North of the Croydon Road – Pedestrian Safety Threatened in Beddington

It is sometimes hard to believe that those of us who live North of the Croydon Road in this ward get even a passing thought from the decision makers in the London Borough of Sutton.

We have some old chestnuts that just won’t go away, current concerns that we all need to consider and some future plans that we,  as residents,  need to make our voices hear about.

Pedestrian Safety in Beddington Lane:

The Beddington lane “Improvement Scheme” has included within its plans, the removal of the Traffic Light Controlled Pelican Crossings near Guy Road and Derry Road.

The plan is to replace these two crossings with Zebra Crossings – the Guy Road Crossing is already complete.  And irrespective of the fact that the Derry Road Crossing is signed as a main path to Richmond Road, Waddon and Croydon and is busy at school times with Mums, children and pushchairs, we are told that it will still be safe.  An additional Zebra Crossing is to be sited close to Richmond Road opposite the Village Hall and a Traffic Light Controlled crossing put at the junction of Harrington Close for the benefit of the new cycleways. Your local Councillors are on record with their objections, please make your own opinions heard as well.

Industrial Development in Beddington Lane:

We live next to an industrial area and we welcome the investment and jobs that industry can bring.  But the London Borough of Sutton has a responsibility for the health and welfare of residents as well as  functioning transport links.  BUT THEY HAVE NO CLEAR STRATEGY

They have sanctioned the building of an incinerator, instead of the promised Country Park, that will pump out pollution as will the hundreds of heavy lorries that will feed it with waste from the four Boroughs who make up the South London Waste Partnership and beyond.  So confident of they of the air quality that their Air Quality Report for new Hackbridge Primary School failed to mention the incinerator less that 1km away – 25 years of HGV traffic just adds to the congestion and the poor air quality.

Then you have SUEZ – another French waste company who want to build a unit that will produce fuel for incinerators from waste.  They expect nearly 700 vehicles a day to pour onto Beddington Lane – many 44 tonne lorries.

And finally, there was the Local Plan that saw Metropolitan Open Land “re-designated” for industrial use and Prologis, the warehouse people wanting to build a huge warehouse – and of course create more heavy traffic.

There is a public exhibition on the Prologis plans at Cricket for Change, Plough Lane SM6 8JQ on 6th October from 4.00pm – 8.00pm make sure you have your say!

“One Planet Sutton” – a fairer, greener and safer borough – except for Beddington, North of the Croydon Road!

Loss of Privacy – Just Another Price to Pay?

This week you may have been a recipient of Sutton Council’s latest copy of Sutton Scene. The leading item was a video presented by Councillor Jayne McCoy – Deputy Leader of the Council and Chair of the Housing Economy & Business Committee.

How to spend £30 million of other people’s money

During the video, presented from the garden and interior of one of the new “Council Houses” she extolled the virtues of the London Borough of Sutton and it’s commitment to “affordable housing”.  The house she presented from looked outstanding but then you begin to consider and perhaps count the cost, the picture may not look quite so virtuous.

The agenda for the next Housing Economy & Business Committee has been published and includes the costs of the 93 “units” that have been built.

Richmond Green houses come in at a total expenditure of £7.737 million, nearly £370,000 per house excluding land value.  Now consider that 12 of those are two bedroomed houses and the value for money equation becomes an irrelevance.  And it is not just the appalling and profligate cost of demolishing 28 serviceable bungalows and replacing them with 21 new houses .

This is not some green field site, these houses have been built so close to existing properties – many inside the limits of Planning Guidelines – yet no provision has been made to protect the privacy of those residents.  Everyone attending Public Consultations and Planning meetings came away with the impression that their privacy would be protected by obscure glazing. No,  the Council’s only provision for obscure glazing is between the new houses and the privacy of just one existing resident.

Not so much Twickenham Close – more Twickenham Closer

In her (self) promotional video, Councillor McCoy talks of more sites, more Council houses – if it is next door to you, involve yourself in the Public Consultation and read the small print!

And Sutton Council, obscure glazing is the very least you could offer the residents of Chiswick and Twickenham Closes.

Road Works In Beddington Lane – a timetable into October

In response to resident concerns, I requested a timetable / schedule of works for Beddington Lane and received the following reply from Highways and transport  – I hope it helps!

Dear Councillor Foster,

Re: MBR ENQ Ref: EHR-ME18-1245 Beddington Lane

Thank you for your correspondence.  Unfortunately a large number of the temporary lights works that have been in place in this period have not been part of the Beddington Major project works.  London Borough of Sutton (LBS) do try and limit the use of temporary lights within the borough and only use them when necessary for safety reasons. The use of temporary lights is predominantly decided upon by the LBS Streetworks team in line with NRSWA legislation.

The existing works on Beddington Lane are part of phase 1 of the project and these should be complete mid October.  The current schedule for these works is listed below. The remaining works for phase 1 are yet to be programmed with materials still being selected on cost reasons.

