Merton Live! a HUGE Success

Wimbledon Guild, the local charity that supports people across Merton, and New Wimbledon Theatre held a brand-new community event on Saturday 26 January at the theatre.  Merton Live! celebrated local talent in Merton with community groups, schools (Wimbledon High School) and business (Creams British Luxury) getting involved.

The day showcased a plethora of local bands, dance, drama and gymnastic groups with performances taking place throughout the day. Visitors also got the opportunity to explore this historic building with backstage tours and a host of theatre related activities for all the family.  Over 800 people attended the event, raising an incredible £3,453.

Wendy Pridmore, CEO at Wimbledon Guild added, ‘Thank you so much to New Wimbledon Theatre, our performers, volunteers and everyone who attended this wonderful community event. All of the money raised will continue to help ensure that people across Merton will always have somewhere to turn to in times of need.’

Nick Parr, Theatre Director at New Wimbledon Theatre added, ‘Our ten-year vision is to ensure that New Wimbledon Theatre is a must-visit destination for all of our community.  Working with a strong community partner like Wimbledon Guild is key to our continued success.  Merton Live! was a great event thanks to the commitment of the theatre and Guild teams and our generous visitors.’

 

Polka’s BIG Redevelopment News

Following generous grants from the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Fund , Arts Council England, London Borough of Merton and many other vital funders, Polka Theatre are delighted to confirm they will be temporarily closing their doors on 18 February 2019 for a major redevelopment, reopening in 2020.

This will be the first redevelopment in their 40 year history.

Peter Glanville, Artistic Director & Joint CEO at Polka Theatre, commented, “We are excited to be creating a beautiful, reimagined facility for children in our community. On behalf of all at Polka, thank you for your support in getting us to this stage. We look forward to sharing this exciting new chapter with you.”

Polka Theatre will soon be announcing plans for their new season Polka40, celebrating Polka’s rich and varied history, with further exciting show announcements to come later in 2019.

You can follow them on social media for all the latest news.

In the meantime, scroll down to read about their plans  for FUTURE POLKA and find out how to get involved!

The Plans:

  • Improved Indoor & Outdoor Play Areas
  • Multi-sensory Garden
  • Dedicated Buggy Park
  • New Toilet & Baby Change Facilities
  • Larger Cafe
  • New Adventure Theatre
  • Dedicated Creative Learning Studio

Find out more…

The Alexandra Scoops Award in Parliament

The Alexandra, Wimbledon was presented with the Parliamentary Pub of the Year Award for London.

Launched in the summer of 2018 by Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Pub Group, Toby Perkins, MP, the competition seeks to recognise the important role pubs play in British life and the value they add to the local communities and local economy.

Following nomination by their local MP, each pub had to submit a short video portraying the character of the pub and their engagement with their customers and local community (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJmHXGLmuAw).

Last but no means least we received the range of entries you would expect from a 24 hour city region like London – with entries North and South of the river, East and West of the capital.

The Alexandra stood out for its clear commitment to customer service and a pioneering approach to tacking loneliness through its innovative ‘meet up Mondays’ initiative.

Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Pub Group, Toby Perkins, MP, said: “The presentations took place on momentous night for Parliament (15th Jan) and it was a memorable night for all our finalists.  The quality of the entries was outstanding and we have a very worth regional winner in the Alexandra.

“Pubs play a crucial and much-loved role in our daily life and the enthusiasm that MPs have shown in promoting the claim of their locals to this title shows the pride that our communities take in our pubs.”

(Mick and Sarah Dore from The Alexandra collecting award from Lord Kennedy, far left, and Toby Perkins MP, far right)

 

The National winner was named as the Four Elms, Cardiff.

