Local news

A Visit to AELTC Grand Drive

A visit to the ALL ENGLAND CLUB COMMUNITY SPORTS CENTRE

 On one of the glorious days of mid- September, I was invited along to the AELTC Community Sports Ground in Grand Drive to see for myself the progress that has been made on this amazing All England Club venture.

 From the moment I walked through the main entrance gates I was impressed at the amount thought that has gone into - not only the sports facilities themselves - but the whole ambience of the place, which is delightful.  The immediate feel is one of familiarity - a special extension of the All England Club itself – but with the specific purpose of working with young people, local schools and clubs, and with able and disabled alike.  There are significant landscaped areas planted out with a profusion of flowers - hydrangeas everywhere - and on the land bordering the properties in Cannon Hill Lane an amazing wildflower garden.  

 I was met by Catherine Edser, Duty Manager, Andrew Ambrose, and Ruth Edwards who after entertaining me to an excellent cup of coffee in the temporary club facilities took me around the site.

 Although only about halfway through the project, some of the facilities are already in use and the porous acrylic outdoor courts - all painted in the Wimbledon colours of purple and green - are being used by local schools, for special coaching. and I believe even Raynes Park Tennis Club members have been taking advantage of the first of two ‘bubbles’ - the huge inflatable air-conditioned, and beautifully lit structures – in which the indoor courts will be housed.

 Health & Safety is of paramount importance to Careys the Civil Engineering firm that is contracted to undertake all the groundworks and so we all had to don boots, hard hats, high viz jackets and special gloves before we could examine the ongoing and very extensive groundworks.

 The current focus is on completing the preparations for the second indoor facility; and excavating and then building the grass courts which will cover a significant proportion of the site.   Once finally prepared and seeded, these won’t be ready for use until the season of 2022, as it takes about two years for them to mature.  

 High in priority is good on-site drainage and the excavation of a sustainable drainage basin is currently underway. 

No doubt residents living around the grounds have suffered from the hustle, bustle  and inconvenience of  the development, but once finished, the benefits of overlooking a green and tranquil world class sports facility will be a reward in itself.

Jill Truman

Find out more, follow: https://communitytennis.aeltc.com/About

Babylon NHS GP Practice

New Free digital-first NHS GP Practice opens in Lambton Road 

Babylon GP at Hand - London’s digital-first NHS GP practice - opened a dedicated face-to-face clinic in Raynes Park on 1st October. 

The new clinic is located on the top floor of the Raynes Park Medical Centre on Lambton road. It will mean that Babylon GP at Hand patients can see a GP or nurse face-to-face usually within one working day. This is in addition to having access to a GP via video call within minutes, 24/7.

 

Seeing a GP through a video call means Babylon GP at Hand patients can speak to a doctor at any time and place convenient for them. 90% of all our appointments can be taken care of over a video consultation. And every session is free, no matter how long it lasts. 

 

What is Babylon GP at Hand?

Babylon GP at Hand is an NHS GP practice like any other. However, patients registered with Babylon GP at Hand can also: 

·       Video call a GP in minutes, 24/7

·       See a GP face-to-face in Raynes       Park within 24h, or choose from 5 other clinics across London

·       Have prescriptions delivered to any local pharmacy

·       Use Babylon’s instant AI symptom checker

·       Book and manage appointments through the Babylon app

·       Access notes and replay video appointments 


Download the Babylon app, or visit 
www.gpathand.nhs.uk to register with Babylon.

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.) 

Raynes Park High School Newsletters

Follow this link for the latest Raynes Park High School newsletter

 

 

St Saviour's War Memorial - Update Nov 2019

I thought Association members might like an update on where we are at with respect to the Raynes Park War Memorial restoration.  I know many of them attended either our Men of Raynes Park 1914-18 Exhibition or last year’s Remembrance Day at St Saviour’s, or both, and we were grateful for their support. 

We had hoped to be well on the way to re-carving the names by now.  However, the whole process has been dogged by delays.  

We had originally hoped to have final approval and a grant from the War Memorials Trust early in 2019.  However, they suspended consideration of applications submitted for the December 2018 deadline until the end of March 2019, and then finally made a grant offer at the end of May.  Unfortunately, the offer included several conditions and exclusions, which affected the validity of the contractor's quotation that we had accepted, and would almost certainly have driven up the price.  Moreover, the exclusions raised doubts that we could achieve clear name inscriptions that would remain legible for the next 100 years. 

To avoid any more delays, and with Listed Building Consent, we have decided to proceed on the original basis and forgo the War Memorials Trust grant (which we reckon would have been taken up with the additional work they would require anyway).  On that basis, we have decided to proceed with the restoration though it is very unlikely it will be completed by the forthcoming Remembrance Sunday.  

