London Wildlife Trust introducing…. the Wandle Rain Gardens Project

A message is in from Wandle Rain Gardens

Dear Ward Councillors

I would like to introduce you to a project that London Wildlife Trust is running with communities along the course of the Wandle in Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth.

The Wandle Rain Gardens project aims to increase resilience to climate change and flooding through creating small scale ‘sustainable urban drainage schemes’ (SuDS) with local communities, often focusing on estates managed by Registered Providers. These projects include creating rain gardens, building biodiverse green roofs with groups of volunteers, taking up impermeable surfaces to create free draining and wildlife-rich gardens and installing rainwater harvesting systems.

The project will showcase and raise awareness of household-scale ways in which people can work with nature to reduce flood risk and increase local resilience to climate change in a catchment of a dynamic and accessible river.

As well as creating SuDS as local demonstrations, we also run events to raise awareness of climate change and its predicted impacts on the Wandle, deliver training workshops to give community champions the skills and knowledge to go about creating their own SuDS and produce an informative guidance leaflet based on the local area to support people in making adaptations in their own gardens and communities (based on this one that we produced for a similar project LWT has been running in Lambeth since 2013).     The Wandle Rain Gardens project is currently funded for 12 months by the HLF through the Living Wandle Landscape Partnership. 

In Sutton we have engaged with residents of Bedzed to assist them with advice on their rainwater harvesting and ponding issues in their garden area.  We have also talked to Dani Ford, flood risk manager who has said that she will be able to use the community guidance leaflet.   We haven’t yet found a housing site that is interested in working with us to develop a SuDS scheme,  but if you are aware of anywhere that this might be possible I’d be very happy to know more.    

If you have any questions about the project, or would like to suggest ways that we can work with residents close to the Wandle please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Best wishes

Joanna Ecclestone, Wandle Rain Gardens Project Officer, London Wildlife Trust

I work on the Wandle Rain Gardens project on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

Centre for Wildlife Gardening, 28 Marsden Road, London SE15 4EE

Direct dial: 020 7252 9186

Mobile: 07891 004154

All our lives are better when they’re a bit wild. Share why wildlife and wild places matter to us all at  

A Message from the Leader of Sutton Council, Cllr. Ruth Dombey & Get your tickets for Sadiq Khan’s Question Time when he comes to Carshalton!


Dear Hamish,

Lots going on at the moment. Here are just a few things that I hope you’ll find interesting:

Preventing homelessness

Sadly homelessness is a growing problem across the country. While here in Sutton it’s not as bad as some inner cities, the problem is growing and we need to do what we can to help people in difficulty and in particular to help prevent them becoming homeless in the first place.

So Sutton, Kingston and Merton councils have joined together to radically rethink homelessness prevention and together we have managed to obtain £1 million in government funding to help families avoid crisis and prevent them becoming homeless.

Only 28 out of 122 bids to central government were successful and we will be developing a range of innovative, pro-active approaches that will radically reshape the way we tackle homelessness. We will be working together with the voluntary sector, in particular, the charity SPEAR and the aim is to work closely with families at risk of homelessness so fewer people will need to be housed in temporary accommodation.

This is an enormous opportunity to provide tangible, sustainable support to people to prevent them becoming homeless and to help them stay in their own homes.

Tackling London’s air quality

The Mayor of London has announced funding for six innovative “Neighbourhoods of the Future” across London which will combine new green technology to improve London’s air quality. The Beddington Industrial Area will be one of these 6 neighbourhoods and electric vans and trucks will be loaned to local businesses to reduce pollution and encourage businesses to adopt greener business methods.

Ask Sadiq a question

And finally – if you’re fed up with the appalling train service, if you think Sutton should get better and more frequent public transport, if you’re worried about air quality, if you think the Mayor of London should spend more on policing – and you’d like to ask the Mayor of London a question, then I’ve got good news for you.

Sadiq Kahn is coming to the Borough for People’s Question Time. We think this is the first time it has happened since the Mayoralty and the Greater London Authority were first set up in 2000. Tickets are free but numbers are limited so sign up soon. It will be held at the Westcroft Leisure Centre in Carshalton at 7pm on Thursday 2nd March. You can get your tickets here.

That’s all for now. Thank you to everyone who has replied with positive comments about these emails – I really appreciate it. And if you think there are issues (good and bad) that it would be helpful to address and provide information, do let me know.

