Green Coffee
Thanks to everyone who came along to December Green Coffee.
The venue was a bit noisy, but we had an excellent session. We spent most of the morning on one thing - the Community Plan consultation. Andrew Wakefield, who is chairing the consultation process, kindly came to Green Coffee and listened whilst we told him our views – what we like about Merton, what we don’t and what changes we want to see. We had a long list of things to say!
There was little time to discuss other things, but it was suggested that Green Coffee organizes an event for groups in the Wimbledon area – to have a brainstorming session. Other news was about  intiatives to help the disabled to cycle and to live independently. And since Green Coffee, we heard that Merton residents can now use the Sustainable Communities Act to get change – details below.
The next Green Coffee will be on Tues 8th Jan 9.30-11am – probably at Elys in the top floor cafe, but look out for confirmation of this. (This is the second Tues, as the first lands on Jan 1st …) The following Green Coffee will be on Feb 5th. Please put both dates in your diary.


Newsforum Autumn 2012 this is the latest issue of the London Forum's newsletter, covering London-wide issues such as the latest planning changes.

Main Topics

more details below 

  • Green Coffee - location

  • The Community Plan
           A bit of background
           The consultation
           1.  What is good about Merton?
           2.  What is bad about Wimbledon?
           3.  What could public organisations do better?
           4.  How can we contribute ?   

What's On?

15.12 11am-1pm
Community Market

19.12  8pm onwards
Green Drinks
Hand & Racquet

and then it's...

Main Topics at December Green Coffee

Green Coffee - location
Unfortunately Reds is no longer open in the morning. So December Green Coffee was held at Kaldi. It is an independent, but the location was not ideal due to noise (and there is also a question of accessibility being upstairs.) It was agreed that any location should be in central Wimbledon and next Green Coffee would be at Elys, top floor. Elys is welcoming, already holds a knitting group which sits round in a big circle and is unlikely to close (or is there a Green Coffee curse?) 
The Community Plan
Green Coffee was delighted to welcome Andrew Wakefield to talk about the Community Plan and to ask for input from Green Coffee members.  Unusually, we spent over an hour on this one item, but it was felt that the opportunity to raise issues and discuss ideas was too good to cut it short.
A bit of background
Andrew Wakefield is chairing the consultation process for the next Community Plan, on behalf of the Merton Partnership. The Merton Partnership brings together the main local public services with the business and the voluntary sectors. It is responsible for putting together the Community Plan and for putting it into practice. The Community Plan sets out the goals for Merton over the next few years and gets all local public bodies to work towards them. Merton Partnership has representatives from the following bodies:
  • Merton Council – leader and chief executive
  • MPs - for Wimbledon and Mitcham & Morden
  • Police
  • Fire Service
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Jobcentre Plus
  • Merton Voluntary Service Council
  • Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust  i.e the NHS
  • South Thames College
  • Merton Interfaith Forum
  • Merton Unity Network   i.e. black, Asian and minorities
  • Merton Priory Homes
On the Merton Partnership, voluntary and community groups are represented by the MVSC – Merton Voluntary Service Council. 
The consultation
The Community Plan is the over-arching plan for the borough and all other plans should agree with it. The original plan was agreed in 2006 and there will be an update in 2013. This will be based on what people have identified as the priorities. So by inputting to this consultation, people are helping to shape what happens in the next few years in Merton.
In answer to four questions, the following comments were made:
  1. What is good about Merton?
    • Green spaces and trees
    • Good transport hub
    • Low crime
    • Theatres and cinemas
    • Good primary schools
    • Improved Wimbledon town centre
  2.   What is bad about Merton?
    • Chewing gum and dirt on the pavements
    • Too much barren open space in Wimbledon town centre
    • It takes too long to get things done e.g. graffiti removal, fly tipping etc.
    • Traffic pollution
    • Car culture dominates
    • No safe cycling, so notably fewer cyclists than elsewhere
    • Too many chains
    • Empty retail properties
  3. What could public organisations do better? 
    • Rethink traffic policy in favour of the pedestrian and cyclist
    • Put active travel at the heart of policy making in all areas
    • Better control of dogs, to stop people being intimidated + to ensure that dog mess is cleared up
    • More support for local and community groups (including Green Coffee)
    • A more constructive response from council officials when approached by community groups – it is perceived that council officials usually react negatively
    • the council should have a register of empty retail properties, to help groups like Colliers Food identify a potential site for a shop
    • police should tackle crimes by drivers – speeding, using a mobile phone, pavement mounting. Local police do not see this as their responsibility
    • Merton Partnership should include better representation from community and environmental groups. The MVSC (which represents the community and voluntary sector) is perceived to be dominated by self-help groups and is unknown amongst many community and environmental groups in Wimbledon
    • MVSC should publicise itself better to community and environmental groups. Perhaps make a brochure, with a list of the member groups, explaining what the MVSC can do for us and how people can access help or get involved. This should be available at lots of locations around Wimbledon.
  4. How can we contribute ? 
    • raise issues like 20’s Plenty
    • persuade politicians to keep point-scoring out of discussing local issues like 20 mph
    • Sustainable Merton is asked to distribute information relating to the Sustainable Communities and Transport partnership, one of the Merton Partnership working groups
    • Green Coffee can bring groups together to address issues
         Other comments
  • A system for spotting problems and getting them quickly sorted out would help greatly e.g. Kingston pays for people to spot problems in their local area and has a rapid response system, so that things like graffiti and fly-tipping, and ideas to improve planting, get dealt with quickly.
  • Merton does not feel like a single community, so the danger of a Merton-wide initiative is that it gets ignored, as people would regard it as ‘something from the council’. The council needs to accept that people relate more to the local e.g. Wimbledon, Colliers Wood, as these feel like communities.
  • Don’t re-invent the wheel. The council should be looking at what works in other boroughs.
  • We need a community noticeboard in the centre of Wimbledon. (It is usually not possible to get notices up in Wimbledon Library.) Joyce will ask Andrew if this can be done.
If you missed yesterday and want to participate in the online consultation on the Community Plan (or want to make a separate submission), then find it at Community Plan consultation – the deadline is 21st Dec.
Anyone, who would like Andrew to hold a group session (similar to the one at Green Coffee), should get in touch with him at . This can be done up to the middle of January (Andrew’s time-permitting).
Sustainable Communities Act
This is a process for people putting forward their ideas to national government. One idea that came up at Green Coffee was that traffic wardens should be empowered to deal with pavement parking. Is this a potential idea to go forward under the Sustainable Communities Act? The first step is to ask Merton Council to let us use the Sustainable Communities Act and letters have been sent to the council by Green Coffee, Transition Town Wimbledon and Belinda.
POST MEETING NOTE – Merton Council Leader has said people can put forward proposals to Merton Council under the Sustainable Communities Act. (So there is no need to send more letters.) If you have an idea about what changes national government should make so that Merton can be more sustainable, then get in touch with the council HERE and please let us know at Green Coffee.  
Winter Wonderland Parade
Joanna thanked all who came along, in particular Charles and his wonderful rickshaw (which was beautifully decorated by Joanna’s daughter, Harriet). Joanna would very much like you to send her any photos from the evening – get in touch with her at
Green Coffee Festival ?
It was suggested that Green Coffee organises a forum to get groups together for a brainstorming session on local environmental issues. This should be discussed at Jan Green Coffee.
Sustainable Merton
Phil is looking at how Introductory Projects could be set up. This would be a range of projects which are easy for people to get involved with and appeal to their different interests.
Charles Barraball - connections
Charles is in touch with Merton Cycling Campaign, Cyclists Touring Club, Transport for All, Living Streets and RoadPeace. To find about any of those, contact
Cycling for All
Wheels for Wellbeing is a charity which helps disabled people to cycle in London. See They have areas where you can try a range of ordinary and extraordinary bikes and trikes that may suit a variety of impairments. 
Independent Living
Merton CIL (Centre for Independent Living) is an organisation set-up to support people who would like to stay as long as possible in their own homes.  Help is  time-limited, one-to-one, through trained mentors with experience of living with impairments. Get  more information at  Merton CIL is working towards charity-status, and has wonderful Trustees, with real experience of impairment.

