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MP joins puppy smuggling taskforce to tackle horrifying trade

Elliot Colburn, MP for Carshalton and Wallington, has today joined forces with the UK’s largest dog welfare charity to call on the Government to stop the illegal importation of puppies into the UK. With pet travel currently governed by EU legislation, and as we approach the end of the UK’s transition period, Dogs Trust is urging MPs to help stop #PuppySmuggling by joining their new parliamentary Puppy Smuggling Taskforce.

Every year thousands of puppies are illegally imported into Great Britain to then be sold via online adverts to unsuspecting dog lovers, having been transported thousands of miles across Europe with little water, no food, exercise or toilet breaks. Many suffer significant health problems and/or lifelong behavioural challenges, and some don’t survive, leaving their buyers helpless and heartbroken – as well as out of pocket.

For over six years the charity has been calling on Government to end puppy smuggling after exposing this abhorrent trade through four undercover investigations.

Dogs Trust’s Veterinary Director Paula Boyden said:

“Sadly, we continue to see more and more heart-breaking examples of puppies being illegally imported into the country. Puppy smugglers are making vast profits by exploiting innocent puppies, breeding and transporting them in appalling conditions to sell onto dog lovers here in the UK.

“There has never been a more urgent need to end the appalling puppy smuggling trade. Enough is enough, Government must take immediate action as too many puppies are suffering at the hands of cruel traders and too many dog lovers are being left to pick up the pieces.

“We are grateful to Elliot Colburn MP for his support in joining the parliamentary Puppy Smuggling Taskforce to stop this cruel trade.”

Elliot Colburn, MP for Carshalton and Wallington, says:

“I am delighted to join the Puppy Smuggling Taskforce and support Dogs Trust in their efforts to raise awareness of and tackle the abhorrent puppy smuggling trade.

“Over the last twelve months, I have met with Dogs Trust – and other animal welfare charities – frequently, as I know how important these issues are to my constituents.

“At a time when demand for dogs in the UK has never been higher, I want to urge my constituents to really do their research before buying a puppy advertised for sale online, as it’s all too easy to be duped into buying a dog that’s been illegally smuggled into the country.

“Dogs Trust has been campaigning on this issue for many years now, and I’m proud to be able to say I’m part of the Puppy Smuggling Taskforce to help put a stop to puppies needlessly suffering at the hands of criminals.”

Dogs Trust is calling on the Government to:

  1. Raise the minimum age for puppies to be imported into the UK to six months to help make them less desirable.1
  2. Bring in tougher penalties for smuggling pups to deter deceitful sellers.

Only a handful of cases have ever been prosecuted and you can get a longer sentence for smuggling cigarettes than you can for smuggling puppies.

To find out more about our Puppy Smuggling work, visit https://www.dogstrust.org.uk/news-events/issues-campaigns/puppy-smuggling/

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Lockdown poetry contest launched in borough

Sutton Parks Lockdown Poetry Competition: £50 book token prize
Sutton Council are looking for the best poem on the theme of ‘parks and lockdown’. It’s free to enter and open to residents of the London Borough of Sutton only. A prize will be awarded for the winner in each category of a £50 book token: Under 12 years old 12 to 17 years old Adults 18+ years old One entry per person. Closing date for entries: 31 December 2020. Entries should be emailed to dawn.fielding@sutton.gov.ukFind out more. 
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Police warn residents to obey Tier 4 – with launch of enforcement video

The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) lead for Covid has warned Londoners to obey the Tier 4 rules as a video summary of enforcement activity from the weekend is released.

The link to the video is here

Commander Alex Murray said: “Over the weekend just been, London, and the surrounding areas were moved into Tier 4 – the strictest tier in the country. This is due to the increases in Covid we have seen over the past few weeks and the rapid spread of the virus amongst our communities.

“Over the weekend just been, as we have been for most of the year, Met officers were out and about responding to flagrant breaches and issuing fines to those who thought they could organise warehouse parties and put many of us at risk of the virus.

