|Hello <<First Name>>
Thanks to everyone for coming to April Green Coffee. It was a busy meeting and thankfully the new Wibbas Down venue was mostly nice and quiet! So we will be going back there next month.
The meeting started off with David Dean (Conservative candidate for the London Assembly) asking Green Coffee what environmental action they'd like to see happen in London - see the report below. There was an interesting report from Ruth on Sustainable Merton's air quality work. Lots of other news, with great ideas on how to recycle/re-use things from videos to socks. Also, news on Crossrail included a very informative article from Alan on the implications of tunnelling under Wimbledon - find it HERE.
Sustainable Merton is again recruiting Community Champions - people who are keen to encourage their neighbourhood to become sustainable! If you are interested, see HERE.
Next Green coffee will be on Tuesday 3rd May at 9.30 to around 11am at the Wibbas Down Inn. This 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 7th June.
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.
first Mondays 7.30pm
Wimbledon Beekeepers' Association
April Green Coffee - news
April Green Coffee kicked off with a visit from Cllr David Dean, who is the Conservative candidate for the Wandsworth & Merton seat in the London Assembly. With elections coming up in May, David asked Green Coffee members what environmental issues should be addressed in London. So here are some of the ideas discussed:
1. Making a Greener London
Reduce traffic - to make it easier and more pleasant to walk and cycle around our town centres, reduce the noise, smell and pollution and to benefit local businesses. Charge points for electric cars should be put in place around Merton (where there are none currently) and throughout London. Charging up your car at home is only feasible for the 30% of homes which have off-street parking, as electricity cables should not be put across pavements. The contract for installing & looking after charging points has been awarded to French company BluePointLondon which undertook a similar project in Paris - find out more HERE.
The key to improving air quality is putting in place better public transport. Increasing the congestion charge would reduce traffic. Electric cars need to have a better range and this is happening with the launch in 2017 of the Tesla 3, which will have a range of around 250 miles and will be more affordable. However, it's more difficult technically to develop large electric vehicles. Currently most public transport vehicles use diesel, although there are some London buses using compressed natural gas. Moving away from diesel is going to be difficult for car owners (many of whom bought diesel as they thought it was less polluting) and public transport, as it will probably mean raising fares.
Crossrail 2 - Green Coffee members are concerned about the disruption from the current plans for building Crossrail. However, they also see this major infrastructure project as an opportunity to get a better town centre. The project requires funding from The Chancellor, the go-ahead from the London Mayor and the cooperation of landowners, railway companies, TfL and local authorities, as well as the participation of the public through the consultation process - so it is a very complicated project. Crossrail 2 is almost certain to come to Wimbledon as TfL wants to use the Weir Rd and Dundonald Yard sites - and space like this is not available elsewhere.
Building a better town centre means reducing the traffic flowing through it. However this has to be done with care so that traffic is not diverted along residential streets e.g. Lower Downs Rd. A ring-road can create a barrier for pedestrians wanting to access the town centre, so this also has to be avoided. Generally a good town centre is built around a crossroad of two major roads, which in the case of Wimbledon would mean opening up the flow of traffic from Hartfield Rd along Queens Rd. The railway divides Wimbledon, so new routes could mean building more bridges over the railway and possibly tunnelling. A town square could be created by building over the railway. This would make a more distinctive town centre and provide an outdoor space for people meeting, holding events and markets.
Recycling & Waste Management - the introduction of wheelie bins in Merton and other boroughs brings mixed blessings. If bins are too large, then people generate more waste. Once an incinerator is built, there is an incentive to keep it fed with waste. If the collections are made less frequent, this encourages people to separate waste to make full use of the recycling bin. Incentives to return bottles could make a big difference and (given the experience with plastic bags) may be widely accepted. In New York, people search through bins to remove bottles, as returned bottles will earn a small payment. Here we used to have a bin to receive aluminium cans outside of Savacentre.
Besides recycling more, we should also be reducing the volume of packaging generated. The demand for bottled water can be reduced e.g. in Australia, where there are vending machines which allow people to refill their water bottles for a small payment. Rag & Bone men used to perform a very useful service, recycling unwanted goods, but they are no longer operating. Batteries should go back to retailers, but there is little to encourage this. Recycling things should be made easier, especially for those without a car.