The finalists were:

East Midlands 

Chesterfield Arms, Chesterfield https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VReRkSuOCJo

East

Kings Arms, South West Norfolk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_GypNS4Qf4

London

Alexandra, Wimbledon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJmHXGLmuAw

North East

Stapylton Arms, Easington https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZNvSj_o9TQ

North West 

Kash 22, Weaver Vale, Runner Up, National Competition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SzIK7PQSJqg

Runner up: Victoria, Bury https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQ-cSKdCCdY

Scotland 

The Brass and Granite, Kilmarnoch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V32nx6JHxz8

Runner up: The Criterion, North East Fife https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0KEh31KXGw

South East

The Crown, Hastings, Runner Up, National Competition  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuakRA_a7rE

South West 

The Westbrook, Devizes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbBRYce7-oQ

Wales 

The Four Elms, Cardiff, Winner National Competition  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCSmc9jrmEE

Runner Up Fat Boar, Wrexham

West Midlands

The Robin Hood, Willenhall https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5dHjPSIWU8

Yorks 

The Grayston Unity, Halifax https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wZBOqEjoFIE

 

Stem4 launch new app ‘Clear Fear’

stem4, the award winning teenage mental health charity has launched their new app Clear Fear aimed to help children and young people manage anxiety. It is available to download free from the App Store and Google Play.  Clear Fear joins the stem4 Calm Harm app, which has been downloaded nearly 900,000 times worldwide to date and continues to receive excellent reviews on the App Store and Google Play, currently rated 4.5/5 on both.  It has also won many prestigious awards and has met the standards required to be included in the NHS Digital Apps Library and has been featured in the London Design Museum.

Clear Fear provides a range of ways to help children and young people manage anxiety and is recommended for young people aged 11-19 but can be used by a younger group with the support of a parent or carer.  Developed by the CEO and founder of stem4, Dr Nihara Krause, who is a renowned clinical psychologist, with feedback from young people, Clear Fear uses a Cognitive Behavioural framework to help change anxious thoughts and emotions, alter anxious behaviour and calm fear responses. Anxiety is a natural response to fear, threat and apprehension.  However when anxiety is extreme or goes on for a long time, or the response to a threat is disproportionately large and affects a person negatively, it may become an anxiety disorder.  Anxiety disorders are the most common form of emotional disorder and respond very well to psychological treatment. Clear Fear is an aid to treatment but does not replace face-to-face assessment and intervention by a mental health professional.

stem4 is grateful for the Tech for Good Grant from Comic Relief and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation as well as several fundraisers who have supported the development of Clear Fear.

stem4 is a Wimbledon based, award winning charity that supports teenage mental health through mental health promotion, provides evidence based mental health education, builds resilience, enhances motivation to change and signposts to early intervention. stem4 focuses on commonly occurring mental health issues in teenagers including eating disorders, anxiety, depression, self-harm and addiction. stem4 works with students, parents and teachers in secondary schools as well as health professionals including GPs and school nurses through their conferences programme and Head-Ed, their digitally delivered workshops suitable for PHSE in schools and is included in the Royal College of GP toolkit.

For information please visit www.stem4.org.uk the new Clear Fear website www.clearfear.co.uk.

Proposal to Increase Parking Costs in Wimbledon

In December, Merton Council cabinet received a paper that will have a significant impact on the cost of parking in Wimbledon, within the council car parks and on pay and display bays on the street. The proposals correlate parking with air quality in the town in an effort to encourage a modal shift.

The proposals will see an increase to £4.50 per hour on the street, higher than Richmond, Greenwich, Wandsworth and Hammersmith. Whilst the car parks will increase to either £1.50 or £2 per hour with a 100% increase at The Broadway car park to £2 per hour. Season tickets will also be increased by 25% and business permits will be reviewed later this year.

We fully support the efforts to improve the air quality in Wimbledon, however we believe there are many other contributory factors that are far more significant and at a time of national decline in retail we question whether this is the right time to discourage visitors to the town. Over 60% of the traffic in Wimbledon is through traffic and the biggest polluters are the 10 bus routes that serve the town.  Transport for London have had significant success in Putney High Street, a 90% reduction in NOx emissions, by introducing a Low Emission Bus Zone.

There will be a public consultation for 21 days commencing in January and we have requested to be included within the formal list of consultees.  Helen, our Chief Executive had a meeting with Cllr Martin Whelton before Christmas to discuss these proposals and is also attending the Sustainable Communities Scrutiny Panel on Wednesday 9th January to voice our concerns.

