Notes from our November 2014 meeting

This meeting was effectively the first of Get Sutton Cycling’s regular monthly meetings to be held on the first Monday of each month. The meeting took place in The Parlour at Trinity Church Halls, Hill Road, Sutton, SM1 1DZ. This was a new, trial, location for us, with the room hired just for one hour. Although time was rather limited, this did have the advantage of helping to concentrate the mind! It was suggested that future meetings could have different formats, alternating between formal (possibly on odd-months in meeting rooms like this one) and informal (even-months in a pub). All subject to further discussion and finding suitable venues!

Agenda items and topics for discussion at our meeting held on 3 November 2104 included:

  • Update on Space for Cycling meeting with Sutton Council, 29 September 2014
  • Report from the October’s Cycle Forum with Sutton Council, 29 October 2014
  • Quietways are coming – October 2014 announcement of funding commitment
  • Space for Cycling, phase 2: Space for Cycling petition
  • Our strategy for 2015
  • Some forthcoming events
  • A review of our first year
Meeting with Sutton Council, 29 September 2014

Chris Rutland and Charles Martin (representing Get Sutton Cycling) had meet with Cllr. Colin Hall (Deputy Leader of Sutton Council), and Eleanor Purser (Executive Head of Economic Development, Planning and Sustainability), on 29 September. This meeting had primarily been arranged to discuss concerns regarding the lack of support from councillors in the borough for the London Cycling Campaign’s Space for Cycling initiative.

There were two key outcomes from the 29 September meeting:

The Environment and Neighbourhood Committee would produce a report outlining the Council’s strategic position on cycling in the borough. This report would act as a statement of policy, complement the Council’s forthcoming Sustainable Transport Strategy, and provide ‘top-down’ policy to help direct decisions that councillors make at Local Committee meetings.
The Council would undertake a review of all our Space for Cycling ‘ward asks’ within a month, and report back at an open forum, or workshop, shortly afterwards. This workshop would look at the opportunities, the issues, at what can be done, and what would be more difficult to achieve, and consider the challenges.

It was also encouraging to learn that the Council had approached TfL and requested funding to facilitate some form of cycling infrastructure on the Sutton town centre gyratory system. Although TfL was not able to provide funding, they had recommended the Council to make an application for European funding.

Situation on 3 November

The 29 September meeting had been all very encouraging but, despite a month having passed, we were still waiting to hear more on the strategic report, the workshop, or the review of the ward asks. It is know that there is to be a workshop relating to the Draft Sustainable Transport Strategy on 27 November.

An outline European bid for an experimental scheme on the gyratory has been, or is in the process of being, submitted. Details of the scheme are not known. There is competition with others for the funding. An announcement as to whether the bid has been successful or not is expected early in 2015.

Subsequent to 3 November meeting

Eleanor Purser provided an update on our 29 September meeting in an email sent late in the evening on 3 November (so just a little too late for reporting at our meeting). Eleanor confirmed that officers have made a start on the assessment of the ‘ward asks’, although this was not progressing as fast as had been hoped due to other pressures. However, a response on our proposals is now expected by the end of November. This response, plus findings from a follow-up workshop to discuss priorities/feasibilities/funding, will lead “into a report to the Environment and Neighbourhoods and the Local Committees to take them forward in the new year subject to further discussion with lead members”. Eleanor added, “Proposals which were agreed through this process could then feed into the 2015 LIP submission in terms of seeking funding for schemes”. Eleanor concluded by saying that our knowledge of cycling needs in the borough remains an important part of their work on the sustainable transport strategy, and they continue to progress this as fast as possible.

There was some concern with this response. It seemed to suggest that the ‘ward asks’ will be individually assessed first, with the output of that assessment being fed into a report to the Environment and Neighbourhood Committee (and on to Local Committee), rather than the expectation that the report on the strategic vision on cycling would take priority in order to put the ‘ward asks’ in context. If this is the case, it is just as well the criteria for our ‘ward asks’ were set high. A reply was sent to Eleanor on 4 November indicating this concern. It is hoped that a further update on the situation will be received during the early part of the second half of November.

A full report of this meeting is available to download from the link below.

Get Sutton Cycling: November 2014 meeting notes 866 KB (PDF document)

There were thirteen attendees, and a good time was had by all!  The conversations continued in the Moon on the Hill next door after the formal meeting had ended.

The date of the next meeting, a more informal gathering, was set for Monday 1 December.


Previous meetings:

Wednesday, 17 September 2014 at Cock and Bull, Sutton. Ten attendees, including Councillor Kevin Burke (Sutton West, Liberal Democrat) and Ali Jafarey (Sustrans Bike It officer in Sutton).

Wednesday, 11 June 2014 at Cock and Bull, Sutton. Seven attendees. the theme for this meeting was “Taking Space for Cycling to the next stage”. Discussions included our “Space for cycling: action points for Sutton” compendium of all 18 ward asks; a review of the council election results; ways to engage with councillors; Ride London led ride from Sutton (9 August); Sutton Imagine Festival 2014.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014 at Duke’s Head, Wallington. Eight attendees. This meeting had the theme “Space for Cycling promotion: small ride to Cheam, big ride to London”.  In addition to planning our celebration ride to Cheam, topics for discussion included building our manifesto beyond the 22 May council elections, attendance at Local Committee meetings, and disappointment on how the Hackbridge Outer London Fund was a lost opportunity for cycling.

Monday, 24 March 2014 at Robin Hood, Sutton. Eleven attendees. Agenda items: (1) Space for Cycling ‘ward asks’ now finalised, but photos and videos required to support the ‘ask’; (2) Suggestions for a key Space for Cycling promotional event in Sutton (ride, hustings, etc.); (3) ‘Big Ride’ to central London on Saturday, 17 May; (4) How to grow support for Get Sutton Cycling (including format, location, and timings of meetings); (5) Website, social media.

[Page published: 7 February 2015, with updates on 11 February 2015, 16 February 2015, 13 October 2015]

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