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Major announcement on future of Carshalton’s Charles Cryer theatre

A longlist of five formal bids has been selected to bring the Charles Cryer Theatre complex in Carshalton back into use.

More than ten bids were submitted and the longlist is drawn from bidders who are offering to lease all the buildings on the site and meet Sutton Council’s rent expectations.

Bids will be assessed by council officers and a shortlist decided by the end of August based on the viability and sustainability of the proposals.

For full details of the bids go to CHARLES CRYER

Feedback on the bids will also be given by representatives of Arts Network Sutton, an independent charity, as well as community representatives on the Carshalton and Clockhouse local committee. A stakeholder panel of citizens and young commissioners will also be asked to give feedback on the bids. They  will assess how closely the bids meet the brief to benefit the wider community and maintain a venue for cultural activity in the borough.

A recommendation will be made by officers to the council’s Strategy and Resources committee with a final decision to be announced on 29 October.


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Series of public discussions launched to share views on improving healthcare


A series of public discussion events are being held for local communities to share their views and opinions on how to improve healthcare in Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton areas.

The events are being organised by NHS Surrey Downs, Sutton and Merton clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) as part of the Improving Healthcare Together 2020-2030 programme, which aims to improve healthcare sustainably into the future by addressing a number of long-standing healthcare challenges in the local areas.

Events will be held on the following dates:

  • Monday 23 July, 2018: 13.00 – 15.00

Epsom Methodist Church, Ashley Road, Epsom, KT18 5AQ

  • Tuesday 24 July, 2018: 13.30 – 15.30

Trinity Church, Cheam Road, Sutton, SM1 1DZ

  • Wednesday 25 July, 2018: 18.00 – 20.00

Trinity Church, Cheam Road, Sutton, SM1 1DZ

 Thursday 26 July, 2018: 14.00 – 16.00

The Chaucer Centre, Canterbury Road, Morden, SM4 6PX

  • Thursday 26 July, 2018: 18.00 – 20.00

Epsom Methodist Church, Ashley Road, Epsom, KT18 5AQ

   Thursday 2 August, 2018: 18.30 – 20.30

Tooting and Mitcham Community Football Club, Imperial Fields, Bishopsford Road, Morden, SM4 6BF

These events will give people the chance to talk to, and hear from, clinicians and the programme team, and share their views and ideas to shape the programme. There is no need to register to attend.

There will be more engagement events in the late summer, giving people further opportunities to have their say.

More information about Improving Healthcare Together 2020-2030 can be found on the programme website –

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Belmont festival offering fantastic range of events on July 8

The popular Belmont Festival is to take place on July 8.

The free event which starts at noon will donate its proceeds to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, in particular the Oak Cancer Centre.

The festival is taking place in Belmont Village, including stretches of Station Road, St John’s Church and the park area adjacent to Belmont Rise.

Peter Mattey, chairman of the Belmont Festival Organising Committee, said: “The Belmont Festival is a fantastic example of community spirit which brings together many parts of our local community to run this fabulous event.

There will be more than 100 stalls, offering food and variety of products ranging from jewellery to glassware as well as fairground style entertainment stands.

A BBQ serving burgers and hot dogs can be enjoyed throughout the afternoon, or if guests are in the mood for something sweet, they can indulge on home-made cakes in the tea rom or buy a donut, a crepe or ice-cream from one of the food stalls.

Alcohol beverages will be available in the Beer Tent in the park and from the social club.

Traditional Punch and Judy shows, rides, face painting, a bouncy castle as well as a monster slide are guaranteed to keep children entertained.

A line-up of live entertainment has been organised for the main stage, the park, and in the tea room along with DJs from Radio Marsden providing music throughout the day.

Attendees are being encouraged to buy a raffle ticket and make a generous donation to a collecting bucket on their way out.

The event is being organised by the local community, with representatives from local clubs, residents associations, businesses and the police joining together at the festival.

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Come along and meet contractor building new council houses

Building work is officially underway on a programme by Sutton Council to construct the first new council houses in nearly 30 years. This has been made possible due to changes in national policy.

The new build programme will see 93 new homes delivered across three sites – in Alcester Road, Wallington; Fellowes Road, Carshalton; and Richmond Green, Beddington. The new builds will offer a mix of one, two and three-bedroomed houses and flats, including ten that are wheelchair accessible.

“Our ‘Meet the Contractor’ event at Richmond Green held on Friday 6 July between 2pm and 6pm is an ideal chance for the public to meet representatives from Sutton Council and the contractor, Kind & Company, to find out how the new build affordable housing development is coming along,” said a spokesperson.

