Labour in Sutton tonight published its manifesto ahead of the local elections on May 3, including a promise to hold a public inquiry in what has become notorious as #SuttonBinShame, with the transfer of waste collection and street-cleaning services to Veolia – the contractors who are also hired by Croydon Council.
In contrast with their party colleagues who control the council in Croydon, Labour in Sutton say that they want to “look at ways to end the contract” with Veolia. They also want to consider how to “take back control” of other council services which have “poorly run” contracts with private suppliers.
Labour currently has no councillors in LibDem-run Sutton, but they have named a full slate of 54 candidates across the borough’s 18 wards.In other departures from the policies of Labour in Croydon, the Sutton manifesto promises to build 400 council houses per year. In Croydon, Labour has not built a single council home since 2014, and even with a well-funded housing development company, it has no plans to do so.
Sutton Labour also call for an end to the policy of academisation of schools in the borough – meanwhile, in Croydon, the Labour-run council has just backed plans to build a new selective school for a Sutton-based academy chain.
And the 32-page document also includes a call for a public inquiry and a local referendum on the controversial Viridor incinerator at Beddington Lane.
Labour say they will negotiate an end to the contract with the incinerator operators, who anticipate firing up the furnaces in mid-2018, at the start of a £1billion deal to burn the rubbish of Sutton, Croydon, Kingston and Merton, and from other local authorities around south-east England until 2043. With the Green Party expected to field fewer than 25 candidates across the borough, Labour must be hoping to capitalise on the growing environmental concerns around Sutton.
Releasing the manifesto tonight, an official spokesperson for Sutton Labour said: “With a large swing towards Labour at last year’s General Election, with brilliant candidates Bonnie Craven and Emina Ibrahim, it is clear that voters in Sutton now regard Labour as a credible political choice, and Labour’s local election manifesto for Sutton provides a strong foundation to build on this success.”
The Labour manifesto for Sutton’s key pledges include:
- Ensure Sutton residents can access health services at point of need, and fight to keep all acute services at St Helier Hospital such as A&E and Maternity units;
- Hold a public inquiry into the Veolia bin shambles and look at ways to end the contract;
- Look at other poorly run contracts and see how they might be brought back in-house;
- Address the housing crisis; plan to build 400 Council homes a year and take action to build more affordable homes
- Make Sutton safer; working with the Labour Mayor of London to bring in more police to Sutton using his 2 for 1 deal
- Improve Sutton’s cultural offer, bringing back a theatre to Sutton, now the only London borough without one
- Oppose the academisation of our schools and instead promote a mix of co-operative schools and council-run schools.
Bonnie Craven, who was Labour’s General Election candidate in Sutton and Cheam last year and who is standing for the council in Sutton Central ward, said: “It’s time for change here in Sutton.
“Labour offers a radical shift towards a safer Sutton, working to build more council and affordable homes and protecting key St Helier services. Council services under Labour will be run for the many, not the few and we have new ideas and energy to offer here. A vote for Labour is a vote for a fresh outlook for Sutton Council.”
Nick Diamantis, a Sutton Labour candidate in St Helier ward, said: “Only the Labour Party, the founding party of the NHS, will stand up for St Helier and its future and we plan to fight strongly for the continued presence of key services at the hospital as a strategically vital healthcare site.”
Labour appears to be making significant efforts in Beddington North, where the incinerator is located, and in Sutton North, where among the sitting councillors is the controversial council leader, Ruth Dombey. Labour’s candidates in that ward include Emily Brothers, another who has experience of fighting parliamentary elections.
Also notable is the number of women candidates – 29 – the first time that Labour has fielded more female than male candidates in the borough.
Labour is claiming to have the largest borough-wide membership in Sutton, with 1,836 across the two parliamentary constituencies, Carshalton and Wallington (held by LibDem MP Tom Brake) and Sutton and Cheam (held by Tory Paul Scully since 2015).
Labour candidates in Sutton at the local elections on May 3 are:
Carshalton and Wallington Constituency
St Helier: Nick Diamantis, Maggie Hughes, Patrick Sim
Wandle Valley: David Grant, Margaret Thomas, Ahmad Nawaz Wattoo
The Wrythe: Sheila Berry, Carlos De Sousa, Paul McCarthy
Carshalton Central: Marilynne Burbage, Margaret Onians, Tony Thorpe
Carshalton South: John Clay, Anas Ahmad Khan, Christine Savignani
Beddington North: Sarah Gwynn, John Keys, Charlie Mansell
Beddington South: Christine Cullen, Arnaldo Savignani, Cecil Tate
Wallington North: David Towler, Michael McLoughlin, Mary Towler
Wallington South: Bobbie Lambert, David Murray, Callum Roper
Sutton and Cheam Constituency
Sutton Central: Steve Adams, Bonnie Craven, Vic Paulino
Sutton North: Emily Brothers, Teresa O’Brien, Victoria Richer,
Sutton West: Andy Cook, Laura Mullaney, Christopher Woolmer
Stonecot: Ray Eveleigh, Paul Prior, Gerald Tasker
Worcester Park: John Evers, Liz Martin, Ann Morrison
Nonsuch: Kirsty Archer, Kerrie Peek, Karon Witham
Sutton South: Kathryn Brennan, Tessa Cornell, Ron Phillips
Belmont: Gale Blears, Margaret Sinclair, Marian Wingrove
Cheam: Victoria Barlow, Helen Martin, Jane Rodger
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