Monday, 24 May 2010

Bollardy Quick Work

Well, I never. Less than one working day since the bollard toppling incident, Sutton Council have repaired the damage and said bollard is now standing upright, waiting for the next vehicle to knock it down.

Super-fast work, Sutton Council.

Now perhaps you could be as speedy in sorting out the height warning sign fiasco?

Glass Half Full

It's always much nicer to report on vacant shop units about to be filled than it is to write about shop units falling empty.

The former 'Barn Glass' property, opposite the North End Tavern on the corner of Lindsay Road,  is to be turned into an off lience according to an application that has been submitted by Gerards Cross based 'Perfect Wines Ltd'.

It's a bold choice at a time when off licences and wine merchants are generally struggling, and they will face tough competition from nearby Sainsbury's Local and Costcutter, but good luck to them!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Never Mind The Bollard

A quick question for you, blog readers:

Driving through Worcester Park this evening I watched a most spectacularly incompetent manoeuvre by an HGV as it executed a sharp left turn and mounted the pavement, tearing a metal bollard from the ground.

The lorry lurched unceremoniously over the uprooted bollard before driving off towards Central Road.

I have the registration number of the vehicle, but is this technically a crime or just accidental damage?

To report, or not to report?

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Bath Time

Blog reader David writes:

"For various reasons I have spent the last four years moving between Worcester Park and Bath - very recently I noticed that there is a series of streets and buildings in the Lambridge Ward of Bath named Worcester Park. 

I was unable to find out what, if any, the link was between the two places from the local people; so thought I'd throw it out onto this forum in the hope that someone might know?"

My guess would be a connection with Edward Somerset, 4th Earl Of Worcester (or one of his family).

Bath is of course in Somerset and the Somersets were a family of nobles from the House Of Beaufort - looking on Google maps there are roads called Beaufort Place and Beaufort East just to the south of 'Worcester Park' and 'Worcester in Bath. 

Edward Somerset was appointed Keeper of the Great Park which was created for Henry VIII around Nonsuch Palace - land on which the settlement of Worcester Park (named after him) was later built.

Well, that's my theory. Any more ideas?

Monday, 17 May 2010

Pram Jam?

'Distraught Mum' has e-mailed me wondering what on earth is going to happen to all the Mothers, babies and prams when Worcester Park's branch of Costa coffee closes for its refurbishment;

'There is going to be anarchy - all those homeless Mums and babies spilling out onto the pavements of Central Road with nowhere to go. What are we to do?'

Any ideas? Everyone down to the Midas Touch, perhaps?

Friday, 14 May 2010

Good Health!

Congratulations to Sutton & Cheam MP Paul Burstow who, alongside Simon Burns (Conservative MP for West Chelmsford) has been appointed to serve as Minister of State for Health in the new coalition Government.

Mr Burstow has been a member of the House of Commons Health Select Committee since 2005 and is co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Primary Care and Public Health.

You Bend

An new yoga class has started on Wednesday mornings at Worcester Park library,  keen to make Worcester Park a bendier and more tranquil place to live, and is offering Worcester Park Blog readers their first class completely free of charge.

The yoga practiced is Hatha Yoga, the most commonly-practised yoga in the West, which is over 5,000 years old.

The organisers have handily provided me with some myth busters to dispel those old wives' tales about yoga:
  • You do not have to be flexible – you can be as stiff as a board – that’s why you come to yoga!
  • You do not have to wear a leotard or anything made of spandex – unless you really want to, although mankini’s are a definite no-no. Loose, comfortable clothing is best.
  • You do not discover a whole load of uncontrollable wind (as in the Billy Connolly sketch) although you may find muscles you never knew you had!
  • You do not have to sit in a circle chanting and ‘om’ing although of course you can if you feel so inspired!
If you fancy giving it a go, pop along and try it out -  the first class is free to Worcester Park Blog readers - but please book first as spaces are limited.

Classes are held every Wednesday morning 11.00 – 12.15 pm at Worcester Park Library in the upstairs room.

