Saturday, 27 August 2011

Center Of Intention?

Is this the latest unfortunate signage incident in Worcester Park or has the 'Surrey Door Center' really gone all American on us?

Furious bystander Miss Pelling of Linewood Drive raged: "This town is becoming so Americanised  and I won't have it. I have just gotten used to having The Hamptons on my doorstep and now this. Worcester Park should be British 24/7 - it's time we brought some normalcy to this goddam town. I for one will be buying my doors elsewhere'.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Cowboy Builders - Worcester Park

Back in April I brought you news that Dom Littlewood from Channel 5's Cowboy Builders was in Worcester Park, coming to the rescue of homeowners in Hampton Road.

The team had arrived in Worcester Park to help the Marr family who, having paid out £23,000 for a kitchen extension, were left in the lurch when their builders disappeared leaving just foundations, a floor and two walls.

The builders (and Melinda Messenger) moved in at the end of April and you can now see the Worcester Park episode of Cowboy Builders this Thursday (25th August) at 9pm on Channel 5.

Will it be a heart wrenching tale of woe? Will they run out of money and have to go and beg local businesses for help? Will it all end happily ever after? Of cousre it will. It's telly, after all.

Monday, 22 August 2011


"Top 10 things not wanted in Worcester Park...", writes Blog reader 'Nichu':

  1. Mosque 
  2. Any establishment frequented by children 
  3. Italian restaurants (especially if also incorporates 2.) 
  4. Hairdressers 
  5. Charity shops 
  6. Establishments that play music 
  7. New water/gas mains 
  8. New England style housing developments 
  9. Pound shops 
  10. Traffic congestion (unless it leads to more custom for businesses not in list above)
Which raises the question, what do we want in Worcester Park?"

Good point, Nichu. That's my plans for a charity mosque for children well and truly dashed.

Flood Alert: Beverley Brook Catchment

Beverley Brook Catchment

  • Flood Alert

    Current status:

    Flood Alert
    Flood status last changed at  21:11 on 22 Aug 2011
  • Location: Beverley Brook Catchment in the London Boroughs of Merton, Sutton, Kingston upon Thames, Richmond upon Thames and Wandsworth

  • Region:


Latest Information:

  • The River and Flooding forecast is: River levels are expected to respond to thunderstorms and heavy rain in the early hours of tomorrow morning and could overtop banks in places. No property flooding is currently expected. The weather prospects are: By mid-morning these storms should have cleared away. Further rain is expected to continue through out the afternoon, although this should be much lighter in nature

Friday, 19 August 2011

Paul Burstow Responds

The MP for Sutton & Cheam, Paul Burstow, has written exclusively for The Worcester Park Blog to respond to readers' concerns about the length of time being taken to complete the water mains replacement works in Central Road. 

Blog readers have criticised the slow progress of the current round of water mains replacement works, which are not due for completion until March 2012. Sutton & East Surrey water, whose contractors are carrying out the works, have rejected a suggestion from one local business that working times on site should be extended during the summer months to take advantage of the the lower traffic volumes and longer daylight hours.

Mr Burstow writes:

"I’m sure you remember the large notices erected at the end of the last year in the approach roads to Central Road, warning of a lengthy programme of necessary works which various utilities companies needed to complete to improve the services running under this road. 

Your local Lib Dem councillors and I were alarmed to discover that if all works were to be completed independently of each other, there would be continuous road works for 18 months! Obviously, works of this length of time were something to be avoided as much as possible. However, by ensuring good co-ordination between contractors so as much work as possible occurred simultaneously, this was cut to about 10 months.

Once the replacement of parts of the gas main was completed, it was felt that residents should be given a rest from the problems, and a chance of normality for a period of time. However, now the summer school holidays have hit – meaning that traffic is at its lightest - it makes sense to re-start the programme. 

The work to ensure the safe and effective delivery of our gas and water supply is essential. Burst water mains are even more disruptive than this work and by their nature unpredictable - and ruptured gas mains are even worse to contemplate. 

I realise that this seems to be a problem without end, but I’m afraid that this is a necessary exercise to ensure the smooth-running of services – which could have progressed for almost double the length of time it will.

The scale of the works being undertaken is immense, and the time needed to accomplish each phase is, understandably, substantial. The required works include:
  • Replacing 919m of water mains – to take 80 days
  • Making 118 service connections – to take 78 days
  • Making 12 connections to joining mains in side roads – to take 24 days
  • Cleaning and sterilising the pipework by carrying out two chlorination procedures – to take 40 days
  • Carrying out two flushing procedures to flush out the chlorination chemicals – to take 14 days
I have been assured that the working area will be kept as small as practical, in an attempt to minimise the disturbance. The work by local councillors and others has meant that this process is as short as possible, and they continue to press to ensure that the work progresses as swiftly as possible.