“Most Londoners want to see the enforcement we are taking against those who think the tier 4 rules don’t apply to them – I hope that this shows just a glimpse of the work we were doing.

“Our message is clear. Anyone who thinks the rules are there to be broken, ignored, or do not apply to them is very mistaken. The rules are that you should stay at home. It is for your safety, the safety of your family and friends, and the safety of your communities.”

 + The video shows Met officers:

Attending a house party on Holmwood Road, IG3 that was breaching the rules. The organiser has been considered for a fine

disbanding an Unlicensed Music Event (UME) party in Barking

engaging with rule breakers at a pub in Tottenham

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Greater investment for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in the borough

Published Friday, 11th December 2020

Sutton Council to invest additional funding for schools to support pupils with SEND. The new scheme forms part of ambitious plans to further strengthen provision for our children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities in the Borough.

The Sutton Education Partnership (a partnership between Sutton Council, education settings and Cognus), together with Sutton Schools Forum, has announced additional funding to support mainstream schools in the Borough to strengthen support to pupils with SEND as part of the High Needs Block Review Programme.

Partners from across the Local Area have contributed to the High Needs Block Review over the past two years, and the Council’s People Committee endorsed the progress of this five year plan at last night’s meeting.

Highlights of the programme include:

  • £400k of funding will add to the SEND funding that schools already receive to support pupils with additional needs that are ‘predictable’ and can be planned for in mainstream settings. 
  • This funding is in addition to £290k of additional funding already invested this year to set up ‘SENCO clusters’ which are are collaborative groups of Special Education Needs Coordinators (SENCOs) that work together to share best practice, develop provision and provide a source of expertise to all schools across the Borough about meeting the needs of pupils with SEND.
  • This ongoing work forms part of the Council’s wider ambitions to better prepare children in the borough with SEND for adulthood. 

The High Needs Block Review (HNBR) is about making the SEND system fairer, more transparent and focused on the best use of resources to support pupils’ progress and support good and better outcomes for children and young people. It is also about facilitating increased trust and confidence in the local SEND system for parents and other key stakeholders.

The additional £400k will be distributed to schools in January 2021. 

As a Local Area, Sutton Council and partners are ambitious to build on positive inspections earlier in 2020 from Ofsted and CQC, as well as the endorsement from Vicky Ford MP, to promote collaboration, the sharing of best practice and peer moderation to achieve greater consistency, accountability and quality in mainstream SEN provision.

Anna Huzzey, Assistant Headteacher, Avenue Primary School said: 

“The SEND system is complex involving many more organisations than LA. There is now a strong partnership working and communication between schools, education settings and the Local Authority through the Sutton Education Partnership, SENCO clusters, and with other agencies that will enable us to tackle some of the systemic challenges that exist. We will continue to work together to share best practice and peer monitoring to achieve better outcomes for our children and young people.”

Councillor Marian James, Chair of the People Committee said;

“”We are collectively ambitious for our children and young people. Together we want to provide them with the best chances to achieve their best outcomes in life, whatever their starting point, and to prepare them effectively for adulthood. Too many resources can be spent on ‘managing the system’, or talking about children and young people, rather than working for and with them. Our key focus is about getting timely support to pupils more quickly and effectively and the Additional Predictable Needs Funding does exactly that.”

“As a local area we are going to invest in our mainstream schools so that they are funded in a way that allows quick and responsive early intervention so that students get the help that they need. This will apply to all students needing Early Help as well as those with additional needs.”

Sutton Council

© 2020 Sutton Council

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Real Christmas tree collection – details

Real Christmas trees will be collected from households and flats in Sutton over a two-week period from Monday 18 January 2021.

Please remember to remove all decorations, pots and soil from a tree, prior to presenting the tree as close to the front boundary of your property as possible on your usual collection day. The tree must be visible from the road without obstructing paths and pavements. Residents who live in flats should leave their tree outside their communal bin store. 

