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  • Townswomen's Guild - Nov 2019

    Raynes Park Afternoon TWG

    In September we resumed our regular meetings, with an interesting talk by Jane Muddle about “Bags and Hats from Madagascar”. She arrived with a large number of hats and bags, which made an attractive display on the table and some were used as ‘visual aids’, passed round during her talk. Jane transported us to Madagascar, a large island in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Mozambique, and took us on a round tour as she introduced us to the bags and hats which were all ethically sourced – made from raffia, and hand dyed using the roots of plants found in Madagascar. The baskets were doubled skinned, with drawstring lining – able to carry considerable weight if required - and the wide brimmed hats could be squashed in a suitcase yet come out looking ‘good as new’. At the end of the talk, she asked for a couple of members to act as models – although only one volunteer was forthcoming. 

    On 1st October, the Luncheon Club arranged to meet at The Watchman in New Malden. Around a dozen members went along, enjoying the opportunity to chat with friends over a leisurely lunch.  At the time of writing, our October meeting is almost upon us: a talk by Mike Grimshaw about an island much nearer home - ‘Shetland.’ 

    At our monthly meeting in November, we look forward to a return visit from the Handbell ringers – which will no doubt include much ‘audience participation’.  This will be on Thursday 21st November, 1.30 for 1.45 pm, in St. Saviour’s Church Hall*. 

    As usual, all are welcome to come along to the meeting. 

    (* That is – providing we don’t have a snap election’ called for that day. As the hall is used as a polling station, it would be unavailable so our meeting would have to be cancelled.) 

  • Chairman's Blog - Nov 2019

    NEW DESIGN GUIDE FOR HOUSING 

    The Government’s housing minister is to issue next month a national standard for Council planners to adhere to, which will give them more power to reject unattractive developments.  He said that he wants new homes to be in harmony with the local area and rooted in communities. New housing must enhance its surroundings, have a distinctive identity that will delight occupants, have a walkable form with “recognisable streets”, prioritise nature, and have tree lined public spaces. 

    Developments should include a mix of housing types.  They should inspire a “sense of delight” and “lift our spirits”. This is in an effort to boost house building and overcome local opposition. There will be “ten characteristics of beautiful places” that it expects planners to follow. Ministers accept that more homes must not come “at the expense of beauty, quality and design”. 

    The Redrow proposals for Burlington Road and the Tesco extra car park site are so massive and ugly that they have already attracted almost universal local opposition.  It will be interesting to see if Merton’s planners give full weight to the new official guidance and reject the schemes. 

    It is unlikely that the applications will come before Merton’s planning committee any time soon. 

    DRAINAGE PROBLEMS 

    The heavy rainfall over the past few weeks has again highlighted the fact that this area has always suffered from drainage problems and flooding.  This was why the Residents’ Association was originally formed back in 1928. 

    There is a particular problem with the water that falls on Cannon Hill Common, when the natural aquifer is saturated, so that flooding arises above ground level.  We believe that the ditches on the Common were originally constructed to take water away towards Prince George’s Playing Fields and Bushey Road, and that these are no longer maintained properly. 

    The result is that some of the ground water runs down the natural slope towards Parkway and Elm Walk, streaming under some of the houses, and then pools onto the All England Club ground that is bounded by Cannon Hill Lane, Grand Drive, Southway, and Elm Walk.  The ground, at the time of writing, is currently covered with water.

    The All England Club is now constructing a number of new tennis courts on their ground, and they are building a land-drain network in accordance with the planning consent. Residents can see the extensive number of pipes that have been brought onto the site.  There will be perimeter drains for each of the hard courts and buildings.  These will all drain into a large “retention basin” to be excavated to the rear of the gardens of the houses at the junction of Elm Walk and Southway.  As and when the flow from this basin gets too high, there are also two underground buffer tanks to store the excessive water from storm surges, before gradually releasing it into the surface water sewer under Grand Drive, near the entrance to the site. If this design works, there should be no runoff from the AELTC ground onto neighbouring property, as happened in the past. 

    This does not solve the problem of the ground water that runs off the Common under Parkway and Elm Walk and onto the AELTC ground, since the Common is higher. That is why we have asked the Council, which owns the Common, to maintain their ditches, as they have a responsibility to do. 

    NEW KITCHEN AT THE RESIDENTS’ PAVILION

    We have taken the opportunity over the summer break to refurbish the kitchen facilities at the Pavilion in Grand Drive.  We think that this will improve its usefulness for hirers. 

    The Pavilion is available for hire to residents and groups, at very reasonable rates.  The details of how to enquire about hiring the Pavilion are here. 

    John Elvidge

     

  • Townswomen's Guild - October 2019

    On August 15th we went on our coach outing to Brighton. Unfortunately, this year we were unable to fill enough seats to break even, but after initial uncertainty we decided that our summer outing should go ahead regardless.  We were very pleased to welcome members from other local organisations who were able to join us. Thank you to those who came. After the wet outing of 2018, this year we had glorious sunshine, and an enjoyable day was had by all. 

    The following Thursday, Margaret held a Garden Party Lunch at her house. This has become annual event – and is always an enjoyable occasion. In the past, the weather has not been kind to us, and we have end up staying indoors and admiring her garden through the window. But things were different this year. The sky was blue, and it was another warm, sunny day. Everyone chose to sit outside, but it soon became rather hot in the sun, so we were pleased to benefit from the shade provided by two garden umbrellas. 

    In September we resume our regular meetings, and at the time of writing we are looking forward to welcoming Jane Muddle, who will be giving us a talk entitled “Bags and Hats from Madagascar”. 

    Our monthly meeting in October will be on Thursday 17th October, 1.30 for 1.45 pm, in St. Saviour’s Church Hall, when Mike Grimshaw will be giving a talk entitled ‘Shetland.’ As usual, all are welcome to come along to the meeting.

     

  • St Saviour's War Memorial - Update

    ST SAVIOUR’S CHURCH WW1 MEMORIAL RESTORATION UPDATE 

    Most of you will be aware that the Scout Group was very involved last year with the development and launch of the “Men of Raynes Park” exhibition. This launched an appeal to raise funds to re-carve the names of the 97 men from the Parish who died as a result of the Great War on the memorial in the church grounds.  

    The budget for the project is around £23,000.  To date the money raised or pledged, amounts to around £21,000, which is a tremendous achievement.  

    Many parents and supporters of the Uniformed Groups, as well as members of the public, made contributions or pledges towards the appeal, for which the organisers at St Saviours are most grateful.  

    St Saviour’s would like to thank everyone who voted for the project in the Tesco and Waitrose Community Support schemes.  Together these raised £2,281. 

    The project, though, has been moving forward very slowly, though not through lack of effort or commitment from the St Saviour’s team. The current hold-up is with the War Memorial Trust who have placed restrictions on the agreed work, which we hope will shortly be resolved. 

    As soon as we have a date for the commencement of work St Saviour’s team will be in touch to call in pledges.

  • Chairman's Blog - October 2019

    Public Meeting about "Tesco Site" Development

     The public meeting we held on 10th September at the Holy Cross Church Hall was packed. Over 200 residents came, all very concerned about the effect of the Redrow planning applications at 265 Burlington Road, and the Tesco Extra car park site.

    This is a proposal for a truly massive development.

    The points of objection made at the meeting were numerous, and we stressed that it was not too late for individual objections to be made. These carry great weight with the planning committee which make the decisions.  The objections could be on a single basis, or for multiple reasons, can be in layman’s terms, and do not have to cite planning guidance. But objectors needed to give their names and addresses, with the post code.  

    We were told that some 350 such objections have been made so far. 

    You can read the objection made by this Residents’ Association, here, which is just one of many objections submitted. 

    Everyone is objecting to the height of the tower blocks, one of 15 storeys, which are utterly out of keeping with the surrounding housing and would dominate the landscape.

    At our meeting it was explained that there was the real possibility that, if this application is approved, even higher and more blocks could be built on the site of the Tesco store itself, which would be knocked down.  

     The 456 units of accommodation would swamp the local health services and schools, with woefully inadequate funding being given in the area to cope with the sudden influx of new residents of all ages.  

    Only 220 car parking spaces are to be provided, which is bound to lead to more cars being parked on the surrounding roads, and the inevitably of paid-for car parking zones being introduced.  

    There was concern about renewed flooding in the area.

    The proposals would markedly increase the carbon footprint of the borough, which the Council has promised to reduce by 2030.

    The tower blocks would lead to a wind tunnel effect, given the increase in high winds in recent years, such as is evident if you try and go walk past the Civic Centre in a wind. This is 14 stories high. 

    There would be traffic chaos in Burlington Road, and at the West Barnes level crossing, where there is already gridlock for much of the day.

    We do not expect an early decision, since the Mayor of London must examine the applications  owing to the number of units of accommodation being proposed.

     

    Car Parking Charges in Raynes Park

    The Council has been forced to review its decision to impose swingeing parking charges in Raynes Park of £3 an hour from this autumn. This will prevent its resurgence as a local shopping centre. Over 3,000 residents protested during the consultation, and, for once, the Council was compelled to reconsider.   

    However, despite having another consultation, the Council has decided to ignore the views of  local residents and  APPROVE the car parking charges in full. 

    The strong suspicion remains that this is simply a tax raising measure.  The Council’s case is that the income from parking charges will  only be spent on parking and transport projects, including mending potholes, resurfacing borough roads, and new cycling schemes; but we believe that it is being done simply to boost the Council’s coffers for their general spending. The proposed charges were highest in Wimbledon Town Centre, where they will rise to £4. 50 an hour.    The Council also claims that the decision was taken in the interests of cutting down car use and so improving air quality. But they have produced no evidence that this is so.  

    John Elvidge

     

  • West Barnes Litter Picks - 2019

    Local councillors have been organising litter pick-ups in West Barnes.  The next one is scheduled for 21st September 1 - 3 pm.  Please contact Hina Bokhari):

    (hina.bokhari@merton.gov.uk for the meet up location, or look out on twitter or mumsnet. 

    Previously litter pickers have met at Linkway and Claremont Avenue.  Hina can provide the ‘pick-up’ tools and bags.  The more volunteers the better if It means keeping West Barnes clean and sweet! Even though it’s is beyond the call of nature, it’s worth it.

     

     

  • Morden Rotary Club - Sept 2019

    As ever it's been a busy first half of the year for your local Rotary team.

    In January and February we were able to host a very successful "Young Chef of the Year" again, which is now a recognized national event.

    Huge thanks to Merton College and their staff for most generously letting us use their superb facilities, and for introducing international chefs as judges.

    We've also raised more funds at the Rotary Fair in Cheam Park in May, and in July at Morden Fun Day. Many thanks to Aldi Stores for their sponsorship and support that made 
    these events successful.

    In June we arranged for over 100 young special needs children from Merton Schools to have a great "Kids Out" day at Chessington World of Adventure. Sincere thanks to The Leivers Trust for making it possible, and the team at Merton Council Transport Pool for their practical support too.

    Besides these very enjoyable events we've been able to give financial support to
    St.Raphaels Hospice, Morden Little League Footballers, The Wimbledon Guild, ShelterBox, Perseid School, Wimbledon Park Sailing Club, The Tadworth Trust, Children With Cancer UK, Haig Homes and 16th Morden Scouts.

    None of this would have been possible without the great support of you, the residents of Morden, Raynes Park, Motspur Park and Wimbledon!


    Still to come in the next months are
    The Rotary Regatta in Wimbledon Park, presentations of Dictionaries For Life" to Year 6 children in the the Borough, and a number of other projects which are in the planning stage.

    On your behalf we're connecting with a number of other local good causes and offering practical and financial support.   One of these is Faith in Action, which host lunches twice weekly for the homeless of Merton. FIA has been chosen by Jane Howard, Mayor of Merton, for her fundraising support during her year of office.

    FIA is based at the Salvation Army HQ in South Wimbledon, where besides meals, they also offer laundry facilities, hairdressing and many more practical services to street people.

    Again Aldi Stores generously make available fresh fruit, bread, cereals and other items at "sell-by" dates or in broken packaging to support this project.

    In between the hard work, your community team is organising a day trip to the Tate Gallery, a skittles competition and enjoying the excellent team togetherness we call "fellowship".

    As ever we'd love to have more volunteers join the team for any event, and particularly the Christmas collection. We're all in the community service team, but we do have smaller teams working on international projects, youth work, sports and special charity work.

    Whatever you can offer, we'll guarantee you'll find your effort will be rewarded when you see the visible benefits. You can make a difference!

    You'll find Morden Rotary on Facebook: we hold regular open evenings to show what we do, or just get in touch anytime to find out more.
    Best wishes from your Community Service Team at Morden Rotary.
     

    Joss Ollett

  • Townswomen's Guild - Sept 2019

    August is always a quiet month, as many of our members go away, and we do not have the regular monthly meeting with a speaker in St. Saviour’s Church Hall. 

    At the time of writing, we are looking forward to the outing to Brighton on 15th August, and to a Garden Party Lunch at Margaret’s house the following Thursday. Her annual

    Garden Party is always an enjoyable occasion – not simply an opportunity to raise much needed funds. However, the weather is not always kind to us, and we often end up staying indoors and admiring her garden through the window! Perhaps the weather this year will be better – here’s hoping!

     Our regular monthly meetings resume in September. At this meeting, which will be on Thursday 19th September, Jane Muddle will be giving us a talk entitled “Bags and Hats from Madagascar”.

     

     

  • Chairman's Blog - Sept 2019

    PUBLIC MEETING ON TESCO SITE DEVELOPMENT 

    We are holding a PUBLIC MEETING to discuss the development applications at 265 Burlington Road and the Tesco Extra car park site, made by Redrow.   

    This will be held at 7.30 pm at Holy Cross Church Hall, Adela Avenue, Motspur Park, KT3 6HT

    • on Tuesday 10 September 2019 and will be a meeting for local residents only, Redrow have not been invited.

     Please note that this REPLACES the Open Meeting planned for the Pavilion on that date.

     

    Although the address of the development may seem far away from many of our residents, the visual effect of overlooking on roads such as Westway and Linkway will be overwhelming, since the proposal includes seven tower blocks of flats up to 15 storeys high. 

    We have been alerted to these proposals previously. However, since January we have not heard anymore from the developers until they recently lodged their planning application.  Therefore, this is the first opportunity we have had to place the actual applications before our Members.  

    The developers may have hoped - by choosing this date - to minimize the number of objections that are bound to be made, as many people will have been away on holiday during this period. 

    Planning Applications 

    The statutory 21-day period for objecting to their first planning application, P/A 19/P2387 officially runs out on 24th August.  (The Council's Planning Website now states 30 August ) However, we have been assured by the planning officers that representations made after this date will be taken fully into account by the planning committee when it comes to consider the applications.  

    Given the size and scale of the development, this is not likely to be, until September or October at the earliest. In addition, the application is so large that it will have to be considered by the Mayor of London, who can approve or refuse it, or leave the determination entirely to Merton. 

    It is worth repeating that the planning committee of the Council is required to be fully independent of any political pressures and must judge proposals only on their planning merits. 

    We are calling this public meeting so that all residents can understand what is being proposed, and to express their views to the Council.  

    Members are encouraged to make their own individual representations. We are also preparing an objection on behalf of the Residents’ Association. 

    We have hand delivered a colour flyer to all residents in the roads most affected in the West Barnes area, showing the visual impact.  

    We should stress that the planning committee tends to pay much more attention to individual letters of objection from residents, which do not simply repeat the words of others. These should therefore contain the name and address of the person objecting, and the effect on them personally. 

    A SUMMARY OF THE PROPOSALS AND WHY THEY SHOULD BE OBJECTED TO 

    The plans are to build no less than 456 new flats, in blocks between 7 and 15 storeys high. They will be a mix of 1,2, and 3-bedroom flats but mainly 2-bedroom flats.  The lower blocks will front Burlington Road. This is completely out of keeping with the character of local housing, which is mostly inter-war two storey suburban housing.  It is noteworthy that at the first public exhibition of the plans last September, the highest storey was 11, but, despite public objections, this was increased to 14 storeys by last November, and is now 15. This is also despite the pre-application discussions that Redrow have been having with the Council’s planning department.   

    Some 35% of these flats will be “affordable” housing, but these are to be contained in separate blocks, managed by a housing association, from those that will be available to buy outright or under a shared ownership scheme.  This is a practice that is known to lead to increased social problems.  

    There are only 220 vehicle spaces provided, which will inevitably mean that residents of the new development and their visitors will try to park in the surrounding streets. This will again, inevitably, mean that residents’ parking permits will in time be called for in these streets.

    The plans would reduce the number of car spaces for those shopping at Tesco’s, since it will take up almost a quarter of their site, and perhaps reduce the viability of this store. 

    The access to the development will be off Burlington Road, and there is no clear idea how this will impact the already confused traffic movement at the West Barnes level crossing. 

    Although the developers are bound to pay a community levy charge to the Council, there is no guarantee that this will be used in the immediate local area.  It is very doubtful that there will be a sufficient increase in the number of local school spaces, GP practices, and hospital care to cope with such many new residents.  The community levy charge does not begin to pay for the infrastructure needed, and so the cost will mean an increase in the rates. 

    There is a separate but linked planning application: P/A 19/P2578. This proposes to demolish the building at 247 Burlington Road and construct a temporary road for the Tesco car park for a 2-year period, providing both vehicle, pedestrian, and cycle access. Access by vehicles, particularly by those turning right, would interrupt the traffic flow from West Barnes level crossing to Shannon Corner, and would be opposite the entrance to Cavendish Avenue.

    We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at our meeting. We urge all of you to consider the proposals very carefully, and, if you object, to send in your objections as soon as possible.  You could do so by letter or by e-mail to planning.representations@merton.gov.uk quoting the application number and your name and address. 

    John Elvidge

  • Images for 19/P2387

    IMAGES OF BELWAY'S PROPOSED DEVELOPMENT AT 265 BURLINGTON ROAD (19/P2387)

     

  • Trees by Beverley Brook

    Trees alongside Beverley Brook at Motspur Park

    One of our members, Clare Green, contacted us and the Environment Agency after an oak tree fell onto a Mini. She was very concerned about this and other trees alongside the Brook at Motspur Park.   She has sent us the response she has received from the Agency, who write as follows: 

    “The Environment Agency has already been out on site with tree surgeons to look at the remaining trees. We will be taking action to reduce the height of the mature oak trees and removing dead branches etc. from those that we are responsible for on the left bank at the end of the year. There was nothing that the professionals felt was “dangerous” warranting immediate removal. My advice is that the latter part of the year is best for the proposed type of work.

    I hope that this satisfies your concerns – do feel free to call me if you have any further queries regarding this issue. 

    Mary Seabourne, Technical Advisor, APT (Mole and South London) Environment Agency | Medway House, Powdermill Lane, Leigh, Tonbridge, Kent TN11 9AS”.

  • Townswomen's Guild - August 2019

    Raynes Park (Afternoon) Townswomen’s Guild 

    At our June meeting, we celebrated our 86th Birthday with a tea and a musical entertainment from ‘Fool Circle’. Two in number, they entertained us for almost an hour with a variety of well-known songs, which was much enjoyed by all. 

    Our July meeting also had a musical theme with the return of the ‘Nonsuch Handbell Ringers’. No doubt they will again be encouraging some of us to ‘have a go’ at ringing the bells. 

    This month we have our annual outing, which is on Thursday 15th August.  This year we are going to Brighton, and we would welcome others who would like to join us. The cost will be £16. There is still plenty of room on the coach – so if you are interested in booking please contact us. 

  • New Cycle and Foot Path

    Cycle and footpath from New Malden to Raynes Park 

     

    The new walking and cycling route was opened on 13 July 2019.  It is like a delightful  a country path and will be useful for many people!   Try it out!  You can always walk one way and get the train back.  From Raynes Park the path is accessed via Taunton Avenue which is off West Barnes Lane, (nearly opposite Waitrose Carpark).

     

  • Visit to Clandon and Hatchlands

    Out & About With the Pavilion Club, 129 Grand Drive, Raynes Park 

    Do join us on our SUMMER COACH OUTING to CLANDON PARK & HATCHLANDS PARK 

    On Tuesday 13th August

    Cost: £20.50 per person to include entrance fees and coach, but only £8.50 if you are a National Trust Member 

    Pick up points

    Motspur Park (Earl Beatty) 9.00 a.m.

    Raynes Park (Approach Road south side) 9.15 a.m.

    Grand Drive (Greenway bus stop) 9.30 a.m. 

    Please be at your chosen pick up point at least 5 minutes before given time. 

    To Book contact Jill West at rpwbra@rpwbresidents.org.uk.

  • Chairman's Blog - August 2019

    FURTHER HEATHROW CONSULTATION

    Heathrow Airport has now published further proposals for its expansion with a third runway. This is due to open in 2026.

    It is fair to say that the effect on the whole area will be massive, with the M25 diverted under the new runway. There will be two extra car parks, one for 24,000 vehicles built on existing playing fields, and another for 22,000. The total parking will increase to 53,000. This is despite their claim that there will be no increase in airport related traffic.  761 homes will be demolished.  It will cost 14 billion pounds, but this is only for the first phase of expansion.  It is believed that the end cost will be 30 billion.  The intention is to increase the yearly numbers of flights to 756,000. 

    There is a local consultation being held in Wimbledon on Saturday 17 August from 10 am to 4 pm. This is at Everyday Church, 30 Queen’s Road, SW19 8LR. The consultation documents are also at Merton Civic Centre or at heathrowconsultation.com. The deadline for replying is midnight on 13 September. You can reply by e-mail to: feedback@heathrowconsultation.com 

    Of particular interest to this area will be the direction of flights, night flights, noise, and air quality and climate change. 

    While the demand for passenger and freight flights continues to grow every year, so does the need for a severe reduction in carbon emissions, to which the Government is committed.  I will only express the hope that the Government and Parliament will scrutinize these proposals most carefully.   

    SUMMER PARTY

    Some 60 of our volunteers enjoyed a summer party at The Pavilion on the middle Saturday of Wimbledon, in glorious weather. This was held as a thank you for all the hard work and dedication of our Area Co-Ordinators and Road Stewards, the Premises Management Group, and the Committee. 

    We took the opportunity to ask Pamela Robinson’s nephew, Roger and his wife Donna, to unveil a plaque on the tree we planted in memory of Pamela, who sadly died last year.  Pamela was a long serving and much - loved member of the Committee, as well as being a talented artist who designed the front cover of The Guide. 

    Roger kindly gave the Association another watercolour that Pamela had made of Raynes Park station, and this will hang in the Pavilion.  You can see in this edition a photo of Roger by the tree holding this painting. The tree is a flowering hawthorn, with pink and white stems in the spring, and berries loved by the birds in the autumn. It has been planted so that it can be seen from the entrance at the end of the path.   

    THE GUIDE

    The Guide has been published ever since 1926, and for many years has been brought to you every month. It is still highly valued by our members. 

    The Committee has decided that it would be better to have a copy of the Guide for December and January that covers both Christmas and the New Year.  This is partly because of the difficulty of meeting deadlines for printing in the run up to Christmas, but also since it is a period of the year when everyone takes a break from day to day life.

    The intention is to have a larger edition coming out in December to cover December and January, with the hope of increasing advertisement income over the Christmas and New Year period. 

    The effect would be that in future we will produce 11 editions of the Guide in all.

    We will ensure that our existing loyal advertisers are not prejudiced in any way.  

    John Elvidge

     

  • Pavilion Club Visit to Whitstable - 24 JULY 2019

    Out & About with the Pavilion Club - 129 Grand Drive, Raynes Park 

    Do join us on our SUMMER COACH OUTING TO: 

    WHITSTABLE, KENT on 24th JULY 2019

    Cost £15.00 

    Pick up points 

    Motspur Park (Earl Beatty)                       9.00 a.m.

    Raynes Park (Approach Road south side)   9.15  a.m.

    Grand Drive (Greenway bus stop)              9.30 a.m.

     Please be at pick up point at least 5 minutes before given time.

     To Book telephone:  Jill West 020 8286 9809

  • Townswomen's Guild - July 2019

    Raynes Park (Afternoon) Townswomen's Guild

    At our May meeting, Bob Sinfield came to give us a talk which he entitled “The Great Unwatched”. His informative talk was both entertaining and amusing. We had no idea that a talk about Radio Broadcasting would be so interesting.Townswomen’s Guild.

     Also in May, 10 members attended a TG Federation Lunch held in St. Bede’s Conference Centre, (which is behind St. Raphael’s Hospice) to mark the 90th Birthday of the Townswomen’s Guild. It was a very good meal, and a most enjoyable occasion. 

    At the time off writing, we are looking forward to our June meeting, when we will be celebrating our 86th Birthday with a tea and a musical entertainment from ‘Fool Circle’. (Formed only 4 years after TG began, we believe we are one of the oldest Guilds in the London area.) 

    Our July meeting also has a musical theme with the return of the ‘Nonsuch Handbell Ringers’. No doubt they will again be encouraging some of us to ‘have a go’ at ringing the bells. 

    The following month we have our annual outing, which is on Thursday 15th August. This year we are going to Brighton, and we would welcome others who would like to join us. The cost will be £16.

    We are hoping to leave around 9.30 am with pick-ups at Motspur Park, Raynes Park Station and Greenway - but this awaits confirmation. We would appreciate bookings and payment by the last week in July. 

    For further details of our meetings, and of our social activities please get in touch. 

    Dorothy Raymond. Tel: 0208 395 9489

  • Parking Permits - Latest

    EXTORTIONATE HIKE IN PARKING CHARGES AND FEES FOR PARKING PERMITS 

    Following the receipt of more than 3000 letters of objection from residents, Merton has deferred its decision on the introduction of the new charges.  They are ‘re-consulting’ so you still have time to protest loudly if you want to add your objections to the other 3,000.   Write to: 

    Cllr.Stephen Alambritis, Merton Civic Centre, London Road,  Morden, Surrey SM4 5DX

  • Chairman's Blog - July 2019

    YET ANOTHER BANK BRANCH CLOSING

    Notices are up in Lloyds Bank in Raynes Park stating that the branch is due to close on 22 August.  This will mean that there will be no longer any bank branches in Raynes Park. This must impact on the continued improvement of Raynes Park as a local shopping and business centre. 

    We have asked Stephen Hammond MP to do what he can to change their minds, but it seems that all the clearing banks are determined to cut their costs in this way. 

    We have said before that many people, and particularly the more elderly, do want to see someone in person to discuss their financial needs. Many people, rightly in my view (as one who has been defrauded by an incompetent bank) still distrust on- line banking. 

    This closure follows that of the branch of Barclays in Raynes Park, the closure of the branches of NatWest in Morden and Wimbledon Village, and of Santander in Morden.    NatWest has been left with the main branch in Wimbledon Town Centre, which always has a long queue of people waiting to see the tellers, because of the inadequate number provided of these.  The need for branches is still there, but the banks are not responding to the wishes of their customers. 

    MORE NEW HOMES IN RAYNES PARK

    In October last year the Council granted planning permission for the demolition of the Manuplastics site at 579-589 Kingston Road, and for the building of 99 flats.   Now the owners want to add to their number in a new application. These will be studio flats, and one and two bedroom units, but none of three bedrooms. All of them will be flats for rental only, and there will be no “affordable” units.  The proposals are to tier the flats in 2 to 7 storeys. It remains to be seen whether such a large development on a relatively limited site will be granted permission. 

    265 BURLINGTON ROAD

    We reported in the February Guide on the proposal by Redrow to build a massive 446 flats at 265 Burlington Road, taking in part of the Tesco car park.  The flats were to be built in 7 blocks, with the tallest of them rising to 14 storeys, another of 13, and another of 10, all facing the Tesco store, and reducing to 7 fronting Burlington Road.   The intention of the developers at that time was to proceed with a formal planning application as soon as possible. 

    Since then it has gone deathly quiet, and it may be that the developers are having second thoughts about whether to proceed.    We will keep you informed and will hold a public meeting if a planning application is made, as there are bound to be major concerns as to the height and size of the development, and its effect on community provision for health and schools. 

    BOUNDARY COMMISSION REVIEW

    The Boundary Commission and Merton Council are considering proposals to reduce the number of Councillors on Merton Council from 60 to 57, which would, of course, reduce the cost of council services to some degree.   This would bring the number of Councillors back to its previous level. The aim is to have this in place in time for the next council elections. 

    This would entail some changes to the existing ward boundaries, and perhaps some wards having two Councillors rather than three. 

    An initial analysis seems to show that the wards which this Residents’ Association represents, of West Barnes, Raynes Park, Cannon Hill, and Lower Morden, are unlikely to be greatly affected, since the number of residents here has overall increased, rather than lessened. 

    John Elvidge

  • Paddock Coach Trip - 18 July 2019

    Paddock Allotments’ Coach Trip

    The Paddock Allotments Society has  arranged a coach trip to The Weald and Downland Living Museum and West Dean Gardens in Sussex.  They  will be going (hopefully if they have enough takers) on Thursday 18th July leaving Grand Drive at 9 a.m. returning at approx 6pm.  The cost is £30 which includes entrance to both venues, the coach fare and the drivers tip.
    Anyone wishing to join Paddock members is more than welcome. 

    Contact Ruth Whitehead on 8286-9362 where she has an answer phone, leaving your name and phone number. Ruth will call back, answer any questions and  you’re your booking.

  • St Saviour's Organ Recital - 13 July 2019

    St Saviour's Church - UK Sibelius Society sponsor an organ recital by Theodore Frazer

    The organ is a superb liturgical instrument, being originally built in 1907 by William Hill. In 1998 it was completed as a two-manual instrument by F.H. Browne & Sons, of Canterbury. A unique selling point for this concert is The Improvisation on a Theme that Sibelius was asked to supply to the Organ Music Society of London in 1933. 

    The UK Sibelius Society checked the records and asked permission from the family, so to their knowledge this is the first time this 9-bar fragment has been improvised on since 1933. 

    The recital will be held at St Saviour's Church, Raynes Park SW20 9DL on Saturday 13th July – (7.00 for 7.30 p.m.)  Tickets cost £10.00 on the door, or just £1 if you are under 18. 

  • St Saviour's War Memorial

    St. Saviour’s WW1 Memorial Restoration Project….Your Vote Counts at Waitrose Raynes Park!

    The Memorial Group is hoping for a cash boost from the Waitrose Community Matters initiative and needs your vote..

    The WWI memorial was erected in 1921 to honour the 97 men who gave their lives in the First World War. Over the years the names on the memorial have gradually been eroded and are no longer legible, the project team are working to raise funds for it to be restored and the names re-carved. 

    As part of the fund-raising campaign The Restoration Group has been chosen as one of three charities to receive a share of the cash award from Waitrose Community Matters. Voting for the WWI Memorial restoration project runs in the Raynes Park Waitrose Store throughout June, you can cast your vote by asking for a token every time you shop. Do please help!

  • Canon Hill Common- Summer 2019

    Friends of Cannon Hill Common - Calendar of Events

     

    BOTANICAL/FLOWERWALK

    Irene Kettle, one of our long-standing members has agreed to lead another Botanical/Flower Walk for us on the Common on the evening of  FRIDAY 28TH JUNE 2019. Meet at 6.30 p.m. by the South Meadow on the corner of Cannon Hill Lane and Parkway

     

    BUTTERFLY WALK

    Neville Squires has agreed to lead a Butterfly Walk on the Common on SATURDAY 20TH JULY 2019. Please meet on the bridge by the lake on Cannon Hill Lane at 2 p.m. 

     

    TREE WALK

    Dave Lofthouse will lead our annual Tree Walk on FRIDAY 26TH JULY 2019 as part of Love Parks Week commencing at 7.15 p.m.  It is suggested that participants should bring insect repellent, some sort of head covering to keep off the midges and possibly a torch as it may be getting dark before the walk finishes. Please meet on the bridge by the lake on Cannon Hill Lane.

     

    BAT WALK

    Alison Fure has agreed to lead a Bat Walk for the Friends of Cannon Hill Common on   FRIDAY 20th SEPTEMBER 2019.    Please meet at 7.00 p.m. on the bridge by the lake on Cannon Hill Lane. The walk will last approximately two hours and we suggest you bring a torch with you as it will be dark when the walk finishes. Insect repellent or some sort of head covering to keep off the midges is also advisable. 

    Children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. 

     

    ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

    TUESDAY 16TH JULY 2019 from 7.30 p.m. – 9.00 p.m.

    Paddock Allotment Garden Clubhouse, 51 Heath Drive, SW20 9BE.

  • Raynes Park Townswomen's Guild - June 2019

    As it was close to Easter, our April meeting was a “do-it-yourself” with a Beetle Drive, which had an Easter theme. Everyone received an Easter Egg, and the winner received an orchid plant. 

    At the time of writing, we are looking forward to our May meeting, when Bob Sinfield will be coming to tell us about “The Great Unwatched”. This talk is about Radio Broadcasting. 

    Our June meeting will be our 86th Birthday Party, which includes a musical entertainment. 

    Later in the year we have our annual outing, which is on Thursday 15th August. We are going to Brighton, and we would welcome others who would like to join us. The cost will be £16. 

    We are hoping to leave around 9.30 am with pick-ups at Motspur Park, Raynes Park Station and Greenway - but this awaits confirmation. We would appreciate bookings and payment by the last week in July. 

    For further details of our meetings, and of our social activities please get in touch. 

    Dorothy Raymond

  • Chairman's Blog June 2019

    ALL ENGLAND CLUB GROUND, GRAND DRIVE

    This sports ground, which is bounded by Grand Drive, Cannon Hill Lane, Elm Walk, and Southway is being used by the All England Club for its Junior Tennis Initiative, and for general Community use.

    The ground already has a bubble housing indoor courts, and also has grass and hard courts, all of which the public can use when they are not required for training or the Wimbledon Fortnight.

    In October last year the Club received planning permission to provide another air dome (housing 3 acrylic courts) situated behind the present one, 16 new grass courts, and a new pavilion and a maintenance building. 

    The Club is now about to start the construction works, and held a drop in session for local residents to discuss their proposals in April.  

    We were told that the work will commence with the delivery of the specialised soil (loam) for the 16 grass courts, which will be of Championship standard. The first delivery for 4 courts was due in May, and others will be phased in between October 2019 and January 2020. The lorries will use the existing northern access point off Grand Drive.

    In June work is expected to start on drainage improvements, the acrylic courts in the new air dome, and the seeding of the grass courts.

    The planning permission so far granted did not extend to the details of the maintenance building, which was treated as a reserved matter.  The intention is to submit a further application setting out its appearance, maximum footprint, height, and access.

    One of our residents in Grand Drive has already expressed concern about extended parking behind her house, and what appears to be a vehicular exit near the end of Southway.

    Any queries about what is happening can be directed to the Community Manager of the Ground at communitytennis@aeltc.com 

    OPEN MEETING

    We are holding an Open Meeting at 7.30pm on Wednesday 12th June at Blossom House School in Motspur Park.  Do come and meet other members, as well as members of the Committee, and we can discuss any local issues that are concerning you.

    There will be light refreshments afterwards.  Do come.

    ADVERTISING IN THE GUIDE

    As you are probably aware, apart from membership subscriptions (which have been held at £3 for many years), and apart also from the revenue that hire of the Residents’ Pavilion brings in, the Association is funded from advertisements in The Guide.

    Dick Coleman, our Advertising Manager, is keen to increase our advertising revenue by attracting potential clients, and would like your help in doing so.

    For example, if you, or one of your neighbours, is having work done at home by a local tradesman, why not suggest that they advertise in The Guide? Or perhaps one of your neighbours runs a local business and might be interested?  Members and non-members are equally welcome! If you can, try and get a contact number & an e-mail address, and let Dick know - advertising@rpwbresidents.org.uk

    We currently distribute some 2000 copies of The Guide each month, and our range of adverts stretches from economical “small ads” to more effective display spaces. And we don’t even charge VAT!  Full details are on our website at www.rpwbresidents.org.uk/advertising

    John Elvidge

  • St Saviour's May Fair - Monday, 6 May

     

    St. Saviours May Fair

    St. Saviour’s May Fair will be held this year on Bank Holiday Monday 6th May from 12.00 noon to 3pm.  This annual event gives the Church the opportunity to welcome local residents - as well as those from further afield -  to the church in Grand Drive. 

    As usual there will be many attractions including the crowning of the May Queen, Maypole Dancing, a demonstration of hand-bell ringing and the greatly enjoyed BBQ. There will also be the usual wide variety of games and side shows plus numerous other stalls and a grand draw. 

    Do make sure to take this marvellous bank holiday opportunity to join St. Saviours for this happy family occasion! 

    Admission is FREE.

  • Lambton Road PPG

    Lambton Road Medical Practice

    The Patient Participation Group of the Lambton Road Medical Practice will be held at 3.00 p.m. on Saturday 11th May at the Lambton Road Practice. Peter West, Chair of the Lambton Road PPG, suggests that patients should go along and hear about ."service developments at Lambton Road and wider NHS plans for Primary Care in Merton, under the heading “You and your primary care”.

  • Townswomen's Guild - April 2019

     

    RAYNES PARK (afternoon) TOWNSWOMENS’ GUILD 

    In March, Miss A Hoyland with her talk ‘Never judge a book by its cover’ was a delight.  A professional musician (woodwind) in West End theatre orchestras, she decided to add another string to her bow (sorry), by training as an Image Consultant, to advise people how to always be polished and well dressed.  Armed with a colour wheel and specially made demonstration garments she enlisted the help of a member, and herself, to showcase her techniques and theories.  Topics covered were complexion colouring, curved and straight body shapes, long and short lengths to the waist, accessories, pattern sizes on materials and tricks to improve body line generally.  This was a fun talk which we all enjoyed. 

    On Wednesday 3rd April ten members attended the Townswomen’s Guild 90th Thanksgiving Celebration Service at St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square conducted by Revd Jonathan Evens.  Area Federation Banners were paraded, the Trustees made an interesting presentation featuring the development and achievements of the Guild, and we finished with the TWG song.  However, a special mention must go to the Chamber Choir of Burntwood School (an academy school for girls in L B Wandsworth) who sang an eclectic mix of pieces throughout, making a truly excellent contribution, which complimented the passage of the service, hymns, and readings, perfectly. 

    Our May meeting features a talk by Bob Sinfield entitled ‘The great unwatched’.  This will be held on Thursday, 16th May at 1.30 for 1.45 pm in St Saviour’s Church Hall, Grand Drive.  Visitors or new members are always welcome. 

    Dorothy Raymond, Vice Chairman

  • Chairman's Report 2017/18

    CHAIRMAN’S REPORT ON THE WORK OF THE ASSOCIATION 2017/2018

    The recent heavy rains remind me that it was local flooding that led to the forming of the Association in 1928. We have continued ever since - even through the war years - so this year we are reaching our 90th Anniversary.

    We intend to hold a dinner in celebration at Merton College, prepared by the catering students. We did this very successfully for our 75th Anniversary, and some of you were present then. It will be held in November, and we will send out invitations when we have a firm date.

    We also intend to hold a summer party on the middle Saturday of Wimbledon fortnight, 7th July, as a thank you to all those who give their time and effort to keep the Association running. These are our Area-Co-Ordinators, our Road Stewards, our Committee, and the Management Group of the Residents’ Pavilion. I would like to pay tribute to all these unpaid volunteers, who contribute so much to maintaining the local environment and the well-being of residents.

    We will be producing a special Anniversary edition of The Guide in the Autumn.  This will be in colour.  We experimented with some colour in The Guide last Christmas with favourable comments.  I anticipate that the Anniversary edition will contain items of interest from each of or 9 decades, as well as the usual up to the minute news.

     I would like to single out for special thanks tonight one member whose contribution has been wholly exceptional. This is Jill Truman who has been working for the Association for 50 years starting in 1968.

    She has held nearly every office in that time (other than Treasurer

    since she claims she isn’t safe looking after money) Starting with Advertisement Manager, then Association Secretary, ultimately being voted in as Chairman both before and after standing for Council. She doubled up as both Editor &advertisement Manager for a couple of hears, until Dick Coleman stepped into the breach. 

    You may have seen from this month’s Guide that she was recently in hospital with a serious condition. 

    I am sure Jill would also want to join me in paying public tribute to the other members of the Committee. Clare Townsend is our Minutes Secretary who with her husband our very exemplary Treasurer John, also organises our social events and much else.  Together they form a double team and a joint whirlwind of energy. 

    As Treasurer, John Townsend manages to keep on top of a multitude of financial transactions and make them understandable. He will be presenting the accounts later in his usual enjoyable manner and I also want to thank Brian Lewis-Lavender for again auditing them.  

    Dick Coleman has brought huge enthusiasm to his role as Advertising Manager and has canvassed local businesses for new advertisements with great success, thus increasing the revenue that is vital if we are to continue to produce The Guide monthly. We know of no other residents’ association that so regularly communicates with its members. 

    This is a huge achievement by a great team of people. Andrew Barwick continues to be, as he has been for over ten years, our Distribution Manager, which is an onerous monthly task. In this he is assisted, again, by Dick, and by George Holder who looks after the postal members. They deserve an enormous thank you for their continued service.  A relative newcomer to this team is Rosemary Wright, who is now assisting Andrew Barwick as our dedicated Membership Secretary.

    Jerry Cuthbert is the Chair of the Residents’ Pavilion Management Group and has overseen the transformation of a semi-derelict tennis pavilion into a warm and welcoming community hall and continues to manage the bookings and lettings. It is now used on a very regular basis by a large variety of community groups, and this now increasingly contributes to the overall income of the Association.  Jerry also keeps our website up to date with news and information about local matters, whilst our Webmaster Charles Briscoe-Smith, keeps our website up and running.  This is now increasingly used as a point of reference for new entrants to the area, and for enquiries. 

    Jerry Cuthbert is also one of our representatives on the Raynes Park Association and Raynes Park Forum.

     Where he is relied on to provide very professional insight into Crossrail 2 and other environmental issues.  David Freeman continues, as he has done for many years, to be our adviser on planning matters.  He is extremely knowledgeable and advises the Secretariat and Members on the complex local planning laws which help us and them fight ill-advised planning applications; keeps us informed of applications in the pipeline and attends the planning committee when necessary to put across our point of view when we oppose a scheme. He also gives Jerry great assistance in running the Pavilion along with the Management Group who look after the                                     grounds, non-keyholding hirers, and so on.

    We have had very great help, as usual, from our local councillors, of all political persuasions, who attend our committee meetings.  I won’t mention any of those standing again by name tonight, given the imminence of the local elections, but they know who they are, and we thank them and wish them well.    I can however, mention Mary-Jane Jeanes, who is not standing for re-election, but who has been an excellent councillor, and a very strong supporter of the Association.  We hope that we can persuade her to continue to join the Committee and help us in future.

    I feel I must mention two of our affiliated social activities. The Pavilion Social Club meets most Thursday afternoons and is much enjoyed by between 35 to 40 residents each week, with an overall membership of 45. They love the opportunity for social interaction, each other, and the expert and warm way in which it is run by Andrea Hannan and Jill Truman.  The Pavilion Club runs coach outings that are open to non-members (this year it will be to Losely House, Eastbourne and Brighton and to the Annual Wisley Open Day, so well run up until now by Margaret Barratt, who has at last had to retire from this role. We thank her very much and wish her and her husband John all the best for the future. 

