Tuesday, 30 June 2009

In Tolerance

"The British National Party...is therefore committed to stemming and reversing the tide of non-white immigration."


BNP Constitution (Section 1, Article 2b)


If you are one of the many readers who contribute comments to articles on this blog, you will be aware that all comments are moderated and have to be approved before they are published. Virtually all of your contributions make it onto the blog. There are, mercifully, very few that I have to reject.

On the rare occasion that I do have to reject a comment, it is usually on the grounds that it is libellous, completely irrelevant or because I decide that the people of Worcester Park wouldn't really be that interested in learning how to enlarge their male organs.

Thankfully I have never had to reject any comments on the blog for being offensive, malicious, homophobic or racist. I like to think that says a lot about the tolerance of our local community.

This Thursday sees the British National Party (BNP) field a candidate in the Nonsuch ward by-election. You may have seen them out campaigning in Central Road over the weekend, handing out leaflets which talk of the "bloodless genocide of the native British people"and the "johnny-come-latelies [who] arrive uninvited in our country" and "enjoy the hard-won fruits of our common history".

So have you noticed how many shops in Worcester Park are owned and run by non-British nationals?

I suspect, like myself until I began writing this article, that it has never occurred to you - because it simply doesn't matter.

Yet I think it is worth remembering how many (as the BNP would call them) 'johnny-come-latelies' there are working hard, building local businesses and helping keep our community alive.

BNP literature, of course, chooses not to mention such people as it rushes to tar all immigrants with the same nationalistic brush.

Nor do they mention the indigenous work-shy underclass who shun work in favour of a life on benefits, leaving job vacancies that can only be filled by overseas labour.

The BNP maintain they are not racist and that it is not a matter of colour. I simply invite you to read once again the excerpt from the BNP constitution at the top of this article and will leave it to you to decide.

When the polling station opens on Thursday, I have every faith that the people of Worcester Park and North Cheam will send a resounding message to the BNP candidate, the only one of the four candidates who does not live in the local area.

Am I sure that all reasonably-minded residents of Worcester Park will share my view that the most important thing in a society is that people contribute to the best of their ability, that they respect each other and their local area, that they obey laws and be good citizens and the only people we have to fear are those who choose not to do so - irrespective of their age, class, race or creed.

As an interesting footnote, all of the other candidates have to some degree a 'non-British' background. But again that only matters insofar as it provides an interesting counterpoint to the BNP's argument.

They are, all three, very capable candidates all of whom live in the immediate local area, all of whom contribute in the professional lives and their spare time to enrich the community we live in. Whether you agree with their particular policies or not, they are the kind of 'good citizens' that any community needs.

So whether you ally yourself to Labour, Conservative or Liberal Democrat I simply hope that you turn out to vote on Thursday and will vote to preserve the harmonious and homogeneous local community that we all enjoy.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Walk, Cycle, Reward

Only a few days to go until the launch of 'Walk, Cycle, Reward', supported by Transport For London.

Thousands of households in Worcester Park will receive a leaflet and discount card through their door shortly - simply present the discount card at any of the participating shops (when you walk or cycle to Worcester Park) and receive 10% off your purchase.

Retailers taking part in the scheme are:

  • Prestige Dry Cleaners
  • Amor Beauty
  • Flower Parade
  • Party Express
  • Mr Ink
  • Central Locksmiths
  • Checkers
  • Ross Fruiterers
  • Hendy’s Jewellery
  • Graham Lee Carpets
  • The Conservatory Florist
  • Cycle Power
  • Stitch Right
  • Sole 2 Sole
  • Chinese Medicine Plus
  • D&A Optician
  • John James Gardening Ltd
  • Kingfish
  • One Stop Party Shop
  • Acacia Hair & Beauty

Every time you use your discount card, the retailer will stamp your card. Simply collect three stamps and claim a free foldaway shopping bag.

Summery Summary

If you live in Sutton Council's Nonsuch Ward, don't forget there is a byelection this Thursday (2nd July). You can read the ideas and the opininons of the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour candidates here on the blog and, of course, are welcome to join in the debate.

Meanwhile in other Worcester Park happenings:

1. Mrs WP has pointed out that the ice-cream van that used to jingle its way around Worcester Park has not been seen (or rather heard) for some time now.

