Council leader Ruth Dombey warns of 'difficult decisions' in New Year message to Sutton Guardian readers

Sutton Guardian: Councillor Ruth Dombey Councillor Ruth Dombey

Sutton Council leader Councillor Ruth Dombey praised the borough's residents for their strong sense of community.

But, in her New Year's message to Sutton Guardian readers, she also warned of a continued need to "rethink how we can continue to deliver our services in these difficult times."

 

"Happy New Year. I hope you had a wonderful holiday time with family and friends.

"The beginning of a new year is always a good time to reflect on the previous 12 months.

"For me, the highlights of 2013 include the refurbishment of the Westcroft Leisure Centre to give us a lasting Olympic legacy and some outstanding school results including 95.6 per cent of pupils achieving five A* to C grades and Sutton’s primary schools being rated London’s best by Ofsted.

"Against the backdrop of around 30 per cent real terms cuts in grant funding from central government, we’ve worked hard to attract private investment into Sutton to create economic opportunities and jobs.

"Last year we generated £317m worth of planned new investment through our Opportunity Sutton programme, with the potential for 1,700 new jobs.

"We have also been able to protect frontline services by making savings from working differently including sharing more services with neighbouring authorities.

"2014 is going to be even tougher financially. Last month central government announced it will reduce our grant by a further 17 per cent in cash terms over the next two years. We have also had funding cuts in other areas including a New Homes Bonus Grant which has been reduced by around 35%.

"This means some difficult decisions for all of us this year as we simply cannot afford to carry on providing many services in their current form.

"While local authorities all over the country face similar problems, we do have a tremendous advantage here in Sutton – you.

"There is a strong sense of community in our borough and people are rightly proud of their local area. Sutton is a place where people get on well together and look out for one another.

"Now more than ever before we need to work together to decide our priorities and rethink how we can continue to deliver our services in these difficult times.

"We have lots to be proud of in Sutton. Our borough continues to be a wonderful place to live, work and bring up a family. Together we can make Sutton even better.

"Finally, given the terrible weather, I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know about our Winter Information Centre on our website Sutton.gov.uk.

"It contains links to information such as school closures, traffic and weather reports, advice and support to stay warm and how to report any problems caused by bad weather. Hopefully you won’t need to use it but it is there if you do.

"With my very best wishes for 2014."

Do you have a New Year's message for our readers? Leave your thoughts in a comment below or send a Letter to the Editor by email to: letters@suttonguardian.co.uk.

 

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Comments (5)

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2:01pm Tue 7 Jan 14

LiberalsOut says...

What a load of tosh
I was not aware Westcroft was an Olympic venue maybe the "How to waste money" event was held there, and Sutton walked off with the Gold medal
My message to readers would be use your vote in May to get rid of this lot - after over 20 years we deserve something better
What a load of tosh I was not aware Westcroft was an Olympic venue maybe the "How to waste money" event was held there, and Sutton walked off with the Gold medal My message to readers would be use your vote in May to get rid of this lot - after over 20 years we deserve something better LiberalsOut
  • Score: 18

2:33pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Marie from Sutton says...

Not fair to blame Council leader Ruth Dombey for the cuts in funding.
It is at the general election, next year, that we have to vote and send the present government packing as so much damage has been made by a few to all others, in particular the poor and vulnerable.
Not fair to blame Council leader Ruth Dombey for the cuts in funding. It is at the general election, next year, that we have to vote and send the present government packing as so much damage has been made by a few to all others, in particular the poor and vulnerable. Marie from Sutton
  • Score: -2

2:59pm Tue 7 Jan 14

LiberalsOut says...

Marie from Sutton wrote:
Not fair to blame Council leader Ruth Dombey for the cuts in funding.
It is at the general election, next year, that we have to vote and send the present government packing as so much damage has been made by a few to all others, in particular the poor and vulnerable.
Dont forget Clegg and Co are in Governmment and were Lib Dems last time I looked
So she cannot moan about the cuts which have been known for some time now, when her own party is part of the process in making the cuts
[quote][p][bold]Marie from Sutton[/bold] wrote: Not fair to blame Council leader Ruth Dombey for the cuts in funding. It is at the general election, next year, that we have to vote and send the present government packing as so much damage has been made by a few to all others, in particular the poor and vulnerable.[/p][/quote]Dont forget Clegg and Co are in Governmment and were Lib Dems last time I looked So she cannot moan about the cuts which have been known for some time now, when her own party is part of the process in making the cuts LiberalsOut
  • Score: 17

7:17pm Tue 7 Jan 14

GreenBrown says...

"There is a strong sense of community in our borough and people are rightly proud of their local area. Sutton is a place where people get on well together and look out for one another."

That's not the Sutton I know. 20, 30 years ago, maybe, 2014 NO. Just goes to show how detached from reality the people in charge are. Maybe their not, I suppose you've got to talk up your job etc. I'm sure its a real struggle for our council leader and her team on their massive salaries. They really don't have any idea what life is like for most people in this country. We're being ruled by these people in their cosy little lives.

"Our borough continues to be a wonderful place to live, work and bring up a family."

If you live in the nice bits maybe. Plenty of dodgy, unpleasant parts in our borough. Don't suppose the council leader has lived in those parts.
"There is a strong sense of community in our borough and people are rightly proud of their local area. Sutton is a place where people get on well together and look out for one another." That's not the Sutton I know. 20, 30 years ago, maybe, 2014 NO. Just goes to show how detached from reality the people in charge are. Maybe their not, I suppose you've got to talk up your job etc. I'm sure its a real struggle for our council leader and her team on their massive salaries. They really don't have any idea what life is like for most people in this country. We're being ruled by these people in their cosy little lives. "Our borough continues to be a wonderful place to live, work and bring up a family." If you live in the nice bits maybe. Plenty of dodgy, unpleasant parts in our borough. Don't suppose the council leader has lived in those parts. GreenBrown
  • Score: -4

11:57am Wed 8 Jan 14

Marie from Sutton says...

Hi LiberalsOut,
I think that a lot of Lib/Tories/Labour councilors pay lips service to their own party and do not agree with all of their policy. They "toe the line" and are probably reeling at their own leaders.
Hi LiberalsOut, I think that a lot of Lib/Tories/Labour councilors pay lips service to their own party and do not agree with all of their policy. They "toe the line" and are probably reeling at their own leaders. Marie from Sutton
  • Score: -1

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