At the end of these works, local residents will have the benefit of confidence in their water, gas and electric services, knowing that they are up to date and recently improved.

I will be sending out regular updates about the ongoing work and other issues which affect residents. If you would like to receive these, or if I can be of any other assistance, please email me at "

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Something In The Air?

Has anyone else noticed that strange slightly foul smell in the air around Worcester Park tonight? Perhaps it's just me.

UPDATE: Clearly it isn't just me (thanks for all your comments!). The smell of manure has also been reported in places as varied as Wimbledon, Earlsfield, Waterloo and most of Surrey. Very strange.

Health Kick

There's a distinctly healthy note to this blog post, courtesy of two blog readers who have been in touch to let me know about pilates and slimming classes they are organising locally. 

Blog reader and Worcester Park resident Sarah has e-mailed me to let me know about a new pre-natal pilates class that she will be holding in the Christchurch with St Philips church hall at the top of Central Road in September (she will also start a beginner Pilates Class in January next year).

Her new website has been launched at

Sarah writes: "There is no Pilates class available in the Worcester Park are at the moment, so I hope to get a good response and at the same time, meet some similar minded people, which is always nice."

Meanwhile, Luciana has contacted me about her Slimming World classes that she holds at Malden Parochial School on The Manor Drive, Worcester Park every Wednesday at 7.30pm.

Luciana tells me:

"I never had a problem with my weight until I saw a picture of myself holding my beautiful new born twin nephews in Oct 2009. I always say that what a person looks like on the outside does not dictate who they are on the inside and I still stand by that.

But, I hadn't realised just how big I had got and was scared that I would start to get health issues because of the extra weight I was carrying. I have to date lost just over 11st and have learnt that small changes can make a massive difference.

If anyone would like to lose weight, learn how to keep it off and hopefully make new friends come along to the group. You will be greeted with enthusiasm and we can all support each other when things are going well and also when they are not going so well."

For more details contact Luciana Velli on 020 8330 6601.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Councillor Stephen Fenwick, Liberal Democract Councillor for Worcester Park Ward writes:

"The riots and attacks across most parts of London are shocking and despicable. This sort of violence is an act which should not happen in a modern city, particularly with the Olympic Games under a year away.

Seventeen boroughs were affected by violence in the last few days, with devastating consequences. A lot of police forces in the worst hit boroughs were a little unprepared for the violence which occured. The fact that there was little direction from the Government and a hinderence by Scotland Yard to act swiftly against the mobs resulted in more chaos and damage to people's lives, livehoods and futures.

During a period on Monday night when parts of Croydon and other boroughs were being destroyed by mindless idiots who have no sense of morality or even conscience, Sutton's police force - working with the Council and other intelligence - made sure that as many parts of the Borough were protected. 

Whilst there was a small amount of damage to premises in Sutton and Rosehill, attempted break-ins and lootings by some gangs were halted by Sutton police. Credit must be given to them and others who monitored the situation in Central and outer London to make sure that residents across the whole of Sutton borough were best protected. 

In Sutton High Street, police intercepted many gangs to stop their attack and police patrolled all parts, including North Cheam and Worcester Park to ensure no trouble occurred. 

On Tuesday night, all of London and many parts of the UK were put on alert for more attacks. Sutton police - alert to ensure all parts of the Borough were protected - ensured that shops closed early and that extra patrols across the whole of the Borough were out to deter potential rioters and criminals.

Sutton had relatively minimal damage, mainly due to the quick work of both the police and the Council to ensure our residents, traders and the shops were best protected.

When I watched the riots unfold on the rolling news channels Monday night, I had two concerns. The first was for myself and my family - would we be at risk from any looters or rioters? But also on my mind was the safety of the residents, their houses and the shops in Worcester Park. 

I hoped and prayed that any part of Sutton would not get devasted, particularly Worcester Park. It didn't. 

Many residents on The Hamptons have contacted my colleague and I recently about arson attacks on damage done to the estate there, particularly as there are four access points which are either not properly locked or have no proper gates to them.

At present, we are working with Sutton council and St James's Housing to ensure proper security can be installed, particularly after this week's events. However, I would also like to ensure that all parts of Worcester Park are safe so that no damage can ever be done by looters or attackers in the future. Whilst I am not a NIMBY, as ward councillor for Worcester Park, I am concerned for the safety of all residents, shops and houses. 

Whilst not trying to heighten fears of riotous attacks, I am as much concerned about the level of grafitti and other minor vandalism which sporadically occurs in the ward. The residents of Worcester Park - in both Sutton and Kingston are well protected and the council and police will work hard to ensure that no damage is done in the next few days. 

