Forum Topics

The Chairman fails to tell us why

The often declared intention to operate openly and transparently has fallen on deaf ears as far as Prue Whyte, Charman of Wimbledon and Putney Common Conservators is concerned. Does this matter? Is this just me having another so-called "rant"? No, this time the standard of governance has fallen to such a low level that all 60,000+ Council Tax payers need to be very worried indeed.A year ago the Charity Commission imposed a formal action plan. The most important element of that plan was to establish whether a loss had occurred through a 'Qualified Surveyors Report' (QSR) when they sold the access rights at Putney Hospital. A subject that has been discussed here for over three years.So what has changed? This time the board of Trustees have decided to spend over £60,000 on a second unnecessary QSR, without discussing the existing one they commissioned from Montagu Evans LLP. The one that ME offered to review in the light of any additional information the Conservators might provide. The one that their own lawyers said could be considered. Ignored? Completely. This means that the loss-making WPCC Trustees are quite happy to waste yet more money to avoid facing up to their earlier mistakes. Mistakes we as so-called "Levy-payers" have to accept.So, no explanation of why they are acting like this. No reaction to the 150+ people who have signed the FofPC petition, just pretence that everything is alright. Just refer everything to their lawyers. Call no 'Open Meetings' as they promised. Keep the governance of the charity under wraps. People will just get bored and drop the subject, after all what's another £60,000 for the lawyers and the advisers. The much-vaunted new governance processes have been suspended, and how the tax-funded charity is run goes from bad to worse. If they can make such a hash of this, what else is being hidden? Their procedures are now so bizarre that they issue a press statement about their special board meeting before the Trustees have seen the minutes.They lost over £1.5m. It's a year since they were told what action should be taken. The Charity Commission must appoint an interim manager now to sort this mess out. For all our sakes.Nick

Nicholas Evans ● 1505d0 Comments ● 1505d

Royal Parks Half Marathon 2016

Starfish have guaranteed places in Royal Parks Half Marathon London 2016 and we are looking for runners to join the Starfish team and help us change lives. With your support Starfish can provide life saving healthcare, education and child protection to children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS in South Africa.Royal Parks Half Marathon is one of the world’s biggest half marathons and with 16,000 runners taking part in the 13.1 mile run, it will be an exciting event for everyone involved. Starting in Hyde Park, the 13.1-mile route will take you on closed roads through four of London’s eight Royal Parks – Hyde Park, The Green Park, St James Park and Kensington Gardens. After the run, Food & Fitness Festival will provide loads of entertainment and fun activities throughout the whole day. As a part of a Starfish team, you will receive:  A fundraising Pack including top tips and sponsorship forms Ongoing support and pre-event information A free Starfish branded running vest! And of course, cheering support on the event day and finish line refreshmentsThe fundraising target for each runner is £300 and your sponsorship will help Starfish provide lifesaving healthcare and education to vulnerable children in South Africa.  To register please visit the Starfish website http://bit.ly/29JHGHf, and for more information please email us ukinfo@starfishcharity.org or call the Starfish team on 0207 597 3797. Places are limited, don’t miss out!Judith

Elinor Middleton ● 1561d0 Comments ● 1561d

Vitality British 10K

The Vitality British 10K has returned to the capital, one of the most unique routes in the world! Set yourself a challenge for 2016 and register now with Starfish to run the iconic Vitality British 10K London Run on Sunday 10th July. The historial and exciting run takes you through the heart of London on closed roads, past the world-famous London landmarks in Westminister and the heart of London, including London Eye, Nelson Mandela statue and the Houses of Parliament. You will be joined by tens of thousands of spectators lining the route from start to finish, you can’t miss it ! Join our team and run for Starfish Greathearts Foundation, a charity supporting children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS in South Africa by providing life, hope and opportunity. Running for Starfish, there is a £20 registration fee to take part, and members of the Starfish team will need to fundraise £150 to help bring life, hope and opportunity to the children Starfish cares for in South Africa. We will support you throughout, providing: Fundraising Pack including top tips and ideas  Free Starfish running vest  And of course, cheering and welcome refreshments once you complete the race.To register for this exciting run, please visit the Starfish website http://www.starfishcharity.org/get-involved-uk/run,-cycle,-jump/british-10k-london-run-10072016.aspxFor any more information about the event and how you can you get involved, please email me at ukinfo@starfishcharity.org. We look forward to hearing from you,Judith Solanas

