November Green Coffee - news
1. Future Wimbledon - winners announced
The Built Environment
The winning entry in the 'Creative Community' section of the competition came from Wimbledon East Hillside Residents’ Association. This was announced on 8th Oct at the Future Wimbledon Book Festival event where Leigh presented the winning ideas including some put forward by Green Coffee members. Find the documents submitted by Leigh HERE
. See the list of winners and some of the runners up on the LoveWimbledon website HERE
Curt’s entry in the 'Rising Stars' section of the Future Wimbledon competition was short-listed. It suggested ways to serve the needs of corporate, charity and community groups through implementation and maintenance of green infrastructure. This would be delivered primarily through a more considered architecture and landscape approach. Part of Curt's submission was a cartoon of Deen City Farm sheep being escorted along The Broadway to graze on the green roof above a newly designed station - a wonderful vision of joined up design! A few images can be seen HERE
2. Sustainability Checklist
At the last meeting, Keith asked Green Coffee members to list sustainability features he should ask of a major new development in Cavendish Rd. This list has been combined with work done by Leigh (for the YMCA development) to produce a Sustainability Checklist.
The intention is that this Sustainability Checklist can be be sent in to any development scheme as it is or tweaked to fit the particular development. Amy suggested that figures could be added to show average savings from including a specific feature e.g. triple glazing. Tom suggested that the list could be put on the Sustainable Merton website.
Find the draft Sustainability Checklist HERE
. We’d welcome any comments or additions to it.
3. ROAR – more joined up thinking on roads
Shas announced an initiative to campaign for better decision making on looking after our roads. This is called 'Reclaim Our Roads' – shortened to ROAR. Shas is the Liberal Democrat spokesperson for the environment in Merton, but the intention is that the campaign will include people from all parties and of no particular political affiliation.
Public sector cuts might well mean reduced spending on cleaning roads, removing leaves and clearing drains. However, these end up costing more money if they lead to flooding and collapse of the road structure. With several bodies involved in mending leaks from water mains, water pipes and sewers, it would be helpful to clarify who is responsible for what and get them to work together. Also, it is important to better understand the links between road speed, disintegration of road structure and buildings, air pollution and street cleaning policy. Recent examples of what can happen are the collapse of the road structure in Hartfield Rd and masonry falling off a building in Haydon Park Rd. With climate change causing more droughts and floods, these serious events are happening more often.
So the aims of ROAR are as follows:
1. To improve street cleaning by doing it straight after refuse collection and monitoring it.
2. Publicise the gully and drain cleaning schedule, so that people know what should happen.
3. Get Merton Council, Thames Water and the Environment Agency together in a joint working group, so that problems due to poor drainage and vibrations can be more easily solved.
4. Implement 20 mph on most roads, to reduce accidents, air pollution and vibrations.
5. Enforce weight restrictions for lorries.
Find out more at the ROAR website HERE
Other points raised:
4. Decision time for the PassivHaus
- SuDS – Sustainable Drainage Systems. This is an approach to managing water drainage to take account of water quantity, quality and amenity issues. SuDS is not a requirement yet, but when it is, Merton Council will have to approve SuDS plans for new developments. Developers may have to include infrastructure such as green roofs, rainwater harvesting, permeable paving, rainwater gardens, swales or ponds, so that water drainage is managed properly.
- Other groups such as StreetLife and Reclaim our Streets should be involved in this campaign.
- Developers or utilities groups dig up our roads and they are supposed to mend them properly. They should be made to work to a higher standard.
The application to build a PassivHaus at 8 Hazelbury Close will be heard by the planning applications committee. The initial planning application was refused by Merton’s planning office. Although an appeal to overturn this decision failed, the letter from the government inspector was very supportive of PassivHaus design. Edyta and Dean have been discussing with the planning officer what changes would make the plan acceptable. Planning officers required changes to the roof form and introduction of a dormer, which does add unwanted complexity to what was a simple roof form before.They are still hoping for a PassivHaus designation, although this is now more challenging.
The planning committee meeting is on Thurs 13th Nov at 7.15pm in Crown House – and anyone can go along. Tom is planning to speak in favour of the application (no. 14/P3132), believing that this would be an exemplar project and will open the way for other highly energy efficient houses to be built. So even if it takes time to get the go-ahead, it will be well worthwhile.
Joanna highlighted how Exeter City Council is building 20 PassivHaus homes and making this point to the council could be helpful.
POST MEETING NOTE:
On Thursday, the planning application committee again refused the application to build a Passivhaus.
Gardening & Green Spaces
5. Umbrella group planned for ‘Friends of Parks’
There are 114 parks in Merton and many of them have ‘Friends of’ groups, which protect them from misuse and often help to look after them. There is now a London-wide initiative to encourage ‘Friends of’ groups to come together in individual boroughs, to exchange ideas and generally help each other out.
A recent meeting of ‘Friends of’ groups in Merton was in favour of setting up a Merton-wide umbrella group and people are being encouraged to join. Sustainable Merton took part in the meeting and Green Coffee was asked to be on the email network, so that we can pass on information about what is happening. A survey is being conducted to gauge interest.
If you would like to get involved, then please contact Green Coffee. (We don't have a contact at the umbrella group yet, but can let you know when there is one.) Find the minutes of the recent meeting HERE
6. The Chelsea Fringe - time to plan
Following the success of the Piazza Garden, it is hoped Merton will have this and other gardening/art projects in 2015. If you have an idea about a gardening/art instalment, then please discuss it with Curt at firstname.lastname@example.org
Recycling & Waste
7. Merton Mega Recycle – update
The estates with the most sign ups to Merton’s Mega Recycle rates for October have been selected and will be announced soon - the winners will receive £10,000, £5000 and £3000.