    I am also particularly pleased to welcome tonight Ruth Whitehead who will be speaking to us on the work of the Paddock Horticultural Society, which has many allotments on Cannon Hill Common, The Paddock also runs a tremendous social calendar, including regular Sunday Brunches, all delivered in a lovely friendly atmosphere. 

    At last year’s summer party for the volunteers, Gordon Stratford unveiled the plaque for the flowering bird cherry tree we had planted in honour of Jan Bailey, his partner and our former Secretary. It was a moving occasion.  It will be lovely to see it in bloom for the first time this year.

    One highlight of our year was when 30 members were treated to an extended tour of the All England Lawn Tennis Club just before the Championships, led by the Chief Coach, Dan Bloxham, who lives in Raynes Park. We went around the show courts, and saw young people training as part of the Club’s Junior Tennis Initiative, which goes to all schools in Merton.   Later in the year we were also invited to their impressive ground off Grand Drive, where large numbers of pupils from a very young age were playing.

    Another happy event was the retirement after 45 years of unbroken service to the community of our milkman John Braden MBE.  We organised a collection for him to which a huge number of people contributed, and we intend to present him with a cheque and the cards and messages after this meeting. 

    We had an Open Meeting in June at Blossom House School in Motspur Park, which has specialist therapeutic facilities for children with difficulties in speech and communication and were given an inspiring talk from its founder and Principal Joey Burgess OBE.

    At our Open Meeting in September we had a presentation from the officers of the St Helier and Epsom Hospital Trust on the future for local hospitals and were given the assurance that no major changes would be made in the next few years, and after that not without extensive public consultation.

    We have made representations on the proposed introduction of wheelie bins from next October and on the introduction of fortnightly collections, which we think is a mistake.

    Additionally, we have made representations on several individual planning applications; on street cleaning; on problems with flooding; as well as on the parking restrictions in the Sir Joseph hood Memorial Playing Fields. 

    We have kept people up to date with the latest news as to the closure of the tracks into Waterloo in August, and the plans for Crossrail 2 and Heathrow.

    So, we look forward to another busy year to come!

    John Elvidge - 11 April 2018. 

  • Martin Way Allotments

     Martin Way Allotments Association 

    MAGA tell us that they are having a mega plant sale on Saturday 11th May from 10.00am to 3.00 pm.  This is a marvellous opportunity to acquire reasonably priced locally produced plants, whilst at the same time supporting a great Allotment Association. 

    It can’t be stressed enough how important our allotment and horticultural groups are in providing friendship and healthy activity to all members.   Something we really need to encourage, plus growing your own vegetables – which taste so good and fresh - helps with those healthy eating options.  So, put the date in your diary!

  • Telecoms Mast - Somerset Ave

    Proposed Telecoms Mast – Raynes Park Sports Grounds, Somerset Avenue 

    Last month saw Residents in the vicinity of Raynes Park Sports Ground at Somerset Avenue, being concerned about a proposal to install a Telecoms mast in these sports grounds. This was part of a pre-planning consultation and at the time, the actual application had not been submitted. 

    One cannot comment or object to a planning application until it is listed for a decision (probably by the Planning Officers - unless it is called in by a local Councillor) – but having said that, from the plans we have seen, the siting of the proposed mast fairly unobtrusive. 

    It is simply a pole situated in the farthest corner of the playing fields and far away from most housing.   There will also be three associated cabinets for various technical uses.   These are generally quite compact and painted green.  

  • Tudor Williams to Close

    New Malden shoppers are very sad to see the announcement in early March of the closure of their department store, Tudor Williams on 4th March.  This store has traded from its site at 53-59 High Street for over a century. 

    A spokesman for Tudor Williams said: "One of the areas’ most loved family-run department stores, Tudor Williams, is greatly saddened to announce its intention to close after over 100 years of trading in New Malden and shall embark on a Great £1,000,000 Store Closing Sale, beginning Friday May 17, with a final closure date of Saturday June 29." 

    Managing Group Director John Morris has blamed the spiralling costs and the wider difficulties faced by high street retailers in recent years as having influenced the decision. 

    Mr Morris said that  "despite the tremendous effort put in by our New Malden management and staff -  and the extensive refurbishment of the store - unfortunately it has not seen the necessary improvement in sales.” 

    He went on to say that neither their Dorking store and Tudor Williams’ sister store, Elphicks of Farnham, (which recently has also undergone major) refurbishment will be affected by this decision and will continue to trade as normal. 

    Tudor Williams intends to sell all stock ahead of the closure, while any "special orders" will be handled by Elphicks at Farnham. 

    According to Tudor Williams website, the store began life in 1913 as a small corner shop Mr.. Tudor Williams having come to New Malden from Wales in 1913, and purchased a small corner shop. Initially the business concentrated on Millinery and Haberdashery and over the years this was developed by Mr Williams and his wife, ith the business acquiring adjacent properties as the range of stock began to develop.

  • Townswomen's Guild

    The Raynes Park Afternoon TOWNSWOMENS GUILD   

    In July last year I told you about the mixed fortunes of our 85th birthday celebration lunch. 

    We are one of the oldest TWG branches nationally and this year is the 90th anniversary of the setting up of the national movement.  Accordingly, in April we plan to attend a national Thanksgiving Service at St Martin’s in the Fields, Trafalgar Square; and in May a lunch is being arranged by the Federation of branches in North-East Surrey to be held at St Bede’s Hall (behind St Raphael’s) in Cheam Road.  

    At our Raynes Park AGM in February,  the retiring officers and committee were reappointed for another year. 

    In March the popular lunch club dined at the Morden Brook and on Monday 11th, a rather disappointing turnout of members visited the All Saints Church in Kingston for the regular Monday lunchtime concert, this time given by the Alianor Piano Trio (Piano, Violin, Cello), a very competent group whose programme of music was well received by a an appreciative audience.  Also, of interest was a small art display by Pauline Creed. 

    The April meeting which is to be held on Thursday 18th will be a social occasion featuring a beetle drive.  May’s scheduled speaker is Bob Sinfield,  whose talk is entitled ‘The great unwatched’. 

    We welcome visitors or others interested in our activities.  Our meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of each month at St Saviour’s Church Hall, 1.30 for 1.45 pm, 

    Dorothy Raymond

    Vice Chairman

  • Residents' Tennis Club

     Upcoming Events at the Raynes Park Lawn Tennis Club  

    Now the weather is warmer, and the evenings are longer, there are lots of activities taking place at your friendly and welcoming local tennis club in Meadowview Road. On Wednesday 3rd April in place of our regular Wednesday evening club night we have a fun and social tournament to celebrate the arrival of the longer evenings. Our members are also enjoying a fun variation on our usual club-sessions on the first Saturday of every month as Head Coach José devises games and exercises to improve your skills before grouping people up for a convivial set of doubles (or three, if you are so inclined)!  

    For 5-16-year olds, there are Easter holiday camps running 8-12th April. Tuesday and Thursday morning club sessions have been rescheduled that week, please check the website for details. Summer holiday camps will also be announced in due course. Recognising that it can be difficult to make the jump from junior coaching to adult match play, we would be pleased to welcome those older junior players (14+) who are ready to start playing with adults at Club Sessions on weekend afternoons, as well as Wednesday evenings.  

    Our next Open Day is Saturday 11th May but prospective members are always welcome to come along to a Club Session for a free trial, no need to wait until the Open Day. At just £140 for a year’s adult membership we are one of the cheapest and best value clubs in the area. Our three men’s and two ladies’ teams are also in fine form and moving up the divisions in the Surrey League, so we are pleased to offer a huge range of tennis opportunities for all.  

    For more information about any of the events mentioned here, please visit our website at https://www.rprltc.co.uk 

    Nathan - RPRLTC Chair

  • Morden Rotary - March 2019

     

    Young Chef of the Year 

     On Saturday 2nd March, a dozen young aspiring chefs competed in the "Young Chef of The Year" district final at South Thames College in Morden. They came from a wide area, from South London, Surrey and Sussex. Aged 11- 16, all the entrants had won through first round competitions.


    The judges were noteworthy professionals - Master Chefs Omera Gallucci, Franco Fontebasso, Soukias Tchilingirian and Master Baker, Tom Cromwell.

    They were led by internationally renowned chef Giovanni Fontebasso, and Morden Rotary Club was delighted to have such a distinguished judging panel.

    After briefing, the competitors had two hours to produce their meals, and present them in a table setting.

    The judges found all the results were extremely high quality - commenting that they felt each one was exceptional.

    The winner was
    Florence Pattendenfrom Fleet, and second place went to Oliver Trowell of Banstead. Both will go on to the regional final in Orpington in March - and if 
    successful, to the National final, taking place at Leeds City College in April.

    Trophies and certificates of merit were awarded to the contestants by Merton Mayor Mary Curtin, and Rotary District Governor David Easton and afterwards all the entrants had a very special time, as each was given personal feedback and guidance by the judges to help them improve even further.

    Giovanni Fontebasso, who has seen "Young Chef of The Year" develop into a nationally recognized award, was very enthusiastic, and commented he's seen hundreds of youngsters benefit from this competition. He was very impressed with the improving standard of entrants every year.

    "Young Chef of the Year", was hosted by Morden Rotary Club, and sponsored by Fillppo Berio Olive Oil.

    President Margaret Sinclair was supported by club members Jim Sinclair, William Rhind, Stan Earl, Peter & Margaret Redway, Tony Hunn, Phil Watson, Barry Bramley and Joss Ollett.  

    The club is very grateful to Rotarian Syd Mair and the catering tutors and staff of South Thames College at Merton for their great organization and enthusiasm for this event. 

    If you would like more information, or if you know someone who would like to take part, Please contact:- 

    Morden Rotary Club: - http://www.rotary-ribi.org/clubs/homepage.php/ClubID=8 

    Joss Ollett

  • Merton Bowling Club - 110 Anniversary

    Merton Bowling Club is celebrating 110 years of bowling in the community. 

    They have tried to trace the meaning of their Club badge, but details are sketchy. The top part of the badge is the 'Royal Navy Crown'. This is seen on the badges of  most of those for individual ships. It is associated with the Merchant Navy as well. 

    The fouled anchor part of the badge is the insignia worn by  Leading Ratings of the Royal Navy on their dress uniform.  The Club would welcome any more information about this from readers of The Guide’s  to add to the club history. 

    According to the Club's honours board, and as the name of the Club’s venue indicates, one of the members was Sir Joseph Hood. He was President of Merton Bowling Club from 1920 – 1931. Sir Joseph  was a businessman and a Conservative MP. 

    At the 1918 General Election  Sir Joseph was elected as  a Coalition  Member of Parliament  for Wimbledon. He  went on to hold the seat at the next two general elections, and in 1922 was created a “Baronet of Wimbledon in the County of Surrey”. 

    Sir Joseph Hood was known as a generous benefactor to the area he represented in Parliament.  On his death the lands he  bequeathed to the community were named after him in honour of his generosity. 

    Since then Merton Bowling Club playing at the Joseph Hood Recreation Ground, has had a constant flow of members -  ranging from ten years of age to 94 – and the Club looks to provide a friendly and social environment where people can bowl at their leisure, or more competitively,  pursue places in the  Wimbledon & District Bowling Association and Kingston District League.  

    The Club’s 110-year celebrations will continue until its Open Day on the afternoon of Sunday 28th April 2019 from 12.00 till 15.00 hours. 

    Visitors will be  very welcome, so the Club hopes everyone will come along and have a free bowling taster session; a cup of tea and a chat.

    If you are interested, but are unable to make this date, do please check the Club’s website and consider booking  a session, with or without, coaching at:

    www,mertonbowlsclub.com

     

  • Chairman's Blog - April 2019

    SCAMS

    Beware of scam calls and messages.

    The number of scam phones calls I get has increased no end. In addition, I am now getting scam texts on my mobile phone and very doubtful e-mails. There doesn’t seem to be any way to stop them.  

    The phone calls typically say that your broadband has been “compromised” and you need to dial a number to speak to a technician. Or that you need to speak to someone about your gas bill.

    A recent text message stated that my (named) bank account had been suspended for security reasons, and I should visit a web link to restore access. Another purported to come from DVLA and said that they had “identified that you still have an outstanding vehicle tax refund from an overpayment” and that I should follow the process to get it on another web page. 

    It is often difficult to distinguish a genuine message from a false one, which is why they so often succeed.  When in any doubt do not open an attachment to an e-mail, and never answer a call, or try a suggested website.

     YET ANOTHER HIGH STREET BANK BRANCH CLOSES

     Some time ago I deplored in these comments that the NatWest bank had closed its branches in Morden and Wimbledon Village, leaving customers who needed personal service to join the every lengthening queue at the branch in central Wimbledon, where they typically have only two members of staff manning the desks. 

    Now the Santander branch in Morden is closing on 9 May, leaving customers to get to the Wimbledon or Sutton branches, or use the Post Office.  They are cutting a fifth of their high street network. Which?, the consumer group, calculates that nearly two thirds of the UK’s branch network has been lost in the past 30 years, the numbers of branches having fallen from over 20,583 in 1988 to 7,586.     

    While I fully understand that many people now prefer to do their banking online or through mobiles, there are still a large number of people, many of them elderly, who cannot access these systems or prefer not to for security reasons.  I also understand that banks are commercial organisations, which are set up to make a profit.  

    However, what particularly riles me is that these closures are dressed up as improvements to the service, when they are nothing of the kind. 

    HEATHROW THIRD RUNWAY 

    The public consultation as to the future flight paths into and out of Heathrow has closed. We have, along with all other local replies, stressed that the flight paths should not come over this area, which has been largely free of noise to date.  However, we fear that if the proposed third runway is built, some increase in noise will be inevitable, given the huge increase of 250,000 extra flights being planned, up to 740,000 flights a year from the current 475,000. The noise maps reveal that some areas that are currently free of noise will suffer 47 flights an hour overhead. The noise levels from inbound planes, flying at 5,000 feet and below, will be up to 65 decibels.  

    5 councils, including Wandsworth, are seeking a judicial review of the Heathrow expansion. 

    What is really needed is for MP’s to look again at the necessity for a third runway at Heathrow, at a cost of £14 billion. It is surrounded by dense housing, and building would mean major alterations to the road structure. 

    The Airports Commission report, which led to the Government’s adoption of the scheme, was largely based on the need to maintain Heathrow as a global “hub” airport, where passengers would wait to be connected to a smaller plane. The Times business commentary pointed out the concept of a “hub” airport was in real doubt, given that the Airbus A380, which contained anywhere between 544 and 853 passengers, was now being replaced by smaller and cheaper aircraft which went direct to the final destinations.  

    The build up in flights is in part due to the increase in holiday traffic. The sensible policy must be to allow more local airports to expand, building in time a second runway at Gatwick and Stansted, and with more flights from regional airports. 

    John Elvidge

  • Raynes Park Forum - 26 March 2019

    The next Raynes Park Forum will be held on 26th March in the Library Meeting Room.  It will be chaired by Cllr. Omar Bush, and amongst the items to be discussed are the proposed hike in parking charges; street cleaning, rubbish and recycling; Town Centre developments and the Railway.  As  as well as the opportunity for residents to raise any other matters of concern.

     

  • Motspur Park Post Office

     

     

    Finally, things are happening regarding the re-establishment of a PO branch in Motspur Park village. The new location is Sima Brothers Newsagents, 347 West Barnes Lane - next door to the previous location, at Ecklee. We are told the target date for opening is 20th March.

  • Morden Rotary Club - March 2019

    Time to say thanks again to Santa, the elves and the support team who helped make our Christmas collection very successful just a few weeks ago. Despite a couple of wet evenings, your Rotary Club raised an excellent total to put into good causes in our local community. A special word of thanks to everyone who generously contributed as Santa did his sleigh rounds.

    Also, we thank many more from further afield who visited us at the Lower Morden Lane illuminations. Great work again by the residents there, who've created a wonderful attraction to celebrate Christmas.  Funds have already been allocated to St .Raphael's Hospice, and we'll publish a list of other beneficiaries soon.

    Volunteers Needed

    May we ask any of our readers if they might be able to volunteer a few hours to help us from time to time?

    This year's Christmas rounds and collections is way off - but that's always a fun time to join in -  and enjoy what we do. Much closer, the Summer Fairs’ season is on our planning board right now. Is there anyone who can lend a sturdy gazebo for the day please? and help put it up! work part of the day?

    Also, a new pilot scheme that Morden Rotary is operating would welcome your support.  Aldi (Ewell by-pass branch) is donating fresh food and vegetables at "sell-by date" to us. A wonderful bonus!  We collect two evenings a week from there and deliver to Faith in Action at The Salvation Army in South Wimbledon.

    This organisation provides hot meals (and much more) to the homeless street people of Merton. Anyone who could help from time to time with the pick-up and delivery would be most welcome. 

    Or, have you any serviceable warm clothing, a sleeping bag, backpack etc you can donate please? (contact details for collection below).

    Be our Guest

    Would you like to be a Rotary Club guest one evening at The Morden Brook, Lower Morden Lane, SM4 4SS?  Visiting speakers in the coming weeks are Wimbledon Guild Feb 28th, Wimbledon Sailing Club March 28th and Child Cancer Care April 28th.

    These are all on Thursday evenings and we meet in the back room (where else!) at 6:30 pm. Please contact me if you would like to join President Margaret Sinclair and the dozen other Rotary volunteers on one of these dates,  or any other Thursday evening.

    Pennies from Heaven

    Finally, we still operate "Pennies from Heaven" - should you have a pile of small change or old coins or foreign currency, we can collect. It all goes to support St. Raphael’s Hospice - over £6000 raised so far; AND every penny donated to us is spent on good causes WITHOUT any deductions or paid staff.

    Thanks again for your support, and hopefully you may be able give us a helping hand in the future.

    Best wishes to you all for a happy and healthy 2019.

    Joss Ollett.

  • Chairman's Blog - March 2019

    NEW CONCERT HALL IN WIMBLEDON? 

    The Times reports that a new 1,250 seat concert hall is being proposed for the car park behind Morrisons supermarket in central Wimbledon.  Early designs have been prepared by the world famous architect, Frank Gehry, who designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. 

    To go ahead, the project requires a massive £100 million, made up of £65 million for the building with the balance needed to provide an endowment for running costs. This would have to come from private funding.  This is now being sought.

    While Merton Council owns the land, it would not provide any public funding, but might lease the site on a long term basis. 

     The Council is currently consulting on a plan for the future of the area.  It has been earmarked for many years as a site for a replacement for the Civic Hall, which was demolished in 1987 to make way for the Centre Court shopping centre.    

    NOTICES TO PREVENT TRESPASSING ON LOCAL PARKS 

    The Council has obtained orders in the High Court to prevent trespassing on parkland, including Cannon Hill Common. These are addressed, as they must, to Persons Unknown, but contain a power of arrest. The hope is that these further powers will prevent the incursions that have taken place in recent years and make removal quicker and easier if they do occur. 

    The Home Secretary is also proposing further measures, which would make the setting up of unauthorised camps a criminal offence, given the difficulty of enforcing aggravated trespass notices. These would give police new powers of eviction. 

    WARNING NOTICES ABOUT THE RISK OF POISONING TO ANIMALS 

    There is also a notice on Cannon Hill Common asking people not to leave out pieces of chicken. These will decay and can cause poisoning to dogs, and other animals.   We understand that these notices were made necessary since some cases of poisoning did occur. 

    RUBBISH COLLECTION 

    The Council’s Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel will be meeting at the end of February to discuss waste, recycling, and street cleaning under the new contract. We have put forward some suggestions for improvements to the present system. 

    One of the major problems, in my view, is that the recycling boxes for plastic and bottles are collected only every fortnight, and often have lots of small items in them.  They have no lids and tend to be left out overnight.  The result is that whenever it is windy, the streets and gardens around are full of blown rubbish. Also, on a very windy day, the boxes themselves can be blown into the street. 

    PAUL ELECTRICAL 

    Paul Electrical has been a fixture among the shops in Grand Drive for the past 60 years. Very sadly, it has now closed.  

    The shop contained a vast array of electrical goods and supplies of all kinds, at prices which more than matched those of the High Street retailers. But we have lost the expertise of the staff, their friendliness, and their willingness to give expert and unbiased advice; you could buy the product one day, have it delivered and fitted within a day, and have the old item taken away, all without fuss.

    It’s a great shame that in this internet age, this kind of personal service is disappearing. 

    John Elvidge

  • Minutes of RPWBRA AGM, 2018

    MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF THE RAYNES PARK AND WEST BARNES RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION HELD ON WEDNESDAY 11TH APRIL 2018 AT RAYNES PARK LIBRARY       

    WELCOME AND APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE

    The Chairman welcomed twenty-five residents to the meeting.

    Apologies for absence were received from Avril and Jerry Cuthbert. 

    MINUTES OF THE LAST AGM HELD ON 5THAPRIL 2017

    These were published in the April 2017 issue of the guide and were approved by those present. 

    CHAIRMAN’S ANNUAL REPORT

    John Elvidge spoke of his pride in the work and achievements of the Association since its inception in 1928. He reminded those present that the RPWBRA had been formed 90 years ago mainly because of local concerns regarding flooding but also to engender community activities and awareness. He felt that the original reasons for its existence were as relevant as ever and he thanked all those who helped to keep the association running. 

    He announced that a special 90th anniversary dinner at “Taste” (Merton College) would be held in November and that full details would be published once details had been confirmed.

    The Chairman recognized the dedicated, conscientious band of road stewards and area coordinators who, once again, had given freely of their time and energy throughout the year to ensure that residents received the association’s monthly Guide.  He hoped that they would join him and the rest of the committee for a summer celebration on Saturday 7th July. 

    Before highlighting other areas of endeavour the Chairman singled out the joint secretary and editor Jill Truman for special praise. Amazingly, Jill has worked as a volunteer for the association for 50 years! During this time she has held every office apart from that of treasurer. Prior to the AGM Jill had been very ill in hospital, yet she insisted upon participating in the meeting and assured members she would be busy during the coming months researching and collating a special 90th anniversary edition of the Guide. 

    The Chairman then extended his gratitude to the other members of the committee. He thanked John Townsend for his exemplary work as treasurer and was particularly appreciative of the clarity with which he regularly summarised a multitude of complicated financial transactions. He also expressed his appreciation for the audit support provided by Brian Lewis-Lavender. 

    The Chairman also thanked both Dick Coleman for the huge enthusiasm he has brought to the role of Advertising Manager and Andrew Barwick for his ever-efficient work as Distribution Manager for the Guide. Excellent support for Andrew’s task was also provided by Dick, by George Holder (postal members), by Charles Briscoe-Smith (webmaster) and by our newly appointed membership secretary Rosemary Wright. 

    John Elvidge then drew attention to Jerry Cuthbert’s tireless work as Chairman of the Pavilion sub-committee and thanked him for overseeing its development. He appreciated the involvement of David Freeman and he felt that the Thursday Social Club run by Jill and Andrea Hannon was a great resource for local people. 

    The Chairman noted the huge amount of work done by Jerry and David respectively regarding information about environmental matters such as Crossrail2, Heathrow expansion and local planning issues.  

    There was appreciation of the work done by the local councillors, Gilli and Brian Lewis-Lavender and Mary-Jane Jeanes.

    Mary-Jane had informed us she was standing down and was presented with a beautiful garden plant in recognition of her work.

    The chairman also thanked Margaret Barratt for her painstaking organisation of the annual RPWBRA horticultural outing to Wisley. 

    Please note: unfortunately Margaret could not attend the AGM so the Treasurer visited her the next day with the bouquet she should have received at the AGM. She was very grateful for the gift and sent a letter of appreciation. 

    Amongst the events which had taken place since the previous AGM were

    (i) A beautiful outdoor social occasion during which a flowering cherry tree was dedicated to the late, much missed Jan Bailey, which was much appreciated by her partner Gordon Stratford, plus family and friends.

    (ii) An excellent guided visit “behind the scenes” to the All England Lawn Tennis Association Club attended by over 30 road stewards and committee members

    (iii) A lively Christmas party at the pavilion enjoyed by over thirty volunteers and friends 

    (iv) An enjoyable open meeting at Blossom House where those who attended were most impressed by a fascinating talk from Joey Burgess, the Principal of the establishment

    (v) A well-organised Wisley trip (mentioned earlier) plus various well-attended outings organised by Andrea and Jill.

     

    TREASURER’S REPORT

    John Townsend gave a clear, comprehensive report of the Association’s finances. He emphasised that they were in a healthy state thanks to Dick Coleman’s success in managing to increase revenue, Andrew Barwick’s volunteer teams ensuring steady membership levels plus a regular income garnered by Jerry Cuthbert and the Pavilion Management Group. He thanked Brian for auditing the accounts.

    The treasurer then spoke of the excellent response to Tom Deveson’s article regarding the retirement of local milkman John Braden. Over £600 had been received from residents. Clare had arranged the accompanying cards and letters into an attractive booklet to be presented with the money. 

    Please note: the publicity-shy milkman did not attend the meeting so John Townsend took the booklet and money to John Braden’s home where, as you might imagine, the gifts were received with much gratitude! 

    ELECTION OF OFFICERS 

    John Elvidge vacated the Chair which was taken by Jill Truman.

    There were no new nominations and in response to Jill’s proposal, seconded by Gilli, John Elvidge agreed to continue as Chairman for the coming year.

    The remaining members of the committee were then re-elected by general approval.

    The Chairman thanked members for his re-election and urged any residents who wished to become involved in the general organisation to put themselves forward for consideration as committee members. 

    INVITED SPEAKER – RUTH WHITEHEAD 

    The Chairman was pleased to introduce the Secretary of the Paddock Allotments to the meeting.

    He described the allotments as a “true local success story” and was intrigued to learn more about its development from a run-down underused council facility to its present vibrant existence. 

    Ruth thanked the association members for inviting her to the meeting and then proceeded to give a fascinating account of the Paddock’s history and current situation. 

    Pre-dating the formation of the RPWBRA by two years, the lands covering five and a half acres were originally earmarked for allotment use in 1926. Then in 1946 the Paddock Horticultural Society was formed to enable Cannon Hill residents to buy and sell stock. 

    Gradually the brief widened to include neighbouring areas and a strong community and social spirit emerged centred around the allotments. 

    Merton Council eventually asked members if they wished to take over the management, encouraging them to do so by improving basic aspects such as the water supply and fencing and providing a simple hut.   

    By 1991 the paddock members had established the beginnings of today’s thriving set-up. Whilst still answerable to the council, the Paddock Committee is in charge of tenancy, security and maintenance and has overseen amazing improvements to the site. 

    It is a truly community facility – anyone can become a garden member for only £4 per annum, enabling them to participate in social activities and to use the shop – and those wishing to have their own plots can apply to Ruth for cost details as there is a waiting list. 

    Ruth was particularly proud to emphasise the multi-cultural nature of the plots, adding that anything could be grown as long as it was legal! 

    Ruth outlined the range of social activities: Sunday breakfasts provided at a reasonable price by four teams of volunteers, a weekly hobby club run by Cynthia Hatcher, quiz nights, seasonal events such as the Christmas dinner and Summer bbq, “yellow book” open days and the unmissable annual Horticultural Show. 

    Yvonne Sharp also organises short holidays at reasonable cost and there are a number of popular day trips throughout the year. 

    Ruth pointed out that the whole enterprise was made possible by an amazing team of volunteers who open up and lock the facilities, clean, cook, stock and run the shop and generally commit to the shared feeling of mutual endeavour. 

    The Paddock Committee members listen to plot-holders and garden members, meeting regularly to review matters and plan improvements thus ensuring that all runs smoothly. 

    Following her talk, Ruth was applauded by those present and presented with - what else? -  a beautiful bouquet of her favourite flowers! 

    ANY OTHER BUSINESS

    Although there was no single overriding issue, there was discussion and concern about impending waste management changes, the loss of local post office and banking facilities and the never-ending traffic and parking concerns. 

    Garry and Wendy Hunt spoke from personal experience about the need for vigilance regarding postal and identity theft and this concern was echoed by many present. 

    The meeting finished at 9.50pm. The Chairman thanked Clare and John for arranging the refreshments and was grateful to everyone for their contributions to an informative and friendly meeting.

  • Agenda for AGM on 3 April 2019

    NOTICE OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

    Raynes Park & West Barnes Residents’ Association

    will be held at the Raynes Park Library Meeting Rooms (Aston Road Entrance), Approach Road, SW20 8BA

    on WEDNESDAY 3rd APRIL 2019 at 7.30 p.m.

     

    AGENDA 

    1.         Apologies for Absence

    2.         Chairman’s Report on the Work of the Association during 2018/19

    3.         Treasurer’s Report

    4.         Election of Officers and Committee

    5.         Guest Speaker  

     Break for Refreshments 

    6.         Updates on current Planning Matters

    7.         Residents’ Forum and Any Other Business

     

    Click here for the minutes of last year's AGM.

     

     

     

  • Raynes Park Afternoon Townswomen's Guild - Feb 2019

     

     

    At the end of 2018, as well as the usual Christmas features (Christmas lunch and Party) a  minibus was taken by a large group of members to visit the Guildford Cathedral where the National Committee had organized a Carol Concert for the southern counties.  The trip was enjoyed by all.  Members are now looking forward to the annual January Music Hall at Wimbledon Theatre. 

    At our January meeting Mr Norman Beauchamp from Co-op Bank Legal Services talked about Wills, Probate, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney, reminding us of the most important points to consider, including with inflation, the increasing importance of a funeral plan, and the advisability of reading your will every 5 years approximately to check all is still as currently wanted. 

    Our February meeting will be the Annual General Meeting.  For further details of this meeting or of our many social activities please get in touch. 

    Dorothy Raymond , Tel: 0208 395 9489

  • St Saviours War Memorial - News

    To mark the centenary of the WW1 Armistice, St. Saviour’s church in Grand Drive held a two-week exhibition, “The Men of Raynes Park, 1914-18”, to remember and honour the 97 men who lost their lives in the Great War.  Their names are recorded on a community memorial that stands in the church’s grounds, erected in 1921 with public subscriptions. 

    This exhibition was publicised in The Guide in the autumn and the team at St. Saviour’s was delighted that so many people from the surrounding community came to see it, in particular at the opening day on Saturday 26th October and on Remembrance Day itself, on each of which more than 200 people attended. 

    The names on the WW1 memorial are now no longer legible and we have embarked on a project to restore it so that the men and the sacrifices they made are always remembered. We have now obtained formal tenders from contractors to carry out the work and are seeking approval from the Diocese of Southwark and the War Memorials Trust. However, we face a funding shortfall of around £10,000.  The total cost of the work is likely to be over £22,000 and the donations and pledges from the community raised to date are around £12,000. This includes the many wonderful contributions made through the exhibition. 

    While we await the necessary approvals, we are pursuing further fund raising, with applications also to the Heritage Lottery Fund and to local businesses and we intend to contact all those who have already pledged support to provide details of when the funds will be needed.  But, given the funding gap, it seems likely that we will need still more support from the community.  

    Any contribution would be much appreciated. If you wish to pledge or donate an amount, please see contact details below.

    With grateful thanks for your support. 

    The Administrator,

    Parish Office, St Saviour’s Church, Grand Drive, London SW20 9DL

    stsavioursofficesw20@gmail.com

    0208 540 9406

     

  • Chairman's Blog - Feb 2019

    265 BURLINGTON ROAD 

    The developers, Redrow, of the very large residential development proposed for 265 Burlington Road and part of Tesco car park, presented their ideas to the Committee and the West Barnes Councillors at a meeting in early January. A formal planning application is likely.  

    The plans are for a massive 446 flats built in 7 blocks with the tallest of them rising to 14 storeys, one of 13 storeys, and another of 10, all facing the Tesco store, and reducing to 7 storeys fronting Burlington Road. There would be 226 car parking spaces.

    25% of the flats would be one- bedroom, 65% would be of two- bedrooms, and 10% of three- bedrooms.  While most would be privately owned, 35% of them would be “affordable housing”, which would be managed by a housing association, or of shared ownership. 

    While £7 million would be given to Merton under the Community Levy scheme, there is no guarantee that the Council would spend any of this sum locally on proving for the extra schooling and health provision that would be required for such a large number of new residents. 

    The Association will be making its response to the formal application when it is lodged. We did point out to the developers that our initial view was that the height of the taller flats was likely to be strongly opposed as out of keeping with the surrounding housing in the area.  As we have stated before, it is important that local residents who will be affected make their own objections as well. 

    HEATHROW AIRSPACE CONSULTATION 

    Heathrow Airport is having a consultation on the flight paths it will use for its present two runways, and its proposed third runway.  The consultation runs until March 4th. At present there are 480,000 flights a year, and this would increase to 740,000 flights a year if a third runway is built in 2026.  Even before a third runway is built, they hope to have an additional 25,000 flights a year, a 5% increase overall, by allowing planes to land on both runways at the same time. 

    Heathrow pledges to ban night flights for six-and-a-half hours, with no arrivals or take offs before 5.30 a.m. The plans include flight paths being alternated to give residential areas a longer break from aircraft noise.  You can see the details at www.heathrowconsultation.com   and you can comment online. Or you can comment by e-mail to feedback@heathrowconsultation.com There will be a manned consultation team to speak to in Wimbledon on Tuesday 12 February between 2pm to 8 pm at the Antoinette Hotel in The Broadway.  

    At present this area escapes most of the routing of planes into Heathrow, as the flight paths go further north.    This could well change if the airport is even more intensively used than at present. 

    WIMBLEDON GUILD 

    The Wimbledon Guild, a long- established charity based in 30 Worple Road near the Town Centre, provides a large number of activities, talks, and trips, as well as counselling, bereavement support, and befriending. You could pick up a leaflet, or book on activities@wimbledonguild.co.uk. The phone number for further information is 0208 946 0735. 

    ANDREA HANNAN 

    St Saviour’s Church was packed for the funeral of Andrea Hannan who died in early December. She will be remembered by many local residents for establishing in March 2014, with Jill Truman,and for running together since, the highly successful Pavilion Social Club on Thursday afternoons for men and women. She will be much missed. R.I.P. 

    John Elvidge

  • Gas Main Works - West Barnes Lane

     

     

    SGN plan to start gasmain replacement works in West Barnes Lane, Raynes Park. These are expect to start on 7 January 2019 and run for 33 weeks. There will be temporary traffic lights, which will are expected to be moved to various locations during the works, including the junction with Coombe Lane. 

    You can read more at SGN's website here.

  • Wimbledon Guild - Merton Live

     

    Wimbledon Guild and New Wimbledon Theatre

    Present:

    MERTON LIVE

    SATURDAY 26TH JANUARY 2019

     

    Wimbledon Guild, the local charity that supports people across Merton, and New Wimbledon Theatre are holding a brand-new community event on Saturday 26 January from 10am-5pm to celebrate local talent in Merton.

     

    Merton Live! will showcase a plethora of local bands, dance, drama and gymnastics groups with performances throughout the day at one of London’s biggest theatres. In addition, the theatre will be throwing open its doors for ticket-holders to explore this historic building with backstage tours and a host of theatre related activities for all the family including: workshops; dressing up in theatre costumes; face painting; insight to technical side of the theatre; arts and crafts; treasure hunt; food and drink, plus lots more.

     

    Already confirmed to perform on the day are: DanceMode Mitcham; Merton Gymnastics Club; Rock Choir; RR6 Band; Rutlish School; The Study Wimbledon; Urban Dance City; Wimbledon High School; ; Wimbledon Stagecoach and Wimbledon Village School of Dance.

     

    This family day out will help to raise money to aid the vital work Wimbledon Guild does to support local people in Merton who are experiencing social isolation and loneliness.

     

    Tickets for the event offer superb value at just £4.50 adults, £2.50 child and under 3’s go free.

     

    Merton Live! will be one of the charity’s main fundraising events of 2019 and comes at a time when the charity is seeing an increase in the number of people seeking their support, as Wendy Pridmore, chief executive, explains:

     

    We are delighted that through Merton Live! we will be able to showcase local talent and provide a feel-good winter warmer event on a cold and rainy January weekend.

     

    However, New Wimbledon Theatre and Wimbledon Guild have also developed this event for a more serious reason. A recent Arts Council survey highlighted that over 76% of older people felt that cultural and creative activities were key to making them feel happy

     

    Wendy Pridmore concludes: “I am sure Merton Live! will be a wonderful day out for all ages and I look forward to welcoming people from across the borough who will be entertained and impressed by the young talent we have on our doorstep.”

     

    Find out more  here 

  • Chairman's Blog - January 2019

    Planning Issues 

    Merton Council is updating its Local Plan which is in Draft form and is now out for public comment. Responses are meant to be in by 6 January 2019. The details can be found here . 

    There are two sites of particular interest to local residents. 

    The Former LESSA Site

    The first is the former “LESSA” private sports field bordered by Greenway, Westway, and Grand Drive.   The Association fought a long battle to preserve this ground for sporting purposes, defeating a proposal by Barratts to build over 100 flats there. After that the land was eventually sold to Bellway Homes. Bellway succeeded, after a planning appeal, in getting permission to build the houses now known as Meadowview Road.  A new tennis pavilion and courts were also constructed for the Raynes Park Residents’ Lawn Tennis Club.

    The remainder of the land was designated as Open Space and is protected as such.  The planning Inspector’s report made clear that he expected this land to be used for sport, and the intention was that a pavilion would be built to facilitate this. It has remained unused since that time, and Bellway have not taken up invitations from the Association to discuss their future plans.  Nor have they taken up several approaches from schools and sporting bodies who would like to use the site for outdoor sport. 

    Bellway has suggested to the planning officers that this site, now known as RP6, is potentially classifiable as suitable for a “Residential development of between 71 and 83 dwellings and sporting facilities”.  It is hard to escape the conclusion that this was always their aim in leaving the land vacant.

     Fortunately, the Council appears to be sticking to the existing designation. Its proposed site allocation states that “Sporting or community use of the whole site will have to be demonstrated as undeliverable before any other uses can be considered”.

     This should open the door for schools and sports clubs who can make use of the land for outdoor sport, as the Inspector decided, to come forward with proposals, which Bellway will need to consider seriously.

     265 Burlington Road and Tesco Extra car park site

     The second site fronts onto Burlington Road and proposes utilising that part of Tesco’s Car Park adjacent to it, and the current office building at No. 265 Burlington Road. 

    Redrow Homes Plc have held public consultations on their proposals to develop this site for a very large number of flats in seven blocks up to a height of 14 storeys.  You can read further details on this website by clicking this link - 265 Burlington Road. 

    A formal planning application is expected in early January, and we will be consulting widely.   If the plans remain unchanged it is inevitable that the Residents’ Association will be strenuously opposing them on many grounds, including massive over- development.  

    It is important to stress is that the many residents who will be badly affected by overlooking, extra traffic, and lack of community amenities for the new proposed occupiers, need to write and send in their own objections as well.  

    A reflection on the turn of the year 

    In our December 90th Anniversary Edition, we printed two excellent articles by John Tarling entitled Building a Suburb and Rebuilding a Suburb. The second one set out the damage done locally during the Second World War.  It mentions the V1 flying bombs which fell on Merton, and one that fell on Elm Walk on the night of 22nd/23rd July 1944. 

    My parents lived in Elm Walk during the war, and my mother’s sister and her two children lived further along Elm Walk and were killed by this bomb. It must have been devastating for my mother, but she never mentioned it, apart from when she visited the Gap Road cemetery where they are buried. She simply got on with bringing up her own four children. 

    Her generation seemed able to cope with the most enormous grief at the wholesale destruction and death all around them.  I cannot help but contrast this with the anxiety now being expressed at something so trivial by comparison as to whether and how we leave the European Union, and at the so- called difficulties of modern life. 

    HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

    We wish all our members a very happy and peaceful New Year. 

    John Elvidge

  • Epsom & St Helier - Podcast

    News from Epsom & St. Helier NHS Trust 

    From the lifesaving to the routine, and featuring staff working behind the scenes and on the frontline of our NHS services – Epsom and St Helier have launched a new podcast (thought to be the first of its kind in the country), to help provide more of an insight into the experiences of patients and the diverse and specialised roles that our staff carry out. 

    The first podcast was released on 30th November and will be available on a monthly basis via the Trust’s website at:

    www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk/podcast and for download from your usual podcast provider – simply search for ‘Your Epsom and St Helier. 

    The ‘Your Epsom and St Helier’ podcast is being produced by the Trust’s Communications and Engagement Team and aims to provide a new platform for both patients and staff to share their stories with a wide audience. 

    The very first episode covers the story of Rob Glanville – a professional inline skater who suffered a life-changing brain injury while out skating and was subsequently cared for by the neuro-rehab team at St Helier. Rob is joined by one of the speech therapists who treated him – Sally Tan. 

    Rob gives his account of the very serious accident that he had in Hammersmith, which resulted in him suffering a sub-duralhaematoma (bleed on the brain), while Sally tells us what it was like to treat Rob and how she and her team helped him to talk, swallow and walk again. 

    Director of Communications and Patient Experience, Lisa Thomson, said: “Our Trust is committed to showing members of the public what really happens in our hospitals – people’s lives are being saved and changed for the better every single day in our hospitals, but sometimes those stories go unheard. This podcast aims to get these unheard stories out and available to a worldwide audience. This is a pioneering project within the NHS – we can’t wait to have more people come on and share their stories with us – and we are very excited about its potential”. 

    “While the focus of the podcast will be NHS services, staff and the patients we care for, the conversations – as with any good podcast – can be slightly unpredictable. So, while in this first episode you might learn a little about what it’s like to suffer a brain injury and how NHS experts can help, you’ll also hear why we think helmets are so important and why Lewis Hamilton is the best Formula One driver of the moment. 

  • 265 Burlington Road & Tescos

    Proposed Redevelopment of 265 Burlington Road and Tesco Extra car park 

    In the October 2018, we set out the basic details of a proposed large residential development scheme on a part of the Tesco car park site alongside Burlington Road. This was based on information provided at a Consultation Exhibition on 18th September mounted by BECG (Built Environment Communications Group) who are acting as agents for the housebuilder Redrow Homes PLC. 

    BECG held a second consultation, again at the Holy Cross Church hall, Motspur Park, on 13th November last year but this time with slightly amended proposals. 

    The Scheme 

    As at early December 2018, the outline proposals envisage using the Eastern side of the Tesco car park (1.21 Hectares) which would be just under one quarter of the whole Tesco site area. 

    We therefore anticipate that the Planning Application from Redrow, when submitted, will aim to provide 446 flats in seven blocks ranging from 14 storey on the side furthest from Burlington Road down to 7 storey on the side closer to Burlington Road. 

    • The units would be made up as follows:
    • 90 one bed flats (approx. 20% of the total);
    • 290 two bed flats (64 %); and 66 three bed flats (16 %) 

    " Affordable " Housing 

    Taken overall it is claimed that 35% of the flats would pass the test of being regarded as "affordable" i.e. they would be social or subsidised housing either for sale or rental at no more than 80% of the prevailing market-rate costs and prices. 

    It is quite often the case that developers tend (for obvious reasons) to offer the cheaper (mainly one bed) units to meet the social proportion. Currently, we are not aware how this will work out in practice, but the Planning Application will probably clarify this point. 

