Sunday, 12 February 2012

Worcester Park Ward By-election: Roger Roberts - Liberal Democrats

Ahead of the Worcester Park Ward council by-election on Thursday 16th February, the Worcester Park Blog profiles the candidates and their views and policies on key issues affecting the local area.

Liberal Democrats - Roger Roberts                                                  


Supporting Local Shops & Businesses:

We need to keep Worcester Park and North Cheam as thriving shopping centres that are well used by local people. We have been fortunate in winning nearly £2 million to be spent entirely on these two areas. I intend to make sure that local people will be closely involved in deciding how this money will be spent.

One thing that I'm already campaigning for is dual parking bays in North Cheam to make it easier for people to park and shop. The traders in the area have told me that this is really important and so have the local councillors. However the Mayor's Transport for London doesn't seem to agree.

I intend to write to the Mayor, saying that this is unacceptable and that he should direct Transport for London to get this fairly minor change done as soon as possible.


Crime & Policing

We are fortunate to live in an area with fairly low crime levels but that does not mean that we should be complacent.

I remember what it was like a few years ago when we only had one sergeant across two wards and I was pleased when the decision was made to have two separate sergeants for Worcester Park and Nonsuch wards.

When the neighbourhood police teams were introduced, we were given an assurance by the then Mayor that this would be permanent but now the present Tory Mayor has cut back to one sergeant running both wards again. I am concerned that our police teams will be overstretched and unable to maintain the present low crime rates.

And given that the Mayor is expected to make more cuts to the police budget, could we lose more police in Worcester Park? I am determined to make sure that doesn't happen.

Education

We are fortunate in Worcester Park to have very good schools that parents want to send their children to. But this is putting pressure on the number of places available. The council has taken steps to cope with this increase in demand by increasing the number of classes, firstly at Dorchester and now with the new building at Cheam Common Infants.

This will be followed by extra accommodation at Cheam Common Junior School.

I am pleased that in these difficult times the council has been able to find the funds to put into education for the benefit not only of the present children in the schools but the ones who will follow on. We want to keep class sizes low and maintain the excellent standard of our local schools.

Traffic

This has been a problem for all the many years I have lived in the area and unfortunately with the increase in car usage it is set to continue.

Lib Dems have campaigned for a long time to persuade the traffic control department to link up the traffic lights all the way from North Cheam to the railway bridge. This has now been done and does seem to have made some difference. However I believe that they also need to carry that on all the way to the New Malden roundabout to ensure that there is a continuous flow of traffic towards the A3. I'll be working closely with the Council and Transport for London to achieve this.

Local Health Services

When we asked the local NHS in the past for more Doctors' surgeries, we were told that there is no need for any new ones and that if people sign on with a particular doctor and it is overcrowded, then the NHS will increase that capacity. With the growing population in the local area, I don't think we have enough health care in Worcester Park and I am campaigning for a new doctor's surgery. I am pleased to see that we have a new dentist opening up soon in Central Road.

I am also working with local MP Paul Burstow to protect vital services such as A&E and the Maternity Unit at St Helier Hospital. I believe it is important that local residents have access to a good local hospital and depending were in Worcester Park you live I think both St Helier and Kingston hospitals are well placed to serve residents.

Council Tax & Service Cuts

I am pleased that for the third year running the Council has not increased council tax and I am sure that householders will welcome it.

The Liberal Democrats on the Council have managed to find ways of saving money without cutting vital services like libraries and children's centres. It is obvious in these difficult financial times that many things that we would like to do may have to be put on hold, but over the last few years we have worked with our neighbouring councils to deliver some services jointly and so save on both staff and costs.

So while I think there will be challenges, I believe that this will impact less on us than on some other councils nearby. I was really shocked to hear that Surrey County Council is closing libraries but still increasing Council Tax by nearly 3%.

8 COMMENTS (Add Yours Now!):

John Evers said...

So why no interview with the Labour Candidate?

Worcester Park Blogger said...

John - all candidates (Conservative, Lib Dem Labour, UKIP, Green Party) were invited to participate, but unfortunately not all responded to the request.

Axlrocky said...

pains me to say it but the best answers given, the liberal machine consistently lied to us at the last election so I have no doubt that these are empty words. For a list of lib dem lies and broken promises simply review the blog in the last election, or read ed davey's twitter account - oh wait, he only uses it when there is a general election on! 

Paul Scully said...

Axlrocky, firstly one thing that I agree with Roger Roberts about; I have campaigned for dual parking bays for a number of years now, both in Carshalton and North Cheam (having accidentally been caught out on London Road parking in a badly signposted loading bay). However, I just cannot see anything changing if Roger Roberts was elected. Why should it?

Roger was a councillor in a neighbouring ward for nearly quarter of a century. In that time Central Road has declined; the Queen Victoria building has had a near-permanent queue of politicians waiting for their photo-op whilst it fell into further disrepair; the education department closed classes and schools in anticipation of a fall in pupil numbers before realising the opposite was happening; council tax went up 23 times before an election and extra money from the Chancellor allowed a freeze; Ridge Road library was closed to prop up a pet project in the form of the Sutton Life Centre, a project that is still costing the taxpayer £500,000 each year to cover the losses; local roads are continuing to degrade after the council cut the winter road maintenance budget by £250k. Roger supported all of these things.Police numbers were not an issue to the LibDem council when Sutton had the lowest number of policeman per head of population. Now you would think that a single Sergeant is the thin blue line between the safest borough in London and a crimewave. This ignores the fact that changing the way that police work has allowed more bobbies back on the beat over the last four years with 2,577 extra patrols across Sutton each year and an overall increase in police numbers over that period.Well, it's not my choice, but I think I know which way I'd vote!

Axlrocky said...

agree Paul, this man, like his party are clearly incompetent and have not been held to account by anyone in the area for the last ten years, unfortunately though someone in WP keeps voting for them - #anyonebutlibsinwp!

Dfosborne said...

I would like to know where exactly the two million pounds is going to be spent?

I wrote to Roger Roberts about my environmental concerns respecting North Cheam, months ago. I still await an answer to my letters. The courtesy of a reply should I think be a priority for any representative who owes his position to the electorate.  
D.Osborne

Dfosborne said...

Could someone enlighten me to the purpose of Bird and Bat boxes, scheduled to placed Cuddington Rec?  Nature has always served to house both birds and bats since they first emerged. So why do they need to be provided with artificial homes at an estimated cost of £312. There is also a proposal to place 5 insect boxes at a cost £100. in Cuddington Rec. 
dfosborne

Dfosborne said...

Comments please on the Giant tea party and Italian Market, held on Saturday 30th June at Victoria house, North Cheam crossroads. 

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