Chairman's Blog - September 2017


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. 


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. 


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.   


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

Join us on:


Share this page: