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WPCC Election 2018 - why I am not standing

Why I am not seeking re-election as a Conservator in the February 2018 election…..and why I am recommending that none of the Conservators elected in February 2015 do so either.We need a clean sweep so that the charity can move forward with confidence into the next triennium.  Our precious open spaces are more important than any individual or group of individuals.Regrettably there is an extremely destructive small group who, in my view, will go to almost any lengths to try and bring the charity down.  This, I believe, is their aim.  The Charity Commission’s statement of 22nd December 2017 made clear ‘It would encourage those with appropriate knowledge and skills to consider standing.’The statement continues: ‘The Commission hopes that after the election all the elected and appointed trustees will work together to take the charity forward. This would include considering mediation to resolve any outstanding issues within the trustee body and putting into place any actions issued by the Commission.’It is not encouraging to think the new Board may have to consider mediation as a starting point.  With new, ‘fresh faces’ and open minds this should not be needed.The Commission has given an indication, but without commitment, that they are looking to close the Statutory Inquiry within the first six months of 2018.It is my understanding, from a meeting I had with the Charity Commission on 18th December 2017, that the Commission wants to bring this whole matter to conclusion so that the trustees can get on with running the charity.  I am equally clear that the only issue that the Commission is investigating is that within the current remit of the Interim Manager.I will be looking to give my five votes to candidates who are able to prove to me that they are not coming with any ‘baggage’ or arguments from recent past disputes. We have many talented levy-payers with sound common sense and appropriate skills including the ability to work collectively who we need to support to take on these important Conservator/trustee roles.  I will give them my full support in whatever way I can.  I will also continue to give my full support to the quite excellent staff that WPCC is fortunate enough to employ.  Prue WhyteElected Conservator

Prue Whyte ● 2095d1 Comments ● 2094d

Starfish Breakfast Run and Picnic 2017

Join Starfish for the 10th annual Breakfast Run and Picnic on Clapham Common on Sunday 24th September 2017!Our friendly Breakfast Run and Picnic offers a choice of distances –2k, 5k, 10k or 15k - and this year we have teamed up with fitness and events specialists, Innovation Sports, to make 2017 the biggest and best yet. The course is totally flat around the common, so you can run as fast or as slow as you like. There’s always a supportive and friendly atmosphere, with crowds cheering along the route, and everyone receives a medal and Starfish t-shirt upon finishing. But the fun doesn’t stop after the run! Everyone gets a picnic basket to enjoy on the common, and there will be a tombola, free 100m kids dash and other stalls for all members of the family. Entry includes: Starfish branded T-shirt Chip timing Medal Picnic basket with healthy snacks to help you re-energise after the run!The event is on Sunday 24th September, starting at 9.30am by the band stand in the centre of Clapham Common (Windmill Drive, SW4 9DE). Facilities include secure bag storage, toilets, medical support and water stations. Prices:  2k (under 12s): £8 5k: £17 10k: £20 15k: £23Get your ticket here - - and get your friends half price!Money raised will go towards Starfish projects in South Africa, bringing life, hope and opportunity to the vulnerable and orphaned children Starfish cares for. We invest in the future of over 12,000 children a year so they can grow into happy and independent young adults.We look forward to seeing you there!