Alternatively, you can: 

  • Take it to the Household Reuse and Recycling Centre (HRRC) at Kimpton Park Way (for recycling)
  • Cut it up and put it in the garden waste bin (if you are a subscriber)
  • Put the tree out alongside the general waste bin on the next scheduled collection day (it will not be recycled)

 Please note Kimpton Park Way HRRC will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.

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Current Covid situation is “deeply worrying” – Leader of the Council

Following the announcement that Sutton will move into Tier 4 restrictions, the Leader of the Council, Ruth Dombey, said:

Council leader Ruth Dombey“On Friday , I wrote to you about how the coronavirus infection rate in Sutton was deadly serious. On Saturday evening, the Prime Minister announced just how serious the situation has become.

“From Sunday, Sutton, along with the rest of London and Surrey, will move into new Tier 4 restrictions. These are largely the same as the last lockdown in November. You can see a summary of the new restrictions here.

“I know how desperately disappointed everyone will be about these new restrictions. Only a few days ago, the Government promised us that the planned relaxation of rules for five days of Christmas was still going ahead. Today, the Prime Minister has confirmed that all those living in a Tier 4 area, like Sutton, will not be allowed to mix with other households.

“This decision will be a huge blow to everyone in Sutton – for families, friends and local businesses who, unless they are essential services, will be forced to close from tomorrow – after what has been an exceptionally difficult year for all of us. Like many, I will no longer be able to spend Christmas with those I have most looked forward to seeing. It will be painful not to see my son and his girlfriend after so many months.

“But, sadly, the facts are clear. In Sutton, COVID-19 infection rates have increased to 409 per 100,000 people and continue to rise – an increase of 117% over the past seven days. This is a deeply worrying situation and the Government has decided we must take action now to try and turn back the rising tide of infections and stop our NHS and our hospitals from being overwhelmed. 

“The escalation of the virus, exacerbated by a new strain has come at a very difficult time of year. We were all getting ready for Christmas, with many out and about in our high streets and shopping centres and looking forward to the festivities.

“We now face an unprecedented challenge in our borough. So many of us were already facing an incredibly hard winter – many have lost a loved one, or lost their job, or are living alone. Today’s announcements will be bitterly disappointing for everyone and we will need all the care, kindness and community spirit that has shone so brightly this year to get us through the coming weeks. We saw Sutton step up before and now we need to once again.

“Please, now more than ever, keep yourselves and those you love and care for safe and well over this holiday season. 

“Please follow the rules: stay at home as much as possible, keep a safe distance from those not in your household, wear a mask in busy and indoor spaces, wash your hands regularly and get tested if you have any symptoms.

“I know how frustrated, upset and disappointed everyone will be about these new restrictions over the holidays. It is hard for everyone but, in the spirit of this festive season, one of the kindest things we can do right now is protect and look out for each other. The sacrifices we make now will mean we can keep our loved ones safe during this hugely challenging time and, hopefully, as the vaccine rolls out means we can face brighter and more positive times next year.

“As the Leader of Sutton Council, I know I speak on behalf of all councillors in our borough when I say how grateful I am to Council staff and our partners in the voluntary sector and the NHS who are working so hard to deliver tests and vaccinations, make sure the rules are followed, look after our more vulnerable residents and keep everyone informed. They will be working through Christmas and many of them will not be seeing friends and family in order to keep us all safe. The best way we can say thank you to them is to follow public health advice and make the right choices about what we do in the next few days and weeks.

“All of us making sensible decisions now can make a huge difference in the coming weeks.

