|Thank you to everyone who came along to November Green Coffee - and for the excellent ideas on what a redeveloped Wimbledon Town Centre should be like. A special thanks to Leigh, for taking this part of the meeting and putting together the list of ideas - see HERE. We were delighted to be joined by Helen, who updated us on the latest from Love Wimbledon, now that they have won another five years of support from local businesses.
We now have two more air quality data studies from Sustainable Merton and the Green Party - see all the results HERE. The shocking news is that 19 of the 35 sites tested in Merton are not safe, according to EU standards! But there was some good news - cycling is now being taken more seriously and nine more electric charge points are planned for Merton... and we heard lots of other news too.
Next Green Coffee will be on Tues 6th Dec from 9.30 to 11am at the Wibbas Down Inn. So please make sure it is in your diary! Wibbas Down is the J.D. Weatherspoon pub with entrances from both Russell Road opposite Wimbledon theatre and Gladstone Road, SW19 1QT between Paddy Power and the cycle shop. We have a space right in the middle of the pub between the two entrances. The meeting after that will be on Tues 3rd January 2017.
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.
November Green Coffee - news
Wimbledon Town Centre
1. Checklist for Wimbledon Town Centre - special session
Crossrail 2 will mean big changes to the centre of Wimbledon. The council is putting together a Masterplan and everyone will have an opportunity to input their ideas. This special Green Coffee session was to make sure that people are ready for this once in a lifetime opportunity to shape the centre of Wimbledon. Leigh put forward ideas and themes shaped by months of work by WEHRA and other groups. (The initial work was recognised by a Future Wimbledon award two years ago.) These ideas were discussed extensively with Green Coffee members inputting many more suggestions.
Leigh has kindly brought those ideas together in the excellent Brainstorming Notes HERE. At December Green Coffee, we will review the list and discuss how best to take forward these ideas. It was recognised that it would not be possible to enact everything, nevertheless it is useful to put together a list of things that could be done and then see what is going to be possible.
We were delighted to welcome Helen Clark Bell of Love Wimbledon, to this town centre special session. Helen took lots of notes and hopefully will be inputting some Green Coffee ideas to the Wimbledon Town Centre Masterplan, which Love Wimbledon is helping Merton Council put together. Helen has already asked Louise, our local swift expert, for more information. We hope that lots of swift nesting sites can be included in the new Wimbledon town centre.
2. Wimbledon Town Centre - Masterplan Consultation
This consultation is likely to get underway early in the new year. It will not be a formal consultation, but the views of individuals will be sought through a series of workshops. Paul McGarry of Future Merton said details will be published on the council website and publicised through normal channels. We'll let you know when we have further information.
3. Love Wimbledon - another 5 years!
Love Wimbledon is the Business Improvement District for Wimbledon Town Centre. It is funded by an extra 1% on business rates and its remit is to promote and improve the area. Following a vote by member businesses, Love Wimbledon has now been given the go-ahead for a second five year term. As Chief Executive of Love Wimbledon, Helen was congratulated.
Love Wimbledon does many things. It organises free recycling for businesses, helping to reduce the number of waste collection lorries along The Broadway. It also organises the Winter Wonderland event, the Big Screen on the Piazza to show the tennis championships, commissions gum removal from pavements and represents Wimbledon businesses in the Crossrail 2 negotiations. By talking to all sides, Love Wimbledon can sort out problems such as making sure plastic waste bags are only put on the pavements at allocated times. It is now trying to resolve a major waste problem in Broadway Place, due to the large number of cardboard boxes from retailers which back onto the area.
With cuts in council resources, limited council resources have to be used efficiently. The number of bins has now been reduced but the most used bins are being emptied more often - and so far, this appears to have worked. A bigger bin has been installed outside of Tesco to better deal with the unusually large volume of waste there. Bins in Wimbledon town centre are washed quarterly.
Love Wimbledon works with local entrepreneurs, helping them to test the market for new products, to find premises and to sort out other problems. When Waterstones and WH Smith had to move out of their premises, Love Wimbledon helped them find new units. This weekend, Waterstones and the food business Pho are opening in The Broadway.
Love Wimbledon now has a town centre ranger to keep an eye on the public space and sort out problems. However with only a third of the funding, Love Wimbledon can not provide all the ranger services that Kingston does.
4. More Air Quality Data for Merton - and it's not good!
Green Coffee has been sent two more sets of data on air pollution. The shocking news is that of the 35 sites around Merton that have now been tested, 19 were un-safe according to EU limits.
