Green Coffee       December  2015
Hello All
Thanks to everyone for coming to December Green Coffee, with an especial thank you to Gavin who came to his first Green Coffee meeting.

At our MENDING SPECIAL, we heard some great ideas for where to go locally to get things mended - and this has been put together into a list which you can download HERE. We heard the latest on Crossrail - a fast moving situation and no doubt we'll continue discussions about this important project for many more months. (Don't forget to send in your views to the Crossrail consultation HERE before 8th Jan). And as ever, there was lots more news from tree planting to a new knitting circle planned for St George's hospital.

The first Green Coffee of 2016 will be on Tues 5th January, 9.30 - 11am at the YMCA cafe upstairs. If you can't make this, the one after is planned for Tues 2nd Feb. Everyone is welcome.

PLEASE NOTE: The Green Coffee Update covers whatever views are expressed by individuals at the meeting. Indeed, Green Coffee members often have different views on topics. The newsletter does not verify information or web links, so it's up to you to challenge views or correct information - and if you can't make it along, you are very welcome to send in your comments for discussion at the next meeting.
Download the latest from:  
Sustainable Merton  HERE
EcoLocal (Sutton) HERE
SWLEN  (Richmond & Kingston) HERE
Surrey Tree Wardens  HERE


news at December Green Coffee

Recycling & Waste
2. Plastic Bottle top collection
3. Reporting Street Mess

4. Recycling Coffee Packaging
5. Food Recycling Bags free at the library

Crossrail 2
6. Community Update: Meetings
                                       Co-ordinating our Response
                                       Current Plans
                                       The Opportunity
                                       The Documents

The Built Environment
7. Access to the Wandle Trail
8. Bike Thieves Caught!

9. Build a WikiHouse!
10. Plough Lane - decision soon

Gardening & Food
11. Merton Tree Wardens - tree planting
12. Making a Raised Bed
13. The end of Meals on Wheels?
14. New Foodbank in Morden

15. Hand Wash or Dishwasher?
16. Energy Switching

Events - reports & plans
17. Paris Conference
18. Sustainable Merton: Christmas Drinks

19. CND news
20. Climate Change March

Other things local
21. No response from CCG
22. Home Deliveries
23. Polka Theatre

24. Knitting Group at St George's?

What's On?

Xrail consultation ends

8.1 7.30pm
Fundraising Dinner
William Morris House

16.1  10-1
Tree Planting
Morden Park SM4 5HE

17.1  10-1
Tree Planting
The Canons  CR4 4HD

Find past issues of Green Coffee Update HERE

December Green Coffee - news

Recycling & Waste

Thank you to Susan for suggesting that we discuss this. Green Coffee members had lots of ideas on where to get clothes, cars, electricals, cycles,  lawnmowers and other things mended.

See the proposed list HERE. Please do send in additional information about these places - and any other ideas for where to get things mended around Wimbledon.

2. Plastic Bottle top collection
For some months, Green Coffee members have been collecting plastic bottle tops and donating them to the Holy Trinity Church. Further information explains how it works - the plastic is not used to make prostheses, but a Polish hospital issues vouchers for the bottle tops and these are used to pay for prosthetic limbs for Polish children. The publicity has focussed on a family using the charity which is very grateful to everyone who is collecting bottle tops. Please take bottle tops to Holy Trinity on a weekday morning (the office is now open again). All sorts of bottle tops are collected, including from shampoo and marmite bottles.

3. Reporting Street Mess
At November Green Coffee, we highlighted reports of poor street cleaning in Merton, in particular the mess around the bins outside Tesco at Centre Court. A Green Coffee member suggested that one of the ways of highlighting these problems was by contacting Cllr. Judy Saunders, Cabinet Member Environmental Health & Cleanliness. Since then, another Green Coffee member contacted Cllr. Saunders twice about this particular street mess problem, but has not had any response.

4. Recycling Coffee Packaging
Due to Juliet's encouragement, the YMCA has agreed to collect coffee packaging and is now waiting for the Terracycle box. Green Coffee members are encouraged to collect coffee packaging and bring it to next Green Coffee - or else pass it to Juliet, who can be contacted at  It was also suggested that supermarkets should Terracycle as they sell the products with the packaging.

5. Food Recycling Bags free at the library
In November Green Coffee newsletter, we reported that, due to the cuts, there were plans to charge for the biodegradable corn starch bags for food waste (currently distributed free to houses in Merton). It was reported by a Green Coffee member that the biodegradable bags will remain free, but people will have to collect them from libraries.


