Thursday, May 15, 2008

LibDems On The Spot

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.


cllr david pickles said...

There was also an interesting question from Independent councillor, ex-Lib Dem David Theobald who is very concerned at the care given to autistic children in the borough.

Needless to say, he didn't get a satisfactory reply either.

Scully said...


I'm sure David T. will see this and leave his thoughts but it is interesting that the council have now admitted that the reply to his answer was incorrect as an officer had given the LibDem Lead councillor incorrect information. This led to the heated exchanges which put David T in an invidious position. I look forward to Tony Brett Young coming back to Full Council with his tail between his legs.

Cllr David Theobald said...

I got an apology and, I believe, there will be a statement made on monday at the annual council. That is secondary to what I really hoped to achieve which is that our disabled children, be it ASD or anything else that they suffer with, get the care they deserve and I will ensure that they do!

Thanks to all of you for the support over this, it does help alot to know that it is not a lone quest. I may act like a twit sometimes but think how boring the council will be when I go in a couple of years!

Cllr David Theobald said...

By the by, when trailing back heartbroken from watching the Palace lose last week, I stopped off opposite Wallington Station to buy some bits for the wife. I was amazed to see that 5 of the 7 shops were boarded up leaving the solitary dining option of a kebab! Rose Hill now has a pretty full compliment of businesses but there do seem to more and more To Let signs around recently.

cllr david pickles said...

As you well know David, that is indicative of the lack of support that the Lib-Dems give local businesses in the area, despite the chunterings of Cllr Gleeson on Monday who reeled off a list of the things that she claims the Libs have done to help businesses but in reality have done very little.

Cllr David Theobald said...

I did a straw poll at a Sutton business seminar asking for a show of hands on how many have ever received any contract from LBS, not one put their hand up! We should ensure that as much revenue as possible is re-invested into our area even if it isnt the lowest tender!

Cllr David Theobald said...

And to add insult to injury, my wife received a letter today requesting we pay the £32 we owe to the Council for Georgies respite care (The place the young boy of my rant went missing from). We have to pay £8 for every respite session in Sutton. Apart from the fact that we paid it and told them to keep the extra £8 when we withdrew George over concerns for his safety, have a guess whose name figured prominently at the top of the epistle? I have a feeling he doesnt like my family much!