    Car Parking 

    The proposals include up to 220 car parking spaces and the current thinking is that these would be at the base of the flats i.e. as an ' undercroft ' scheme. It is claimed that 575 car spaces will remain available for the Tesco store shoppers. 

    Site Access 

    One change to the original proposals is to provide up to 475 sq. meters. of commercial space at ground floor level in the blocks fronting Burlington Road.  What type of business would be housed in these units is not known at present, but presumably Tesco would NOT want any competition quite so near their store! 

    Also, the earlier proposal was that the existing short access road leading from Burlington Road to the Tesco store would become THE vehicular access road for the residents of the new flats, but no longer for vehicle access to the Tesco store, although pedestrian access from Burlington Road was to be maintained. 

    This idea appears to have changed so that vehicle access from Burlington Road would be available for BOTH the new residents and shoppers going to Tesco. In short for Tesco shoppers no change to the present (unofficial) arrangement. At first sight this strikes us as far from being an ideal arrangement, given the single proposed vehicle access, the volume of traffic in Burlington Road even now, and the proximity of the level crossing, Surely the congestion would become even worse? However, it is still ‘early days. 

    High Rise Development 

    Anybody familiar with this part of West Barnes will know that it is characterised by inter-war mostly two-storey suburban housing, apart from Raynes Park High School to the North. We leave you to contemplate what it would be like for those residents having to live in the shadow of blocks of flats up to 14-storeys in height. 

    There is currently great concern about possible flats at this sort of height along Wimbledon Broadway; but is at least that area has a Town Centre designation. Tesco car park certainly has not! 

    The Local Plan 

    Merton Council now has a New Local Plan out for consultation. This may be seen here.  At present, this document is only a draft, and it is hoped that this will replace two other Planning Guidance documents sometime during 2020. Within this bulky document are Site Proposals for many areas of the borough including several for Raynes Park. 

    One of these is site RP3 (page 158) named as Burlington Road -Tesco. The map provided (which is intended to show the area potentially suitable for development) shows the ENTIRE Tesco site, store, car parking, petrol station, redundant offices in the NE corner: all 5.2 hectares of it.  However, the proposals from Redrow relate only to a quarter of the site alongside Burlington Road. 

    On the face of it, there is an anomaly here. The Council preference appears to be redevelopment of the whole of the site. but the proposals from Redrow - so far – are for only a part of it. 

    Greater London Authority - Office of the Mayor 

    We should just mention that because of the large number of housing units involved, the Planning Application - when it is submitted - will have to be considered by the Mayor of London in the first instance. The Mayor and his planning staff have the option either to a) approve or refuse the application or b) leave the determination process entirely to Merton Council. This added layer can sometimes hold up the process of considering the application. 

    The Local Press 

    It is possible - but not certain - that by early January a Planning Application will have been submitted. At that stage there is a strong chance Redrow will seek some publicity in the local press, quite apart from a notice in a local newspaper, under a heading, such as,

    “Merton Council Town and Country Planning Act.”  Once the application has been formally submitted to Merton’s Planners, the Association, and most importantly, individual members of the community can make their comments to the Planning Officers and Ward Councillors regarding these proposals. 

    DAVID FREEMAN December 2018

     

  • Chairman's Blog - December 2018

     Our Ninetieth Anniversary 

    This month we are celebrating our Association’s 90th anniversary.  The first meeting of the Association was held on 8th March 1928. 

    In celebration, our monthly magazine, The Guide, which is distributed to all our members, is a special anniversary edition. 

    I would like to thank all our contributors, and, make special mention of our Editor Jill Truman who has worked so hard to gather it all together.  Jill has been an active member of the Association for over 50 years and has held most of its offices. She was first appointed as Advertising Manager as long ago as 27 March 1968!  

    The Association was founded by residents concerned with flooding in the area, a major problem that has continued to cause difficulties many times since. At that time there was a large programme of inter-war building, with new family houses being built up Grand Drive and into the surrounding streets. 

    We have the Minute Books of the Association since November 1934, and they show that there were quarterly meetings, open to all members, that were well attended.  Many of the issues discussed were those still being debated today, such as planning and road traffic, parking at Raynes Park station, grass verges, refuse collection, and postal facilities in Coombe Lane. 

    There was concern at the danger of the junction between Bushey Road and Grand Drive, which was originally a roundabout, and the Association successfully pressed for the introduction of traffic lights in 1940. 

    There was a proposal in the late 30’s by the railway authorities to rename Raynes Park station as West Wimbledon, and the Association fought and won a campaign to prevent this.  

    The Association put up its own non-party, independent candidates to the Merton and Morden Urban District Council, until it was merged into Merton Council.  

    But the Association also rapidly developed social activities of all kinds. There was an active horticultural society, which held an annual show with prizes. There was a children’s party, for the young families that moved into the area. There were dinner dances for their parents. There were whist drives for the more elderly people.  There was a photographic society. There were outings to Brighton and Southend, and visits to the ballet and the Palladium. 

    A tennis club was founded with 3 courts and was originally serviced by an “iron shed”. This was replaced after WWII by a dedicated Pavilion. 

    Our membership has fluctuated over time, reaching a maximum of some 2,500 households, and there has always been a small subscription to join.  This was 2/6p (or half a crown) in 1937. This helped to pay for the costs of The Guide, which has from the outset been the main channel of communication with the members. 

    The Guide was originally published every two months, and, astonishingly, was continued through the years of the second World War.  It has been published every month since, a major achievement for a residents’ association, and, so far as we know, unique. 

    The Guide has always been delivered through the help of Area Co-Ordinators and Road Stewards, very willing volunteers who give freely of their time to help their local neighbours. We thank them all. 

    The Chairman of the Association in 1937 reported that he hoped that the sometime remark “What do I get out of the Association?” would be less frequent - it should be “What do I put into it!”. 

    The Guide is now also available via post or e-mail, and we have developed a website that is much used by members and non-members.  We are actively considering how best we can reach other, perhaps younger, people who use newer forms of social communication, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We are conscious that the previous pattern of residents moving into this area and staying is now being increasingly replaced by a more mobile population. 

    We always try to look ahead. In recent years we have converted the tennis Pavilion into a new home for the Association, after the Tennis Club moved down Grand Drive to new premises. 

    The Association runs a well-attended and successful Social Club on Thursday afternoons. There are weekly lettings for a range of activities, including yoga, ladies keep fit, Pilates, philately and religious groups. It is much used at weekends for children’s parties. 

    In ten years’, time we will celebrate our Centenary. We all hope to be still around! 

    Dinner held in Celebration 

    50 members and their guests, including the Mayor of Merton, came to a dinner on 8th November to celebrate the 90th anniversary. It was held at the Taste Restaurant in Merton College, which is a training academy for catering and front of house students. 

    It was a great success and enjoyed by all present. The food was superb, and the service was impeccable, and reflected so well on the training the students had already received within a month of starting their courses. 

    For more information about “Taste”, the menus on offer and to make a booking, visit https://www.tastemerton.co.uk/  

    John Elvidge

  • Raynes Park Festival - 7 December 2018

     

    Raynes Park Festival Welcomes Christmas

    Friday 7 December 2018 from 3.30pm to 7.00pm 

    On Friday 7th December from 3.30pm - 7.00pm Raynes Park will come alive with the Christmas spirit with a range of entertainment for the whole family. 

    Once again there will be a larger stage for live performances provided by Clownfish Events and located in the car park outside Waitrose. 

    The Mayor of Merton, Councillor Mary Curtin, will speak from the stage at 5.00pm to open the festival. 

    There will be live animals in a petting enclosure, entertainment by a brass band and local primary school choirs and children can pay a visit to Santa’s Grotto to receive a gift from Father Christmas himself. 

    The festival is made possible thanks to the generous support of local businesses whose advertising banners may be seen on the fence Coombe Lane from 1 December.  

    With a range of trade stalls, Friday 7 December promises a great afternoon of Christmas spirit, seasonal live music, drama, entertainment and fun for all. 

    For more information, visit:

    myraynespark.co.uk, follow us on Twitter at @myraynespark or on Facebook at /myraynespark

     

  • Sacred Heart School - Christmas Fare

    Holy Cross Christmas Fair

    Church Hall, Adela Avenue, Motspur Park on Saturday 24th November from 2.00 to 4.00 p.m.  .  Home made cakes, books,

     

    Sacred Heart RC Primary School Christmas Fair

    Burlington Road, New Malden, KT3 4ND

    Saturday 24th November, 12-3pm

    An afternoon of fun including an ice rink, plenty of games, a gourmet BBQ and bar, and more...

    Book your ice-skating tickets now at https://bit.ly/2pSkzSx

    All welcome!

  • Raynes Park Association News

    Raynes Park Station - Update

    Discussions between Network Rail (NR) and the Raynes Park Association (RPA) – September 2018 

    Responses from Connie Banda NR 28 September 2018 with responses from Chris Larkman RPA in italics

    Matters discussed, Enchroaching Shrubs, The state of the Footbridge, Wooden Fencing, Embankment Planting, Japanese Knotweed, Kiss & Ride, Land Transfer

  • Raynes Park Towns Women's Guild - Oct 2018

    Julia Jones was the speaker for our October meeting giving an enthusiastic talk entitled ‘Travels in Iceland’.  

    Julia has been travelling to Iceland for many years, originally for a holiday break but as her love and knowledge of the landscape and the hardy, resilient and hardworking people grew, eventually becoming a travel adviser and exploratory holiday break adviser.  

    Obviously cold and dark in the winter, during the long light summer days the average temperature approaches 20C.  Certainly, she described a lot to see, with geysers and thermal hot springs, evidence of the periodic volcanic activity (I think we all remember the volcanic dust cloud affecting aircraft flights), waterfalls and lakes, interesting walks, pretty, small towns and villages; trolls, a herring fishing museum, and glaciers - one leading to a lake with floating icebergs.  With a very small resident population, there are far more visitors and casual workers than locals during the holiday season.  The fishing industry has contracted.  Never the- less. the sheep have kept on producing a very fine wool which the ladies make into superb warm garments. 

    At our November meeting on November 15th  (1.30 pm at St Saviour’s Church Hall), Michael Grimshaw’s topic is ‘Wildlife in Zimbabwe’. 

    For further details of this meeting or of our many social activities please get in touch. 

    Dorothy Raymond  Tel: 0208 395 9489 

  • The Fountain Pub - New Malden

    The Fountain, at the top of New Malden High Street, has been a local landmark in our neighbouring area for many years, but is alas, at least temporarily, no more. 

    It closed in June for a major redevelopment of the site, which will see three 5-storey blocks containing 43 apartments and a shop or café being built. 

    The Pub will be reduced to half its size within the original Georgian building, but will lose its extension, garden and car park, as well as its first and second floors, previously used as a kitchen, meeting rooms and staff accommodation. 

    The loss of garden and car park space will also impact on the annual New Malden Fortnight event, the Korean Food Festival and a regular Farmers’ Market. 

    Construction work is now in progress, behind a barrier of Berlin Wall proportions. At least, for Pub goers, half a pub is better than none! 

    Dick Coleman

  • Film Merton 2018 - 2019

    Coming Soon

     Film Merton is an exciting initiative funded by the London Mayor's Cultural Impact Award and the local council to increase engagement in the arts amongst socially excluded members of the community. Film was the overwhelming art form of choice of local people and there is a longer-term objective of having a cinema in Mitcham.  During 2019-2020, curated seasons of films chosen by the community and high-profile guests, together with a film festival showing original short films made locally with an emphasis on new technology, will be delivered.

  • Chairman's Blog - November 2018

    NEW MORDEN LEISURE CENTRE 

    The Council has announced that the new Morden Leisure Centre will soon be open to the public. 

    This is in Morden Park. It replaces the Morden Park Pool which was said to be energy inefficient and expensive to maintain. 

    Once the new Centre opens, the old building will be demolished, and the land restored to open space and landscaped with trees. 

    The new Centre has a 25m x 13m main pool and a smaller secondary pool with a movable floor, so that it can be used for everything from shallow toddler sessions to diving. 

    There will be a studio and fitness suite, and a café with outside seating for dog- walkers. There are also facilities for disabled people. 

    It will be run by the same company that already manages the Wimbledon Leisure Centre and Canons Leisure Centre in Mitcham. 

    MASCOT TELECARE

     For elderly and vulnerable people living at home, the Mascot telecare service is an enormous comfort. It ought to be better known. 

    It was introduced by Merton Council some 28 years ago and provides a pendant that can be hung around the neck or on the arm, which clients can press to contact the Mascot office 24 hours a day, should they have a fall or accident at home. The telecare service will then contact a nominated relation or friend - or send a staff member to help. They will contact the emergency services if needed.

    The office is locally based. 

    My own mother was given a pendant when she got into her eighties and found it very reassuring when she had to be left alone in the house. On occasion she pressed the pendant by accident, and they were very good in telling her not to worry about this. 

    Since the scheme originally started, they have added a handyman service which means that someone can come and do the small jobs that need to be done, such as changing light bulbs or fitting tap washers or setting up a bedroom for someone who has just come out of hospital. 

    Mascot also offers other technologies that are designed to help people to live independently. These include door sensors to alert family members if a person with dementia leaves the home, and flood sensors to prevent people letting sinks or baths overrun.

     There is a small weekly charge for the monitoring-only service, and a slightly larger one for the response service, including the handyman. Mascot can be contacted for more information on:

    www.mascot-telecare.org.uk.

     

    TRAVELLERS ON CANNON HILL COMMON

    There were in fact two incursions last month by travellers camping on Cannon Hill Common. We understand that the Council is taking up the suggestion of obtaining a permanent injunction in the High Court to prevent further illegal incidents. This won’t stop the problem altogether but should assist in making their removal quicker and easier. 

    John Elvidge

  • Sacred Heart - Outdoor Space

    SACRED HEART PRIMARY SCHOOL HOPES YOUR VOTES  WILL WIN IT
    £25,000 GRANT FROM THE AVIVA COMMUNITY FUND

     Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, New Malden,  has entered the Aviva Community Fund Initiative and looked for the support of the local community to win a grant of £25,000 for the school.

    Serving nearly 400 children from the areas of Wimbledon, Raynes Park, Motspur Park, Worcester Park and New Malden, the school, situated on Burlington Road, only benefits from two concrete playgrounds and sadly lacks green space.

    Sacred Heart’s active Parent Staff Association (PSA) submitted an application to the Aviva Community Fund in the hope of winning £25,000 to invest in transforming the school's outdoor spaces. Instead of plain concrete there would be nature spaces, fun seating areas, a sensory corner, and lots of opportunities for physical activities including a climbing wall, basketball nets, new play apparatus and sports equipment, and more.

    Sacred Heart staff, parents and children are very excited about this potential project and are working hard to make it happen. Lending your support is simple and only takes a few minutes. You can vote for Sacred Heart Primary School’s project at:

    https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/4-1877  

    Like all state schools, Sacred Heart faces ongoing funding cuts. Winning the £25,000 grant could have a really positive impact on the children and the local area. The PSA is hoping to supplement the grant with a crowdfunding page enabling the public to contribute directly to the project.(http://crowdfunder.co.uk/sacred-heart-school-playground-makeover).

     Voting and crowd funding close on Tuesday 20th November.

  • The Men of Raynes Park, 1914-18

    The Men of Raynes Park, 1914-18 Armistice Exhibition 

    To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the WWI Armistice, an exhibition about the lives of the men from Raynes Park who fought and died in the Great War of 1914-18 will be launched at St Saviour's Church on October 27th. 

    Ninety-seven men from the Parish are named on the war memorial in the church grounds next to Grand Drive.   The exhibition will explore the history of Raynes Park and the Parish of St Saviour's, how the memorial came into being, and who the 97 men were, where they lived, where they died, the battles they fought and some of their remarkable stories. A poem has also been specially written for the occasion. 

    The exhibition launch event will be at 2.15 pm on Saturday October 27th.  

    The aim is to create an understanding and appreciation of the lives of the men commemorated on the memorial and the sacrifices they made.   A number of guest speakers will provide context and background stories to the exhibition.  These include Sarah Gould, Head of Merton Heritage, and representatives of the families of Thomas Mewburn Crook, the original sculptor of the memorial, and Wing Commander Frank Brock, a director of the Brock Firework Company, who died in a daring raid on Zeebrugge in April 1918. 

    All residents of Raynes Park, and others who have an interest, are warmly invited to this occasion.  Visitors are advised to arrive early and either walk or use public transport as parking space is limited and there will still be disruption along Grand Drive. 

    Over the last 100 years, the names on the memorial have been gradually eroded.  The St Saviour's Parochial Church Council plans to restore the memorial subject to the necessary permissions being granted and hopes to achieve this in the Spring of 2019.  St Saviour's priest-in-charge, Reverend Peter Kelley, will outline progress on this at the exhibition launch.  If anyone would like to make a contribution towards the costs of the Memorial Project, or a pledge to support the restoration should funds be required, please contact the St Saviour's church wardens at: stsavioursofficesw20@gmail.com .

    Following the launch, the exhibition will be open until Remembrance Day at various times.  Please check. 

    Peter Hutton

  • 265 Burlington Road - 400+ Flats Proposed

    Huge development Proposals for 265 Burlington Road

    (and part of the Tesco Supermarket Car Park) 

    We have recently learned - following an exhibition at the Holy Cross Church Hall on 18th September - that Redrow Homes are working up proposals for a Planning Application for a large housing scheme at 265 Burlington Road and that part of Tesco’s car park adjacent to Burlington Road 

    The scheme as currently planned would be to construct more than 400 flats in several blocks - some very much higher than any other building in the locality. 

    As we understand the situation the proposals are still being refined and are being discussed with the Planners at Merton Council. 

    Currently it is proposed that there would be a mix of units 1, 2, and 3-bedroom flats, a large proportion of which would be 2-bed units, but no houses. 

    In the main these flats would be for sale, but some would be part sale/part rental (under a shared ownership scheme). The current aim is to provide 35% of the development for “affordable” housing (meaning social or subsidized units). 

    The plans, at present, suggest provision of over 200 car parking spaces for the new residents, who would have vehicle access to the new development from the existing short road leading from Tesco’s car park into Burlington road. Pedestrian access to Tesco itself from the Burlington Road side would be maintained. 

    We are in contact with the agents acting for Redrow and hope to arrange a public meeting with them later in the year. We will try to provide more detail about this proposal as and when available. 

    David Freeman and Jill Truman

  • Raynes Park Townswomen's Guild

     Well.  It’s just as well to have a sense of humour. 

    After the long, hot, dry June, July and early August, for the TWG coach trip to Worthing the rain began as we left Raynes Park, continuing steadily until about 3.00 pm in Worthing.  Surprisingly, or because they did at least have one dry hour, ladies returned to the coach reporting they had enjoyed the day.   The respite did enable them to walk on the pier to admire the stained-glass display screens exhibited there. 

    Our summer garden party also turned out to have been scheduled on a wet day.  Nevertheless, our hostess and helper provided a magnificent summer meal which was fully appreciated by all.  With the ladies spread about the dining room and conservatory this friendly social afternoon was well attended and a great success. 

    The October meeting will be on Thursday, 18th October at 1.30 pm in St Saviour’s Church Hall.  Our speaker is Julia Jones whose talk is entitled ‘Travels in Iceland’. 

    If interested, please check us out.  We normally discuss our planned social activities first, with the speaker starting at about 2.30 pm after a tea break.  

    Dorothy Raymond, Tel: 020 8395 9489

     

  • Rememberance Sunday, 11/11/2018

    London Borough of Merton -  2018 Services of Remembrance

    The following arrangements are proposed: 

    Sunday 11 November 2018 - Services of Remembrance

    Nelson Health Centre

    Kingston Road, SW20 8DA

    The Service of Remembrance will commence at 9.00am and will be

    attended by the Mayor of Merton, Councillor Mary Curtin, civic representatives, and the Royal British Legion.

     

    Mitcham War Memorial

    Lower Green West, Mitcham

    The Service of Remembrance will commence at 10.40am. 

    Attended by the Mayor of Merton, Councillor Mary Curtin, Ms Clare Whelan OBE, Deputy Lieutenant, civic representatives and members of organisations in the borough. Members of the Mitcham branch of the Royal British Legion will be in attendance. 

    Following the service the Deputy Lieutenant together with the Mayor will take the salute.

    Please note: For the Mitcham Service, the Parade assembles outside the British Legion Hall, Mitcham.

     

    Wimbledon War Memorial

    Wimbledon Village, SW19

    The Service of Remembrance will commence at 10.40am. 

    Attended by the Deputy Mayor of Merton, Councillor Geraldine Stanford, civic representatives and members of organisations in the borough. Members of the Wimbledon Branch of the Royal British Legion and the 210 Transport Squadron will be in attendance. 

    Following the service the Deputy Mayor will take the salute. 

     

    Monday 12 November 2018 - Armistice Day

    Civic Centre, London Road, Morden to commence at 10.50am

    The Mayor and civic representatives

     

    Mitcham War Memorial to commence at 10.50am

    The Deputy Mayor and civic representatives,

  • Chairman's Blog - Oct 2018

    90TH ANNIVERSARY DINNER

    The Residents’ Association was founded in 1928 and we are celebrating our 90th anniversary with a Dinner. All members are warmly invited, and it will be held on Thursday 8th November. Do please come and join us if you can.   Numbers will be limited so tickets will be provided on a ‘first come’ basis.

    The Dinner is at the Taste Restaurant at Merton College, London Road, Morden. The College is well renowned for its catering and hotel courses for students; and the food and service will be provided by them.  We held our 75th Anniversary dinner in the same venue, and it was excellent. The cost is only £25 for a three-course meal, with a cocktail on arrival.

    Click here for more information on how to make a booking.

    RUBBISH COLLECTION

    As you will be aware, the Council is entirely changing its system for collecting household waste from October. We are now switching to alternate weekly collections for most refuse and recycling. This means collections will only be every two weeks. Paper and card will be collected every two weeks, as will non-recyclable matter (landfill) This means that storage must be found for two wheelie bins; Three, if you also pay for garden waste. Many will find this difficult to cope with. 

    Paper and cardboard are to be placed in a new wheelie bin provided by Merton, and household (landfill) waste in another.  The rest of the re-cycliable products: glass, tins, plastic bottles and food-trays, cans and cartons will still be collected from our green boxes, but these, too, will only be once a fortnight. 

    The Council has promised that those who cannot physically manage a wheelie bin (they are quite heavy) will be assisted, but, obviously, this will take time to work through.  We also understand that smaller wheelie bins can be supplied for single households – but you must apply for these directly via the Council’s website, or by a telephone call to the refuse department.

    Blue and Black plastic bags will be supplied to flatted housing estates so that they can fill these and put them into the relevant bins for collection.

    Collection days will also change in around threequarters of properties.  

    The aim is to increase amount of re-cycling and to prevent waste from being strewn over into the streets due to foxes and other animals tearing at plastic sacks that have not been placed in a lidded dustbin. It is also claimed that in the long run the new system will save costs.  

    Everyone will have their own views about all this and there are almost are bound to be major problems at the outset, so please let your Councillors know of any issues affecting you. They are the best people to take these matters up with the service provider.

    TRAVELLERS ON CANNON HILL COMMON

    Once again, a group of Travellers managed to evade the huge logs placed around Cannon Hill Common to prevent incursions and parked their caravans and vehicles near the former Pavilion.

    As before, it was left to the Council to clear up the mess after they were removed.  

    There have been many such incidents on this site, but it is hard to put up sufficiently immovable barriers to prevent these, without taking away the visual beauty of the Common itself.   

    A possible permanent solution has been suggested by one of the Cannon Hill Councillors. He notes that where there is an ongoing problem, other councils have obtained an interim or permanent blanket injunction in the High Court banning illegal traveller incursion. Such an injunction cannot stop the problem altogether but makes removal very much easier and quicker.

    He asked a question at Council to find whether the Council was willing to look at this as a solution. We will let you know whether they take up this suggestion.

    John Elvidge

  • 265 Burlington Road

    The Association has been contacted by Sarah Wardle of BECG, who specialise in community engagement. They are currently working with Redrow Homes, who recently acquired an interest in Land at Tesco, New Malden.  

    Sarah Wardle explains, “The site comprises 265 Burlington Road, a 1980s office building, and part of Tesco car park. Redrow is in the early stages of formulating plans to deliver new homes and commercial space on the site and has started to engage with planning officers. To complement these discussions, we would welcome the opportunity to meet with the local community, to discuss our initial plans for the site and gain your feedback. 

    We would also like to invite you to our public consultation the details of which are as follows: 

    Venue: Holy Cross Church, Douglas Ave, Motspur Park KT3 6HT

    Date: 11th September

    Time: 4- 8pm”

     

  • Community Forum 18 Sept 2018

    YOU ARE INVITED TO ATTEND

    THE RAYNES PARK COMMUNITY FORUM

    AT 7.15 PM ON TUESDAY 18 SEPTEMBER 2018

    IN RAYNES PARK LIBRARY MEETING ROOM

     

    In the Chair:  Cllr Stephen Crowe

     

    1)     Introduction by Chairman of the Raynes Park Association

     

    2)     Open Forum – an opportunity to raise any other issue of local interest not covered elsewhere on the agenda.    Kindly email your request in advance of the meeting to:chris.edge@ccedge.comand stephen.crowe@merton.gov.uk.

     

    3)     Leader of the Council, Stephen Alambritis, will provide an update on key issues with the Council and take questions

     

    4)     Abbas Mirza, from Merton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) will provide an update on local services and commissioning intentions. 

     

    5)     Town Centre Developments & Railway.  Tony Edwards

    ·         Seating on south side of Skew Arch    

    ·         Possible Removal of Bins on North of Skew Arch

    ·         West Barnes Lane Community Infrastructure Levy [CIL]

    ·         Land purchase corner on South side of Station entrance

     

    6)     Raynes Park Matters.  Neil Milligan, Raynes Park Champion, LB Merton

    ·         New Malden to RP Pedestrian and Cycle Link

    ·         Advertising hoarding between station and Waitrose

    ·         Planning Matters

     

    7)     Feedback, Reminders & Updates

    ·         Citizens UK – Merton Branch Peter Brierley

    ·         Prevention of Flooding – update on planned cleaning of gullies. 

    ·         Feedback from Ride London Sunday 29 July 2018

    ·         Feedback from Raynes Park Summer Festival 29 June until 8 July 2018

    ·         Reminder Christmas Festival 7 December 2018 

    Close at 9 p.m. 

    Future date for the Raynes Park Community Forum:

    Thursday 6 December 2018, Tuesday 26 March 2019

    The Raynes Park Community Forum is managed by the Raynes Park Association and chaired by a Councillor from one of the local wards by rotation. 

  • St Saviour's Concert - 6 October 2018

    A reminder about the up-coming concert at St Saviour's Church in Grand Drive when Mark Eden and Chris Stell - internationally recognised as one of the world’s leading classical guitar ensembles - will be playing works by Johannes Brahms, Mauro Giuliani, Domenico Scarlatti, Francis Poulenc,  Federico Mompou and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. 

    The Concert is on Saturday 6th October 2018. Reception 7.00 for 7.30pm. and tickets are available at £12 from Wendy Cannon (in advance), or at the door.

  • Holy Cross Church - Cafe

    A new Pop-up Café at Holy Cross Church 

    Holy Cross Church is opening a pop- up cafe on October 6th and from then onwards it will be held on the first Saturday of the month.  The Café will be open from 10.00am to 12.00pm and will be serving tea, coffee, cake and soft drinks. It’s so good to meet and chat we hope you will come.  All are welcome.  For more details contact Sally Pusey, Parish Administrator.

  • Open Day - 29 September 2018

    We are pleased to invite all our members to an 

    AFTERNOON SOCIAL EVENT 

    On 

    Saturday 29th September 2018 

    Between 3.30pm and 5.30pm

    Members of the Committee and the Pavilion Management Group will be on hand to show you our “headquarters”, answer any questions you may have for us and generally treat you to an array of light refreshments. 

    This is a free drop-in session, and we would be delighted to meet as many local people as possible. 

    No need to RSVP, just keep a note of the date and come along!

  • Chairman's Blog - Sept 2018

    RAYNES PARK VALE FOOTBALL CLUB 

    It may not be generally known that Raynes Park has its own football club, with a dedicated and well-maintained ground, complete with stands. This is next to Prince George’s Playing Fields which itself regularly hosts football matches at the weekend. 

    On Saturday 11th August fans flocked to the ground to see the Club compete in the first Extra Preliminary Round of the FA Cup.   This was against Lingfield. The score was 3 -0 in favour of Raynes Park. Many congratulations!  They have now reached the Preliminary Round. The next step on the way to Wembley, as I write, is their match against Peacehaven on Saturday 25th August. Fingers crossed! 

    AFC WIMBLEDON 

    While I am writing about football, who can forget when Wimbledon FC won the FA Cup in 1988?  After that, the team was “franchised” up to Milton Keynes, and out of the ashes AFC Wimbledon was re-born, entirely created by fans.  This must be one of the most extraordinary and heartwarming stories ever of local endeavour.

    The Club has been promoted many times and has managed to retain its place in the First Division of the Football League. I saw them play Coventry in their first home fixture of the season, and the team looks good.  They aim to move back to Plough Lane next season, and the ground has already been cleared of the former Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium.  The new stadium will seat 11,000 in the first instance.  The site will also eventually have 604 new homes and retail space.  

    EASTERN ELECTRICS FESTIVAL 

    A music festival held in Morden Park over the weekend of 4 and 5 August was so loud that residents as far away as this area were prevented from enjoying their leisure time due to the loud volume of the music.  The Wimbledon Guardian reported that a resident of Raynes Park said that a relaxing weekend in his garden was spoilt by a “thumping bass” that went on until 10 pm on both days.

    The event was authorized by Merton Council and it apparently complied with all the required conditions. 

    It looks as if this is an annual event. Morden Park is in an area surrounded by residential housing. The Council should require in future that the sound levels are moderated, and that the event finishes earlier in the evening.

    THE JUNCTION TAVERN IN RAYNES PARK 

    Older residents will remember when the Junction Tavern, near the station in Kingston Road, was a pub. When the pub closed, it was turned for a while into The Railhouse, but that venture ceased in 2011. Since then, there have been planning applications to turn the site into a hotel, but these have not been implemented. 

    Now a planning application has been lodged to build nine flats there, but preserving the lower section of the building, which has architectural features that are worthy of retention. 

    HARRIS ACADEMY WIMBLEDON 

    The new Harris Academy Wimbledon will open its doors this September at its temporary site in Whatley Avenue, off Martin Way. This is to cope with the extra 260 children who left primary school in Merton this year.

    The permanent home for the School will be a new school building in High Path in South Wimbledon. This is due for completion by September 2020.

     John Elvidge

  • 90th Anniversary Dinner - 8 November

    Raynes Park and West Barnes Residents’ Association

    90th Anniversary Dinner

    Thursday 8th November 2018 

    Taste Restaurant

     Merton College, London Road, Morden, SM4 5QX 

    7.00pm for 7.30pm 

     

    Starter

    Roast pumpkin velouté, toasted pumpkin seeds and chilli (v)

    or

    Smoked haddock ravioli, soft poached egg, parsley sauce, pancetta crumb 

    Main

    Sautéed chicken, dauphinoise potatoes, spinach, sauce forestiere

    or

    Caramelised onion risotto, rocket, balsamic glaze, shallot rings (v) 

    Dessert

    Bread and butter pudding, vanilla custard

    or

    Shortbread Mille feuille, seasonal fruit and vanilla cream, fruit coulis 

    Freshly brewed tea and coffee 

    Please make your server aware of any allergies or dietary requirements Information about allergens in our dishes is kept onsite and is available on request

    Cost per person, including a drink on arrival, will be £25 

    Members wishing to attend should make contact via the details published in September’s Guide.

     

  • Changes to our Refuse and Recycling Collections

    Members may have now received Merton's leaflet about the controversial changes the council are going to make to our refuse and recycling collections. 

    To find out more about the new service, residents are invited to visit one of Merton’s roadshow events to speak face-to-face with Merton Council officers and representatives from Veolia, the waste collection contractor. Click here for further information.

  • Raynes Park TWG - July 2018

    RAYNES PARK TOWNSWOMEN’S (AFTERNOON) GUILD

    Making women’s lives better since 1929 

    85TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION 

     

    Broken down delivery trucks and heroines! 

    On Thursday, 28th June 2018 Raynes Park Branch of the Townswomen’s Guild celebrated its 85th birthday party.  This makes our branch one of the oldest groups (someone said the 3rd oldest) in being today.  However, our party was characterised by what could have been a disaster and a series of rescuing heroines.  In short, the food ordered from a reputable supplier did not arrive and was not available for collection until well after the Mayor and other guests had been welcomed and seated. 

    The first heroine was Mary of our long-suffering catering help team who made three trips (in hope) to collect the food, two abortive and one where it was finally suggested she should help herself to what was ordered, or similar, from the shelves in the store! 

    The second was Penny Ryan, deputising for the National TWG Chairman – in fact the National Treasurer and our national trustee representing southern England on the national council.  After we had welcomed the lady Mayor of Merton who spoke for a few minutes to congratulate us on this birthday, Penny took to the floor to cover quite a long wait with an off-the-cuff, comprehensive, talk on the formation and history of the Townswomen’s Guild. 

    We had booked a group from the Nonsuch Handbell Ringers to entertain us after the meal but in the event, they hastily set up their equipment to play to us while we collected and ate our food, which was displayed speedily by John and Mary.  They played a very enjoyable selection of tunes in a variety of styles, all with a surprisingly mellow sound.  Later they invited members to come to examine the bells.  At least one member had a go!  The ladies of the handbbell ringers, too, deserve special thanks! 

    Our monthly lunch outing took us to The Haywain in Epsom for another very pleasant meal.  We were surprised when another group of ladies arrived a little later, some of whom we recognised.  This was a party from the Morden Park (eve) TWG!  Obviously The Haywain is a general favourite for TWG ladies! 

     

     

    Worthing Trip – Thursday, 16th August - £15 

    There are still seats available.  Please telephone 8395 4989 if you are interested in joining us. 

    I am in discussion with our coach company who wish to wait until road works scheduled to cause one-way traffic south along Grand Drive start towards the end of July to see how the traffic flow in the area ‘beds down’ before confirming pick-up points and times.  Please make sure I have your telephone number or contact address so that I can keep everyone informed in August. 

    Next Meeting 

    In September 2018 the monthly meeting will be on Thursday, 20th at 1.30 for 1.45 at St Saviour’s Church Hall.  A speaker – Miss A Hoyland – will give us a talk entitled

     ‘Never judge a book by its cover’.   Do join us. 

    Dorothy Raymond,  Tel: 020 8395 9489 

  • Grand Drive Road Closures - Latest

    VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE ABOUT WORKS TO GRAND DRIVE - FROM SGN

    Notification of major gas works: Grand Drive, Morden UPDATE 20/07/18 

    You may recall I wrote to you in May to make you aware of our upgrade of our gas network in Grand Drive, Morden. 

    Our project is on course to start as planned on 23 July and last approximately 20 weeks as previously stated. However, following feedback from our stakeholders and the local community we have worked with London Borough of Merton to agree a new phased plan of work to minimise disruption. We will now be working in three overlapping phases as follows. 

    To ensure everyone’s safety Grand Drive will be made one-way southbound for the duration of our works. A signed diversion will be in place for northbound traffic. Access will be maintained for residents by following the diversion routes. 

    Phase one – Grand Drive, between Church Walk and Bushey Road 

    We will start our project with two teams both working in Grand Drive from its junction with Church Walk towards Bushey Road. As this phase progresses, one of our teams will move to begin work on phase two. 

    Phase two – Grand Drive, between Blenheim Road and Church Walk 

    During this phase, one of our teams will begin working in Grand Drive at its junction with Blenheim Road and work towards the junction with Church Walk. 

    Grand Drive will remain one-way southbound to ensure everyone’s safety. However, as our work progresses during this phase, we are hoping to be able to re-open some small sections of Grand Drive for northbound traffic to allow residents on Grand Drive to exit their homes and travel north. Grand Drive will remain closed for northbound through traffic and motorists should still follow our signed diversion. 

    Phase three – Grand Drive, between Heath Drive and Westway 

    Both teams will be working in conjunction on Grand Drive, starting at its junction with Heath Drive and heading south towards its junction with Westway. 

    Grand Drive will remain one-way southbound to ensure everyone’s safety. Some small sections of Grand Drive may now be open for northbound traffic to allow residents on Grand Drive to exit their homes and travel north. However, Grand Drive will remain closed for northbound through traffic and motorists should still follow our signed diversion. 

    You can find more information about our work on our dedicated project page at: 

    https://www.sgn.co.uk/Roadworks/Southern-projects/Morden-Approach-Road-and-Grand-Drive/ 

    Dan Edwards

    Southern Gas Networks

  • Paddock - Flower & Vegetable Show

    Don’t Miss the

    PADDOCK ALLOTMENTS’ FLOWER & VEGETABLE SHOW

    2.30 pm; Saturday 8th August 2018

  • Chairman's Blog - Aug 2018

     NAT WEST CLOSES TWO BRANCHES 

    We reported a few months ago that Nat West intended to close their branches in Wimbledon Village and in Morden.  They have now gone through with this, and the buildings are firmly shuttered.  Their branch in Raynes Park closed many years ago.  What an appalling disregard they have shown for the convenience of their customers. 

    These branches were heavily used.   Customers will now have to go to the only remaining local branch in Wimbledon Town Centre, which always has long queues of people waiting to be served, and limited numbers of staff.  They try to make you use machines for depositing funds, but these are so difficult to understand that one member of staff, instead of acting as a cashier, has to be on hand. 

    The bank will argue that much banking is now done on-line, but many customers, like me, who have been the subject of bank fraud, refuse to transact financial details on the internet which can be readily hacked. Some people cannot afford the internet or do not know how to use it.   

    What is particularly galling is the pretence that this is somehow improving the service it gives to customers. When will large companies realise that many people prefer to transact their business with real people? When will they understand that putting the needs of customers before increasing profits actually increases their profits by increasing their customer share? 

    We see the same stupid trend in supermarkets when you have to scan your own purchases, and there remain only a token number of check out tills. 

    ANNIVERSARIES 

    On a lighter note, I was invited by the Raynes Park Townwomen’s Guild to their lovely 85th birthday buffet luncheon at St Saviour’s Church Hall. You will have seen their articles which we publish in The Guide each month.   The Mayor was the guest of honour, and we had a delightful cabaret performed by a group of hand bell ringers. We were told that the Guild grew out of the movement for women’s rights started by the suffragettes.  I was made very welcome despite being the only man present, apart from the Mayor’s attendant.

    We congratulate them for keeping going for so long, including through the war years. 

    Our Association is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, and we intend to publish an Anniversary issue of The Guide in the autumn. We also hope to hold a dinner at Merton College. Details of this will follow as soon as the arrangements are finalised. 

    CROSSRAIL 2 

    Cross Rail 2 is the proposal for a new rail system that is intended to run from surrey and south west London through a tunnel north of Wimbledon up to north London. This is intended to cope with the vast increase in the number of rail passengers.  It will, obviously, be an enormous expensive project, and so the Government has set up an “Independent Affordabilty  Review”  to advise on whether it is actually financially  feasible.  The scheme is not planned to come into operation until at least 2028 in any event.  The team running this will be conducting another public consultation in due course. 

    NEW TENNIS EQUIPMENT AT THE PAVILION  

    We are very pleased that the All England Lawn Tennis Club has provided us with new posts and nets for the tennis courts at our Pavilion in Grand Drive. We have set up two courts for members to use and we have kept the third for short tennis and other ball games. 

    The Club has provided these free of charge as part of its Community Outreach Programme, and we are very grateful to them for the time and effort they have given to us. Any member can use these courts, for a very small hourly charge, on application by e-mail to:  

    pavilionbookings@gmail.com 

    John Elvidge

  • Raynes Park Townwomen's Guild - July 2018

    Lyn Chalcroft’s talk to the Guild on 17th May entitled ‘Dem Dry Bones’ turned out to e about osteoporosis, ow to avoid it and ow to keep your bones strong during the aging process.   Apart from a good diet with milk for calcium, exercise is very important.   Lyn demonstrated a number of useful exercises.   Producing silk scarves, she got the whole company trying these out, and having a great deal of fun! 

    On 19th July our speaker will be Heidi Gomes giving a talk entitled ‘World of the lunchbox network’. 

    Details of our annual coastal coach trip are given below.  I am liaising with the coach company about timings and exact pickup points because of the proposed gas road works in Grand Drive due to commence at the end of July and will keep those reserving a place informed as well as putting any update in The Guide. 

    The Raynes Park Townswomen’s Guild meet in St. Saviour’s Church Hall monthly, on the third Thursday of each month (excluding August) at 1.45 pm.  A visit and a lunch together are also arranged each month as well as some social functions in local homes.   New Members are always welcome. 

    Dorothy Raymond

     

    WORTHING

    Thursday 16th August 2018 

    £15.00 per seat

    Leaving approx. 9.00 am (times to be confirmed) 

    Pick-up points at Motspur Park, Raynes Park Station and in the Grand Drive Greenway area (to be confirmed)

    Return at 4.30 pm 

    Tel 0208 395 9489

  • St Saviour's War Memorial - Grand Drive

    St Saviour's project to restore the memorial and remember the fallen 

    A task group has been set up to restore St Saviour's war memorial and research its history and stories of those who are named on it. An exhibition is planned to open in the church two weeks before Armistice Day so local people can appreciate what the Great War meant for the community and the sacrifices it made. It is unlikely that all work on the restoration will completed before then, though it is hoped that it will have begun.  

    A restoration team will start raising funds once all the required permissions have been obtained. It is hoped that much of it will be covered by grants though there is likely to be a gap. If you would like to contribute towards it, and pledges have already been made, please contact St Saviour's Priest-in-Charge, Peter Kelley.    

    Another team of local volunteers has been researching archives, press coverage and other leads to build up a picture of what went on and the individuals involved.  It is keen to hear from anyone who might be able to provide relevant information. Perhaps members of your family, or the families of people you know, lived in this area and were involved in the Great War and may have been commemorated on the St Saviour's memorial.  You may have stories, anecdotes, press cuttings, photographs and other memorabilia relating to those times and the men who gave their lives that you could make available to us.  If so, or if you have any leads you think it would be worth following, please email: stsavioursofficesw20@gmail.com, or ring the parish office (02085409406) or talk to anyone you know at St Saviour's.

  • Network Rail Performance - Briefing Note

    Wessex Route Briefing Note – Performance – As of May 2018

    Summary

    Network Rail’s Wessex route is one of the busiest and most congested parts of the railway network. The number of passenger journeys on the route has more than doubled in the last 20 years, to around 234 million per year, and is expected to increase by a further 40% by 2043.

    We appreciate our service has not been good enough overall following the completion of major upgrade work at Waterloo in August last year. Our passengers deserve, and rightly expect, a high performing train service.

    A number of significant incidents have impacted the service in recent months, including infrastructure issues at Waterloo (see page 2 on ‘Waterloo’), a fire in the throat of Waterloo in December (which caused severe disruption), bad and extreme weather conditions and points failures and track issues at some of the busiest parts of our network. The congested nature of our network means that delays can have a severe knock on effect.