Crossrail 2

6. Community Update

Leigh organised a community meeting on Thursday 3rd Dec, supported by WEHRA, Sustainable Merton and Civic Forum. This meeting was to discuss how we can get a better and more sustainable Wimbledon town centre. Stephen Hammond's meeting on Mon 7th Dec (at Ricards Lodge School) will focus on how the disruption during the construction phase can be minimised. So this latter meeting will provide an opportunity to ask questions about impact on transport links and how the needs of disabled people during the construction phase will be taken into account.

Co-ordinating our Response
Love Wimbledon is coordinating the business response to Crossrail 2. It's really important that local residents also have their say. Once we have discussed the community's priorities for Wimbledon town centre, we should look for support from local politicians and try to present a united front. It's really important that people engage with the different consultations taking place.

Here is how you can make your views heard:
  • The Community Consultation - organised by WEHRA. Download a copy of this HERE and return the completed questionnaire to Leigh at This questionnaire will help community groups understand what local residents want to see in a future town centre and help them put forward a more forceful case to the council when it consults on the Wimbledon masterplan (see below)
  • The current Crossrail consultation - this is looking at the big decisions e.g. where the tunnelling starts, how deep Wimbledon station will be. Take part in the consultation HERE before the closing date on 8th January. There will other Crossrail consultations, which will focus on the detail, as the project progresses.
  • Merton Council will have a consultation on the masterplan for central Wimbledon in the middle of 2016. This will consider the development of the whole town centre i.e. both the sites demolished to build Crossrail and those sites surrounding the Crossrail development. James McGinley and Paul McGarry are coordinating Merton Council's plans and conducting the consultations.
Current Plans
Construction of Crossrail 2 would begin around 2020 with completion expected in 2030. The final decisions on the infrastructure have not yet been taken. The following has been proposed:
  • BRIDGES  A new bridge over the railway is planned north of Wimbledon station, linking Alexandra Rd and Queens Rd. Another potential bridge could link Hartfield Rd through the existing St George's car park and a tunnel under Elys/Sainsbury's to Worple Rd.
  • THE STATION  Stephen Hammond MP is lobbying for a deep station at Wimbledon, which would cause less disruption to the town centre, but would mean extra expenditure (figures of £600m - £2bn have been cited). The current plan is to have a separate station for the trams opposite the train station on Wimbledon Bridge. Some Green Coffee members were concerned that moving the tram station would make the interchange between the tram and rail more difficult, discouraging children and adults from using public transport.
  •  CONSTRUCTION SITES  Not all sites will be under construction at the same time.  When the new tram station is constructed, a concrete block will be built over it - development above it can then go ahead. Also, Crossrail is looking at initially just demolishing the half of Centre Court nearest the railway line. Once development here is complete, then a shopping centre could be re-built on that site and possibly over the railway line too. Then the other half of Centre Court would be demolished and rebuilt. The Town Hall facade will be kept, and it may be possible to keep the facade of the church and firestation on Queens Rd (all of these are currently incorporated into Centre Court). The intention is to keep the Prince of Wales facade and redevelop this whole block.

    In response to business concerns about the impact on Wimbledon town centre, Crossrail has produced a new document to explain how the construction work would be phased over a 10 year period - see the Wimbledon Clarification document below. There will be 3-4 developers working in Wimbledon town centre and the council will need to have sufficient people to police it all.

  • SHOPS & BUSINESSES  The potential demolition of around 100 shops and businesses in the town centre poses a major challenge. So how can Wimbledon town centre keep functioning? Leigh explained that this could be done by bringing forward plans to develop sites near the town centre (e.g. YMCA, Majestic Wines sites). Core shops/businesses could move there. Once the  constuction phase is complete, shops and businesses would then move into the new sites around the station. The net result would be expansion and regeneration of the whole town centre.
  • ROAD NETWORK  A decision will have to be made at an early stage about where the traffic will flow. The design of the road system is also a key decision. Sending through traffic round a one-way system creates a barrier, as it speeds up traffic making it difficult for pedestrians and cyclists to cross. Roads should be usable by all users, including those with wheelchairs, push chairs and impaired vision.

    It was suggested that we should be looking at road sharing. Exhibition Road in Kensington successfully integrates traffic with pedestrians, slowing the traffic as drivers have no longer got priority on the roads. The Home Zones system on residential roads prioritises pedestrians and slows traffic to 5mph. This would also be an opportunity to introduce Twenty's Plenty throughout the borough.

