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Nearly 400 years of voluntary service comes together to celebrate golden anniversary of borough’s Save the Children branch

Nearly 40 volunteers gathered on Thursday to celebrate more than 50 years of fund raising for the Sutton and district branch of Save the Children.

With nearly 400 years of service between them the volunteers were joined by branch president Lord Graham Tope and chairman Ray Kasey.
The volunteers were told that more than £7,500 was raised in the last year through various events which did not include the long standing shop in Cheam which has raised more than £20,000 in the past year.
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Borough’s first programme for council house building for 30 years is now complete

The London Borough of Sutton has completed its first programme of new council house building for 30 years.
In total, Sutton has built 93 new homes – 15 houses were finished in October last year, and now 21 new houses and 57 new flats are ready for people to move in. This building programme was possible because of changes in financial regulations allowing councils to borrow to build council housing.

Sutton’s new council homes are on three sites across the borough:

  • Fellowes Road, Carshalton – 15 houses completed in October 2018
  • Alcester Road, Wallington – 57 flats completed in August 2019
  • Richmond Green, Beddington – 21 houses and completed in August 2019

Fellowes Road is already fully occupied, and tenants are now moving into the remaining newly-completed properties.

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Members of an organised crime group have been jailed for a total of more than 100 years after carrying out an armed robbery at a pub in Sutton.

[Image: Top from Left – Ansah, Barnaby-Thomas, Barnaby and Buahin. Bottom from left Gayle, McCleary, Sesay and Zanelli]

Members of an organised crime group have been jailed for a total of more than 100 years after carrying out an armed robbery at a pub in Sutton.

The following were convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery following a five-week trial at Kingston Crown Court. They were sentenced at the same court on Tuesday, 13 August:

Dominic Barnaby-Thomas, 33 (7.8.1986) of Oakfield Road, SE20 was jailed for 18 years.

David Ansah, 28 (4.6.1991) of St James Road, CR0 was jailed for 18 years.

Joseph Barnaby, 31 (12.5.1988) of Lothian Road, SW9 was jailed for 16 years.

Henrya Buahin, known as Junaid Marfo, 34 (12.9.1984) of Montpelier Road, CR8 was also convicted of theft following the same trial. He was jailed for 18 years and received 18 months for the theft offence to run concurrently.

Michela Christina Zanelli 23 (12.1.1996) of Verulam Avenue, CR8 was convicted of conspiracy to commit robbery following a re-trial in July 2019. She was jailed for nine years.

Michael McCleary, 33 (21.4.1986) of Upper Mulgrave Road, SM2, Ibrahim Sesay, 29 (19.2.1990) of Lothian Road, SW9 and Rhys Kassel Gayle, 25 (11.9.1993) of Wingate Crescent, CR0 pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit robbery at an earlier hearing. McCleary was jailed for nine years, while Sesay and Gayle were both jailed for twelve.

Gayle also pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs in relation to a separate incident. He was jailed for a further four years to be served consecutively.

Police were called on 1 October 2017 to reports of an armed robbery at a pub on Cheam Common Road, Worcester Park, KT4.

Shortly after 22:00hrs a silver Vauxhall Astra pulled up outside the entrance and Sesay, Barnaby, Gayle, and Ansah exited.

All four defendants were wearing orange boiler suits, masks and gloves. Ansah was also seen carrying a rucksack and a handgun.

They rushed into the venue and forced eight people inside into the back office.

They lined the victims up against a wall and forced them to kneel, repeatedly threatening them with a kitchen knife and firearm – at one point holding the firearm to the head of one victim.

The group demanded money from the tills and office and stopped all CCTV recording. During the incident one of the victims was stabbed in the thigh.

Shortly after 22:10hrs two of the victims were released from the office, but the remaining six were locked inside while the suspects continued searching for cash.

The group found a large safe in the hallway of an upstairs bedsit and dragged it to their getaway vehicle outside. They unsuccessfully attempted to put it in the boot and fled, leaving the safe outside the front of the venue.