Best wishes,


Cllr Ruth Dombey
Leader of Sutton Council

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

Beddington Park talks and other events at Honeywood Museum




I’m pleased to send you the Beddington Park What’s On guide for

February which can be viewed here:

What’s On February 2017
The design team for the HLF project are busy pulling together

final drawings and specifications to procure the relevant contractors

to deliver this exciting project. There’s information available on site

and on the Council website and the next newsletter edition is coming soon.

For now, there’s plenty going on including talks, an exhibition and half term

activities. See a snap shot of what’s on offer below, but don’t forget to

view the full listings, above!

Best wishes,


Sarah Price
Project Support and Volunteer Coordinator,
Beddington Park HLF Project

Exhibition at Honeywood Museum
Beginning this Saturday you can view our exhibition on Beddington Park;

Then, now and next. Learn about the park’s history, discover more about

the project plans and view the winning photographs from last year’s

photography competition.

The exhibition runs for most of February, including half-term when there

are two opportunities to drop in and ask me questions about the project.

See the What’s On guide for more info.

Admission is Free.


Don’t miss these two great talks on the park’s history, delivered by Sutton Heritage Service as part of our exhibition.

Tickets are just £3.50 and can be booked by calling Honeywood Museum, where these talks will be held.

8th and 15th Feb, 7.30pm.
Call 020 8770 4297 to book.

Scavenger Hunt

Get hands on with nature this half-term on this self-led family fun
scavenger hunt. Pick up your pack from ‘scavenger HQ’ by the Pavilion any time between 10am and 1pm and begin hunting!

Tuesday 14th Feb, 10am – 1pm, free


St. Mary’s church are introducing regular “quiet” events offering relaxation and mindfulness activities plus a labyrinth. Their introductory event runs on the 11th March, 11am – 3pm, with subsequent sessions on the third Thursday of the month from April. A great, inclusive opportunity to escape the hectic regime of daily life and retreat to a calming environment.

Continue reading

Carshalton High Street Closure by All Saints’ Church on Sunday, 19th February 2017 between The Square and North Street

News just in regarding a road closure in less than a month’s time.
Dear Councillors…
Our Arborculturalist Team need to attend to the trees in the bank outside All Saints’ Church. (It is a safety issue, not aesthetics).
To do this the road will need to be closed.
This will take place on Sunday, 19th February, from 08:00 to 16:00 hours.
The High Street will be closed from The Square to North Street (road and footpath).
Parking will be suspended in Church Hill.
The diversion route will be via Ruskin Road, Carshalton Park Road and Beynon Road.
To maintain traffic flow, all parking will be suspended on both sides of the diversion route for its entire length.
I have already contacted The Scouts, Ruskin Methodist, and Canon The Rev. Dr. John Thewlis at All Saints, as this is bound to have an impact on them.
As ever, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Martin French
Streetworks and Network Manager
London Borough of Sutton and Royal Borough of Kingston
24, Denmark Road
Surrey SM5 2JG
020 8770 6426 (General Streetworks enquiries only)
07736 338346

News in from the Woodland Trust which may be of interest to Carshalton Central residents

Cllr. Hamish Pollock recently received this news bulletin from the Woodlands Trust which may be of interest to Carshalton Central residents and others!

The Woodlands Trust’s work with The Climate Coalition

Woodland Trust staff, volunteers and supporters joined The Climate Coalition’s Speak Up lobby at Westminster (Photo: M Larsen-Daw/WTML)

The Woodland Trust is a member of The Climate Coalition, a group of over a hundred organisations working together to call on government to commit to action on climate change. They are dedicated to limiting the impact of climate change on the people, places and life we love at home in the UK and around the world. It’s a positive movement to highlight just how much we all care about the challenges we and future generations face.

Climate change impacts woods and trees

The trees that line our streets and gardens. The hedges that adorn our countryside. The woods where we walk. They provide and purify our air, clean and encourage water storage, give our wildlife homes, lock up carbon and make our landscapes green and beautiful. Simply by being around them we feel happier and healthier. Ancient woodland invokes a sense of wonder whilst hosting centuries-old ecosystems that cannot exist anywhere else. But the biggest long term threat to these benefits, and the trees, woods and wildlife themselves, is that posed by climate change.

It can exacerbate the likelihood of pests and disease, result in loss of synchrony in the workings of ecosystems’ and species’ competitive advantages, it may cause habitat fragmentation and changes in species’ ranges and it will mean our natural world is less able to adapt in its battle for survival. Ancient woodland, as a habitat made up of unique delicate ecosystems, is particularly vulnerable. They are irreplaceable special places that can never be compensated for once they are gone.

