Local news

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: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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!

 

 

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

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. 

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

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

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.

Raynes Park High School Newsletters

Follow this link for the latest Raynes Park High School newsletter

 

 

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).

 

West Wimbledon Primary School - Newsletters

 

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

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Read more...

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.) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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