I only bought an ice cream from him on a couple of occasions but always admired his optimism at flogging Mr Whippy (that's not a euphemism by the way) in the most inclement of weathers. Anyone know what happened to him?

2. The ever-wonderful Berties cafe has been closed for a couple of weeks due to 'electrical problems'. In desperate search of a decent full-English breakfast this weekend I actually drove to New Malden.

I think we should all pop round to Berties with our toolkits and lend a hand, before other people are forced to do such foolish things.

3. Shopkeepers in the building at the corner of Central Road and Windsor Road can breathe a sigh of relief. The planning application that I reported on last month has been withdrawn.

4. The Worcester Park Mini-Market (next to Mr Ink) sells seeded burger buns. I think that worthy of mention because everywhere else on Central Road seems to be permanently sold out of them during BBQ season.
Enjoy the sunshine!

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Nonsuch ByElection - Meet The Candidates (Part 3)

In the final part of the Worcester Park Blog's Nonsuch by-election feature, Labour Party candidate Marcus Papadopoulos sets out his views on the key election issues.

WPB: Tell us briefly about yourself, your connections with Worcester Park and what motivated you to stand in the byelection.

MP: I have lived in Worcester Park all my life (30 years) and attended Cheam Common Infant School and Cheam Common Junior School.

I have a PhD in Modern History and am currently the press officer for the League Against Cruel Sports, a position I have held for two months. Prior to this, I was the Europe Correspondent at Tribune-a national political magazine.

I am also a freelance reporter and writer for Tribune, The Church of England Newspaper and Religious Intelligence (an on-line international news outlet).

For eleven years I have been running the Worcester Park Karate Club at Cheam Common Junior School where I teach pupils from the ages of 5-65.

I chose to stand in the by-election because I care for my local area and want to be the channel for the change residents are asking for, in particular regarding anti-social behaviour and traffic congestion.

WPB: The dilapidated building at the Queen Victoria Crossroads is an eyesore creates a terrible impression of North Cheam. What action would you take to ensure that something is done about this?

MP: I would press Sutton Council to take immediate action to remedy the appalling eye soar that is the dilapidated building at Queen Victoria Crossroads.

While I understand it does take time to find companies/shops to move into premises, it should not take this amount of time. It is my contention that Nonsuch Ward is a forgotten area of the borough-out of sight, out of mind-and this is disgraceful.

One possibility could be inviting a charity to open up a branch there, or indeed more than one charity.

WPB: Traffic congestion is a real concern for anyone who lives in or around the Worcester Park area. What do you think the solution is, and what would you do, if elected, to ensure this problem is addressed?

MP: While ensuring that people have a roof over their heads is imperative, Sutton Council needs to investigate more fully the implications of allowing large housing developments to be built which inevitably leads to, amongst other things, traffic congestion.

Along with the current "WOW" (Walk Once A Week) campaign which encourages children to walk to school, an immediate step however would be to try and encourage even more parents to walk their children to school-a healthy practice not only for children but for parents too.

This would undoubtedly help ease traffic congestion along Central Road, for instance.

WPB: Do you share the feeling of many locals that North Cheam and Worcester Park are forgotten outposts of Sutton? If so what would you do to ensure that greater attention and priority is given to these areas at council level?

MP: I do believe that North Cheam and Worcester Park are forgotten outposts of the borough.

I would emphasise to Sutton Council that it has a responsibility-both legally and morally-to take care of all its areas and to listen to all its residents.

WPB: Respect for politicians is at an all time low, as reflected in the dismal turnout for the recent Euro elections. Why does it matter that people vote in a council by-election?

MP: Local elections are important as they provide an opportunity to residents to elect someone who will put forward and represent their most immediate concerns. And this can only be achieved successfully by electing someone who is local to the area and who has been there for a substantial amount of time.

WPB: Local traders are having a really tough time, with many going out of business leaving an increasing number of vacant shop units in the area. What can be done to help local traders in these difficult times?

MP: I believe there are numerous steps which can be taken to assist our local traders during this difficult economic period.

Firstly, the council should advertise and promote the benefits of shopping locally through local media outlets, such as newspapers and radio stations.

Secondly, there should be more late night opening hours which would help to generate local interest in local businesses and thus generate more local income.

WPB: Apart from the above issues, what are your top priorities, or the main issues that you want to tackle on behalf of local people?

MP: One of my main priorities is to eliminate anti-social behaviour. It is true that Nonsuch Ward is a generally speaking safe area but it can be and must be safer.