POST MEETING NOTE: according to Wikipedia, 10 US states have container deposit legislation which has been very successful at encouraging the return of packaging. See HERE
2. Air Pollution
Ruth updated Green Coffee on Sustainable Merton's air quality work. In its current project with London Sustainability Exchange, SM has used its new air quality monitor to measure particulates at 10 locations around Merton and has also put diffusion tubes in place to measure NOx levels over a month. Measurements at the Kingston Rd/tram-line crossing were taken before the increase in tram numbers (see below) and so it will be possible to see if the air quality has worsened. Similarly, measurements outside the greyhound stadium and the Durnsford Rd/Plough Lane junction will be good baseline information for identifying the impact of any development there. There have also been some measurements of air quality outside Wimbledon station (although not recently) and at the Dorset Rd/Kingston Rd junction.
Ruth showed Green Coffee a map of where air quality measures have been done in Merton and where they are being done at present. (She is investigating whether an electronic version is available.) It is hoped that the air quality information will provide tangible evidence of pollution, which is otherwise invisible and easy to ignore. It can help to persuade people of the merits of taking side roads when cycling or walking children to school. Air quality inside cars is often worse than in the street, however people seem oblivious of this. There are plans to work with local companies to develop their sustainable transport policies, which may include providing cycling mentors for staff who are reticent about cycling to work. The London Sustainability Exchange project also covers Richmond, where SWLEN has been organising the volunteers. There will be a cycle to work event on 22nd April. The weather forecasts have warned us of sand arriving in air currents, however it's a shame we don't get regular information on air quality.
Green Coffee members thanked Ruth and Sustainable Merton for their valuable work.
3. Air Pollution - at the tram crossing
Louise has written to Merton Council asking for information on air quality in Kingston Road where it crosses the tram line. When the crossing gates close, the traffic builds up along Kingston Road. Recently, platforms have been lengthened allowing the number of trams to increase from 8 to 12 per hour, which will mean that the gates are closed more of the time making the traffic and air quality worse. Louise is awaiting a reply from the council.
If you are concerned about air pollution, please help to elevate this issue by also writing into the council. Please feel free to use/amend Louise's excellent email HERE for your own use.
POST MEETING NOTE: the council sent its latest report on monitoring air quality in Merton. It shows that there are no monitoring points near to the Kingston Rd tram crossing. However, it does include useful maps of air quality hotspots and where monitoring has been done, as well as looking at the different sources of pollution. Find it HERE.
Built Environment & Transport
4. Energy Envoys
Energy projects can count towards gaining a Duke of Edinburgh award. Teenage volunteers are being encouraged to conduct an energy audit for a local organisation, raise energy awareness or provide advice on saving energy. So if you have links to local school or youth group, then please make sure they know about this great scheme. We could all benefit from more young energy champions! Find out more HERE
5. Wimbledon Masterplan - update
At the recent Wimbledon Community Forum, Paul McGarry from the council's Future Merton team, gave an update on the Wimbledon Masterplan. According to the timetable, the next stage in community participation will be from July to the end of this year, with some of the work starting in 2018. See:
Paul McGarry will also be giving a talk on 'Crossrail 2 and its effect on Wimbledon and Conservation Areas' at the John Innes AGM on 27th April - see EVENTS
6. Crossrail 2 - update
Crossrail continues to be a big topic around Wimbledon. At the recent Wimbledon Community Forum, Cllr Andrew Judge reassured residents that TfL now recognises that the proposals for Wimbledon are not acceptable.
- notes from the Community Forum meeting HERE
- Paul McGarry's presentation HERE
Alan put together an excellent article on tunnelling for the Wimbledon Park Residents' Association newsletter. Having worked on Crossrail 1 and the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, Alan is well placed to provide a clear picture of what is involved. See the article 'Crossrail 2 – A Tunneller’s Perspective' HERE - thanks to WPRA for making this article available to us!