17-21 September

  • Preparatory works will be undertaken around the existing pelican crossing to the south of Guy Road to enable the future changes at this location.  It is planned to use temporary traffic lights in place of the pedestrian crossing facilities that have been decommissioned.

24-29 September

  • Preparatory works will be undertaken around the existing pelican crossing to the south of Derry Road to enable the future changes at this location.  It is planned to use temporary traffic lights in place of the pedestrian crossing facilities.

  • 24th Daytime – Transport for London decommissioning of the pelican crossing at Guy Road.

  • 24th Overnight – The road markings for the existing Guy Road Crossing will be removed.  Temporary traffic lights will be used to ensure the safety of operatives undertaking these works.

  • 25th Daytime – The installation of the zebra crossing equipment at Guy Road will be undertaken.

  • 25th Overnight – The new road markings for the zebra crossing will be marked out.  Temporary traffic lights will be used for this aspect of the works.

1-5 October

  • The foundations for the brick planter will laid and constructed adjacent to Beddington Village Hall.

  • 1st Daytime – Transport for London decommissioning of the pelican crossing at Derry Road.

  • 1st Overnight – The road markings for the existing Derry Road Crossing will be removed.  Temporary traffic lights will be used to ensure the safety of operatives undertaking these works.

  • 2nd Daytime – The installation of the zebra crossing equipment at Derry Road will be undertaken.

  • 2nd Overnight – The new road markings for the zebra crossing will be marked out.  Temporary traffic lights will be used for this aspect of the works.

A temporary crossing using the temporary traffic lights will be put in place in both crossing locations until the new zebra crossings have become operational in this location.

The traffic management for phase 2 of the works has not been planned yet so the use of temporary traffic lights cannot currently be quantified.  What can be expected is that their use will be limited to an absolute minimum and only used in the event of safety requirements.

FM Conways are being managed strictly within contract requirements, and regularly supervised on site by LBS Officers to ensure effective delivery of the project.

Along Beddington Lane other works can potentially take place which are not London Borough of Sutton works which may require temporary traffic lights.  This as mentioned before would be decided upon by the LBS Streetworks team.

DIARY OF A FRESHER COUNCILLOR (3)

Street Cleaning, Missed Waste Collections and Other Complaints

 3rd May saw life change for me when I was given the honour of becoming the Independent Councillor for Beddington North Ward.  Instead of living a quiet life walking the dogs, going to the gym, and enjoying retirement with my husband I have found myself dealing with residents’ problems with street cleaning, missed waste bin collections, housing issues and other things.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, it is something I enjoy trying to help people.

Having witnessed first hand the ineffective street cleaning I asked the London Borough of Sutton officials what the protocol was for it.

Here is their answer:

“All of Sutton’s residential roads should be visited once a fortnight.  The Beat Sweepers visit several roads each day and will clean according to need, with some roads needing more attention than others.  Weed spraying occurs twice annually.  The second cycle has just been completed across the Borough.

If there are particular locations for street cleaning to be dealt with quickly please do use the Council’s online service to report incidents through Report It:  http://sutton.gov.uk/report as the information is sent directly through to our contractors for an immediate response.  This avoids any ‘double-handling’ by Neighbourhood Services.  If requests are not responded to they can be further escalated through Report It using the CAS reference number. These escalations should be investigated by Veolia’s management team.

With regards to the inspection of trees, we conduct cyclical inspections on a four yearly basis allowing us to survey and allocate tree works where required, beyond this we also conduct emergency tree works where required.  Basal growth removal and tree watering is carried out within a cyclical system that the tree contractor receives at the start of the year allowing them to plan and conduct tree works throughout the London Borough of Sutton and within your Council ward”.

So there you have it, report on line, if you have access to a computer and you can operate one.  It really makes me mad that the London Borough of Sutton rely so heavily on the internet and computers.  It’s all very well for those of us who can use them but what about Great Aunt Aggie age 95 who lives alone and can’t get out very much and relies on her phone.  She has to call the 020 770 5000 number, listen carefully and hope against hope she presses the right number.  Then she has to listen to the message that says “you are number xxxx in the queue, estimated waiting time is xxxx”.

Residents of Beddington North, if you have a problem please let me or the other Councillors know if you are experiencing problems, with where possible, the CAS reference number to help us to expedite the matter.

As Councillors we have to follow a protocol as detailed below:-

  1. Where necessary get a Resident’s Consent Form signed.
  2. Email Member Enquiry with the problem plus a scanned copy of the signed consent form.
  3. Member Enquiry then email a confirmation of receiving the complaint and give it a reference number. The confirmation gives Councillors a date by which they can expect a to hear from the responsible Council officer.
  4. Member Enquiry send the original email complaint to the appropriate Council officer for a response.

There you have it, the way to report not just street cleaning or missed waste collections but any other problem you may have.  To say I am sceptical about the on-line reporting system and the call centre is an understatement.  However, I have been in email dialogue with the manager responsible and I am waiting to see if she can bring about improvements.  She has only been in post a short time and, so far, has been very helpful. Fingers crossed and watch this space.