There were several interesting questions asked at the Full Council meeting on Monday:-
Philippa Stroud asked about housing after the resignation of the Chief Executive and Chairman of Sutton Housing Partnership. This was after the failure of the organisation to get the two star rating which would have secured funding to bring our houses up to scratch. We have the second worst housing in the capital and need some £120m to bring it up to a basic standard of decency. Philippa highlighted a case where a single mother was living with her four children in one room.
Philippa also asked why more than 90 girls could not find secondary school places in Sutton. We know how many children enter primary school each year so we should be able to predict secondary school demand with a reasonable level of accuracy. The LibDem lead councillor shrugged this off with the comment that "sometimes the figures don't add up." Although thirty places have been made available in Carshalton Girls, sixty children will be left high and dry for sometime to come. Cllr Tim Crowley asked what advice should be given to parents such as one sat in the audience whose daughter had no place for next September. The resident was left disappointed when no answer was forthcoming.
Carshalton resident Paul Kelly, asked what the council was doing to support small businesses and shops in the outlying parts of the Borough like Worcester Park and whether cutting parking charges and increasing spaces would help. He had noticed an increase of boarded up shops and noted that 450 small business had closed in the Borough over the last year. Lynn Gleeson, lead councillor for Economic Development explained that because more women were obliged to work to pay their mortgages, they did not shop in the same way. Whereas it is true to say that shopping patterns are not what they were, Cllr Gleeson failed to explain what the Council was doing to reinvigorate our High Streets in the face of such changes. You may not be surprised to hear that she did not believe that parking charges were too high.