    Train performance on the Wessex route in April 2018 was recorded as 89.5%, using the public performance measure (PPM)1. We will continue to try to provide the best service possible for our passengers. Independent review on performance

    The Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling MP, recently commissioned an independent review into operational performance on the South Western Railway network to ‘ensure all possible steps are being taken to improve performance and passenger experience’.

    We welcome the review and are working with its chair, Sir Michael Holden. It is expected to be completed in summer 2018.

    Responding to incidents

    When an incident happens on the railway network we respond as quickly as possible to limit disruption and get people on the move again. Our joint Network Rail and South Western Railway control centre, at our state of the art Basingstoke railway operating centre, has improved interventions leading to a 1.4% improvement in performance between the morning and evening peaks. We have appointed seven senior incident officer roles working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to lead on incident responses affecting Network Rail and South Western Railway.

    The public performance measure (PPM) shows the percentage of trains which arrive at their terminating station within 5 minutes (for London & South East and regional services) or 10 minutes (for long distance services) - https://www.networkrail.co.uk/who-we-are/how-we-work/performance/public-performance-measure/

    Preventing incidents

    We are making every effort to stop incidents before they happen, through increasing resources on this part of the network and using ‘intelligent technology’.

    We are increasing our asset inspection regime in the Waterloo area and have appointed a new track section manager to prevent incidents occurring.

    We have provided some additional teams and resources for maintenance and incident response between Waterloo and Basingstoke.

    Using ‘intelligent technology’, we monitor the efficiency of our infrastructure, which has allowed us to intervene early on around 500 occasions in 2017/18 which could have all resulted in infrastructure failures delaying passengers.

    There has been a 6% improvement in service affecting failures in the past year, with a 27% improvement since 2014. o We are introducing new safer isolations to turn off electricity to the track remotely. This keeps our staff off the track, improving safety, with less disruption to passengers and means we can deal with incidents more quickly. Waterloo upgrade programme

    Disruption after upgrade work at Waterloo last August was due to signalling equipment faults and snagging issues. Newly installed infrastructure did not perform as we expected in day-to-day operating conditions. All issues relating to the upgrade were resolved in autumn last year.

    The ongoing £800m Waterloo and South West Upgrade will be completed by the end of this year with the reopening of the former Waterloo International Terminal. o This will increase peak time capacity at Waterloo by 30% - space for an extra 45,000 passengers every morning and evening.

    The five additional platforms in the former International Terminal will also give us more flexibility during disruption, which should improve our ability to recover from delays.

    Please direct any questions to the Wessex route public affairs lead, Aeneas Tole, on aeneas.tole@networkrail.co.uk

  • Chairman's Blog - July 2018

    PARTIAL CLOSURE OF GRAND DRIVE 

    We remind everyone that traffic will not be able to come down Grand Drive northbound from July 23rd until December. This is because of work to replace the gas mains, which is being done in two phases. 

    Two exhibitions were held by SGN (formerly Southern Gas Network) to set out the diversions that are being proposed. We urged them to set out diversion signs from miles around, since this will be absolutely necessary.

    We fear that despite the advance publicity most motorists will be taken by surprise, and that there will be traffic chaos for weeks to come. It seems certain that Hillcross Avenue, Cannon Hill Lane, Martin Way and Bushey Road will bear the brunt of carrying the extra traffic, and that these roads will be clogged up for the whole day. 

    The plans did not include the new routing needed for the 163 bus, but we have now heard from Transport for London, which may be read here. More about SGN's plans may be read here.

     FURTHER ROAD CLOSURES FOR THE C YCLE RACE 

    On top of this, there will be a weekend of further road closures for the now annual cycle race around London. This will be on the weekend of 28th and 29th July. The cycle route is from Kingston Hill, along Coombe Lane and Worple Road, up Wimbledon Hill, and along Parkside. There will only be very limited crossing points, yet to be announced, for cars and pedestrians. More details may be read here, 

    LAND BEHIND THE MAISONETTES IN CANNON HILL LANE 

    There is a strip of woodland of about half an acre that runs behind the maisonettes in Cannon Hill Lane and next to the All England Club tennis ground in Grand Drive. It is an enclosed site, with no vehicular access.  It was bought some years ago and the new owner proceeded to knock down a number of trees protected by tree preservation orders, until he was stopped by the council, and then prosecuted. There still remain on the site 11 trees with such orders. 

    The owner decided to sell the land by auction, with a guide price of £20,000-£25,000, and obtained the price of £51,000. It appears that the then would be buyer did not complete, and so it has been put up for auction again through a different set of auctioneers.  

    What was unknown to us until we saw the legal pack with the first auction is that the land is not only land locked, but also has a covenant over it restricting its use to a plant nursery. It appears unlikely that this covenant can be broken without a very difficult application to the Lands Tribunal. So probably it will remain as open space, incapable of development for house building. 

    We await to see if anyone buys the land, and for what purpose. 

    John Elvidge

  • Diversion of North-Bound 163 Bus

    From Transport for London - 21 June 2018


    Dear Mr Cuthbert

    Thank you for contacting us on 6 June, about a forthcoming diversion to route 163 in Raynes Park while gas mains replacement takes place. Firstly I apologise for the slight delay in replying.

    I can confirm the diversion, which will be in place from Monday 23 July to late December, was only recently finalised. It was therefore unavailable to SGN for their drop-in sessions. Buses towards Morden will continue to serve the whole of Grand Drive, as the southbound carriageway will remain open. 

    Buses towards Wimbledon will be diverted along Cannon Hill Lane, Martin Way and Bushey Road to re-join the normal route. Raynes Park Station will continue to be served in both directions. The nearest open stops on the normal route will be St John Fisher School (GP) and Raynes Park Station (P).

    We’ll make more information available on our website nearer the time. We did this for the closure of Approach Road at tfl.gov.uk/tempbuschanges. Our local bus operations manager has requested publicity to be produced for affected stops. This will show the nearest open stops. Drivers will also call at any fixed stop, when requested, while on diversion.

    Thank you once again for contacting us. Please contact us again if you need assistance with TfL services in the future. We can also be reached by phone on 0343 222 1234.

    Kind regards 

    Dave Finlow
    Customer Service Adviser, 
    Transport for London

     

  • Raynes Park Townswomen's Guild - June 2018

    When Claire Nethersole from Age Concern, Merton, visited us last month, she reminded us that they are an independent charitable trust although working closely with Age UK.  With a base in Mitcham, they raise their own funds experiencing the same difficulties in the current economic climate as other small charities, and like Merton & Morden Guild of Social Service operating in Morden to provide many similar services.   Mrs Eileen Brewer gave the vote of thanks. 

    The Pavilion Club reported that they always enjoy a visit to the Earth to Table eatery in Raynes Park.  TWG ladies agree, this month arranging a lunch together there. 

    The following week on a beautiful day a group visited the Millennium Embroidery and Garden, Sunbury.  A bonus discovered on arrival – the local Bead Group was there.  Before looking at the main exhibit we were able to admire their completed items (key rings, bookmarks, necklaces, bracelets and brooches) as well as wandering round to watch them at work, asking questions as we went and examining the equipment and the tiny beads!   We admired their patience and dexterity! 

    A credit to them and the local community spirit, the embroidery itself is a collaborative effort of all the ladies and supporters from local organisations in Sunbury showing the principal features of the area at 2000.  Also shown are the logos of these local organisations carefully embroidered. 

    Seat bookings for our summer coach outing to Worthing are now being taken.  Details below.  Please telephone if you are interested. 

    WORTHING - Thursday, 16th August 2018

    £15 per seat

    Leaving approx. 9.00 am (times to be confirmed)

    Pick-up points at:

    Motspur Park, Raynes Park Station and Grand Drive – Greenway 

    Return at 4.30 pm

    Tel: 0208 395 9489

  • Summer Coach Trips

     

    THE PAVILION SOCIAL CLUB - SUMMER COACH TRIP

     RESIDENTS' ASSOCIATION - WISLEY FLOWER SHOW

    The Annual trip to Wisley Flower show will be on

     FRIDAY 7th SEPTEMBER 

    with pickup points at: 

    Motspur Park, Opposite the Earl Beatty @ 9.15 a.m. approx. 

    Station Approach, Raynes Park @ 9.25 a.m. 

    Greenway bus stop, Grand Drive @ 9.35 a.m. 

    PLEASE NOTE THESE TIMES MAY HAVE TO BE CHANGED DUE TO ROADWORKS IN GRAND DRIVE 

    The Coach will leave Wisley at 4.00 p.m. 

    The fare is £10.00 which includes entrance and driver’s tip.

    Money to be paid with the booking please, giving your name, contact information and preferred pick-up point.

    Cash or Cheques made payable to RPWBRA should be given to:

    John Townsend, 128 Grand Drive, SW20 9DZ, Telephone: 07714 705976

  • Motspur Park Post Office

    Motspur Park Post Office - 345 West Barnes Lane, New Malden 

    The Association raised the closure, on 28th April, of the above Post Office with our MP, Stephen Hammond, being particularly concerned at reports that an application had been made by a local Newsagent to take over this service was not likely to come to fruition until the Autumn – far too long to wait.  Stephen Hammond has forwarded to us the following correspondence he has received on the subject. 

    Dear Mr Hammond 

    We’re planning to make some changes to the above Post Office

    For further information please see attached letter. Customer information materials will also be available in branch.

    Should you have any questions regarding the branch, please do not hesitate to contact your local External Affairs Manager, Ken Penton, by e-mail on ken.penton@postoffice.co.uk, or by telephone on 07970 396 440. 

    Yours sincerely

    Audra Mirjah-Clarke
    Post Office Ltd
     

    A letter dated 16th April 2018, attached, states: 

    “Temporary Closure

    I am writing to inform you that, regrettably, following the resignation of the Postmaster and the withdrawal of the premises for Post Office use, the above branch will be closing temporarily. 

    The provision of a Post Office service to our customers in the local community is important to us, and we will continue to work hard to restore services in the area as soon as possible. We would welcome any applications from potential retail partners interested in running a branch locally on our behalf. The vacancy is currently being advertised on our website: www.runapostoffice.co.uk and applications will be carefully considered. 

    If you are aware of any interested parties, please do share the link with them. I would like to assure you that we are currently investigating the options available which will enable us to reinstate a Post Office service to the local community. In exploring this, it is important that any future service is sustainable for the person operating the service, and for Post Office Limited. Future provision will reflect customer numbers and usage and we may take the opportunity to establish an alternative type of service. This may be a new style branch known as a Post Office local. 

    Post Office locals run alongside an established local shop and create a more modern and convenient retail experience for customers in newly refurbished premises. If you have any questions you would like to raise about this matter, please write to me via the National Consultation Team at the address shown below. Please note that your comments will not be kept confidential unless you expressly ask us to do so by clearly marking them “In Confidence”. Any future changes to service provision would be handled in line with our Code of Practice which sets out how we communicate and explain changes to the Post Office network. You can find more information about the Code at the end of this letter. If others in your organisation are interested in the proposal, please feel free to let them know about it. I would like to apologise for the inconvenience the temporary closure may cause. We hope that our customers will continue to use the Post Office and full details of alternative Post Office services in the area are shown at the end of this letter. I will write to you again once I have any news about our plans for future service provision. 

    Deepak Valani, Area Network Change Manager

     

  • Chairman's Blog - June 2018

    Local Elections

    Our Association is strictly non-party political, and we look forward to working with all the new councillors elected for our local wards, which are West Barnes, Cannon Hill, and Raynes Park.  When we hold our Open meetings and committee meetings we invite a councillor from each of the wards to help us in our decisions.

    At the AGM we paid tribute to the hard work of Mary-Jane Jeanes who was not standing for re-election.  We would also like to pay tribute to the dedication of Gilli Lewis-Lavender, a former Mayor, and Brian Lewis-Lavender. 

    All three former councillors have been assiduous in bringing issues to our notice, in getting council officers to act, and in representing the people they were elected to serve. We wish them well.

    Chaos in Grand Drive

    Residents will be well aware of the traffic chaos caused by the closure of the bottom part of Grand Drive for four weeks while gas mains were repaired. We were not consulted about these works, and so could not advise the gas network and the highways authorities of the warning notices that were necessary to avoid some of the worse effects of the jams.  What was required was notices put in place a long distance away, particularly on the A3, in Tudor Drive and further up Grand Drive, and in Kingston Road so that drivers could find alternative routes earlier. Some warnings were belatedly put up, but not enough.  Even with the notices, a steady stream of motorists came past the road closed notice, and then had to do a U-turn, to the anger and irritation of those living there.

    Worse to Come?

    Two exhibitions are being held about the even worse closures of half of Grand Drive planned to start on 23rd July which will last until December.   Grand Drive will be made one way southbound for the duration of the work. A signed diversion is being proposed for northbound traffic.  Further information is available here. These closures will be worse, as there will literally be nowhere else that traffic can easily be diverted to.  We fear that Cannon Hill Lane and Martin Way will be clogged solid for much of the day. 

    The gas network company, SGN, state that the old metal gas mains are being replaced with new plastic pipe, with a minimum life of 80 years, to ensure a continued safe and reliable supply into the future. This will cost £973,000. 

    Motspur Park Post Office

    The recently relocated post office counter, currently situated in Ecklee International Grocery, is to close. This leaves residents in Motspur Park with nowhere at hand to collect their pensions or for the other myriad things they need to do. The nearest post offices are either in New Malden High Street or Raynes Park, both of which are difficult to get to without a car, and with heavy parking charges for those who drive. We understand that Sima Brothers newsagents, nextdoor to Ecklee, has applied to take over the agency, but that the PO is being rather slow to process the application.

    Open Meeting

    We are having an Open Meeting for residents in Blossom House School, Motspur Park, on Wednesday 13th June, starting at 7.30 pm, with some light refreshments afterwards. Do come and discuss this issue, and any others of concern to you. You will be made very welcome. 

    John Elvidge 

  • Raynes Park Townswomen's Guild

    In May the Raynes Park Townswomen’s Guild ladies are continuing their usual pattern of lunches, visits, social events and monthly meeting.  This will be held at St Saviour’s Church Hall from 1.30 pm on Thursday, 17th May.  The speaker will be Lyn Chalcroft, whose talk is entitled “Dem dry bones”.  The sales table will be ‘Good as New’. 

    Planning for the 85th birthday of the Raynes Park Guild in June is now in full swing.  Our Guild is one of the oldest in the Townswomen’s Guild movement. 

    We are also planning our summer outing to the south coast, this year. As previously, this outing is open to all Residents Ass, Rendezvous Club, Pavilion Club, Friends, Relatives and local couples who would like to join us.  Hope to hear from you. 

    Dorothy Raymond 020 8395 9489

  • Chairman's Report - 2016/2017

    In reviewing the events of the past year, I have to begin on a very sad note. 

    In May Jan Bailey, who had been our Joint Secretary and Minutes Secretary for some 30 years, died very suddenly in her garden. This was totally unexpected, since she was always so full of energy, lively, and extrovert. She knew everything that was happening in our area about planning issues, traffic schemes, and flooding, drains and watercourses, and, if she didn’t know, she knew who to contact to find out. We miss her immensely. 

    Jan also ensured that the developers of the land at Meadowsweet Ditch maintained the free flow of water, and many times cleared it herself to prevent flooding on the properties in Grand Drive. We thank David Rush for taking over from Jan in this essential work. 

    Jan loved trees, and her partner, Gordie, had the excellent idea of planting a tree in her memory in the grounds of our Pavilion in Grand Drive. We published last month the photos of the team who braved the cold to plant it in February. It is a flowering bird cherry. We will be holding a tea party in the spring when the tree will be formally dedicated, and we hope that many of our volunteers will be able to come and join us. 

    We should also remember tonight our members Jim White, who was an Area Co-ordinator and Road Steward for almost 50 years, and Margaret Pye who worked on environmental matters with Jan, and was a regular contributor to our meetings, whose funeral was today. 

    I am very grateful to Jill Truman who took over as our sole Secretary. In addition, she continues to edit The Guide which goes from strength to strength, and is still published 12 times a year.  Her dedication and commitment to the Residents’ Association goes back very many years, and demands all our thanks and congratulations.  

    She was at that time also our Advertising Manager, itself a demanding role, but I want to thank Dick Coleman for taking over that responsibility, and for joining our committee.  He has been very active and imaginative in helping us find new advertisers, as well as retaining the old ones, which is vital if we are to keep The Guide paying for itself, and so keeping our subscriptions to the lowest possible level. 

    To replace Jan as Minutes Secretary we were fortunate to find the ideal person in Clare Townsend, who has thrown herself into the task with great enthusiasm and has brought fresh ideas to our meetings. I would like to thank her for coming forward and for her contributions. 

    Her husband, John Townsend, continues as our Treasurer, and manages our finances with great aplomb and good humour, as well as huge attention to detail.  He will be able to tell us later that we are doing really well financially, despite having taken on the massive demands for a small Association of the building and running of the Pavilion social centre for local residents. I should also like to thank Brian Lewis-Lavender for continuing to audit our accounts. 

    Distributing The Guide each month to our members is itself a major undertaking. Andrew Barwick has been our Distribution Manager for many years, ably assisted by Dick Coleman and George Holder, and I want to thank them for all the hours of work they put into this.  But they and we are dependent on all our Area-Co-Ordinators and Road Stewards, many of whom have delivered The Guide for years. We were very pleased to be able to hold a thank you party for them all, both in the summer during the celebrations for the Queen’s 90th birthday, and at our Christmas Party. This was our best ever, thanks to the initiatives of Clare and John Townsend.   

    We also communicate with a wider public through our website, which grows in importance every year, with an ever-increasing number of enquiries coming in that way. It is kept up to date in content by Jerry Cuthbert and our webmaster is Charles Briscoe-Smith. We would like to thank them both. 

    A large part of the work of the Association continues to be focused on matters of planning and traffic.  We continue to rely heavily on the day to day expertise of David Freeman, Jerry Cuthbert, and Rachel Skinner, and I want to thank them for all the time and energy they bring to this work. We simply could not cope without them. 

    In the past year they have advised us, among other things, on the issues arising from the CrossRail2 proposals.  These will entail over the next few years major changes in this area, including the three stations of Raynes Park, Motspur Park and Wimbledon. We believe that it is likely that Raynes Park station will be moved along the track towards Wimbledon. The proposals may well suggest the closure of the West Barnes and Motspur Park level crossings to allow for the greater frequency of trains. Obviously, this would cause even greater traffic congestion, and probably standstill for much of the day unless alternative provisions are made.  The expectation is that more detailed proposals for this area will be put out for further consultation later this year, and we will ensure that we are well represented at whatever public meetings are called so that we can put our point of view. 

    We have made detailed objections this year to the Council’s proposed introduction of fortnightly rubbish collections and the compulsory use of wheelie bins; and made representations on the plans for a greater housing density on the Atkinson Morley site on Copse Hill, which will bring even more traffic to that area. 

    We have objected strongly to the introduction of a “diesel levy” of an extra £90 this April on residents with diesel cars living in Parking Controlled Zones, which will increase to £150 over three years and raise Merton an extra £861,000.  This gives no opportunity for people to have time to change their cars, which may, in fact, do little mileage. 

    We have also presented detailed objections to the initial proposals of the Boundary Commission to divide up the Parliamentary seat of Wimbledon, which would mean that the London Borough of Merton had no less than 5 MP’s to represent them. 

    We also commented strongly that the Council needed to make further provision for the ever-increasing cost of social care for the elderly and the disabled. 

    But it is fair to say that the major day to day work of the Association is now focused on the Pavilion in Grand Drive, which has been an enormous success since it was re-furbished and opened.  It is a success both in terms of the number of groups now using it, which include yoga and faith meetings, as well as children’s and family parties, and the satisfaction of those users.  It is also a success in the growing income it is bringing into the Association funds. 

    Foremost among these groups is the Pavilion Social Club which was founded in March 2014, and meets every Thursday afternoon with 30 - 40 people attending every week.  It has had some excellent speakers, including the Trading Standards Officer, legal advice on setting up Powers of Attorney, how to keep fit, and manicure and pedicure demonstrations. It also organises some outside visits, and has raised over £150 for charity.  Its success is due to the driving commitment and energy of its two founding organisers, Andrea Hannan and Jill Truman, who create an enveloping warmth and excitement for all. 

    The Pavilion itself is managed by a small group of people who look after the building and its grounds, take the bookings, and open and close the building. The Chair of this group is Jerry Cuthbert, and all of the members of this group deserve a mention and our huge thanks tonight. They are David Freeman, John Townsend, Linda Fitch, Moira Deveson, Howard Phillips, and Tina and Chris Lorimer. 

    We continue to play a full part in the wider meetings of the Raynes Park Association and of the Raynes Park Forum, and I would like to thank our representatives on these bodies, Jerry Cuthbert and Jill Truman for their contribution to these community discussions. 

    I should also mention the valuable help given by all our local councillors, but particularly those from the West Barnes Ward, who attend all our committee meetings.  

    Next year it looks likely that we will be busy not only with sending out our views on the CrossRail 2 proposals, but also on the plans for local hospital provision in this area, about which we are hearing at this meeting. 

    The next calendar year will be 2018. As we were founded as an Association in 1928 we will be 90 years old. We will have to think of some way of celebrating this long tradition of service to the local community.    

    John Elvidge , 5th April 2017

     

  • Chairman's Blog - April 2018

    HOUSEBUILDING TARGETS IN MERTON

    The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has set new annual housebuilding targets for Merton, which are one of the largest increases in London. He expects the number of new homes to be built every year in the borough to increase from 411 to 1,328,  i.e. 13,280 over the next ten years. 65 per cent of these will need to be “affordable”. 

    He states that London needs to build 66,000 new homes every year to meet the growing need.

    Merton Council’s local plan wants more land to be released for new housing, with more blocks of flats, and increased density.

    In my view, we have done more than our fair share in this area in the last ten years to increase the number of homes.  We have had major developments of flats on the site of St Catherine’s School off Grand Drive. Further down Grand Drive  more flats and townhouses were built on the former sports fields of LESSA and Sun Alliance.  More flats were built in the Waitrose development in the heart of Raynes Park.

    These hundreds of new dwellings were built with minimal contributions by the developers to the cost of the infrastructure necessary to serve these new residents, despite the increased demand on future population growth,  on the health service, schooling, and road traffic. 

     More were due to be built on the Rainbow Industrial site next to Raynes Park station, but this area now appears to be earmarked as a necessary part of the CrossRail II proposals.

    While everyone can agree on the need for more starter homes for younger people, what is depressing is that all the emphasis from the authorities is on building on green areas ( which is much easier and more profitable for the developers)  and not in identifying and using the many brownfield sites that exist everywhere. Nor is any housing authority putting emphasis on converting vacant properties over shops, or turning redundant shops into housing.

     STREET CLEANING

    A resident of Cannon Hill Lane complained to me that her road has not been swept, she believes, since Veolia took over the contract of street cleaning and rubbish collection last April. She also pointed to a large pile of rubbish on the verge which has not been removed despite complaints from her to the Council, and complaints by the local councillors.  Everywhere one sees uncollected litter and rubbish bins that are overflowing.

    It is for the Council to specify to the contractors the frequency with which they must sweep the streets, and empty the bins, and to ensure that this happens. It is clear that they have failed to do so. 

    The Council’s present intention is to move in October this year from weekly to fortnightly collections of landfill rubbish and recycling. The problem of littering will be bound to get even worse. 

     Residents can themselves help by ensuring that items in the recycling bins are weighted down with bottles or heavier items, so that they cannot blow into the street.

    AGM

    The Annual General Meeting of the Association is being held at Raynes Park Library on Wednesday 11th April starting at 7.30. Do come along and have your say on the area and how you think we can help improve it. 

    We will also have the opportunity to hear from Ruth Whitehead on the work of the Paddock Horticultural Society, on the edge of Cannon Hill Common, which is one of the great success stories in the Borough.

    There’s also the chance to chat over a glass or two of wine, and some nibbles. Do come along. You will be made very welcome. 

    John Elvidge 

  • GRAND DRIVE MAJOR CLOSURES FOR 2018

    GRAND DRIVE CLOSED TO NORTHBOUND TRAFFIC FOR 2018 (updated 26/06/2018)

    3 APRIL 2018 – MID MAY 2018 (Completed - Road Re-opened)

    23 JULY 2018 – MID DECEMBER 2018

     

    More Details:

    To enable replacement of gas mains, by SGN (formerly Southern Gas Networks), parts of Grand Drive will be closed completely to north-bound traffic in stages, starting on 3 April 2018 and lasting until December 2018. 

    Stage 1 – Northern end, from Bushey Road up to the railway bridge in Raynes Park. - Work Now Complete.

    Stage 2 – From the Beverley Roundabout northwards to Bushey Road

                     Open for southbound traffic only from 23 July to December 2018. 

                     Thus, Grand Drive will be closed to northbound traffic along its length from 23 July to December 2018. 

    Latest Information 6 June 2018

    As a result of the drop-in sessions that SGN have provided, we now have a better understanding of the proposed road closure for Grand Drive. 

    From 23 July 2018, Grand Drive will be closed to northbound traffic from the Beverley Roundabout all the way to the junction with Bushey Road. This closure will run for 20 weeks. 

    However, southbound traffic from the junction with Bushey Road to the Beverley Roundabout, will continue to be able to use Grand Drive. 

    Access to local streets 

    All the side turnings along Grand Drive will continue to be open but traffic entering Grand Drive from the side streets will have to turn south. Similarly, access into the side streets from Grand Drive will only be possible for southbound traffic. 

    Diverted Traffic 

    A diversion for local traffic wanting to travel north along Grand Drive from the Beverley roundabout to Bushey Road will be signposted, via Hillcross Avenue, Martin Way and Bushey Road. Traffic from further south will be diverted along the A24 (London Road), via Morden and then Martin Way. (See Drawing 1086.05-1A, below). 

    163 Bus 

    However, the northbound 163 bus will continue along Grand Drive to the traffic lights outside John Fisher School, before being diverted along Cannon Hill Lane, Martin Way and Bushey Road. 

    We have now received further information from TfL, which may be read here.

    Diverted HGV Traffic 

    For HGV traffic from further afield, which normally passes northbound along Grand Drive, a diversion will be in place to encourage HGVs away from local roads. This diversion will be signposted via the A24 (London Road), A240 (Ewell Bypass) and A3, passing through North Cheam, Stoneleigh and Tolworth. (See drawing 1086.05-2, below)

    SGN’s leaflet about this project may be found here.

     

    Drawing 1086.05-1A – Diversion for Local Northbound Traffic

     

     

    Drawing 1086.05-2 – Diversion for Northbound HGVs.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Raynes Park Townswomen's Guild - April 2018

    A large group of  members met to enjoy lunch at the Lime and Thyme Restaurant in Raynes Park, and the following week a group of 9 ladies visited Bourne Hall in Ewell.  The upstairs museum documenting local history and development, featuring well known Epsom and Ewell historic personalities and, of course, the Race Course and Derby, proved fascinating.  As a bonus, downstairs was an equally fascinating temporary display featuring pictures of the 1953 Coronation Celebrations.  After this, we welcomed tea, light lunch and a sit outside in the sun in the gardens!

     At our monthly meeting in St Saviour’s Church Hall our speaker was Peter Smith whose talk was entitled ‘Living in a Lighthouse’.  Peter told us that practically every male member of the family for generations had been lighthouse keepers.  If not they were lifeboat crew members or strongly connected to the lifeboat organisation.  Peter himself spent his childhood in various lighthouses, a short while at Whitby, but mainly on the many Cornish lights.  With pictures of the periodic delivery of supplies, fishing off the rocks, and the lighthouse completely enveloped in spray and water in rough weather, our Chairman asked how they were constructed.  Apparently, it takes many years – a survey of the rock into which granite foundation stones, hewn by stonemasons to fit exactly are placed.  Similarly, each of the walls is hewn by stonemasons with stones to fit exactly.  No mortar is used.  The last piece added at the top locks the construction solid.

     Our next meeting at St Saviour’s Church Hall at 1.30 for 1.45 pm will be on Thursday, 19th April.  The speaker will be Claire Nethersole from Merton Age Concern.  Visitors or new members are always welcome to our small but friendly group. 

    Dorothy Raymond

  • St Saviour's May Fair - 7 May 2018

    St Saviour’s May Fair will be held on Bank Holiday Monday, 7th May 2018, from 12 noon to 3pm. This annual event gives St Saviour’s the opportunity to welcome local residents, as well as those from further afield, to the church in Grand Drive. As usual there will be a BBQ and other refreshments plus the crowning of the May Queen, Maypole Dancing and a Balloon Race. A wide variety of games and side shows will be there plus numerous other stalls and a grand draw. Admission is FREE.

  • 18/P0183 - Beverley Meads Playing Fields

    Artificial Grass Pitches on Beverley Meads Playing Fields? 

    A planning application has been lodged by Wimbledon Rugby Club to install artificial grass pitches on the public open space and Metropolitan Open land that currently form the sports grounds of Beverley Meads and Drax that adjoin Fishpond Woods and Wimbledon Common.  

    The application which includes a concrete base for the grass, asphalt hard standing for spectators, a two-metre high bund around the application area, a 1.5 metre white picket fence, as well as more floodlighting has outraged many residents living in the adjoining, mostly privately maintained roads. 

    Objectors point out that apart from the blot on the landscape that this proposal implies, the increased usage (10.00-21.00 hrs on weekdays and 10.00-20.00 at the weekends) will put intolerable pressure on the surrounding roads, as there is insufficient parking provision already; as well as considerable intrusion into their own right to some peaceful enjoyment of their surroundings. 

    It will be interesting to see how the Council will react to the pressures from significant bodies such as the RFU and Sports England for approval.  To residents, it simply smacks of over-commercialisation and despoilment of public open space. 

    Details of the application and associated documents can be found on Planning Explorer by going to www.merton.gov.uk/Planning, inputting planning application number 18/P0183 and clicking on that number again, when the details come up.

  • Improved services for Mental Health

    Hannah Pearson, from Merton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), updated the Raynes Park Forum on future Commissioning Group intentions. The slides from her presentation can be found here 

    In response to questions from residents Hannah said Mental Health policy is a high priority for the CCG and there have been a number of recent improvements to local mental health services including:

    • Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) service – provides support for anxiety, depression and other conditions
    • Merton Rapid Intervention service – a multi-disciplinary team that includes Mental Health professionals - and aims to prevent hospital admissions
    • Crisis Cafés – informal, drop-in support services.
  • Raynes Park Townswomen's Guild - March 2018

    Once again, the Magnificent Music Hall at Wimbledon Theatre at the end of January gave us a varied, professional and entertaining matinee show enjoyed by the Townswomen’s Guild and groups from several clubs in the Raynes Park area and surrounding districts.  This company’s annual visit to Wimbledon is always popular. 

    The principal activity in February has been socialising over lunch.  First, we visited the busy Morden Brook Pub at Lower Morden roundabout.  A delay in service was forecast by bar staff, but in the event the food arrived in a reasonable time and was judged to be good. 

    Our second visit was to Merton & Morden Guild of Social Service at Morden to join them for their St Valentine’s Lunch.  With a party of 9 TWG ladies boosting their normal numbers, the Guild had to work hard to squeeze everyone in.  The food for a three-course lunch was very good.  Our ladies were very appreciative of the pianist who tinkled the ivories while we ate, and the volunteers who worked smoothly to serve the food and clear tables.  Many thanks to Merton & Morden Guild for this friendly and pleasant lunchtime visit. 

    The following afternoon our monthly meeting at St Saviour’s Church Hall was the AGM.  The committee were returned to office unanimously.  Then, we were very pleased two members volunteered to join the Committee.  Later the Merton & Morden Guild of Social Service was adopted as our charity for the year.  It was agreed the August outing will be on Thursday, 16th to WORTHING.   As usual this outing will be open to all to join us to make a successful coach trip.  Cost and details will follow. 

    March activities include Lunch at the Lime & Thyme, Raynes Park on Wednesday, 7th and a visit to the Museum at Bourne Hall, Ewell on Tuesday, 13th.  Our next meeting at St Savour’s Church Hall will be at 1.30 for 1.45 on Thursday, 15th March. 

    Dorothy Raymond  020 8395 9489

  • Our AGM - 11 April 2018

    NOTICE OF MEETING - THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

    of the Raynes Park & West Barnes Residents’ Association

    will be held at the Raynes Park Library Meeting Rooms (Aston Road entrance) 

    ON WEDNESDAY 11th APRIL 2018 at 7.30 p.m.

    AGENDA

    1,         Apologies for Absence

    2.         Chairman’s Report on the Work of the Association during 2017/18

    3.         Treasurer’s Report

    4.         Election of Officers and Committee 

    Break for Refreshments

     

    5.         Speaker:  Ruth Whitehead, Paddock Horticultural Society

    6.         Updates on current Planning Matters

    7.         Residents’ Forum and Any Other Business 

    Please bring a copy of ‘The Guide’ with you to verify your membership

  • Chairman's Blog - March 2018

    NEW SECONDARY SCHOOL 

    The council reports that hundreds more parents are applying for school places this year, due to the rise in population and the improvement in local school results.   The council has received 2,296 admission applications for September 2018, which is 268 more than last year. They say that there is an urgent need to build a new secondary school. 

     A new Harris Academy Wimbledon is due to open on a temporary site in September this year at Whatley Avenue (off Martin Way).  This will be a non-selective state school for both girls and boys. The school is due to move to a permanent new school building in High Path, South Wimbledon, in September 2020. 

    Official figures from the government show that all the borough’s secondary schools continue to be judged good or outstanding by Ofsted; and Department of Education results show that the progress pupils locally have made between the end of Key Stage 2 and the end of Key Stage 4 in eight subject qualifications, with maths and English given extra weight, is among the best in the country. 

    ROAD TRAFFIC CRASHES AT THE JUNCTION OF CROSSWAY AND WESTWAY 

    The local Guardian reports that a resident of Westway has seen six crashes at the junction of his road with Crossway within the last two years, and that he has had to replace his fence three times due to cars crashing into it. He is demanding that the council narrow the road or that CCTV measures are put in place to prevent a serious injury at this junction. 

    It is a very busy junction, particularly in the rush hour, and used by vehicles going to and from the two level crossings. Many pedestrians, including children, need to cross it.

    The council states that it will carry out a further investigation into road safety in the area and will ask for police reports. 

    BUILDERS CHURNING UP GRASS VERGES 

    The trend for people to improve their homes by building extensions, including loft extensions, means that a number of local roads now have large builders’ and scaffolding lorries parked near them for much of the day. These roads are often narrow and were not designed for vehicular use. The result is that the lorries park on grass verges, leaving wheel ruts and destroying the grass, or else on the pavement or asphalt verge, damaging that.  Prime examples of this can be seen in Heath Drive, off Grand Drive. 

    I understand that it is a requirement of planning permission that builders reinstate public property that has been damaged, but it is not always possible to find out which builder has caused which damage.  

    The problems in Heath Drive have been reported to the council by the Councillors.  Building inspectors, when they certify the extensions, need also to make a note of the damage done to the local infrastructure, and ensure that this is re-instated at the builders’ cost.

     

    AGM

    Our AGM will be held on the 11 April 2018. Click here for further details.

    John Elvidge

  • Crossrail 2 - Update February 2018

    Whilst the Crossrail 2 project team continue to liaise with our Raynes Park community, in reality, not much new information has been forthcoming since the last round of consultation in 2015/16. As yet, we still have no real detail about how Raynes Park might be affected, apart from what might be implied from the broad brush information from over two years ago. 

    In 2017, Crossrail 2 prepared its strategic business case and submitted it to the Transport Secretary. While this showed that London could pay for half of the scheme over its life, ‎the Mayor for London and Transport Secretary agreed to see how London might fund half of the scheme during construction. This would seem to imply that London’s 50% share of the funding was partly predicated on income streams generated by the new railway and associated developments along its route.

     

    In February 2018, it was announced that the government has called for an independent financial review to look at the project’s overall financial viability and whether or not the costs might be reduced. What the outcome will be remains to be seen. However, it may affect the overall scope and its phasing.

     

    Therefore, no further formal public consultation is anticipated until this new assessment has been completed and reviewed by the Department for Transport. This whole process is expected to take another year, putting back any further public consultation at least until early 2019.

     

    Whilst this is news, in reality, it heralds further delays and continued uncertainty for the project. How the Gordian Knot of funding the construction of Crossrail 2 might be untangled, remains to be seen. 

     

    Jerry Cuthbert 22/02/2018

  • Proposed Development at Barnes End

    Proposed Development at Barnes End, KT3 6PB

    17/P3991 & 17/P3989 

    Letters have been flooding into Merton Council’s Planning Department in objection to a proposal to knock down some admittedly unsightly garages and replacing them with three houses.  

    Objections centre on the loss of the garages themselves, which are let out mainly for storage purposes, loss of light and privacy. The proposal appears to involve the knocking down of an existing wall separating the two sites and the resultant loss of security as well as additional traffic and parking in an already very congested area.

  • Best Wishes to John Braden

    JOHN BRADEN, MBE – LOCAL MILKMAN AND FRIEND 

    In this month's blog, our chairman, John Elvidge, tells us about the retirement of John Braden, a cherished and admired member of our community for nearly 50 years. 

    This is why: one neighbour who ‘inherited’ John on moving here in 1992 speaks of his ‘reassuring presence’ and undemonstrative but spontaneous kindness to another neighbour, a widower who was living alone with very few visitors. John would deliver the milk into his kitchen with a friendly word. 

    Another customer speaks of the posters that used to be on her classroom wall when she was five years old, back in the early 1950s. They were called People Who Help Us and there were three: The Policeman, the Postman and The Milkman. 'Nowadays we rarely see The Policeman who is busy elsewhere, the Postman seems to change every few months, but - luckily for us - The Milkman remains the same affable presence that we knew sixty years ago. What was once true for us has still been true for our grandchildren.' 

    Another fan writes:  

    John, who has been driving his ‘Milk & More’ van and timely serving his customers, is a jolly face to look forward to every morning. We have been his customers over a couple of decades. Our friendly experience – he is always cracking jokes - is pleasant to remember. We send best wishes for his retirement, a well-earned time of his life. 

    Many people mention John's conversations on the doorstep, referring especially to his holidays - the animated anticipation and then the relaxed retrospect. But I can think at once of so many more topics that have arisen spontaneously: backache, stolen cars, computers, researching family trees, the state of the dairy business (no surprise there), the foibles of education, mental arithmetic and its superiority over calculators…has anyone known John get a bill wrong?  And the changes that forty years have brought to Raynes Park. 

    We might go on getting the milk, but after February we'll surely miss the warm and generous chat that comes with it.
     

    Tom

     

     

  • West Barnes Library - Feb 2018

    News from West Barnes Library... 

    About our Volunteers

    There are currently 36 volunteers at West Barnes Library, who perform a range of duties that assist the permanent staff and allow the library to maintain its opening hours.  (The spur for the present Monday volunteering,  in particular, and the formation of the Friends of West Barnes Library, was when, in 2011, it seemed possible that the library might have to close on Mondays. The support offered by the Friends and those who volunteered to cover Mondays meant the library could remain open five days a week.)

    Volunteers' work include 'meeting and greeting' those using the library; assisting library users with the computers and printing; shelving books and ensuring that books are in the right order (so they can be found!); locating books required by other libraries; setting out (and putting away) furniture and equipment for events (such as local history talks and the Rendezvous Group).  Many volunteers are also involved in activities organised by the Friends of the library. 

    Ever since the Friends of West Barnes Library was formed in 2011, there has been a close connection between them and the volunteers.  Most of those involved in organising the Friends are, or have been, library volunteers.  The Friends organise Quiz Nights, fairs, Board Games evenings, local history talks and talks by authors, and from time to time buy items for the library--such as the tables and a sandwich board given during the past year.  

    Toby Ewin

  • Parking Charges - Kingston Hospital

    A Letter Received about KINGSTON HOSPITAL’S PROPOSAL TO CHARGE PARKING FEES FOR BLUE BADGE HOLDERS 

    "I write to you as somebody whom I believe to be involved in a Residents' Association in [the] Kingston [area]. For those of you who do not know me, I'm James Giles, a community activist in New Malden and I am involved in a number of community organisations here.

    "You may [not] be aware that, from 22nd January, Kingston Hospital is set to introduce parking fees for those with blue badges, i.e. disabled people. Until this point, parking has been free.

    "The Kingston Independent Residents Group (KIRG) has launched a campaign to reinstate free parking at Kingston Hospital for blue badge holders, branding proposed changes by the NHS Trust a ‘disgrace’

    "I ask you if you would please be so kind as to distribute the link to this very urgent petition to your members and residents. It is so important that we demonstrate to the hospital the damage that this will cause to the most vulnerable in Kingston.

    http://kingstonindependents.org.uk.gridhosted.co.uk/news-and-updates/urgent-petition-to-save-free-parking-at-kingston-hospital-for-disabled-people/

    "If you are not on-line you can write to:  Cllr. M. Clark, at 135c South Lane, New Malden, Surrey KT3 5HQ.  Cllr. Clark is the Kingston Councillor who will be addressing this matter on the Health Scrutiny Committee.

    "Thank you in advance for your support.

    "James Giles"

  • Chairman's Blog - Feb 2018

    Our Milkman

    The milkman whose round has covered the whole of the West Barnes area every week for almost 50 years is retiring at the end of February.   He is John Braden MBE who is a familiar figure to very many of our Members. We wish him and his family all the best for a long and well-deserved retirement.

    John began working or United Dairies in August 1968 (now Milk & More) and has had to start 5 or 6 days a week, winter and summer and in all weathers, by 3.30 am, for a round that is not completed until the afternoon.

    John’s round covers such roads as Cannon Hill Lane, Parkway, Elm Walk, Southway, Westway, Oakway, Linkway, Grand Drive, and all the roads off.

    One of our Members has rightly described him as a “very reliable, conscientious, and kind-hearted man, who is thoughtful, cheerful, sociable, and has made a huge contribution to his neighbourhood and its sense of community”. 

    John was awarded the MBE for his actions in noticing that an elderly lady in Southway had not collected her milk from the previous day, and saw through the letter box that she had fallen in the hall.  This saved her life. Her neighbours in Southway asked for his public-spirited action and his general community service to be rewarded, and he was presented with the MBE.

    If you would like to mark your appreciation of John’s service, we are making a collection to present to him. Contributions can be sent or taken to John Townsend, our Treasurer at 128 Grand Drive, and clearly marked “Donation – John Braden”, or given to the person nominated to collect for your road.  

    Wimbledon Police Station

    We reported previously that the Mayor of London is to close and sell off Wimbledon Police Station, among many others, claiming that the savings are needed to protect the jobs of front line staff. The Times reported before Christmas that the university lecturer who lives in Wimbledon and who suffered horrific injuries during a raid by four thugs on his family home hopes to prevent this closure by bringing a judicial review in the High Court. He believes that his life was only saved because officers from the police station arrived within 8 minutes of receiving the 999 call from his daughter who was hiding upstairs.

    The Consultation Institute, a not for profit organisation, has stated that the formal public consultation “falls significantly short in best practice standards”.  He hopes to raise £5,000 to pursue the legal challenge.   We can only wish him all the best.