Moreover, we - and myself - are committed to ensuring that Worcester Park is a both a ward and a town where crime is low and that residents do not have suffer from the pains of graffiti or other crimes. Ensuring that we can find the available funds and the right directions - with the assistaance of all residents, regardless of politics, but with a common aim of improving Worcester Park - this can be achieved."

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

I'll Call You Beck

Blundering Council contractors are at it again with their mangled spelling of Worcester Park's road names - this time rebranding Caldbeck Avenue as 'Callbeck Avenue'

Blog reader Nick complained:

"Surely a basic skill for the person responsible for making these signs is spelling and accuracy. These people should be ashamed of themselves."

 'Little Smiff' contacted the blog to ask:

"Does the Council actually know the names of the roads in this part of the Borough? Having said that this spelling problem is nothing new. Is it only me or has anybody else noticed the signage above Ryan Gate? Have a look next time you're stuck in the queue."

Meanwhile, infuriated local resident Miss Pelling of Linewood Drive fumed:

"I was walking through Worcester Park yesterday, looking for a different supermarket to shop at, when I stumbled on this sign. To be honest I'm less worried about the spelling error and more concerned about my stubbed toe".

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Worcester Park Closes Early

Bellini restuarant have boarded up their premises for the night...

...with Iceland and many other stores in Worcester Park closing down early today.

Anti-Social Media

Social media is a very powerful tool. Much more powerful, sadly, than the brains of many of its users.

Last night, Facebook and Twitter became perfect vehicles for disseminating misinformation, malicious and misguided rumours. For all the valid information that was shared, equally as much fear seemed to have been spread.

There was, as I posted last night, no truth to rumours of riots in Worcester Park, but that didn't stop the panic and concern spreading and the misinformation continuing. Funny, no doubt, for those spreading it but less amusing for those with friends, family or businesses in Worcester Park who were left fearing the worst.

In Sutton, contrary to the flurry of social media reports, there were no fires and no police officers injured . There was minor damage to a handful of retailers in the town centre and thefts from two shops – one in central Sutton and one in the Rosehill area. Three people have been arrested in connection with the central Sutton theft.

In Sutton there was a large police presence to manage a group of youths aged mostly between 13 and 19 – many of whom were spectators. Reports of an increase in residential burglaries were also unfounded.

Sutton's Town Centre Partnership took the step of advising pubs and clubs to close early last night and Sutton's town centre manager was on the scene to provide advice to traders and local people.

Sutton Council's Street Scene teams were in the town centre from first thing this morning to clear up a small amount of debris so that shops could open on time this morning.

All of Sutton's police officers are now on 12 hour shifts, with rest days cancelled. Tonight the police will again provide a large and highly mobile visible presence to protect local people and businesses.

The council's Twitter feed and website will be regularly updated with accurate information following a number of false reports last night about events in Sutton on social networking sites.

Monday, 8 August 2011

All quiet on the south-western front

Thanks to some joker on Twitter posting that a riot has broken out in Worcester Park with 'Poundland being done in' I've had a surge of worried visitors to the blog.

So just to reassure you, there is no riot in Worcester Park and Poundland is perfectly safe..

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Comedy Of Errors

Unfortunately for them, by the time that the Sutton Guardian decided they wanted to run a piece on the bizarre and misspelled roadworks signs in Worcester Park that I blogged about nearly a fortnight ago, contractors had corrected their own mistakes leaving nothing for the newpaper's photographers to capture.

Fortunately, the Sutton Guardian asked nicely if they could use my photograph and I agreed, so long as they credited the Worcester Park Blog.

You can see the resulting article and my photo here on their website (can you spot the photo credit for the Worcester Park Blog? No, me neither).

The real revelation in their article, however, is that Bill Bailey apparently commutes from Cheam to Worcester Park every day.


Friday, 5 August 2011

Going Through A Bad Spell

The curse of signs with spelling mistakes has struck yet again in Worcester Park - just days after council contractors put their foot in it with this road sign howler, the newly refitted Waitrose has been spotted promoting its range of 'deordorants'.

Enraged Waitrose regular Miss Pelling of Linewood Drive told the Worcester Park Blog:

"I fined it completely unacceptable that Waitrose don't spell check their signs. I will not be shipping their again."

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Bailiffs Enter Avventura

The premises of Italian restaurant 'Avventura' has today been repossessed by bailiffs whilst its owners are away on their summer holidays.

The restaurant, which celebrated its first anniversary last month, closed its doors on Monday for a scheduled two week summer break and was due to reopen on 16th August.

Dawkins bailiffs, acting on behalf of the landlord, re-entered the premises in the early hours of this morning and the lease on the premises has been determined.