The Borough has some of the schools with the best results in the country. A Trust for London and New Policy Institute report noted that Sutton had the highest rate in London of pupils achieving 5 A* – C GCSEs. In December 2014 Sutton was described by a senior Government official as the most "normal place in Britain". In connection with this, the leader of Sutton Council described the borough as "quietly brilliant", and noted that 91% of residents say it is "a great place to live".
There has been little crime recorded in the borough, and it ranks among the safest in London, according to a 2014 Ipsos MORI poll.
Three areas within the borough were ranked among the top ten places in London in the 2014 Family Hotspots Report, which ranked the best places in England and Wales for families. The areas were identified as postcodes SM1, SM2 (Sutton town) and SM3 (Cheam). The Rightmove survey in 2015 found that Sutton was the fourth happiest London borough, and it achieved the same result in the 2016 survey as well.
Based on a survey conducted by eMoov (Property Hot Spot Index) in 2014, Sutton was the easiest place to sell a house. Among all districts in England, the London Borough of Sutton had the highest proportion of gardens, 35.1%, according to a 2005 Land Use Survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics.
Sutton was one of four "vanguard areas" selected for the Big Society initiative in 2010.
Sutton and Cheam, Beddington, Wallington, and Carshalton Urban District merged in 1965 to form the Municipal Borough of Sutton and Cheam.
Parks & Open Spaces
There are a variety of green spaces in Sutton, ranging from the compact Manor Park in the town centre and the green area near Sutton Green to the large and historic Oaks Park in the south of the borough, through the medium-sized Grove Park, which forms part of the Carshalton conservation area. The largest park in the borough is Nonsuch Park, located in the west.
There is more green space nearby in Sutton town centre in the form of Sutton Common, which originally included the aforementioned Sutton Green (up until the beginning of the 19th century). It extends both to the east and west of Angel Hill and is given over to a major junior tennis facility today.
The Banstead Common and Banstead Downs extend for an additional mile south of Sutton, in the direction of neighbouring Banstead, a few hundred yards away from the southern end of the town.
Located opposite the police station in the town centre, Manor Park was established in 1914. A fountain was added in 1924 to the grounds, which also included the Sutton War Memorial, which was built in 1921. As the first environmentally friendly building in London to be built using straw-bale construction in 2010, its new café was completed in 2010.
The Victorian Grove Park has a white Portland stone bridge that connects Lower Pond with the park, known as the Leoni Bridge. Anglo-Saxon watermill Upper Mill was recently reconstructed here after being used for thousands of years. The 1.5m cascade is located near the footbridge towards the Stone Court corner of the park, and has been reconstructed in the 1960s as an ornamental design. It was originally built to power Upper Mill.
There is a long history behind Oaks Park. Though it was constructed in the 1770s for the Earl of Derby, its villa dates to around 1750 and has been landscaped in the fashion of that era, with trees forming a perimeter screen and arranged in artful clumps to suggest natural surroundings.
Located near Cheam in the west, Nonsuch Park is the last remaining piece of the Little Park of Nonsuch, a deer hunting park founded by Henry VIII around Nonsuch Palace. According to the claim, there was no place like it in Europe, which is why the name "Nonsuch" was given.
The proportion of Black, Asian and ethnic minorities in general living in the borough has nearly doubled each decade since 1991: according to Council data, 26.8% of the borough's population is non white, and 73.2% is white. At 62.6, white British is the largest ethnic group, down 10% from the 2011 census. Filipinos make up the largest foreign-born community in Sutton, closely followed by Sri Lankans (Tamils).