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SGRA Minutes of January 2012 Meeting





Chairman:  Peter Stechman [PJS]

Secretary: Liz Becker [LB]

Present:            CW, KR, AK, MC] RF, NS, MS, KS, PS1, RL, PS2, PJ, MB, CG


Apologies for absence:       Tina Thompson [TT], GMcF, LH,  Rob, [Plaza Group], Cllr.. Guy Humphries

Opening Remarks PJS

PJS said that Chairman Tina was indisposed, best wishes were given. PJS would be chairing the meeting and thanked everyone for coming out in the cold.  There was a very full agenda and there would be a change in the normal run of things to have the Website Presentation on first.

PJS introduced Ken Richman of Togethernet the SGRA new website provider

SGRA Website Presentation

Ken Richman gave a presentation on the new Togethernet SGRA website, going through the various pages and menus available to users.

At the moment the legal side of the website regarding different issues including data protection need to be addressed by a Lawyer, once the issues have been resolved the website will be officially live and signups and PayPal features enabled.

PJS pointed out the website will only succeed if it is viewed and used by the residents. The  Buy and Sell and where shops and serviced can promote their local businesses and place and advertisement or recycle goods  no longer needed has a lot of potential.

PJS said that setting the website was very time consuming but worthwhile, however, it needs a Moderator to continue to run it, inset post, check the Forum if and when it goes live and administer the Adverts and deal with enquiries, etc.

Revenue for the residents association could be raised by offering advertising space. TT and PJS will be visiting local business in the next week to make them aware of the website and the cost of advertising, it will be £50 per annum or £5 per month them. The existing advertisers in the Newsletters will be included ‘Free’ for a couple of months until the end of March 2012. After that, Newsletter advertisers who have not signed up to be a website member and paid the yearly or monthly advert fee will come off.

PJS said that there had been several responses already complementing the website.

KR stayed on after the meeting ended at 10pm to show interested persons more of the sites benefits. It was hoped that KR would attend the February meeting with a projector to show the website again on the wall.

Notes of Previous Meeting:   Approved  PJS said that these were actually  ‘Notes’ as the minute notes had been mislaid but considered to be a fair account of the November meeting.

Vice Chairman Report – PJS

Christmas Carol Singing 2011      £540 was raised by singers outside Southfields Tube on Tuesday 20 December 2011 for Trinity Hospice, a record amount.  Attended by the Mayor, Councillors and many others. PJS had taken images of the group and sent them to the Mayors Secretary and these will be posted on the Mayors website. MC will organize the Carol Singing for 18 December 2012 and the money raised this year will be donated to the Neuro hospital for disability.

Treasurer’s Report CG

At the moment, we have three accounts:

Current Account £410.00, Deposit £1926.54 and the new Community Account £2,000.  Before the next meeting, all the funds will be transferred to the new Community Account.

It is expected that the previous Putney Santander account will be closed down by 31st March 2012. A full statement will be needed to cover the 2011 periods and available to members on request.

Members Yearly Subscription collection – a breakdown of the amount of money collected by each rep will be provided by CG.

Peter handed a cheque for for £47 to CG, as the final part of his 2011 Trentham Street collections making a total of £147

Street Members Yearly Subscription collection. CG is to provide a breakdown of the amount of money collected by each individual Street Rep.

Peter handed a cheque for £1500 received from the CCF, original a grant form the AELTC for the new website set up.

April Newsletter Editor LH

Articles to LH for the next Newsletter by mid March for issue in April

Street Reps individual reports

Brookwood Street, Kathy Shiels [KS] was welcomed as the new Rep

Elsenham Street, Pat Sherrin [PS3] is now the Street Rep,

Trentham Street Queens Diamond Jubilee Party.         The party plans are well on its way with a meeting already taken place and another organizing committee meeting is set for 08th February. The organisers have also posted a flyer asking people to register their intention to become involved in the party planned for Sunday 3rd June

Elborough Street      MC reported on two robberies on in the afternoon. GM had sent an email saying.  There were two very bold break-ins on Elborough Street late afternoon 2 weeks ago. Access was via the front sash windows, apparently easily lifted. Worth knowing about so that we can all make sure our windows are extra secure


Engadine Street,      CG showed a flyer left on a tree regarding a kitten lost from a property in Engadine Street. Peter mentioned that he had seen a number of these lost cat flyers pinned to trees appealing for help. It is likely that that foxes had taken the cats. He had seen foxes chasing cats on 2 occasions. It is upsetting for the cat owners but if the cat has not become a foxes dinner, been run over or stolen or shut in a shed by mistake, if it doesn’t turn up after few days it probably never will.

