CEO Update from Helen

Like many of you we were very sorry to see HMV close but would like to reassure you that HMV Curzon remains open. Meanwhile Premier Inn and Bar + Block opened and with 3 other new foodie options opening soon along with a new club, Wimbledon remains a strong town centre. A government committee report was published on 21st February entitled High Streets and town centres in 2030, which we contributed to, making recommendations for how town centres need to adapt to maintain their vitality and importance to the community. We are delighted to see the value of BIDs being highlighted as being integral to the development of high streets and town centres.

Read the full report

Where will the high street be in 2030

The summary of the report is that they believe that “high streets and town centres can survive and thrive by 2030…as activity based community gathering places ….” The committee is calling for a reduction in business rates for retailers in high streets and town centres and encourage Government to assess their proposals of a sales tax, an increase in VAT, an online sales tax and green taxes on deliveries and packaging, providing fast relief to high street retailers.

 

Alongside this report there is currently a Treasury Committee inquiry into the impact of business rates that I would encourage you to respond to. The closing date for submissions is 2nd April 2019. Respond to the inquiry here.

 

Representing You Our BID Businesses

In our February newsletter, we mentioned that we had resolved over 200 issues in January relating to waste, graffiti, flytipping etc. to help our town centre stay clean and be an area we can all be proud of. Having received a number of questions in relation to this, we wanted to inform you that we do not do all this work ourselves!

Love Wimbledon plays an important role in representing you and your business to lobby utility companies, Veolia and Merton Council amongst others and we rely on a strong relationship with them to resolve these issues. As an example we have been working closely with UKPN to address both persistent and one off power cuts in the town. Just this last week there was a power cut along The Broadway affecting a number of businesses. We are liaising with UKPN to request they address Wimbledon as a key business district and to install the infrastructure needed to resolve these power cuts.

You can report incidents directly to our Town Ranger Tom on Tomr@lovewimbledon.org to take forward and as a reminder of the correct channels to use in the case of:

Waste – Report any issues directly through to your specific waste contractor, if issues are persistent please contact Tom.

Graffiti – On public property, please report directly to Tom. On private property, the onus is on the property owner to deal with.

Flytipping – Report directly to Tom.

Water – Report to Thames Water by calling 0800 980 8800.

Power – Report through to UK Power Network on 0800 029 4285 or through their website.

 

Wimbledon Offices Ltd Launches 3 Year Partnership with Wimbledon Guild

Wimbledon Guild, the local charity supporting people in Merton, has been chosen by Wimbledon Offices, a local property company based in Tuition House, as one of its charities.

 

Wimbledon Offices Ltd has selected Wimbledon Guild as one of its three Merton based charities and during a three year partnership will make annual donations to Wimbledon Guild’s Small and Emergency Grants Fund.

 

Pauline Twogood, Wimbledon Offices Ltd New Projects Director, said: Wimbledon Offices Ltd is a local family run business.  We have been providing office space in Wimbledon for over 40 years and we wish to give something back to the local community.  The work Wimbledon Guild do is very valuable and by making a donation to the Small and Emergency Grants Scheme we can help with the Guild’s work supporting local households in need.

 

Speaking about the partnership, Wendy Pridmore, Wimbledon Guild Chief Executive, said: “working in partnership with local organisations and companies is vital in helping us raise awareness of our services, increase our volunteer base and fundraise. Our services help local people in their time of need. During 2017/18 our Small and Emergency Grants Fund distributed over £40,000 to households across Merton to provide desperately needed items they could not afford to buy. Demand for all of our welfare services has increased over 13% and support from local companies and organisations helps us to meet the growing costs of providing welfare support to over 2,000 local people each year. On behalf of our customers and clients we thank Wimbledon Offices Ltd for their generous donation and support which will enable us to make a difference to the lives of even more people.”

 

ABOUT WIMBLEDON GUILD

Wimbledon Guild is a local charity that provides people in Merton with help and support in times of need. From its base at Guild House on Worple Road, Wimbledon, it aims to reduce social isolation and loneliness, help people who are experiencing difficulties and enable older people to be active and healthy. The services provided include:

  • Transport, benefits and housing support
  • Talking Therapies
  • Grief Support
  • Small & Emergency Grants Fund
  • Clubs, classes, talks and trips
  • HomeFood Café
  • Befriending and volunteering

Wimbledon Guild’s work in local communities relies heavily on donations and support from local people and businesses. To discuss opportunities to get involved call the Community & Events Team on 0208 739 2920 or email events@wimbledonguild.co.uk

 

ABOUT WIMBLEDON OFFICES

Wimbledon Offices Ltd and it’s associate company GFA Investments Ltd are a family business. The original family business was The Rapid Results College (RRC) offering no text book based correspondence tuition worldwide. Wimbledon Offices Ltd was set up in the early 1960s when Tuition House was being built to house The Rapid Results College, with additional space available for letting to other tenants. Over time the space required by RRC diminished and more office space was let to other companies.

