Friday, 27 June 2008

Trading Places?

Being informed, educated and erudite in all matters, I'm sure you are aware that Worcester Park straddles the London boroughs of Sutton and Kingston, the railway bridge by the station being the boundary line between the two.

All of which goes to explain the problem of litter and pigeon mess building up underneath said bridge. Instead of picking up the litter, Sutton Council workers simply sweep it two metres further west so it becomes Kingston Council's problem. Sutton Council workers have also been spotted running under the bridge in the dead of night and flapping wildly, causing the startled pigeons to flap over to Kingston Council's side of the bridge and defecate out of fright.

Actually, I made that up. But it does feel sometimes that Worcester Park is the town that Sutton Council would rather forget and would quite happily sweep a few hundred yards to the west and out of the Borough altogether.

Which (but for the higher council tax in Kingston) might actually be a good thing - at least for the traders of Worcester Park who get a fat lot of support from Sutton Council.

A few weeks ago I was quite critical of the Worcester Park Traders' Association for doing, well, very little to speak up for the traders of Worcester Park as they battle tirelessly against increasing rents, crippling traffic and the unstoppable scourge of empty retail units and charity shops along Central Road.

Terry Dobbs Chairman of the Worcester Park Traders Association (pictured) got in touch recently to give his right of reply:

"We are as active as funds and councils allow us to be.

Until last year I represented the traders on the Worcester Park Forum - then the Council in their wisdom decided that the Traders were not important enough to be there, deciding that friends of parks and a local playground were more deserving."

Despite efforts from the other members and 2 Councillors, this remains the case."

Yes, you did read that correctly - the Worcester Park traders are no longer represented on the Worcester Park Forum (Sutton Council's local area committee and a forum for discussion of all issues relevant to the area). The residents are included. So are representatives of local churches and other community groups - and quite rightly so, as they are all important pieces in the jigsaw of our local community.

But under what lunacy did they take it upon themselves to exclude the voice the traders of Worcester Park - the lifeblood of our local area?

In the meantime, I'm quite sure you'll be do your bit to support the traders of Worcester Park even if Sutton Council doesn't.