Detectives from the Met’s Flying Squad launched an investigation into the armed robbery.

Throughout the course of the investigation they discovered the two individuals released from the office by the robbers were actually Zanelli and Buahin, who were complicit in the robbery.

The pair arrived at the venue ten minutes before the robbery purporting to be customers, but were in fact look-outs for the rest of the group.

They remained in phone contact with the other defendants until their arrival inside the venue.

Detectives identified McCleary to be the supplier of the vehicle and Barnaby-Thomas as the organiser – both were outside the venue while the robbery took place.

Detectives further identified Ansah as the holder of the firearm and Sesay as the driver and enforcer along with Gayle.

Forensic work carried out at the venue, and examination of CCTV, led officers to McCleary, Zanelli, and Barnaby. Further phone examinations then led them to the remaining suspects.

The firearm and knife used in the robbery were not recovered.

Detective Constable Will Man from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “This offence was conducted by an organised criminal gang who were prepared to use weapons in order to enforce their demands.

“They targeted both staff and customers in the premises with a firearm and a knife. They had no regard for any member of the public’s safety or welfare and carried out these violent actions solely in order to steal cash to fund their own lifestyle.

“The hard work and relentless enquiries carried out by Flying Squad detectives have ensured that all those responsible have been brought to justice. The serious nature of this offence has been reflected in the sentencing imposed by the court. I hope this offers reassurance to not only the victims of this crime but also the community as a whole that we will continue to pursue and apprehend such violent criminals.

“I would like to sincerely thank the victims for their full support in bringing this case to trial.”

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Council reception to move to Central Sutton Library

From Thursday 1st August, Sutton Council’s  face to face customer service will be moving from Civic Offices to Sutton Central Library as a pilot project. The trial will run until 30th September 2019.

The move to the library at St Nicholas Way will make it easier and more convenient for residents and others to visit Sutton Council. It will also help libraries and customer services colleagues improve both their service offers to customers and the experience of visiting either service.

To help visitors for Sutton Council, customer service officers will be welcoming guests in the library to manage enquiries, appointments, or accessing services online.

To make the move possible, the Civic Office reception will remain open for any self-service queries, booked appointments, and access to meeting rooms. Any residents requiring assistance from one of the Customer Services team can see a team member in the Sutton Central Library.


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Fifty new electric bikes now available in the borough

Fifty new electric bikes will help Sutton become a zero-carbon emissions borough in line with plans agreed by councillors this week. They will also help the Council improve local air quality by encouraging more people to use a bike and make cycling easier locally.

The bikes will be operated by LimeE and are an eye-catching green colour so that they are easily recognisable in the street. Electric bikes are a good option in Sutton because the borough’s hills can make cycling more difficult. If the trial is successful the number of bikes could increase.
Each bike is fitted with a bell, front and rear lights and reflectors. Users can unlock and lock the bikes using a dedicated mobile phone app and the bikes will be located at ten key sites around the borough to encourage sustainable travel around Sutton.
Bikes are also fitted with a gyroscope and GPS tracker so that LimeE are able to identify bikes which are not upright or have been parked in areas they should not be. The locations to pick up and return the bikes have been chosen so as not to inconvenience pedestrians and residents – they do not use fixed docking stations.
Residents can find out more about the app here.

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Trading standards visiting main car boot sales in the borough

Trading Standards have been busy over the last couple of months visiting the main car boot sales in Sutton.

Cleaning up the car boots

Trading Standards have been busy over the last couple of months visiting the main car boot sales in Sutton. They have undertaken repeat visits to the St Philomena’s School and the Rosehill car boot sales resulting in over a hundred sellers being advised on the types of goods they can legally sell. Many being told to remove items such as counterfeit DVDs and fake designer bags from sale.

Four stalls had goods seized by the officers  with over 1300 items being signed over for secure destruction and recycling.