Elinor Middleton ● 1610d0 Comments ● 1610d

LONDON FAMILIES WANTED FOR BBC2 BACK IN TIME SERIES

Wall to Wall Television, the makers of hit series ‘Back In Time For Dinner’ and ‘Back In Time for the Weekend’ are looking for a fun, food-loving family to go on an adventure further back in time.Guided by the experiences of real families in the early 20th century, one family will be fast-forwarded through 50 years of incredible history to explore how we lived and what we ate.Wall to Wall are currently casting in the London area for a family to immerse themselves in history for their series. This time the family will go further back in time to the early 20th century and then on through five decades of dramatic history, experiencing for themselves how British families lived and ate in the years before modern technology and conveniences.Previous living history series Back in Time for Dinner and Back in Time for the Weekend for BBC2 were both extremely well received and were among BBC2’s top rating factual shows last year, averaging 3 million viewers a week. Both series followed a modern family as they lived through each decade from the 50s to the 90s with their home, clothes and diet all transformed accordingly. Everything they did was underpinned by historical data that detailed real spending and eating habits of each period.This is a fantastic and exciting opportunity for a family to share in the amazing experience of being filmed over the summer, taking part in a truly immersive journey back in time.Wall to Wall are currently looking to hear from families with a minimum of two children aged 8+ who are available to film over the summer holidays this year. Anyone interested can simply email backintime@walltowall.co.uk for information.Below are links to interviews with previous contributors, who came away from the series with a rewarding and truly unforgettable family experience. Links:Back in time for Dinner –Brandon Robshaw’s diary for the Independent: - http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/new-bbc-series-savours-half-a-century-of-food-in-britain-from-vesta-curries-to-nouvelle-cuisine-10071775.htmlBack in Time for the Weekend - http://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/feb/02/gadget-free-1970s-was-happiest-period-says-time-travelling-tv-family

Paul Braund ● 1625d0 Comments ● 1625d

Do you want to preserve and improve the historic environment or ....

Dear fellow residentThe "local" developer who replaced the wonderful King of Denmark Pub on the Rigdway with the eyesore that is the Denmark Lofts is at it again, but on residential streets in the village conservation area --  on Clifton Road no less. Notwithstanding the fact that Merton's own Tall Building strategy regards developments of the scale being proposed the developer is seeking to exceed all reasonable limits and the council's stated objective to conserve and enhance the historic environment. Replacing a wonderful 1940s family home (which was looked after by an old chap who recently passed away) with  4+ storey monstrosity with a huge basement car park, removing much of the planted gardens -- huge demolition, sheet piling, huge dumper trucks and deliveries for what could be 2 years in the making. All next to the older folk who live in Rutland Lodge and Lyston House and causing huge potential risk to the young kids and parents of Kings Junior School, to name a few.BUT -- this is only the first concern because letting one in lets the next one and next one and so on.  Please visit the Denmark lofts on the Ridgeway (9 units and empty restaurant, studio/office and planting that is dying or go to Kemble Hall, 24 Keswick Road, Putney – 22 flats -- on another family house plot in a similar style to what is proposed -- but at least this had the top floor flats in the roof -- that's not the plan for Clifton Road -- the roof is on top -- making this a very high building.Have no doubt that the developer wishes to break the restrictive covenant in the title deed established by Dame Julia Vertue Mansel in 1920 to keep the home at 3 Clifton Road a single dwelling;  remove the existing shrubs and hedges; build apartments that will need to sell for more than 1.5-2.0m each (if there are only 4) -- this is not for the likes of most of us.  BUT what is more likely  -- he gets permission, then works out the selling price is too low, and seeks to convert the permission into even more units -- but "all in the envelope of the existing permission".  We have all seen this before. so we end up with Denmark Lofts again or Kemble Hall -- 9 or is it 22 units rammed on top of one another.  Welcome to high rise living and the complete lost Wimbledon's historic character  Please do have a look at the application and submit your comments/objections to:  planning.representations@merton.gov.ukWith the following information1 Application reference number : 15/P27252 Your name 3 Your address 4 Planning application description  DEMOLITION OF EXISTING HOUSE TO BE REPLACED WITH A FOUR STOREY BLOCK OF FLATS (4 X 2 BEDROOMS) WITH UNDERGROUND PARKING.5 Your commentsHere's the link:   (http://planning.merton.gov.uk/Northgate/PlanningExplorerAA/Generic/StdDetails.aspx?PT=Planning%20Applications%20On-Line&TYPE=PL/PlanningPK.xml&PARAM0=1000089928&XSLT=/Northgate/PlanningExplorerAA/SiteFiles/Skins/Merton/xslt/PL/PLDetails.xslt&FT=Planning%20Application%20Details&PUBLIC=Y&XMLSIDE=/Northgate/PlanningExplorerAA/SiteFiles/Skins/Merton/Menus/PL.xml&DAURI=PLANNING)

Andy Miller ● 1902d0 Comments ● 1902d

Run the British 10k for Starfish Greathearts!

Registration is now open for runners to take part in the iconic British 10k on Sunday 12th July 2015, in aid of Starfish Greathearts Foundation, a charity supporting children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS in South Africa by providing life, hope and opportunity.The run takes you through the heart of London on closed roads, past the many world renowned sights that London has to offer; in its 15th year, the British 10k is both exciting and historical. Run along famous streets lined with cheering supporters, of which your Starfish friends will be the loudest! Running for Starfish, you will pay a £20 registration fee, and fundraise £150 towards our life-changing work in South Africa. We will support you throughout, providing a Fundraising Pack including sponsorship forms, ongoing fundraising advice, a free Starfish running vest – and of course cheering and welcome refreshments once you complete the race. The deadline for registration is Wednesday 1st July.To register to run the British 10k in aid of Starfish Greathearts Foundation today, visit our website at http://www.starfishcharity.org/get-involved-uk/run,-cycle,-jump/british-10k-london-run-12072015.aspx or email ukinfo@starfishcharity.org for any more info!We do hope to hear from you.STARFISH GREATHEARTS FOUNDATION---------------------------------------------------------------------------Email: ukinfo@starfishcharity.org Website: www.starfishcharity.orgTel:  020 7597 3797 twitter.com/StarfishUK facebook.com/starfishgreatheartsuk

Jessica Francis ● 1961d0 Comments ● 1961d

Last call for all spinners & cyclists!

The Starfish Spinning Marathon is back - with a twist!Register until February 11th! Take on the challenge. Your way.The epic thigh busting team event is back for its 4th year and promises to be bigger and better than ever. Qualified instructors from the Pedal Studio will lead back to back Spinning classes.  With pumping tunes and fierce competition this will be a weekend to remember. Teams must clock up a total of 12 or 24 hours but it’s up to you how you take on the challenge....So how can you get involved and how does it work?You can enter as a team or those of you who would like to participate but don’t have the time to gather a team can still take part in this awesome event. Just choose to do a single or multiple classes over the 24 hour period and we will find you some shiny new teammates. There is no sign up fee and a fundraising target of just £50 per person. Here’s how the team set up works:Option A:  The ultimate 24 hour challenge, 6pm Friday 27th- 6pm Saturday 28th February Option B: New for 2015, 12 hour challenge 6am – 6pm Saturday 28th February Teams can have 2 – 10 members. The team decides how to make up its hours and can either cycle together as a group or as a relay.And don’t forget - everything from the Putney Pedal Studio space to the Popchips is donated so every penny raised goes to improving the lives of vulnerable kids in South Africa. To register please email stephanie.kitson@starfishcharity.org or call Stephanie on 020 7597 3797.

