Saturday, April 29, 2006

Sutton is in London NOT Surrey !!!

Daniel Snowdon claims that "Sutton is in Surrey NOT London!!!" Yet Sutton Borough Council, which has been run by his own Liberal Democrats for twenty years, has a standing policy introduced by them to never to put "Surrey" on any mail it sends out. Perhaps he's like to point out where Sutton is on these modern maps of Surrey?

1,000's of Hotels and Guest Houses in the UK and Worldwide - Surrey Hotels: Surrey hotels and guest rooms:

National Allotment Register for Surrey:

Victim Support Surrey:

Surrey Police:

The next one only shows one half of the county, but it's the half in contention. East Surrey Rural Transport Partnership:

And finally here's one showing how the borders of Surrey have changed over time, and how some places used to be in Surrey but are no longer. The Harry Potter Lexicon - Essays - Surrey: Showing the Location of Little Whinging


Anonymous said...

You have far too much free time on your hands!

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

Nah - it took only a few minutes to find the images on the internet. And it's an argument with a Lib Dem so surely you'd approve!

Daniel Snowdon said...

Yes Tim but you fail to understand the concept that i know where i live and i do not need to be told where by anyone. You are the type of person that would tell the French speaking Belgians that they live in France. I do not tell you where you live so leave me alone on this. There are far better things to talk about. I noticed that none of your maps are from official Road/geographically certified maps. Please Tim just let it go.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

I do not tell you where you live

The thing is you effectively do. Fundamentally the argument is about where the current border is - is it between Epsom and Sutton (as the signs on the road say) or is it some distance to the north? As one who grew up in Surrey but went to school in London and (perhaps even more pertinantly given your home borough) whose sister went to school in Sutton the border has alwas been very clear.

I noticed that none of your maps are from official Road/geographically certified maps.

If we're taking the argument into these realms, could you say which agency you acknowledge as certifying these maps?

There are far better things to talk about.

Like your football team being displaced as the country's best? ;)

You're the one who raised this on your blog with a clear challenge and call for a response!

Anonymous said...

Try this map for a change:

RLS said...

It's called the "London Borough of Sutton". Ergo...

Tom said...

ah, surrey issues. Sigh. and I thought I'd got away from Woking.

You know it's aboiut ceremonial counties, which are ancient, right?

Even Brixton is in Surrey. Its not a simple case of Surrey or London, the nature of London is that it can be both.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

Anonymous - that's a historic map of the counties.

px - Well said!

Tom - Actually "ceremonial counties" are the modern counties, including both the two-tier local government areas and the unitary authorities (e.g. there's a ceremonial county for Berkshire which is all unitary authorities, whilst the ceremonial county of Kent includes the unitary authority of Medway). The Lord Lieutenant of Surrey's remit does not cover Sutton.

Anonymous said...

For me it's not where the boundary lies, but where the London culture lies. I tend to think of the M25 is a good marker of where London stops and Surrey starts... that would put Sutton AND Epsom both in London.
Big Sis

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

Growing up in Epsom there was never any London culture - indeed one of the most frustrating things was the inaccessibility of London - so close that it sucked out any need for Epsom to have any decent night life yet so far to get to when I was young. And school wise I went to a school literally just on the inside of the M25 for six years where everyone came from across east Surrey and there was no sense of any difference because of what side we happened to fall on a motorway (which took the route it did not because of culture but rather where it would cause least disruption to build).

Epsom & Ewell (and for that matter Watford) did not fight against being put into Greater London for nothing.

Anonymous said...

I suspect you are just a snob, Tim. would not want to be associated with those London cockney types, much better be a posh Surrey lad.
Must be orf, tally ho!

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

The battle I refer to happened nearly two decades before I was born.

As it happens I was born in London (due to the availability of maternityw wards), went to school in London (City of London School) and am currently doing my PhD at the University of London (at a college in the East End) and living here. Surely if I "would not want to be associated with those London cockney types" I would not have been here for so long?

Must be orf, tally ho!

No-one in Epsom speaks like that. Or has cause to say "tally ho!" even if they did.

Anonymous said...

You're both part right and both part wrong. It depends whether you're talking administratively or postally.

Administratively, Sutton is part of the London Borough of Sutton which as the name suggests, is part of London. There are 32 London boroughs which form the Greater London Authority area and Sutton is one of them. Sutton residents vote to elect the London mayor and members of the GLA. They are policed by the Metropolitan police, not the Surrey police. Strategic transport is managed by Transport for London, part of the GLA. People living in Sutton do not vote for, pay for or receive services from Surrey County Council. Sutton residents will be paying towards the 2012 Olympics. Epsom residents won't.

Postally, Sutton is an area within Surrey. The correct postal address within Sutton is "Sutton, Surrey". And likewise, Carshalton, Wallington, Cheam (bit of a row over that one) and even Morden and Mitcham, which are within the London Borough of Merton. Also, Croydon has a Surrey address but is a London borough. Postally, addresses do not become London until you reach Raynes Park, which is London SW20 or Merton/South Wimbledon which is London SW19.