PJS asked CG to check if the cat had been found. If not, could she obtain details, an image, and contact number and he will post an appeal on the website ASAP. Lost cats can be reported to the website and a posting made. Do not forget to tell anyone about this, it’s free and may help

SGRA Planning report January 2012 from Margaret [MB]

Our main concern is the application to demolish the Post Office building and build a four storey building on the site and the Boys Club adjacent to it. The development is to occupy the whole site without any communal amenity space. It also has to provide some community space because of the loss of the Boys’ Club. The design incorporates a hall to be used as a nursery. The ground floor food retail space is enormous and much larger than any other space in the village. The main issue is what is to happen to the Post Office. There is no provision for it to continue on sit and the lease expires at the end of 2013. The leaseholder is under pressure to vacate earlier but cannot find suitable premises in Southfields. The local councillors are involved and there is already a Save our Post Office petition in some of the shops. I have suggested that we write to oppose the application but also asking the Council to review what they are allowing to happen to the village in this piecemeal fashion,

The Plaza Cinema/Jester Bingo Hall/ Rileys Snooker Hall planning application by the new owners agents has been declared invalid. The application was for outline planning permission and I am told that they have been asked to submit an application for full planning permission. The Plaza Group met here on 30 November and attracted huge support. I received a letter from Justine Greening MP detailing how she is continuing to apply pressure to the developers to include sufficient space for a viable cinema.

Garages         We wrote to oppose the development of two garages to the rear of 129 Brookwood Road. The owners wanted to build a 2-storey house there but there is not enough space. The application has now been withdrawn.

Fish and chip shop hour’s change                      We wrote to object to the application to change of hours at the fish and chip shop. They are currently limited to 11pm and want to go on until 1am in the morning. This was approved to allow 8am -12pm and 8am to 11 pm on Sundays until 1 January 13 initially. However, the officer’s report to committee says that 21 neighbours were consulted and there were two objections. Both objections were from residents’ associations and I do not think that the report is transparent. I think we should write to the Council to complain about this.

The Grid Inn              We asked the planning department what could be done about the metal sheeting that has been attached to The Grid Inn building, which is awaiting development by Tesco. They said that they could not intervene, as it is to protect against vandalism. This action has placed a blight on Southfields – someone has described it as being like South Bronx New York in the 70s or the most depressed parts of UK’s inner cities today. I suggest we write to Tesco asking them to do something to mitigate the effect e.g. paint the metal sheets cream to blend in or something more creative.

Wimbledon and Olympic Parking                         We objected to parking restrictions being imposed in the weeks between Wimbledon Tennis and the Olympic Tennis. The council has relented on this.

Trentham St. Wall and Railings    The front boundary walls and railings of 3 Trentham St have been approved.

Olympic Banners     There are to be 19 Olympic banners in Replingham Road from Pirbright Road to Wimbledon Park Road, as well as other in Wimbledon Park Road.

Access Self Storage            has applied for a mezzanine floor and a change of use from showroom to light industry and storage.

Elsenham St. Change of use        There is also a request for change of use for 1c Elsenham St from an office to be used as crèche and for yoga palates and parenting workshops (2011.4352)

Kimber Road             an application for change of use from an office to meeting and rehearsal space for children has been approved. (2011/4522)

Olympic Route          We wrote in response to the Olympic Route network consultation, expiring on 12 December, but have not yet had a formal reply.

Email Scam               The Office for National Statistics is warning about a scam where fraudsters are using an email ‘Population Census: a message to everyone – act now’. This asks personal questions and threatens legal action against those who do not respond. This is a scam to get personal details.

