Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Get Into Cricket

The 2014 Colts Cricket season is starting at Worcester Park Cricket Club (WPCC) with registration evening on the 22nd and 24th of April - that's Tuesday and Thursday next week.

There is also free coaching for boys and girls aged 8 to 12 year old (Years 3 to 7) on Thursday evening (24th). See here for more information. The evening will be a mix of games and drills followed by a chance to meet the coaches and find out more about the club.

The Colts are WPCC's young people's teams and there are usually around 130 children, from Years 3 to 12 involved with many Senior Colts also playing in the Men’s Senior teams.

The Club is certified under the ECB Club Mark scheme, providing a safe environment for children to enjoy playing cricket. They are also a Surrey County Cricket Club Focus Club, promoting cricket in the County and liaising with both Sutton and Kingston Local Authorities.

They run 4 Colt League teams, U11, U12, U13, & U14 in the Mid Surrey League to try and give all of the Colts’ experience of competitive cricket. An U9/10 team plays a number of friendly Pairs matches later in the season, and the U16/17s play in the National U17 Cup.

ECB qualified coaches provide top class training on Tuesday and Thursday evenings 6.30 – 8.30 at the club (U9 and below 6.30 - 8.00). Most matches are played on Sunday mornings, with U10, U11 and U12s playing some games on Friday evenings.

The Colts teams are open to both boys and girls. At present there are only a few girls playing and many more boys but both are encouraged to join up and get involved. Ian Burrows from the club told the blog that while they would love to have dedicated girls/womens teams, at the moment the girls play with the boys on what are effectively mixed teams. He also mentioned that there are some clubs with women playing on senior 'mens' teams where the women do rather well!

Registration is at the club in Green Lane. For U13 and older the registration is on Tuesday from 6:30pm. For U12 and younger the registration is on Thursday, also from 6:30pm. You can just turn up and register but you are welcome to telephone the relevant coach to discuss things first if you prefer. A list of coaches and numbers is available on this page.

If you would like to download application forms etc. here some links:

You can download an application form here.

You can download a Training and Behaviour policy document here.

You can also download a fixture for the season here.

And you can download more information here.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Come Out From Under There

The extra work continues at the top of Central Road.

Yesterday and today Sutton and East Surrey Water find themselves moving an underground stopcock because 'someone' went and installed a bench over it.

The gentleman working on it told the blog that luckily the stopcock all comes as one section and it shouldn't take to long to move it the necessary 18 inches or so and redirect the pipes even though they have to work underneath the bench to get it out. Hopefully it should be done by the end of today (Tuesday 15th).

When I asked if perhaps it would have made more sense to move it before installing the bench, the rolled eyes and shaking head rather said it all really.

Promoted by Ranulph Murray, on behalf of Sutton Borough Conservatives Federation, both of 2a Donnington House, Sutton, SM1 4SY

Monday, 14 April 2014

Lit Up Line Up

A few people have commented about the new shop fronts and signage at the top of Central Road. This is one aspect of the Outer London Fund (OLF) project that I think has genaraly been implemented rather well.

The neon signs look really good when they all on in a row - although I have yet to see it with every single one on. As one guest commented a few days ago:
"All bar two of the neon signs were lit yesterday evening and it looked really great. Come on Stitch Right and the accountants, join the party please."
The awnings look good too when they are all out - that will be nice for the summer.

I contacted the architectural firm Jan Kattein Architects regarding why they recommended painting the art-deco façade rather than restoring it to it's original glory. Tony Staples from the firm told the blog:
"We often encourage restoration of original features on existing buildings, however at 2-18 Central Road the façade had undergone different treatments at different times. Sometimes painted and sometimes re-rendered with varying quality and finish. Given the existing state of the building we felt that repainting not only delivered the greatest visual impact but also represented best value for money."
He also sent a photo of the original finish before the painting was done in order to show what he meant (Click on the picture to enlarge):

I just hope the council has a plan for what happens if any of these shops move or go out of businesses. This only works if all the shops partake. If a new shop moves in I hope the resulting change of signage will be in keeping with the theme and not spoil the effect.

Promoted by Ranulph Murray, on behalf of Sutton Borough Conservatives Federation, both of 2a Donnington House, Sutton, SM1 4SY

The Devil Wears Purdah

It's now official, the 2014 local election has been formally announced in Sutton which means, as of today (Monday 14th April), we are officially in a period of time called Purdah (also known as the pre-election period.)

This means two things. The first is that Sutton Council officers must not do anything which suggests they endorse any candidate of party. This also means the council cannot make announcements about any new or controversial initiatives which could be seen to be advantageous to any candidates or parties.