    Thames Water Leak

    As I write there is a major water leak in Firstway which was first reported before Christmas, but which has got steadily worse since. Nothing was done to repair it till 9pm on 12 January when emergency work had to begin, since the road surface was breaking up and a pothole appeared, deep enough to damage vehicles, 12” x 12” x 3”.  The sudden increase in the leak meant that the residents in Firstway had no notice of their water being cut off. We are indebted to our Road Steward Chris Quinby for keeping us up to date with information. 

    Plans had been made to repair the water main over a two-week period which would have necessitated one way working up Grand Drive and major traffic disruption over the whole area. Fortunately, the repairs were eventually carried out quite quickly and without the anticipated traffic disruption  .

    London’s Polluted Air

    The Mayor of London is consulting on plans to help tackle London’s toxic air pollution, which contributes to thousands of early deaths each year. These include proposals to extend tighter emission standards for diesel vehicles to the whole of London for lorries, buses, and other heavy goods vehicles in 2020, and for all vehicles within the North and South Circular roads in 2021.

    If you want to comment, visit https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/environment/air-quality-consultation-phase-3b  or write to FREEPOST, TFL CONSULTATIONS by 28th February. 

    John Elvidge

     

     

     

  • Leaking Water Main in Grand Drive

    Expect Traffic Disruption in Raynes Park - Jan 2018

    Thames Water is currently working out a strategy for the temporary traffic lights necessary for them to repair the leaking water main under Grand Drive, at the junction with Firstway.  They are not sure what they’ll find until they start digging! 

    It’ll probably be quite a long job; first excavation, then investigation, followed by repairing the pipes and re-instatement of the holes and road surface. 

    Temporary traffic lights are anticipated to be necessary, to allow working on one side of the road first and then perhaps switching to the other. Whether this can be co-ordinated with the lights at the junctions of Bushey Road and Approach Road by the bridge, remains to be seen.  

    Whatever happens, it’s likely to cause traffic jams for several weeks.

  • Raynes Park Association - Jan 2018

    Raynes Park Enhancement Plan

    Railway News

    A meeting was held between Paul McGarry LBM, Neil Milligan LBM, Tony Edwards, Chris Edge & Chris Larkman.  The purpose of the meeting had been to discuss how to respond to a recent unhelpful email from Kirsty Scott (Network Rail) regarding improvements to Raynes Park Station.  It was agreed that Chris Larkman would raise the issues with Stephen Hammond who has subsequently agreed to call a meeting at Westminster with Network Rail and key RPA members.

    Advertising Hoardings

    The RPA has also askedLBM to take enforcement action against the owners of the property on Coombe Lane at the junction of Durham Road for removal of the advertising hoardings.  Chris Larkman has alsomet with Shay Brown, Station Manager, who has agreed to note the matters which are specifically South West Rail to see how she can assist. 

    Bins to the North of the Skew Arch.  Stephen Crowe agreed that these bins should be removed, and he is going to follow up on this.

     

    Local Business Issues

    It was reported that cars continue to travel the wrong way on the one-way system, and there have been ‘several accidents’ including one serious one which was witnessed by Julie Donabie from her shop.  Julie also said there has been several ‘smash and grab’ robberies including one opposite her shop when someone on a scooter smashed a car window to steal a bag.  She claimed there are still problems with flooding and illegal parking e.g. on pavements.  

     

    It was noted that Thames Water had made it clear at the last Community Forum that issues of flooding relating to the public sewer should be reported directly to them on 0800 807 060 or 0800 316 9800 rather than LBM.  Blocked drains remain LBM’s responsibility.

     

    New Malden – Raynes Park Pedestrian & Cycle Route

    This has now been formally approved.  Details of the route through Raynes Park to be consulted on soon.

     

    CrossRail2

    Jerry Cuthbert noted that the project was not given the formal go-ahead in the budget, though it had received a brief mention.  

     Chris Larkman

  • Townswomen's Guild - Jan 2018

    Alice in Winterland – the Christmas show at the Rose Theatre, Kingston – was enjoyed by a small party from the TWG.  Loosely based on the Alice in Wonderland tale it proved to be a delightful well produced play with a big cast, incorporating music and dance, and large creatures animated by teams of the cast.  For those looking for something a little different from the usual pantomime this was perfect. 

    The Christmas Lunch was very well attended, arranged at The Leather Bottle, Merton.  Members had a choice of menu, all variations being well received by members. 

    Our first meeting in the New Year will be on Thursday, 18th January at 1.30 at St Saviour’s Church Hall.  Mel Rees will give a talk entitled ‘My family and other setbacks’.  As always, visitors will be welcome. 

    Best wishes from the Townswomen’s Guild for a healthy and happy 2018. 

    Dorothy Raymond

     

     

  • Chairman's Blog - Jan 2018

    ALL ENGLAND CLUB SPORTS GROUND IN GRAND DRIVE 

    As we reported in the December edition of The Guide, the All England Club is proposing to provide additional tennis facilities at their ground off Grand Drive. 

    These include an additional air dome over three acrylic courts, which will be situated behind the present air dome, i.e. on the opposite side from the houses in Cannon Hill Lane. They also want to build 16 new international standard grass courts which will be used by the players competing in the Wimbledon Championship.  In keeping with their wish to work with the local community, these grass courts will be available to use by local people, after registration and booking, for a nominal sum after the end of the Tournament and until the end of September. There is an all-year-round Community Tennis Programme on the acrylic courts. A new clubhouse is also being built. 

    The Club hosted two consultation meetings and sent out invitations to the 300 surrounding residents in Cannon Hill Lane, Elm Walk, Southway, and Grand Drive.  I attended one of these, and there was a steady flow of residents in attendance. 

    As part of their proposals they intend to deal with the remaining flooding issues at the ground that have caused major problems over the years to some of the surrounding properties. These include the blockages that often occur to the Meadowsweet Ditch which prevents storm water running off.  The residents were particularly interested in these. 

    The Ground is the home of the Wimbledon Junior Tennis Initiative and over 350 children from local schools now visit the site for coaching every weekend. The Club’s coaching team visits 69 schools in Merton and Wandsworth, giving taster sessions and selecting pupils to receive coaching at the Ground.

    It also is the training base for the Wimbledon ball boys and ball girls, all of whom are drawn from local schools.   

    A sports pitch will be retained for community use on the eastern section of the site. 

    One suggested proposal which may cause controversy is for maintenance vehicles to be able to access the ground off Cannon Hill Lane. Given the outcry this caused when this was proposed as a main access for residential use, we hope that this will not be proceeded with in the formal application.  

    The Club intends to lodge this by the end of January, and, of course, anyone affected by the proposals can object at that stage.  In the meantime, comments can be sent via e-mail to consulation@rolfe-judd.co.uk or by post to: Raynes Park Phase 2 Proposals, c/o Rolfe Judd Planning, Old Church Court, Claylands Road, London, SW18 1NZ. 

    CLOSURE OF TWO NATWEST BANK BRANCHES 

    The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced that it intends to close 197 NatWest branches by June 2018. These include the branch in Morden and that in Wimbledon Village. Of course, the branch In Raynes Park was closed some years ago. That will only leave the branch in the town centre of Wimbledon open for local customers. 

    The Bank, which is still largely owned by the taxpayer, justifies this on the grounds that the number of customers using branches has fallen by 40% in recent years in favour of customers using online and mobile transactions.  That still leaves 60% of customers who want to access a branch. 

    I have to say that this is a totally retrograde decision.  People have many reasons why they to want to talk to a cashier in person. There are often queues of people at the Morden branch. As a customer of NatWest, I regularly use the branches that are to close in preference to that in the Town Centre, since every time I go there, there is a long queue of people waiting to see the cashiers. The queue is made worse since in each branch there are now only two over worked cashiers available to see people. 

    I suppose that it is useless to protest, but it is a woeful example of a state run organisation putting its own wish to maximise profits against the wishes and needs of the people it is supposed to serve. 

    HAPPY NEW YEAR 

    This year we will achieve 90 years of existence as a Residents’ Association, a major achievement.  We will be letting you know how we are proposing to celebrate this anniversary year. 

    Meanwhile, a Happy New Year to all our Members and readers. 

     

    John Elvidge 

  • Raynes Park Afternoon Townswomen's Guild - Dec 2017

    During her talk “40 years of Quilting” Mrs Gillian Harris covered a table with an amazing array of quilted items which she produced from a seemingly bottomless case.  These illustrated different styles and designs, using hand and machine stitching techniques.  After questions ladies were intrigued to examine in detail the various items set out over the table.  We all admired the artistry and patience shown in effectively mastering this time consuming, but very worth-while, skill. 

    A repeat visit to Charterhouse.  A second small group of ladies visited this historic building in Charterhouse Square, close to The Barbican.  In summary, this building began as a monastery, became a Tudor Palace and dwelling, then the original home of the Charterhouse School (with many well- known old boys – e.g. Thackeray, Baden- Powell) and currently it’s an almshouse, under the Trust, for ‘brothers’. 

    The local area federation of Townswomen’s Guilds’ autumn lunch was held at South Thames College, Merton, on 15th November.  Eleven ladies, spread over two tables, enjoyed an extremely good meal, with well prepared and presented tasty food which was ably prepared and served by College students.  We hope this venue is selected by the federation committee on a future occasion. 

    Our regular meeting on 16th November featured a talk entitled ‘Gardens of Japan’ by Colin Jones, who is Chairman of Sanderstead Horticultural Society.  It is amazing how many of our favourite garden plants originated in Japan – hostas, hydrangeas, Japanese anemone, wisteria, azaleas and rhododendrons and, of course, maples.  Japanese gardens are designed to be ‘islands of serenity’ often with a limited palette of colours and featuring water, a tea house, lanterns, pines and maples.  Mr Jones illustrated his talk with beautiful slides, also showing intriguing examples of moss and gravel gardens.  I loved the idea of constructing a rope framework in autumn to protect the shaped pines from being damaged in the snow!  He ended of course with pretty shots of the cherry blossom.  Japanese people have such an interest in this ornamental cherry blossom they monitor and report its opening progress from south to north on television.  Spread over several latitudes, it moves at a rate of 4 miles a day up the Japanese islands. 

    Raynes Park TWG Christmas Lunch is to be held at The Leather Bottle on Tuesday, 7 December; we will attend Alice in Winterland at The Rose on Tuesday, 12 December and finally our Christmas Party is at St Saviours at 1.30 pm on Thursday, 21st December 2017. 

    We would love you to come and join us. 

    Dorothy Raymond, 020 8395 9489

     

     

  • Wimbledon Police Station - Closure

    Planned Closure of Wimbledon Police Station

    As many of you will have had by now, on the 1st November, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime announced the result of their engagement consultation regarding the closure of several police stations across the MET, including Wimbledon police Station.

    For us in Merton the impact is relatively significant. They have announced the planned sale of Wimbledon Police Stationto release £7m and save £444k pa running costs. However, an important caveat is that this may take up to two years to go through.

    The report also announces that the 24/7 front counter provision for Merton will move to Mitcham Police Station.

    MOPAC said “While opposition to these proposals was significant, there was no specific proposal set out by respondents which would allow us to revise our plans whilst also meeting the requirements to make significant savings across the MPS estate, and ensure capital receipts are as high as possible.” 

    Borough Commander Steve Wallace made these points:

    ·                     We currently respond effectively to emergency and non-emergency Borough calls from Wimbledon – we are confident this would be maintained at Mitcham Station

    ·                     Having the 24/7 front office at Wimbledon does work well now – but could also work at Mitcham and logically follows the 24/7 location 

    Some other important points:

    ·                     Mitcham front counter will be refurbished and upgraded

    ·                     Actively looking for “DWO hubs” in Wimbledon for officers to work from

    ·                     The ‘One ‘O’ Clock Club’ site in Wimbledon park is being retained as a DWO hub. 

    Neighbourhood Watch committee

    The neighbourhood Watch committee, who are made up of local neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators, are really keen to hear from anyone who can spare some time to help improve and expand the work we do to help keep Merton safe. You do not need any prior experience, just a keen interest in community safety and the ability to get stuck in and work as part of a team.  

    Lee Roberts, Neighbourhood Watch Manager

  • Chairman's Blog - December 2017

    ALL ENGLAND CLUB SPORTS GROUND IN GRAND DRIVE

    We have received late notice of a public consultation at the end of November and in early December about the proposed expansion of the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Grand Drive. This is the sports ground bounded by Southway, Elm Walk, and Cannon Hill Lane.

    It has a large indoor tennis court, changing rooms, as well as many outdoor courts.  Members of the Committee were invited to see the facilities in the summer, and they have been built to the highest possible standards. The grounds are used by the Club for the tennis and fitness training of local children, as part of their community outreach programme, and all local schools are invited to send pupils. On the Saturday we were there, it was full of children of all ages, with enthusiastic coaches.

    The Club now wants to expand the facilities, which may include building a further indoor court, and will probably need planning permission to do so.  There were objections from residents to the present indoor court. We hope that the Club will hold a further public consultation in the New Year, but this time with an extended notice period.

    WIMBLEDON POLICE STATION

    The Mayor of London’s policing and crime office announced on November 1st that Wimbledon Police Station, on Queen’s Road, is to close.   This is despite the representations made by all local politicians that the station is needed, particularly because of the high profile of the Wimbledon fortnight and the night time economy, which brings anti-social problems, in the town centre. The 24/7 front counter will instead be Mitcham police station.

    Sadiq Khan confirmed that more than half of London’s 73 remaining police stations are to close, with many of the buildings sold off to help raise £165 million.  The sale of the station in Wimbledon could raise up to £10 million and save a further £500,000 in running costs.  This may take two years to happen.

    The Merton Police Borough Commander has promised to keep residents informed about proposals also to merge police teams in the boroughs of Merton, Wandworth, Richmond, and Kingston into one large south west borough commander unit. The intention is to increase the number of neighbourhood police based at ward level “hubs”.  There will be more focus on reporting crimes over the phone and online.    

    WHY CHANGE THE CLOCKS?

    Once again the clocks have gone back an hour, and it is dark by mid-afternoon.  Why is it that Parliament, which seems, at the moment, to have little to do in legislative terms, can’t do what the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has wanted for years, and see the clocks moved permanently forward during the winter. It is accepted that more people are killed and injured on the roads during the dark evenings than would be in the dark mornings. There would also be considerable savings in energy costs. It would make the most of the shorter daylight hours.

    The reason for not legislating is always said to be that the Scots would not support it. But they now have their own Parliament and could easily opt out if they wanted to.

    Season’s greetings and a happy Christmas to one and all.

     

    John Elvidge

  • Notes - RPWBRA Open Meeting - 12/09/2017

    In attendance: 

    Cllrs. Mary Jane Jeanes, Brian and Gilli Lewis Lavender; The Committee; Association Members; Guests, Rev Peter Kelly, Dr Ruth Charlton, Dr James March and Clare Prodlock.

    John Elvidge opened the meeting by welcoming all present, and introducing the Guest speakers. 

    Firstly, he invited the Rev. Peter Kelly, of St. Saviour’s Church, to speak.   He had come along to introduce himself to the Association, and explain what had been happening at St. Saviour’s during the last nine months since he took over his role as priest in charge. He had to get to another meeting by 8.00 p.m. which is why he took first place.  The Chairman’s Comment in the October issue of the Guide referred to this impromptu and welcome visit. 

    We had also invited representatives from the Epsom & St. Helier NHS Trust.   We were delighted to meet the joint Deputy Chief Executives Dr. Ruth Charlton and Dr. James March. As well as the Trust’s communications Director, Claire Proudlock.   The very interesting video that they brought along, and the information about how the Trust had progressed since we last heard from them a year ago, was well received and covered by the Chairman’s comment last month.  Perhaps the most surprising fact to many of us was to learn that the Trust had kept inbudget, unlike so many others. 

    Proposed Telecoms Mast – Combe Lane/Cambridge Road. 

    A Coombe Lane resident, Mr. Otto Hoenig, spoke of his concerns over the proposals for a telephone mast in Coombe Lane. He had attended the meeting on behalf of his neighbours to seek the Association’s advice and support in objecting to a proposed re-siting of a telecoms mast from the Rainbow Estate to the corner of Coombe Lane with Cambridge Road. 

    It was agreed that there were much more suitable sites in the vicinity than one so close to residential accommodation and so visually intrusive.   Residents’ were advised to object to the proposal in the strongest terms and by individual letters including suggestions of more appropriate sites nearby.   It was agreed that the Association would support residents’ views. 

    Editor’s Note:

     

    Mr. Hoenig has since advised that Merton had turned down the prior approval application by Messrs Walden for the re-siting of the mast contrary to policies DM D1; DM D2; DM D6 of the Merton Sites and Policies Plan (July 2014), policy CS.14 of the Merton LDF Core Planning Strategy and policy 7.4 and 7.5 of the London Plan (March 2015).

  • Townswomen's Guild - Oct/Nov 2017

    RAYNES PARK TOWNSWOMEN’S GUILD

     

     The September meeting was, overall, a relaxed social occasion to begin the autumn season, although there was some reviewing of forthcoming events.  Two contrasting quizzes were prepared, but in the event only one was required.  Members were happy to catch up with one another over tea and cakes! 

    A group met at Superfish, Morden for another regular lunch club fixture.  However, on the same day two Committee Members were sad to attend the funeral of Mrs Elizabeth Fleming who had been a loyal member of the Raynes Park Guild for many years.  We will miss her. 

    On 15th November the local area Federation of TWGs have arranged their Christmas Lunch – this year at Merton College.   With such a local venue a large group from our Guild will be attending this event.  

    To avoid everything happening in one week, the visit has been brought forward to Tuesday 7th November.  We will go to The Millennium Embroidery Gallery and walled garden in Sunbury.  

    The monthly meeting on Thursday, 16h November (at 1.00 pm in St Saviour’s Church Hall) will feature a talk by Colin Jones entitled ‘Gardens of Japan’. 

    Please join us at our meeting if you would like to attend, or telephone for more information about any of our activities.  Visitors are always welcome. 

    Dorothy Raymond,  020 8395 9489

  • Notes - Community Forum - September 2017

    NOTES FROM THE RAYNES PARK COMMUNITY FORUM – THURSDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER 2017

     

    Open Forum

    A local resident asked when the hoardings on Durham Road will be removed as they attract fly posters. Neil Milligan, Development Control Section Manager, explained that the hoardings are technically legal; however, the council is investigating whether to act.

     

    Statistics on the number of Fixed Penalty Notices issued since April 2017 were provided: 2,683 for littering; 0 for dog fouling. Merton Council employs five members of staff from contractors Kingdom Security.

     

    Asked about whether road markings can be painted at the junction at the bottom of Lambton Road, Neil Milligan said that this has been raised with Chris Chowns, the Council’s transport planner, but the response is that currently there is no budget to do the work. Neil agreed to raise the matter again.

     

    Residents voiced concerns about the white line outside Waitrose, which has been moved, making it difficult for cars to get past one another and leading to traffic jams. Neil Milligan agreed to speak to Highways engineers about the matter.

     

    Concerns were expressed about litter outside the library and in the Apostles. It was noted that the drains are also covered in litter.

    Councillor Bull acknowledged the problem.

     

    Flooding in Raynes Park Area

     

  • Chairman's Blog - Nov 2017

    RUBBISH COLLECTION

     

    So far as we know, the present administration on Merton Council - if re-elected next May - intend to press ahead with fortnightly collection of household rubbish only, and the introduction of wheelie bins.  This is despite what I believe to be the almost universal local opposition to the ending of the weekly service which has operated successfully for many years.

     

    It is also even though in 2011 the Government’s Communities Secretary pledged to restore the “fundamental right” to weekly bin rounds and provided £250million to local authorities to help them supply them!

     

    But, according to a recent report in The Times, too few councils took up the offer, with many saying that it was too expensive to maintain weekly collections, or that doing so would undermine their efforts to reach an EU target of recycling 50 per cent of waste by 2020.

     

    The theory behind this is that fortnightly collections will aid the collection of goods that can be re-cycled. However, Merton is well behind its own target, and nationally the rate of re-cycling had gone down in 2015 from the figure of 44.9 per cent in 2014. 

     

    Speaking personally, I see no connection between reducing the frequency of general rubbish collection, and increasing the rate of re-cycling. On the contrary, I foresee that reducing the frequency of collections will encourage overflowing bins and so vermin, and cause foul smells.  I see the reduction in weekly collections as simply being cost cutting in a service that every household requires and depends upon.

     

    However, this may be a battle that is already lost nationwide. Nationally non-recyclable waste is collected once every week in only 24 per cent of local authorities and six councils only collect it once every three weeks. 

     

    MORDEN PARK SWIMMING POOL

     

    Morden Park swimming pool was opened in 1967. It is now being replaced with a Leisure Centre which will have a 25-metre, six lane main pool plus a second pool, and with a fitness suite and cafe. Work has already started on the construction, and the new building is scheduled to open in the autumn of 2018.   It is said that it will cost less to maintain than the former pool, which will be demolished, and the site returned to green space. The present pool and all its facilities will remain open until the new leisure complex is complete.

     

     

    John Elvidge (Chairman)

  • Views from our Advertisers

    Views from our Advertisers

    Locally-based glazing company 1st Call Glazing is a regular advertiser in The Guide. Proprietor Dave Richardson says: 

    “I have quite a large number of customers that use The Guide, so it works very well recommending local businesses. Some customers quite often lose my number, but always go back to this booklet to find it again, as they know I always advertise in it. 

    “Local people trust the Guide and trust the trades advertising in it. Most of my customers tell me that the first place they look when needing a trade is The Guide.” 

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Howell Jones Solicitors, whose local office is in Kingston Road, Raynes Park also advertises each month in The Guide. The firm’s marketing director Tony Sutton says: 

    As solicitors it’s really important to us to be in touch with our local community; in fact our partner and property lawyer Jan Bolden has been supporting the community for 37 years.” 

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Alison Easton offers an osteopathy service from her home in Raynes Park, and advertises regularly in The Guide. Alison tells us:

     

    “I enjoy being able to help people in my community and advertising in The Guide has enabled me to reach more people locally. It is great to feel a small part of the community that RPWBRA does such a wonderful job to coordinate and keep informed through The Guide”

     

     

    For any enquiries, or to place your advert, just email your text and/or artwork, in a standard file format, to our Advertising Manager along with your preferred page size. Your order must be received by the 16th of the month to ensure inclusion in the following month’s issue.

     

    Back to Advertise with us.

  • Raynes Park Christmas - Friday 1 December

    Raynes Park Christmas Festival,

    3.30pm – 7.00pm

    Friday 1 December 2017

     

    Merton Council have this year selected Raynes Park

    as the Borough’s Christmas Town.

     

     

    The Mayor of Merton, Councillor Marsie Skeet,

    will join the celebrations at 5.00pm.

     

    There will be a stage in the Waitrose car park, with

    children’s and adult choirs, dancers, live animals and

    nativity acting combining to create a lively event.

     

    This will be an ideal opportunity ideal for local people to sell craftware. 

    The charge for running a stall inside covered tents, with lighting, is just £30 with

     two chairs and a trestle table (1.8m x 0.6m) included. 

    To book a stall or for more information, please contact David Hurst,

    dthurst52@gmail.com , 07716 284287

     

     

     

     

  • Contraversial Telephone Mast

    Residents in Coombe Lane close to the junction of Cambridge Road and others close by, are concerned at a proposal to site a telecoms mast and associated box on the corner and close to residential property.  

    The mast is being relocated from the Rainbow Estate  and objections are being made on the grounds that it will be obtrusive and unsightly in this position and that it could be better accommodated along the slip road from the A3 to Coombe lane, without being in such close proximity to people’s homes. 

    We hope the Planning Officers and the Telecoms company concerned will consider any alternative sites suggested.

  • Looking After Drains and Ditches

    One of our Members, David Rush has kindly been keeping an eye on the ditch at Meadowsweet Close that the late Jane Bailey kept an eagle eye on, and was often to be seen cleaning out accumulated rubbish herself.   In response to a letter on our behalf from David to Tom Sly, Flood Risk Management Engineer at the London Borough of Merton, we received the following response. 

    I have made contact with L&Q directly and have requested that they raise a purchase order for their contractors, groundscapes, to undertake this work which is done annually at the end of the growing season. Following completion, I will undertake a site inspection to ensure it has been done appropriately” 

     

    However, Tom also urged us as an Association to remind residents both in Meadowsweet Close and importantly from 167 Grand Drive to 11 Westway, whose properties back onto the ditch that they must keep their back boundary fencing in good order and not put grass cuttings/litter over this fence as this may block the flow and cause a flood risk to properties.

  • Pavilion Club - September 2017

    Pavilion Club Members raised £320.42 at a tea party for the Macmillan Cancer Fund held on Thursday 21st September 2017.  This was over double the amount they made last year, and reflected the huge effort that was put in by everyone. 

     

    The organizers would like to extend their warmest thanks to all who came for tea and bought raffle tickets and cakes in support of this very worthwhile charity.

  • Community Forum - 14 Sept 2017

    Flooding in Raynes Park Area 

    Carly Mason and Patrick Maher from Thames Water attended the forum to discuss residents’ concerns about flooding. 

    Chris Edge informed Thames Water that there are lots of issues with flooding in the area. He noted that there is a problem under the railway bridge, where the council has cleared gullies, which suggests that the pipe is not big enough to handle the flow of water. Patrick Maher explained that Thames Water have investigated and not found any issues; the pipe is large enough. The problem is that when there is heavy rain, it collects because of the land being basin shaped. It was agreed the problem would nonetheless be taken back to Thames Water for further consideration. 

    Chris Edge suggested that if major building works take place for Crossrail 2, perhaps Thames Water could undertake major sewer works at the same time, including perhaps implementing a soak-away if the sewers cannot handle all the rainwater. Thames Water agreed that such works would take place in conjunction with Crossrail 2 construction.

    Thames Water is aware of flooding at PAG Ltd and Dundonald Church and are carrying out investigations into the problem. 

    Residents were reminded that flooding incidents should be reported every time they occur, so that Thames Water have a record of the problems.

    A resident pointed out that the pump stations have failed and asked why Thames Water are not more proactive in such instances. Carly Mason agreed that the situation is unacceptable and apologized on behalf of Thames Water. Thames Water is adopting private pumping stations and is in the process of investigating and upgrading them: on Abbott Avenue the equipment is being upgraded; and Approach Road is under investigation. 

    Compensation can only be offered if there has been a failure in the service Thames Water provides, not for flooding from foul sewers. In such instances, Thames Water would provide a clean-up service. 

    A resident explained that drains along Clifton Park Avenue are blocked, but when this was reported to Thames Water, the response was that Thames Water would not clear the drains until flooding had occurred. Carly Mason apologized and undertook to report the issue so that it can be fixed. 

    Thames Water agreed to investigate regular flooding of the shops by Raynes Park Bridge. 

    Thames Water is holding discussions with the council to look at inlet gullies.

    Edna Road is being investigated and further works are planned. A CCTV survey of Abbott Avenue was carried out after flooding occurred on 30th July. No structural issues were found. Worple Road, which is linked to the same problem, is being investigated. 

    Carly Mason reported that Dupont Road was heavily filled with silt this was cleared by 23rd June 2017.

    Residents noted that Burlington Road is still flooding, despite works to rectify it.

     

     

  • Townswomen's Guild - October 2017

    Kicking off again in September with Townswomen’s Guild activities, on Tuesday, 5 September 2017, a group enjoyed lunch at The Rocket at Putney and the following week a small group made a local visit to The Kingston Museum in Wheatfield Way.   

    In October we have invited Gillian Harris to give us a talk entitled ’40 years of Quilting’, at our monthly meeting on Thursday, 19th October in St Saviour’s Church Hall, Grand Drive.  Visitors welcome to this meeting.  Also planned for October is a social event – a Hallowe’en Lunch. 

     

    Please join us at our meeting if you are interested, or telephone for more information.

     

    Dorothy Raymond   020 8395 9489

  • Chairman's Blog - October 2017

    EPSOM AND ST HELIER NHS

    At our Open Meeting on 12th September we were given a presentation on the future of the local hospitals. 

    It was led by the Joint Medical Directors of the Epsom & St Helier NHS Trust. They are Dr. Ruth Charlton, who is also the Deputy Chief Executive, and Dr. James Marsh. They job share so that they can keep up their clinical practices, Ruth being a pediatrician, and James a renal physician. They were assisted by their colleague Claire Proudlock, who showed us a 10-minute video setting out the issues.  

    They are speaking to a number of local organisations to gain the view of residents on the future of the hospital service in this area, in the period from 2020 to 2030. This is an informal consultation at the moment, but the views expressed will be taken into account when they start their formal public consultation. They have guaranteed to continue the level of present service until 2020. 

    What came over strongly was the pressing need to build new hospital facilities on a single site for those who are most acutely ill. That hospital would have Specialist Consultants and nursing staff on duty 24 hours a day, and be able to cope with the widest range of conditions.  They have come to no decision as to where this hospital would be situated. The options are to build it at St Helier, or at Epsom Hospital, or at Sutton Hospital (which is currently closed but has the advantage of extra vacant land) near to the Royal Marsden Hospital. 

    They said that most of those coming to A & E for in or out patient treatment or for operations do not need such acute services, and what they stress is that these patients (the vast majority) will still be treated at St Helier and Epsom, which would be retained as fully equipped hospitals treating a full range of local services. 

    They are pleased that in recent years the service to local people has improved, with much reduced waiting times for people coming to the A & E departments, and a huge reduction in mortality rates. They have also rapidly reduced the expensive reliance on agency nursing staff by employing more full-time nurses. 

    St Helier Hospital was built in the 20’s and 30’s and much of it no longer meets modern standards of medicine. It has shared wards, long corridors, and needs major structural work. Most of it is classed as functionally unsuitable.  However, they stressed that this is not being ruled out as the site of the new acute facility. If that is built elsewhere, they intend that St Helier will remain as a local hospital serving the needs of the majority of less acutely ill patients, and will still provide maternity services for non-acute patients. 

    Their website at:

    www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk contains their detailed document. If you want to contribute to the discussion, you can e-mail them on: esth2020-2030@nhs.net 

    ST SAVIOURS CHURCH 

    We also welcomed to the Open Meeting the new priest in charge at St Saviour’s Church. He is the Reverend Peter Kelley. He is not yet the incumbent Vicar, and for the moment lives in New Malden and is unpaid!  He intends to have a weekly Sunday service at St Saviour’s, and he especially pointed out that he will revive the former practice of having a special service on 2nd November for All Souls Day to which people may wish to come to remember those who have passed on. 

    We said that we would be happy to have occasional articles from him and to carry notices of church services. The same is true of any other churches or those serving other faiths. 

    John Elvidge

     

     

     

  • Crossrail 2 - Update September 2017

    As our members may have noticed, very little new information has been forthcoming since the end of 2015.

    This is because, following the public consultation, which finished in January 2016, and the subsequent official report on the results, Crossrail 2 was tasked by the Government and the National Infrastructure Commission to prepare a Business Case. 

    The business case, which is confidential, was completed and submitted to the government by March 2017. 

    There was not much news after that as our politicians were then focussed on June’s snap general election. 

    Following the election, Liz Truss, in her new role as chief secretary to the Treasury, announced that she is responsible for public expenditure on infrastructure, housing, planning, roads, HS2 and Crossrail 2. So it would seem the project is still on the cards. 

    Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, then had a meeting with Sadiq Kahn, the Mayor for London, at which CR2 was discussed. The Transport Secretary agreed that London needs new infrastructure, to ensure it continues as the UK’s economic powerhouse. However, it would appear that, whilst the business case indicated that London could fund half of the scheme over its life, this is not the same as funding half of the up-front costs during construction. 

    The Mayor for London and the Transport Secretary have agreed to work together to see how Crossrail 2 might be affordable for the UK taxpayer. It seems that if there were a successful outcome from this exercise, a new public consultation would be launched and the safeguarding of land in our area would be clarified. 

    Reading between the lines, it seems likely that the crux of the Business Case was that government money would fund the major part of the capital expenditure, followed by income streams being generated from development along the route, which would then form London’s contribution. 

    Some financial engineering may be feasible, for example by using private finance, with the prospect of future income streams being the payback. However, one can’t help but be concerned that the focus on achieving a lower capital cost may result in the scheme being pared back, both in terms of extent and quality. 

    This could have major implications in dictating the choice of options for Wimbledon, what happens in Raynes Park and Motspur Park and further along the branches to Epsom, Chessington South, Shepperton and Hampton Court. 

    In the meantime, representatives from the Crossrail 2 team have been making contact with various groups in our area, including the Raynes Park Association and the Friends of West Barnes Library. The purpose of these meetings is to establish contact with our community ahead of the next public consultation. When this is likely to be, we do not yet know. Maybe the next Budget, planned for November, will trigger something. 

    However, we have been told that the main proposals for Motspur Park Station would involve providing step-free access to the platforms. At Raynes Park, the station is intended to be an interchange between Crossrail 2 and South West Railway services, so improvements there may be more extensive. 

    The implications for the two level-crossings along West Barnes Lane and the impact this might have on our local road network remain to be seen. 

     

    Jerry Cuthbert

  • Raynes Park Afternoon Townswomen's Guild - August 2017

    August is a month with no formal meeting when members concentrate on social activities and the annual coach outing. 

    On the social scene Margaret’s Picnic Lunch was a resounding relaxed and very tasty success.  Her garden is always full of flowers which we all viewed and admired from the outside table and the conservatory chairs.  The selection of food was amazing and quite delicious.  Thank you, Margaret, and able helper Jenny, for working so hard to make this friendly get-together also a culinary triumph. 

    A coach without a single spare seat set out on 17th August to Eastbourne.  The summer outing is always open to friends in the Rendezvous Club, Pavilion Club and Residents Association as well our Townswomen’s Guild Members.  Accordingly, we picked up at Motspur Park, Raynes Park and Grand Drive Greenway, promptly, as everyone was on time, getting away by 9.30 am.  The traffic was heavy both ways, the journey taking about two- and-a-half hours, but overall the day proved a great success, the weather improving as we arrived.   

    Eastbourne was full of surprises.   The first was reports of power cuts at various locations, affecting lighting (and the tills!) not to mention their ability to make tea in many of the shops and cafes.  Mercifully they seemed to be intermittent and not too long lasting.  The bonus was on the sea front. We found that by accident we had arranged our outing on the first day of Eastbourne’s air show.  To be able to sit in the sun watching the aircraft manoeuvres and/or wander along the lower deck looking at all the colourful stalls set up there for the occasion, was very pleasant and a distinct bonus.   The various aircraft were amazing with formation flying and aerobatics included in several set pieces.  Early on there was also a wing walker.  Everyone enjoyed watching parts of these displays.  Our driver was first class and after a smooth return we arrived back in Raynes Park at about 7.00 pm.  Many thanks to all the friends who joined us making this trip a success. 

    In October, on Thursday, 19th at 1.30 for 1.45 in St Saviours Church Hall.  Gillian Harry’s talk is entitled ’40 years of Quilting’.  Please join us if you are interested. 

    Dorothy Raymond  020 8395 9489

     

     

     

  • Neighbourhood Watch - Sept 2017

    The MET are working hard to keep the public safe and make the streets a hostile territory for criminals who use scooters, mopeds, motorbikes and bicycles to snatch valuables from members of the public.

    Operations Officers are conducting targeted operations throughout London and through intelligence-led investigations and operations to prevent and detect moped theft. This includes, among other things, raids on individuals suspected of stealing motorcycles and using them to commit crimes, high visibility patrols in key areas and increased street searches for stolen motorcycles.

    Reducing opportunities

    Officers are reducing the opportunities for theft to take place in the first place through a combination of approaches -  such as making owners aware of what they can do about reducing the thefts - and working with industry and councils to protect, or design the theft options out of the vehicles, reducing the ability of the offenders to use the vehicles in crime; Improving public awareness and protection; and removing markets for offenders to dispose of goods.

    There have been concentrated media campaigns for public awareness focusing on distinct victim groups. There has been engagement with Secondhand phone shops, markets, scooter dealers and garages, to improve intelligence and remove locations that will buy the stolen property.

    Bringing offenders to justice

    The police use intelligence and CCTV to identify linked offences and bring offenders to justice. There is a proactive stance with sting vehicles, targeted operations and a focus on criminal cohort, to reduce high volume offenders. Also working in partnership with Youth Services and third sector groups to discuss diversion opportunities.

    How can riders prevent their bikes being stolen?

    · Parking: Choose designated parking with a stand and security loop, or if this is not available try areas with lots of people, good lighting and CCTV

    · Locks: Use more than one lock, focusing on disc locks and chain locks, fitted tight to the bike and through difficult to remove parts

    · Time: When leaving your bike for a long period or overnight, lock it to something secure and use a motorbike cover. At home consider using fitted anchors to secure your bike

    · Attention: Use audible alarms where possible to draw unwanted attention to the thieves

    · Marking: Choose to mark your bike parts with the vehicle identification number (VIN) number, your postcode or registration number using an ultraviolet marker pen or property marking kit

    · Insurance: Some companies will offer discounts on your insurance if you invest in certain security measures, so ask before you make your purchase Personal Crime prevention advice

    · Be aware of your surroundings at all times and keep your personal property secure

    · Don't text while you're walking - you won't notice potential thieves approaching

    · Use the security features on your phone

    · Try going hands free or stand away from the roadside close to a wall so no one can come up behind you

    · Your phone comes with a range of security features, such as keypad locks and remote data wiping. Make sure they are all activated to stop thieves from accessing your phone and personal data

    · Know how to identify your phone if it's stolen

    · Find your IMEI number by dialling *#06# from your phone and keep a written note of it. If the phone is stolen, report it to the police and your mobile provider to stop it being used · Register your phone on www.immobilise.com to help police return recovered stolen property and combat the sale of stolen goods. Police recover more than 2500 items registered to the website on average every month. Never confront a thief or risk your own safety for the sake of your mobile device

    Pursuit guidelines

    The MPS can and will undertake pursuits in any situation where it is necessary and proportionate to do so. Any pursuit carries risk, and additional safeguards are in place for pursuit of two wheeled vehicles. Only specially trained officers are authorised to engage in pursuit activity and they are supported by a tactical advisor, and a senior officer in our Command and Control centre has oversight.

    A driver or pillion removing their crash helmet does not automatically require a pursuit to be terminated and the police will review the risk posed, balanced against the type of criminality under consideration and the additional risk posed to other road users.,

     Lee Roberts, Neighbourhood Watch Manager

  • Epsom and St Helier Hospitals NHS Trust

    RPWBRA - 12 September 2017 - Open Meeting at the Residents' Pavilion, 129 Grand Drive, SW20 9LY

    Over the last few weeks the Epsom & St. Helier NHT has been actively promoting and encouraging local people to have their say on the future of Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust. 

    We have called this Epsom and St Helier 2020-2030 and already we have received lots of feedback.    We wrote to you at the outset of our engagement exercise and want to hear from as many different individuals and groups as we can before we end the engagement at the beginning of October.   It would be helpful if you could enable us to discuss our plans with some of your Members so that we can reach as wide a range of people as possible.

     

    In summary, we are looking to keep at least 85% of services locally, which will mean that for the majority of patients they will continue to be seen and treated in their local hospital as they are now:  and then we are looking to attract £300-400 million to build a much-needed new acute facility on one of our three sites.

     

    We believe that talking to local people about local services and involving them in the future of their hospitals is key. This is not a formal consultation as we are initially wanting to seek local people's views on making local hospital services sustainable for the long term.  

     

    We do not have preferred option at this stage and want to hear what you think, and over 15 weeks are seeking as many views as possible.  We recognise that funding for NHS investment is difficult -  but we believe that we have a case which if supported by local people will enable us to put a strong case for keeping services local for the future. 

     

    The information we receive from local people will be used to inform the next stage which will be to develop an outline case which will be put forward to the wider NHS.   Any formal consultation will take place later but we wanted to make sure we have the views of local people well in advance of this process.

     

    We would like to hear the views of Raynes Park and West Barnes residents and would welcome the opportunity to come and discuss this at a meeting.   

     

    Lisa Thomson,

    Epsom and St Helier Hospitals NHS Trust

  • Chairman's Blog - September 2017

    THE FUTURE OF THE LOCAL HOSPITALS 

    Our next meeting on Tuesday 12th September will have a speaker from the Epsom and St Helier Hospitals NHS Trusts which is anxious to hear the views of local residents on the future of the local hospitals.  The meeting is being held at the Pavilion at 129 Grand Drive at 7.30 pm.

    The Chief Executive of the Trusts says that this is not a formal consultation, but is designed to feed into planning for the decade from 2020 to 2030. Their hope is to get permission to spend between £300,000 and £400,000 on a much-needed new specialist facility on one site for acutely sick patients and in accident and emergency cases, particularly for complex emergency surgery. It would also provide inpatient beds for children, and maternity services. Their aim is to keep 85% of services locally. They say that they have no preferred option as to the site. 

    Under the plans £80 million would also be spent on the maintenance of both hospitals. Most of St Helier Hospital was built in the 1920’s and 1930’s, and is badly designed for modern clinical treatment, being assessed as being “functionally unsuitable”. 

    Do come along and contribute to the discussion that the Trusts are having. We had a similar meeting a couple of years ago which was extremely interesting and worthwhile. 

    CROSSRAIL 2

    The Transport Secretary has announced that Crossrail 2 is likely to go ahead, even though it will cost some 30 billion pounds. He said that there was “no doubt” that London needed new infrastructure to ease pressure on its overcrowded transport system. The line would run north -south, and come through Motspur Park, Raynes Park, and Wimbledon after which it would run largely in tunnels to Tottenham Hale and Southgate.

    The intention is to start work in the early 2020’s and the railway could open in 2033. A public consultation has been promised soon to help “gather views to improve the scheme and clarify the position”.

    The draft plans previously published would have destroyed much of Wimbledon Town Centre, and said almost nothing about how the extra tracks required and the increased frequency of trains would affect this area.  It is obvious that both Motspur Park and Raynes Park stations would require major alterations, and there would be the almost inevitable closure of the Motspur Park and West Barnes level crossings, causing major impacts on local traffic. 

    A further consultation had been promised by this autumn, but this is likely to be further delayed. We will, of course, let everyone know when public consultations on the revised plans take place. 

    FLOODING 

    The day and night long deluge of rain on 9th August has again caused flooding in parts of Raynes Park. This Association was founded in 1928 precisely because of the amount of flooding in the area. With climate change, the chances of such heavy and prolonged rain are likely to be get worse. 

    We reported in the August edition of The Guide the discussion on this at the Community Forum meeting in June. This is worth repeating here.  The meeting was attended by an engineer at Merton Council, and a representative of Veolia. Raynes Park is a known flood risk area and Merton has increased its gully cleansing programme each winter and is formulating a flood prevention plan.

    Residents are encouraged to report each incident of flooding to Thames Water. A resident at the meeting from Dupont Road said that flooding there had been reported to Thames Water last year, but they still had not dealt with the infrastructure. He was talking to them as to how they could be more pro-active when it was known that heavy rain was due. Likewise, there were ongoing discussions about Edna Road where Thames Water had put in a new sewer lining which had blocked some of the road gully outlets into the sewers. Some of this had been repaired by the council but it was the responsibility of Thames Water to ensure sufficient working of the sewer system. 

