It’s good to know that Cllr. Manuel Abellan, the borough’s official Cycling Champion (as announced at Sutton’s second cycle summit in July 2015), has been doing his research! Three major cycling conferences have been held in London over the last few months, and Cllr. Abellan (Liberal Democrat, Beddington South) has attended all of them.
In June, there was the well-respected, and important, Hackney Cycling Conference (now in its fourth year). The Mayor’s Cycling Commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, gave a presentation at this event (as we reported here). This was followed by two conferences in September. Firstly, the London Cycling Show 2015 (which this year was held in mini-Holland borough Waltham Forest), and then the Haringey Cycling Conference which took place a few days later.
Get Sutton Cycling has been represented at all of these conferences too, so we can confidently say that Cllr. Abellan is the only councillor in London (and there are almost 2,000 councillors across the city in total), to have attended all three London-based cycling conferences in 2015!
And that has to be good news for Sutton! So we say well done Manuel, and thank you!
Meanwhile, Cllr. Neil Garratt (Conservative, also representing Beddington South), has been carrying out much welcomed research too. In opposition, Neil has asked several cycling-related questions at Council meetings throughout the year. We like to think of Neil as the borough’s unofficial Cycling Champion, complementing the work of Manuel.
Examples of Neil’s work include the questions that he raised at the Council meeting in January 2015. On that occasion, Neil asked whether cycling facilities that had recently been proposed for St Helier were a good example of cycling infrastructure. Furthermore, were these facilities indicative of the standard the Council intended to adopt across the borough’s cycle network? You can read the reply he received in Green Wrythe Lane – one year on. At the same meeting, Neil asked whether any schemes, specifically providing space for cycling, had been considered as part of the Heart of Hackbridge Outer London Fund project. There’s more background on this, and the reply that Neil received to his question, in Heart of Hackbridge and space for cycling.
So, all of this is helping to raise the profile for cycling, which is further good news for Sutton. Well done Neil, and thank you too!
To both Manuel and Neil we say: please continue to keep up the good work, keep up the research, and we look forward to ongoing conversations.
Across the borough, a total of eleven councillors have shown support for Space for Cycling.