I have now been a Councillor for nearly three months and I really love representing the residents of Beddington North Ward.

What have I learned over this time?  Well, it’s certainly politically loaded in favour of the Liberal Democrats but why wouldn’t it be when they still have a majority albeit much reduced.  It’s interesting to sit in meetings, some of which would bore the most tolerant of individuals to tears, and that includes me.  I sit there sometimes and wonder “what the hell is this about” and “how is this going to help anybody”.  Nine times out of ten I come up with the answer “not at all” but I now realise that there are national and Greater London Authority strategic demands that must be met.

I have made it very clear to all those I come in contact with that I am an Independent Councillor doing my best for those who live in Beddington North.  I am not interested in getting caught up in all the political wrangling where one side “knows what’s best” and cannot be turned from their objectives and the other side challenge vociferously to no avail.  Any decisions made should be what is best for the residents of Sutton and not to score political points that advance careers within a Westminster party.

Anyway enough of politics – together with my fellow Councillors Tim Foster and Nick Mattey, we are determined to shout loudest for Beddington North.

New Horizons for Future Generations?

Our latest concerns are obviously the incinerator, or ERF as officials and ruling party call it, I shall continue calling it an incinerator.

The next is SUEZ the waste transfer facility which are looking to operate 24/7 and will be sited next to the incinerator.  There is also the prospect of a logistics company moving into an area, formerly Metropolitan Open Land

Thirdly the defence of the Sheen Way Playing Fields against possible development with the building of a new special needs school for over 240 pupils.  I wish to make it clear that the residents recognise and support the need for a new school but not on the playing field.  The Highview Estate has narrow roads which are difficult to negotiate at the best of times.  With 18 seater mini buses plus 100 cars for teachers the lives of residents would become intolerable.  This is without the traffic dropping off pupils at Highview Primary School and the use of The Chase and Godalming Avenue as a cut through by those trying to jump the queues on Stafford Road.  More pollution for residents of Beddington North I hear you cry and before some bright spark says “air is everywhere”, I presume meaning pollution otherwise we’d all be dead and wouldn’t need to worry about all of this, yes it is but that doesn’t mean Beddington North should suffer more than anybody else.

Carew Manor may not be ideal but it is surrounded by a huge green space and can more easily absorb carbon dioxide due to the wonderful trees in Beddington Park.  Sheen Way is a confined space bordered by houses, a railway line and light industrial units and was originally intended as a community space for the residents and their children together with an educational use as a school playing field.  It does have one or two lovely old trees and in fact bats and other wildlife have been seen on the site.  Indeed I got quite excited in early spring to see lapwings on the field.  I imagine they were looking for a nesting site as the Beddington Farmlands are in a bit of turmoil and probably not suitable for ground nesting birds.

Having looked at the Local Plan approved in February of this year, strangely enough before the election was called, there is a statement to protect open space, which makes it a contradiction as there is also the planned development of Sheen Way Playing Fields.

I am hoping that we can press for a proper air quality assessment to be done in the Beddington Lane area before the incinerator comes on stream in October and this will mean better air quality monitoring equipment and more of them sited where they will capture the right data.  It is important that we have baseline figures to begin with.

What can residents do to help support your Councillors in Beddington North.  I am a huge fan for everyone pitching in to help their community and together with the support and enthusiasm of your Councillors I really feel we can give the ruling party a run for their money.

The final resident of Richmond Green expelled from the Planning Committee

Make your voices heard, if there is a consultation doing the rounds for proposals that affect you get involved, email the Council, register objections, shout as loud as you can. Don’t think you cannot make a difference, you can and with your help we will.  The residents of Highview Estate are forming a Residents’ Association.  There may be other areas in Beddington North that might like to consider this.  If so, I may be able to help.  I paraphrase a well known saying.

“For a ruling party to get their way good men need do nothing”.


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