To book a space or for more info email:, telephone 077666 83143 or visit:   

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Fair Weather?

The weather may have other ideas but the spring/summer fair season is well and truly upon us.

Doris Venner Preschool Spring Fair is being held on Saturday 15th May, from 11am to 1pm at the Doris Venner Youth Centre, Manor Drive, Worcester Park with a tombola, raffle, face painting, fun & games and many great prizes!

Bowling Allies

Auriol Bowling Club is holding its Open Day on Sunday 16th May, at the Club’s bowling green in Auriol Park, Salisbury Road, Worcester Park. 

You can turn up any time between 11.00 am and 4.00 pm, and there’s no need to wear any special clothing other than flat-soled shoes or trainers. Equipment and coaching will all be provided free of charge. 

Men and women of all ages are invited, whether you have bowled before or not. 

Ladies’ Club captain Andrea Nunney told the Worcester Park Blog: “If you’ve not bowled before, this is a golden opportunity to try out the game for yourself, in a fun and friendly atmosphere” and Chris Mead, captain of the men’s Club, added: “We are also keen to welcome more experienced players to take part in our busy programme of matches”

So pop along to Auriol Bowling Club’s Open Day on Sunday 16th May and give it a go! 

For further details go to the website

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Broad Minded Bargains

Dear Worcester Parkers, it appears we have all been fooled.

I am shocked to the core to learn that Broadway Bargains, respectable bastion of haberdashery, has been pulling the wool (the lace, the ribbon and the cotton) over our eyes all along.

Blog reader 'Gix' has sent me this horrific picture of the farmyard filth being peddled in the window of Broadway Bargains:

I'm sure you'll agree this kind of plastic depravity is not acceptable in Worcester Park and we need to drive these demons out immediately.

Possibly through prayer.

Does anyone have Philippa's number?

Monday, 10 May 2010

Breakfast News

As regular blog readers will know, I am something of a devotee of the full English breakfast and so was distraught when Berties cafe closed down, depriving Worcester Park of the only decent full English in town.

La Continental opened in its place and having doggedly stuck to its Mediterranean theme for about a week it promptly started dipping its toes in Cottage Pie (as it were) before caving into the inevitable and completely Anglicising its breakfast menu with the full English taking pride of place.

On Friday morning, having humiliatingly conceded defeated in the my staying-awake-contest against 72-year old David Dimbleby, I awoke in search of a revitalising Full English. Finding the shutters of La Continental mysteriously shut, I wandered up to the H G Wells pub.

Hoorah! They do a full English breakfast, BUT it's called a Butcher's Breakfast, is part of their lunch menu (it is only served from Midday).

Those minor details aside, it turned out to be one of the best English breakfasts around - with proper sausage, not the traditional pub cylindrical mish-mash of meat that that is about as attractive to look at as the '3663' lorry it was delivered in - and decent bacon and properly-cooked eggs to boot.

I think I have found my perfect full English breakfast. It's just a shame they only serve it at lunchtime.

P.S: I think Dimbleby finally went to bed at 3pm on Friday. Lightweight.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Kingston Council Election Results - Old Malden Ward

The Liberal Democrats have retained overall control of Kingston Council.

In Old Malden Ward, which includes parts of Worcester Park, the three Conservative Party candidates retained their seats on the Council:

ELECTED: FRASER,David - Conservative: 2363
ELECTED: AMSON, Mick - Conservative: 2262
ELECTED: STINTON, Kate - Conservative:  2016
HAYAT, Ghazala - Liberal Democrat: 1914
WILLIAMS, Kerry - Liberal Democrat:1899
KWON,Suk-Ha - Liberal Democrat: 1689
KELLETT, Ian - Labour: 501
KNOWLES, John James - Labour: 471
PEARSON, George Edwin - Labour: 441
TAIMURI, Adeela - Green Party: 261
GOODGER, Daniel - Independent: 258
GLENCROSS, Roger - Christian Peoples Alliance: 139

Liberal Democrats Retain Sutton Council

The Liberal Democrats have retained control in Sutton Council local elections after winning 43 of the borough's 54 seats.