Merton Green Party measured nitrogen dioxide (NO2) at 10 sites (in Sept/Oct), mostly near schools and GP surgeries. Worryingly, 9 were above the European safe level of 40
µg of NO2 per cubic metre of air. Of greatest concern is a reading of 94 in London Road (outside Figge's Marsh surgery) which is the highest we have seen in Merton. Also, more than twice the safe level of NO2 in Colliers Wood High Street. Thank you Tom K for sending Green Coffee these results. Find more information on the Green Party website HERE.
Sustainable Merton also sent Green Coffee the results of air quality measurements (in July/August), including some in Wimbledon Town Centre done with the help of Love Wimbledon. And again, there were some worrying results, especially on Wimbledon Bridge. Thank you Tom W for these figures.
We have put these new results together with measurements done by Sustainable Merton in March/April - see the full list of NO2 measurements HERE. If you would like to look at the full laboratory results, please get in touch (by return email). Also see the EU air quality standards HERE.
5. New Air Quality consultation in London
Earlier this year, there was a London-wide consultation on air quality and most respondees wanted measures to be taken to clean up our air. Since then, plans have been drawn up to increase the congestion charge for diesel vehicles and to extend the Ultra Low Emissions Zone to include the whole area within the North and South Circular, whilst speeding up its introduction. There is a consultation on these new plans HERE. If you would like to make your views known on these plans, please do so by 18th Dec.
6. 20's Plenty in Merton
It seems that 20's Plenty is unlikely to happen in Merton in the near future. See the statement:
"At present measures to reduce speed are concentrated on areas outside schools. If funding did become available then a 20MPH zone would be likely to be rolled out incrementally across the borough, prioritised according to speed and accident data." This is an extract from a document HERE
7. Air Pollution Monitors planned across London
The Evening Standard reported that there are plans for electronic signs to alert people when air pollution reaches dangerous levels. These would be at 2,500 bus stops, 270 tube stations and on 140 of the busiest roads. Find out more HERE
8. Government Must Do Better on Air Pollution!
Last week, the High Court found that the government's plans to improve air quality were not good enough! The Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom must now put together a strategy to reduce air pollution more quickly. Under the current plan, air quality standards will not be complied with until 2025, whereas this should have happened in 2010. Find out more in the Evening Standard article HERE
9. Merton More Positive on Cycling
This was Charles's first Green Coffee since he got married - and everyone congratulated him and Alix on this wonderful occasion.
As Borough Coordinator for Merton Cycling Campaign, Charles was delighted to report that there is now a much more positive attitude towards cycling! Charles was about to set out on a bike trip around danger hotspots with Paul Miles, the council's Cycling Projects Officer. See the recent Merton Council report on cycling HERE.
10. Crossrail 2 delayed
The consultation on the plans for Crossrail 2 was expected this autumn, but has now been delayed, probably to around the end of March 2017. The official statement says this is due to the need to create a business case and funding plan. It is likely that the change in transport minister (now Chris Grayling) and other government personel has also contributed to the delay.
11. Electric Charging Points Announced
Currently there are only 6 charging points for electric vehicles in Merton. Cllr Whelton recently announced nine more will be installed. Find out more HERE. Locations are:
Gorringe Park Ave
High Street Wimbledon
West Barnes Lane.
Waste & Recycling
12. Recycling News - disposable plates and cutlery
France is banning plastic disposable plates and cutlery - see HERE. By 2020, these will have to be made from compostable material. Perhaps we could campaign for this to happen here!
13. What to do with ... old Christmas Cards
Juliet brought in old Christmas cards, which could be used for making new ones or for art activities. It was suggested that schools and care homes would make good use of them.
14. Wimbledon Common Nature Club - update
Auriel reported that more volunteers had been found to help out at the monthly club. The next meeting will be on Sunday 4th Dec, when children will be creating seasonal decorations using natural materials found on The Common. Find out more under REGULAR EVENTS below.
15. The Latest from Colliers Wood
The Community Garden continues to meet at Christ Church on Friday mornings - find details below under REGULAR EVENTS. Recently, Keith was delighted to find that litter had been removed from Wandle Park and he thanked Tom K of the Green Party for organising this. A Colliers Wood Health and Wellbeing Festival is being planned for March 2017 - look out for more details.