Tel: 020 8971 4910 Email: info@wimbledonoffices.co.uk

Icon Solutions Donates £100K to Polka Theatre

Icon Solutions have generously donated £100K to Polka’s redevelopment of their building. The theatre’s FUTURE POLKA campaign will ensure the theatre will be able to inspire children for years to come.

 

Icon Solutions, a fintech consultancy headquartered in Wimbledon, are supporting the urgently needed redevelopment which will offer children across London, the south east and beyond, new state-of-the-art theatre facilities and the UK’s first purpose-built early years theatre for under 6s.

 

The team at Icon Solutions have a long history with Polka. Two of the Directors, Ben Hallifax and Tom Kelleher, grew up in the local area and have fond memories of seeing shows at Polka as children.  In fact, Ben Hallifax’s mother used to run the café back in the 1980s!

 

Tom Kelleher, Icon’s Commercial Director, said: “Polka is an important centre of creativity and support for the community of Wimbledon and surrounding areas. As Icon Solutions originates in Wimbledon, it is incredibly important to us to support initiatives which benefit our local community.

 

We have supported Polka’s Freefalling Programme for a number of years and we have seen the difference this programme has made to children’s social confidence, creative thinking and academic achievement. It is an honour to be associated with Polka Theatre and we will continue to support their valuable work and the joy they bring to so many.”

 

Icon Solutions were invited to the theatre and thanked personally by Polka’s well known Patron Amanda Holden, who is a judge on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent. Amanda made a special visit to kick start the public fundraising campaign for Polka, which still needs £1 million to reach its £7.5 million target.

 

Polka’s Executive Director Lynette Shanbury is thrilled with the donation “We are very grateful to Icon Solutions for their incredible support of Polka.

 

Icon Solutions have been valued supporters of Polka and their recent and significant contribution to our Capital re-development has demonstrated a real commitment to our community and the children and families that will benefit most from this project, many of whom are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

 

The financial support and good will from the local community, from both individuals and businesses alike, is pivotal in making our ambitious redevelopment plans a reality. We still have £1 million left to raise of our £7.5million appeal to ensure we can secure Polka Theatre for future generations of children.”

 

Ben Hallifax, Icon’s Operations Director, commented “At Icon we believe that we’re not only measured by the success of our projects but also by the contributions we make to society. We feel strongly in supporting charities where we have a personal connection and where we feel we can make a difference, especially to our local community. I would encourage other local businesses to see if they can also support this worthy cause and help continue the Polka legacy.”

 

For further information about FUTURE POLKA and Polka Theatre visit www.polkatheatre.com  or call Sarah Ruff, Head of Development on 020 8545 8327.

 

Image Credit – Oscar May

Pictured left to right: Tom Kelleher (Commercial Director), Saara Day (Head of Marketing), Amanda Holden (Polka Patron) Darren Capehorn (Director of Services) and Ben Hallifax (Operations Director). Picture taken at Polka Theatre, February 2019

Food Delivery Bike Survey

Over the past year or so we have received many complaints from businesses and pedestrians about the proliferation of food delivery bikes gathering in particular locations. Individually the bikes are not a particular issue but collectively they are taking up much needed parking bays and can be intimidating. We realise the bikes are collecting from our businesses and are providing a service to locals and it is important that we don’t undermine this.

Love Wimbledon has been working behind the scenes with Merton Council, Deliveroo and other providers along with the police to find a suitable solution that works for us all. We are in the process of surveying the businesses that use these bikes with a view to identifying a couple of designated areas for the bikes to wait until their next order arrives.

If you are a Wimbledon town centre business who uses food delivery bikes, please send your answers to the below questions to info@lovewimbledon.org  by Monday 4 March.

Which delivery company do you use?

Deliveroo

Just Eat

Uber

Own delivery drivers

Other

 

Roughly, how many home deliveries per week does your business provide?