Voting in Worcester Park's two council wards, Nonsuch Ward and Worcester Park Ward, was so close that both wards were subject to recounts before the final results were confirmed at just after 2:30pm.

In a diasastrous night for the opposition party, the Conservatives lost 9 seats, including their leader Paul Scully in Carshalton Central. The Conservative Party now have only 11 seats on Sutton Council.

The Liberal Democrats have led the council since 1986, making it the longest continual Liberal Democrat administration in the UK.

For more details of the results in Worcester Park and Nonsuch Ward, see the blog posts below.

Worcester Park Ward: Local Council Election Results

The Liberal Democrats have broken the Conservative Party's stranglehold on Worcester Park ward, snatching two out of the three ward seats from their rivals.

Incumbent Conservative Councillor Stuart Gordon-Bullock retained his seat on the council, but in a close-fought contest his fellow Conservative candidates Marie Grant and Alan Swinton failed to pick up sufficient votes to join him on the Council.

The Liberal Democrats' Jennifer Campbell-Komps, who live in The Hamptons in Worcester Park, topped the poll, with fellow Lib Dem Stephen Fenwick coming third.

The result of Worcester Park ward was so close that that re-count was held, delaying the declaration of the overall result for Sutton Council.

Results of Worcester Park ward local council elections (London Borough Of Sutton):

ELECTED: Jennifer Campbell-Klomps Liberal Democrats: 2739
ELECTED: Stuart Gordon-Bullock Conservative Party: 2309
ELECTED: Stephen Fenwick Liberal Democrats: 2291
Jason Hunter Liberal Democrats: 2269
Alan Swinton Conservative Party: 2229
Marie Grant Conservative Party: 2287
John Evers Labour Party:  585
David Hosking Labour Party: 542
Chris Day UK Independence Party: 534
Hilary Hosking Labour Party: 507

Nonsuch Ward: local council election results

Liberal Democrat Councillors Gerry and Kirsty Jerome have retained their council seats following yesterday's poll in Sutton Council's Nonsuch Ward, but fellow Councillor Roger Roberts has lost his seat to the Conservative Party.

Mr Jerome, who yesterday failed in his bid to be elected as Liberal Democrat MP for Croydon North, topped the poll, with wife Kirsty in second place.

Incumbent Liberal Democrat Councillor Roger Roberts failed to secure sufficient votes to retain his seat and was narrowly beaten by Conservative Party candidate Eric Allen.

Results of Nonsuch Ward local council elections (London Borough Of Sutton):

ELECTED: Gerry Jerome Liberal Democrats: 2781
ELECTED: Kirsty Jerome Liberal Democrats: 2675
ELECTED: Eric Allen Conservative Party 2568
Roger Roberts: Liberal Democrats: 2531
Alan Plant Conservative Party: 2476
Richard Butt Conservative Party: 2400
Kathie Clark Labour Party: 376
Shawn Buck Labour Party: 354
Marcus Papadopoulos Labour Party: 335

Local Council Election Results

Counting in the local council elections began at 10am, with results of Sutton Council and Kingston Council local elections are expected by 1pm.


Kingston & Surbiton Election Result: Lib Dems Hold

Liberal Democrat MP Edward Davey has held his seat of Kingston & Surbiton. The MP, who took the seat from the Conservatives in 1997, was returned with a slightly reduced majority.

Monkey The Drummer from the Monster Raving Looney Party polled just 247 votes despite popular policies which included introducing a 0.09p coin so people can pay for petrol at the right price and a pledge to freeze the high level of council tax in Kingston and serve it with vodka.