South London Jewish School       There is a local flyer about the South London Jewish School hoping to open a free school (primary) in the Southfields Grid area. They are supposed to be submitting a planning application sometime in February. I think our concern would be to ensure that they are not seeking to convert family houses for this purpose.

Thames Tunnel Follow-up

I am drafting our response to the Thames Tunnel phase 2 consultation. The Council’s own response can be seen on their website. In discussions with Thames Tunnel two new things have emerged. The tunnel from the riverside to King George’s Park is being dug from Dormay Street. This is almost adjacent to the safeguarded wharf at Smugglers Way and despite both TT‘s and WBC’s commitment to move spoil etc by water this has not been addressed. I was advised that there was concern about being tied to one operator but was not convinced by this. We need to avoid more heavy traffic in the centre of Wandsworth. In addition, there seems to be some threat to the pre-war main entrance gates as WBC is seeking to relocate the main entrance. I think we need to pursue these issues with both parties.

Friends of Wimbledon Park Nick Steiner [NS]

NS reported that the Friends of Wimbledon Park is now set up.  They need a Treasurer and a Secretary and are investigating whether to have a President or Patron. They were also looking at having a FoWP website but could use the Wimbledon Park section on the SGRA website until then.

Vice Chairman PJS

Junk Mail       One of the biggest complaints is about the continuing delivering of unwanted of Junk Mail. This is despite notices on a majority of properties mailboxes shouting “NO JUNK MAIL”. PJS had emailed Justine Greening MP about the matter; A response was received and will be posted on the website soon. However, it looks unlikely that anything will be done quickly. Junk mail will still be dropping through our letters boxes, sometimes over 7 times a day, even the Post Office now includes unwanted Junk Mail in its normal mail deliveries and separately it seems.

PJS suggested that we collectively mount an Anti Junk Mail Campaign, write to local businesses who are commissioming the flyers and leaflets, encourage locals shops to place an advert instead on the Grid Website, which they manage themselves. Anther would be to gather information on the companies who administer the mail and take on delivery people, who are usually exploited and low paid, to tell them that Junk Mail is environmentally unacceptable and unwanted on the Southfields Grid.

Complaints had been received already on the website about the recent flyers promoting the Olive Restaurant in Replingham Road. These had been put under Car windscreen wipers, many had blown off [or ripped off and discarded] and littered the streets,

PJS asked if anyone wanted to be involved in the Southfields Grid Anti Junk Mail Campaign to let us know. PJS to ask TT if we should write to the Post Office to tell them that including Junk Mail in their normal deliveries was not wanted.

Crime on the Grid – PJS had telephoned Wandsworth Police to invite the Police/CPSO’s to attend the meeting but was advised that a month’s notice is needed. PJS had then sent off an email requesting this and invited them to the meeting on 28/02/12.

CW advised us that we could check the crime figures on and input your postcode. CW had made a search on the Grid and in December there were 27 crimes reported, vehicle crime was the highest.

CW reported that there was a rise in the number of crimes on the Grid in December. PJS thanked CW for monitoring Grid crime and asked him bring a monthly report for the meeting.

PJ reported that on one night a number of car windows were smashed on Lavenham Road. Mindless vandalism was thought to be the cause.

Trees on the Grid.

PJS reported that he had had excellent service from the Wandsworth Tree Section when he reported damage to a tree caused by a high-sided van that drove off without stopping. A tree surgeon arrived 2 hours later and carried out remedial work. [PJS said he had to ‘sit down’ to recover after witnessing such speedy action].

PJS said some trees on the Grid were being replaced with saplings and Rosemary had asked if he could prompt the Tree Section to replace trees on street. RL had been in touch with the Tree Section without success.

RL is also interested in the Councils Tree Warden scheme. PJS to write to Pat Langley in the Arboriculture Section

Hazardous Pavements on the Grid          PJS said that Cllr. Guy Humphries had not yet confirmed a date when WBC Highways, Cllrs.and SGRA Chairman/Vice Chairman would tour the Grid streets. This was regarding the high number of broken and hazardous pedestrian walkways. In the interim, Peter suggested that a photo of the offending pavement could be a useful tool when contacting the Council.