It is simply unacceptable that people have been forced to feel intimidated in the evenings along Central Road, Churchill Road and in Fairlands Park and Cuddington Recreational Ground.

Sutton Council needs to stop talking and start acting regarding this problem. I believe in a "zero tolerance" policy towards any individual or group of people who are intent on verbally and/or physically abusing passers-by or using acts of intimidation against them.

More police officers and community police officers are required to patrol these areas, handing out more anti-social behaviour orders. Parents of offenders must also be held accountable. We need to start charging people with responsibility and holding them to that, with no excuses whatsoever.

The future of Cheam Baths concerns me because it is important for residents to have an affordable and easy-to-get-to place of leisure.

Cheam Baths have been serving residents for many many years. Sutton Council must immediately take action to either safeguard its future or provide an alternative.

The fact that this is not happening is yet another piece of evidence which testifies to how our ward is forgotten and neglected by the council.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Nonsuch Byelection - Meet The Candidates (Part 2)

Ahead of Thursday's council by-election in Nonsuch Ward, the Worcester Park Blog questions the main candidates about key issues affecting the area and asks how they would seek to improve the lives of local people.

Today, Liberal Democrat candidate Gerry Jerome tells the Worcester Park Blog why he believes he is the right man for the job.

WPB: Tell us briefly about yourself, your connections with Worcester Park and what motivated you to stand in the byelection.

GJ: I’ve lived in Worcester Park with my wife Kirsty since 1986; I got married here and raised my 3 children here - it’s that local experience that has persuaded me to stand for election for this area.

My children have all been educated in the local schools, right from Scallywags playgroup in Cuddington Rec through to secondary school.

I worked as a Civil Servant and as a self-employed contractor before setting up my own Information Technology consultancy in 2000.

As a Director of my own successful IT company, I’m used to getting things done, taking tough decisions, and delivering on my promises.

I have previously had the privilege to serve as a Councillor on Sutton Council for 8 years, so I know what it takes; there is a huge amount of work expected both in council and in the ward to ensure the voices of residents are heard and their views listened to.

WPB: The dilapidated building at the Queen Victoria Crossroads is an eyesore creates a terrible impression of North Cheam. What action would you take to ensure that something is done about this?

GB: This is a problematic site. It is currently owned by a private developer who has planning permission to refurbish it, but who has been hit by the recession.

I will continue to press the Council to investigate ways to help the developer to do something positive with the site.

I have met with Council officers and as a result they are in the process of starting prosecution of the developer for not keeping the site clear of fly-tipping. Arrangements have been made to install CCTV coverage of the site which should either deter potential tippers or catch them in the act. I would urge anyone who sees fly-tipping to contact me.

WPB: Traffic congestion is a real concern for anyone who lives in or around the Worcester Park area. What do you think the solution is, and what would you do, if elected, to ensure this problem is addressed?

GB: It is a complex problem that will not be resolved easily. I remember Central Road being a bottleneck when I first came to live in Worcester Park.

The problem extends beyond the railway bridge right up to the A3 and it has grown worse lately.

Linking the traffic lights will ameliorate the situation. This is why I have started a petition to Mayor Johnson to get Central Road moving. He is responsible for Transport for London. They put in trunking last December but we are still waiting for the lights to be linked.

An interesting idea worth investigating would be upgrading the part of Green Lanes leading into Merton so that it will take some of the traffic away from Central Road.

Mayor Johnson said that he felt that Outer London was neglected as far as traffic and parking were concerned when Ken Livingstone was Mayor. I would continue to press him to keep his promise to redress these problems.

WPB: Do you share the feeling of many locals that North Cheam and Worcester Park are forgotten outposts of Sutton? If so what would you do to ensure that greater attention and priority is given to these areas at council level?

GB: We have a new library in Worcester Park, a popular Waitrose in Stone Place, new play areas and refurbished play areas in Cuddington Rec and Fairlands Park, new fencing round Fairlands and Cuddington Rec.

Reluctant Mayor Johnson is being chased to resolve the chaos of parking and traffic in North Cheam and Worcester Park.

The Lib Dem administration is committed to keeping and maintaining swimming and leisure facilities at Cheam Baths until at least 2015 with plans to provide a bigger and more modern centre in this part of the borough without loss of those facilities for any period of time.