Starfish Greathearts Foundation ● 2225d0 Comments ● 2225d

Support Your Local Newspaper

I hope the good people who run this site don't mind me putting this message up. I'm confident they won't given what I am told about their basic decency.The local chapter of the NUJ is currently balloting for industrial action for staff working for Newsquest in the South London area. This includes the Wandsworth Guardian. What is proposed is a significant number of job cuts across the area and a move to 'remote working' for many of the editorial staff. The paper is currently based in Sutton.Newsquest is owned by a Texas based media conglomerate with a CEO who is paid millions. The UK subsidiary is profitable and only needs to make these cuts to maintain the dividend growth to the parent company.This is not comparable to the opportunistic industrial action taken by overpaid tube drivers. The people who work at these newspapers are skilled professionals on relatively low wages.Many of us may no longer read a local newspaper, and I have to confess to not having picked up a copy of the Guardian for a long time. I do often read their articles online though. There is no doubt that newspapers in general have declined from their heyday but it would be wrong to say that they have lost all value to the local community and we would miss them if they were gone.We are lucky in this area to have a good independent news web site but that is nicely complemented by printed paper and so a shuttered Wandsworth Guardian or a paper produced with minimal editorial content would be bad news for us all.IF you aren't inclined to lobby on behalf of the Wandsworth Guardian by for instance writing to Sheila Boswell, Jane Ellison or Justine Greening then you could still support the local paper simply by reading it either in print and online.

David Parker ● 3042d1 Comments ● 2574d

Balham Literary Festival: 10th-12th June

COSTA AND SAMUEL JOHNSON PRIZE WINNER HELEN MACDONALD, ROBERT MACFARLANE AND CHINA MIÉVILLE ANNOUNCED TO HEADLINE THE INAUGURAL BALHAM LITERARY FESTIVAL IN JUNEAn exciting line-up of bestselling authors, performers, and outdoor workshops has been announced for the inaugural Balham Literary Festival, at The Bedford in Balham (Friday 10th June to Sunday 12th June). Costa-winning author Helen Macdonald, Robert Macfarlane, China Miéville and performance artist Inua Ellams will be headlining the three-day festival, which is curated by Dulwich Books of West Dulwich and will celebrate ‘A Way of Being in the World.’ The festival starts with a taster event on 4th June called The Midnight Run, a night-time cultural exploration of Balham with award-winning poet, playwright and performer Inua Ellams. On Friday 10th June, Rob Cowen, author of the bestselling Common Ground will explain how to find your own piece of edgeland. Later, Helen Macdonald, author of the Costa-winning H is for Hawk will be discussing the resurgence of British nature writing with Sara Wheeler and Patrick Barkham. The day ends with live music presented in conjunction with Caught by the River. On Saturday morning, bird-watcher and author Tim Dee will be discussing ‘the Birds and the Bees’ with poet and artist Sean Borodale, author of Bee Journal, whilst Lauren Elkin and Matt Beaumont will recount their experiences of being ‘flâneurs’ in London and Paris, by day and by night. That afternoon in the Bedford’s Map Room, Kirsty Gunn, Tendai Huchu and Will Cohu will speak about the song of the land, and the creation of landscape and atmosphere in fiction. For those who would rather enjoy the summer outside, Ruth Potts from anarchist collective bread, print and roses will be leading a walking tour around South West London. Back in The Bedford, the festival’s second day continues with Andrea Wulf, James Macdonald Lockhart and Will Atkins on extremes of flight and exploration, followed by China Miéville who will skew the picturesque in an investigation written especially for the event.Sunday begins with Bradley Garrett and Inua Ellams exploring the urban landscape and then sees two events with bestselling academic and travel writer Rob Macfarlane, speaking first about the myth of the Green Man with China Miéville and Nina Lyon, and then later in conversation with Andrew Michael Hurley, author of 2015’s Costa winner The Loney, and Stephanie Cross. Environment writer and author Fred Pearce and architectural writer Owen Hatherley will close the festival discussing our built and natural landscapes and how we can save them. Tickets start from £10.00 and are available at