7. Stronger Action on Pavement Parking
The council has launched a new policy on pavement parking - to make it clearer that pavement parking is illegal, except where specifically allowed and even then, there must be a minimum gap of 1 metre on the pavement. Although pavement parking has been illegal under London-wide legislation for some years, it was often not enforced. Joyce wrote to Parking Services to find out whether parking wardens (Civil Enforcement Officers) will now be issuing fines. It was confirmed that this would indeed be happening. So let's see what happens. Please do let Parking Services know if traffic wardens are not doing their job, by contacting Parking.Complaints@merton.gov.uk Note that parking on grass verges is always illegal - no exceptions. See the new policy HERE.
8. A Helpful Energy Efficiency Report
Leigh drew our attention to a helpful report from an architect looking at the cost of energy efficiency options for a newbuild house. Find it HERE.
PLEASE NOTE this report was probably put together late 2015, after the government announced a huge reduction on the feed-in tariff for solar. In the end, the cut in feed in tariff was less than anticipated. Meanwhile, the cost of solar panels has halved - and is continuing downwards. So the cost-benefit on solar PV may be a bit out of date.
9. Latest on Premier Inn
Earlier this year, there was a brief pre-planning consultation to discuss the options for the old Henry J Beans site at 159-161 The Broadway, Wimbledon. Occupying a large prominent site on Wimbledon Broadway, Green Coffee members are hoping that the development will make a positive contribution to The Broadway. Love Wimbledon reports that a full planning application will be made soon.
10. High Street - what future?
Waterstone's and WH Smith have left the site and are being replaced by Metro Bank. It was noted that renovations have included taking out the first floor to give high ceilings to the ground floor bank. This is one of the new generation of challenger banks, bringing new technology and more competition to high street banking. However, it was questioned whether there is a future for another high street bank.
So what can be done to protect our high street from further loss of small and local shops and to encourage new ones to set up? Planning laws have changed over the last few years - however the latest Supplementary Planning Guidance from the Greater London Assembley outlines how councils can support small shops, by ensuring that small units are made available and making use of CIL (community infrastructure money). See Policy 4.9 on Small Shops, in section 3.4 of the 2014 Town Centres document HERE . Also a petition to protect independent shops HERE
Recycling, Waste & Ethical Buying
11. What to do with...
Printer Cartridges WH Smith used to provide recycling bags for empty print cartridges. Now that it is gone, one option is to get a recycling bag from Curry's (across from Centre Court). They take all types of ink cartridge. It's not known if money generated goes to a good cause, but at least the cartridges are kept out of landfill. PC World will give 50p for every returned cartridge, but only if you have bought them there.
Videos, CDs & DVDs Commercial films etc. can all be taken to the Salvation Army shop in Wandsworth (199 Wandsworth High St), where they are sold or used in their homes/venues. This appears to be the only place that will now take videos!
Socks Unwanted socks can also be taken to this Salvation Army shop, as people in need can collect clothes from here. Most charity shops won't accept them.
Plastic Bottle Tops Juliet and Alison confirm that plastic bottle tops can be taken to Sacred Heart Church where they will be sent off to a charity. Or else, bring them along to Green Coffee where Alison has kindly offered to collect them and take them to Sacred Heart. Lush also collects bottle tops, which it then turns into plastic containers for its products. So bottle tops can be taken to the local branch on Wimbledon Bridge.
Coffee Wrapping As discussed previously, there is no longer a collection point for coffee wrapping. However, please do bring them to Green Coffee, as Juliet has generously offered to collect them and deposit them at the collection point in New Malden, when going that way.
Cotton Scraps Cotton fabric scraps are being collected by Daphne to pass onto a friend who is making quilts for a charity. So if you have any, please reply to this email and we'll put you in touch with Daphne.
Books As well as taking books to Copperfields for re-sale (see below), they can also be deposited in the container at the Broadway end of Palmerston Rd, just outside Wimbledon Theatre car park. Or else taken to Oxfam in Replingham Rd, Southfields.
12. Excellent Shoe Repairs
Juliet took difficult to repair shoes to the cobbler at Morden Station, which is publicised in the Green Coffee list of 'Where to Get Things Mended'. The cobbler was able to resole the shoes and Juliet was delighted with the outcome. Find the list HERE.