“We’ll show progress being made on the site as well as answer any questions. There will also be an opportunity to view the site from a safe area inside the hoarding.

“The event will be located on the green between the River Wandle and the new development and light refreshments will be available.

Cllr Jayne McCoy, Deputy Leader of Sutton Council and Chair of the Housing, Economy & Business Committee, said: “We welcome residents to come along and see the progress being made at one of the key developments, marking a major step forward for the council in providing new affordable homes for local residents.’

For more information visit


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Awareness week higlights life saving benefits of cervical screening

Tom Brake MP joined other MPs to support Cervical Screening Awareness Week and highlight the potential life-saving benefits of cervical screening, also known as ‘smear tests’.
Cervical screening prevents up to 75% of cervical cancers from developing and saves an estimated 5,000 lives across the UK every year. However, one in four women do not attend when invited.
Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, the UK’s only charity for women affected by cervical cancer and abnormalities, has warned that more needs to be done to make it easier for women to access a screening appointment.
Carshalton & Wallington MP Tom Brake said:
“I am delighted to have supported Cervical Screening Awareness Week and the work of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.
“It’s extremely concerning that more than one in four women do not attend cervical screening. Part of the reason for this is that many women find it hard to get an appointment time that suits them and I support Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust’s calls for action to tackle this.
“The charity is calling for a greater range of appointment times at GP practices, increased access through sexual health services and innovations, such as the introduction of self-sampling — all achievable, concrete steps that could help save lives.”
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Family History Society will focus on Women and WW1

The next Meeting of East Surrey Family History Society Sutton Branch is on Thursday 5th July
At St Nicholas Church Hall, Robin Hood Lane, Sutton, SM1 2RG
Doors Open 7.30 pm. Coffee , Tea and Biscuits be for the Talk at 8pm

Women on the Home WW1  speaker Ian Porter

Note No Meeting in August

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Plight of Palestinians to be highlighted at public meeting

Sutton for Peace and Justice invite you to a public meeting on

The plight of Palestinians today

Friday 6 July, 7.30–9.30pm, doors open at 7.00
Sutton Quaker Meeting House, Cedar Road, Sutton, SM2 5DA

Sutton for Peace and Justice invite you to a public meeting:

The plight of Palestinians today

The killing of Palestinian demonstrators on the Gaza border has recently hit the headlines. But the continuing human rights abuses of Israel’s occupation of Palestine, with the expansion of illegal settlements, demolition of villages and imprisonment of children, goes largely unreported.

Come and hear from speakers with first-hand knowledge of the situation in Palestine,  learn more about the plight of Palestinians today, consider what can be done to ensure a peaceful future and human rights for the people of Palestine, and join the debate.


Philipa Harvey,  campaigner on the rights of Palestinian Child Prisoners, member of Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s Executive Committee  and ex-President of the National Union of Teachers.

Doris Richards, an Ecumenical Accompanier who has visited Palestinian communities of Jaba al Baba and Khan am Ahmer currently suffering
house demolitions.

There is no entry charge, donations will be taken on the night

Please reserve your place by email to
or by text message to 07740 594496

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Sutton High students drop phone from space – and it survived!

A phone dropped from space? Sounds crazy, but Sutton High School for Girls partnered with UK start-up Mous, known for their viral marketing and engineering know-how, to do an epic 36-kilometer drop from outside the stratosphere. And to everyone’s amazement, the phone survived!

 “It all started with our viral marketing videos” says Lucy Hutchinson, co-founder and Head of Brand & Design at Mous. “The girls from Sutton High School for Girls saw our viral drop videos and figured they could do even better! They proposed to us a project – which they would execute – where we do a genuinely epic drop by sending an iPhone X to the outer edges of the stratosphere, protected by our case of course.”

“We’re used to dreaming big, but the girls really outdid us” she continued. “As a woman working in a very techy environment, I know that girls often don’t have female role models to look up to in the field – so being able to help with this project was extremely rewarding.”

“We often visited the school or would have skype calls with the girls, but we really just wanted to empower them to organise, design and build everything themselves. We would give them the specs, and they would deliver a solution. And more often than not when we asked them to do something, they’d just give us this look and tell us very slowly ‘that’s not how physics works…’”

To the Mous team’s surprise, the girls took charge immediately. Messages such as “We’re the software team, and today we are going to capture the radio signal and decode it so we’re able to get longitude and latitude from the payload” became a regular feature in their inbox. The girls organised themselves into teams just like a business would – logistics, hardware, finance, etc.


As the launch day approached, things got tense; although the girls had tested the case by immersing it in liquid nitrogen, no-one knew how the phone would react to temperatures of -69°C that they would encounter on exiting the stratosphere.