The items ranged from clothing, watches, sunglasses, DVDs to blankets, cushions and fidget spinners which were found to be unsafe or in breach of trademark and copyright laws.

Trading Standards advises buyers to be cautious with goods they purchase, in particular with electrical goods which may be unsafe, cheap fake copies of high end goods or stolen items being sold.

Officers work closely with the sale organisers to make sure both buyers and sellers are aware of the law.

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Sutton Community Awards launched – now is the chance to celebrate great people

Nominations are now open for Sutton’s Community Awards 2019. The awards will celebrate the people who make Sutton a better place to live, work and bring up a family.

Nominations are now open for Sutton’s Community Awards 2019. The awards will celebrate the people who make Sutton a better place to live, work and bring up a family.

Nominate now go to AWARDS

The awards are open to everyone who lives, works, studies or volunteers in the borough. Awards will be given out in seven categories that cover outstanding individuals, volunteers, neighbours and community groups.

This year, the awards are being delivered in partnership between Sutton Council, Community Action Sutton, Sutton Housing Partnership and Volunteer Centre Sutton to recognise the true breadth of outstanding individuals and groups in the borough.

Launching the awards, the Mayor of Sutton, Cllr Muhammad Sadiq, said: “The Sutton Community Awards are the perfect way to recognise the individuals and groups who go above and beyond to make Sutton a better place to live, work and bring up a family.

“This year we want to celebrate your unsung heroes and make sure they get the recognition they deserve, so if you’ve never considered nominating before this is your year!

“Let us know who makes the borough a better place by nominating them today.”

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held on Wednesday 9 October.

Awards will be given in the following categories:

Outstanding Voluntary and Community Sector Friend

An individual who works closely with, and is a true advocate for, the voluntary and community sector in Sutton.

Outstanding Volunteer 

An individual who has gone above and beyond as a volunteer, making a considerable and tangible impact within the community.

Outstanding Volunteering Group 

A group of volunteers that have demonstrated a great team spirit and worked together to support a cause or organisation that would only be possible collectively – this could include a business or staff members who volunteer in their spare time.

Outstanding Young Person 

A young person under 21 who has brought real credit to the borough through exceptional academic, sporting, artistic or cultural achievements.

Outstanding Neighbour

An individual who makes people’s lives better by going the extra mile – this could be through caring for those in need, or someone who puts on local community events or projects.

Voluntary and Community Sector Organisation of the Year 

A voluntary and community sector organisation (can be a social enterprise) that has made an outstanding contribution to improving the lives of those they support.

Sue Robson Trustee of the Year 

An individual who goes above and beyond to support and represent their organisation with passion and enthusiasm and a real drive for success.

The Sue Robson Trustee of the Year award was established to acknowledge her contribution to the voluntary and community sector in Sutton. Sue Robson was deputy director and CEO of Sutton CVS (now known as Community Action Sutton) for a number of years. Sue was passionate about governance and worked with both large and small organisations on developing good practices for their trustee to enable their organisations to flourish.

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Cognus chairman issues statement following announcement about managing director

Cognus an education service provider which exists to support schools, families and children/young people to access, enjoy and thrive in educational settings in school and in the community has issued a statement following the announcement that its managing director has left the business.

Cognus Limited was spun out from the London Borough of Sutton in November 2016 as a stand-alone limited company but the main shareholder remains the London Borough of Sutton,

Ian Comfort, Chairman, Cognus Board of Directors stated on the website:

“On behalf of all of the Board, I would like to thank Tracey Burley for the excellent work she has done leading Cognus over the last two-and-a-half years. Tracey has achieved a great deal and the organisation is in a good position as we look forward, and so she has decided it is now time for a change. Under her leadership, we have secured considerable additional funds from central government, implemented new successful programmes to support children and young people, and most importantly we have made strong improvements to all our services and we continue to focus on improving the SEN service even further. There is more to do to complete this journey but I am proud of the progress we have made so far. We all wish Tracey every success for the future.