    Shannon Corner, as an ‘A’ road, was the responsibility of Transport for London, and the council had met on site to discuss flooding there. Blocked gullies, cement in drains, or blockages from leaves should be reported, in the first instance online via the council’s “Report It” tool, or via an app called “Love my streets”.  For those not online, they can call the council.   

    WEIL’S DISEASE 

    A neighbour had an incredibly distressing experience this month when she found a dying fox on her patio. The RSPCA were called and immediately diagnosed that the cause was leptospirosis, more commonly known as Weil’s disease, which is a bacterial infection. This was probably picked up from rat’s urine or infected water.  They took the animal away.

    The disease is incredibly rare in humans but can be contracted from cuts and scrapes. The advice must be to always wear gloves when gardening. 

     

    John Elvidge

  • Morden Rotary - August 2017

    Morden Rotary Club invited local fund-raiser Claire Nethersole to talk to us recently about the role of Age UK in our local community.

    We learned that this national charity has over 150 branches in England, each one of which operates independently to meet the needs of the particular area they serve. Their general aim is to provide services and information to the over 50s age group, and to enable and support the quality of life for the growing number of our older generation.

    Claire explained to us the particular kind of help on offer. These include "at home" visits, providing cleaning, cooking or handyman services, all done by the staff team employed by Age UK. Practical household work done regularly and reliably can be a major benefit for many older people. There is a charge for these services, but this is always competitive, and of course the quality is assured.

    Social activities are another very important element provided. The Mitcham Activity Centre offers a programme of social gatherings and regular weekly clubs such as craft, yoga, scrabble, tea dances
    and lots more.  This is run by a friendly support staff and volunteer team.

    Also on offer is an "Out & About" programme organising walks, outings, theatre trips and coach trips. These take place locally, in London or further afield.

    You can find out the full details of what Age UK Merton does locally on their website - 
    http://www.ageuk.org.uk/merton/about-age-uk-merton/

    The Elmwood Centre is at 277 London Road, Mitcham, CR4 3NT, phone 020 8648 5792.

    Morden Rotary was pleased to present Claire with a donation to a very worthwhile cause supporting older members of our local community.
     

     

    Joss Ollett

  • Association News - August 2017

    Will we lose our local Police Station?

    Apparently, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan wants to close Wimbledon Police Station.  He has just launched a consultation on closing half of all police front counters in London, and Wimbledon is amongst them.   It has been suggested that “response policing” is then likely to be based from Mitcham. 

    This closure seems extremely short-sighted bearing in mind the Town Centre’s huge night-time economy.  Wimbledon is also a large transport hub which needs policing, not to mention the surge of visitors from all over the world who need to be kept safe when they come to watch the Tennis Championships. Wimbledon Police Station also has a great central location and is easy to get to. 

    Because we are constantly being reminded by some politicians about the need to improve security, increase police numbers and so on, I had forgotten that in fact Mayor Khan has already cut £38 million from the metropolitan police staffing budget.  The closure of half London’s Police Stations can only add to any existing problems.   It is to be hoped that residents will let Sadiq Khan know, in no uncertain terms, that they wish to keep Wimbledon Police Station for the reasons stated. 

    Mayor’s Transport Strategy

    The Mayor of London has also just published his Transport Strategy.   He wants Londoners’ views on this to and suggests we all complete his on-line survey.   We can send in our responses as individuals, or as a group or organisation.   Here is the link:

    https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/policy/mayors-transport-strategy/ 

    Overhanging Trees, and Street planting

    At the June Raynes Park Forum, a resident expressed concerns about overhanging vegetation from people’s gardens which impedes footpaths -  especially for the partially sighted. She pointed out that residents are responsible for cutting vegetation back to their own boundary lines, and if they don’t do it, the council has to but at residents’ expense. It was suggested that advice about the matter could be included in the Guide to increase awareness. Residents were also asked to water newly-planted trees if they live close to any.  

    No Wheelies Please – Merton

    Merton Residents propose that weekly dustbin waste collections are maintained and that two 80 litre, lidded recycling bins be supplied to contain two weeks’ worth of separated recycling; both brown, to match the food waste bin.  

     A great deal of careful thought has gone into Merton residents’ proposal and the campaign was launched this spring to propose to the Council and Veoilia Waste Management what seems to be a much more sensible alternative to their own proposal of fortnightly collections enabled by simply supplying two large wheelie bins to every household. 

    The Campaign’s Five Point Proposal, makes sound common sense and from the point of view of most householders is more practical and unobtrusive.  The organizers aim is to reach over 1000 signatures to their petition by the next Council meeting in September (they’ve reached more than 900 votes already) and ultimately 2000 votes by the time of the next elections in the spring of 2018. 

    To learn more about their proposals and to help the campaign to achieve its objectives visit their website at:

    www.nowheeliesplease-merton.org.uk

    or contact them at: nowwheeliesplease@gmail.com

  • 16/P3135 - Parkgate House

    PLANNING INSPECTOR REFUSES DEVELOPER’S APPEAL ON PARKGATE HOUSE, MOTSPUR PARK! 

    The first application (16/P 0233) - which was approved -  was to convert this office building into 19 flats. 

    The second application (16/P3135) was to add a mansard-type roof providing an additional 6 flats. This application was Refused by the Planning Committee and the applicant submitted an Appeal. The Inspectorate decided to deal with this by an 'Exchange of Letters' which nevertheless requires a Site Visit. 

    The Inspector agreed with the Planning Committee and Refused the Appeal. It is clear to me from reading her decision letter that she took her time over the site visit and gave the matter very careful consideration. 

    Main Concerns

    The main concerns of the Inspector’s decision were the effect of the proposed addition on the character and appearance of the surrounding area, and the effect on the living conditions of nearby residents in particular the relevance to privacy and outlook'. 

    The Inspector found there was conflict with Section 7 of the National Policy Planning Framework which seeks to ensure that new development should add to the visual quality of the area; to Section 7.4 and 7.6 of the GLA London Plan and Policy CS 14 of Merton’s Core Strategy. These policies require that new development should aim to reinforce local distinctiveness and respect and enhance the character of the wider area. 

    The Inspector noted that the existing office building appears bulky and at odds with the local shopping parade. The building appears to have an "uneasy relationship" with the local street scene and also struck her as having a "visually jarring" impact in the local context.  She concluded that the proposed addition would appear as a bulky, overly dominant and overbearing form that would fail to have respect for the scale of the (mainly two storey) local shopping parade. She felt this would result in material harm to the character and appearance of the local area. 

    Living Conditions

    The Inspector noted that the proposed addition would introduce additional windows at the third-floor level which she felt called for a greater 'separation distance' from facing buildings than would be the normal 25m requirement. She felt there would be a "perception of overlooking" into the gardens of Marina Avenue and therefore concluded that the proposed addition to provide 6 extra flats would have an overbearing impact on nearby residents resulting in material harm to the living conditions of nearby residents in terms of "loss of privacy and visual impact “. 

    David Freeman

  • Chairman's Blog - August 2017

    SUMMER PARTY

    We held a very successful summer party to which we had invited all the volunteers who run the Association and look after the Pavilion. It took place on the middle Saturday of the Wimbledon fortnight, and was blessed by weather. In keeping with the spirit of

    Wimbledon, we enjoyed prosecco, and strawberries and cream, as well as lots of savouries. 

    There was a more serious side to the occasion too. In the early spring, we had planted a Bird Cherry tree in memory of Jan Bailey, who was our Secretary for very many years, and who died suddenly last year to our great loss. During the party, her partner, Gordon, unveiled a plaque at the tree commemorating her, and made a lovely speech in her honour. It was very moving. 

    WATERLOO TRAINS

    Another reminder that four platforms at Waterloo are being extended this month to take longer trains and new track is being laid. This will cause major disruption to services during the expected work schedule from August 5 to 28, and half the services will not run. The advice is to travel only outside rush hours, if possible, or to find alternative means of getting to London.

     CYCLE RACE IN LONDON AND SURREY

    The annual cycle race took place on Sunday 30th July, which required the closure of many major local roads for the whole day. The organisers now build in some crossing points where local people can try and get through, both on foot and by car. Let us know if there were any difficulties that you found, and we will pass these onto the organisers to build in for next year.

     A GOOD PLACE TO LIVE

    When people ask me why I have never moved, I always say it is because this is the best place to live in London. It has more open space and greenery than anywhere else in the capital, with Wimbledon Common, Wimbledon Park, and Cannon Hill Common, among many other parks, to enjoy. It has

    good transport links by train, tube, tram, bus, and road in all directions. It has accessible major hospitals. It has a variety of housing. It has many sports clubs, including the tennis championships and AFC Wimbledon. 

    It has good schools, both local authority and private. It is also, as the local police officers told us at our AGM, about the safest place in London in terms of crime. Our task, as an Association, is to help keep it this way. 

    HOLIDAYS

    We all wish you a very happy and enjoyable holiday, whether you stay at home or go away. 

     

    John Elvidge

  • Morden Rotary - July 2017

    Here's a mid-year up-date for you to see where donations to the Rotary Club of Morden have been put to work locally.

    St. Raphael’s Hospice received he largest donation. At Christmas, a significant amount of funds are raised by our week-end collections in Lower Morden Lane.
    Local residents are famous for their Christmas Lights and garden displays which draw visitors from a wide area.
    With their endorsement, our buckets of money are set aside to support St. Raphael's, and we aim to continue this in the future too.

    Other local good causes that received support were:  

    • Age UK Merton, Arthritis Care Dictionaries for Schools
    • Friends of King George's Playing Fields
    • Friends of Lower Morden
    • Merton and Morden Guild Polio Plus,
    • Wimbledon Youth Sailing Club, and
    • Young Chef of the Year.
    Also, with the joint help of The Leivers Trust, the Rotary Club supported Merton's children with special needs.

    Students at the Perseid School Cricket Green, and West Wimbledon Primary were recipients of funds, enjoyed Xmas parties, and Santa's visits, and also joined in Rotary's Kids Out Day.

    We also supported several individual appeals that were directed to our Rotary Club.  These helped one family to obtain a specially adapted wheelchair, another family to replace a vehicle essential for the school run, and also provided a specially designed spa bath for a severely disabled baby's benefit.

    We were also privileged to meet and support several young people in Merton who were going abroad to work with charitable projects in Africa.

    Do you know that EVERY SINGLE PENNY you give to Rotary is directed to
    good causes?  We are one of very few charitable organisations that can say this, and that's why some notable people have sponsored and joined us.

    For example, Bill and Melinda Gates have given The Rotary Foundation a
    $100 million grant for polio eradication, and then increased that to $355 million. Rotary agreed to raise $200 million in matching funds but Rotarians worldwide in fact raised $228.7 million!  Going forward, the Gates Foundation will match two-to-one, up to US$35 million per year, every dollar Rotary commits for polio eradication up to 2018.  Although on a more modest your local Rotary Club discusses fully and carefully every funding appeal that is made to us.

    We'd like to thank all of you who have contributed to our fund-raising in past years. Also, we are very grateful to all of you - particularly to the RP&WBRA Pavilion Club members who gave unused spectacles to our project in the schools and villages around Moshi, in Tanzania.

    The spectacles were distributed at local churches, and you'll be pleased to know that those congregations would like to pass their thanks back to the thoughtful and generous people of Raynes Park and Morden.
     

    Like most voluntary organisations we'd very much like more people to join us to help continue our efforts, and you are welcome to join our weekly meetings on a Thursday evening at The Morden Brook. Why not look up Morden Rotary on Facebook?  Or our website which is also easy to fin.


    Phil Watson, President, Rotary Club of Morden and Joss Ollett, PR , Rotary Club of Morden.


     



     

  • Parking Charges - Sir Joseph Hood

    Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Fields

    It is doubtful that the many Friends and users of Sir Joseph Hood’s Playing Fields at Motspur Park will welcome the proposal by the London Borough of Merton to introduce parking controls in the car park there.

    According to the consultation notice the charges would be applicable between 8,.00am and 4.00pm on Mondays to Fridays at the rate of 10p per 20 minutes up to £2.40 for 8 hours.  The purpose being to deter commuters. 

    Residents are being given until 7th July to send in their objections or comments to The Environment and Regeneration Department, Merton Civic Centre. London Road, Morden Surrey SM4 5DX or by email to trafficandhighways@merton.gov.uk quoting reference ES/OFFSTREET. 

  • July 2017

    Sir Joe’s Party in the Park

    There will be fun and games on 8th July in the Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Fields at Motspur Park when The Friends put on a great Party in the Park to raise funds for its upkeep.  Between 12.00 and 3.00 p.m. there will be boot camps and trainers; nature walks; football; tennis and a kids and adults yoga class.  There will also be a BBQ, bouncy castles, face painting stalls and refreshments and much more – even sports massages for those in need.  Go along and have lots of fun.  

    Meanwhile, how long have you known and used the Playing fields?

    The Friends of Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Field are looking to put together a history of our park. We are particularly looking for memories and photographs from the 1930s onwards including:

    • Sports Activities
    • The Pavilion
    • Changes after WWII
    • The Bowls Club

    If you have any contributions please send them to: sjhhistory@yahoo.co.uk 

    We can make a digital copy of any printed photographs and return them to you.  

    The Great Get Together and Big Lunch picnic organised by the Friends of Cannon Hill Common

    This annual event was organised by The Friends on a sizzling Father’s Day, Sunday 18th June.  Held on the meadow by the lake everyone enjoyed a bring and share picnic to celebrate not only the annual get-together for Neighbours but also in celebration of the late Jo Cox, MP. A lovely idea. 

     

  • Raynes park Residents' Lawn Tennis Club - July 2017

    We are running two summer camps at the club during the school holidays. The first is for juniors up to the age of about 9, running from the 24th - 28th July, 9.30 am – 12.30 p.m. 

    The second for 10 years and over also at 9.30 am is being run from July 31st – August 4th.  The cost will be £20 per day for junior members and £25 per day for non-members. 

    For any queries relating to the camps, or coaching generally, please contact the head coach José Marquez on 07941 231829. Junior membership is £5 per year. For membership enquiries, please contact membership@rprltc.co.uk

    There will be another Open Day on the middle Sunday of Wimbledon, July 9th, between 1.00 and 4.00 in the afternoon. Everyone is welcome, though due to the exceptional demand for our junior coaching we are not able to offer much capacity in our junior coaching programme. 

    The scheduled sessions are for senior players of any ability from complete beginners, through ‘rusty racquets’ and intermediate to advanced. We hope to see you there. You can register in advance through the website: www.clubspark.lta.org.uk scrolling down to and clicking on Open Days and searching using the postcode at the bottom of this item. 

    Paul Sadler

    rprltc.co.uk, Meadowview Road, SW20 9AN

  • Raynes Park Afternoon Townswomen's Guild - June 2017

    Silver Bells’ was the title given to our May meeting.  This proved to be a musical group consisting of two ladies playing mandolins, one lady playing a guitar, and a dapper male singer.  They entertained us with well-known songs from around the world.  Handing out word sheets they encouraged us to sing along.  A vote of thanks for this happy afternoon was given by Mrs Janina Craske. 

    Lunch club changed the date and venue for their June expedition, ending up at The Watchman in New Malden.  They will visit the Haywain in Epsom in July! 

    Stawberry Hill House, Horace Walpole’s Gothic Castle, is a delight.  Over the last few years it has been slowly and painstakingly renovated.  With an army of volunteers explaining all about the house and renovations, it is a credit to them.  They were at pains to answer any questions our small group put to them.  The House stands, very white, with turrets and tessellations overlooking a very pleasant lawn and gardens.  When built it would have had a view of the river, but no more.  

    On 15th June, we celebrated our 84th birthday at St Saviour’s Church Hall with a tea party, a picture riddle quiz, birthday cake, and a lot of chat!  We are looking forward to anothersocial event on 22nd June entitled ‘Mid-summer Lunch’ at our Chairman’s House. 

    On 20th July, the next monthly meeting at St Saviour’s Church Hall at 1.30 for 1.45 is a talk entitled ‘You-the-Jury’ by Peter Thompson.  Visitors are very welcome to this meeting. 

    There are still a few spaces on the coach to Eastbourne on Thursday, 17 August 2017.  We pick up in Motspur Park, by Raynes Park Station and in Grand Drive at the Greenway Bus Stop.  The cost if £14.  Please telephone for more details or to reserve a place. 

    Dorothy Raymond 020 8395 9489

  • Chairman's Blog - July 2017

    RUTLISH SCHOOL 

    Rutlish School has been ranked “outstanding” by Ofsted. We congratulate the Head Teacher, the staff, and the pupils on this excellent achievement. 

    The school, which is all boys, remains a local authority comprehensive, and has a higher proportion of pupils from ethnic minorities than the national average.  The inspectors were full of praise for its “knowledge and understanding of tolerance

    and democracy” which makes the pupils “exceptionally well prepared for the challenges of life in modern Britain”. They found that their progress far outperforms boys’ schools nationally. They praised staff for their “high performance” culture and outstanding subject knowledge as well as for their high expectations for their pupils, and pupils for their very positive attitudes and commitment to learn. 

    WIMBLEDON JUNIOR TENNIS INITATIVE 

    The Junior Tennis Initiative was started by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (better known as Wimbledon) some 15 years ago as part of their commitment to the local community and with the desire to bring tennis to local schools. Since that time the hard-working coaches of the Club have been to visit every primary and secondary school in Merton, in order to enthuse both pupils and staff with their desire to give every child the chance to play tennis, and to keep active and fit. Those children who show aptitude for tennis are then given the opportunity to train in squads run by the Club’s coaches.  Literally thousands of children have been helped in this way. 

    The training used to be given only at the main premises in Church Road,

    Wimbledon, but the building of the new roof on the Number One Court forced them to look elsewhere. This is now carried out at the Raynes Park Playing Field, the entrance to which is on Grand Drive, and which is bounded by Cannon Hill Lane, Elm Walk, and Southway. 

    Members of the Committee were given the chance to see the tennis training at the ground on a recent Saturday. It’s a hub of activity. There is training for an hour for each child, arranged in age groups from as young as 4. This starts early in the morning and goes on through the afternoon. 

    The training is led by Dan Bloxham, who is the Head Coach at the All England Club, and his wife Lizzie. They live in our area, and are totally committed and dedicated to their work. 

    The ground itself has been transformed with grass courts, in season, acrylic hard courts, and a state of the art bubble containing indoor courts for inclement weather.

    The building work is exceptionally well done. 

    TOUR OF THE ALL ENGLAND CLUB 

    As we noted in the last edition of The Guide, some 30 Association volunteers and members of the Pavilion Club were given the chance to have a 2-hour tour of Wimbledon, led enthusiastically by the indefatigable Dan Bloxham. 

    The tour began in their indoor courts, where we met some of the senior pupils on the Junior Tennis Initiative, who were practising. They were full of praise for the opportunities given to them. 

    OPEN MEETING IN BLOSSOM HOUSE SCHOOL 

    Every year we hold an Open Meeting in the Motspur Park area, so that we can discuss with residents there any issues that concern them. This year we were very fortunate to be given the chance to hold it in Blossom House School, which is a specialist therapeutic school for children with a wide range of learning and communication difficulties. The School was re-located in Motspur Park in 2015, and children come to the school from all over London and Surrey. 

    The Principal is Joey Burgess, OBE, who founded the school elsewhere some 20 years ago with just 4 pupils and has gradually increased it in size so that it now educates some 200 pupils, with a pupil teacher ratio that is second to none. She gave us an inspiring address as to the joy that she and her staff feel when they can bring out the best in children that other schools found difficult to teach. We hope to bring you a detailed account of her remarks at some point. 

    DISRUPTION TO TRAINS THIS AUGUST 

    It is worth repeating that, as we mentioned in the last edition of The Guide, there will be major disruption for trains from this area to Waterloo Station, where four platforms are being extended to take longer trains, and new track laid on the approach to the station. The work is meant to run from August 5 to 28, and half the normal train service will be cancelled. If past performance is any guide, we may expect the work to overrun, and the number of cancelled trains to increase. Trains are likely to be queuing right down the line to get into Waterloo, and there is bound to be massive crowding at Waterloo for those trying to get home. 

    The best advice seems to be either to go away or else to find other routes into London. The Thameslink service from Wimbledon to Blackfriars and stations over the river would seem an obvious alternative choice. 

     

    John Elvidge

  • Cottenham Park Primary School - 150 Years Gala

    Did you attend Cottenham Park Primary School

    (now St Matthew's C of E Primary School)? 

    We would like to hear about your achievements/stories for a special exhibition being collated for the 150th year Anniversary. 

    We would also like to invite you to attend our

     

    Gala Evening on Friday 7th July 2017.

     

    To send in your information and to purchase tickets please email stm150tickets@gmail.com.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • Coach Trip to Portsmouth - 8 August 2017

    THE PAVILION CLUB - Raynes Park

     Coach Outing to PORTSMOUTH

     on TUESDAY 8th AUGUST 2017 

    Price:  £11.00 (to include Driver’s Tip) 

    Pick Up Times

    Motspur Park:                                    9.00 am

    Raynes Park (Approach Road):             9.15 am

    Grand Drive (Greenway stop):              9.30 am

    To Book telephone: Jill:  020 8286 9809 or Andrea:   020 8540 0164

  • Coach Trip to Brighton, 14 July 2017

    Pavilion Club - SUMMER OUTING - Brighton 

    TUESDAY 4TH JULY

    Price £11.00

    Including Driver’s Tip

    To Book, telephone: Jill West 020 8286 9809 or Andrea Hannan 020 8540 0164

     Pick up Times 

    Motspur Park (Opp. Earl Beatty)               9.00  am

    Raynes Park (Approach Road)                  9.15 am

    Grand Drive (Greenway Bus Stop)             9.30 am 

    EVERYONE WELCOME!

  • Coach Trip to Wisley - 6 September 2017

    WISLEY FLOWER SHOW

    The Annual trip to Wisley Flower Show will be on 

     FRIDAY 8TH SEPTEMBER 2017 

    With pickup points at: 

    Greenway bus stop, Grand Drive @ 9.15 a.m.

    Approach Road, Raynes Park @ 9.20 a.m. 

    Motspur Park, Opposite the Earl Beatty @ 9.30 a.m. approx.

     The Coach will leave Wisley at 4.00 p.m. 

    The fare will be £10.00 which includes entrance and driver’s tip. Money to be paid within a week of booking, please.

     Seats may be booked with Margaret Barratt (8949 4304) and Jill Truman (8879 3525)

     

  • Raynes Park Afternoon Townswomen's Guild - May 2017

    Resplendent is his Farnham Town Crier’s uniform, Jonathan Jones visited our meeting to tell us about his duties.  The uniform is colourful and magnificent consisting of a green coat, decorated with red and gold braid and gold buttons worn over a scarlet thigh length waistcoat similarly decorated with braid. Completing the effect Johnathan wore white stockings and black breeches and of course his bell, in this instance, made by the well-l known bell makers at Whitechapel.  

    The chief requirement for the job of Town Crier is a stentorian voice.  With a naturally loud speaking voice, Jonathan made us jump in our seats when he finished his talk with an example final ‘shout’.  With a naturally echoing hall at St Saviour’s, he set all the rafters reverberating.  Unbelievable! 

    In May, the lunch club enjoyed another successful lunch, this time overlooking the river at Putney.  

    For the visit, a group travelled via The Bank and DLR to West India Quay to visit The London Museum DOCKLANDS.   A long journey with plenty of walking, plus a rather extensive museum, meant that we all ran out of energy before we had investigated all the interesting and well displayed exhibits!  We felt there was enough on the top floor alone to last several hours. 

    The Glen Miller Orchestra provided a pleasant afternoon concert at the Royal Festival Hall which a group enjoyed, (although we were left wondering if the Royal Festival Hall should warn people about the access difficulties to level 6, not to mention the steep stairs and lack of hand rails once there). 

    Our monthly meeting at 1.30 pm at St Saviour’s Church Hall on Thursday, 15th June will feature our 84th birthday party.  The Lunch Club will travel to The Haywain in Epsom and the visit will be to Strawberry Hill House.  There are a few places still available on the Eastbourne Trip on 17th August, £14.  Visitors and friends are welcome to any of our meetings, social events and outings.  Please telephone for more information. 

    Dorothy Raymond

    020 8395 9489

     

     

     

  • Raynes Park Residents' Lawn Tennis Club - June 2017

    The club is holding another Open Day on the middle Sunday of Wimbledon, July 9th, between 1:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon. Everyone is welcome, though due to the exceptional demand for our junior coaching we are not able to offer much capacity in our junior coaching programme. The scheduled sessions are for senior players of any ability from complete beginners, through ‘rusty racquets’ and intermediate to advanced. We hope to see you there. You can register in advance through the website clubspark.lta.org.uk, scrolling down to and clicking on Open Days and searching using the postcode at the bottom of this item. 

    Two new initiatives have started: Cardio Tennis on Monday evenings, 7:15-8pm, £5/session for members with a free trial available. It is £7 for non-members. We are also taking part in the LTA’s Tennis Tuesday initiative with sessions for ladies from 9:30-10:30 am.  Both these are run by Frances Allberry on 07931 703134who can give additional information and would appreciate prior notice if you intend to attend. 

    Don’t forget our head coach José Marquez (07941 231829) is running summer camps for children during the holidays. For information and booking please contact him directly. 

    Paul Sadler 

    rprltc.co.uk

    Meadowview Road

    SW20 9AN

     

     

  • Neighbourhood Watch - June 2017

    Change in counting rules in burglary 

    As reported last month, from April 2017 residential burglary will now include all buildings or parts of buildings that are within the boundary of, or form a part of, a dwelling and includes the dwelling itself, vacant dwellings, sheds, garages, outhouses, summer houses and any other structure that meets the definition of a building. 

    The impact on the change will vary across boroughs but is likely to show close to a 12% increase on the current burglary dwelling figures. You may notice the change in weekly and month crime figures. 

    Smart Water kits 

    All except four cheques have been cashed and codes have been sent to over 100 residents.  There were many more who expressed an interest in a Smart Water kit but did not send a cheque.  If you want to know more about smart water or have any questions please visit the smart water website https://www.smartwater.com/ 

    Carnival Help 

    Thank you to those who have volunteered to help at the carnival. It is very much appreciated. If you are about on the 10th June please do come and say hello. 12-5pm Mitcham at Mitcham Fair Green http://www.merton.gov.uk/news-events/events/mitchamcarnival.htm 

    Lee Roberts (Miss)

    Neighbourhood Watch Manager

    Mitcham Police Station’ 58 Cricket Green

    Mitcham, Surrey, CR4 4LA,  

    Telephone: 020 8649 3213

    Email: lee.roberts@met.police.uk

     

     

  • Chairman's Blog - June 2017

    OPEN MEETING AT BLOSSOM HOUSE SCHOOL

     Once a year we hold an open meeting in Motspur Park so that residents there can bring to our attention any issues that need addressing in their immediate area.

     This year we have been invited to hold it in Blossom House School, which opened in April 2015 in the heart of Motspur Park.  The School is a specialist, independent day school, which provides a highly supportive curriculum for children with speech, language, and communication difficulties. It draws in children from all over south London. We meet there by kind permission of the Principal, Joanna Burgess, who was recently awarded the OBE for her work, and we are delighted that she has agreed to speak to us during the meeting about the facilities that the School provides.  We will also be welcoming Daniel Elkeles CEO of the Epsom and St. Helier NHS Trust, who will update us on all that is going on at St. Helier and Epsom Hospitals. 

    We are starting at 7.30 pm on Wednesday 14th June, to finish soon after 9pm, and we hope to see as many members as possible there. 

    SUBSCRIPTIONS 

    Our hard-working team of volunteer road stewards will be calling on you shortly if they haven’t already done so, to collect this year’s subscriptions for continued membership of the Association. The cost is again £3 for the year, and it hasn’t increased for many years.  We hope that you will want to join again, so that we can continue to protect the pleasant environment which we have chosen and been fortunate to live in. Next year we will celebrate 90 years of existence, since our foundation in 1928. 

    VOLUNTEERS‘  PARTY 

    This year we are again holding a summer party for our Area-Co-coordinators, Road Stewards, and other volunteers. This will be held in our Pavilion off Grand Drive on Saturday 8th July from 3pm to 5pm. This date is the middle Saturday of Wimbledon fortnight, and so we will be providing strawberries and cream, and prosecco as a thank you for everyone who helps keep the Association going. We look forward to meeting up again with all of you. 

    During the party, we have the formal dedication of the tree we planted in February in memory of Jan Bailey, who worked so tirelessly for 20 years for the interests of local residents. A plaque will be unveiled in her memory in the presence of her partner, Gordon.   As she loved the natural world so much, this will be a fitting tribute to her. 

    If anyone wishes to help us by becoming a volunteer in any capacity, please contact any member of the Committee. Our names and contact details are at the back of each copy of the Guide. You will be welcomed with open arms. 

    OAK TREES 

    Some huge oaks trees came down in Cannon Hill Lane during the storms this winter.  They were immediately cut into large segments by the Council’s tree surgeons.  It is well known that the age of trees can be accurately established by examining the rings of the tree, which show its annual growth. 

    Someone unknown to us has done precisely that with the largest specimen. He or she has dated the tree all the way back to 1816 in this way. 

    It is amazing to think that the tree has stood there since before the reign of Queen Victoria, when this area was open country, and survived all the changes since till this year.   I have a self-seeded oak sapling in my garden. It is a sobering, and yet a comforting, thought that, left to itself, it will still be here and thriving 200 years from now. 

    MALDEN GOLF CLUB

    I had the good fortune to play at Malden Golf Club this month. It is worth repeating that this Club was originally based in Raynes Park, and that the entrance to the Club House was marked by the pillars still to be seen at the junction of Grand Drive and Bushey Road.  The roads around were named for the Club, e.g. Fairway, Linkway, Firstway, and Grand Drive. 

    The Club decided it had to move when the course became too wet to play on each winter - as we still see - with the flooding in Prince George’s Playing Field and under the railway bridge.  

    The problem of flooding was also the reason this Association was established, back in 1928. This was one of the matters on which Jan Bailey was a true expert, and why we miss her so much. 

    John Elvidge

     

     

  • 14 June 2017 - Meeting at Blossom House

    14 June Open Meeting - 7:30 pm  

    We hope we will have a good attendance at our June Open meeting.  This is usually held somewhere in Motspur Park, and we are delighted to announce that this year it will be in Blossom House School.   We hope that we will have a good attendance from Motspur Park residents (we are sometimes accused of being too Grand Drive Centric) who will not only hear from the amazing Head of the School, but also from the Chief Executive of the Epsom and St. Helier Hospital NHS Trust about some of the great improvements that have been introduced, and plans for the future. 

  • RPWBRA Visit to AELTC

    Visit to the All England Lawn Tennis Club 

    The Association was invited to take a party of residents for a tour of the AELTC.  A group of about 30 residents and members of the Pavilion Club met on 19th May and were accompanied on the tour by the charming and enthusiastic Dan Bloxham (the Master of Ceremonies at the Wimbledon championships) who is very much involved in the Club’s work with the community and in encouraging young people.    

    The visiting group had an extensive tour of the grounds, Centre Court and Court No. 1, and the opportunity to watch Pat Cash and Tim Henman warming up for the opening of the grass courts – an annual event.   The courts certainly looked amazing like velvet carpets, with as yet, not a sign of wear and tear.   

     

    It was a most enjoyable tour. Thank you to AELTC for inviting us.

  • Planning News - May 2017

    16/P3135 - Parkgate House (in Motspur Park). The applicant has approval already to convert the offices to 19 Flats, but has submitted an application to remove the Mansard roof and construct 6 additional flats. This has been refused by the Planning Applications as being overbearing and inappropriate to the local street scene. The applicant has however submitted an Appeal which is to be considered by an Exchange of letters. The Inspector appointed will have to make a ‘site visit’.  It is worth remembering that because the building is very close to the railway lines and the Station, full development is unlikely (even if the Appeal is upheld) until the proposals for Crossrail 2 are much clearer.

     17/P 0609 Wyke Road (a stretch of land alongside the railway tracks). The application is to develop 10 one bedroom flats. This is still under consideration but Crossrail 2 Ltd has commented that the ‘application site is in close proximity to the safeguarding limits ‘of land required for the development of CR2 if it goes ahead. 

    A very robust Objection has been submitted by the Wimbledon Society. It is worth noting that there have been several applications over the years on this site (mostly for Office space) and all have either been Refused or withdrawn. 

    17/P 0833 - 240 Burlington Road This is a purpose-built block for Students of Kingston university. The application is for ‘Change of Use‘ only into a Hostel. No structural changes to the building or its appearance are being proposed. The applicant claims that because more suitable accommodation has been built for the students much closer to the University in recent years the building is only half full and uneconomic to run. The aim is to provide accommodation for rental in the wider market.

    The Association has written to the Planners requesting strict conditions be imposed if the Officers are mindful to approve this application. 

    17/P 0036 -  63 Grand Drive The application is to demolish the bungalow and double garage at the end of a long drive and construct 5 three-bedroom houses. The driveway leading to the site is very close to the last bus stop in Grand Drive going North which might involve traffic problems if, and when, approved. 

    16/P 4741    641 Kingston Road   The Public House known as The Junction Tavern. The applicant (The Olive Garden) plans to convert the building into a 21 bed Hotel. The application has been approved but just like Parkgate House and Wyke Road, this building is very close to the railway lines and one wonders whether anything is likely to develop until Crossrail 2 proposals are firmed up. 

     

    At the meeting of the Planning Applications Committee on 16th March it was agreed to restrict the time permitted by Objectors speaking at meetings to a total of 6 minutes instead of 9. The rule that the Applicant has the same amount of time to speak (as ALL the Objectors together) has been maintained. This is likely to be a problem with large applications where several people have requested to speak. They will have to consider who can make the best case in the limited time available.

  • Disruption to Trains - August 2017

    From 5 to 28 August 2017, Network Rail will be reconfiguring the track and platforms at Waterloo Station. This will mean a temporary timetable for trains to and from Raynes Park, with significant reductions in frequency of services and the loss of connections to other stations. To find out more go to networkrail.co.uk/wswupgrade and southwesttrains.co.uk/wswupgrade.

    Southwest Trains say that, as a result:

    • You may be asked to queue outside Raynes Park station
    • The train you usually catch may not be running
    • Services will be much busier than usual
    • Your journey may take longer
    • You may not be able to board the first train when you arrive

    If you are travelling from this station between the 5 and 28 August, please keep these tips in mind: 

    • Check the advice for other stations nearby. They might have more frequent or less crowded trains
    • Travel slightly earlier or later than normal. The busiest trains arrive into London between 8 and 9am and leave London between 5.30 and 6.30pm. To help you travel outside of these times we will provide longer trains for extended periods
    • Not travelling. If you are able to do so, you might want to consider working from home or planning a summer holiday for some or all of this time.

    As regards loss of connections to other stations, Network Rail says that the following stations will be closed during this period:

    Chessington North, Chessington South, Earlesfield, Norbiton, Malden Manor, Queenstown Road and Tolworth.

    It would also seem that trains to and from Raynes Park will not be stopping at Vauxhall.

    There may also be other impacts at other stations, on buses, on tubes and on local roads due to displaced travellers resorting to other routes.

    Due to superb planning by somebody (who probably wishes to remain anonymous) the Government has decided that that a joint venture between First Group and Hong Kong-based MTR, will take over the train franchise from Southwest Trains on 20 August in the midst of all this!

    Good Luck!

     

     

  • Raynes Park Afternoon Townswomen's Guild - Apr 2017

    Mrs Stephanie Bruggerman, a NHS Physiotherapist, and Falls Co-ordinator for Merton, came to speak to us about Falls Prevention at our March meeting.  

    Following a wide-ranging discussion, she summarised with a four-point checklist of positive things we can do to avoid falls.  

     

    1.  Work at keeping strong and active

    2.  Check round your home for clutter and other hazards

    3.  Regularly check medications taken – requirement and dosage

    4.  Look after your eyesight 

    Also discussed were Personal Alarms and the Message in a Bottle scheme (which involves a summary of personal information being stored in an emergency canister in the fridge) This was a serious topic but the advice was well received by members.

    The meeting closed with a collection towards the famine in Sudan appeal. 

    Taking advantage of the spring sunshine, at the beginning of April, a large group enjoyed a lunch at The Watchman, New Malden.  The following week a small group enjoyed a guided tour of Charterhouse situated at one corner of Charterhouse Square which is close to The Barbican.  This historic building dates from the 1348.  It has served as a monastery, private mansion, boys school and an alms-house which it is today. Our tour took in the Great Hall where the Brothers sit together to eat their meals, the Great Chamber where Queen Elizabeth I held court during the first days of her reign, Wash-house Court associated with the medieval monks of the Charterhouse, and Master’s Court which reveals the opulence of Lord North’s Tudor mansion.  Personally, I liked the cloisters where you could plainly see the big grey stones supporting the small red Tudor bricks halfway up the wall.  There also remained an interesting doorway which would have led to a monk’s cell, with half of the original thick and heavy door on display.  Recently Charterhouse was a school which is now situated in the Godalming area.  The present Brothers are needy gentlemen (along the lines of the Chelsea Pensioners). 

    We are inviting local Residents and friends in the Rendezvous and Pavilion Clubs to join us for a Coach Trip to Eastbourne (Tickets £14).   Please telephone Dorothy Raymond to reserve a place.

     

    Coach Trip to EASTBOURNE 

    Date:  Thursday, 17th August 2017 

    Transport: 50 seater Edward Thomas coach 

    Pick Up Points:  

    Motspur Park – 9.00 am, 

    Raynes Park Station (Approach Rd side) – 9.10 am, 

    Grand Drive (Greenway bus stop Sth side) – 9.20 am. 

    Return: 4.30 pm. 

    Cost: £14 per seat (including tip)

     

    Our next meeting is on Thursday, 18th May at St Saviour’s Church Hall at 1.30 pm when Jonathan Jones will give a talk entitled ‘Town Crier’.  Visitors are always welcome at our meetings and other activities.    

    Dorothy Raymond  020 8395 9489

  • Local Transport - Have Your Say

    Tell Merton how you think its public transport could be improved.

    The Public Transport Liaison Committee meeting to be held at the Civic Centre from 7.15 p.m. on Wednesday 10th May 2017, is your chance to learn about how transport is changing and to put questions to Transport for London and other providers. 

    This public meeting is led by the Sustainable Communities Scrutiny Panel councillors and is organized primarily to give residents an opportunity to ask questions on transport topics of local interest.  

    There will be presentations on the Mayor’s Draft Transport Strategy, buses, trams, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and Mitcham town centre update, followed by question and answer sessions.  Following the meeting the Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel will make recommendations for improvements to the Council’s Cabinet and to relevant transport providers to ensure that any issues raised at the meeting are fully considered.  

     

    For more information or special requirements call 020 8545 3837 or email: future.merton@merton.gov.uk

  • Chairman's Annual Report 2014-15

    This year has, as ever, been a busy one for the Association. 

    It has been the first full year of operation for our own Residents’ Pavilion, and I want to begin by thanking everyone involved in its conversion, and in its continuing success. 

    The work to turn the tennis pavilion into a warm and welcoming centre is now complete.  We could not have done this without the expertise and enthusiasm of the Chairman of the Management Group, Jerry Cuthbert. He also continues the time consuming task of managing the site on a day to day basis. The Association owes him a great debt of gratitude.  He has been ably assisted in this work by David Freeman and I also want to thank him for this. 

    We were able to make the centre fully usable for less able people with £9000 from the Lottery Grant. This was secured for us by Christine Rowe.  While she has now left the committee to pursue other interests, I want to acknowledge her great contribution in obtaining this vital extra money. 

    I want to thank Linda Fitch, as well as David, for their work in transforming the overgrown grounds into a pleasant garden, and in maintaining them. 

    Overseeing the complex accounting for this project has been our Treasurer, John Townsend.  He has set up a separate account for the Pavilion so that we can ensure that it pays its way and is not a drain on the general resources of the Association.

    I am delighted to be able to say that the Pavilion is meeting its costs and, even at this early stage, has come into surplus. 

    The bookings for the Pavilion continue to be buoyant and I want to thank the Pavilion Management team for their work in showing people over the building, taking the bookings, and for opening and closing the pavilion on the day. It is heavily booked as weekends as a venue for family parties. 

    I must single out among the regular bookings the Social Club run for our own residents. This takes place every Thursday for two hours in the afternoon, and has been a tremendous success. It clearly is enjoyed and valued by everyone who attends. This is due to the warmth and enthusiasm of its co-hosts, Jill Truman and Andrea Hannan, and I congratulate them. 

    All this has been in addition to the usual work of the Association is trying to preserve the benefits of living in this area. 

    The range of work we cover can seen be seen from the detailed and valuable notes set out in the Guide each month by our joint secretaries, Jill Truman and Jan Bailey.  I want to thank them both for the enormous amount of hard work they put in to keep abreast of what is happening in our area, and for alerting us of matters that we need to comment on and, if necessary, oppose. 

    One successful example of this is that, with others, we managed to persuade the Post Office to retain full counter facilities in the centre of Raynes Park. 

    Planning issues continue to take up a lot of our time. The focus of attention for this coming year is going to be the proposed redevelopment of the Rainbow Estate off Grand Drive, which is the subject of two current planning applications. We have set out our objections at length in responses to these, and I want to thank Jerry Cuthbert and David Freeman for the excellent and expert way they have done so. 

    To summarise, we oppose any housing on this site, which is designed for light industrial and business use. It continues to be needed as such to provide essential local employment. The site is land locked, and is simply unsuitable for housing. This area has more than met its quota for housing, with all the new developments up Grand Drive.  All the schools and surgeries in this area are overflowing, and the developers want to add to the numbers of people living in our community, so as to enhance their own profits, without providing any of the infrastructure needed. 

    What we need in Raynes Park are facilities to drop off and pick people up at the station, and the proposed schemes cannot provide for this. 

    Where a development enhances the community, we support it. We welcome the proposal to build a new library in West Barnes, paid for by residential accommodation, as was the case in the successful redevelopment of the Raynes Park Library. 

    We also welcome the proposal to bring CrossRail 2 to this area, with proposed stops at Motspur Park and Raynes Park. This will enable much easier access for our residents across London. 

    Our planning team is highly experienced, and their contribution to our work is invaluable. They are David Freeman, Jerry Cuthbert, Pamela Robinson, and Jan Bailey. Jan is also an expert on our water courses and drains. Rachel Skinner is professionally engaged in transport matters, and gives freely of her time on issues such as parking, vehicular access to developments, and Cross Rail 2. We thank them all. 

    Communicating what we do, and getting feedback from our members, is vital. We remain, by far, the largest Residents’ Association in Merton, so this is a major task.   We use both traditional and new means to do so. The Guide has been published since 1928, and Jill Truman is carrying on the long tradition of continuously improving it, as our Editor. 

    To get it to our members each month requires the dedicated service of a team of area co-ordinators and road stewards, all voluntary members. They do a sterling job, and we can’t thank them enough. 

    They are all organised by our distribution manager Andrew Barwick and his deputy, Dick Coleman, to whom thanks. 