Hayley Steed ● 2706d0 Comments ● 2706d

DISPLACEMENTS with Ben Rawlence, Olumide Popoola and Annie Holmes

Thursday 10th March, 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 and are fully redeemable against a purchase of City of Thorns10% of profits from the event will be donated to CalAid ( the course of four years, Ben Rawlence became a first-hand witness to a strange and desperate limbo-land. To the charity workers, Dadaab refugee camp is a humanitarian crisis; to the Kenyan government, it is a ‘nursery for terrorists’; to the western media, it is a dangerous no-go area; but to its half a million residents, it is their last resort. Among those seeking sanctuary there are Guled, a former child soldier who lives for football; Nisho, who scrapes an existence by pushing a wheelbarrow and dreaming of riches; Tawane, the indomitable youth leader; and schoolgirl Kheyro, whose future hangs upon her education. In City of Thorns, described as ‘timely, disturbing and compelling’ by The Guardian, Ben interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in the camp and to sketch the wider political forces that keep the refugees trapped there.Olumide Popoola is a writer, lecturer, poet and performer. In the last year she has made a number of visits to the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais. Unlike Dadaab, which is administered by the UN, the Jungle is a settlement established by the people who live there, most of whom are trying to reach the UK. Olumide’s experiences will be recorded in Breach, to be published by Peirene Press in August 2016, and will tell the story of the crisis through the voices of refugees stuck in Calais. It documents an illusion disrupted: ‘that of a neatly ordered world, with those deserving safety and comfort separated from those who need to be kept out’. Annie Holmes is the co-writer of Breach. Originally from Zimbabwe, she is a distinguished filmmaker, writer and lecturer. She has worked extensively on tackling the structural causes of HIV at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.What are the root causes of current displacements? What are the long-term prospects for refugee camps and the people who live in them? And of course, what can the UK and the wider international community do to help? Join us to discuss the past, present and future of refugee camps. With an unprecedented refugee crisis in Europe, and the continued displacement of peoples on other continents, there has hardly been a more important time to reflect on the status of these precarious communities.

Dulwich Books at The Bedford ● 2770d0 Comments ● 2770d

Help needed from local residents please.

My name is Janet Humphrey. I have reached the final of a competition which may give my brother and I a chance to take our Father Stan Ball to Gallipoli. You may be aware that 2016 is the 101st year since the Gallipoli campaign was started.My Granddad Ball  (Stanley Arthur William) was born and raised in South London, lived in Eltringham Street Wandsworth, and was married on Christmas Day 1925 at the St Johns Hill Church.He joined the City of London Royal Fusiliers regiment. He had already served in the regular army as a member of  2RF between 14 July 1898 and 29 October 1910. 2RF served in India and Burma, we were told by the Fusiliers Museum in London. He was quite a bit older than others who were asked to join up for the war.He rejoined the army on 8th September 1914 so he wasn't in the first flood of returning reservists. He served in Britain (Home) between 9 September 1914 and 9 May 1915, he then went to join the 2RF again this time in Gallipoli, he remained with them until 12th July 1915, where he earned the Star Medal. He was wounded, there but joined his comrades in France, which lasted from 22 September 1915 to 25 October 1915 he was wounded (a bullet wound in the back) which along with his other injuries lead to his death from untreated gangrene in 1950.My father Stan grew up around Wandsworth, and my granddad was treated at St John Hospital Wandsworth, and after the war he trained and worked as a nurse, partly in repayment for the wonderful kindness he was shown. .We have organised a pledge page below, which gives a lot of extra detail on our pledge, and there is a personal message on there as well from my dad, to potential voters explaining why a vote for our pledge would make such a difference to him. closes at midnight on the 29th February 2016 but the more publicity we could get now, the more chance we have of winning. Please vote for "Janet Oxfordshire" as one of your three votes, and support a local WW1 soldier's son. Thank you

janet humphrey ● 2773d0 Comments ● 2773d

Internet Safety Workshop for parents: 7pm on 30th Nov

Following the excellent feedback received following last year's event, on Monday 30th November, Wandsworth Prep School will be hosting a highly valuable internet safety workshop with internet safety experts, Childnet International.The event is complimentary and will be open to all local parents.The event will commence at 7pm and will consist of a presentation entitled ‘Supporting Young People Online’. The Childnet Team aim to leave parents with knowledge about how to protect young people online and empower them with take home advice to implement into their children’s online lives.Issues covered will include:1. Positive use of the internet - exploration of websites and applications that offer opportunities to discover, connect and create (this includes a beginner’s guide to Social Networking Sites - Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.)2. Potential misuse of the technologies - how children and young people can be vulnerable to inappropriate content, conduct and contact risks3. Cyberbullying - ‘Let’s Fight it Together’ is a powerful film produced by Childnet which is used to help sensitise young people and adults to the pain and hurt which can be caused through cyberbullying4. Minimising the risks - practical advice for adults and children to help them stay safe onlineIf you would like to attend, please contact our Office Secretary, Maria Major, to book your place:

Amy Hebditch ● 2876d0 Comments ● 2876d

Cleaner, greener and cheaper pay-as-you-go cars!