Katie Wand ● 2095d0 Comments ● 2095d

Charity 24hr Spinning Marathon

- What? • It's not as tough as you might think. You don't have to pedal non-stop for 24hours, just be part of a team that keeps going around the clock (6pm- 6pm). You can get your own team together or join an existing one.• Qualified instructors will lead hour long classes back to back and pumping tunes will encourage you throughout. You have control of the resistance on your bike so you dictate how much you push yourself!• There will be plenty of food and drink to keep your energy levels up and there will be a chill out zone where you can rest and support other team mates.• Teams can be any number up to 10 cyclists. The more team mates, the less pedaling you will have to do!• The team members will decide among themselves how long each person will spin for and at what time, ensuring someone will always be on the team's bike. All teams will be asked to submit a schedule prior to the event.• The fundraising target is £500 per team. The Pedal Studio kindly sponsor the event by donating the venue and the fantastic spin instructors. This means all of your sponsorship goes straight to helping Starfish to provide shelter, education and healthcare to children orphaned or made vulnerable by AIDS in South Africa. We will help you be a star by providing lots of great fundraising tips. - When?Fri 27th - Sat 28th Feb 2015 (6pm - 6pm)- Where?Putney Pedal Studio, London- ContactEmail Katie at ukinfo@starfishcharity.org, or register online at : http//www.starfishcharity.org/get-involved-uk/run,-cycle,-jump/24hour-spinning%C2%AE-marathon-27-28022015.aspxWe look forward to seeing you all there!

Hester Enthoven ● 2116d0 Comments ● 2116d

Charity 24hr Spinning Marathon

What?-          Starfish Greathearts Foundation is hosting its annual 24hr spinning marathon, in which team-members take turns to fill the 24 hour-long sessions, led by qualified instructors! Teams are comprised of up to 10 people, and each team must raise a minimum of £500 in aid of Starfish’s cause. Individual entrants will be assigned a team, and must raise a minimum of £50. When and where?-          The 27th-28th November in Wimbledon, south London. What’s included?-          24 hours worth of professionally-led spinning classes, plenty of food and drinks for sustenance, and a fun-filled day! Why?-          Starfish Greathearts Foundation works to provide healthcare, education and a better quality of life to children made vulnerable or orphaned by HIV and AIDS in South Africa. Starfish currently support 17,000 children in the country and your efforts really will make a difference. The spinning studio has kindly lent us their equipment and instructors for free, so all funds raised will go directly to projects in South Africa. Starfish runs community-based projects and works in coordination with local initiatives, in order to give children in adverse conditions the best possible start to life. More information?                For more information and to register for the spinathon, go to our website: http://www.starfishcharity.org/get-involved-uk/run,-cycle,-jump/24hour-spinning®-marathon-27-28022015.aspxWe look forward to seeing you there!

Hester Enthoven ● 2121d1 Comments ● 2116d

RAYNESFIELD  - VICTORY FOR THE RESIDENTS

The residents of Raynesfield have fought a successful campaign and should be very proud that they have forced MOPAC to change its strategy.You quote Mr Greenhalgh as saying, "I was not happy about how they (the residents) had been treated and I was not prepared to see key workers (...) forced to move out of their homes".  But it was his policy to sell off these residential properties so he, and MOPAC, are therefore responsible for how the residents have been treated. Also, the picture of Deputy Mayor Stephen Greenhalgh with Conservative Councillors Lewis-Lavender, which accompanies the article, smacks of blatant political opportunism. Cllr Gilli Lewis-Lavender spoke of the necessity of selling off Raynesfield at the Council Meeting on the 19th November. I am glad that the motion, calling on Boris Johnson and MOPAC to halt the evictions, was carried, although not one Conservative councillor supported it. So why is she in this picture? And what help has MP Stephen Hammond given? I have not found one tenant who says they were helped by him.There are still several issues that MOPAC needs to clarify:Firstly, MOPAC must allow those who were forced to move out of their flats to return to their homes. Secondly, the tenants need to be given long term security, with assured tenancies.Finally, MOPAC needs to compensate residents for van hire, storage costs, utility reconnection fees and so on.  On the day before evictions were due to begin, some residents took their furniture to the tip or to charity shops; some now lack the basics, like beds and fridges.  Lib Dem Assembly members, Caroline Pidgeon and Stephen Knight, will continue to put pressure on the Mayor of London and MOPAC until these points have been answered.  Raynesfield residents know that I will carry on supporting them as I have done in over the last few stressful months.

