Sutton councillor faces calls to resign over energy firm failures

A Sutton councillor is facing calls to resign in the wake of failures being exposed in the council’s energy firm.

The Sutton Decentralised Energy Network (SDEN) was criticised by Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) in a report last month.

The company provides heating and hot water to the New Mill Quarter development in Hackbridge.

But residents have faced numerous outages and fear that their bills will go up. And now nearly 300 people have signed a petition calling on Councillor Jayne McCoy to resign.

READ MORE:Sutton Council accused of ‘madness’ after rehiring £800-a-day consultants involved with infamous energy firm

She is Sutton’s deputy leader and chair of the housing, economy and business committee.

In her role she has made decisions relating to SDEN and last week defended the energy company in a council meeting.

The petition on was started by Sheldon Vestey, chair of the New Mill Quarter Residents Association.

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The petition says: “To avoid further losses, and to prevent bringing Sutton Council into disrepute, Cllr McCoy must be removed from her role with her actions investigated in full, to be replaced by an interim chair, independent of the ruling group who have to date, demonstrated no ability to critically analyse their colleague’s work.”

Cllr McCoy defended the company in a council meeting on November 22. She said that residents would not face a price hike after the report revealed that SDEN will not be financially sustainable until 2033-34.

She said the council will instead seek to reduce interest on loans to the company it owns.

Last week, a Sutton Council spokesperson said: “When homes are sold, residents are provided with information about the District Heating system, along with clear advice on how SDEN will manage and charge residents for their heating.

“It explains that SDEN’s pricing policy is set to be comparable with the cost of generating heat from an individual boiler. This includes the cost of gas, as well as the costs of running, maintaining and replacing a boiler.

“To this day, SDEN continues to set the price for energy in line with that policy. On this basis SDEN’s prices have always been comparable with and are currently 23 per cent below the costs of operating a domestic gas boiler.”

The Local Democracy Reporting Service contacted Cllr McCoy for comment.

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