In the schools section, there will be an announcement soon with a top prize of £5000. (Pelham and Dundonald Schools are currently neck and neck for this.) Find more details HERE
Style Junkies offers free workshops for designing clothes from recycled materials. It is open to students at all schools in Merton and at Wimbledon College of Art. There are prizes of £1000 and the winning designs will be exhibited around the borough.
With recycling rates in London in decline, Merton has done well to keep recycling rates level.
8. Visit to Biodigester
Jane is arranging a visit to the biodigester at Trumps Farm in Chertsey, Surrey on the 5th Dec. This is an opportunity to find out more about what happens to Merton's food waste. There will be spaces for five people - so please get in touch with Jane at Jane.Alexander@merton.gov.uk
if you are interested. It was noted that many Green Coffee members compost food at home, putting very little into the compost caddy for collection.
9. What to do with ... CDs, videos, old keys & bubble plastics
Worcester Park Library now has a recycling bin for CDs and videos.
These items will be donated to Save the Children to raise money.
- the locksmith opposite Elys at 4 The Pavement collects old keys and they are collected for metal recycling. Other locksmiths are likely to collect keys too.
can not be recycled, but can be re-used in the garden, to protect plants from frost.
10. Some offers ... a bike, earthenware pots & jam jars
- 'Raleigh light' woman's bicycle with upright albatross handlebars, new Accedo wheel rims (front and back) + new tyres - back tyre is the sturdy Schwalbe Marathon plus. Gel padded seat. 4 years old. Will accept £90 o.n.o Contact Amy 8543 2744 in Wimbledon Chase. (Selling due to health predicament).
- Margaret offers jam jars with red chequered lids to anyone who wants them. Please reply to this email if you'd like them.
Small earthenware plantpots
– Christine has some from a clear out. Please reply to this email if you'd like them.
Books, Films and Events
11. “Trashed” at HMV Curzon
The HMV Curzon has now agreed to screen ‘Trashed’ starring Jeremy Irons on Thurs 4th
Dec from 6.30pm – find details under EVENTS
. This fantastic film looks at how rubbish is poisoning our oceans, air, land, cities, and us, yet in many areas, little is being done to recycle seriously.
After the film, there will be a 15 minute talk by the council’s Director of Environment, Chris Lee, and time for questions from the audience. This event is being supported by Sustainable Merton and Merton Council. Entrance is free and donations will be requested. Find out more from Juliet at email@example.com
If there is a good turnout, then hopefully we can do this again. So if you can put up a poster somewhere, we'd be very grateful. Download the poster HERE
Or if you'd like a printed poster, then email Jane.Alexander@merton.gov.uk
and she will post one to you.
12. PLAY: “2071”
This play lays out the facts and figures on climate change – and is optimistic that we can make the right choices. It’s on at The Royal Court Theatre from 5th to 15th Nov. See HERE
13. From fruit picking to new bikes
Other things Local
The benefits of building links was well demonstrated by Carole. When organising fruit picking for Abundance, Carole learnt from Adam that a local faith group had three unwanted children’s bicycles. Carole collected the bikes and took them to the borough's Recycle a Cycle scheme where young people on court orders checked over and cleaned the bikes as part of their reparation. The bikes were then given to three young carers who were delighted to have them. This was all made possible with the help of Adam who knew about the bikes, the organisation who donated the bikes, Merton Youth Justice Service and, of course, Carole who works with Merton Young Carers (as well as Abundance). Well done to all!
14. A new member
New Green Coffee member Amy told us about her interests, ranging from climate change to recycling and air pollution. She has a particular interest in campaigning against GM food and helped spearhead an umbrella group called Genewatch. Amy co-ordinated a local group of Friends of the Earth in the 1970s, but has been unable to participate much in recent years due to caring responsibilities.
15. Peace poppies, Arms Trade meeting and “Conflict and Climate Change”
Peace poppies to join Remembrance Sunday memorial -
for the first time, a mixed wreath of white and red poppies will be laid at the war memorial on Parkside, Wimbledon during the official Remembrance Day ceremony on Sunday 9th Nov. The red poppy is in support of British soldiers and the white poppy is in support of all victims of war. Many people choose to wear the poppies together.
Public Meeting - “Arming All Sides”
Kat Hobbs from the Campaign Against the Arms Trade will talk about how the arms trade supplied both sides in the World War I. Find details below under EVENTS
“Conflict and Climate Change”
– an excellent CD and accompanying notes to initiate discussions about how climate change is leading to conflict and population movements (which impact us all). Please contact Joanna at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you’d like to borrow the CD or purchase it (cost is £9). Christine is borrowing the CD for showing at her church - and Juliet may do the same.
16. Sustainable Merton – update
Merton Council and Circle Housing (formerly Merton Priory Homes) are now partners in Sustainable Merton’s Climate Champions project. Both of those organisations need the Climate Champions to help them deliver their policies. Other smaller partners are being sought to make the Climate Champions into a borough-wide resource.
If you’d like to become a Climate Champion, then please get in touch with Sustainable Merton on 020 3417 0476 or email email@example.com
. Climate Champions will be given general training in all areas of sustainability and specialist training in areas they are particularly interested in.
Meet up by the mulberry tree. Bring secateurs and a trowel. For more information, please contact
Join Keith, Nick, Peter and friends for some gardening. Also workshops on cookery and healthy living. For more information, contact