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Councillors agree independent review of the Sutton Decentralised Energy Network (SDEN)

Sutton councillors have agreed to carry out an independent review of the Sutton Decentralised Energy Network (SDEN) following enquiries about its financial sustainability.

At a meeting of the council on 12 July, there was cross-party agreement that some claims had been made that damage the reputation of the Council and its wholly owned company SDEN, and that an independent investigation was needed to restore the confidence of councillors, the public and SDEN customers.

Cllr Jayne McCoy, Chair of the Housing, Economy & Business Committee, said:

“There has been no denial that the project has encountered its difficulties. An infrastructure project of this size would be unusual if it had not. The delayed build-out of the site has eroded projected profits considerably and the large number of power outages has caused considerable concern for residents and the Council alike.

“However, serious allegations have been made publicly, and in writing, challenging the integrity of the project. So we have agreed an independent investigation is needed to put to bed the concerns about SDEN.

“We are happy to do this because we have complete faith in the integrity of the modelling, the integrity and competence of the officers involved in the work, the professional expertise of KPMG who reviewed the model, and the democratic processes that relied on it. 

“An independent investigation will enable everyone to have that same confidence.”

The Sutton Decentralised Energy Network (SDEN) was created in 2016 in response to the climate emergency. It provides low carbon hot water and heating to homes at the New Mill Quarter development in Hackbridge with a view to potentially expanding it to other areas in later years. 

SDEN helps the borough reduce its carbon emissions and impact on the environment. It offers Sutton residents access to locally-produced renewable energy instead of using fossil fuel-generated energy supplies. 

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E scooters cannot be ridden on a public road, cycle lane or pavement

E-scooters and the law. Currently, in the UK, you can legally buy an e-scooter, but you cannot ride it on a public road, cycle lane or pavement.

The police will advise you on the law and may confiscate your e-scooter, and can penalise you depending on the seriousness of the offence.

If caught riding an e-scooter, fines you may receive can include:a Fixed Penalty Notice for no insurance, with a £300 fine and six penalty points a Fixed Penalty Notice for no driving licence, up to £100 fine and three-six penalty points.
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Unsure about getting vaccinated then get those questions answered

Unsure about getting vaccinated? Worried about side effects, needles or just uncertain about which vaccine you receive? You can get the answers to all your questions at local vaccination sites across South West London, with no pressure to get the jab.
Nurses, pharmacists and other clinical staff are on hand to talk through any issues away from the main vaccinating area, as every effort is made to ensure everyone has the information they need to make a decision about the vaccine.

This action comes after the local NHS ran focus groups on the vaccines for young people, who told them that they would feel more confident about having the vaccine if they had more information about its effectiveness.

Matron Trudy De Cordova, who runs Centrale Covid-19 Vaccination Centre in Croydon, said: “If you’re thinking about having your vaccine, please don’t hesitate to pop into your local vaccination for a chat.“We have created a warm and friendly environment in our Croydon vaccination centre and that atmosphere applies to all the sites.“So if you are unsure about having your vaccine, just ask us. We are happy to answer any questions you may have and there’s no pressure on you.”

South West London’s Covid-19 vaccination drive has been highly successful so far, with more than 1.6 million vaccinations given. However, there are still thousands of younger people who have not yet taken up the offer of a vaccine.For information about walk-in and pop-up clinics in south west London visit https://swlondonccg.nhs.uk/covid/where-can-you-get-vaccinated/vaccination-walk-in-clinics/   People can also call 119 or visit the national booking service to make an appointment at a local vaccination centre or pharmacy.

Those aged 39 and under who are eligible and pregnant women will be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in line with JCVI guidance.The NHS is vaccinating in line with the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation guidelines and must wait at least eight weeks before getting their second dose. An eight-week gap has been clinically proven to give the best protection from Covid-19 and especially the Delta variant.
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Third sector organisations encouraged to apply for new four year grants programme

Applications open for London Councils’ Grants programme to support London’s most vulnerable residents: iStock-903861978

Third sector organisations supporting Londoners facing sexual and domestic abuse and homelessness are being encouraged to apply for London Councils’ new four-year grants programme.

The new grants programme, which will run from 2022 to 2026, is funded by London’s boroughs and will provide support to London’s most vulnerable residents.

The challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic have increased the numbers of people in the capital in need of specialist support. Many Londoners experienced homelessness for the first time as employment terms changed or ended and while the ‘Everyone In’ scheme helped shelter many rough sleepers, it emphasised how many people still have housing needs. Alongside this, there was a significant increase in demand for domestic abuse victim services during the pandemic.

Funding provided by London Councils’ grants programme will provide a vital boost to services at a time of acute need. These services aim to improve lives and create opportunities for people to succeed.

The current grants programme, which ends this year, has invested £6 million a year since 2017 in combatting homelessness and tackling domestic and sexual abuse across London. The new programme will bolster the collective efforts of local government, the voluntary and community sector, and other partners across the capital who work to ensure families have a safe place to call home and build their lives.

Mayor Damien Egan, Chair of London Councils’ Grants Committee, says:

“The Grants Programme is a source of pride for London’s local Leaders. We are delighted to be delivering a new four-year programme, particularly under such challenging financial circumstances for our residents and our boroughs.

“The programme funds vital services for people who need specialist support and tackles some of the most pressing issues across London. People who are homeless or those at risk from or who have been subjected to violence are some of the most vulnerable we represent.

 “The next four years will be a crucial time to learn from and develop our relationship with partners in the voluntary and community sector to help improve the lives of Londoners across the capital.”