Thank you

Ruth

Cllr Ruth Dombey
Leader of Sutton Council

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Sutton Women’s Centre are continuing to support women during the Covid-19 pandemic

Support includes:

  • Online Freedom Programme
  • Free telephone counselling
  • Free online counselling
  • Online Art for Wellbeing Classes – Anna is running her popular classes online. 
  • Free Weekly Wellness Workout with Adore via Zoom
  • Why do I feel like this? – New sessions via Zoom from Linda Wood
  • Dramabuds sessions at Sutton Women’s Centre over the summer
  • Summer play and learn sessions for families who speak another language
  • Relaxation and Mediation sessions – starting in September

Contact us on 0208 661 1991 or info@suttonwomen.co.uk for more information.

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Urgent appeal for volunteers needed for borough’s Covid response

COVID-19 Vaccination Programme – URGENT APPEAL FOR VOLUNTEERS 

The Volunteer Centre Sutton (VCS) is asking for help with recruiting for an exciting volunteering opportunity – The COVID Vaccination Programme that will be rolled out across Sutton in the coming months starting next week.  Volunteers are needed to help support those people who have been called for their vaccination.

 The Vaccination Programme will comprise many phases.  During this first phase, COVID-19 vaccines will be available for Sutton residents of the age of 80+.  

“As a volunteer, it would be wonderful if you could support the NHS efforts to get vulnerable residents in Sutton vaccinated. These are the roles that volunteers are needed for:

Lead Marshal: To manage the team of volunteers for a shift
Site Marshal: To provide guidance at the entrance and dedicated points at the vaccination site to ensure the safety of residents who have come for their vaccination.
Other roles will be available in the future and more information will be available when recruiting for them starts.  
Volunteering details
Volunteers are needed at an easily accessible location in Sutton – Tuesdays to Friday, at 7.45 am for a 8am start or 12.30pm starting on Wednesday, 16th December, broken into two shifts.  Volunteers will be told where to report in their induction pack. 

Each day will comprise of two shifts, however arrive a little earlier to collect equipment and sign in:Morning Shift: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Afternoon Shift: 1:00 pm – 6:00 pm 
VCS are building a roster and need people urgently so if you are able to volunteer please use the online form on the link below. 
This form this will enable you to pick which day(s) and shift(s) you would like to volunteer for.https://forms.gle/ZPyiy1R4U5noQAY8A 
Once you have confirmed your interest and availability, we will send your induction details.  You will also receive an onsite induction where VCS staff will go through everything. Induction sessions will start on:Monday 14th December 12.30 to 1pm and 1pm to 1.30pmTuesday 15th December at 10 to 10.30 pm and 11 to 11.30 am.
Each Monday we will run induction sessions, 4 times per day. 
If you are available please fill in the form on the link above as quickly as possible.  VCS staff will be available to process your details asap and send you the induction pack. But don’t worry if you can’t make these dates as there will be other sessions. 
What is important is that you have registered that you are prepared to help. All volunteers will be required to wear high vis jacket and masks for safety, which will be supplied.  However, since these are roles that will take place outside, please wear your own jackets, hats and gloves, because the weather may be cold and wet.  Hot drinks and breaks will be provided.  
Next steps:
If you are interested in volunteering, please email info@vcsutton.org.uk for any questions or use the link https://forms.gle/ZPyiy1R4U5noQAY8A to register. 
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Six arrests and firearm seized after proactive operation in south west London

Six men have been arrested arrested and three knives and a firearm have been seized during a weekend operation targeting violent crime in south west London

Between Friday, 11 December and Sunday, 13 December, officers from the South West Violence Suppression Unit, the local neighbourhoods team, the Dog Support Unit, as well as Special Constables, took part in Operation Speicher, a proactive operation focused on cracking down on violence, drug supply and gang activity, particularly around the Mitcham area.

Officers deployed a range of tactics, including: weapons sweeps, arrest warrants, and used Automatic Number Plate Recognition technology to detect and apprehend individuals using the local road networks to commit crime, in addition to patrolling violence hotspots.

In total, the operation resulted in:

  • Six men, aged between 19 and 35-years-old, arrested on suspicion of a range of offences, including: possession of a firearm, possession of a knife, possession with intent to supply, and driving while disqualified;
  • three knives seized;
  • one firearm recovered;
  • A quantity of class A and B drugs recovered, namely cocaine and cannabis.