The Council is also dealing firmly with the developer of Queen Vic to ensure that it is clear of fly-tipping and at the same time showing understanding for his plight by helping him to find ways to develop the site.

The Cheam North and Worcester Park local committee has a budget to spend on works such as those carried out in Fairlands and Cuddington Rec. This is divided equally between various parts of the borough. There is excellent liaison between the Safer Neighbourhood Teams and the Councillors.

The parking problems in Senhouse Road has been resolved due to close co-operation between residents, local councillors and council officers.

Of course, much more has been done and there will always be more to do but the area is hardly the forgotten outposts of the borough. I will listen to the residents to ensure that our voices are heard.

WPB: Respect for politicians is at an all time low, as reflected in the dismal turnout for the recent Euro elections. Why does it matter that people vote in a council by-election?

GB: Many residents are disillusioned with politics, especially in the wake of the expenses scandal in Westminster.

It has stopped people talking about real politics and about what they want for their area. It is at this time that we really need to engage in politics; this is not the time to lose our voices.

This is why I am encouraging everyone to go out and vote on July 2nd.

WPB: Local traders are having a really tough time, with many going out of business leaving an increasing number of vacant shop units in the area. What can be done to help local traders in these difficult times?

GB: One thing we can all do in these difficult times is to think local when shopping. Without customers local businesses can’t survive.

Sutton Council have created a ten-point economic action plan to help local traders, details of which are on their website . This is a positive plan and will help businesses in the area in these difficult times.

Measures such as cutting the time for the Council to pay invoices to Sutton's small businesses from 30 to 10 days will help small firms improve cash flow.

WPB: Apart from the above issues, what are your top priorities, or the main issues that you want to tackle on behalf of local people?

GB: I will continue to campaign for a fairer deal for local children when it comes to schools. The Borough has some of the best schools in the country yet under the unfair selection process introduced under the Conservatives, many parents in the area do not have a choice as to where their children are educated.

I will continue to campaign to stop back garden development. I will fight to keep the green corridors at the back of our houses.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Nonsuch Byelection - Meet The Candidates (Part 1)

Ahead of Thursday's council byelection in Nonsuch Ward, the Worcester Park Blog questions the main candidates about key issues affecting the area and asks how they would seek to improve the lives of local people.

First up, defending the seat for the Conservative Party is local businessman Georg Braun.

WPB: Tell us a bit about yourself and what motivated you to stand in the byelection.

GB: I live in Worcester Park in Hampton Road with my partner and 4 children. Over the last 5 years I have built up a retail company with one store in Surrey.

As a family we have sight of much of what our community experiences; from children growing up and struggling to find a school place, through to traffic issues on back roads (including mine) and Central Road and the challenges of what it takes to run a local business in Surrey in a recession.

My motivation to stand is in part a tribute to Chris Dunlop, our previous Conservative Councillor for Nonsuch, who demonstrated to me and our neighbours what difference a Councillor can make.

I stand to fill the sizeable hole left in our local representation as a result of Chris' untimely death. I am not a typical politician. I am a local guy who wants to make a positive difference because I live here too.

WPB: The dilapidated building at the Queen Victoria Crossroads is an eyesore that creates a terrible impression of North Cheam. What action would you take to ensure that something is done about this?

GB: This building scars our neighbourhood and gives visitors an appalling first impression as they come into the borough.

A number of actions are already being taken by my Conservative colleague in order to create different options, including speaking to the world’s largest property advisor to help generate new ideas and interest.

In the here and now the issue is very simple: planning permission was obtained for the development of the site into a landmark building, which will lapse later this year. Only a dialogue with the current owners can answer any question marks over why the redevelopment of the site is stalling.

That dialogue with the owners is what I will seek to have, together with my colleagues.

WPB: Traffic congestion is a real concern for anyone who lives in or around the Worcester Park area. What do you think the solution is, and what would you do, if elected, to ensure this problem is addressed?

GB: I was pleased to be able to have a meeting at City Hall with Mayor Boris Johnson, discussing our local issues.

This included the traffic lights in Central Road and their phasing, which are one contributing factor of the systemic traffic jams down the high street.

That is a practical starting point where we can make a difference. The wider issues as to the sheer traffic volume that already exists, local and travelling through, are less easily addressed.