Applicants for the 2022-26 grants programme can be made by individual organisations or groups working together to provide services to tackle issues on a pan-London basis.

The closing date for applications is Friday 10 September 2021 at noon.

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Class A drugs seized in car park in Carshalton

Class A Drugs Seized. Last week whilst on a late shift the local Safer Neighborhood Team stopped and searched a male in a local car park near Carshalton High Street that intelligence suggests is being used for drug dealing.

The search was positive and officers seized a quantity of cocaine from the male. This action was taken by police based on information given to police by members of the public. Please continue to report any incidence of believed drug taking/use either by calling 101 or contacting Crimestoppers. If it’s an emergency please call 999.

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Fire fighters from three stations attend blaze in flat

Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters were called to a flat fire on Devonshire Avenue in Sutton in the early hours of Wednesday
Part of a four-roomed flat on the second floor of the building was damaged by fire. Two adults and two children left the building before the Brigade arrived. There were no reports of any injuries.

Station Officer Nigel McLachlan, who was at the scene, said: “On arrival crews saw smoke coming from the second floor of the building and gained access quickly to discover a well-developed fire in one of the bedrooms of the flat.“A family were already out of the property when firefighters arrived, and crews worked swiftly to bring the fire under control.“There were no working smoke alarms fitted inside the flat.

“You should have working smoke alarms in every room where a fire can start, plus a heat alarm in the kitchen. They should be tested regularly.”

The Brigade was called at 0239 and the fire was under control by 0358. Fire crews from Sutton, Wallington and Mitcham fire stations attended the scene.The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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Sutton Council issues statement on driver shortage which is impacting waste services

Sutton council has issued a statement on a shortage of drivers which is impacting on disruption to recycling and waste services in some parts of the borough.

There is currently a nationwide driver shortage which is causing disruption to recycling and waste services in some parts of the borough.

You can check if your area is affected on the council website.

If your collection is late, please leave your bins out and our contractor, Veolia, will collect it as soon as they can. 

The Council is working closely with Veolia and neighbouring boroughs in the South London Waste Partnership to minimise the impact on recycling and waste collections and other key environmental services. Business continuity plans have been implemented and resources are being closely monitored to ensure services continue to be delivered. 

Please bear with us during this challenging period while Veolia recruits and trains more drivers. We are doing everything we can to catch up and keep services running. We would like to thank you in advance for your understanding.”

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Council welcomes proposal to create new 56 place free school for pupils living with Autism Spectrum Condition

Sutton Council has welcomed a Department of Education (DfE) proposal to create a new, 56-place free school in the borough for pupils living with Autism Spectrum Condition (ASC).

However, last night (1 July) the Council’s People Committee confirmed their support for Sutton’s excellent local schools which have urged government ministers to reconsider plans for an additional free school for mainstream secondary pupils – because there is already sufficient capacity for students across the borough.

Sutton Council has no direct influence on decisions around free schools, all decisions are taken by education ministers.

People Committee Chair, Councillor Marian James said:

“It is important to remember that the decision on free schools lies exclusively with the Department of Education and not with Sutton Council. However, the Council has been working closely with schools across the borough and feel it is important to share our views with ministers so they can make the best decisions possible.

“We very much support the plan to increase capacity in the borough for children with special educational needs. This is vital and welcome.

“However, we feel that plans for an extra mainstream free school in the borough are unnecessary for the simple reason that while the demand for special needs education is rising, the need for mainstream secondary education places is falling and will drop off from 2027. Our excellent schools in Sutton can cope with the current demand until that time.”

Sutton Council has offered to make additional places available over the next 5-6 years, as an alternative to the Department for Education (DfE) proposed new mainstream free school known as ‘Sutton Free School 1’. 

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Firefighters rescue woman from bungalow fire

Firefighters rescued a woman from a bungalow fire on Mount Park in Carshalton on Sunday.

Part of a semi-detached bungalow was damaged by fire. One woman was treated on scene by London Ambulance Service crews after suffering from smoke inhalation.

The Brigade was called at 0116 and the fire was under control by 0153. Four fire engines and around 25 firefighters from Wallington, Purley, Croydon and Sutton fire stations attended the scene.

The fire is believed to have been accidental and caused by an electrical fault in an extractor fan

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Appeal following serious homophobic assault in the borough

Appeal Following Serious Homophobic Assault in Sutton. Detectives are appealing for information after a man was subjected to a homophobic attack in Sutton.On Sunday, 20 June, officers were called to a south London hospital to speak to a man suffering from head and facial injuries.

The victim, aged in his 40s, reported that on Saturday evening he had been with his partner at a pub on Central Road in Worcester Park when a group of men approached and invited them to sit outside with them. At first the men were friendly but later started to make homophobic comments and the pair moved away.

Later that evening the victim left the pub alone and started walking down Central Road. He then remembers a man making homophobic comments before punching him hard in the face. Acting Detective Sergeant Herdeep Jugdev, from Bromley CID, said: “This was an extremely violent attack which left the victim with head and facial injuries for which he is still receiving hospital treatment.

“It also appears that the assault was motivated by the victim’s sexuality. Hate crime of whatever kind is something we will never tolerate and we are doing all we can to find the person or people responsible. “We would ask anyone who was on Central Road on Saturday evening, particularly anyone in Centrals Bar and who may have seen any interaction between the victim and other people, to come forward and speak to us. “Similarly we are encouraging anyone driving along the road between 01:10hrs and 02:00hrs and who may have dashcam footage to please review it in case you inadvertently captured something that could help our investigation.” Anyone with information should call 101 with CAD reference 2214/20JUN Alternatively contact Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.