The first ever Merton SingFest: 13-17 October

A festival of singing to celebrate the rich diversity of Merton’s choirs

Over twenty of the borough’s school, amateur and professional choirs are coming together for a unique series of free concerts and ticketed events to celebrate the joy of singing and encourage further participation in choir singing.

Merton SingFest (13 – 17 October) is spearheaded by the Merton Music Foundation (MMF), a Registered Charity aiming to advance music education in the borough, and the Wimbledon Choral Society, a 100-year-old choir of 180-amateur singers that regularly sells out concerts at venues including Southwark Cathedral, Cadogan Hall and the Royal Festival Hall.

Events include free concerts by local choirs, a dinner cabaret with popular folk, jazz and classic songs, a ‘come and sing’ gospel workshop with the Royal Academy of Music’s Professor of Jazz Composition, Pete Churchill, at Merton Arts Space, as well as choirs from the borough’s schools singing their hearts out in the Merton Schools SingFest at St Mark’s Church on Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 October.

Neil Ferris, Director of Music of Wimbledon Choral Society and Artistic Director of Sonoro, said,

I have the unique experience of directing amateur and professional choirs in Merton, and the unifying factor is how much enjoyment the participants take from the singing experience, as well as the audience. Over the Merton SingFest weekend, Wimbledon Choral Society, Sonoro and Merton Music Foundation have come together for a fantastic series of events featuring a range of choirs from the borough that we hope spreads the joy of singing to all in the borough and beyond.

For full details of all the events, please visit the SingFest website.

Toxicity Charge comes into effect from 23 October 2017

Toxicity Charge part of a package of actions by Mayor of London to help clean up London’s polluted air

The T-Charge comes into effect on Monday 23 October and is part of a package of actions being taken by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to help clean up London’s polluted air, especially nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter. Both of these contribute to thousands of early deaths in London each year and impact our health over the course of our lives, leading to smaller lungs in our children, and greater risk of dementia and stroke when we get older.

The T-Charge is an additional £10 daily charge which applies to older vehicles that don’t meet minimum exhaust emissions standards in the central London Congestion Charge zone. It will be in effect from 23 October 2017 between 7am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Cars, vans, minibuses, buses, coaches and HGVs, motorised caravans and horseboxes, breakdown and recovery vehicles, private ambulances, motor hearses, dual purpose vehicles and other specialist vehicle types that do not meet the minimum Euro emission standards are subject to the T-Charge.  Motorised tricycles and quadricycles that are subject to the Congestion Charge are also affected. Motorcycles are not subject to the T-Charge. Use the vehicle compliance checker to find out which vehicles are affected.

The T-Charge can be paid in the same way as the Congestion Charge, using the same payment and operational systems so drivers will be able to pay both the Congestion Charge and the T-Charge in the same transaction.

Discounts and exemptions are broadly the same as the Congestion Charge, however 9+ seater vehicles that do not meet the minimum emission standards will be liable to pay the T-Charge. A full list of exemptions and discounts can be found here.

The charge is intended to reduce toxic emissions in London and help clean up our dangerously polluted air. The best way to help cut these toxic emissions which harm Londoners’ health is not to drive unless you have to. Walking, cycling and public transport are the cleanest ways to travel in central London. Visit TfL’s Journey Planner tool for more information.

If you do need to drive, you can avoid paying the T-Charge by using a vehicle that meets the standards. If you are buying a second-hand vehicle, please be aware that the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will soon be in force and has stricter standards for diesel vehicles.

If you are purchasing a new vehicle, consider electric, hybrid or alternatively fuelled vehicles. Certain electric and hybrid vehicles are also eligible for a government grant to help reduce the costs of a new vehicle. Car clubs are a great option for those who need to drive infrequently. Plan ahead. Take public transport, walk or cycle where possible, or pay online at

Monkey Music for pre-schoolers – every day in Wimbledon!

Nurture a lifelong love of music with daily Monkey Music classes for pre-schoolers in Wimbledon Town Centre!

Monkey Music classes are rich, nourishing and fun sessions for babies and toddlers following a four stage curricula covering everything from rock ‘n’ roll to ding-dong. Various sessions take place in Wimbledon at Trinity Church and Everyday Church. Visit Monkey Music for more details.

National Libraries Week
9 – 14 October

The first ever National Libraries Week takes place this 9-14 October with special events, talks, lectures, performances and much more!

Merton Arts Space in Wimbledon Library will host a variety of events including Melba Wilson discussing Black History Month, as well as The Big Draw – a family-friendly drop-in for all ages, plus Attic Theatre’s Death of Ivan Ilyich and Baseless Fabric’s productions of David Mamet’s Dark Pony and Reunion.

National Libraries Week culminates with An Audience with Jessica Hynes, on Saturday 14 October, as the writer, actor and director chats with Attic Theatre Company‘s Jonathan Humphries.

For more details please visit Merton’s National Libraries Week.