On that wider issue and at the very least, any discussions concerning the further extension of the Hamptons need to deliver a realistic assessment and plan for the additional traffic it will generate; the lack of realistic planning during the approval for the previous development phases demonstrates the astonishing lack of common sense in the current Council administration.

Anyone driving to work down Central Road on a weekday morning suffers the consequence of what happens when the local government does not plan properly.

WPB: Do you share the feeling of many locals that North Cheam and Worcester Park are forgotten outposts of Sutton? If so what would you do to ensure that greater attention and priority is given to our local area at Council level?

GB: It is more a reality than a feeling: Investment and thinking are centred on Sutton. Our area is almost always at the back of the queue for help from the council. I think this wrong. We all pay the same amount of council tax, regardless of where we live.

Projects such as the controversial £8.5million Sutton Life Centre, a single investment in one location, bears witness as does the £3million Sutton High Street refurbishment programme. There are no complementary actions planned for North Cheam or Worcester Park.

Two things are required: Local Councillors rooted in their community and an effective local government that has a coherent plan for all areas it represents.

Our area needs fresh ideas. Sutton Council is ripe for a change in leadership.

WPB: Respect for politicians is at an all time low, as reflected in the dismal turnout for the recent Euro elections. Why does it matter that people vote in a council by-election?

GB: I’m angry with Westminster politicians too, but this election is not about expenses or sending a message to Westminster.

It is about getting someone who lives in the ward with the determination to get the attention that North Cheam and Worcester Park is crying out for.

If elected as a councillor, I’ll always be a resident first. Local elections matter, because what your local council decides on affects you every day: from traffic planning to waste collection, from youth provision to whether children currently attending primary school will still have access to a local swimming pool when they attend junior school.

It also affects what you have in your pocket: our positive plan to freeze the council tax is a pragmatic commitment to achieve more with less.

WPB: Local traders are having a really tough time, with many going out of business leaving an increasing number of vacant shop units in the area. What can be done to help local traders in these difficult times?

GB: In business myself, I know exactly how hard this recession is on those running their own shops and businesses.

After all, small to medium size businesses account for 99.3% of UK business – this is no different in Sutton.

Small businesses create half of our country’s wealth and form the backbone of our local community. The harsh reality is that the Council can do very few things that truly affect the next month or the next quarter of trading.

What the Council can do is to offer support now and help in the future: We need a plan for the Worcester Park, North Cheam and Cheam Village high streets to make parking easier, giving customers access and providing some guidance over how we want these centres to develop.

Where there are customers and a council environment that is supportive to enterprise, individuals can start to make a success of running their business.

WPB: Apart from the above issues, what are your top priorities, or the main issues that you want to tackle on behalf of local people?

GB: The above covers a lot. In addition to those points, my key priorities are:

A. Provisions for our young people growing up, from activities to schooling
B. Reducing the fear of crime and antisocial behaviour
C. Traffic management and widening the planning horizon of our Council out from Sutton to our community
D. Addressing what I call the "Problems without a Plan": Victoria House, Cheam Baths - existing issues that can be solved with a plan and dialogue.

-----------------
Tomorrow: Liberal Democrat Candidate Gerry Jerome

House Fire in Lindsay Road

Four occupants of a house in Lindsay Road in Worcester Park escaped unscathed after fire broke out on the first floor of the property just before 9 o'clock on Tuesday night.

Fire crews from Sutton, New Malden and Mitcham tackled the blaze which is thought to have been caused by faulty electrical equipment.

One eyewitness (who sent in these photos of the incident) told the Worcester Park Blog:

"The fire brigade were in attendance within ten minutes [and stayed] until 12.30am. The thick black smoke pouring out the upstairs windows drew quite a crowd - or it may have been the firemen!"

London Fire Brigade Watch Manager Paul Gouk said the incident highlights the need to install smoke alarms:

“All the doors upstairs were opened which can fuel the spread of fire. Fire crews worked hard to stop the fire from spreading to surrounding rooms and to the ground floor.

There was no smoke alarm in the property and the residents were alerted to the fire by hearing breaking glass. I would urge all Londoner’s to buy one and test the battery once a week.”


Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Major Boost For Local Retailers

The Worcester Park Blog can exclusively reveal that local traders will receive a much needed boost this summer, thanks to the Worcester Park Traders Association and Transport For London (TFL).

To encourage local residents to walk or cycle to their local shops, TFL will be sending all households within a 2km radius of Central Road a leaflet and discount card entitling them to a 10% off their purchases from participating Worcester Park outlets.