The trees in Wandle Park continue to thrive, some having doubled in height already. Tree Workshops can be organised to teach children about the value of trees. One has already been held in Singlegate Primary, organised by Keith and Jane P (Merton Tree Wardens). Tree Workshops are one-off lessons or sessions at assembly, when children can learn why we should be planting trees, how to identify the different species, how trees support wildlife, as well as understanding pollination and the reproduction of trees. Further tree workshops are planned, with the help of Jane SW. If you are interested in a tree workshop at another school or would like information on any of the projects, please contact Keith at email@example.com.
16. Learn the skills of Rug Making
Thelma has been making beautiful rugs with plastic bags and all sorts of waste material for many years. She is keen to help others to learn the skills. Please let us know (by return email) if you are interested and we'll put you in touch with Thelma.
Other Things Local
17. Merton split by Boundary Changes - consultation
The government is proposing to reduce the number of MPs and this will mean changing constituency boundaries. There will be a big impact on Merton if current plans go ahead. Merton will be fragmented, going from having 2 MPs, to 5 MPs each with a bit of Merton in their constituency. A lot of people are unhappy about this. See a very good analysis of the situation on the Sustainable Merton website - HERE. If you would like to have your say, please email the boundary commissioner HERE by the 5th December.
18. Nuclear Weapons & Peace
Joanna updated us on negotiations for a Nuclear Ban Treaty at the UN. This will will take place in 2017 and has the overwhelming backing of member countries. Find out more HERE.
Armistice Day commemorates the signing of the treaty to stop World War I and the millions who died during this and other conflicts. Many people have become concerned that the red poppy has come to symbolise unquestioning support for our armed forces (whatever conflict they are involved with). So the white poppy was introduced to commemorate all victims of war and as a commitment to peace. Many people choose to wear both and this is supported by the British Legion. A wreath of red and white poppies will be lain at the war memorial in Wimbledon Village on Saturday at 10.40am, followed by a ceremony for peace. The vigil for peace outside of Wimbledon Library continues every Friday evening.
19. The Sad Passing of Andrew Wakefield
Green Coffee members expressed their great sadness at the passing away of Rev Andrew Wakefield. He was known to many people, as he was involved in so many groups and causes across the borough. People can sign a book of condolence at the Civic Centre in Morden. The Southwark Diocese collected statements from many groups.
Andrew's funeral is on Tuesday 15th Nov at St Andrew's Church in Herbert Rd.
Sun 27th November, 11am - 1pm
Wandle Park Litter Pick
meet at Colliers Wood tube station (or in the park after that)
Merton Green Party is organising another litter pick in Wandle Park, with the focus on collecting recyclable material. Enquiries to Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org or tel. 07821 882380
Thurs 8th Dec
Discuss Green Issues
Sultan Pub, 78 Norman Road, SW19 1BT
Come along and meet Jonathan Bartlett one of the co-leaders of the Green Party! A chance to discuss environmental issues and what to do about them. There is limited space at the venue, so please do get in touch with John Boyd email@example.com to let him know you are coming and for more details.
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.
fortnightly Tuesdays on Wim Common - other dates elsewhere
Get fit and be sociable. Regular Walk4Life organised walks around Merton. Find out the dates and locations of Walk4Life walks HERE.
on hold at present!
The location of Green Drinks is under review. Watch out for new information on where and when.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Merton Friends of the Earth - Monthly Meet Up
William Morris House, 267 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SD
Meetings have been suspended forthwith. Enquiries: email@example.com
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. No meeting in August. Please contact Charles, Borough Coordinator Merton Cycling Campaign tel. 8949 0708 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or see website HERE 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 NatureGroupMHP@gmail.com
every Friday 10-12am
Colliers Wood Community Garden
at the back of Christ Church Hall, in Colliers Wood SW19 2NY
Join local volunteers at the weekly workday to help with general maintenance and upkeep of the garden. Share the work and share the produce. For more information, please contact Keith at email@example.com.
second Fridays from 9.00 - 11am
John Innes Gardening Group
JI Gardening Group is currently meeting every second Friday of the month. Meet up by the mulberry tree. Bring secateurs and a trowel. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
every Friday & Sunday 11am - 4pm
May Project Gardens
159 Middleton Rd, Morden SM4 6RW
Join Ian and the team. Very friendly gardening group, music, training and lots of other activities too. To volunteer or find out more, contact email@example.com
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 from 10am - 12 noon
Wimbledon Common Nature Club
Information Centre in Wimbledon Common
Fantastic nature club for children 6-14 years. Different topics covered each month e.g. pond dipping, shelter building, fungi foray and nature walks. For more information, please contact Auriel Glanville, Club Leader, on 020 8540 6154 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.