This month, Co-wheels Car Club, a social enterprise and the UK’s largest independent operator of its kind, has landed in Wandsworth.Co-wheels members will now have access to the car sharing scheme and 10 low emission vehicles across London Borough of Wandsworth, with additional bays in new locations planned for 2016.  New members can join for free for a limited time (usually £25), and no annual membership fees. To claim your code for free membership, go to: The new cars will predominantly be low emission Toyota Aygos, with Yaris hybrids also available from dedicated parking bays in Wandsworth:2 cars in Wandsworth o Ringford Roado Haldon Road2 cars in Tooting o Crockerton Roado Langroyd Road5 cars in Putney o Holroyd Roado Norroy Roado Earldom Roado Lacy Roado Roskell RdAn additional bay will be coming shortly in 2015.Co-wheels operate as a social enterprise and has a commitment to improving the environment with a fleet that is 40% per cent less polluting than the average public-owned car. Wandsworth is the car club capital of south London but Co-wheels will bring something new and different from the existing operators in the borough. As a Community Interest Company, Co-wheels ploughs all of its profits back into expanding and improving the service, whilst keeping rates as low as possible for membersCo-wheels is the largest Car Club operator in the UK with operations in more than 50 locations, from small villages to large cities. With cars available in popular escapes like the Lake District, Shropshire, Norfolk, and Scotland, Wandsworth members can get on a train and have access to cars across the country.

Daisy Pratt ● 2889d0 Comments ● 2889d

Starfish Breakfast Run on Clapham Common

Enjoy a Mother’s Day with a difference by taking part in a friendly 5km run on Sunday 15 March on Clapham Common ¬– and there’s a 100m dash for the kids too!Everyone gets a medal, t-shirt, Mother’s Day goody bag and a tasty picnic basket to enjoy on the common afterwards. There will be a pre-race warm-up to get everyone in the mood and there’s even sports massage available if the legs are hurting.The course is clearly marked and totally flat – perfect for those looking to take it easy, as well as for runners aiming to post a fast time. As well as the 5km distance, there will be 10km and 15km runs for the fitter runners, but the emphasis will be on taking part and having fun.For those members of the family happier to support rather than run, there will be loads of activities such as face painting, a bouncy castle, tombola and other stalls to ensure everyone has a great day out.The Starfish Breakfast Run is organised by the Starfish Greathearts Foundation, a UK-based charity that supports children with HIV and AIDS in South Africa. This year Starfish has once again teamed up Wasserman Media Group, sports and entertainment specialists, who have donated their time and expertise to make the 2015 event even better than last year.Elinor Middleton, Global CEO, Starfish Greathearts Foundation commented, “Last year’s run was a huge success and we are aiming for an even bigger turn out this year to raise money for children orphaned by AIDS in southern Africa. We look forward to welcoming a big crowd on Sunday morning to run, cheer on their friends, or just enjoy the picnic. It’s incredible to think that just one person’s entry can provide two hot meals a day for a vulnerable child for over a week”.Feedback from a 2014 participant: “Thanks for putting on the Starfish Breakfast Run. My wife did the 10km course, while me and the kids cheered her over the line and then we all had a good time at the face-painting afterwards. A great day out for a really excellent cause, well done!”To sign up online for the event, which takes place on Clapham Common at 10am on Sunday 15th March 2015, please visit Book in January for a discount offer. All proceeds support the work of Starfish Greathearts Foundation.

Katie Wand ● 3171d0 Comments ● 3171d