Sheds in Front Gardens     PJ pointed out that the article in the Winter Newsletter regarding sheds in front gardens has had little affect despite this contravening Wandsworth Planning Regulations, Sheds were still being  erected in front gardens and also the paving over of the front gardens is still happening.

No Cold Calling Zone.        The NCCZ packs have been distributed with the Winter Newsletters in December. GM had been told by the Council who monitors calls, that there have been fewer complaints, an indication of some success. PJS advised people to make sure the double-sided sticker that came with the NCCZ pack was displayed clearly on the property. The Council had also fitted signage informing would be ‘Cold Callers’ that the Grid was a ‘No Cold Calling Zone’.

Refuse Collection Day Changes              Refuse collection on the Grid will change from Friday to Thursday from April 2012.  Presumably the orange recycled bags will be collected on the same day and the road sweeper will quickly follow the followed almost immediately by the mechanical sweeper. This is not only to collect rubbish that has accumulated during the week but also to pick up refuse and recycled bags dropped by the Refuse Contractors Operatives.

Recycling      Apparently there has been new information regarding recycling.  The Council had claimed that there had been information sent Road Shows in the summer. However, very few people present were aware of this. Peter suggested that we invite a ‘Recycling Person’ from the council to attend our meeting in the Spring.



Shredded Paper Recycling – Gail [GM]


GM had received information from the Council that they have changed their policy on recycling shredded paper. Here follows the Councils comments from an email on what we are supposed to do with it!!!!!


An Email from the Council to GM tells us


For the past few months, the Authority has been undertaking a large-scale communications campaign to


i)             inform residents that they can now recycle plastic pots, tubs and trays (in addition to plastic bottles)


ii)            to reduce the amount of contamination that is being placed in the orange recycling sacks and containers.  The campaign involves placing advertorials and editorials in local newspapers, and use of the, public events (road shows in the summer months), door stepping and, very importantly, refuse collector training. The campaign will be continuing into 2012/13.


With regard to your particular queries, regarding shredded paper:


a) the Authority discourages residents from placing shredded paper in their orange recycling bag for 2 reasons


i)             it attaches itself to the glass during the sorting stage




ii)             shredded paper is not a product that is welcomed by the paper mill as, although technically, it can be recycled, the average fibre length paper decreases with shredding, and therefore paper made from it will be weaker.  Shredded paper is also difficult to handle at the mill and, depending on the equipment there, it can cause maintenance problems and fire hazards;


b) residents will continue to be informed in the coming months through the media detailed above; and


c) we would suggest that residents shred only the confidential parts of a letter/document and for the shredded elements to go in the ‘black bag’ residual waste stream, for energy recovery.  You may not be aware that your black bag waste no longer goes to landfill but is being delivered by barge to an Energy from Waste Facility creating electricity for 100,000 homes.  The link below will provide you with greater detail.


SGRA Comment      ‘the Authority has been undertaking a large scale communications campaign’ from those present at the SGRA meeting, the large scale campaign didn’t reach many Southfields residents.


Plaza Cinema Update         in an email from Oliver

If there is anything I can help with please ring me on 07973 312062 or email Rob [].


AOB – No other business

Date of Next Meeting: 28th February

Chairman’s Address

Tina Thompson, SGRA Founder & Chairman

Welcome to the new Southfields Grid Residents Association [SGRA] website

This website is the official stand alone website representing residents, tenants, businesses and others within the Southfields GRID area.

The grant from The London Community Foundation was financed by The All England Lawn Tennis Club, [Wimbledon] We thank them for their very generous grant that has enabled us to proceed.

However without Peter Stechman, the SGRA Vice Chairman, his vision, determination and dedication, this may never have happened and Ken Richman of ‘Togethernet‘ who set up the site and is a specialist in web marketing. A local as well with an office on the GRID.

The Southfields Grid Residents Association is here for YOU, as it has been since 1973.

This is a special day and I have composed a little poem to celebrate it.

We are now officially on-line, certainly not before time.

You can now get the latest news, even let us know your views.

Planning, paving, where to park,  a few topical matters to start.

Pop along to a Grid meeting, you will receive a warm greeting.