I have asked Bob Harrison, our Service Director, to lead the organisation during August and have every confidence he will do an excellent job. This allows the Board time to consider interim arrangements until such time as a new Managing Director is recruited.”


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Healthwatch Sutton annual meeting to take place on August 29

Healthwatch Sutton Annual General Meeting 2019

We will be hosting our Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Thursday 29th August 2019, from 2:00pm – 3:00pm at Granfers Community Centre. 

Please join us as we reflect on our year, celebrate our achievements and find out how your views have helped influence health and social care services in Sutton. Light refreshments will be provided (please let us know if you have any dietary requirements).

If you would like to see our Annual Accounts from 2018-19, please download a copy from our website, or get in touch with us on 020 8641 9540

If you would like to attend, please sign-up on our EventBrite page. 

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Comedian Jo Brand to star in Snow White pantomime

Richmond Theatre have today announced that comedian, writer, actor and presenter Jo Brand will lead the cast of this year’s spectacular family pantomime, SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS, alongside returning funny man Jon Clegg with hilarious panto dame Jason Sutton from Sat 7 Dec 2019 – Sun 5 Jan 2020. Press are invited to attend for review on Thursday 12th December at 7pm.

Well-loved comedian, writer, presenter and actress Jo Brand will star as The Wicked Queen. A mainstay on television and the comedy circuit since the mid-80s, Jo has forged a highly successful career in alternative comedy, headlining across the country and regularly appearing on stage and screen. Best known for her Channel 4 show Jo Brand Through the Cakehole, she also co-created and starred inGetting On for the BBC, is a regular guest on QI and Have I Got News For You and is currently the presenter of The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice. In addition to her comedic and presenting work, she has also written four critically acclaimed novels, and two autobiographies; Look Back in Hunger and Can’t Stand Up For Sitting Down. Last year she released her critically-acclaimed book Born Lippy and released the film adaptation of her book The More You Ignore Me, which won the National Film Award for Best Comedy 2019.

After his swashbuckling success as Mr Smee in last year’s pantomime Peter PanJon Clegg returns to star as Snow White’s best friend, Muddles in this, his 19th consecutive year in pantomime. The Britain’s Got Talent finalist has been a regular on stages across the country with his unique celebrity impersonations and quick wit. He also appeared on the ITV topical comedy sketch show Newzoids and regularly entertains international audiences performing his one-man comedy and impressions show on cruise ships and hotels across the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. He also starred in the UK tour of award winning musical Forever in Blue Jeans.

 Jason Sutton, best-known for his award-winning alter ego Miss Jason has been entertaining audiences across the country for over 17 years. Aside from his cabaret work Jason’s television credits include The Weakest LinkCome Dine with MePut Your Money Where Your Mouth Is and Sky1’s Chocky-Wocky-Do-Dah. On stage Jason also received rave reviews for his leading role of Terri in Peter Nichols’Privates on Parade and starred in The Boys in the Band, directed by Christopher Biggins. SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS marks Jason’s third pantomime for Qdos Entertainment, having previously starred as Nurse Nancy alongside Jessie Wallace in Bromley and Brendan Cole in High Wycombe.

 SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS will be lavishly brought to life in a production packed full of magical mirrors, seven friendly dwarfs, an abundance of comedy, and sensational song and dance routines from producers Qdos Entertainment, the team behind the annual must-see production for the last two years.Richmond Theatre’s Theatre Director Brendan Riding said, “Jo has brought several of her stand up performances to Richmond Theatre over the years and I’m excited to see her as the Wicked Queen this year! With her classic dry wit and no doubt a SLICE of wickedness, she’s sure to have audiences in hysterics.  Jon returns by popular demand and with Richmond newcomer Jason making this one Panto not to be missed!”

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS will run from Saturday 7 December 2019 to Sunday 5 January 2020. Book now to secure the best seats, or you won’t be able to look yourself in the mirror!