It also means that parties and candidates are now a bit more restricted in what they can do. For instance, any publication created by a party or candidate which promotes the party or candidate must have an 'imprint' on it. That is the (usually very tiny) information on political leaflets telling you who authorised and printed it. It also means that the money spent on any such promotion needs to be accounted for as election expenses. There is a strict limit on how much money can be spent by any party during the pre-election period. It's something like £500 per ward plus 5p per voter. Anything that comes through your door from any political party or candidate on or after toady must be included in this figure. (It's not about when it's printed, it's about when it's used.)

This also affects me and the blog. As many blog readers are aware, I was asked by the Conservatives to stand as a candidate in Worcester Park ward. So anything I write here is subject to these rules as well. Mainly this means that I have to make sure that I include the Conservative imprint (as seen below) on anything that mentions politics, political parties, candidates or anything related to them.

It also makes it more difficult to buy a round at the pub (excuses excuses)! I now can't 'give a gift' (including the shouting of a pint) to anyone who it a voter in Worcester Park. It is an offence known as 'treating the electorate' and could be seen as buying votes.

So from now until the election results are announced in the wee small hours of Friday 23rd May, we candidates all have to play by the Purdah period rules...

Promoted by Ranulph Murray, on behalf of Sutton Borough Conservatives Federation, both of 2a Donnington House, Sutton, SM1 4SY.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Cllr Fenwick Still Around

If anyone thought Worcester Park Councillor Stephen Fenwick had disappeared completely following his conviction for racial assault it is not the case. Cllr Fenwick is still an independent councillor representing Worcester Park and as such he turned up at the Mosque appeal hearing on Wednesday and asked to speak. Unfortunately he had to leave to attend an important meeting that afternoon and was no longer available to speak when his turn came up.

He failed to attend the final local area committee for Cheam North and Worcester Park last Thursday and also the final full council meeting of this administration the previous Monday. However as one of the items on the agenda was to remove him from the many committees he sat on, I'm not surprised he didn't really want to be there.

Both Emily Brothers, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Sutton & Cheam and Tony Shields, Conservative councillor representing Sutton South tabled questions asking how long the Lib Dems had known he had been charged with racist assault and why they had only waited until the news hit the local paper about his conviction before taking any action. Although after Ms Brothers' question, Cllr Shields withdrew his question, being as it was, rather similar in nature.

There were also questions raised about why Cllr Fenwick could not be removed as a councillor after such a serious conviction with Emily Brothers branding the council's code of conduct and equal opportunities policies as "paper tigers".

Councillors from both sides agreed that there needs to be, as Cllr Tim Crowley put it, a better "mentoring system to ensure that when things get tough for councillors they don't end up in dark places."

I spoke briefly with Cllr Fenwick on Wednesday during a break at the appeal hearing and offered him the opportunity to put his side of the story via the blog. However he declined to do so saying it was too long ago now. He did appear to be reasonably well and didn't indicate whether or not he is planning to stand again in Worcester Park as an independent councillor in May.

Threat To Local Cricket

Back in November, the blog reported on the threatened sell off of the Old Salesians Playing Fields in Ewell where many Worcester Park Cricket Club games are played. A couple of days ago David Stemp from the club contacted the blog to say their worst fears have been realised.

David told the blog:
"Within the past week Abbeyfield Homes have submitted a plan to Epsom and Ewell Planning Department to build 60 homes upon the site. If the plan comes to fruition it will be disastrous for all those youngsters in Worcester Park who are keen to play club cricket in the summer months. Whereas 30 years ago there were over 20 grounds which could be hired from the London Borough of Sutton, there are now NONE. It is vital we try to protect Old Salesians Playing Fields as it is one of the closest, available cricket squares we can use. 
Old Salesians is used in the summer primarily by our 3rd and 4th XI League teams on a Saturday and our Colts on a Sunday. The ground is also used by Ewell Castle School, Dom Bosco School,  St Clements School and Old Salesians Football Club. Old Salesians turn out 6 soccer sides on a Saturday and one on a Sunday. After 83 years on the site, and after having built their own clubhouse, they are due to be evicted if the plan goes ahead. 
The plan will also be disastrous for the local residents in Ewell as it will greatly increase the amount of traffic in an already congested  village and will do nothing at all to alleviate the threat of flooding. The flood waters in front of Bourne Hall have only just disappeared. The Environmental Agency indeed has classified part of the site as being highly likely to flood. 
Epsom have allotted 20 sites which can be developed by 2020 but none of these were good enough for the developers who want to rob the youngsters of the area of some of our precious playing fields."
The plans can be viewed on the Epson & Ewell Borough Council website here. Concerned residents and cricketers have have formed an action group to try to protect these valuable playing fields. There is a meeting of the Ewell Village Residents Association next Wednesday, the 16th, at Bourne Hall at 8:00pm where the Action Group plan to garner as much public support as possible.