  • DEALING WITH THE CONSTRUCTION PHASE  Major construction can disrupt people's lives. In particular, it can be catastrophic to disabled people who can be confined to their homes, if the development process does not take into account their needs. At the Crossrail roadshow, Crossrail representatives said they intend to put in a place a team of 2-3 Local Community Officers, who will deal with all queries about the work in Wimbledon and will seek to get problems sorted out as soon as possible. We should make sure that this is delivered!

The Opportunity
At the Community Meeting on 3rd Dec, Tom Walsh outlined the opportunity this development offers. Reducing carbon emissions in our cities means compact town centres, good connections (public transport, walking, cycling, in an environment friendly to people with different abilities) and coordination of social, economic and environmental services. This development is coming at a time when climate change is beginning to be taken seriously and so could be an exemplar of sustainable development.

The Documents
Here is the documentation from Crossrail:
  • Wimbledon Fact Sheet  HERE
  • Wimbledon Clarification document HERE
  • Raynes Park Fact Sheet HERE  
  • Whole Crossrail Project Fact Sheet HERE

The Built Environment

7. Access to the Wandle Trail
Alice has been in discussions with Wandsworth Council regarding accessibility to the Wandle Trail. Just after the path passes northwards from Merton into Wandsworth, badly placed chicanes block the way for mobility scooters and pushchairs.

8. Bike Thieves Caught!
Bike theft is a continuing problem for cyclists. So we were pleased when Merton Police Commander reported that plain clothed policemen had arrested two men acting suspiciously around cycles in Wimbledon town centre. The men were carrying heavy duty wire cutters and examination of CCTV showed they also appeared to be involved in the theft of bikes a few days earlier. Green Coffee congratulates Merton police on some great work!

9. Build a WikiHouse!
Susan reminded us that a highly energy efficient house can be built for less than £50,000. Find out more HERE

10. Plough Lane - decision soon
The application to build a football stadium and around 600 homes will be decided by Merton Council on 10th Dec. The planning application does not take into account the impact of Crossrail 2 or other major developments in the area, but if it gets the go-ahead, then the two developments will be built at the same time. The Plough Lane site is on a flood plain so the underground car parks are particularly vulnerable to flooding leading to the loss of cars, and oil and petrol being released into the flood waters. With football games every second weekend, there are concerns about the large numbers of people in the area, whether transport can cope and whether ambulances will be able to get to St George's A&E situated nearby. If you'd like to attend the planning meeting, the meeting starts at 7.15pm and it's recommended that you get there early!
POST MEETING NOTE: On 10th Dec, Merton's planning committee gave the go-ahead to the football ground plus houses. See HERE.


Gardening, Green Spaces & Food

11. Merton Tree Wardens - tree planting
Jane Plant highlighted the following action days:
  • Raynes Park Sports ground (Dec 5th & 6th) - filling the gaps from the last planting and giving TLC
  • Common Extension Playing Fields (Dec 12th & 13th) - this is to screen the A3 and replaces the existing screen. Find out more under EVENTS.

12. Making a Raised Bed
Alice has a micro-landfill project to raise a bed for growing vegetables. The level is being raised using plastic milk bottles filled with grey water. then this will be covered by soil. We look forward to hearing progress reports on this mini-venture!

13. The end of Meals on Wheels?
It was suggested that meals on wheels may be stopped as part of the Merton Council's expenditure cuts. On checking with the council's contractor, it seems that a decision on this will be taken in March. According to the Wimbledon Guardian article HERE, the service is seven days a week and is currently used by 177 people aged between 50 and 103 years old. We will keep you updated on this.

The point was made that these days deliveries of ready made meals by supermarkets is replacing the need for meals on wheels. However the loss of daily contact provided by the meal delivery service would mean that vulnerable people will feel even more isolated.

14. New Foodbank in Morden
A new foodbank has opened at the Morden Islamic Community Centre , with the support of Merton Council. Food Relief vouchers are handed out by health & care professionals and these can be exchanged for three days worth of food. Food is distributed on Sundays from the centre at 116 London Road, Morden SM4 5AX.  A typical parcel contains food such as pasta, tuna, pasta sauce, soup, tinned fruits and vegetables, cereal and milk. Find out more HERE.


15. Hand Wash or Dishwasher?
Using a dishwasher is a better environmental choice than handwashing all your dishes. It uses less water, energy and fewer bottles of detergent and chemicals. For a comparison, see HERE
16. Energy Switching
Another round of the Big London Energy Switch has just closed and the next one is being planned - see HERE. The idea is that, if people club together, the energy companies will be prepared to give them a better deal on their energy bills. However, some Green Coffee members have not participated as there has not been a green energy option and in some cases green energy companies have been left out of price comparisons.