    The Guide is virtually self funding through the advertisements that it carries. Our advertising manager for the last few years has been Linda Fitch, and I want to thank her for taking on this post and for carrying it through so effectively. She now wants to step down from this role, and we are looking to find someone to carry it on. We welcome any volunteers for this essential task. Linda has agreed to brief anyone fully on the job.   

    We are also modern in our methods of communication, through our web site, which is increasingly well used.   Thanks continue to be due to our Web Master, Charles Briscoe-Smith, for his technical skill, and to Rachel Skinner and Jerry Cuthbert for keeping the content up to date. 

    Our finances continue to be buoyant, and it is extraordinary that we have been able to fund the conversion of the Pavilion while retaining enough funds for everyday and emergency use. John Townsend, whose report will be next, continues to manage these with great aplomb, secure us the best available rates of interest, and has a fine eye to detail. We thank him. I also want to thank our Honorary Auditor, Brian Lewis-Lavender. 

    Brian has now been elected as a Councillor for West Barnes Ward, together with Gilli, his wife, and Mary-Jane Jeanes.  All three of them are assiduous in their attendance at our Committee meetings, and in following issues that our residents raise. 

    We continue to be represented at meetings of the Raynes Park Forum and the Raynes Park Association, which covers the town centre. I would thank Pamela Robinson, Jan Bailey, and Jerry Cuthbert for attending on our behalf, and for their reports back. 

    Of course, we cover also the areas of Coombe Lane, and of Shannon Corner, and we thank Jill Truman and Peter Connellan for keeping us appraised of issues in these areas. We hold an Open Meeting each year in Motspur Park to make it easier for residents there to meet us. 

    Finally, I would repeat my pleas from last year. We are very busy and do an awful lot. But we can always do with fresh blood at all levels. None of us is getting any younger.  We would welcome any new assistance, in any capacity. Just get in touch. Thank you.     

    John Elvidge

     

    18 March 2015 

  • Ride London again; 28-29 July 2018

    Image result for ride london

     

     

     

    The 2018 Prudential Ride London cycling event will take place over the weekend of 28 -29 July 2018. The final route has yet to be published but we expect it will be coming through Raynes Park again on Sunday 29 July, following a route along Coombe Lane, Worple Road and up Wimbledon Hill. This will mean significant access restrictions to all properties in West Wimbledon, in the Coombe Lane / Copse Hill / Ridgeway areas and north and south of Worple Road. Click on https://www.prudentialridelondon.co.uk for, what seems to be, mostly last year's information. 

    If you live near Raynes Park or in West Wimbledon area and are planning an event at your home, have travel plans, expect visitors or have similar commitments on Sunday 29 July 2018, you are strongly advised find out in advance how this will affect you.

    As yet, road closure information for 2018 is not available but click here for last year's. It'll probably be similar this year. However, for 2018, the  closure of Grand Drive to northbound traffic for the gas main replacement works will have just started (GRAND DRIVE MAJOR CLOSURES FOR 2018). This will surely add to the confusion.

    Whilst the TfL website currently has no information, this is expect to change at some point.

     

     

  • No Wheelies Please

    From the No Wheelies Please - Merton Group 

    The results of two surveys (one borough wide, and the other by the Apostles Residents' Association) have indicated that over 90% of the respondents reject the Council's proposals for fortnightly waste collections (from October 2018) and the introduction of 68,000 wheelie bins across the borough. 

    The NO WHEELIES PLEASE - MERTON group, have instigated a non-party-political RESIDENTS' REFERENDUM to enable residents to make known their preferences for the frequency of dustbin waste collections, and for 80 litre, lidded, recycling bins in a uniform colour, instead of wheelies and open topped boxes. Thephotos on the website say it all! (but there's loads more info at- www.nowheeliesplease-merton.org.uk. 

    Having gathered the first thousand signatures, the group will be trying to secure face to face negotiations with the Council and Veolia Waste Management (who are taking over Merton's waste collection service this month).

     

  • Margaret Pye - Funeral Arrangements

    Sadly Margaret Pye, who was a redoubtable worker on behalf of the Environment for our Association for many years, and worked with Jan Bailey, teaching her a lot, has recently died.  The last few years were unkind to Margaret who had a stroke and was lovingly cared for by Michael.  The funeral will be on 5th April, at 2.00 p.m. at Holy Cross Church Hall, and 3.20 at the Crematorium. There will be light refreshments at the Church Hall following the Cremation.

  • Merton's Scrapped Weekly Collections

    Merton Scrapped Weekly Collection - FAQs

    As you know Merton's council’s current administration is planning to scrap the weekly rubbish collection.  Over 3500 people replied to the opposition parties’ survey, with 95% against the administration’s plans.  Many of you asked for more detail, so here is an FAQ which prepared by opposition Councillors to help you understand more about these plans.

     

     

  • Raynes Park Afternoon Townwomen's Guild - April 2017

    A small group enjoyed their visit to Chiswick at the end of February.  Chiswick House Park is a delight at any time of year but even in daylight seems magical when, all around the grounds, there are large, imaginative and extremely well-made soldiers, Disney characters, and fairy tale tableaux, as well as representations of well known world-wide landscapes.   After a restorative lunch-time snack the group examined and admired the camellias in the conservatory, before walking round to Hogarth House.  Partly closed for restoration, there are nevertheless computers in the dining room which give an overview of the house and historic information.  The kitchen area currently holds an exhibition of items not normally on view, including interesting satirical etchings with full explanations.  Incidentally, one of these is acknowledged (and recognisable) as the inspiration for one of the exhibits at the current Hockney exhibition at Tate Britain.

    Lunch Club members found themselves in a Lloyds Bar full of musicians and miscellaneous large musical instruments.  Pushed out of their favourite spot! They nevertheless found a table and enjoyed their lunch. 

    At our meeting on April 20th (at 1.30 at St Saviour’s Church Hall) Jonathan Jones’ talk is entitled ‘Town Crier’.  The next visit is to Charterhouse (Tour on Wed 12th April) and the lunch club will visit The Watchman at New Malden Fountain (Thurs, 6th). 

    Visitors are always welcome to our meetings and other activities.  For more information please telephone. 

    Dorothy Raymond  020 8395 9489

     

  • Raynes Park Tennis Club

    Raynes Park Residents Lawn Tennis Club News - April 2017 

    The club is holding an Open Day on Saturday 22nd April between 1pm and 4pm. This is primarily aimed at adults including -beginners, those whose skills are a little rusty - and experienced players who might have recently moved to the area. 

    This doesn’t mean that we aren’t interested in helping juniors who will be welcome on the day, it’s just that the enormous success we have had under our head coach, José Marquez, has led to all our courses for juniors being fully subscribed, despite us putting on an additional days coaching. 

    José is proposing to run summer camps in the school holidays with under-9s between the 24th and 28th July, and older children up to 16 in the following week 

     Please contact the club for further details and confirmation.  You can turn up for the Open Day on the day, but if you want more details of the events taking place and the chance to register in advance, you can access the Information through the LTA at: Clubspark.lta.org.uk where you click on Open Days and search on SW20 andthen click on Raynes Park Residents LTC. 

    Paul Sadler

     

     

  • Raynes Park & West Barnes Libraries

    APRIL 2017 - ALL CHANGE AT RAYNES PARK and WEST BARNES LIBRARIES! 

    There are exciting developments afoot regarding our two local, much-valued libraries.

    In this month’s Guide we celebrate the input and achievements of Paul McDermott, the outgoing manager of the Raynes Park branch who is taking charge the borough’s largest library in Wimbledon from next month.

    Whilst still a sixth-former at Wimbledon College, Paul was employed on Saturdays at Morden Library and this gave him great insight into the work and activities involved in the development of successful library provision.

    Following completion of an Arts Foundation Course at Croydon College, Paul continued his studies at the Surrey Institute of Art and Design where he obtained his degree. This led to an enjoyable spell working in Wandsworth -first as a teaching assistant - and then as a fully qualified teacher.  For four years he enjoyed the busy, daily life of primary school teaching before deciding to return to his library “roots” in order to pursue the challenges involved in all-age provision.

    In 2011 Paul became Customer Services Officer at Morden Library and undertook the responsibility of developing the Summer Reading Challenge across the borough.  This was a hugely satisfying task and cemented his desire to involve himself in library development

    In November 2014 Paul was appointed as Manager of Raynes Park where he was pleased to inherit a flourishing, well-organised establishment from his predecessor, Hannah. 

    During his two and a half years at Raynes Park Paul has developed a strong volunteer base of over seventy people involved in a huge range of tasks and activities; he has built close ties with local schools and nurseries and consolidated a timetable of daily activities for both pre-school and school-aged children; he is also very proud to have established a huge variety of free activities for adults.

     Visitor numbers for the last month showed an increase of 8% compared to the same month last year – averaging 10,000 visits at Raynes Park library per month!

    Paul’s calm, encouraging and friendly presence will be missed and we offer him our best wishes for the next phase of his career.

    What next for Raynes Park?      

    Kevin, the helpful, knowledgeable security officer will be remaining as will many volunteers.  However, we wish Cathy, our senior librarian who has given 36 years of devoted service, a happy early retirement.  We also wish every success to Marija (Deputy Manager) who will be transferring to Wimbledon and to Fuad who will continue his valuable work at Mitcham.  

    In a challenging but exciting development, Karren, the highly talented manager of West Barnes library will have the task of combining both our excellent libraries!

     

    There will be more about Karren shortly.

  • Raynes Park Afternoon Townswomen's Guild - Mar 17

     

    Our January meeting featured an illustrated talk by a representative of the Air Ambulance Service.  This organisation is a charity set up in the Kent, Surrey & Sussex area in 1989 - the third area service set up - the first and second being London and Cornwall.  The team on board the helicopter includes a Doctor and paramedic, the Doctor commencing immediate emergency care and assessing the appropriate hospital for the patient.  Road traffic accidents make up 40% of call-outs, 40% are to other accidental traumas, the remaining 20% being medical emergencies. It takes 4 minutes for the helicopter to get off the ground but IT can reach any area in the region in 20 minutes. They can land anywhere the pilot decides suitable.  The service has been 24-hour since 2013.  The night-time helicopter is larger taking 9 minutes to take off, but with more space can take patients on board quickly.  This was a fascinating and informative talk from an amazing charity. 

    I think all the local clubs had groups at the Sunday afternoon Magnificent Music Hall at Wimbledon Theatre including a small party of ladies and one husband from the Towns Women’s Guild It was a generously long and varied show, everyone enjoyed this annual event. 

    At our Annual General Meeting held at the February meeting, the current committee was re-elected unchanged.  The secretary then outlined the programme of speakers she had obtained for the year 2017/18 which was well received, following which was a discussion about places of interest to visit. 

    The lunch club dines at the Lloyds Bar, Fulham early in March, on Wednesday 1st, and the next visit has been moved even further forward to Wednesday, 22nd February.  This is to allow members to examine the Festival of Lanterns installations around Chiswick House Grounds before they are taken down on 26th February as well as visiting the Camelia Conservatory, open at this time.  After lunch in the café we will visit the neighbouring Hogarth House. 

    Our next meeting on Thursday, 16th March is at 1.30 for 1.45 at St Saviour’s Church Hall.  At approximately 2.30 pm Mrs S. Bruggeman will give a talk about ‘Falls Prevention’.   Anyone interested in this topic is invited to join us.  

    Dorothy Raymond  020 8395 9489

     

     

  • P16/4853 - Former Wolfson Centre, SW20

    To:       Planning Representations

                London Borough of Merton

    From:   RP&WBRA

    Date:   13th February 2017 

    Re:  Planning Application 16/4853 – Former Wolfson Centre, Copse Hill, SW20 

    We write to object to the above application which represents a significant departure from the established design principles with resultant negative impact on the Copse Hill Conservation Area.   We would suggest that the design approach does not preserve or enhance the character of the conservation area and indeed has a negative impact on the neighbouring MOL (see 5.5 of the Merton Core Planning Strategy). 

    Most significantly, we object to the excessive increase in density proposed. The proposed density is  close to 200 habitable rooms per hectare, which for this site, we believe, should be no more than 150 to 200.   In a Conservation area such as this, we consider that the density should be very much at the lower end of this range.  Also seeking to build 5 and 6 stories in a Conservation Area is unacceptable. The height should be restricted to that of the surrounding buildings.                                                                                                                      

    Additionally, there is no compelling case for this revised P/A in terms of the number of proposed housing units.

    (Figures sourced from Merton Annual Monitoring Report 2014/2015).  The GLA London Plan target for Merton was 320 Dwelling Units per annum, which was well exceeded for 5 years in a row, but for the 5 years from 2016 to 2021 this target (set by GLA) has been increased to 411 dwelling units per annum. For years 2014/15 the number of housing completions was 459 well above not just the old target but also the new target. 

    Moreover Merton projected housing provision for the next 5 years safely exceeds not only the new target but also the figure if the 5% safety 'buffer' is added on. 

    The neighbouring site is a SINC – home to nocturnal bats and wildlife, we would suggest that there will be a detrimental impact of light pollution from the proposed large blocks. 

    According to Transport for London, this site has low public transport accessibility with a rating of 1b, i.e. only one bus and a 20 minute walk to the nearest station.  The Application is proposing a total of 96 car parking spaces.  These two factors suggest a potential for very many additional cars onto Copse Hill with a resultant deleterious effect on traffic congestion in the area and pollution. 

    Policy CS8 of the Merton Core Strategy sets a target of 40% affordable housing on sites providing 10 or more homes (subject to viability) and London Plan Policy 3.11 seeks to maximise affordable housing.   This proposal allows for only 25 units (30%) which is inadequate. 

    In summary, the proposals are in conflict with Policy DM D2 (Design Considerations) of the Sites and Policies Plan July 2014 by failure to relate appropriately to the siting, scale, density and height of the surrounding buildings, the local context and the local landscape. Also the potential increase in traffic density is very likely to result in adverse impact on the lives of nearby residents and have adverse impact on road safety.  

     

    We urge the Planning Applications Committee to refuse this application.

  • Chairman's Blog - March 2017

    RATE RISE TO PAY FOR SOCIAL CARE 

    It looks as though Merton Council will increase council tax at the annual budget meeting by 3% in order to provide extra funding for adult social care. The Labour administration has been forced into this position despite having previously pledged to keep the levy frozen until 2018. 

    The government has given all local authorities permission to increase local taxation by 3% next year, to help alleviate the obvious shortfall in provision for the increasing numbers of elderly and disabled people. 

    It is reported that the Council was forced into this decision by pressure from Merton’s Clinical Commissioning Group which warned in October that the extra funding which they provided to the Council would be withdrawn unless it raised the precept. It is thought that this extra money will be ring-fenced. 

    The Government also gave local authorities permission to increase rates by a further 3% in the following year, but no decision has been made on this so far.    

    The Government has, in fact, given permission to all local authorities to raise taxation by up to 4.99% next year. They can only go above this figure if they hold a local referendum, but no authority has decided to do so, Surrey County Council having thought better of their intention to hold one to raise their impost by 15%.  It seems doubtful that Merton will increase the tax by more than the 3% next year. 

    PARKING IN GARDENS

     There are more and more house owners who are paving over their front gardens to park their vehicles. The proposed impost on diesel vehicles for those householders who need parking permits, which we reported on in the last edition of The Guide, is likely to increase this trend. Other people concrete over their front gardens as somewhere to store wheelie bins, which is again likely to increase if the Council change the rubbish collection provision in 2018.  

    Much of this area is prone to flooding. It is always worth repeating that this Association was founded in 1928 precisely because of this problem. In recent years we have had repeated flooding in certain areas, particularly when there are flash floods.  As the climate grows warmer, the rate of such downpours has increased. 

    Ordinary domestic gardens soak up rainwater, but every piece of concrete we build increases water run-off, and the drains are unable to cope. 

    The Times weatherman reports that some 5 million gardens are now paved, which is one in four of the total. There has been a three-fold increase in the past ten years.   

    Most front gardens need access from a crossover from a dropped kerb, which the Council has to agree. Councils ought to insist as a condition of granting permission for a crossover that the surface of the front garden is not concrete or tarmac, but something permeable which will allow water to soak away gradually. There are many such surfaces on the market. 

    DIESEL LEVY 

    We wrote to the Council protesting at the proposed introduction in April of the diesel levy.  My letter and the reply from the Council member responsible for the introduction of the scheme may be read here.

     GRAND DRIVE/BUSHEY ROAD TRAFFIC LIGHTS 

    We also wrote to Transport for London about the sequencing of the traffic lights turning right into Grand Drive. You can see the reply we received here.

     

    John Elvidge

  • Diesel Levy

    From:    John Elvidge (RP&WBRA)] 
    To:         Councillor Stephen Alambritis 

    Date:     27th January 2017 

    Re:  Diesel Levy

    I write as Chairman of the Raynes Park and West Barnes Residents' Association. I understand that the Council is proposing to bring in a levy on diesel vehicles as early as this April, with a surcharge for parking permits and business permits, that is likely to increase in future years.   Please take this e-mail into account in reply to the public consultation that you are (belatedly) undertaking. 

    While I understand that modern research shows that such vehicles bring health issues, there does need to be a period of time for public education and during which people are able to change vehicles, otherwise the costs to them will be inordinate. Most people change their vehicles only every three years or so, and those who have recently bought such a vehicle will be heavily penalised, given the depreciation in value.  If the proposal has merit, it should be introduced over a number of years.  The proposal will also hit hardest those who are less well off, as they can ill afford to change their vehicle, simply to avoid extra costs. 

    Further, there seems little evidence of such bad air pollution in Merton that it is vital to introduce this scheme at such speed. 

    I trust that the Council will defer the introduction of the scheme at this time. 

    Please acknowledge receipt.

     

     From:     Cllr. Ross Garrod (LBM)

    To:         John Elvidge (RP&WBRA)

    Cc:         Cllr. Stephen Alambritis

    Date:      27th January 2017 

    Re:  Diesel Levy 

    Thank you for your email that has been passed to me as Cabinet Member responsible for the diesel levy. I have passed your response to the consultation to the Traffic and Highways team so that it can be considered. However, I must advise that it will be considered as an individual response and I would urge you to speak to members of your association to email the traffic and highways department directly should they wish to raise individual concerns about the levy. Please be reminded that the consultation concludes on 3rd February.  

    Just as a note of background - the proposed introduction of the Diesel Levy is to tackle the issue of air pollution in which the emissions from diesel cars contribute disproportionately. It is estimated that air pollution kills over 9,000 Londoners and will also have a significant impact on the health of many others. I am sure you would agree that this is alarming especially as those exposed to the pollutants would be unsuspecting residents. The issue of air pollution is a top priority for the Mayor of London as the air in particular parts of London is often in breach of regulated levels. This is line with the air quality tests we have undertaken in the borough.  

    As I am sure you will agree, there is a need to act to tackle this issue and as an authority we have a duty to our residents. The powers open to local authorities to dissuade the use of diesel cars are limited. In fact I would have much rather the Government bring in a scheme to incentivise the scrappage of such vehicles. However, they have consistently demonstrated a lack of willingness to act and in their absence I think as an authority we should do what we can to limit the impact and exposure of these poisonous substances impacting on the health of residents in the borough.  

    I appreciate the concerns you raise about the introduction being introduced over a number of years and this was raised at a scrutiny meeting by Councillors and as result we have proposed that the levy be introduced over a three year period. The first year will be set at the reduced amount of £90 and by year three it will be £150. This will afford residents two years to prepare before the full priced levy be applicable.  

    I hope that you have found my email to be helpful and once the consultation closes you will receive further communication from the Traffic and Highways team. 

  • TfL letter - Bushey Rd - Feb 2017

    To:       John Elvidge

    From:   Leon Daniels, Managing

    Director, Surface Transport, Transport for London 

    Re:   Bushey Road and Lower Downs Bridge 

    Thank you for your letter of 11 January. I have addressed the issues you raise individually. 

    The junction of Bushey Road and Grand Drive 

    This junction experiences heavy traffic throughout the day, with long queues on both Grand Drive and Bushey Road. Our primary aim here has always been to strike a fair balance for all and we have tried to make improvements to both of these approaches in response to customer enquiries about the junction. 

    There are four bus services that pass through this junction, including routes 152, 163, 655 and K5, and we need to maintain a smooth journey and minimise delays for each bus. The A298 is also designated as a stretch of the 'Strategic Road Network', which we must prioritise where possible, as it carries a large Volume of traffic. 

    To aid us in reaching a fair balance, this junction was upgraded to operate a newer form of traffic signal control that uses vehicle detection embedded in the road surface to measure demand on each approach. This information allows our computer system to calculate the required length of signal 'green time' to allocate. The new signal timings have been in operation for approximately six months, and we are pleased to say that we have received no negative feedback in that time. 

    However, following your enquiry, we have investigated the operation of the junction in line with your observations, and have confirmed that the right turning movement from Bushey Road into Grand Drive southbound is receiving a shorter signal green time when compared to other approaches, particularly in the morning. To help address the issue with this movement, we have changed the traffic signal timings in the morning to provide a slightly longer signal green time, on average, without significantly impacting upon other traffic movement. 

    We will continue to monitor the junction over the coming months to ensure that our changes are effective, and would welcome any further feedback from you. 

    Lower Downs Bridge 

    This bridge is not part of our road network and any works would need to be carried out by the asset owner and the local borough, the London Borough of Merton.   I would suggest contacting the LB Merton directly about the issue of high vehicles getting stuck. 

     

    I hope this response is helpful to you.

  • Crossrail 2 - Update February 2017

    What the RPWBRA is doing? 

    Through its membership of the Raynes Park Association (RPA), our association is joining forces with other local residents’ and business associations, in anticipation of another round of public consultation on Crossrail 2 in Spring 2017. 

    Crossrail 2 coming to our area 

    Crossrail 2 is a new railway line, which is planned to come through Raynes Park and Wimbledon stations, providing a completely new link from our area to central London and northwards into Hertfordshire. 

    The Crossrail 2 trains are planned to provide a direct service from Raynes Park to new destinations in central London. After calling at Wimbledon, the trains will run in tunnels all the way to Tottenham Hale. There are expected to be several below-ground stations in central London, including inter-connections at Victoria, Tottenham Court Road and Euston/St Pancras. 

    It will thus make many destinations easier to reach, without the need to travel via Waterloo. For example, it should be easier to reach the City and Docklands by taking Crossrail 2 to Tottenham Court Road and changing onto the soon-to-open Elizabeth Line, rather than going via either the Waterloo & City or Jubilee tube lines, as at present. 

    In the opposite direction, the Crossrail 2 trains are planned to serve the existing Network Rail branches all the way to Shepperton, Hampton Court, Chessington South and Epsom. These branches will also continue to carry national rail services to and from Waterloo. These branches, of course, converge on Raynes Park. 

    Public Consultation in Spring 2017 

    Whilst Crossrail 2 in not programmed to be completed until 2032, we are likely to have several years of construction work in our neighbourhood. Despite this seeming far in the future, the opportunity for us to have our say is likely to be very soon, because once the key decisions are taken, it will be much harder to change things later. 

    Currently, the Crossrail 2 team is considering the recommendations of the National Infrastructure Commission and the Government on the business case for the scheme. They have been tasked with finding £4bn savings from a budget of around £27bn, which is quite a challenge. 

    As a consequence, the next phase of public consultation, which was originally scheduled for the end of last year is now postponed until this spring. 

    What the results of the cost saving exercise may be and when the public consultation may re-start, we have no idea. Stephen Hammond, our MP, has asked for a meeting with Crossrail 2 to find out what we might expect and when. 

    Impact on Wimbledon Town Centre 

    In the winter of 2015/2016 there was an initial public consultation concerning the underground section through central London, which included the area to be taken up by an expanded Wimbledon Station and the land required above ground immediately to the west of Wimbledon Station for sidings to allow trains to reverse direction. 

    Whilst these proposals were very much an initial outline and broad-brush in nature, they proved highly controversial, as they implied that the Centre Court shopping mall would be demolished, together with many other buildings (both old and new) around the station. 

    Due to the largely adverse public reaction, Crossrail 2 went away to reconsider their plans for Wimbledon Station. Whilst we know that several other ideas about how the extra platforms may be accommodated were under consideration during 2016, nothing more has been made public for the reasons explained above. 

    Safeguarding 

    As part of the 2015/2016 consultation process, Crossrail 2 issued “Safeguarding” plans. These delineate the boundaries of the land likely to be required, both during construction and for the permanent works. These plans have a statutory significance, insofar that (a) any planning applications within the safeguarded areas must be referred by the planning authority to Crossrail 2, in case they might have an impact of the scheme and (b) that landowners within the safeguarded areas may apply for compensation from blight, if they consider they have materially suffered as a result. 

    However, the safeguarding plans published so far for our area only relate to the public consultation that has taken place over the proposals for Wimbledon and the associated sidings. 

    Nothing has been published about any proposals west of Lower Downs Road. 

    Likely Changes in Raynes Park and Motspur Park 

    However, we know that it is planned to run something like double the number of trains through Raynes Park and onto the four branches to Shepperton, Hampton Court, Chessington South and Epsom. The initial proposals indicate that this will necessitate two extra railway lines running between New Malden and Wimbledon, through Raynes Park. (one in each direction). This would thus increase the existing four lines to six along this stretch of track. 

    However, we know that Network Rail have been busy working with Crossrail 2 on the design details and we expect that new information will be forthcoming fairly soon. 

    Suffice it to say that these additional lines will be a tight fit through Raynes Park town centre, particularly at the station, where there is very little spare railway land. 

    Ideally, if Raynes Park Station is to be significantly modified, we like to see straighter platforms (without the dangerous gaps we have at the moment) and step-free access from street to trains on all platforms. Whilst, of course, the devil will be in the detail, the RPA is keen to get the best outcome for Raynes Park. 

    We are also concerned about what is planned for the two level-crossings along West Barnes Lane (i.e. at the junction with Burlington Road and at Motspur Park), as it seems inevitable that these level crossings would cease to be practical with the planned increase in trains. It is also anticipated that improvements will also need to be made to Motspur Park Station. 

    We consider it important that any changes to the station in Raynes Park incorporate improvements to the connectivity with pedestrian, cycle, bus and road routes. We also would like to see the plans incorporate improvements to the public realm around the station. 

    Find Out More 

    You can find out more and subscribe for email bulletins on the Crossrail2 website, http://crossrail2.co.uk/ . You can also find out more on our MP’s website, https://www.stephenhammond.net/campaigns/crossrail-2 . 

    In the meantime, we urge local residents and businesses to participate in the next public consultation, when the time comes. 

     

    Jerry Cuthbert, 2 February 2017

  • What's on at Raynes Park Library?

     

     

    Click here for the events Calendar at Raynes Park Library.

     

     

     

  • Raynes Park Afternoon Townswomen's Guild - Feb 2017

    Activities in the New Year seemed to start slowly for the ladies of our Guild, with the lunch club not meeting until 31st.  Nevertheless a number of ladies went to this year’s pantomime Dick Whittington at Wimbledon Theatre, a production which they thoroughly enjoyed, commenting on the costumes and stage sets as well as the professionalism and competence of the cast.  

    A small group also took themselves to the Rose Theatre café for the advertised lunch-time Wednesday Variety Club performance.  This proved to be a disappointment because, regrettably, the entertainment had been cancelled.  Nevertheless, all enjoyed the café’s beautifully presented toasted sandwich lunch-time platter. 

    At the time of writing we are looking forward to our talk by the Surrey Ambulance on 19th January and the Magnificent Music Hall at Wimbledon Theatre on Sunday 22nd. January. 

    Our February meeting will be held on Thursday, 16th February at 1.30 pm in St Saviour’s Church Hall.  This will be our Annual General Meeting with a Bring & Buy sale. 

    Visitors are always welcome to our meetings and other activities.  For more information please telephone. 

    Dorothy Raymond  020 8395 9489

  • Chairman's Blog - Feb 2017

    Council Proposal to surcharge diesel vehicles 

    It will not be generally known that Merton Council is proposing to impose a surcharge on diesel vehicles for the cost of parking permits in controlled parking zones and business permits.  The suggestion was made in a report last autumn, and, if approved at a full Council meeting, could come into effect as soon as April this year. 

    The surcharge, which has already been brought into operation in some other London boroughs, will target only diesel vehicles, which scientists say produce more hazardous nitrogen dioxides and small particulates than petrol or electric vehicles. These get into the lung and bring on long term illnesses.   

    Local authorities are not allowed to bring in such measures for the purpose of raising income, but Merton’s proposals have been calculated to raise a staggering figure of extra income of £516,000 in the first year and over £900,000 by 2019/20. This extra income can only be used on transport measures, but will, obviously, be used to defray other council costs. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the proposal is driven by the desire to make money, rather than on grounds of health.  

    There have been major published objections to this proposal. 

    The first is that people do not change their cars every year, but only after a period of years, often three. Those who have recently bought a diesel as opposed to a petrol or petrol/electric car will be heavily penalised, given the depreciation in the value of any purchased car.   If the proposal has merit, it should be introduced over a number of years, as the Mayor of London is proposing for a surcharge/ban on diesel vehicles coming within the congestion zone, by 2020. 

    The second is that the surcharge will unfairly hit the less well off, who can ill afford to change their vehicle, simply to avoid extra costs. 

    The third is that most CPZ’s and parking permits are in the west of the Borough, where there is no objective evidence of bad air pollution, indeed the contrary.  

    The fourth, and perhaps major one, is that the Council has not undertaken any public consultation on the scheme, and indeed has had no information campaign to inform the public of it.   This is another example, together with that on wheelie bins, of the majority party on the Council going ahead with an ill thought out policy without full public consultation and approval. 

    TRAIN SERVICES INTO WATERLOO 

    Network Rail and South West Trains have warned of major impacts to services into Waterloo Station next August, between August 5 and 28.  For once, this is nothing to do with strikes or union disputes, but is for a good reason. Waterloo is due to have an £800 million upgrade, which will see the five platforms originally used for Eurostar, and which have been long disused, brought back into use. Platforms 1-4, which are used for the suburban trains from Motspur Park and Raynes Park, are being extended to accommodate 10 car trains.   According to Network Rail, the number of journeys into Waterloo has more than doubled to 234 million in 20 years.

    LETTER TO TRANSPORT FOR LONDON 

    The letter I have written to Transport for London about the traffic light sequencing at the Grand Drive/Bushey Road junction, and about Lower Downs Bridge is below:

     1. The junction of Bushey Road and Grand Drive, SW20, is saturated with traffic for much of the day. We understand that TFL are undertaking a review of this junction. Please let us know whether this is correct, and when we may expect to see the result of that review. In the meantime, the sequencing of the traffic lights has been changed, so that vehicles coming along the slip road from the A3 and wanting to turn right onto Grand Drive are held back far more than other traffic. My observations are that only some 5 cars at a time can get through before the lights change. The result is that traffic is now piled back onto the slip road and as far as the A3, causing obvious danger. To avoid the extended hold up, some vehicles now continue down Bushey Road and then do a U turn, which causes more danger.   I imagine that the purpose of this change was to ease congestion on the other routes, but this goes too far.

     

    2. There continues to be a problem of high vehicles getting stuck under Lower Downs Bridge, SW20. This is despite the new notices warning on both sides that it is a low bridge, height indicators, and electronic warnings. The problem here is that the entrance to the bridge on both sides is higher than the arch in the middle, and this is not apparent to those unfamiliar with the structure. What is needed is a clear warning that the central arch of the bridge is much lower than the entrance. It would help greatly to have large metal rods (to the height of the central arch) hanging from both sides, which would give a visual and aural warning. 

    I look forward to your reply. With thanks. JE

    CARERS 

    I have reported previously about the Council considering whether or not to increase the amount that it pays for social care in the community, on which so many elderly and disabled people depend for their day to day living. 

    A resident contacted me, who herself cares for a neighbour who is disabled. She asked me to make the important point that most elderly and disabled people are enabled to stay in their own homes, and not have to go into care, because of the assistance given by members of their own family or strangers. The charity which supports carers, Carers UK, calculates that across the UK there are 6.5 million people who are unpaid carers supporting a loved one who is older, disabled or serious ill.  That is 1 in 8 of adults. Every day, another 6,000 people become carers. They make an enormous contribution to society and save the economy billions of pounds. 

    The Government does pay a Carer’s Allowance if you spend more than 35 hours a week caring for a relative or friend who is ill or disabled.  You don’t have to live with them or be related to them.  This is currently about £62 a week. You can take up to four weeks break a year from caring and still receive the benefit. But you can only get this allowance if you earn less than £110 per week after tax, and other benefits you receive are taken into account also. 

    Anyone already caring in this way, or thinking of doing so, should consult the local CAB services for details of the Carer‘s Allowance, particularly if they are already pensioners themselves where the arrangements are complex.  Or there is a form on line to complete to obtain this. 

    John Elvidge  

     

     

  • Chairman's Blog - Dec 2016

    WHEELIE BINS 

    By the time you read this, we expect that the Council will have committed the expenditure of 7 million pounds of your money for the purchase of wheelie bins. This is to further the introduction of a new system of waste collection sometime in 2018. 

    This is being introduced presumably to save money, but they have produced no evidence to show any cost savings. 

    They have conducted no survey to show that this is wanted by the majority of residents, and most people who have contacted us are very opposed to the proposed changes. This is because they think that the present system works well, and they support the continuation of a weekly collection service both for waste that goes to landfill and waste that can be recycled. 

    The Council is only proposing to collect general household rubbish from the wheelie bins every fortnight, and not every week. A second wheelie bin will be used to collect paper, newspapers and cardboard on the same fortnightly cycle. Very confusingly, glass bottles, tins and plastic will be put in a green or purple box and collected on the alternative week.  This is a recipe for disaster, and will result in even less rubbish being recycled, and more going to landfill. 

    The Council points to what they call “the successful 2015 wheelie bin project in Lavender Fields ward which saw an increase in resident satisfaction with 89% residents saying they were satisfied with the introduction of wheelie bins”.  However, we understand that these residents were not told that the wheelie bin waste would, under their proposals, only be collected on a fortnightly basis, and not weekly. We are not told either of the mix of houses surveyed, and whether any of the residents suffered from disabilities of any kind. 

    Wheelie bins are large and unsightly, and will need to be stored somewhere. If they are emptied only every other week, they will rapidly be filled up, and spill over, spraying rubbish over the streets.  People in terraced homes will have to take them through the house to get them to a point of collection. People who are infirm will not be able to manage them. They will have to be emptied one by one into the dustcart, which will take further time to process.  

    They say that “Prior to rolling out any agreed wheeled bin scheme, the council will “…address any concerns with the implementation of a wheeled bin collection service”. Many residents have already pointed out that they will not be able to manage to get a wheelie bin to the front of their property.  We doubt very much that the new operators will have the time, or be paid the resources, to help householders on an individual basis to collect the bins from inside their home or from the back or side of it.  

    One local resident wrote a hand written leader to the Council leader asking him specifically how he and his wife were going to cope, given that he has heart problems, and his wife has dementia. He received a standard letter from Councillor Alambritis which did not answer either question. Insultingly, it started by thanking him for his email, which indicates that he did not himself see the letter. 

    This is simply not good enough. One of the main duties of a Council is to collect waste. A system that operates well enough should not be changed without strong evidence that its replacement will be better, and not in this cavalier manner. 

    ADULT SOCIAL CARE 

    Councils have been given permission by the government to increase council tax by 2 per cent to fund extra social care, which is much needed to cope with the increasing numbers of elderly and disabled people. Merton Council has not increased its council tax for some years, but the Council is conducting a survey of residents to see whether people wish to see no increase in tax, or 2%, which would raise an additional £1.5 million, or 3.99%, which would raise an additional £3 million. The intention is that any extra money raised would be ring fenced for social care use only.   

    Very unfortunately, the consultation was conducted through the pages of the autumn edition of My Merton, and this publication failed to get delivered at all to many residents in our area. The Councillors have written to the Chief Executive to ask how this came about.  

    Social care provision is a very important matter: if you wish to express a view, please write to the Chief Executive of Merton Council with your views. The official consultation promises that your views will be kept anonymous and data protected. 

    BOUNDARY COMMISSION PROPOSALS 

    The last edition of the Guide contained our response to the proposals of the Boundary Commission in regard to the local Parliamentary constituencies. Our MP, Stephen Hammond, informs us that all responses will be published next spring, followed by a secondary consultation. New proposals will not be published until the end of 2017, and there will then be an 8 week consultation. 

    DAYLIGHT SAVING 

    Once again the clocks have gone back, so that we are now in darkness by 4 pm.  I have said before that the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has found that more accidents happen in the dark evenings than happen in dark mornings. They want the system changed, but when will Parliament do this?  The argument is always that the present system suits the needs of Scotland, but they now have a separate parliament, and do not need to be on the same time as the rest of us. 

    John Elvidge

     

     

     

     

  • Friends of Sir Joseph Hood Playing Fields

    FRIENDS OF SIR JOSEPH HOOD MEMORIAL PLAYING FIELD UPDATE

    ‘The Friends’ was set up in 2003 in response to the threat of paddling pool closure and a decline in the park. Park users felt intimidated by drug users and underage drinkers and reported increased vandalism, graffiti and littering following a decrease in security. 

    Since its formation, the Friends has benefitted from the tireless work of Caroline Ventom, Sophie Cabral, Dianne Walker and Lucy Hill who in 2004 successfully campaigned to overturn the decision to close the paddling pool and have fought hard to raise funding and work with the council and the community to improve the park’s facilities.  Among their achievements was the installation of new playground equipment, a basketball/multi sports area, resurfacing of the tennis courts, installation of the crazy golf and fitness equipment and the formation of a Friends Cafe. In addition the Friends were intrinsic to the Park successfully securing the prestigious Green Flag status from 2008 - 2014. 

    The park is now a true family friendly hub of the community frequented and appreciated by many. However, further cuts have meant that for a number of years the park no longer has a full time park keeper and the facility management is shared between a number of parks which means more emphasis on the Friends and community groups to keep a diligent eye out to ensure it does not yet again decline. Further to this, cuts in funding have meant that in 2015 the council has again tabled the closure of the park’s paddling pool and the Green Flag was also lost. This prompted a resurgence in local interest and an increased membership in the Friends and some new initiatives. 

    On 5th November the Friends held their annual AGM to review the activities to date and to discuss a new committee structure. A summary of the AGM follows. 

    Events from 2015/16 include a Dog walking community day, a Bat walking expedition, a Family Fun run and Splash Dance event (both to raise awareness for the proposed closure of the paddling pool) a Crazy Golf clean up session (in partnership with the Wimbledon 22nd Scout group) and several litter picking events. 

    A  marketing campaign was set up to lobby against the closure of the paddling pool, seeking to replace it instead with a Splash Pad. The campaign included a manual and online petition, liaison with the local media and a social media presence was created with the creation of a Friends Facebook Group and a twitter account. 

    The Friends logo was rebranded and a newsletter was produced. Local businesses, schools and community engagement was engendered and local sponsors endorsed the campaigns sponsoring publicity. Publicity from the local paper and a short film was put together presenting the case for the Splash Pad.  As a result of this, the paddling pool was opened for the Summer of 2106 and a verified anonymous pledge of £50,000 was received towards the building of a Splash Pad in 2017/18. Additionally, the Friends assisted the council in their bid to regain Green Flag Status for 206/17 and were successful in doing so.  

    Ahead of the pool’s opening, the Friends took the decision to move the Friends Cafe into the Golf Hut and sought to establish support amongst the public. They organised and set up a rota opening the cafe on a regular basis throughout the summer. They took on the running of the Crazy Golf on behalf of the council and as a result took profits of £7,000 over the summer period. During the AGM it was agreed that the Friends would pledge this in addition to £3,000 raised previously by the Friends to Merton Council towards a Splash Pad Fund for Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Field. The Friends continue to run the Cafe, Crazy Golf on a rota basis on Sunday mornings. 9 - 12. 

    As the current fundraising aim for the Friends is for a Splash Pad the Friends are investigating moving the committee to charity status going forwards. Attendees at the AGM were asked to vote upon taking this process forward and all voted in favour of doing so. In the face of the new proposed structure for the Friends, new roles were voted on for the committee. 

    The current chair and vice chair, Caroline Venom and Sophie Cabral outlined their wish to step down in these roles and the following roles were voted upon and agreed:

    ·       Interim Chair - Jane Pritchard

    ·                                    Executive Committee - Sophie Cabral, Caroline Venom, Kate North and Dianne Walker

    ·       Secretary/membership - Sarah Thorne 

    ·       Treasurer - Damian Kiernan

     

    The friends are seeking anyone with knowledge or expertise in the following areas: 

     

    ·           Setting up a charity

    ·           Fundraising/Marketing

    ·           Website development

     

    Please do get in touch if you think you can help in anyway or would like to become a lifetime member for £5. We welcome your support!

    Sarah Thorne 

    07841289990   

    If you have not already joined, please do join our Facebook group: Friends of Sir Joseph Hood Memorial Playing Field. 

  • Raynes Park Afternoon Townswomen's Guild - Nov 2016

    What an amazing local resource Morden Hall Park is!  It is a credit to the National Trust and their many volunteers.   A member who lives locally in Morden and knows the park well met our November Autumn walkers and was able to act as an unofficial guide.  She took us to the wet area especially to investigate the new board walk through the reeds.  Well designed and strongly made this was opened recently by the lady Mayor.  Our member had attended this opening ceremony and showed us a photograph she had taken.  With its magnificent trees and woods, rivulets, hay meadows, rose garden and children’s area – there is something for everyone here.  Needless to say we ended with a drink in the café. 

    The previous week’s meal in the popular Morden Superfish was also well received by the lunch club. 

    The Last Tango – the show at the Phoenix Theatre, starring previous Strictly Come Dancing professionals Vincent Simone and Flavia Cacace – proved to be a delight.  Flavia and Vincent are fabulous dancers, their final dance, their speciality, the Argentine Tango, brought the whole audience to their feet.  The quality of the show made up for the group’s horrendous journey there involving torrential rain, traffic light to traffic light solid vehicles, a bus terminated prematurely because of conditions and an emergency taxi.  Ironically the journey back was exceptionally slick! 

    We are looking forward to the usual jollifications during December and would like to wish everyone a joyous Christmas and a great 2017. 

     

    Dorothy Raymond

  • Display Advertising

     

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    Half page

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    If you’re looking for another size or configuration, please contact our Advertising Manager who will try to help.

     

    We try to be flexible – if you want to alter the size or content of your advert from one month to another, just let us know.

     

    We offer a discount of 5% for a 6 month booking, and 10% for a 12 month booking. 

     

    Our prices are competitive and do not attract VAT.

     

    All requests or enquiries regarding advertisements in "The Guide" should be emailed to our volunteer Advertising Manager, Dick Coleman, here.

     

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    To place your advert, just email your text and/or artwork, in a standard file format, to our Advertising Manager, along with your preferred page size. Your order must be received by the 16th of the month to ensure inclusion in the following month’s issue.

     

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    Methods of payment are cash, cheque or bank transfer – the invoice will confirm the details. We ask that every effort be made to settle the account prior to publication of your advert.