Mary-Jane Jeanes ● 2159d0 Comments ● 2159d

Women's beginner running groups on Wimbledon Common

I'm starting up women's beginner running groups on Wimbledon Common, commencing in late June. If you've ever wanted to start running but weren't sure where to start, my groups offer a relaxed, supportive environment for beginner runners in the local area.We’ll build up slowly, with lots of run-walking initially, on the flat, scenic trails of the common, and by the end of the ten week course you’ll be able to run 5k without stopping.Whether you want to improve your general fitness, or have your sights set on running a 5k, a 10k (or maybe even a marathon one day), my groups will help you get a step closer to your goal. I’ll also be offering 5-10k groups further down the line and one-on-one coached outdoor fitness sessions, offering something a bit different to working out in a gym environment.We’ll meet at the Windmill car park on Wimbledon Common, which can be reached easily by car, on foot or by local public transport routes, and we’ll run on the beautiful trails in the surrounding area. Groups will be led by me, Cat. I’m a UK Athletics qualified run leader and a personal trainer, so can offer advice about wider issues relating to running, such as hydration and nutrition, strength and conditioning, and injury prevention.I’ll initially be holding two sessions solely for women; one on a Monday morning and one in the evening. To register an interest for these, or to find out a bit more information, please drop me an email to CatSimpsonRunning@gmail.com, stating your name and whether you’d be interested in attending the morning or evening session.When: Monday morning or evening, starting in late JuneWhere: Wimbledon Common Windmill car parkPrice: £50 for 10 weeks (one session per week)Many thanks

Cat Simpson ● 2345d0 Comments ● 2345d

Il Mascalzone restaurant - dreadful experience

Il Malcazone – over the road from the cinema, Putney High Street.  We’ve been here many a time over the years, avoiding the back with the TV screen and the very rowdy times, and had pleasant enough (and far too large) meals.  Things have been going downhill over the last couple of years, pasta getting drier, inedible, old meatballs which the staff just shrugged their shoulders about when I complained, service getting slower, but we’ve stuck with it because we only visit occasionally.  Should have read the most recent Google comments about the staff and especially the manager before we went yesterday for lunch – they are not flattering.  We asked for chips as a starter to munch between us, and stressed NO salt. Carbonara and Hawaiian pizza ordered. Asked for extra sauce on carbonara as last one had been very, very dry. Chips arrived same time as mains, covered in salt which brought on a huge coughing fit had to call the waiter.  Told him we’d ordered no salt, he straightaway picked up a cellar and tried to pour more on, another waiter had to intervene and take them away. Hawaiian good, pizzas generally are. I had the carbonara, a huge mound of almost dry spaghetti, even the fork wouldn't lie down in it.  I couldn’t get down more than a small amount, too dry to swallow.  Too disappointed and annoyed to complain on this occasion, just left it, and it sat on the table for 20 minutes while other half continued his pizza. When he’d left the table to go to the bathroom, the manager approached and asked, "What's the problem with the carbonara?" in a pretty aggressive tone.  I explained it was dry despite my request for more sauce, and inedible. He didn't speak, just removed it. Two minutes later an embarrassed waiter brought the cold, congealed mess back to us in a takeaway box, saying the manager had told him to. We couldn’t believe it.  Other half refused to pay, and demanded it be removed from the bill.  We paid for the rest and were walking out when I noticed the manager.  I politely challenged him about the takeaway but suddenly, after speaking perfect English for decades, he couldn't speak more than odd words.  He said the takeaway was Steven’s dinner (pizza, which he’d consumed).  Then he said we’d asked for it (of course we hadn’t).  Then he said he’d thrown my old dinner in the bin.  Then he said yes, it was the mess I’d sent back, returned to me to take home.  We both told him he should be thoroughly ashamed of himself for his disrespect  towards paying customers. We will never, ever go back there again.  I’ve added my disgust to the Google comments about that restaurant (can’t confirm how filthy the kitchens are, as others have commented on, I haven’t seen those), but this contempt on his part was completely unforgiveable.

Jacqui Murray ● 2466d0 Comments ● 2466d