Events - reports & plans

17. Paris Conference
At long last it is hoped that concrete measures to really tackle carbon emissions will be agreed at this conference. This would change the dialogue around environmental issues. So Tom Walsh urges us to write to our MPs to ask the government to reverse the reductions in Feed in Tariffs, which are now quite out of step with the rest of Europe.
POST MEETING NOTE: Read about the Paris climate change agreement and download it HERE

18. Sustainable Merton: Christmas drinks & AGM
Christmas Drinks Everyone was invited to come along to the Charles Holden pub in Colliers Wood on 8th Dec to meet the Sustainable Merton team and celebrate successes over the last year!

AGM  Following a very well-attended 2015 AGM, Sustainable Merton is planning its 2016 event on 11th Feb at Drake House. There will be a range of speakers - more details to follow. Find out more about Sustainable Merton HERE

19. CND news
After years of campaigning, public opinion seems to be moving against the renewal of Trident. Bruce Kent will be attending a fund-raising dinner on 8th Jan. The meal will be an affordable £15, with more being raised at the auction which follows. Download the invite HERE

Also, on 7th Dec, you are welcome to help with the planting of a peace tree, to commemorate Hiroshima and Nagasaki. More details about both are under EVENTS below.

20. Climate Change March
Green Coffee members Heather, Christine, Juliet, Alison, Joyce (and probably others too) were all on the London climate change march - along with an estimated 70,000 other people. There were some excellent speeches particularly at the beginning of the march from Vivienne Westwood, Caroline Lucas, Romayne Phoenix and others.

Other things local

21. No response from CCG
At September and November Green Coffees, we heard that Merton Clinical Commissioning Group wanted feedback from people so that they can draw up their Vision and Strategy for Merton. Two Green Coffee members sent in their concerns about the impact of the Sutton incinerator on air quality and health in Merton. However disappointingly they have not heard anything back from the CCG.

22. Home Deliveries
There is now a leaflet from Fruit on Route - find it HERE. Please note that this leaflet says 'Free Delivery every Thursday' - however this is the delivery date for Merton Park and the day may be different in other parts of the borough. When you buy fruit & veg from Fruit on Route you get less packaging than from the supermarket.

Milk & More is the delivery service from the milkman. You can buy a wide range of produce from kitchen paper and juice to compost. The daily visit by the milkman can be an important point of contact for people living alone and milkmen often alert the authorities if milk is not collected from the doorstep. It's important to support this so that the milk round continues.

23. Polka Theatre
Gavin works at the Polka Theatre, which has a green team focussing on energy and waste. In 2013 the Polka Theatre put on a wonderful production "The Planet and Stuff, to introduce children to environmental issues. Funding from the Arts Council also means that they have an obligation to address green issues.

24. Knitting Group at St George's
Alice is hoping to start a knitting group at St George's hospital. In the geriatric wards there are people who have led busy lives and find it difficult to be idle. Communal knitting would give people something productive to do, provide a social group and produce items that could be donated to charity. The wool would be bought from charity shops. If you'd like to find out more about this very worthwhile group, please contact Alice at



Fri 8th Jan
Crossrail Consultation closes

It is really important that everyone has their say on this project. Not only will it deliver a major new station for Wimbledon, but will lead to the rebuilding of much of Wimbledon town centre. Take part in the consultation HERE

Fri 8th Jan  7.30pm
Fundraising Dinner/Auction
William Morris Halls, 267 The Broadway  SW19 1SD

You are invited to this dinner and auction to raise funds for CND. The Guest of Honour is Bruce Kent. Tickets are £15 which will include dinner. See the invite HERE. Download the invite HERE Further information from or tel. 8543 0362.

Sat 16th Jan  10am-1pm
Tree Planting & Maintenance
Morden Park playing fields, London Rd (opp. mosque) SM4 5HE

Join local residents and Merton Tree Wardens for a workday. There will be tree planting, checking existing trees and giving TLC where needed. Find out more HERE.

Sun 17th Jan 10am-1pm
Tree Planting & Maintenance
The Canons (behind the leisure centre), Mitcham CR4 4HD

Join local residents and Merton Tree Wardens for a workday. There will be tree planting, checking existing trees and giving TLC where needed. Find out more HERE.

Sat 23th & Sun 24th Jan 11am-2pm
Tree Planting & Maintenance

Moreton Green, Middleton Rd & Merevale Crescent SM4 6HL
Join local residents and Merton Tree Wardens for a workday. There will be tree planting, checking existing trees and giving TLC where needed. Find out more HERE.