As well as the discount, participating retailers will stamp the cards each time they are used. Card holders who collect three stamps can claim an instant free gift of a foldaway shopping bag (worth £7.99).

The scheme will be advertised in local media and, of course, in participating Worcester Park shops.

This is precisely the kind of scheme that is needed to give a vital boos to Worcester Park's local traders in these challenging times. The key, of course, is to ensure that locals continue to support their local businesses long after the promotion has ended.

In the meantime, though, hats off to Terry Dobbs (Chairman of the Traders' Association) for his hard work and determination TFL's support for this scheme.

Look out for a discount card through your door very shortly!

Sunday, 21 June 2009

No News Is Bad News


Worcester Park has said goodbye to another friendly retail face. Jay, owner of Krina News (the newsagents next to the launderette near St Philips Avenue) closed his shop yesterday.

The lease on his shop came was up for renewal and Jay has chosen to have a rest from the long hours involved in running the shop and is off to pastures new.

It leaves us, of course, with yet another empty shop unit on Central Road. Any takers?

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Fair Weather


Today sees the annual Maledune Festival on Plough Green, just down the road in Old Malden. As always there will be plenty of stalls, games, live music and other attractions to enjoy in the summer sunshine.

So if you are looking to keep the kids amused today then I highly recommend heading over to Plough Green for a day of traditional local family fun.

Thursday, 18 June 2009

A Moving Comment

New blog reader SheppyD is considering joining the hallowed ranks of Worcester Parkers:

" I am enjoying reading your blog very much!

My husband and I are looking for somewhere to move to that has good transport links and WP was on the top of our list but now I am not so sure after reading some of your posts.

Should we look elsewhere?

Trouble is I cant seem to find the 'elsewhere' that has everything we are looking for. Any advice would be welcome! "


Well, SheppyD, I would definitely recommend Worcester Park. Transport links are excellent (25 mins by train to Waterloo) and unless you get snarled up in the bad rush-hour traffic, you are within very easy reach of the A3 and M25.

Yes, Worcester Park has it's bad points, but every area does (it's just they don't all have a blog that discusses them!).

Lack of secondary schools nearby is an issue, but we are well served by primary schools (if you'll be needing any).

Retail-wise, the recession has left its mark but we still have the luxury of quality independent stores (hardware stores, gardening, pet shops, butchers, greengrocers, electrical stores) that you would struggle to find in many other high streets.

I'm sure my blog readers will chip in with their advice, but to further inform you on your house-hunting I would recommend you read this blog post about moving to the area and indulge in this blog posting which floweth over with discussion of the good things about Worcester Park.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Question Time

Blog reader Axlrocky has 3 random Worcester Park questions, which I'm hoping you will be able to help to answer:

"Can anyone answer the following Worcester Park myths / legends / mysteries?

1) Where is all the white fluff floating around the high street coming from?

2) What is the reason for the eye watering chemical smell that protrudes randomly from the brook by Green Lane

3) With the news of Cheltenham & Gloucester closing and the banks and building societies on the ropes financially, is it not time for Drury & Cole to rise phoenix like from the ashes? Who owns that shop and why haven't they turned it into a hairdressers yet?"


Ah yes, the curious white fluff that rains down on Central Road. Obviously it's from a tree or bush somewhere - either that or a cotton wool factory keeps exploding in Motspur Park. Very strange though to see if 'snowing' in Worcester Park in the middle of June.

As for the eye-watering chemical smell, I have no idea on that one - all the toxic soil around The Hamptons is downstream of Green Lane, so we can't blame it on that.

On your final question, I have blogged some time back about why nobody has ever taken on that prime piece of Central Road real estate, but never really got a definitive answer.

One blog reader has suggested that the owner doesn't want anything done with the unit, but quite why they would have chosen to miss out on hundreds of thousands of pounds in rental monies over the years is still a mystery to me.

Your idea about a hairdresser is a good one, though. I think you've spotted a gap in the market. Perhaps we should keep the furniture in there and go for a retro-themed hair dressers. Surely 1970s hair-dos must be coming back into fashion about now?

If you can answer any of the above questions, feel free to comment below.

Monday, 15 June 2009

We're All Doomed!

Well, probably not quite doomed.