Under 10

10-25

26-50

51-75

76-100

100+

 

How important do you think Home Delivery will be for your business over the next few years?

Crucial

Very important

Quite important

Neither important or unimportant

Not important at all

 

Merton Council have offered to provide designated areas for delivery bikes to wait thereby resolving the current complaints that we receive. Would you be supportive of this arrangement and work with your providers to encourage them to use these areas?

YES

NO

DON’T KNOW

 

Is there anything else you would like us to consider?

 

Please do get in touch if you have any questions about this, but we hope to be able to have a resolution soon.

 

Merton Business Rates Consultation

Helen Clark Bell attended the annual Business Rates Consultation at Merton Council, well attended by business representative groups from around Merton.

Merton Council announced that Business Rates for 2019/20 will be increasing by 2.2% as set by central government. In 2018/19 Merton Council collected £92million in business rates, 64% of which was retained to fund local council services. Merton Council will be automatically applying the 100% relief for Small Business Rate Relief, the transitional rate relief from the last revaluation and the 30% retail business rate reduction if your shop has a rateable value of less than £51,000. If you are eligible and this has not been automatically applied then please do contact Merton Council to discuss this.

There are a number of support schemes that Merton Council provide for businesses that may be struggling to pay their business rates and you are encouraged to speak to the council rates department directly if this applies. There are also local discount schemes for new businesses, empty properties and expanding businesses.

For more information https://www.merton.gov.uk/business-and-consumers/business-rates

2019 Sponsorship Opportunities in Wimbledon Town Centre

British Citizen Award for stem4 CEO Dr Nihara Krause

Dr Nihara Krause, CEO, founder and Clinical Psychologist, from Wimbledon, has been honoured at the Palace of Westminster at a prestigious ceremony on 24th January, receiving a British Citizen Award for Services to Healthcare (BCAh).

 

Dr Nihara Krause was presented her Medal by Dame Mary Perkins, Co-Founder of Specsavers a long-term supporter of the British Citizen Awards, who is also a Patron of the BCA.

The British Citizen Awards (BCAs) were launched in 2015, to recognise exceptional individuals who work tirelessly and selflessly to make a positive impact on society. BCAs are awarded twice annually, and recognise extraordinary people whose achievements may otherwise be overlooked.

 

Dr Krause, is one of 30 medalists who were honoured at a prestigious ceremony on 24th January 2019, at the Palace of Westminster.  All BCA recipients have selflessly undertaken various activities in support of a number of worthy causes. Each received a specially struck Medal of Honour, inscribed with the words ‘For the Good of the Country’. Medalists are also invited to use the initials BCA after their name.

 

Dr Krause is the CEO and founder of stem4, which was established in 2011 after the tragic death of a local school girl of anorexia nervosa. Dr Krause who is a Consultant in Clinical Psychology saw that there was a better way to help young people at risk of a range of psychological difficulties, recognising that there was a lack of support available, not just to young people and their families, but also friends, teachers and healthcare staff.  She founded stem4 with the intention that it would deliver accurate, user-friendly, psycho education and early intervention to young people, their families, carers and schools. The name stem4 came from the intention to stem the escalating teenage mental health conditions in young people.

 

One of the biggest impacts is Dr Nihara Krause’s creation of the Calm Harm App which she developed in consultation with young people that wanted to self-harm.  The App, which is free, has been downloaded around 900,000 times and is now on the NHS library. Last month she created the Clear Fear App for stem4 to help children and young people manage anxiety.

 

The event was hosted by TV star Michael Underwood, who stated “Having presented the very first British Citizen Awards, it’s a real honour to be invited back and a privilege.  I am in awe learning more about the incredible people being recognised for their contribution to society”.

 

The medals were presented by Senior Representatives from Specsavers, Unilever, Places for People, Unity Trust Bank, Experian and The Co-operative Bank, who all sponsor these awards widely referred to as ‘the People’s Honours.

Merton Council Scrutiny Panel

Merton Council, as part of their scrutiny panel, are asking for support in identifying issues that need to be reviewed. Past reviews have covered issues ranging from cleaner town centres, housing, recycling, road safety and children’s mental health.

Local councillors on Merton’s overview and scrutiny panels regularly carry out reviews of issues and services that affect people living and working in the borough. Ideas are not limited to council services and we will consider any suggestions as long as they affect people living and working in Merton. Fill out the online suggestion form at www.merton.gov.uk/scrutiny by 1st March for consideration at the June meeting.

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.’