Full Results:

Edward Davey, Liberal Democrat - 28,428
Helen Whately, Conservative - 20,868
Max Freedman, Labour - 5,337
Jonathan Greensted, UK Independence Party  - 1,450
Chris Walker, Green - 555
Monkey the Drummer, Monster Raving Loony Party - 247
Anthony May, Christian Peoples Alliance - 226

Sutton & Cheam Election Result - Liberal Democrat hold

Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow has held the seat of Sutton & Cheam with a redcued majority of 1,608, narrowly seeing off Conservative rival Philippa Stroud.

Paul Burstow took the seat from the Conservatives in 1997, and was returned in 2001 with an increased majority. He was re-elected in 2005 but with a reduced majority of just 2,846 after a 2% swing to the Conservatives.

Philippa Stroud had been tipped to win the seat, which was 59th on the Conservative's list of target seats, however her campaign was dealt a major blow after allegations in the Observer newspaper that she founded a church that tried to 'cure' homosexuals by 'driving out their demons', allegations which Stroud vehemently denied.

Paul Burstow Liberal Democrat - 22,156
Philippa Stroud Conservative 20,548
Kathy Allen Labour 3,376
John Clarke British National Party 1,014
David Pickles UK Independence Party 950
Peter Hickson Green 246
John Dodds English Democrats 106
Matthew Connolly Christian Peoples Alliance 52
Martin Cullip Libertarian 41
Brian Hammond Independents Federation UK 19 

Majority 1,608
Turnout 48,508 (72.8%)

Election Result: Sutton & Cheam

Sutton & Cheam Election Results: Liberal Democrats hold

Paul Burstow Liberal Democrat - 22,156
Philippa Stroud Conservative 20,548
Kathy Allen Labour 3,376
John Clarke British National Party 1,014
David Pickles UK Independence Party 950
Peter Hickson Green 246
John Dodds English Democrats 106
Matthew Connolly Christian Peoples Alliance 52
Martin Cullip Libertarian 41
Brian Hammond Independents Federation UK 19

Majority 1,608
Turnout 48,508 (72.8%)

Epsom & Ewell Election Result

Conservative MP Chris Grayling has held the seat of  Epsom & Ewell (which covers parts of Worcester Park) with a majority of 16,134.

Turnout was 70.4%

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Queue The Voting

There were huge queues when I went to cast my vote at 8pm - not helped by the fact that so many people were hugely confused by the local election voting process.

@Busfield on Twitter reports 'more than 100 people were in the queue in Sutton/Cheam (Lib Dem seat) when I voted at 9pm'.

The BBC Swingometer predicts that the Lib Dem's Paul Burstow will be holding the marginal seat of Sutton & Cheam, seeing off the Conservative candidate Philippa Stroud.

Worcester Park Polling Stations

Polling stations are open until 10pm tonight for the general election and for local council elections for Sutton Council and Kingston Council.

All those on the electoral register should have received their polling cards in the post, however if you haven't received your card you can still vote without it at your designated polling station.

Polling stations in Worcester Park can be found at:

London Borough Of Sutton residents:

Polling stations for Worcester Park residents are at:

Green Lane Primary School, Green Lane, Worcester Park
Christ Church With St. Philips, Ruskin Drive, Worcester Park
Dorchester Primary Sch, Dorchester Road, Worcester Park
Cheam Common Inf Sch, Balmoral Road, Worcester Park
The Pavilion, Cuddington Rec., Sandringham Road, Worcester Park
Cheam Leisure Centre, Malden Road, Cheam

Voters can only vote at their designated polling station (as indicated on their card), which will usually be the polling station nearest to your home address. However if you are unsure, contact Sutton Council on 020 8770 4888

Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames residents: Old Malden Ward

Polling station for Worcester Park residents in the Kingston Borough's Old Malden ward is at St John's Church Hall, 411 Malden Road, Worcester Park, KT4 7NY EXCEPT for residents of Pembury Avenue, Kingshill Avenue, Hughenden Road, Risborough Drive and Caverleigh Way, whose polling station is at Green Lane Primary School, Green Lane, Worcester Park, KT4 8AS

Borough Of Epsom & Ewell:

Polling stations are at:

ROWE HALL (2ND CUDDINGTON SCOUT HQ), Salisbury Road, Worcester Park
For residents of: Ardrossan Gardens, The Avenue, Avon Close, Badgers Copse, Dene Close and Edenfield Gardens, Elmstead Gardens, Fairford Gardens, Inveresk Gardens, Kingsley Drive, Kinross Avenue, Roland Way, Shadbolt Close, Squirrels Green, Suffolk Road, ValeRoad (part) (Nos 1-171a (odd) and 2-152 (even) The Gamecock and The Parade) and Woodlands Avenue.

