2018 was when the last Local Elections were held here in Sutton – and what 4 years it has been. From a National or International perspective, there has been unprecedented change – a General Election, Brexit, a Pandemic and now a War – change beyond what anyone could have foreseen.
How is the way you vote in these Local Elections going to change those huge issues – truly it will have no impact at all.
Voting for a particular party to “send a message to Whitehall” – well every Government expects a mid-term downturn so any message will be diluted, excused by media and the politicians alike.
So, what can change with your vote?
What about the way that this Borough treats Special Needs Education (SEN)? Are we happy with the performance of Cognus, a stand-alone company set up by the current administration to run education services? Well, the parents of SEN children aren’t, one of the highest rejection rates for EHCP applicants and telling parents that there are not enough therapists to offer one to one Speech Therapy in the Borough but then sell the same services out of Borough!
Then there are the long-term contracts with waste companies, Viridor and Veolia. Viridor treat this administration as a VERY junior partner in business – selling the Beddington Farmlands without reference and applying to the Environment Agency for an increase in waste volume without consultation. More traffic, more pollution and does anyone care about Sutton residents – clearly not this administration!
A recent fly tip on Richmond Green reflected the appalling management process – if it was on the south side of Richmond Green, that was parks and idVerde were responsible, on the north side, it would be Sutton Housing Partnership (SHP) and on the roadway, Veolia. Is it any wonder that the Borough needs volunteer litter pickers to keep it clean!
But when we say SHP, that is a bit of a misnomer, because they have a charge they levy from tenants for bulk disposal! And on the subject of “Affordable Housing” – that much trumpeted development on Richmond Green is not only charging substantial rents, some of those homes are in Council Tax Band E meaning high payments and denial of access to the £150 contribution to help with rising living costs.
Like so many claims of the current administration – there is a lot of gloss but the substance does not match the rhetoric!
There are six of us Sutton Independents standing in Beddington and Wallington North – but we are not the only ones – there are a total of thirteen independent candidates putting themselves forward on May 5th.
And there are some strong Labour candidates in Hackbridge and St Helier and some very good Conservatives on the western side of the Borough – all committed residents looking to change the face of this Council.
I have heard the expression “paper candidate” used on a number of occasions this campaign – candidates entered with no intention of winning or, in some cases, even campaigning. They are not worth your vote!
Certainly, the level of commitment needed for an Independent means that you can be certain that an Independent candidate is here to do a job. We have shown in Beddington that three Independents can do a great job.
Make sure you are voting on local issues – they are the ones that matter to every resident.