It is this bloggers view that
"Local sport is extremely important to the local community. As well as providing a focal point and common interest that can bring local people together, keeping them fit and healthy, it also provides vital opportunities for young people to grow, learn discipline, learn how to be part of a team as well as giving them something fun and exiting to do. Protecting our sporting venues is of the utmost importance."
There is also an online petition to save the playing fields. If you value local sport and cricket, please sign the petition here.

In Which Blogger Has A Chat With Boris

Simon Densley, Stewart Mackay, Boris Johnson and Gino Marotta

Most blog readers are now well aware that I have been selected to stand in May's council elections for the Conservative party in Worcester Park. It was while wearing my 'Council Candidate hat' that I was summoned to City Hall with other local candidates on Thursday to meet with Boris (our London Mayor), thanks to Steve O'Connell.

While we unfortunately didn't have as much time to talk as I would have liked, we did manage to raise a couple of issues with him. Firstly I reminded him of the need to ensure we get Crossrail 2 to call at Worcester Park - he remembers our campaign and petition and is keeping them in mind... Also, being that traffic is such a major problem in Worcester Park, we are pushing for a major cross boundary review of the whole traffic situation in the area to try to see what can actually be done to alleviate the problem.

If we manage to get ourselves elected in May we will be working with our counterparts in Kingston and other boroughs to look seriously at this issue and try to solve the problem. We have already spoken to Cllr David Fraser and Mary Clark in Old Malden ward in Kingston and I've spoken with Cllr Maurice Groves in Lower Morden ward in Merton about what can be done to solve what is a mutual problem for all of us. If we can get Boris on board as well we might actually be able to make some proper headway on this. We have now at least managed to start that conversation. We also managed the obligatory photo as well...

Please Make A Deposit

Waitrose are helping collect food this weekend for the Kingston Foodbank to help local people in need. Yesterday and today Waitrose (in Worcester Park) is acting as a collection point for the charity which provided three days worth of food for people who have been referred by various churches and agencies.

Yesterday, thanks to the generosity of Worcester Parkers, they managed to fill 4 entire cages with donations. This morning, only 20 minutes after opening the amount donated was small (see right) but will hopefully grow to a generous amount by the end of the day.

There are friendly staff (right) on the door handing out these leaflets (left) who will be happy to answer any questions about the project.

Waitrose hold regular collections for the Kingston food bank. Apparently Waitrose tried to start something involving Sutton but the blog understands that all their requests and emails to the council were ignored. However Sutton's loss is Kingston's gain.

So please, if you can, pop into Waitrose today and buy something extra for those in need. Let's see if they can beat yesterday's total!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Dash To The Rescue

A little over a month ago the blog reported on the poor state of the new tree surrounds which were starting to crumble only months after being laid (anyone see a pattern forming here?) The blog can report that this latest problem has now been addressed in the last week with new, more yellowy pebble dash replacing the old - at least around certain trees anyway.

Another problem with the previous tree surrounds is that they became rather slippery when rained upon (a phenomenon known to occur from time to time). It looks (or at least feels) that this problem has also been addressed in these new tree surrounds. They felt much less slippery under my feet that the other ones. (I must have looked a bit odd yesterday walking between trees running my feet over the pebbled surfaces, comparing results with a ponderous look - but sometimes that's what's required...) I had heard that there were plans to de-slipify (I know it's a made up word thanks) the surrounds. I hope they manage to get the others done too.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Free Tapas at St Raphael's Shop

Those dudes from Cooking Your Spanish do get around. Tomorrow (Saturday 12th April) they will be offering free Tapas at the St. Raphael's Hospice shop in Central Road (opposite Pizza Express) from 11 until 2pm (just right for lunch!).

You will be able to find David, Ana and other members of team CYS outside the door of the shop giving away their delicious Spanish snacks. All donations will be given to  St. Raphael's Hospice.

David Sánchez told the blog:
"Cooking Your Spanish, based on our social responsibility has chosen this year St. Raphael’s Hospice in Worcester Park to do some different fundraising activities.
The first one will be next Saturday 12 April from 11am to 2pm. We are going to be at the shop doing a Tapa tasting, offering two of the most popular tapas voted by our students. The voluntary donations will go entirely to St. Raphael’s.
I want to see how it goes and my wish would be to collaborate with a local Charity every year."
So follow your noses to the free tapas in Central Road and if you can, make a donation to St Raphael's at the some time...