The good news is that we have been reasonably successful at raising funds, both at the time of the launch and subsequently.  Our target is £23,000 and, so far, we have either received contributions or pledges for around £19,900.  Without the War Memorials Trust grant, though, it does mean we are still looking to raise just over another £3,000. 

It seems extraordinary now that we originally thought we might have all the work completed by last year’s Remembrance Day, but have learnt the lesson that, in this field, however much time you think a project will take, multiply it by at least three! 

Although we are not in a position to invite RPWBRA Members to the unveiling of the restored memorial this Remembrance Sunday, it would still be very nice to see them there. The Scouts and Guides will again be in attendance and do their best to remember those who died in the Great War, and subsequently, in protection of our freedoms.

With very best regards 

Peter Hutton

Memorial Research and Exhibition Co-ordinator 

West Wimbledon Primary School - Newsletters

 

Follow this link for the latest West Wimbledon Primary School newsletter.

 

 

 

The Raynes Park Association - Blog, October 2019

Our Residents’ Association is a member of the Raynes Park Association (RPA), an umbrella group of local residents’ associations and business representatives, in an around Raynes Park. As our residents’ association has a large membership compared to some others, we have two representatives within the RPA. Its aim is to enhance the environment of the centre of Raynes Park in the interests of people who live and/or work there. It provides a focal point for enhancing the Raynes Park environment, by addressing issues relating to the centre of Raynes Park, and other significant matters in the surrounding area which will affect people beyond the confines of a particular residents association’s boundary. 

 

Its secretary, Chris Larkman, has written a blog about some of the RPA’s activities, which may be read  here .

Raynes Park Bereavement Service

The Raynes Park Bereavement Service was launched on Monday 24 November 2014.   

The service provides free and confidential one to one support to people who have had a bereavement, recently or in the past.  

This service is provided by volunteers who have been vetted, trainedand are supported by professional counsellors.  It is being provided primarily for people living in the Raynes Park area, but it is open to requests from elsewhere.  The service is managed by Christ Church, Raynes Park, and is open to people of all faiths and none.   

The service is accessed by calling 07914 263420 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   The volunteer will then arrange a meeting at Lambton Road Medical Practice for as many times as needed.  (If someone is housebound arrangements will be made to see them in their own home.) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RPA Objection to Revised Parking Charges

RAYNES PARK ASSOCIATION LETTER TO MERTON COUNCIL

Letter of Objection to proposed revised parking charges 

I am writing you on behalf of the Raynes Park Association to register our objections to the proposed rises in parking charges.  To remind you the Raynes Park Association is an umbrella organisation comprising local residents’ associations, businesses and other local organisations within the Raynes Park area, cutting across several Wards.  

i.   Town Centre Parking Charges

 While parking charges in town centres such as Raynes Park may be necessary to ensure efficient use of available spaces, we believe these charges should be kept as low as is reasonably possible to encourage the use of the services offered in our local town centre.  We are therefore totally opposed to the proposal to double these charges which, we believe, will cause damage to our high street at a time when they can least afford it.  

·       LaToya Harding (The Daily Telegraph 10th April 2019) said “The number of high street shops closing remained at record highs last year as rising business rates, declining customer footfall and a shift to online shopping took their toll.”    So regardless how you class the north side of Raynes Park, unless we do more to help small shopping streets the impact will continue until it is full of Charity shops and large national chains. 

·       The Retail Gazette Jan 2019 said “Over 175,000 jobs are set to be shed from the UK’s retail industry, while retail property values will slide amid the continuing increase in online shopping.  A further 23,000 shops are expected to close this year, according to research conducted by real estate advisers Altus Group.” 

·       Thomas Heatherwick, the award-winning designer has remarked when it comes to retail “feeling is function”.  Shopping should be a pleasant experience without unjustified financial obstacles. Why would a shopper drive to a retail area, spend time trying to find a parking place, and pay a large parking charge when they can sit comfortably at home and order supplies from a lap top.  

What is Merton actually doing to enhance the public realm experience in Raynes Park?  It is clearly not using the parking charge or CIL funding for environmental improvements. It is just another form of local taxation with the money going in one direction whilst failing to address the fundamental retail issues. 

You will be aware that we have formally requested the setting up of a free 20-minute parking period in the part of Raynes Park on the north of the railway to match what is already provided on the south of the railway.  Officers have indicated that the north is classed as a “Town Centre” whilst the south is not; we would suggest this is illogical.    Some local businesses believe they need more than 20 minutes, but at least it is a start; businesses also need longer term parking for their own vehicles without the punitive business parking permits. 

