Sutton’s story: looking to our past to inform our future
Sutton is unique. It combines a high quality of life – green and spacious, more affordable housing than most of Greater London, distinctive town centres and outstanding schools – with the opportunities presented by the fast-paced growth and access to jobs and culture the capital has to offer. Sutton is well-placed to contribute to London’s success and also benefit from it, realising the potential of the city, the borough and our communities in the process.
- Some neighbourhoods in Sutton rank in the most desirable and least deprived in the United Kingdom. South Cheam, for example, ranks in the two per cent least deprived neighbourhoods in the country.1
- Sutton has low rates of crime – far lower than many other boroughs in south London, and amongst the lowest in Greater London as a whole – and they are continuing to fall. Since 2005 the Metropolitan Police and the council have provided joint community safety and policing services via the groundbreaking Safer Sutton Partnership Service.2
- All of the secondary schools in the borough have achieved an excellent performance rating from Ofsted. In August 2016, Sutton secondary schools recorded a 76.7 per cent pass rate at GCSE grade A*-C.
- The council has long been praised for its ‘relentless’ work to protect vulnerable children in its care and in November 2016 was judged as being ‘good’ by Ofsted.3
- Although rising, house prices in Sutton remain competitive compared to our neighbours. In January 2017, the average price stood at £437,115 (compared to £621,638 in Kingston, £632,749 in Merton and £864,139 in Richmond).4
- 80.4 per cent of Sutton’s working age residents are in salaried jobs or professions – two and a half percentage points higher than the London average of 77.9 per cent.5
- The borough continues to support a high number of new business start-ups, mostly in the professional, property and support services sectors. We have also witnessed a year-on-year growth of micro companies since 2010.6
- Sutton Uplift is a groundbreaking collaboration between local doctors, nurses and voluntary groups that provides an array of mental health services to over-18s in the borough, covering referral, recovery, therapy and wider wellbeing provision.7
- The Epsom and St. Helier Hospital trust is one of our most trusted public services: in February 2017 91 per cent of patients would recommend the trust and its services to friends and family8, whilst the trust currently exceeds NHS targets for A&E waiting times, cancer treatment starting times and general referral rates.9
None of this will come as a surprise to anyone who knows our history. The main town centres and neighbourhoods that make up the borough have long been significant staging posts between the farther reaches of Surrey, Sussex and Kent and the political, cultural and financial centres of Westminster, the West End and the City of London. Residents in the borough are attached to their neighbourhoods and rightly proud of their history and heritage.
One hundred and fifty years ago, these towns and neighbourhoods underwent unprecedented expansion and development with the arrival of the Victorian railway network to Surrey and south London. Eighty-five years ago we saw a period of dynamic social action with the construction of both the St. Helier estate – the largest garden suburb estate in south London – and St. Helier Hospital, providing better housing and medical facilities for the large number of Londoners who were moving south.
Today, we want to harness this history and energy anew and deliver major projects that will help stimulate sustainable economic growth and secure a good quality of life for our residents for years to come.
The proposed London Cancer Hub will create the world’s foremost centre for cancer treatment, science and drug discovery in Belmont in the south of the borough. The extension of Tramlink from Wimbledon via Morden and Sutton town centre to the site will promote local housing development. And the Sutton Decentralised Energy Network (SDEN) has the potential to offer low carbon energy to thousands of new homes and businesses across the borough and beyond.
Evening Standard, 22 March 2017
SDEN has the potential to deliver heat to 19,000 new homes. Phase 1 will be capable of supplying 3.3 GWh of heat to around 725 homes and a supermarket at the new Felnex development.10
Extending the Tramlink to Sutton, via Morden would bring many benefits, including economic growth estimated at £500m GVA (gross value added) and £50m of resident expenditure. It will also provide improved access to jobs – 10,000 new jobs and increased access to public transport for 59,000 residents.
The London Cancer Hub site will be a catalyst for significant economic, social and educational innovation, and create over 13,000 jobs – 7,000 of them in scientific, medical and associated fields, contributing over £1 billion per year to the UK economy.11
Sutton Council has invested £14 million, purchasing 22,000 sqm of NHS land for the London Cancer Hub.12