ST MARY’S CHURCH HALL, The Avenue, Worcester Park
For residents of Alsom Avenue, Auriol Close, Auriol Park Road, Barrow Hill (Carrick Lodge only), Barrow Hill Close, Cardinal Close, Cleveland Gardens, Cleveland Road, Cromwell Road, Cuddington Avenue, Cunliffe Road (1-4 The Courtyard only), Delta Close, Delta Road, The Denningtons, Drumaline Ridge, Grafton Close, Grafton Park Road, Grafton Road, Kingston Road (part) (Nos 436-476 (even), Mortimer Crescent, Northcliffe Close, Old Malden Lane, Parkdale Crescent, Parklands Way, Riverhill Mews, Royal Avenue, Royal Close, St Mary’s Road, St Michael’s Close, Salisbury Close, Salisbury Road (part) (Nos 57-139 (odd) 56-66, 76-92 (even) and Worcester Court), Spinney Close, Wolsey Close, Worcester Gardens and Worcester Park Road.

STONELEIGH METHODIST CHURCH HALL, Stoneleigh Crescent, Stoneleigh
For residents of: Amberley Gardens, The Byway, Cuda’s Close, Cunliffe Road, Firswood Avenue, Fir Tree Close, Kingston Road (part) (Nos 178a-328a (even), Kirby Close, Lymington Gardens, Mavis Avenue, Mavis Close, Moormead Drive, Newbury Gardens, Ravensfield Gardens and Rembrandt Court, Seaforth Gardens, Station Approach, Stoneleigh Crescent, Stoneleigh Park Road, Thorndon Gardens, Vale Road (part) (Nos 173a-195 (odd), Walsingham Gardens and Westways.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Poll Position

There are fewer than 24 hours to go until polls open. As well as the General Election, Worcester Park residents in the boroughs of Sutton and Kingston will be voting in local council elections as well.

You can find interviews with some of the Sutton Council candidates for Worcester Park Ward (Conservative Party candidatesLiberal Democrat candidates) and Nonsuch Ward (Conservative Party candidatesLiberal Democrat candidates) here on the blog.

So, will you be going along to cast your vote tomorrow? If so will you be voting on national issues, on the strength of the local candidates, voting tactically, or even voting differently at local election and general election levels?

Do tell!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Twitter Ye Not!

She may have hastily deleted her own Twitter account and Facebook campaign group, but the social media storm surrounding Conservative parliamentary candidate Philippa Stroud continues apace.

The link to the Observer newspaper article about her has been retweeted many thousands of times in the last 48 hours, with a baying mob of Twitterers demanding to know why the mainstream media has ignored the controversial story before concluding that it is no doubt a Murdoch-led conspiracy (in collusion with the pro-Tory BBC).

For more on the Philippa Stroud social media storm, check out this article from Channel 4's Benjamin Cohen.

Meanwhile Jonathan Bartley, writing on the Ekklesia website,  has a far more interesting take on the Mrs Stroud's religious beliefs:

"The paper has focused on her views about homosexuality. But there is a far more important issue, and that is who would have influence and ‘authority’ over Mrs Stroud if she were elected?

The New Frontiers Church that she attends, and of which her husband is one of the main leaders, teaches that a husband has ‘authority’ over his wife, and that a wife should submit to a husband's will in all things.