Whether or not you decide to introduce the increases, we ask you now urgently to review our request and to consider it favourably. 

ii.                Residents’ Parking Permits 

We are appalled at the concept of the massive proposed increases in the charges for residents to obtain permits to park in the CPZ areas.  When the London Borough of Merton consulted local residents on the setting up of CPZs it was understood that the charges would reflect the cost to the Council in managing the service.  It seems to us wrong that the Council should unilaterally decide to increase the charge as a ‘tax’ against local people owning a car.  This was never part of the consultation and we therefore question the Council’s authority to initiate this additional charge.  

In any event, the increased charges are totally unfair as it is only applicable to people living within a CPZ.  If you are lucky enough to have your own driveway or indeed live in a road with no controls, you will not be charged.  Your vehicle will equally cause pollution, which appears to be the rationale behind this ‘tax’, yet having your own driveway makes you exempt.  Furthermore, there is no equality across the whole of Merton, why should residents in the Mitcham not receive the same increase as in Wimbledon and Raynes Park, especially when one of the key planks in the argument for the increases are to reduce pollution; pollution does not suddenly stop in Mitcham surely?  We suggest that the rationale has indeed been drawn up in what can only be seen a 'planned way' to increase taxes in areas where the ruling majority is not represented which might well be considered as maladministration. 

We suggest that Resident’s Parking Permits: 

i.   In the interests of fairness be the same cost regardless of which part of the borough one lives.

ii.   Increase proportionately with inflation and the actual cost of managing the service.

iii.   Should be automatically renewed via direct debit to save staff time dealing with the complicated existing process requesting a pin then re-submitting and having to remember the renewal date.

iv.   No longer require a paper notice, but rather linked to the vehicle registration and Parking Attendants be given devices that can scan the registration number and link to the Council’s database to confirm it can park in Zone situated.  No doubt DVLC would be pleased if the Council were also able to catch unlicensed vehicles at the same time.  

We trust you will consider all our suggestions favourably.

Chris Edge

Chairman RPA

 

 

Postal Collections in Raynes Park

royalmail

Whilst most of us use the post less than in the past, it may just be worth remembering where there is a later postal collection locally, should we need it at any time.Latest Postal Collections in London SW20 and Surrounding Area

 

Read more...

Crossrail 2 - Update December 2018

The Independent Affordability Review has reported to the Government. However, uncertainty continues ...

Various lobby groups are now trying to influence the outcome (businesses, LAs), but one should take the various recent statements in the press with a pinch of salt. 

Against this background, Crossrail (The Elizabeth Line) has run into a 9 month delay, has needed a £350 Million bail out and the CEO has resigned. 

Some say the three objective of Crossrail 2, 

o    Inter-connections at Euston for HS2

o    Alleviate pressure on Waterloo

o    Meeting the anticipated growth in demand for transport, caused by population growth in the London suburbs 

can be met more cost-effectively in other ways. It may be that the central London section is completed first, with later phases being deferred almost indefinitely. 

Some say that the cost of CR2 could be met by increasing local domestic and business rates of, say 1%, a bit like the Olympic Games levy. Another suggestion is for a rates surcharge on properties likely to benefit from being close to the line. 

After the Brexit deadline in 2019, it may be that the Government refocuses on infrastructure projects, perhaps with a new “Spending Review”. 

TfL is currently struggling with a fall in passenger numbers and is expecting a £1bn deficit this year. 

At the same time, the controversy over the cost of rail fares rumble on. 

Also Network rail continues to struggle with delivering the electrification of the national rail network, with massive cost overruns and whole swathes of its original plans cancelled. 

The rationale behind HS2 also continues to be questioned, despite the promises made for the Northern Power House. 

Jerry Cuthbert

Merton's Top 10 Parking and Traffic Ticket Spots

speed camera copy         no parking        bus lane

(Courtesy Wimbledon Guardian)

  1. Hartfield Road bus lane camera, Wimbledon – 2,970 tickets
  2. Hartfield Road car park, Wimbledon – 2,605  tickets
  3. London Road bus lane camera, Mitcham (opposite Elmwood Road) – 2,338 tickets
  4. London Road bus lane camera, Mitcham (opposite Bond Road) – 2,282 tickets
  5. London Road bus lane camera, Mitcham (adjacent to Figge’s Marsh) – 1,959 tickets
  6. High Street, Wimbledon Village – 1,938 tickets
  7. Coombe Lane, Raynes Park – 1,394 tickets
  8. Russell Road, Wimbledon – 1,373 tickets
  9. Coombe Lane car park, Raynes Park – 1,159 tickets
  10. London Road bus lane, Mitcham (Armfield Crescent) – 1,100 tickets

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