 new mid-week time 
Rag Rug Making

Come along and learn how to use recycled materials to make beautiful bags and rugs. To find out when the next session is, call Thelma on 020 8540 2536 or email Joyce. 
now on the third Wed, from 8pm 
Green Drinks
Hand & Racquet pub, 25-27 Wimbledon Hill, SW19 7NE

Everyone is welcome at the Green Drinks, now in a central Wimbledon location. If you are interested in green and other sustainability issues, then this is an opportunity to exchange ideas, find out what's happening and just have a chat with like-minded people. The next Green Drinks is on 19th Dec. To find out how to get to the Hand & Racquet, see here. Find the venue here.

Fourth Saturdays, 11am-1pm (usually - but check the date)
Community Market
Dundonald Congregational Church

Bring along home-made cakes, pies and jams as well as local produce and bric-a-brac to sell at the friendly community market on Dundonald Road . Stalls are only £5. Contact to book a stall. The next market is on 15th Dec. Find the venue HERE
Community Gardens - Christ Church & Fireplace

There are regular work days throughout the growing season. The Christ Church garden is in West Wimbledon and the Fireplace Garden is just off Kingston Rd. To find out when the workdays are, get in touch with or see HERE.

second Mondays from 6.30pm
20's Plenty for Merton campaign
venue to be confirmed. For latest details see 20's Plenty for Merton

If you want to help with this campaign, to make Merton's roads safer, cleaner and better for all sorts of users (or even if you just want to find out more about it) come along to this meeting. For more information, please contact

Friday afternoons, from 2.30pm
Colliers Wood Community Garden
at the back of Christ Church hall, in Colliers Wood

Join Keith and friends for some gardening. For more information, 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 the venue HERE
Every Saturday, 10am-3pm
Morden Hall Farmers’ Market
Morden Hall Park  SM4 5JD

Fresh fruit and veg, free range meat from Kent, tasty preserves & relishes, Somerset cheeses, cakes & bakes, artisan bread. Organised by City & Country Farmers’ Markets and the National Trust. Also Arts and Crafts stalls. For more information, see HERE.

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