The husband is seen as the 'servant leader'. I know this from close personal experience of the church, and that it runs incredibly deep in the church. Indeed, it is fundamental to their religious approach. See this excerpt from the church’s 17 values which suggests that there must be “joyful female submission” in a marriage (value no. 7):

“A church where Biblical family life is highly valued, where husband and wife embrace male servant leadership and joyful female submission, where godly parenting is taught and practised and where the special value of singleness and its unique opportunities are affirmed”.

This is a church which does not allow women to have "governmental leadership" (in the church structures). Marrried women are only allowed to teach others in the church, or hold positions of responsibility, if this doesn't 'undermine' their husbands, and they are still under his 'authority'.

The question must be asked of Philippa Stroud whether, in the event she was elected to Parliament, she would on any occasion ‘submit’ to her husband's will and vote in a way that he thought was right, even if it contradicted her own position, the promises she had made to voters, or the manifesto on which she was elected?

On many issues, she probably has identical perspectives to her husband. But all marriages of course have their differences. Add to this the fact that the church leaders (including her husband), have some very definite and clear views on a whole ranges of issues from abortion to homosexuality, relationships between men and women, religious 'liberty' and the role of the family, and there could clearly be some circumstances in which the church, and her husband, feel that they need to make clear to her what they think. (The church seeks to take a 'biblical' approach to all matters be they spiritual, social or political).

If this happens, will she feel an obligation to take their line, even if it conflicts with her own? Her own religious beliefs, and that of her church, might suggest that she would. In political terms, we might call this a significant conflict of interest which needs to be declared."

Monday, 3 May 2010

Coming Out Fighting?

Has anyone seen Philippa Stroud? It appears that the Conservative parliamentary candidate has done something of an online disappearing act following yesterday's Observer newspaper front page story about her.

With just three days of campaigning left before the general election, Mrs Stroud's Facebook campaign group, which she had used to communicate with and rally her supporters, was deleted yesterday - as was her Twitter account.

A strange disappearance with such a crucial vote just days away, don't you think?

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Conservative Views?

The Conservative Parliamentary candidate for the Sutton & Cheam constituency, Philippa Stroud, has been accused by today's Observer newspaper of founding a church that tried to 'cure' homosexuals by 'driving out their demons'.

The newspaper, which yesterday switched its allegiance to the Liberal Democrats, tips Mrs Stroud to win the constituency seat in Thursday's General Election.

It quotes one former member of Mrs Stroud's church as saying:

"She really believed things like homosexuality, transsexualism and addiction could be fixed just by prayer, all in the name of Jesus."

In a statement, Philippa Stroud said:

"I make no apology for being a committed Christian. However it is catagorically untrue that I believe homosexuality to be an illness and I am deeply offended that the Observer has suggested otherwise.

"I have spent more than 20 years working with disturbed people who society have turned their back on and who are often not. The idea that I am prejudiced against gay people is both false and insulting."

The consituency seat of Sutton & Cheam is currently held by Liberal Democrat MP Paul Burstow who was returned in the 2005 General Election with a reduced majority of just 2,486. 

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Pub Trawl

I popped into the North End Tavern the other day - in all my years in Worcester Park I've never actually ventured in there.

Much to my surprise it turned out to be a theme pub - the theme being crap service. Having annoyed the bloke behind the bar by asking for a drink, he proceeded to make a complete balls up of pouring it cursing 'for f*#ck sake' under his miserable breath. I won't be going back there again.

Far more successful was my foray into the H G Wells - Worcester Park's newest boozer, which opened for business on Wednesday.

The pub has been tastefully refurbished turning the interior from bare and cavernous into a snug and relaxing and managing to avoid the faux-traditional clone feeling of many other pubs, with warm decor, an eclectic smattering of ornaments and some tasteful nods to the works of Mr Wells.

Positioning itself as a food-led establishment, there is a large area reserved for dining - leaving perhaps too little space for drinkers - with food served from Midday to 10pm and the promise of tasty roasts on Sundays.

Most impressive of all were the staff - genuinely cheerful, welcoming and accomplished, and not a hint that it was only their third night of operation.

I can't wait to go back.