But the Environment Agency has issued a flood warning for Beverley Brook from Worcester Park to New Malden, so residents around Green Lane best get their wellies at the ready!

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Cheam Common Road - Accident

My thanks to blog reader CheamCommoner who has been in touch with more news on the accident outside The Drill pub on Cheam Common Road last night:

"A young lad ran out in front of a black cab at the pedestrian crossing. The police were already nearby and saw the event happen.

I was returning home and passed just a second or 2 after he had been hit and fetched a blanket.

It wasn't long before a paramedic arrived and although the lad had been KO'd he was moving.

I didn't hang around after the paramedic appeared. I'm hoping that he has no more than concussion and bruising but if anyone has an update i'd be interested to know."

Friday, 12 June 2009

A Legend In Its Own Daytime

Hot on the heels of recent news that an episode of Come Dine With Me was being filmed in Worcester Park, the daytime TV crews have been in town again.

This time it was an episode of ITV daytime show '60 Minute Makeover' bringing their own brand of makeover magic to a deserving resident of Washington Road yesterday.

Tranmission date has yet to be confirmed, but I shall let you know when that episode is due to hit our screens.

With Location Location Location already having featured Worcester Park, that completes a TV hattrick for KT4.

Now, I wonder if I can get some cash for all that stuff in my attic...

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Ember Travel - Correction

Further to an earlier blog post, I have been advised that whilst Ember Travel has vacated its Central Road premises, the company continues to trade from a new location.

Unfortunately I have not been given their new trading address and no details have been posted at their former premises on Central Road.

However I am happy to clarify that Ember Travel is still trading , and therefore current bookings from its loyal customer base are unaffected.

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Weather Or Not

It seems that everyone except for Waitrose knew that this weekend would be a total washout.

Had our favourite local supermarket kept an eye on the weather forecast they could have avoided stocking their barbecue food section full to the brim with summertime fare that they stood no chance of selling to a shivering rain-sodden Worcester Park.

Unsurprisingly there was some drastic discounting of the unsold BBQ foods at 6 PM today.

I arrived just in time to witness the polite middle-class vultures descending. Scenting a meaty bargain they flocked on mass around the young lad with the pricing gun. No sooner had a packet of chicken and haloumi skewers been discounted than the prey was snatched from the hand of the assistant by the encircling manicured talons.

Some were hunting in packs, squawking speculation over how much they could horde in their freezers, and how many coconut salmon kebabs their awaiting brood could devour.

I approached to get a bargain myself, but the vultures had strategically positioned their trolleys to block the advances of other predators and shot warning glances at any who dared approach.

Eventually I spotted a gap in the blood-thirsty throng and made my advance on a packet of balsamic and mint marinated lamb shoulder chops.

Quite a bargain at only 89 pence.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Vote Apathy

The European elections are this Thursday. It may have escaped your notice, what with Susan Boyle, duck islands and bath plugs dominating the news.

I have always made a point of voting in every election - local, mayoral, national or European - not least because the simple act of turning up to polling station to vote is at the heart of the system of democracy that we take for granted and others around the world can only dream of.

I try, too, to ensure that my vote is informed. Yet this time round I am struggling to know who, if anyone, to vote for.

As they are the European elections, I would like my voting decision to be informed by issues of relevance to the European agenda.

Instead, the only election literature I have seen has been Liberal Democrat and Conservative electioneering raking over the UK-centric issues of the economy, second home expenses and so forth.

Oh, and I saw a leaflet from the environmentally-friendly Green Party littering the streets of Worcester Park this morning.

This is, it appears to me, a European election being fought on anything but European issues. Is this a failure of the UK population to care, or a failure of the parties to engage with the real issues at stake? I suspect a bit of both.

Either way, I suspect that when election results are announced the main loser will be democracy.

For the first time in my life I may well find myself ticking the apathy box on Thursday.

Update: I have just stumbled across the website VoteMatch.co.uk which asks a series of questions to help match your views to those of the parties standing in the European elections in your area. Well worth a few minutes of your time. Best of all it has confirmed that I am definitely NOT a Conservative. Hoorah! I feel vindicated.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Nonsuch Ward Byelection

Sutton Council Nonsuch Ward Bylelection to be held July 2nd 2009.

Read interviews with the main candidates here on the Worcester Park Blog:

Conservative: Georg Braun
Liberal Democrats: Gerry Jerome
Labour: Marcus Papadopoulos