  • Raynes Park Christmas 2016

     

     

     

     

  • Proposed Boundary Commission Changes

    Association’s response to initial proposals for local Constituency changes

     

    Dear Sirs, 

    I write on behalf of the Raynes Park and West Barnes Residents’ Association. This was founded in 1928 and is one of the two largest Residents’ Associations in the London Borough of Merton, and has some 2000 household members. Our members live in the Council wards of Raynes Park, West Barnes, Cannon Hill, and Lower Morden.  

    We are in receipt of the Boundary Commission for England’s initial proposals to reduce the number of MP’s from 650 to 600, and to average out the number of voters in each Parliamentary seat.  The proposals, as they presently stand, would have major effects on the London Borough of Merton, which would be split into five different constituencies, and result in Councillors and Council officers having to deal with five different MP’s in order to get action on matters that affected local people. We understand that they, as well as both local MP‘s, are very concerned at this prospect, as are we. 

    We believe that these proposals are misconceived, and that, so far as possible, constituencies should remain co-terminus with the boundaries of London boroughs (which are not about to be altered). There are also natural boundaries which should be respected, such as the A3, Wimbledon Common, and Morden Hall Park.  

    We believe that it is very important to keep communities together, so that shopping centres, leisure outlets, recreational areas, and transport hubs are not divorced from the areas that they serve.  In our own area, residents have always regarded as their centres Wimbledon, and Merton and Morden, and this should be retained.  

    The Commission is proposing that the Council wards of Wimbledon Park and Wimbledon Village are taken out of the present Wimbledon constituency to join the current Putney constituency. These wards are integral to the history of Wimbledon, and cover both Wimbledon Common and Wimbledon tennis. Hardly any inhabitants in Wimbledon have an affinity for Putney, since Wimbledon Common is a natural boundary separating two distinctively different communities. 

    The proposal is to replace them with four wards from Mitcham, being Colliers Wood, Lavender Fields, Ravensbury, and Cricket Green.  These wards have historically looked to Mitcham as their centre of gravity, and not Wimbledon. The rest of Merton would be hived off to three other constituencies.  Lower Morden ward, for example, would become part of the Sutton and Cheam constituency.  

    Our view is that the best solution to maintain the cohesiveness of our area would be to keep the existing Wimbledon constituency and to add on those parts of the Mitcham constituency that are very close to it, being Colliers Wood and Lavender Fields. That would meet the voting registration criteria. Cricket Green and Ravensbury are further away. 

    An example of a major issue where it is important to have a unified view across the whole of our area is that of Crossrail 2, where land will needed to be safeguarded for ten years or more in Wimbledon, Raynes Park and Motspur Park while decisions are taken as to the re-siting of stations, possible tunnelling and bridges to remove the level crossings, and the number of tracks required.  

    The present suggestions would, in our view, result in a cohesive community being irreparably divided, with real consequences for the effective performance of local government. 

    These proposals are for consultation, and we welcome the opportunity to comment upon them.  Having received these consultations, the Commission will, we understand, publish revised recommendations with a view to making final ones in 2018. The Government has said that it is committed to acting on these before the next fixed election. 

    There are four factors which we understand that the Commission must take into account when making a constituency with the correct number of voters (which is around 70,000- 76,000).  These are 

    1. Special geographical considerations, including size, shape and accessibility;

    2. Local government boundaries;

    3. Boundaries of existing constituencies;

    4. Any local ties that would be broken. 

    We believe that these objectives can best be met by retaining in a Wimbledon and Merton constituency the four wards we represent together with those in the central Wimbledon area, as well as Wimbledon Park and Wimbledon Village, but together with Colliers Wood and Ravensbury.   

    We hope that the next round of consultations will put this forward as your preferred option. Please acknowledge receipt of these representations. We would add that Merton Council have not publicised these very important proposals in their newsletter My Merton or otherwise. This means that the information has not been widely disseminated.   

    Yours faithfully,

     

    John Elvidge, Chairman

  • Merton Refuse Collections

    Are you happy with the new proposals? 

    Very many people have expressed concerns about the Council’s proposals to instigate fortnightly collections of household rubbish and waste for recycling.     Below is the Association’s formal objection.

    The final decision is due to be ratified at the Council Meeting on 23rd November.   If you share our concerns, ­ do please write your own letter of objection as this may help to persuade the Council to think again. 

    To: Mr. Chris Lee

    Director, Environment & Regeneration,London Borough of Merton, Civic Centre, London Road, Morden, Surrey SM4 5DX                                             

    18th October 2017

     

    Dear Sir, 

    Merton’s Waste Management Proposals 

    I write on behalf of the Association and its members to express our grave concerns over the waste management proposal to introduce fortnightly collections for household rubbish and recycling, which apparently necessitates the provision of two wheelie bins per household as well as additional recycling containers.   We understand that the ‘raison d’être’ for this is an assumed reduction in costs and an improvement in recycling.   We are not convinced that either of these assumptions will be realized in the long-term, nor are we persuaded that the proposed capital expenditure (which we believe to be around £7 million) can be justified at the present time.  Since the present system appears to be working well, why change it when it will inevitably have a deleterious effect on the street scene?  As for the anticipated improvement to recycling in the borough, we find it hard to believe that residents who don’t currently recycle, will be persuaded to do so (and to do so correctly) simply because they have been supplied with more and/or larger containers for these materials. 

    ·                     We would point out that not every household requires a large bin for their household rubbish even if it is only collected once a fortnight.     It would be reassuring to be informed as to whether single households, for example, are to be offered smaller bins. 

    ·                     Terraced properties, particularly those with little or no amenity space to the front, or properties with no side access, will be forced to fill their frontages with a plethora of unsightly receptacles.  No thought at all appears to have been given to the detrimental visual impact of this. 

    ·                     What consideration has been given to those who may need assistance with their collections – the very elderly, the disabled or infirm?  

    This considerable change in a local authority service that affects every ratepayer has not been consulted upon. Indeed we believe ratepayers have been told that the Council does not need to consult on such matters.  This may be true, but it doesn’t make it right, when the majority party is currently seeking our views as to whether we would prefer a 2% or 3.99% rise in the rates. 

    We understand the final ratification of these proposed changes will be made at the Council Meeting on November 23rd.  We would urge that no decisions are taken until the concerns of Merton residents and ratepayers have been seriously addressed. 

    Yours faithfully,

    Jill Truman

    RP&WBRA

     

     

  • Pavilion User Manual

     

    RAYNES PARK AND WEST BARNES RESIDENTS’ ASSOCIATION

    THE RESIDENTS’ PAVILION, 

    129 GRAND DRIVE, LONDON, SW20 9LY

    USER MANUAL 

    CONTENTS

     1.         General description of premises

    2.         Access and Security

    3.         Emergency, Fire and Evacuation Procedures

    4.         Outdoor Space

    5.         Main Room

    6.         Kitchen

    7.         Toilets

    8.         Furniture

    9.         Lighting

    10.       Heating

    11.       Electrical Power

    12.       Rubbish & Cleaning

    13.       Terms and Conditions

    14.       Queries

    15.       Key-Holders opening and closing the premises for themselves 

     

    1.         General description of premises 

                The premises comprise a wooden single storey pavilion, three tennis courts and outdoor space. There is an outdoor picnic area with three picnic tables. All areas are accessible via step-free access. The pavilion includes an entrance lobby, main room, kitchen, toilets and storage areas.

     

    2.         Access and Security 

                At the start of the hire period, the Hirer shall be shown around the premises by the volunteer allocated for the Hirer’s booking.The Hirer will be shown the key features of the premises and the location of the fire extinguishers and emergency exits. 

                The volunteer shall also return to close the premises at the end of the hire period. 

                The Pavilion only has pedestrian access. Access is via the shared driveway at 129 Grand Drive, SW20 9LY, and the front pedestrian gate. Inside the front gate, there is a 45m pedestrian route, via a second pedestrian gate, to the front-door to the Pavilion. 

                It is recommended that the second pedestrian gate is kept closed when children are present. 

                Car parking is not permitted on the shared drive. The occupants of 131 Grand Drive have a right of vehicle access along the shared drive to their garage at all times. Their access shall not be obstructed. 

                A maximum of 40 people are allowed on the premises. 

    3.         Emergency, Fire and Evacuation Procedures 

                The emergency, fire and evacuation procedures are included in the Pavilion Fire Safety Assessment Plan which may be read at http://www.rpwbresidents.org.uk/issues-and-campaigns/local-news/702-pavilion-fire-safety-assessment-plan . 

                A hard copy is also kept in the Pavilion. 

    Hirers should take the time to familiarise themselves with the Fire Safety Assessment Plan prior to their booking. 

    4.         Outdoor Space 

                The outdoor space is available to hirers. The double courts (Nos 1 & 2) shall only be used for the playing of tennis. Court No 3 may be used for outdoor children’s games. The playing of football is not allowed on the premises. 

                The floodlighting system to Courts 1 & 2 may only be used by prior arrangement. 

    5.         Main Room 

                The main room is 7.3m x 7.3m. 

                All windows shall be closed before leaving. 

    6.         Kitchen 

    For reasons of safety, children are not permitted in the kitchen. A maximum of three adults is permitted at any one time. The sliding door shall be closed when the cooker is in use. 

    The kitchen is not suitable for food preparation. 

    Cleaning materials are provided in the basket at the far end of the left-hand kitchen window. These shall be kept out of reach of babies and children.

     6.1       Cooker 

                The electric cooker may be used for heating pre-prepared food. The cooker must be switched on by the isolation switch to the right of the cooker. Immediately after use, all cooker controls shall be switched off and the isolation switch switched off. 

    6.2       Fridge Freezer 

                The fridge/freezer may be used for temporary storage of food. Please ensure you remove any of your food/drinks left at the end. 

                Please do not take any other food that may be there. 

                Please do not adjust the controls. 

    6.3       Tea Urn 

                The tea urn may be used for heating water. Fill it with the required quantity of water, using a jug. Plug it in and set the switch to “On”. It will heat the water close to boiling and maintain this temperature until it is switched “Off”. 

                Hot water shall only be drawn from the urn using its tap. 

                After use, please switch it off, unplug it and ensure it is empty. 

    6.4       Kettle 

                An electric kettle is provided. This should be unplugged after use. 

    6.5       Crockery, Cutlery & Utensils 

                Whilst some crockery is available, neither cutlery nor utensils are provided. Hirers are strongly advised to bring their own. Disposable plates and cutlery may be preferable. 

    6.6       Washing Up 

                Washing up facilities are limited to hot and cold water and a washing-up bowl. Hirers are strongly advised to take their dirty dishes etc away with them. 

    7.         Toilets 

    There are two separate unisex WC’s. One is Disabled Discrimination Act (DDA) Compliant. A baby change table, a child’s step-up and toilet seat insert are provided. Non-flushable waste, such as nappies, shall be taken away by the hirer. 

    The DDA Compliant Toilet has an alarm. Should this be activated, instructions are displayed to the left of the door to the WC. 

    Please ensure the toilets are flushed after each use. 

    All used nappies and sanitary products shall be removed from the premises. 

    8.         Furniture 

                There are 7 folding tables, approximately 40 chairs and 2 high chairs available for use. Please return them to where you found them. 

    9.         Lighting 

    9.1       Entrance 

                The front pedestrian gate is illuminated by a PIR light, activated by movement, with timed automatic switch-off. 

    9.2       Walkway 

                The walkway lights are switched by waterproof two-way external switches, one by the front-gate and the other by double doors to the main room. The lights are also on a timer that prevents them being used during daylight hours or accidentally left on at night, after 11:00 pm. 

    9.3       Lobby 

                The rotary switch to the Conservatory/Lobby lights is by the double doors to the main room. 

    9.4       Main Room 

                The switches are below the window, to the right of the main doors, when viewed from inside the room. 

    9.5       Kitchen 

                The switches are to the left of the emergency exit, when viewed from inside the room. 

    9.6       Toilets 

                There are pull-string switches in each toilet. 

    9.7       Toilet Lobbies and Walk-In Cupboards 

                Each of the two toilet lobbies and associated walk-in storage cupboards have light switches. 

                The left-hand walk-in cupboard next to the DDA Toilet is for the storage of furniture and cleaning tools. 

                The walk-in cupboard in the right-hand toilet lobby is for private use. 

                Coathooks are provided in both lobbies for use by visitors. 

    9.8       External lights are rear. 

    The outside lights that illuminate the step-free access at the rear are switched by waterproof external two-way switches, one located by the emergency exit and the other at the corner of the Pavilion, by Court No 3.

     10.       Heating 

                Heating is by electric convector panel heaters located in the main room and toilets. 

                Switching is controlled by timers and should not be adjusted by hirers, as the timers are pre-set for subsequent periods of occupancy. 

                Users may adjust the heat output by only adjusting the thermostat knobs, but please do not switch the heaters off. 

                The water heaters and hand driers are on automatic controls. 

    11.       Electrical Power 

    11.1     Socket Outlets 

                The 13 amp power outlets may be used. Please ensure that the child-proof covers are reinserted after use. 

    11.2     Under certain conditions, a circuit breaker may trip out, cutting off power to some or all of the premises. Under normal operations, a routine lamp failure may cause this. It can also be caused by an abnormal electrical fault. 

                The circuit breakers are located in the consumer unit, which is located in the DDA Toilet lobby, to the left of the toilet door. Power can usually be restored by returning the circuit breaker to the “On” position. It the fault persists, the hirer shall inform the allocated volunteer. 

    12.       Rubbish & Cleaning 

                Hirers shall put away all furniture as found, remove all rubbish and ensure that general cleanliness is kept as found. 

    13.       Terms and Conditions 

                This User Manual shall be read in conjunction with the Association’s terms and conditions, which may be read at http://www.rpwbresidents.org.uk/issues-and-campaigns/archive/336-pavilion-hire-terms-and-conditions . 

    14.       Queries 

                Any queries about these instructions, the Pavilion and its facilities shall be address to pavilionbookings@gmail.com . 

    15.       Key-Holders and opening and closing the premises for themselves 

                Key Holders are responsible for open the premises at the beginning their own hire periods. 

                Key Holders shall be responsible for the safety and conduct of those they have invited to the premises. 

                Key holders shall follow the additional checklist for opening and closing the premises, which has already been issued to them.

     

  • Christmas Lights - 6 December 2016

     

     

    LONDON CHRISTMAS LIGHTS COACH TOUR

    TUESDAY 6TH DECEMBER

    From 3.30 pm - Returning about 7.30 pm

    Pick-up Points: 

    Grand Drive (Greenway Bus Stop) 3.30 pm approx 

    Raynes Park (Approach Road)      3.35 pm approx 

    Motspur Park  (Triangle at top of Claremont Ave)  3.40 pm approx 

    COST:  £8.50 (INCLUDES TIP FOR THE DRIVER)

     There will be a short comfort stop in London before the tour of the lights begins. 

    Tables have been booked at the EDWARD RAYNE if you wish to join us for Supper (extra cost).   Please inform us when you book.

     Contact:  Jill Truman at rpwbra@rpwbresidents.org.uk

  • Raynes Park Afternoon Townswomen's Guild - October 2016

    A tour of The Vintners Hall in Upper Thames Street was arranged as the visit for October.  A small group travelled on the District Line to Mansion House, walking down to Upper Thames Street for a tour of this ancient Guild’s Hall.  With its fine panelling, banister carvings, historic paintings, silver items and wine related artifacts, this was an interesting visit.  The surprise was the Vintner’s connection to the queen’s annual swan-upping in which they participate along with members from the Draper’s Guild and the Queen’s representatives.  We left the dining hall with staff just beginning to set up for an evening dinner function. 

    Our speaker at the October meeting was Julie Chandler who gave a talk entitled ‘The Great Stink’.  Her talk was a history of sanitation and the sewers of London.  Although sounding a rather dry topic, this turned out to be a most interesting talk.  With us seated in an intimate semi-circle, Julie illustrated her talk (from right to left) with pictures shown on her laptop computer.  She ended by saying her favourite engineer is Sir Joseph Bazalgette who built the sewer system at the end of the 1800’s, having the foresight to give them twice the capacity needed at the time.  Born in Morden and later living in Wimbledon, he is her local hero.  We are of course still using this sewer system, although she confirmed Thames Water is currently building a further conduit.  She has whetted our appetite to investigate whether a visit can be arranged to the Victorian pumping station at Crossness.  Mrs. Eileen Brewer gave the vote of thanks.  

    The activity for November will be an exploration of Morden Hall Park in autumn on the 8th.  Morden also features for the Lunch Club who will be going to Superfish on 1st November.  In between, on 3rdNovember, a Bonfire Lunch is planned at a member’s house.  At our next regular meeting at 1.45 on 17th November, Sarah McAlister will give a talk entitled ‘Hats for all Occasions’. 

    Visitors are always welcome to our meetings and other activities.  Our monthly meeting is held at St Saviour’s Church Hall at 1.45pm on the third Thursday of each month.  For more information please telephone. 

    Dorothy Raymond

     

     

  • Film "Battle of the Somme" 11/11/2016 at 7:30 pm

    Film Screening: The Battle of the Somme (1916)

    Friday, 11 November, 7.30 – 9.30pm

    Merton Art Space, Wimbledon Library, Wimbledon Hill Road, SW19 7NB 

    On Friday 11 November, as part of Remembrance Day commemorations and to mark the centenary of the end of the Battle of the Somme (18 November 1916), we will be hosting a second screening of this important documentary. 

    Shot and screened in 1916, it was the first feature length documentary about war and changed the way both cinema and film was perceived by the public. In the year of its release around 20 million people, almost half the population of Britain at the time, watched The Battle of the Somme, many hoping to see the image of a loved-one or friend captured on film. These momentous audience numbers make The Battle of the Somme one of the most popular films in British Cinema history. 

    The silent film will be accompanied by Laura Rossi's orchestral score which, screened in Merton's new Art Space, will no doubt be a moving experience. 

    In addition to the screening, there will be exhibitions displaying research on the life stories of Merton men who fought and died in the battle and how Merton newspapers reported on this momentous battle. 

    The screening will take place on 11 November, from 7.30 to 9.30pm at the new Merton Art Space, Wimbledon Library. 

    To book for this event:

    Telephone 020 8545 3239/4038 or Email: local.studies@merton.gov.uk

    Link: http://cis.photoarchive.merton.gov.uk/news/2016/09/the-battle-of-the-somme-1916

     

     

  • Chairman's Blog - November 2016

    BOUNDARY COMMISSION PROPOSALS FOR MERTON 

    The Boundary Commission for England has published its initial proposals to reduce the number of MP’s from 650 to 600, and to average out the number of voters in each Parliamentary seat.  The proposals, as they presently stand, would have major effects on the London Borough of Merton, which would be split into five different constituencies, and result in Councillors and Council officers having to deal with five different MP’s in order to get action on matters that affect local people. We understand that they, as well as both local MP‘s, are very concerned at this prospect, as are we. 

    We believe that these proposals are misconceived, and that, so far as possible, constituencies should remain co-terminus with the boundaries of London boroughs (which are not about to be altered). There are also natural boundaries which should be respected, such as the A3, and Morden Hall Park.  

    It is very important to keep communities together, so that shopping centres, leisure outlets, and transport hubs, for example, are not divorced from the areas that they serve.  In our own area of Raynes Park and West Barnes, residents have always regarded as their centres Wimbledon and the historic areas of Merton and Morden, and this should be retained.   

    The Commission is proposing that the Council wards of Wimbledon Park and Wimbledon Village are taken out of the present Wimbledon constituency to join the current Putney constituency. These wards are integral to the history of Wimbledon, and cover both Wimbledon Common and Wimbledon tennis. They have always looked to Wimbledon as their centre, being divided from Putney by the Common. 

    The proposal is to replace them with four wards from Mitcham, being Colliers Wood, Lavender Fields, Ravensbury, and Cricket Green.  These wards have historically looked to Mitcham as their centre of gravity, and not Wimbledon. The rest of Merton would be hived off to three other constituencies.  Lower Morden ward, for example, part of which is covered by our Association, would become part of the Sutton and Cheam constituency.   

    Our view is that the best solution to keep the cohesiveness of our area would be to keep the existing Wimbledon constituency and to add on parts of the Mitcham constituency that are in Lower Morden. 

    An example of a major issue where it is important to have a unified view across the whole of our area is that of Crossrail 2, where land will need to be safeguarded for ten years or more in Wimbledon, Raynes Park and Motspur Park while decisions are taken as to the re-siting of stations, possible tunnelling and bridges to remove the level crossings, and the number of tracks required.  

    The present suggestions would, in our view, result in a cohesive community being irreparably divided, with real consequences for the effective performance of local government. 

    These proposals are for consultation, and the Boundary Commission will welcome the views of as many people as possible. You can write to them by 5th December at the Boundary Commission for England, 35, Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BQ or e-mail them to information@boundarycommissionengland.gov.uk. You can see the proposals in detail for your area online at www.bce2018.org.uk by putting in your postcode, and clicking on “have your say.” 

    Having received these consultations, the Commission will, we understand, publish revised recommendations with a view to making final ones in 2018. The Government has said that it is committed to acting on these before the next fixed election. 

    There are four factors which the Commission must take into account when making a constituency with the correct number of voters (which is around 70,000 - 76,000). 

    Representations are much stronger when referring to one or more of these. These are:- 

    1  Special geographical considerations, including size, shape and accessibility;

    2.  Local government boundaries;

    3.  Boundaries of existing constituencies;

    4.  Any local ties that would be broken. 

    No local public meetings are planned. But one failure in this process is that Merton Council has done little to bring such important changes to the attention of local residents. We hope that this outline will help to bring these to the attention of our members, so that the response is as wide as possible.    

     

    John Elvidge

  • Crossrail 2 - November 2016

    What the RPWBRA is doing. 

    Through its membership of the Raynes Park Association (RPA), the RPWBRA is joining forces with the other residents’ and business associations in and around Raynes Park, in anticipation of another round of public consultation for Crossrail 2 this autumn. 

    Crossrail 2 coming to our area 

    Crossrail 2 is a new railway line, which is planned to come through Raynes Park and Wimbledon stations, providing a completely new link from our area to central London and northwards into Hertfordshire. 

    The Crossrail 2 trains are planned to provide a direct service from Raynes Park to new destinations in central London. After calling at Wimbledon, the trains will run in tunnels all the way to Tottenham Hale. There will be stations in central London, including Victoria, Tottenham Court Road and Euston/St Pancras. 

    It will thus make many destinations easier to reach, without the need to travel via Waterloo. For example, it should be easier to reach the City and Docklands by taking Crossrail 2 to Tottenham Court Road and changing onto the soon-to-open Elizabeth Line, rather than going via either the Waterloo & City or Jubilee tube lines, as at present. 

    In the opposite direction, the Crossrail 2 trains are planned to serve the existing Network Rail branches all the way to Shepperton, Hampton Court, Chessington South and Epsom. These branches will also continue to carry services to and from Waterloo. These lines, of course, converge on Raynes Park. 

    Likely Changes in Raynes Park and Motspur Park 

    As it is planned to run something like double the number of trains on these branches, it is planned to have two extra railway lines running from New Malden, through Raynes Park to Wimbledon, to carry the Crossrail 2 trains. This would thus increase the existing four lines to six along this stretch of track. 

    Whilst the changes planned in Wimbledon to accommodate Crossrail 2 were the subject of a public consultation last year and there is still an ongoing debate, we have yet to see any details of what is planned for Raynes Park. However, we know that Network Rail are now busy working on the details and we expect that new information will be forthcoming fairly soon. 

    Whilst, of course, the devil will be in the detail, the RPA is keen to get the best outcome for Raynes Park that we can; particularly if Raynes Park Station is to be modified. We are also concerned about what is planned for the two level-crossings along West Barnes Lane (i.e. at the junction with Burlington Road and at Motspur Park), as it seems inevitable that these level crossings would cease to be practical with the planned increase in trains. It is also anticipated that improvements will also need to be made to Motspur Park Station. 

    We consider it important that any changes to the station in Raynes Park incorporate improvements to the connectivity with pedestrian, cycle, bus and road routes. We also would like to see the plans incorporate improvements to the public realm around the station. We are hopeful that step-free access will be provided to all the platforms and that the dangerous gaps between the trains and the platform edge are done away with. 

    Public Consultation Postponed 

    Whilst Crossrail 2 in not programmed to be completed until 2032, we are likely to have several years of construction work in our neighbourhood. Despite this seeming far in the future, the opportunity for us to have our say is likely to be in 2017. After that, the key decisions will have been taken, it will be much harder to change things later. 

    Currently, the Crossrail 2 team are considering the recommendations from the National Infrastructure Commission and Government on the business case for the scheme. As a consequence, the public consultation that was originally planned for this autumn has now been postponed.

     

    You can find out more and subscribe for email bulletins on the Crossrail2 website, http://crossrail2.co.uk/ . You can also find out more on our MP’s website, https://www.stephenhammond.net/campaigns/crossrail-2 . 

    In the meantime, RPWBRA members are reminded to participate in the public consultation when the time comes.

     

     

  • Carved in Stone - 29 October 2016

    Fighting far from Home: First World War Collection Day

    Saturday, 29 October, 11am – 4pm

    Morden Library, Merton Civic Centre, London Road, SM4 5DX 

    As part of the Carved in Stone project, Merton Heritage Service is keen to talk to current Merton residents whose ancestors fought in the First World War, or contributed to the war effort – whether through industry, charitable work, or as medical staff. On Saturday 29 October, the Heritage team and members of Age Exchange will be staging a special collection day at Morden Library. If you have family war stories, photographs or memorabilia that you would like to share, they would love to hear from you. Staff are particularly keen to hear from local residents whose ancestors travelled from overseas to fight for the Allied cause.

    Thousands of servicemen and volunteers from Africa, India, the Caribbean, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Newfoundland fought alongside British troops during the war. They travelled half way across the world to fight for King and Empire; many made the ultimate sacrifice and lie buried in military cemeteries far from their family and homeland. To broaden our knowledge of wartime history, Heritage staff would like to hear from residents, whose relatives fought on either side of the conflict.

    The collection day will run from 11am to 4pm and will also feature a range of activities from talks and displays, to archive film and the chance to handle genuine wartime objects.

    If you would be interested in this event, or have family stories that you would like to record for posterity, please contact Merton Heritage Centre. Tel. 020 8545 3239/4038  or email local.studies@merton.gov.uk

  • Lambton Road Medical Practice - October 2016

    Newsletter - Written by patients for patients 

    PPG Members: Judith Brodie (Chair), Elsa Browne, Marilyn Frampton, Clare Gummett, Clare Pickard, Ian Ritchie, Marie Robertson, Elizabeth Savidge and Peter West 

    CARE QUALITY COMMISSION REPORT

    We mentioned in our last bulletin (April 2016, no 17) that the Practice was having an inspection visit from the Care Quality Commission (CQC). Their report, which has been published, commented very well on the care given by LRMP. We send our warm congratulations to the Practice. If you have internet access you can find the report here: http://www.cqc.org.uk/location/1-555730049 

    PRACTICE NEWSLETTER

    Edition 2 (June 2016) of the Practice Newsletter is now available online and in Reception in the racks on the wall. It contains excellent information for patients including details of the mobile app:

     http://merton.healthhelpnow-nhs.net relating specifically to Merton. The Practice plans to produce a Newsletter every three/four months, and we will continue with our PPG Newsletter, as appropriate, in between publication of the Practice edition. The Practice newsletter will cover staff changes, and has plans well in hand to replace staff leaving. In a future edition it will explain how the Lambton Road Practice is part of Grafton Medical Partners. 

    PRACTICE WEBSITE

    Full information on how to make appointments and request repeat prescriptions online, if you so wish, can be found on the Practice website. This website has some good links and the Practice is keen to ensure this page is relevant to patients and to useful organisations. Do you have any suggestions for inclusion?

    http://www.lambtonroadmedical.nhs.uk/useful-links.55575.htm

    STAFF MOVEMENTS

    Dr Ruth Goldsmith has left the Practice. On behalf of patients we would like to thank her for her excellent attention to us. Her caring nature at all times was much appreciated by many patients, and we wish her well for the future.

    We welcome Nurse Tippy who has joined the Practice as one of the lead nurses replacing Nurse Louise who had been with us (both at LRMP and the previous Pepys Road surgery) for many years. We also thank Louise on behalf of patients for her care,much appreciated, over a long time. 

    Patient Participation Group 

    Each year the PPG has a focus and this year we are concentrating our attention, in conjunction with the Practice, on self-care – better ways in which we might take health initiatives on behalf of ourselves - though not as a replacement to seeing a doctor face to face. Online facilities The PPG is planning how best to support patients to use the online facility – if they wish - to make appointments and request repeat prescriptions online. If you can think of any further ways we might be of help we would love to hear from you either at lambtonroadppg@hotmail.co.uk or by a note left for us at Reception. We will keep you in touch.

     

  • Raynes Park Afternoon Townswomen's Guild - September 2016

    On that record breaking September Tuesday, an understandably rather small  group of ladies braved the heat to visit the Salvation Army Heritage Centre and Museum at Denmark Hill.  Although quite small, this is a well presented history of the Salvation Army from its formation and work in the 1800s right through to its activities worldwide today.  Returning to Clapham Junction on the Overground Railway (air conditioned!) we investigated the numerous food outlets and kiosks set up on the overhead pedestrian bridge.  We even found a corner to sit for a drink and a sandwich before the return on SW trains! 

    On another hot day, two visitors joined our September Open Social, a relaxed affair, at which we worked through two quiz sheets as well as enjoying savouries, cake and tea. 

    In September the lunch club visited central Sutton, and plan to visit The Plough on Sutton Common Road in October.  The visit will be to The Vintners Hall on Upper Thames Street. 

    On Thursday, October 20th our speaker will be Julie Chandler whose subject is ‘History of the Sewers of London’.  This meeting will be held at 1.45 at St Saviour’s Church Hall, Grand Drive. 

    Visitors are always welcome to our meetings or other activities.  For more information please telephone. 

    Dorothy Raymond 020 8395 9489

  • Chairman's Blog - October 2016

    RUBBISH COLLECTION 

    In the July edition of the Guide I criticised the proposals of Merton Council to reduce the collection of rubbish from every week to every fortnight. The Council also proposes to introduce wheelie bins to contain all the extra rubbish that would inevitably be built up, at a huge initial cost.

    At the same time, the Council proposes to reduce the frequency of collection of rubbish that can be re-cycled from weekly to every other week. Paper and card will have to be put in one wheelie bin to be collected one week, and plastic, glass, and cans in an open container to be collected the following week. All Councils have to meet targets for the proportion of rubbish re-cycled, or pay financial penalties: these are imposed so as to reduce landfill as much as possible. Merton falls short of meeting these targets at the moment, and reducing the frequency of collecting re-cyclable rubbish will mean that the targets become even harder to reach.

    As we said previously, wheelie bins are not suitable for many smaller houses and flats which have nowhere to store them. They will be left on the streets to become eyesores, will overflow, and will attract foxes and rats.

    Elderly and disabled people will find it difficult, and impossible in many cases, to manoeuvre them through the house and out the front door.

    We find it difficult to understand the thinking behind these proposals. It is

    unlikely to provide any cost saving. The present system works well enough, and the Council has provided no good reason to change it.  If enough residents write in to protest, maybe the Council will change its mind. 

    RUBBISH COLLECTION FROM BINS 

    An example of a change in rubbish collection that has not worked is the decision to remove almost all the dog waste bins, and to require dog waste instead to be put into the ordinary waste bins in our streets and parks. This can only work if the bins are emptied on a very regular basis and before they become full to overflowing. All too often this does not happen. When bins overflow, the results are inevitably disgusting. 

    Removing waste should be the number one priority of any Council, since, while ratepayers may not have children to educate or elderly relatives to care for, we all produce waste. The Council must ensure that enough resources are provided to keep the Borough free of overflowing filth. 

    NUISANCE CALLS 

    Like everybody else, I am plagued by nuisance telephone calls almost every day. When you try to find out who has phoned, the call is not traceable. Many of these calls originate abroad, but some are from the UK. The call companies now use smooth sounding staff to allay your initial suspicion. Often they claim merely to be conducting a survey in your area. What is particularly disturbing is when the caller asks for you by name and knows the area you live in. More elderly and confused people can be very upset by such unwanted calls. Even more disturbing, in a sense, are the silent calls when the phone rings, and no-one is there when you answer it. 

    It should be made a criminal offence, punishable with unlimited fines, to make any single such call. It should be made a criminal offence to make a call from a number that cannot be traced. We should not have to pay for a call barring system on our phones, which in any case does not screen out all of these persistent rogues. 

    WATERSTONES AND W.H. SMITHS 

    These much valued shops in the town centre of Wimbledon were pushed out of their sites on Wimbledon Bridge by the new Metro Bank now being built.  Residents will have been pleased to see that both are now due to come back, 

    Waterstones to the Broadway, and W.H.Smiths to Centre Court. 

    WORKS AT SHANNON CORNER 

    For weeks past, it has taken a good half an hour to move from the traffic lights at Grand Drive, or from the slip road leading from the southbound A3, to get past the gas and road works at Shannon Corner. The traffic crawls along Bushey Road, and, more dangerously, is stationary on the A3 out of London. 

    There is no explanation of what is happening, or as to how long the work will take. Often no work seems to be going on. I thought that utility companies were now contractually committed to get on with such work once it started, and to continue till it finished. This needs to be enforced more rigorously.  

    John Elvidge 

  • Public Meeting - Crossrail 2 - 8 September 2016

    Local Councillors, The Wimbledon Society and Wimbledon East Hillside Residents' Association are to hold a public meeting on Tuesday 8th September  2016 at St Andrew's Church, Herbert Road, Wimbledon, SW19 3SH, on the corner of Graham Road, SW19 from 7 pm to 9 pm. 

    The subject will be Crossrail 2 and the effects on Wimbledon town centre and Raynes Park/ Motspur Park centres too.

    To find out more contact Councillor David Dean david.dean@merton.gov.uk 

    All local residents are invited to attend. 

  • All About Jan

    The loss of Jan Bailey as Secretary was a great blow to the Association, with whom she had been involved for around an unbelievable 30 years.    Jan was a great character, and we thought that many readers would enjoy reading something about her background, and some of the reasons for her great interest in engineering, underground waterways, and flood relief.

    Jan came from mixed stock.  Her father was a Russian-Jewish, Welsh Cockney, and her mother was a Saxon with a bit of Welsh blood.    Jan was very close to both her parents,   Her father was General Manager of a factory, and when she was 8 years old he started taking Jan to work with him” to see how things were done” He was also a complete DIY man as well as a frustrated farmer, and by and by the age of four Jan was her Dad’s best mate!   Jan described her mother as a brilliant couture dressmaker/designer.   Both her parents had beautiful singing and speaking voices and musically were great sight-readers.   By the age of five, Jan knew “the Children of the New Forest” – her father’s favourite book) by heart.  

    Another of Jan’s mentors at an early age was her Uncle, - Birmingham's Regional Head of Sewers and Rivers who took her around with him to inspect underground waterways and sewers and taught her the importance of the whole water conservancy industry. 

     Jan’s brother was ten years her senior.  But, despite the age difference, like all brothers and sisters, they fought - with dangerous bows and arrows;  an air pistol; and with every kind of unarmed combat nature (rather than training) could devise. All Jan’s cousins were boys too, and, except for one for whom Jan babysat, the same age as her brother.   Jan also played and fought with them, something of a Tomboy it would seem. 

    When her brother was 18 he began studying Civil Engineering. Jan says she remembers sitting at his elbow and learning from his textbooks alongside him, and at 14 she designed a boat and when years later her brother found the design he built it as his first boat - no modifications needed.  

    Jan was a keen swimmer and only stopped when she easily beat her father in the Brighton Two Piers race, which Jan said “made him feel old”.  She didn’t swim again until she was living in Plymouth, then she did half a mile a day in Plymouth Sound each evening from March to October.   She also played tennis, took ballet and piano lessons. 

    At nine years old, Jan started serious voice and drama classes, taking all the Associated Board Exams and eventually gained a place at RADA.   She also took the LAMDA extra mural exams and won Honours in the final Gold Medal exam. Jan started serious singing classes at the age of 18. 

    One of Jan’s first jobs was to work within the Theatrical empire of Impresarios Emile and Prince Littler.  She describes this as a “gift” – very hard work but fascinating – where she learned about design, planning, costume and fashion.  Physhe Littler Wright (pronounced Fish) ran a couture business on the side).  At that time Physhe was also designing and building the interior of Westward TV Studios in Plymouth for Enile and Peter Cadbury, so Jan also had the opportunity of learning about interior design as well.   She also learned something else as a Buyer – “never spend a halfpenny if someone else will supply the same thing for a farthing - and hunt fast”! 

    At 19, Jan was one of the 30 girls and boys picked from 1,000 auditioning from all over the world for the September intake to RADA.   The next two years of ‘psychological bashing’ as Jan puts it, was lots of fund but terrifying. During the holidays Jan worked for Manpower for John Tydeman at the BBC; for various solicitors, and during her second year for Trevor Donaldson’s a Property Management company in Jermyn Street. 

    Jan’s career spanned many different.  After gaining a diploma from RADA, she spent five years as an Actress, Singer and Dancer in Repertory, Musicals, Pantomime, Revue and Cabaret. Then, after retiring and settling in Plymouth, she spent time in management; as a Demonstrator; worked for Save and Prosper; and finally ran the white goods operation for Bosch through Dingles (Plymouth’s House of Fraser store).  She was then spotted by Jenny Winters – an ex-Hartnell model who arranged fashion shows in the West Country and needed a lively assistant who understood the rag trade.   She would arrange the shows for Wednesdays (Jan’s day off) and evenings, and together they worked the West Country also undertaking TV advertisements and voice-overs. 

    However, in 1978 Jan’s favourite drama Tutor from RADA appeared at Dingles.   Knowing Jan as a successful performer, she was cross with her for leaving the business, and persuaded Jan to help tutor her ex-students - now with the newly formed Plymouth Rep - whose Director Jan knew to be a great Production Manager but a somewhat less able Artistic Director. 

    In August 1980 that same Tutor arranged for Jan to be interviewed by Gordon Stratford, the new General Manager of the hole in the ground that was to become the Theatre Royal - with an opening date of May 1982 – the job was to become his Personal Assistant.   He was having difficulty in finding someone with all the right skills and background.  Jan was  captivated by Gordon from the outset and remained so as life partners  she said,  her untimely death last may. 

    Together from April 1981 they built and staffed the new Theatre against all the odds of daft delays and massive interference from the Board of 17.  This was made up of City Councillors and other City worthies, only one of whom knew anything about the business and was very supportive, but who was continually outvoted by the rest. 

    Eventually, when Gordon resigned in October 1983, it took the Board nine months to persuade a new person that he would be given a free reign.  Meanwhile Jan stayed to help the Theatre’s wonderful House Manager (who became Acting General Manager) to continue running the show. 

    After a brief rest, Jan joined Plymouth Manpower again undertaking various roles as required,  and in October returned to the bright lights of London, where she stayed, working for Manpower during the week and returning to the West Country for weekends.  

    In 1985 Gordon sold his flat in Plymouth and moved to London to be with Jan.   They chose to live in Raynes Park because by then Jan was working full time in the West End for the Advertising Agency Ogilvy Mather, and Gordon was a Theatre Management Consultant to theatres in the South East, including Wimbledon and Leatherhead.  Raynes Park was, therefore, a halfway house. 

    Gordon and Jan lived a very full life, enjoying visiting art galleries, exhibitions,  and theatres,  cooking and gardening, and also going to Hampstead Parish Church for Evensong, which in Jan’s view encompassed all the need for live,  beautiful and serious music along with spiritual experience, all at the same time. 

    Despite their busy lifestyle, at home, and with visiting family and friends, Jan still found time and energy to start working for the Association around this time.   “Giving something back to the Community” as she might say, which she did for the next 30 years.   She was a truly indomitably woman and we loved her and she is so very greatly missed. 

    Taken from Jan’s notes about her life and edited by Jill Truman

     

     

  • Sepsis Awareness - 6:30 pm,8 September 2016

    SEPTEMBER 2016 IS SEPSIS MONTH 

    DO YOU KNOW ABOUT SEPSIS? 

    Public Sepsis Awareness Event 

    PREVENT RECOGNISE ESCALATE 

    What is sepsis?

    ¨ Sepsis has been previously known as septicaemia or blood poisoning.

    ¨ Early recognition and prompt treatment are critically important

    ¨ Knowing the signs of sepsis can be life saving. To find out more: If you are a member of the public or a patient and would like to learn more about sepsis please join us on: 

    Thursday 8th September, 20166:30 to 7:30 pm. (Please note that the doors will open at 6pm) 

    Speakers:Dr Ram Kumar , ITU Consultant and Lead Clinician for Sepsis 

    Venue: Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust Education Centre, 5th Floor Surgical Wing

    Seminar Room, 1 Galsworthy Road, Kingston upon Thames, KT2 7QB. 

    Everyone is welcome to attend. For more information call 0208 934 3614 or email: ftmembership@kingstonhospital.nhs.uk

     

    SEPSIS IS A SERIOUS CONDITION THAT CAN INITIALLY LOOK LIKE FLU, GASTRO-ENTERITIS OR A CHEST INFECTION 

    Seek medical help immediately if you develop any one of the following symptoms: 

    • SLURRED SPEECH
    • EXTREME SHIVERING OR MUSCLE PAIN
    • PASSING NO URINE IN A DAY
    • SEVERE BREATHLESSNESS
    • “I FEEL I MIGHT DIE”
    • SKIN MOTTLED OR DISCOLOURED

     

     

     

     

     

  • Project Griffin - Counter-terrorism

    Project Griffin is the national counter terrorism awareness initiative for business produced by NaCTSO to protect our cities and communities from the threat of terrorism. 

    The aim of Project Griffin is to  help understand the threat from terrorism to the UK,   to guide individuals on what to do if they find themselves involved in a terrorist incident or event that leads up to a planned attack and to enable people to recognise and report suspicious activity.

    Project Griffin currently holds briefing events to increase public and staff awareness of how best to reduce and respond to the most likely types of terrorist activities. The events are presented by trained police advisors delivering a range of CT awareness modules. 

    Events are free and can last between one and six hours depending on the time available and number of modules covered. The modules are reviewed and updated regularly and currently cover the following topics: 

    • Current Threat Firearms & Weapons attacks Hostile Reconnaissance 
    • Document Awareness Response to Suspicious Items Drones (U.A.V) 
    • Bombs (I.E.D) Postal threat Social Networking 
    • Cyber Domestic Extremism Insider Threat 

     

     NaCTSO also launched a new Griffin initiative, Project Griffin - Industry Self Delivery, on 20th April 2016. 

    Specialist officers around the country are now briefing around 100,000 workers every year. However the new self-delivery programme aims to reach ten times that number. 

    Companies wishing to deliver Project Griffin to their employees are invited to apply to register with NaCTSO. 

    NaCTSO will register approved companies and provide them with the NaCTSO Project Griffin package relevant to their sector, plus regular future updates. 

    To ensure that a company is a ‘fit and proper body’ to deliver Project Griffin, the following essential criteria for registration will be applied.  A company must:  

    a)      be a PLC 

    b)      Have an existing corporate training structure using accredited trainers 

    c)      Operate in the ‘Crowded lace’ environment 

    d)      Deliver all and any part of the NaCTSO Project Griffin product free of charge