A very personal refection from Councillor Jillian Green

Cllr Jillian Green

As I sit looking across the garden I decided to look back over the last year.  Re-elected by the wonderful residents of Beddington ward in May 2022 I was optimistic that the next four years would be less politics and more working together for the good of the people of Sutton.

How wrong can one be!!  For Councillor David Bartolucci, Chair of Housing, Economics and Business Committee, to say Tim Foster didn’t care about residents of Sutton, and by inference neither did Nick or I, was the ultimate insult and no apology was given despite the Mayor asking him to modify his language.  Still as my old dad used to say “when they start throwing insults you know they have lost the argument”.  Our Beddington residents know how hard we work on their behalf and will continue to do so for the next three and a half years.  We may not have the firepower of the ruling party but by heck we do hold our own in challenging decisions and asking the right questions.

One of the decisions we challenged on was the building of the new Carew Academy on the old Sheen Way playing fields.  We lost this one and on 9 May the building of the new school began. 

Green Space to a Building Site

The carpet of buttercups, daisies and clover has gone as have the butterflies, bees, bats, foxes and birds (a whole colony of goldfinches once so prolific seems to have dwindled).  The line of hedgerows that provided homes for the wildlife have been dug up and tossed aside and residents can no longer pick the blackberries which was an annual event for some.  The Sheen Way Strollers who met on Wednesdays in the summer for a chat and amble cannot continue as the open space left is no bigger than a medium sized garden.  It is so sad when one considers the Liberal Democrats boast about their green credentials!! 

No green space is safe under the ruling party or indeed any party in my opinion.  There seems to be huge encouragement to use fields for solar panels and possibly more onshore wind farms.  Can anyone tell me how we are going to grow our own food if farmland is decommissioned for green energy?  Are we going to import cheap food which travels around the world increasing the UK’s carbon footprint thus negating the green energy.  

Expanded ULEZ Zone

On 29 August the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, implemented the much hated ULEZ scheme.  I find it hard to contain my anger that so many who have non-compliant cars and are still struggling to pay off debts incurred during covid are going to have to pay £12.50 a day just to do their jobs to earn money to enable them to feed their families and pay the ever increasing bills. 

As a Councillor I have access to information about helplines for struggling families but ULEZ is not helping and I cannot understand why the major political parties are just letting Mr Khan get away with destroying people’s lives. 

Help in ToughTimes

Again another politician resorting to insults by calling people racists, nazis and covid deniers.  I have grave concerns that the suicide rate may rise because people are in such despair.  If cleaner air is what the Mayor aspires to, why were the cameras erected near hospitals where people suffering lung problems go to be treated.  I hear today that there is a possibility that cancer patients will get refunds.  It is my considered view that these cameras should not have been put up in those positions in the first place, nor indeed anywhere.

copyright GB News

Also why just cancer patients getting refunds, why not all patients, whether they have physical or mental problems?  What about those attending GP appointments?  What about the night shift workers having to pay twice – once on the way in and once on the way home?

It beggars belief that this is acceptable to all politicians whatever their party colours.  It certainly is not acceptable to me but then I’m not a politician with a big “P”.  I’m just someone who cares about people and will do anything I can to assist them with their problems.  What will happen when businesses go bust because they cannot afford ULEZ, LEZ and the congestion charge?  Where will Mr Khan and local authorities get business rates from when shops stand empty.  How will this impact what seems to be a nation dream of 15 minute cities – George Orwell was right “big brother is watching”?  Are we to be fined for “stepping outside our zone”?  I wish the Government and the opposition (of all parties) would come clean and tell us what they mean by this and what the rationale is behind it.  

I turn now to a favourite topic of mine “democracy”.  Not something the Liberal Democrats in Sutton know a lot about.  You will all recall that when Labour won 3 seats last year, we the 3 Independents for Beddington, were told we had to share seats on the strategic committees with them.  How can it be that a party with a majority of 3 have the same amount of seats on committees they had before the election?  I’ll tell you why – because they interpret the constitution as it suits them. 

With a general election looming next year I would like to suggest that the politicians with a big “P” start listening to the majority of the population.  They will no longer stay silent and will speak out loud and long about the way they feel about being taxed to the hilt, not being able to recover their way of life because of the cost of living crisis, not being able to afford a compliant car because let’s face it two grand goes nowhere.

I would finish this “rant” by pleading with you all to make sure you are registered to vote next year, look into the ID requirement and make your voices count. I realise it is difficult to know who to vote for but wait and see who makes the candidate list and look into their records before deciding.   Are they really local or bussed in to appear local – are they telling you what you want to hear or what they are really going to do – make your vote count.

I hope you have all enjoyed your summer whether you stayed at home, went out for days or holidayed in the UK or abroad.  Look out for a new Sutton Independent leaflet coming in the autumn to Beddington.

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