There are similar discrepancies between the boundary of the London postal district and the GLA area all around London, with postal addresses in Kent, Essex, Middlesex etc. also being part of a postal county but a London borough.

For reference, compare the map of the London Postal District with that of the London boroughs (GLA area):

Thus, in any practical, political and administrative sense, Sutton residents live in London. However, the correct postal address is Sutton, Surrey.

I trust that's cleared the matter up.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

Postally, addresses do not become London until you reach Raynes Park, which is London SW20 or Merton/South Wimbledon which is London SW19.

This is actually somewhat out of date. About a decade ago the Post Office dropped the absolute requirements for counties on letters and will accept any county - I have sent a number of eBay packages to both "Richmond-upon-Thames, London" and "Richmond-upon-Thames, Surrey" and other parts of outer London in both formats.

The most "correct" postal address is "Sutton, SM..." - which contains all the information needed (providing I've got the postcode right!). This is the form used by Sutton council in their mailouts and a glance at their website only shows a few uses of "Sutton, Surrey", all of which appear to be copy&paste of addresses of external companies. So effectively the Post Office has stepped aside from this debate by leaving it down to the locals rather than carrying out another round of reforms.

Anonymous said...

Sutton is part of London, it has london fire service, met police, london ambulance and london buses!
Sutton has nothing to do with Surrey at all!

Anonymous said...

Oh, how sad it is to find this sort of time wasting in a world which offers us so much to do and see. We have one life to live and those which have gone before us agree, we should live it to the full. Get out, see do and experience, because life is short!

BTW - I was looking for the post office opening times on a Saturday - how I got this link, I will never know!

Benjamin Young said...

Daniel is a dear friend of mine so I hate to argue against what he is saying, but I believe that Sutton is Part of London, please allow me to explain why

Before 1900, the whole of the South of London (up to the Thames and city of London) was part of Surrey.

The Local Government Act 1888 allowed the county of Greater London to be established which made inner London areas of Wandsworth, Lambeth, Southwark etc as London but this did NOT extend as far as Sutton, Croydon or Kingston, which remained as Surrey (not surprising as at this time they were relatively rural-esque villages/towns).

In 1960, a commission called the Herbert Commission proposed the creation of what we now know as Greater London, where Sutton, Croydon, Richmond, Kingston and Merton were moved from Surrey to London. Tim may be interested to learn that Epsom, Ewell and Banstead were also proposed by the Commissioners to be transferred to Greater London also; however the Government did not agree with this decision as they are deemed to be too far out.

When people say, Sutton, Surrey it is a historic thing, but strictly speaking I do not believe that we are surrey.

I have to dispute what adrian says Im afraid, as, if you go to the address finder on the royal mail website and type in a sutton postcode (e.g SM3 OR SM2) the correct address it gives you is [the road name], SUTTON. It does NOT state Surrey, OR London for that matter (go ahead and try it on their website) so in terms of what the 'correct' postcode is, that is a little bit of a grey area really.

Admitetdly though people in Sutton do have a sense of Surrey identity. Sure, we have the met police and Transport for London manage the buses, but even though we are not anymore part of surrey, our historical membership of the county I think continues to have an influence.

I invite people to the following link which may give more info on the matter:

Anonymous said...

There is no question that Sutton, and for the matter Kingston, Richmond, Morden, Croydon and so on are part of LONDON! The problem is, not carrying London postal codes means they automatically get linked to non-London areas, i.e Epsom has a KT postcode LIKE Kingston and yet one is Surrey and the other modern day London. Wimbledon/Raynes Park is the furtherst South of London postcodes and it needs to change, Morden and Sutton, Croydon Kingston etc should all become SW... as opposed to SM and KT.

I do think as time goes on more and more people will associate Sutton as part of London, most of my friends who come from there would always say they were from London, its a generational thing as much as it is postal.

Anonymous said...

Yes you are quite correct, Sutton is in Surrey. Even the address of Sutton Post Office is Sutton Surrey, likewise St Helier Hospital

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

Thanks for repeating a common myth about postal addresses. Since 1996 the "county" entry on an address has been entirely optional and according to the Royal Mail the correct address of Sutton Post Office is:

Post Office,
61 Florian Avenue,

Source: Royal Mail Postcode finder. Note that there is no county listed at all.

A person writing to that Post Office can add "London", "London Borough of Sutton", "Surrey", "Neverneverland", whatever they like or just nothing at all after "SUTTON" and the letter will get there regardless.

It's curious how the outer London suburbs generate discussion on this whereas nobody seems to push that places are in (North/South) Humberside.

Anonymous said...

It's intriguing how the peripheral London towns embody a certain de-marked Metropolis feel and identity. Stepping across the border from Thames Ditton in Surrey into Surbiton, Greater London - there is a certain sense that I've just entered London. Of course, the TFL Congestion Signs and Met Police cars make it clear you're now within the Capital's limits - though I wonder how much of this perceived 'London feel' is really down to an embedded psycho-geographic perception?


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