We will notify you as soon as we know more detail to enable you to respond.

The full cabinet paper can be viewed here

Local Plan for Merton – FAQ

Local Plan for Merton – FAQ

Wimbledon Town Centre key documents

01 What is a local Plan?

  • It is created by the Borough Council (Merton)
  • It is a development plan and is part of the governments planning system
  • It sets out the strategic planning framework for 15 years in Merton
  • It covers subjects such as new homes, healthy streets, transport, air quality, climate change, retail, office and industrial development
  • Once adopted it supersedes all planning documents

 

02 Why should we care?

The plans consultation closes on January 28 2019. A public enquiry should happen in Winter 2019 and adoption of the strategy in 2020. THE OUTPUTS FROM THE DOCUMENT WILL BE IN PLACE FOR FIFTEEN YEARS.

The plan sets out a vision, strategy and a lot of planning detail.

The aim for Wimbledon Town Centre is:

To ensure Wimbledon continues to be a thriving destination for businesses, local residents and visitors. The policy N3.6 outlines the detail including site specific information  (if you are a BID business, this is the one to read) and the ten points that have come through Future Wimbledon workshops.

 

03 What are the visions / aims?

Vision for Wimbledon Town Centre:

By 2036 The overall quality of Wimbledon town centre will more closely match the attractive residential areas that surround it.

2040s. A plan for the future of over-station development, greater access across the tracks, public space at the heart of Wimbledon Bridge and the future of Dundonald Yards will be implemented

 

Vision for all town centres in Merton (including Wimbledon)

Town Centres Document is here at the end of the Economy document.
Sections of importance:

Tc7.6 – Location and scale of development in Merton’s town centres and neighbourhood parades

Tc7.7 – Protection of shopping facilities within designated shopping frontages

Tc7.10 – Food and drink / leisure / entertainment uses

Tc7.11 – Culture, arts and tourism development

 

04 What are the overall borough objectives?

These can be found within Merton Councils document ‘Strategic Vision and Objectives’, but top line they are:

1 Healthy Places

To make Merton a healthier place for all.

2 Place

To promote a high quality urban and suburban environment in Merton where development is well designed and contributes to the function and character of the borough.

3 Housing

To provide new homes and infrastructure within Merton’s town centres and residential areas, through physical regeneration and effective use of space.

4 Environment

To make Merton an exemplary borough in mitigating and adapting to climate change, reducing pollution, developing a low carbon economy, consuming fewer resources and using them more effectively.

5 Infrastructure

To make Merton a well-connected and accessible place where walking, cycling and public transport are the modes of choice when planning all journeys.

6 Economy (this document is particularly useful for BID businesses)

To make Merton, a prosperous borough, with a strong, sustainable and thriving economy.

 

05 How do I comment?

You can email or write to Merton Council, quoting the policy or site number that you are commenting on:

Email: future.merton@merton.gov.uk

Post: FutureMerton team

London Borough of Merton

London Road

Morden SM4 5DX

 

All the documents are on Merton’s website HERE if you would like to read anything in more detail.

Response to the Future Merton Wimbledon Masterplan

Love Wimbledon are overall supportive of the vision of the Masterplan and it is clear that Merton Council have listened to business and resident feedback during the development process of this over the past few years.

Some of the benefits that we are supporting from the Masterplan include:

  • Providing a flexible choice of retail space to entice varied businesses in the future
  • Developing workspace to suit different needs
  • Incorporating new civic open space to develop an attractive central core
  • Greening the town centre / creating a sustainable future
  • Decking over the tracks to create a less linear centre (with or without Crossrail 2)
  • Improving leisure and cultural space (inside and out!) which includes community space that can be accessed during the day for exhibitions / events etc
  • Creating clear zones which are bite sized and clear
  • Designing a world-renowned transport interchange to be proud of
  • Increase in pedestrian ways around town

The masterplan needs to do all it can to improve the look and feel of the town centre whilst enabling growth for current and future businesses in Wimbledon. Several businesses have moved away from Wimbledon as the office portfolio needs more flexibility, be of higher quality whilst also catering for small start-ups.  There are retailers who are not able to currently locate here due to the inflexibility of retail sq footage. We would welcome a long-term strategy of providing affordable retail and workspace in the future.