13. Support your Local Book Store!
Copperfield's sells second hand books. It is full of all sorts of books, but needs customers to keep buying them! So please do think about going there, when you are looking for reading material - it's at 37 Hartfield Rd (behind Morrison's). Following the loss of Waterstone's and WH Smith's, it is the only book store remaining in Wimbledon town centre.
14. Recycling in Merton
Merton's recyclate is taken by lorry to Viridor Material Recycling Facility in Crayford, Kent. There it is separated into glass, plastic bottles, plastic bags, metals etc. These are baled and sold on for re-use. Each council sends a different mix of recyclate. When it arrives, it is sampled. If it contains too much unwanted items or is wet, then it will be rejected and the waste returned to Merton for disposal. For a report from Green Coffee members visiting the Crayford plant, please see item 5 of April 2014 Green Coffee newsletter - HERE
15. New Contract on littering
Last year, Merton Council employed Kingdom Securities to police littering and dog fouling in Merton town centres - many fines were issued. Following this successful pilot, the council will invite organisations to tender for a two year contract to continue this work.
It was reported that a letter about the litter bins outside of Centre Court sent to Cllr. Saunders, Cabinet Member for Environmental Cleanliness and Parking in December 2015 had still not been answered. Tesco staff have said they don't like the mess either, but they can't do anything about it. It was suggested that they could ask Centre Court management to address it.
16. Ethical Buying
The 'Ethical Consumer' magazine looks at the sustainability of consumer products. The latest issue looks at sustainable sourcing of palm oil. You can borrow the 'Ethical Consumer' magazine by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Or else see the article HERE
Gardening & Green Spaces
17. Controlling Slugs & Snails
The RHS roadshow was at Wimbledon Park farmers' market. One of their gardening tips was to sprinkle oatmeal around the base of vulnerable plants. This will deter slugs & snails as they can't slither over the dry grain. However, you may have to keep the birds away, as they will eat it for breakfast!
18. Wimbledon Common Nature Club
Auriel has several new volunteers and was congratulated for keeping this wonderful local group going. There will be various visitors/speakers including Dennis Fullwood of Quekett, the leading organisation for everyone interested in microscopes and microscopy. At the next meeting, he will be bringing slides along, talking about botany in general and helping children to make their own slides to take home. Find out more under REGULAR EVENTS
Groups, Places, Events
19. Green Drinks - suspended
A new venue is being sought for Green Drinks as the attendance at The Charles Holden has often been poor. Before this, Green Drinks was in the Sultan, then moved to the Prince of Wales and the Brewery Tap. Any venue needs to be central and fairly quiet! Suggestions were to move back to the Sultan. It is thought that the Slug in Hartfield Rd in Wimbledon has a room upstairs which can be booked for free. This might be suitable for Green Drinks or Green Coffee, if we have to move again.
20. No Merton Arts Trail in 2016
Unfortunately, there will be no Merton Arts Trail this summer. If more people can be found to help with organising it all, it's hoped to resume this excellent arts festival in future years.
21. Friends of the Earth
The April meeting will be going ahead as normal on the 20th. After that, it will have to be decided whether to continue, perhaps with less regular meetings, unless help can be found to share the organising of it all. Friends of the Earth members have been encouraged to come to Green Coffee, although the daytime meeting won't suit everyone.
22. New Arts Space at Wimbledon Library
The back of Wimbledon Library will be converted into a space for community performances and exhibitions. Find our more in the Wimbledon Guardian article HERE.
Other Things Local
23. Community Champions
Sustainable Merton is recruiting again for its Community Champions work. So if you would like to help local people live more sustainably, then please get in touch with Amy who is volunteer coordinator at email@example.com. One of the first projects will be to encourage people to switch to a cheaper electricity supplier and to use LED bulbs. The cost of switching from incandescent to LED is paid back in about one year, whilst the bulbs can last for 20 years - so it makes good economic sense to switch. The payback takes longer when switching from other low energy bulbs, however LED bulbs have the advantage of reaching full brightness as soon as they are switched on.
