Thoughts from Councillor Jillian Green of Beddington North

Councillor Jillian Green Highview Resident and Champion for Sheen Way

Sutton is a great place to live work and raise a family…says the Leader of the Council, Ruth Dombey. I say, but don’t come to Sutton if you are elderly or disabled…..

Over the past couple of months I have been struck by the way residents have come together to try and make sense of the low traffic neighbourhoods and safer school streets programme that has been rolled out without any consultation.  In my opinion it is not good enough to say it is only for six months to see if it works.  What happened to democracy? 

I forgot, it doesn’t apply to the Liberal Democrats in Sutton because as usual they are right and everyone else is wrong.  Do you have to be a professional politician to avoid saying sorry we got it wrong?  

Some weeks ago a cycle lane went live in Foresters Drive, one of the most dangerous roads in Wallington.  Two pedestrian safety islands were removed to accommodate this. Red and white wands (as I like to call them) were put along the edge of the cycle lane.  

The cycle lane runs from Mollison Drive junction with Foresters Drive and ends just before the dangerous bend at the top of Plough Lane, Purley.  The “wands” force the traffic into the middle of the road.  I use this road twice a day, sometimes four times and the wands are mesmeric, they are ugly and make the cycle lane too narrow to take a bike.  

A cycle lane “sans wands” has now been put on the right side of Foresters as you come from Wallington thus narrowing the road even further.  It is now more dangerous than before and a small traffic measuring device has been installed across the cycle lane at the beginning near Mollison Drive.  Like many of those on facebook I totally agree that any data collected is useless without previous data to measure it by.  To date I have seen three cyclists use the lane and how they have never come off due to the wands lying around and the leaves covering up potholes I don’t know.

It is laughable, is it not, that the instigator of these hair brained schemes is one Councillor Manuel Abellan, ward councillor for Beddington South

It seems he has very little concern for his residents’ safety.  The poor allotment holders now have to park on the other side of the road and I saw two elderly chaps struggling to cross the road with large bags of compost.  Before the cycle lane was bordered by wands allotment holders could at least park outside the gate.  

You may ask why I say Sutton is no place for the elderly or disabled, let me explain.  Elderly residents on the Butter Hill estate feel trapped because they can no longer use the bridge which enabled them to get to St Helier Hospital and other places without going a long way round.  The local shops, so important to the elderly are at risk due to loss of business and ambulances called have to take the long way round, I just hope no-one dies while waiting.  Unbelievable in this day and age that this sort of discrimination is allowed to happen.

I understand there is another consultation regarding the LTNs and Safer School Streets (yes folks Sutton is the consultation capital of London) but what happens if you don’t have access to a computer or can’t use one and are badly affected by these restrictions.  The most common phrase used in meetings with Councillors and officers is “it’s on the website, it can be accessed there”.  It makes me so angry that so many in our Borough are being disenfranchised in this way and as you can imagine I don’t hesitate to say so.  When I ask what residents should do there is just a shrug of the shoulders.

The other thing exercising my little grey cells in the past few weeks and which has given me much food for thought is Civic Pride.  It seems to be deteriorating week on week, we have more fly tipping, litter dropping, lack of dog poo being picked up, rudeness, aggression, lack of courtesy and anger. 

Bin it for Beddington

I think the dreadful restrictions placed on everyone by Covid is certainly playing its part as well as the worry of having a job, putting enough food on the table, missing relatives and a host of other things.

Change can only come through the ballot box and I believe everyone who has the right should vote.  Low turnouts are what incumbent politicians rely on.  In my opinion it is not good for any one party to hold all the power and the only way to change this is to elect more Independent Councillors who have the interests of residents at the heart of what they do and do not support a political doctrine. 

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