A warm and loud ovation, To the Capital Community Foundation,

Who gave us the essential finance, to give the Grid website a chance.

Tina Thompson

January 2012

Peter Littler – Southfields ‘Old Boy’ Dies


It is with regret that we announce that former Southfields ‘Old Boy Peter Littler has died.

After his wife Eve passed away Peter learnt to jive and is seen in the image below with Kathy Shiels who lives in Brookwood Road with her Mum. Jiving became his passion and he travelled far and wide to indulge in his love of dancing and music.

On Friday 10th January, Peter collapsed on the dance floor in Cheam and died later in hospital. Many of his family, friends and fellow dancers who packed the Guildford Crematorium said, ‘that’s the way he would have wanted to go, enjoying himself on the dance floor’.

Peter Littler was born at 55 Brookwood Road and spent the whole of the war years in
Southfields. His early primary education was at a school at 61 Elborough Street
untill 1947. Peter’s father had purchased 55 Brookwood Road in 1930 for £800.00 where his Mother remained until 1994. She died in 2007 at a retirement flat in Wimbledon at the age of 101.

When things got back to almost normal after the war he attended Southfields Primary
School at the bottom of Brookwood Road behind what was then The Elliott  Secondary School. He then went onto Southfields Secondary School on the corner of Replingham and Merton Roads, in 1951 on obtaining a Trade Scholarship Peter attended Brixton School of Building until starting work in 1956. As a lad, at weekends he worked in the Greengrocers in Replingham Road, one shop up from the corner of Clonmore Street. Very low pay but it saw him through College.

The Plaza cinema during his young days was the great place of local entertainment and even the Manager used to dress in an evening suit and bow tie at most performances. Unfortunately during the war years it became a little run down and was often referred to as the “Local Flea Pit”. For many years his wife and her family and friends played Bingo there often winning which, helped the family budget in their married years.

Peter met Eve Norman who lived at 13 Clonmore Street. Although they knew each other previously for quite a long time, they didn’t go out together until late 1959 as most of his youth was misspent in Soho Jazz Clubs and during his teens playing or
listening to Jazz.

On 15 September 1962, Peter married Eve Norman at St. Barnabas Church and the
service was conducted by the Reverend Clark. It was on a very sunny day, most of those present were family members and shown in the photo taken in the church grounds. Peter and Eve are seen leaving the church in Lavenham Road to go on their honeymoon in Cornwall,

Sadly Eve passed away in April 2006 a very short period after being diagnosed with cancer.

After renting the property for four years, in 1966 Peter purchased 59 Elborough St, for £3500.00 as two separate flats and remained there until he moved to Surrey. He sold the property in 1977 for £19450.00 as a single occupation house with the first parking area in the front garden. His move was to obtain a better education for his children and he has remained in the county since then.

When Peter left Southfields most of the shops in Brookwood Road were in operation and included 2 Newsagents, a Bakers, 3 Greengrocers, several sweet shops, hairdressers, a fish and chip shop and a wet fishmongers shop, an Off
Licence and a hardware shop. There was also a Driving Test Centre where ‘Learners’
went to take their driving test around the Grid Streets.

Prior to leaving Southfields, Peter was involved with the early formation of the
Southfields Grid Residents Association with Tina Thompson and early SGRA
meetings were held at 59 Elborough Street

If you are one of the people at St Banabas Church that day in September 1962 or recognise anyone in the photo, please let us know. Perhaps you have a story you wish to share about living on the Southfields Grid.

Stech 24.03.2012


Welcome to the Magazine section of the website. This is the ‘uncategorised’ category – as every story should be categorised, the rest of this page should be empty if Stech is doing his job right!

Goodbye to The Grid Inn

It was a surprise both to the staff and the customers when Wetherspoons recently announced the closure of the Grid Inn, so they could sell it to Tesco’s. The Grid Inn had become more popular recently, following the arrival of a new manager, and its closure is a sad loss for its many loyal regulars.

One of the features of Southfields is the number of independent outlets that we have, so we must remember the old adage, either use it or lose it.