Volunteers will be given a general training in sustainability and whatever training is required for specific projects. This is so that Community Champions can confidently provide information and advice for example to a residents' association, faith group or a school that they have links with. Community Champions can opt for further training, to become specialists in particular areas of sustainability e.g. energy, green spaces. Much of the Community Champions work will be in Mitcham with an aim to reduce some of the inequalities in the borough. SM has formed partnerships with Merton Council as well as social housing groups Circle Housing - Merton Priory Homes and Wandle Housing, and the National Institute of Sustainability. These are all contributing to the cost of the project. Other local funding partners are being sought, including other social housing groups, public health organisations and schools. Find out more about the Community Champions project HERE.
Sat 16th April
The Big Dig
Phipp's Bridge, Lavender Ave, Merton Community Orchard & Garden
The Big Dig Day is all about getting people involved in their local community gardens. Here in Merton, events will be at the following times:
11am - 2pm at Phipp's Bridge allotments
11am - 2pm at Lavender Avenue Community Gardens
2pm - 5pm at Merton Community Orchard & Garden
All people helping out at any of the Big Dig projects are invited along to the BBQ at Merton Community Orchard & Garden from 2 to 6pm.
starting Sat 16th April for 6 weeks 10.30am - 12.30pm
Food Growing Course
Carshalton Community Allotment (access between 33-35 Colston Avenue) SM5 2PW
Over the six weeks you will get hands on experience as well as theoretical knowledge and the support of an experienced tutor. This course is AQA level 1. Cost is £75. Find our more and book HERE
Wed 27th April from 8pm
AGM & TALK: Crossrail 2
Merton Park Primary School
The John Innes Society Annual General Meeting with guest speaker Paul McGarry - Head of Merton's Future Strategic Planning Team. His topic will be Crossrail 2 and its effect on Wimbledon and Conservation Areas, which concerns many of us. Drinks and nibbles will be served. We hope to see you all there.
Sat 30th April 12 noon - 5pm
Mitcham Community Orchard & Garden
Come and help at this great community venture. Everyone is welcome. If you come by car, you can park in Asda car park. Find out more HERE
Sat 7th May 10.30am – 12.20pm
John Innes Society Annual Spring Plant Sale
5a Sheridan Road, Merton Park
Help is needed – so can you donate plants, help with setting up, selling and clearing up? Contact Ann Redfearn (firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 8286 9983). On the day, come along and buy plants, cakes, refreshments and meet your neighbours.
Sun 8th May & 19th June meet at 10am - morning only
WORKDAY: Merton Conservation
Bennett’s Hole, off Willow Lane, Mitcham
Come and help with general maintenance. Transport: Bus 127, Rail/Tram Mitcham Junction. For more info, please contact Task Leader Alan Gray tel. 07903 157118.
Sat 14th May from 9am
Car Boot Sale
St Mary's Field, outside of St Mary's Church, Wimbledon Village SW19 7BP
Why not have a clear out, put everything you don't want in the car and sell it! This is the annual fund raiser for Christian Aid. If you are selling, you’ll have to be in place before it all starts (entry from 7.30am, cars £10, vans £15). Entry before 9am is £2 and after 9am is 50p. Expect an amazing range of household goods, books, CDs, clothes, jewellery at a bargain price. For more information, contact Juliet at email@example.com
21st May 2-5pm
Fête of the Earth
St Marks Church, Wimbledon (behind the library)
Annual plant sale and recycling objects for the CND. It is not too soon to start sowing seeds, splitting plants and sorting books and bric-à-brac for this great event. This is the big annual fund-raiser and social event for WDC-CND. Entry is only 50p. If you'd like to help in some way, please get in touch with Joanna at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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 email@example.com 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.
third Wednesdays 8 - 10pm
Merton Friends of the Earth - Monthly Meet Up
William Morris House, 267 The Broadway, Wimbledon SW19 1SD
Everyone is welcome to this group - next meeting is on April 20th. Further meetings are under review. Enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com 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. For more information, please contact Lesley via firstname.lastname@example.org. Or contact Tom at email@example.com
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 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.
Pyl Brook Reserve - workday
meet at the entrance on the path from Rutland Drive
Contact Dave Morgan tel. 0208 648 4112 for details.