The Trust is working to address climate change and its impacts. We aim to increase resilience of natural ecosystems within urban and rural areas to climate change. We promote the role of trees and woods in mitigating the impacts. We raise awareness of the issues and encourage personal action, such as planting trees. As an organisation we continue to reduce the Trust’s own impact on the environment.

Find out more about we are doing in our position statement on climate change

Latest news

In February, green hearts will be worn far and wide across the UK to ‘show the love’ for the special places and cherished memories that could be lost to climate change this Valentine’s Day. From football clubs to rock bands everyone is getting involved. Here at the Woodland Trust we know that some of our special places and most cherished memories involve the beauty and adventure provided by trees, woodland and their wildlife, so for them we will be showing the love.

Get involved

Heart, woods and trees

Don’t lose what you love climate change just because no one knew you cared. Show that you care about special places like ancient woods and wise old trees for The Climate Coalition’s Show The Love nationwide event.

Create a green heart to wear, share or show. Whether its crochet, card or a drawing we’d love to see your creations, share them on social media with #ShowTheLove and #TreeCharter. Get some inspiration and print-outs to use from the For the Love Of website.

Do you have a story or cherished memory of a tree? Could it be threatened by climate change? You can share your own story by writing it on a green heart and hanging it on a tree. Why not go one further? Tell us your story online by the end of February and help build a Charter for Trees, Woods and People.

Sutton Council to consider future of Charles Cryer & Secombe Theatres


Sutton Council has been seeking expressions of interest for the Charles Cryer Studio Theatre and Secombe Theatre following the closure of the Sutton Theatres Trust.

Five expressions of interest were received for the Charles Cryer Theatre, and one expression of interest was received for both theatres. The bid for both theatres was not considered viable and sustainable in the long term.

The next phase of the process will now begin. From those bids a for the Charles Cryer, a number have been selected and are being invited to work up proposals in greater detail ready for a decision later this year. The future of the Secombe Theatre is to be reviewed by considering a range of alternative uses. A decision will be taken by the Strategy & Resources Committee later in the year.

A Sutton Council spokesman said:

“We were pleased with the level of interest shown in the Charles Cryer Theatre and want to further explore the option of it being used as a cultural and community facility. This will depend on costs and long-term viability as it must be capable of operating without financial support from the Council. Given our recent experience with the Sutton Theatres Trust we want to go through this exercise carefully. The Secombe Theatre did not generate a sustainable, viable bid from potential operators and we will now be considering other uses for the site.”The council hopes to bring forward decisions on the future of the theatres in the next few months.”

£1 million ‘trailblazer’ grant for Sutton, Kingston and Merton councils to radically rethink homeless prevention


Sutton, Kingston and Merton and councils have teamed up to secure £1 million in government funding to help households avoid crisis and prevent people from becoming homeless.

The three local authorities have applied under a new government scheme to become ‘homelessness prevention trailblazers’, committing to go further and faster with housing reform and to support more people to avoid a homelessness crisis.

Interest in the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG) scheme was high, with only 28 out of a 122 bids successful. Sutton, Kingston and Merton collectively bid for a total of £1,004,790 to develop a range of new, innovative approaches that will radically reshape the way homeless prevention is delivered in partnership with the voluntary sector.

Central to the bid’s success is the backing of homeless charity SPEAR, who will provide early interventions across all three boroughs.

Councillor Jayne McCoy, Chair of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee at Sutton Council, said:

“Homelessness affects individuals and families in communities across the country. In Sutton we are taking a proactive approach to help tackle this issue. This Trailblazers funding from the DCLG will help us work more closely with households at risk of homelessness. This will result in fewer families needing housing in expensive, imperfect, temporary accommodation. I look forward to working with our partners in Kingston and Merton to help address homelessness across our region.”

Councillor Cathy Roberts, Portfolio Holder for Housing at Kingston Council, said:

“This is a significant amount of funding coming our way from central government. It presents us with an enormous opportunity to deliver better outcomes for homeless people in our boroughs. The funding requires us to think and work differently, and to be more proactive in preventing people from becoming homeless in the first place. The circumstances that result in a person becoming homeless vary widely. Faced with a housing crisis, locally and nationally, we cannot afford to miss opportunities to help people stay in their homes.”

Merton Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Environment and Housing, Councillor Martin Whelton, said:

“The Homelessness Reduction Bill means all councils will have to make changes in this area. Homelessness is a highly complex issue and we welcome the funding to help us look at ways in which we can help prevent people from becoming homeless if they are at risk of losing their home. As trailblazers, we can be instrumental in the way homelessness prevention is delivered in the future, across England.”

A summary of successful bids can be found online at