Sat 30th & Sun 31st Jan, 10am-1pm
Hedge Planting
Near the entrance to Haydons Rd Railway Station  SW19 8SL

Join local resident Patrick and Merton Tree Wardens to plant a native hedge by the fruit trees and bushes. This will help beautify this area near the entrance to the station. Find out more HERE.


Regular events

first Mondays  7.30pm
Wimbledon Beekeepers' Association
The Snuff Mill, Morden Hall Park, Morden Hall Road, Morden SM4 5JD

The Wimbledon Division of the Surrey Beekeepers' Association is an organisation of Beekeepers, who operate in the London Borough of Merton and its surrounding areas.  Each year, they organise beginners’ courses and a variety of educational and social events for members.

second Tuesdays  from 8pm
Green Drinks

At the Charles Holden Pub (opp Colliers Wood tube station) 198 High Street, Colliers Wood SW19 2BH
The perfect social event for those interested in sustainability issues and wanting to meet other like-minded people is back! The new venue is a lovely pub at the entrance to Wandle Park. Easy to get to from Wimbledon via the 200 bus - and Colliers Wood tube station is just across the road.

every Wednesday morning 10am - early afternoon
Phipp’s Bridge Community Allotment

Join Gillian and her friendly group to grow fruit and vegetables. Disused land has been turned into a productive garden through people working together. You are welcome to join in, regardless of your gardening expertise - and you'll have the opportunity to take home some lovely fresh produce. If you would like to come and have a look or get involved, then please contact  Gillian at Find out more HERE

every Wednesday at 10.30 am
Merton Green Parents
Coffee in the Wood, 99 High Street, Colliers Wood

How do you balance the demands of being a parent and leading a more sustainable life? It can sometimes be difficult. Merton Green Parents provides a place to swap sustainable parenting tips and meet other like-minded parents. To join the group and for information about meet up times, visit the Merton Green Parents Facebook page  or follow them on twitter @MGreenParents.

Coffee in the Wood has cakes from local bakers, nice coffee and sometimes live music! It is also a Recycling Point for baby wipes and baby food packets.

third Wednesdays  8 - 10pm
Merton Friends of the Earth - Monthly Meet Up
William Morris House, 267 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SD

All are welcome at this new group to discuss issues including climate change. You'll hear more about the ongoing local Bee Campaign and how you can help with general maintenance in Wandle Park. Enquiries:

first Thursday of the month at 8.00pm
Merton Cycling Campaign meeting
All Saints Centre, All Saints Road, SW19 1BX

Meet other cyclists, find out about rides and other events and the latest on campaigns. Please contact Charles, Borough Coordinator Merton Cycling Campaign tel. 8949 0708 or email for more details.

third Thursdays   from 7pm
Morden Hall Park Nature Group
Snuff Mill Education Centre, Morden Hall Park

Find out more about the animals, vegetables and minerals found in Morden Hall Park. Or else share your knowledge with other like-minded people? The meeting is open to anyone interested in the work of the Nature Group. Find out more HERE or email

every Friday 10-12am
Colliers Wood Community Garden
at the back of Christ Church Hall, in Colliers Wood
Join Auriel and Tom for some gardening at this friendly group. For more information, contact Tom at

second Fridays   from 9.30 - 11am
John Innes Gardening Group

JI Gardening Group is currently meeting every second Friday. Meet up by the mulberry tree. Bring secateurs and a trowel. For more information, please contact 

every Saturday, 9am-1pm
Wimbledon Farmers’ Market
Wimbledon Park Primary School, Havana Road, SW19 8EJ

A chance to get your groceries direct from local farmers. Find out more HERE


first Sundays
Friends of Ravensbury Park - Workday
meet at the bridge over the Wandle in the middle of the park at 10am

Help is needed to give your local park a general cleanup. Tools and refreshments provided. Sessions usually last about 3 hours, but please just come for as long as you like. For more information, call Jane tel. 07773 406 105.

third Sundays
Friends of the Canons - Workday
The Canons Recreation Ground (meet at the pond)
at 10am
Come along and help maintain this beautiful area. Including clearing trees and beds of invasive species and surveying important parts of the site. Tools and refreshments provided. Please wear stout shoes and bring gardening gloves. Sessions usually last about 3 hours, but please just come for as long as you like. For more information, contact John Davis: 020 8640 4578 / 07739 513948.

fourth Sundays
Fish Pond Wood & Beverley Meads - Workday
meet in Beverley Meads car park, Barham Rd at 9.30am

Maintenance work. Organised by the London Wildlife Trust Merton Group. For more info, contact Steve Parish 07949 400298 or email or Glyn Williams 0777 5773400