The clear definition of residential areas / cultural areas / office areas is a good strategy as this provides a breathing space and reduces the impact on residents of night time activity in the town including deliveries and servicing.

There are several areas which need more consideration and clarity before we can be fully committed to supporting the masterplan.

More detail on development

  • A development appraisal to outline constraints and opportunities for the potential development sites considering location, legal and planning aspects as well as their physical characteristics
  • Inclusion of a new concert hall / visual and performing arts centre with community use

Transport

  • A detailed traffic strategy including developing ideas to re-route from Hartfield Rd to St Georges Rd (via a bridge) and providing a clear strategy to reduce traffic rather than ‘move’ traffic
  • Detailed pedestrian and cycling strategy to link up all sides of the town centre
  • The potential impact in twenty years with the increase in use of electric cars
  • A shorter-term car use and local parking plan (based on current data)

Design vision 

  • The ‘sketch’ of the area opposite the station is poor quality design and does not respond to the vision
  • Around the station give more thought to scale and appropriate language to surrounding buildings and spaces (including what Wimbledon looks like from afar)
  • Activate streetscape with clear short and long-term proposals which are engaging and well designed
  • A varied workplace strategy to look at jobs for growth and provide a mixture from smaller working spaces / hubs to HQs
  • More detail on architectural interpretation / context of masterplan that can be used by architects and Design Review Panel
  • Further develop the town centre current and future unique proposition and positioning

Operational challenges 

  • Strategy to reduce air pollution taking into account the majority of traffic is from outside the area and is passing through the town centre
  • Consider implementing a clean air zone
  • More detail on light and wind impact around St Georges Rd / Piazza area
  • Clear vision on potential phasing of masterplan which considers minimising physical and monetary impact on businesses and town centre users

Strategic challenges

  • If CR2 doesn’t happen, how will this plan change?
  • Improving ‘Play’ in Wimbledon for families, friends and visitors
  • Long term plans for Centre Court’s future
  • Phasing, what can be done now and in the future, to activate various sites creatively and temporarily?
  • Making Wimbledon progressive and upgrading the centre without over dominating development
  • Environmental impact of all development from using considerate contractors to promoting Wimbledon’s DNA to architects

The key is to have flexibility of business spaces, an interesting and different mix of retail, leisure and workspaces to suit changing demands and needs. To see an improved design vision would help Wimbledon on a commercial level to provide improved quality, and thoughtful design of buildings and spaces, in turn will make it a more attractive place to set up business, grow business and enjoy having a business here.

The plan keeps many of the heritage buildings that are fundamental in the town’s genes, whilst opening up change and innovation in areas which need improvement. Designers of the future need to have the vision and expertise to ‘think Wimbledon’. The aim should be to improve experience for all users and develop buildings which everyone is proud of.

Next Free WEEE Collection: Wednesday 24 July

Love Wimbledon has teamed up with award-winning recycling company, First Mile to offer BID businesses FREE quarterly collections of Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE).

The next WEEE collection will be on Wednesday 24 July – book by Monday 22 July!

All your unwanted electrical items will be recycled, including those containing hazardous materials. Items which can be collected include:

Keyboards
Computers
Laptops
Telephones
TVs
Printers
Fridges

Booking is simple – just call First Mile on 0800 612 3919 or email Hannah.Goldsmith@Thefirstmile.co.uk 

For more details about this service and other business services we offer, please click here.

stem4 launch new app ‘Clear Fear’

stem4, the award winning teenage mental health charity has launched their new app Clear Fear aimed to help children and young people manage anxiety. It is available to download free from the App Store and Google Play.  Clear Fear joins the stem4 Calm Harm app, which has been downloaded nearly 900,000 times worldwide to date and continues to receive excellent reviews on the App Store and Google Play, currently rated 4.5/5 on both.  It has also won many prestigious awards and has met the standards required to be included in the NHS Digital Apps Library and has been featured in the London Design Museum.