Sergeant Tim Williers, of the South West Violence Suppression Unit, said: “Operation Speicher has led to some great results, with dangerous weapons being taken off the streets, which could have been used to seriously harm someone.

“Our work does not stop here – we will continue to conduct proactive operations like this to prevent further violent crime from happening in the area, as well as targeting the drivers of violence which we know include drug dealing.

“If you have any information about violent crime or those who might be involved, please contact us so we can take action and make the area in which you live safer.”

We would like to hear from anyone who has information about crime, those who carry a weapon, or those who exploit others for gain or revenge, while putting young people’s lives at risk.

Community intelligence can be used to great effect to not only detect, but also prevent crime, keep London safe and save young lives. If you don’t want to speak to the police, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They are a totally independent charity and you will remain 100% anonymous – they never ask your name and they cannot trace your call, your IP address or the device you use. Alternatively, visit their website https://crimestoppers-uk.org/.

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Dog thefts warning from Sutton police

Sutton police has issued a statement with regard to incidents of dogs being stolen.

We strongly encourage the communities in Sutton and across the South BCU to be mindful when exercising their pets.

“Due to the pandemic the market for dogs has seen an increase in demand. Unfortunately this demand has led to criminals taking advantage of the situation and targeting family pets as a way to make fast money.

We would encourage dog owners to be mindful of the following information:

Never leave your pet tied-up unattended, such as outside shops for example. Or unsupervised in your garden.

Make sure your dog is wearing a collar and ID tag when in a public place, as you are required to do by law. Include your surname, telephone number, address and full post code and if there’s room, put ‘microchipped’ on the tag if your dog has a chip. Ensure your dog can be permanently identified by its microchip. A microchip is helpful to identify your pet if it does become lost or stolen. Ask your vet to check your dog’s microchip every year to ensure your details are accurate and up-to-date. As the correct details on the Micro-chip are required to be kept up to date by law, since April 2016.

Keep all documentation relating to your dog(s) in a safe place. Include clear photos of front and side profiles of your dog. Make a note or take a picture of any unusual markings.

Be cautious when choosing someone who will care for your dog(s) while you are at work, in hospital or on holiday. Be clear about when the dog will be handed over and who will collect it.

Use a registered boarding kennel or professional dog carer with documentation to this effect unless you know someone who is trustworthy that will care for your dog in your absence.

Train your dog not to go out of your sight on walks. Use an extending lead if the dog does not comply. Vary your walk times and routes.

Walk in pairs with a family member or friend and try to stay in well-lit areas and to main roads. Beware of strangers who show interest in your dog: don’t give details about your dog.

Don’t allow strangers to have their photograph taken with your dog.

Ensure your garden or yard is secure. Check it regularly for wear and tear or gaps. It should keep your dog in and trespassers out. Keep your dog in view when it goes out into the garden, don’t leave it unattended. If you spot any suspicious behaviour or have any information about a stolen dog, you can report it to police on 101 or online https://www.met.police.uk/ro/report/

If your dog is stolen then it’s vital to report it to police but also consider: Report to local authority – Sutton Council and notify your microchip database provider: https://www.sutton.gov.uk/…/1222/stray_and_lost_dogs Report to www.doglost.co.uk as they coordinate thefts for each county and offer advice and support.

Microchipping Dogs: As of 16th April 2016, it is compulsory for owners to ensure their dog is microchipped. If your dog isn’t microchipped and registered on an approved database then you could be served with a notice ordering you to microchip your dog.

You’ll have 21 days to do so or you may be liable to pay a £500 fine and could face criminal prosecution. If your contact details change and you don’t update your details on the database, then you could also receive a notice and may be liable to pay a fine of £500.

A dog is only exempt from being microchipped if a vet certifies in writing that they cannot be microchipped for health reasons.