Front Garden Competition Revival

Once upon a time many years ago, in fact only as far back as 1979, a group of keen gardeners walked round the Grid twice a year and looked at the front gardens. They then decided which was the best and a silver platter was awarded. It was held for one year and then the whole process began again. This silver platter was ‘dug up’ and ‘unearthed’ recently after being buried in a loft. It is quite a splendid platter and we would like to reintroduce the best front garden competition again.

Are you a keen gardener? Would you like to be a judge? We would love to hear from anybody who would like to help. Please contact Tina Thompson via this site.

Mary Newstead – just one of our resident expert gardeners – offers some advice on what the judges may be looking for and how you can ensure your garden turns their heads. First impressions are important, and the many lovingly tended front gardens on The Grid are a sign that residents are responsive to this old adage. The forewarning comes at a good time as it will allow you the opportunity to make any changes and/or improvements over the winter months. Here are some ideas of things that can be done that will spruce-up and improve your lot with a view to attracting the attention of the judges next year.

  • If you don’t already have a flower bed, think about creating one. If your front is paved, just lift a few slabs here and there and add some new soil before planting.
  • If you have a specimen tree, consider cutting away lower branches to lift the canopy so you can create a new bed underneath with roses and lavender – a lovely combination – or low box edging to contain plants within the bed like evergreen liriopes, hardy geraniums, box balls and bulbs.
  • Plant a new, low maintenance evergreen hedge like Photinia x fraseri ‘Red Robin’, Griselinia littoralis, Buxus sempervirens or Viburnum tinus ‘Eve Price’ for flowers and scent. All will need only a gentle prune once a year.
  • Plant roses. Now is a good time to buy bare-root roses direct from the supplier – much cheaper than buying them in containers. Roses make a wonderful hedge if you choose the right variety such as Queen of Sweden and Harlow Carr both highly fragrant and repeat flowering. The species Rosa rugosa ‘Alba’ is also fragrant and has the added bonus of orange hips in autumn/winter. Go to for more choice.
  • It’s still not too late to plant bulbs for a window box or container display. Try for a fabulous choice of tulips and alliums. Although a little more expensive, you can buy bulbs already growing ‘in the green’ next spring from garden centres.
  • As judging time approaches, last minute jobs would be to add a top-dressing of compost to beds to show off plants, freshen up shingle by adding more and keep vigilant for weeds. If you already have a hedge, a gentle trim a few weeks in advance will allow it time to settle into its new haircut before judging.
  • Window boxes and containers may need replanting and shingle on top of the soil will really set off the plants.
  • General tidiness can be tackled nearer the time like sweeping paths and hosing down for an extra gleam. If you have painted walls, maybe a quick lick of fresh paint and, finally, a new front door mat if it takes your fancy.
  • It might be a good idea to make sure your bin isn’t overflowing and, if possible, move it to the back garden until judging is complete.

Mary Newstead
(Read her garden blog for more inspiration

Planning Rules

Meanwhile as the number of sheds in front gardens on the Grid is on the increase, Cllr Guy Humphries explains what is and what is not permissible re front gardens and home extensions. In the first instance if you have queries about whether planning permission is required, a great starting place is the Planning portal web site:

This has a number of the most common projects and covers many of the types of work we see in the Grid. You can also ring, email or see a planning officer at Wandsworth Town Hall. The more information you provide the planners, the more accurate the advice they can provide.

Outbuildings/Sheds Sheds in front gardens do need planning permission and this includes bicycle boxes. The rules for outbuildings in the rear garden are more complex and the planning portal web site again is a good starting point.

Walls You will need to apply for planning permission if you wish to erect or add to a fence, wall or gate and, for a front boundary wall (ie next to the road) depending on the height.

Paving of front gardens You will not need planning permission if a new or replacement paving of any size uses permeable (or porous) surfacing which allows water to drain through, such as gravel, permeable concrete block paving or porous asphalt, or if the rainwater is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally unless the surface is more than five square metres.

Extensions The Grid is not in a conservation area, unlike Sutherland Grove for instance, so this makes some common types of extension a little easier. As can be seen, this whole area is fairly complex, so the general advice has to be; if in doubt, ask. The Planning Department at Wandsworth Town Hall are a pretty helpful team, so please refer to them with your queries.

General enquiries: 020 8871 6636