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LOCAL FOCUS JANUARY NEWS


HORSE DRAWN TOURS OF RICHMOND PARK


Experience a magical horse drawn carriage ride through beautiful Richmond Park. A four-person carriage drawn by beautiful greys will allow you to see the park like never before. The Royal Parks Foundation has teamed up with Operation Centaur to bring you this special 90-minute tour beginning at Holly Lodge – it also includes a unique behind-the-scenes visit of the working stables. This magical nature adventure is on for a limited time. Rides run from 27-29 December and 2-4 January, costing £125 pounds for two people. 020 7036 8040 www.supporttheroyalparks.org


MERTON ADULT EDUCATION AND THE


WHATLEY CENTRE Dear Editor,


Merton Council is considering proposals for changes to the provision of Merton Adult Education – changes that will take effect as early as September 2015. The Council is planning to decide the future of MAE in January, and several groups are working to put pressure on the Council to preserve and protect its provision of adult education. If your readers would like to learn more about the Save MAE campaign, they can follow it on Twitter #Save MAE.


Students at MAE benefit educationally and socially from the courses there: life-long learning opportunities re-skill people for employment, help students to develop literacy, numeracy and IT skills, allow people to learn languages, be creative (and some sell their artefacts). Some students are carers who get respite and support by attending classes; some are vulnerable adults who benefit by getting out, and taking part in learning in a safe and secure environment.


All this is worth the Council’s investment. We don’t know how much it costs to provide MAE, but the 2011 Ofsted report stated that 75 per cent of the funding was provided by Skills Funding Agency. So how much can Merton Council really economise by reducing provision or working in a ‘soft federation’ with Wandsworth or SCOLA? Not enough to justify the effect on thousands of students.


The Whatley Avenue centre is an asset, and it is one that should continue to be used to serve the community by providing education for adults and making beneficial provision for residents. It is not an asset that should be sold so that the capital can contribute to the overall Council budget.


Yours sincerely, Gay Bennett-Powell Education consultant


PUTNEY PHARMACY SCOOPS TOP NATIONAL AWARD


Putney Pharmacy has been recognised as the number one community pharmacy in the UK at the prestigious Community Pharmacy of the Year 2014 awards. The award acknowledges


the best community pharmacy has to offer. Owners Raj and Harsha Vara were presented with their award by the Secretary of Health, Jeremy Hunt MP and Parliamentary Secretary of Health, Dr Dan Poulter at a gala dinner at Park Plaza in Westminster. ‘We are absolutely delighted to have won the award. With so many high-quality pharmacies in the UK, it is such an honour to be win. Putney Pharmacy has a real community spirit. We have completely refurbished the pharmacy and have five consultation rooms used to provide health services, including podiatry, travel health, reflexology, homeopathy and nutrition,’ Raj told T&L. Putney Pharmacy is located next to Putneymead Medical Practice on Upper Richmond Road and is known for its personalised service.


KING’S COLLEGE CROWNED INDEPENDENT SECONDARY SCHOOL OF THE YEAR


Kings College School in Wimbledon has been awarded the Independent Secondary School of the Year by The Sunday Times. King’s has risen up the league tables in recent years, climbing from 17th to 5th in The Times GCSE Results league table in 2014, and in other newspapers it


regularly features in the top three. The Editor of The Sunday Times ‘Parent Power’, Alastair McCall, said: ‘KCS has carried off the remarkable achievement of creating a school with outstanding examination results without the atmosphere of an academic hothouse.’


RECYCLE YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE


Local council Christmas tree collections will take place for Merton residents between 5 and 25 January 2015. Wandsworth & Putney collection service between 5 and 16 January 2015. For Barnes residents collection is between 2 and 15 January. Place your tree on the street on normal collection day.


timeandleisure.co.uk . January 2015 . 11


MONTH


LETTER OF THE


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