Clear Fear provides a range of ways to help children and young people manage anxiety and is recommended for young people aged 11-19 but can be used by a younger group with the support of a parent or carer.  Developed by the CEO and founder of stem4, Dr Nihara Krause, who is a renowned clinical psychologist, with feedback from young people, Clear Fear uses a Cognitive Behavioural framework to help change anxious thoughts and emotions, alter anxious behaviour and calm fear responses. Anxiety is a natural response to fear, threat and apprehension.  However when anxiety is extreme or goes on for a long time, or the response to a threat is disproportionately large and affects a person negatively, it may become an anxiety disorder.  Anxiety disorders are the most common form of emotional disorder and respond very well to psychological treatment. Clear Fear is an aid to treatment but does not replace face-to-face assessment and intervention by a mental health professional.

stem4 is grateful for the Tech for Good Grant from Comic Relief and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation as well as several fundraisers who have supported the development of Clear Fear.

stem4 is a Wimbledon based, award winning charity that supports teenage mental health through mental health promotion, provides evidence based mental health education, builds resilience, enhances motivation to change and signposts to early intervention. stem4 focuses on commonly occurring mental health issues in teenagers including eating disorders, anxiety, depression, self-harm and addiction. stem4 works with students, parents and teachers in secondary schools as well as health professionals including GPs and school nurses through their conferences programme and Head-Ed, their digitally delivered workshops suitable for PHSE in schools and is included in the Royal College of GP toolkit.

For information please visit www.stem4.org.uk the new Clear Fear website www.clearfear.co.uk.

Wimbledon Pub in Parliamentary Spotlight

The Alexandra, Wimbledon is starting the New Year in pride of place as the regional winner and national finalist in the inaugural Parliamentary Pub of the Year competition, which sees the overall champion announced on 15th January at the House of Commons, Westminster.

Launched in the summer of 2018 by Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Pub Group, Toby Perkins, MP, the competition seeks to recognise the important role pubs play in British life and the value they add to the local communities and local economy.

Following nomination by their local MP, each pub had to submit a short video portraying the character of the pub (watch The Alexandra’s video) and their engagement with their customers and local community. Videos were then viewed by a panel of judges and regional finalists selected, with the overall winner being revealed on the night of the 15th.

The Alexandra has become well known within its community for the work it does to help relieve loneliness over Christmas with free Christmas dinners for those on their own and throughout the year with their Meet Up Monday events.  Licensee Mick Dore said: “We bring together so many people from within our community who feel isolated or lonely, forging friendships and a sense of belonging,  with our pub being the real hub of our community.”

Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Pub Group, Toby Perkins, MP, said: “We are thrilled at the quality of entries for the inaugural Parliamentary Pub of the Year competition. The 14 finalists’ video entries show the diverse range of pubs out there, and I know that it will be incredibly difficult to choose the winners from these entries.

“Pubs play a crucial and much-loved role in our daily life and the enthusiasm that MPs have shown in promoting the claim of their locals to this title shows the pride that our communities take in our pubs.

“We look forward to saluting all our finalists on the 15th and crowning our champion.”

The finalists include:

East Midlands              Chesterfield Arms, Chesterfield

East                                Kings Arms, South West Norfolk

London                          Alexandra, Wimbledon

North East                     Stapylton Arms, Easington

North West                   Kash 22, Weaver Vale (Runner up: Victoria, Bury)

Scotland                        The Brass and Granite, Kilmarnoch (Runner up: The Criterion, North East Fife)

South East                     The Crown, Hastings

South West                   The Westbrook, Devizes

Wales                             The Four Elms, Cardiff (Runner up: Fat Boar, Wrexham)

West Midlands             The Robin Hood, Willenhall

Yorks                              The Grayston Unity, Halifax

 

The 14 finalists were picked from over 100 nominations made from MP’s across the country.

Follow the competition on @ParliPubOTY.

To all at The Alexandra, best of luck for the announcement on 15 January, we will have our fingers and toes crossed for you.