To quote from the London Borough of Sutton web site “Local Committees are local meetings of ward councillors and community representatives which are open to the public. The committees are attended by the local Safer Neighbourhood Police, local people and others to discuss matters of local interest, influence the decisions that the Council takes and encourage public services to work together to solve local problems. The Committees can also allocate funding to projects which affect the physical appearance of local areas and award Neighbourhood Grants of up to £500 to local groups”.
There are 18 wards in the borough covered by 6 local committees with the Cheam North and Worcester Park local committee covering my own Worcester Park ward plus Nonsuch and Stonecot wards. Each ward has three councillors so a total of nine councillors sit on the committee. Following the recent elections I was asked to take on the role of Chair of this committee and Councillor Samantha Bourne (Liberal Democrat, Nonsuch ward) accepted the role of Vice Chair.
The meeting is also attended by non-voting representatives of local community groups. The current list of groups is:
- Church Hill, Abbotts and Priory Residents Association (CHAPRA)
- Friends of Sutton Life Centre
- Friends of Sutton Common Park
- Friends of the Daisyfield
- Hamptons Residents Association
- KIPPA BID Ltd (Kimpton Industrial Park Proprietors Association)
- Worcester Park Residents Association (WPRA)
Last Thursday was the first meeting of our local committee since the elections in May and therefore the first time I had been required to Chair the meeting. A daunting prospect, particularly as a new councillor, but I was well briefed during meetings with Sutton Council officers and supported by my fellow councillors including the three experienced ‘old hands’ from Stonecot ward.
The meeting was well attended and a full agenda made it a challenge to deliver all the items within the allotted timescale. The Public Question Time section of the meeting was particularly popular but sadly time did not allow everyone to put their questions to the meeting.
Don’t forget you can also put questions to your ward councillors via email or at their regular ward surgeries. Dates and times of Worcester Park and Nonsuch ward surgeries can be seen on the Events page of the Worcester Park Info web site where meeting details will also be published.
If you want to know more about this and other meetings the agenda, minutes and an audio recording of the whole meeting are available on the London Borough of Sutton web site.
The next meeting will be held on 23 October 2014, commencing at 19:00, at Christ Church with St Philip, Ruskin Drive, Worcester Park, KT4 8LG. It is very tempting to hold all meetings here as I live nearby but to be fair to residents we will move the meeting around the three wards over the coming months.