2018 seems a long time ago, but in May of that year the residents of the London Borough of Sutton last had a say in who runs the local services. May 2022 will be your next opportunity and we would love to hear from people who really want to make a difference – not “lend their vote” but to give some of their time to serving their local communities
In Beddington North, we had seen local opinion trampled underfoot by the policies of the ruling Liberal Democrats – building development, Beddington Lane and the incinerator to name just three – and, in spite of comments that “Independents never win” from leading lights of the main Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties, three of us – Jillian Green, Nick Mattey and myself stood as Independents.
Nick was already a Councillor who had resigned from the Liberal Democrats a couple of years earlier over the incinerator and encouraged Jillian and I to stand – we were ready to put 100% into representing residents but could not have imagined the commitment and effort involved if you set out to do the job properly. But it is very rewarding and we genuinely feel we make a difference.
Because we are unafraid to speak out on behalf of our residents – not for a party-political position but for our residents. We represent them on Committees, we fight their corner when local services fail and we try to keep them informed of everything that is coming their way.
Consider what has come your way in the past couple of years:
Parking: There are areas of the Borough with genuine parking issues – commuters, school runs, too few spaces – but it is not universal. Rather than address genuine concerns, the London Borough of Sutton has followed its avaricious neighbours and gone for the revenue. Poor consultation, appalling communication and disdain for residents’ concerns.
Planning: There was unanimous support amongst Liberal Democrat Councillors for the Local Plan, which included a proposal to build a new and much needed secondary school, to include a separate SEN unit on Rose Hill Playing Fields. This is in the ward that is represented by the Leader of the Council, Ruth Dombey two other Liberal Democrats, Cllr Steve Penneck and Cllr Marlene Heron.
All three published their objections in Focus publications and Cllr Penneck spoke against the school at the Liberal Democrat dominated Planning Committee. Their main concern was the design – which they described as a 4-storey monolith.
To the people of Beddington and Hackbridge who are cursed with a 4 storey high monolith ( + chimneys) every day, one wonders why the Liberal Democrat leadership has such an ambivalent attitude about the whole of the London Borough of Sutton compared with the ward that they represent.
As a postscript to that, the Department of Education was paying for the build and the Greenshaw Learning Trust were offering to provide the 2020 intake with places in Sutton at their cost whilst the build took place. No planning permission, no school. Then Sutton Council would need to provide for those children! Provision has been made by other schools across the Borough at a cost to the Council – that means Council Taxpayers – of around £1.3 million!!
Confusion of Climate Change: You may have received an invitation to contribute ideas for the London Borough of Sutton to become Carbon Neutral. The first thing to wonder is “when by?” – you see when proposals came before Council in July last year, two dates were given – 2030 and 2045! When the question was asked “which one counts?” – the answer from the Chief Executive and Mayor was “BOTH!”.
Confusion number two comes from the incinerator – contractually in place for the next 25 years, it will probably produce more CO2 than all the private cars in the Borough put together and to compound the issue, that Lib Dem dominated Planning Committee approved SUEZ, another waste company, to produce Incinerator fuel from waste – at the same time giving us 350 HGV’s into the site every day and 350 HGV’s out.
Oh, and the Mayor’s official Mercedes remains in use!
We are all going to keep up the fight in Beddington – although there are no guarantees in elections – but we will stand and we would be glad to lend our support and guidance to anyone who, like us, want stand as an Independent Candidate in the May 2022 Local Elections.
LOCAL RESIDENTS REPRESENTING LOCAL RESIDENTS!
There is an allowance paid, but you won’t get rich – and you will have committees to attend, local residents to serve and less time for yourself and your family – but be assured, it is worth the effort.
If you want to know more or get involved email us or call us:
Nick Mattey – firstname.lastname@example.org 07860 673458
Jillian Green – email@example.com 07599 661522
Tim Foster – firstname.lastname@example.org 07771 847290