Other complications arose as well: as the drop would be from a high-altitude air balloon, fickle winds kept on pushing back the launch date. Finally, on Tuesday 26th June, the Civil Aviation Authority cleared the rig for take-off.


“We were streaming the event live, and reached over 140,000 people with the video, when we noticed that the balloon seemed to be leaking, and that we didn’t have a spare balloon!” In the heat of the moment, the girls called it: if we don’t launch now, we’ll never launch it. The balloon set off into space.


Three hours later, after driving around the dusky Oxfordshire countryside, chasing down the faint radio signals emitted by the makeshift radio kit on the payload, the team finally located what remained of the FabHab, the Fabulous High-altitude Air Balloon. The on-board computer calculated peak ascent height to be 35,800 meters.


“Most past phone or iPad drops have been from 30km or so – so this might very well be a world record!” says Bruce Grey, who filmed the project from start to finish.”


The girls are currently looking into applying for an official world record, and in the words of at least a few: “I’m definitely doing my work placement at Mous!”


“From the science to the engineering to the organisation and management, the girls from Sutton High School managed to oversee and execute a real-life project that left our other stunts looking rather tame,” Hutchinson said. “This just goes on to prove that if they set their mind to it, the sky’s the limit for these girls!”


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Rents rise while wages fall – union study shows

Rents across London have soared over the last six years whilst wages have fallen far behind.
A new study by the GMB union shows that between 2011 and 2017, rents for 2 bedroom flats in London increased by 25.9% to an average of £1,500 per month, while monthly earnings increased by just 9.1%.
Carshalton & Wallington MP Tom Brake commented: 
“The sad reality is, more and more people — especially young people — are struggling to afford a home of their own.
“We’re in this untenable situation where rents are accelerating, whilst wages are lagging behind in the slow lane. If rents continue to soar, people will inevitably be pushed off the housing ladder.
“I want to make sure that everyone is able to provide for their families and have a place to call home.
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Grandson trying aiming to publish the full history and exploits of one of borough’s greatest World War One heroes

The full history and exploits of one of the borough’s greatest World War One heroes Frank Brock has been written and the author his grandson is now looking for support to get the amazing story published.

The Brock family were central to the borough and to the war effort during the 1914-18 conflict. The Brocks firework factory in Cheam located on a site of 200 acres near the place now marked by Brocks Drive, was converted into a munitions factory for the period of the war and Frank, the son of owner Arthur Brock aka “the Firework King” , had a glittering war career.

Perhaps the only man to be commissioned as an officer in all three services, Frank undertook vital work which helped to secure victory.

“The borough should be immensely proud of Frank,” said Harry Smee the author of the book.

“In WW I my great grandfather Arthur Brock employed 2,000 – for example they made 30 million Mills Bomb fuses and many other military stores

“Working in key locations which included Brock’s in Sutton he invented and developed – entirely with his own funds – his explosive bullet which eventually destroyed the Zeppelins.  The Brock bullet was deployed in early September 1916.  That night, virtually the whole of London could see the huge burning ‘cigar’ as it rained down from the heavens .

He produced coloured glass filters to clarify images in cameras and binoculas and signalling systems using prisms.  Towards the end of his time he was working in conjunction with the Malta RNAS Experimental Station to find ways to spot German U Boats beneath the surface of the clear Mediterranean waters.

He invented the E Smoke Float for merchant ships to hide themselves from German U Boats.  The smoke float was brilliant – very simple and did give good cover particularly if the ship was correctly positioned apropos the wind and the submarine.  The merchant seaman just threw it into the sea and it did the rest.

Frank invented a huge flare named a Dover or Deck Flare and these were positioned on boats across the Channel to produce a curtain of light, each flare a million candela strength.  As soon as it was switched on, German submarines began to dive straight into the deep mine fields.

Brock’s in Sutton was a world expert in the production of many of the ingredients used in these inventions and Frank would have had  great confidence in his father’s workforce.

Sadly but gloriously, on St George’s Day 1918 Frank died in a sword fight in the Raid on Zeebrugge, a one hour battle so intense it could be heard in four different counties.  A raid that produced more VCs than any other single engagement other than Rorke’s Drift (Zulu) and a raid that Winston Churchill dubbed “the finest feat of arms”.  It would not have been possible without Frank Brock’s invention of the smoke screen.

If you are interested in supporting this project with a first edition, please go to Unbound’s website.  The book is called Gunpowder and Glory.  It is the first biography of Frank Brock and tells the story of  the centuries of his family firework enterprise history, from which Frank emerged.  If for any reason the publication does not take place, the money will have been kept in a ring-fenced account and will be returned to supporters.