Sorry, the title of this policy group is a bit of a mouthful but it looks at two increasingly important areas of Sutton life. Whether you are an eco-warrior, a so-called “climate change denier” or somewhere in between, there can be little doubt that we have a fundamental responsibility to look after our Borough and thus contribute to the wider protection of the planet. We will look at ways to build on the work already in train here in Sutton.

The most pressing issue that this group will investigate is that of waste management. Recycling targets have been pushed for a number of years. Whitehall is now moving us to landfill targets, minimising the rubbish that is put in the ground. Incredibly stiff penalties are attached to this move with each local authority facing fines of up to £150 for every extra tonne buried, over and above the landfill tax that is rapidly increasing. So, apart from being the right thing to do, we are under massive financial pressure to tackle this problem as a matter of urgency. This will only work if residents continue to be happy to do their bit. We need to find ways that work that are not too onerous.

The second half of the title refers to communities in all of its senses. Whilst many concentrate on Sutton High Street, outlying areas such as Wallington High Street are allowed to become relative ghost towns. We need some joined up thinking to ensure that each geographic area serves its residents well. Also we will look to ensure that everyone can play their part in their community. We will offer fresh support to the voluntary sector to ensure that the most vulnerable in our society can become involved in community life and decision making.

As usual, have a look at for more details on this and all of the policy groups.