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Save Deen City Farm!

(52 Posts)
TheHouseofMirth Mon 10-Jan-11 21:48:50

As Wombly said on another thread, due to massive funding cuts from Merton Council, the future of Deen City Farm is looking uncertain.

The best way to help and show your support is to visit the farm but also here is a link to an online petition you can sign.

I love Deen City Farm, it's a brilliant place to go and although my sons have never been very bothered about the animals they have played countless games of hide and seek in the gardens.

Presumably, if they can find alternative streams of revenue then that will protect them I've often thought the cafe is pretty dire and that they might have more customers if they sold better food. Do any other Mumsnetters have any ideas for ways they could make more money?

wombly Tue 11-Jan-11 12:23:14

Oh, well done, House of Mirth! I just drafted a thread but discovered that it couldn't go on Mumsnet campaigns sad.

I might put it on The Tack Room for other horse-mad people. grin We love the animals in our family, most especially the horses.

domeafavour Thu 13-Jan-11 16:39:06

was just going to suggest we make this a bigger campaign?

TheHouseofMirth Thu 13-Jan-11 20:20:19

What do you suggest domeafavour?

domeafavour Thu 13-Jan-11 21:29:58

Oh I've no idea! Never been involved in any campaign but would join in for this one!

wombly Fri 14-Jan-11 11:34:57

There's a Facebook campaign which local children are actively supporting. I'm not very au fait with Facebook, but you can add Deen City Farm as a friend, I think, and certainly you can 'like' it; and you can add comments to the farm's wall.

It would be good to write a short letter to the local press if you had time. The Wimbledon Guardian (freebie) has been covering it, but letters to the Editor are always good. They can be sent in by email. That freebie magazine, Time and Leisure, would probably be supportive if they got letters from readers.

Also we should all be lobbying our ward councillors (details here.) If all the councillors got emails about it, it would really make an impression. Ward councillors are there there to represent people who live in their ward, so they take emails from people in their small local area very seriously. There are three councillors for every ward, so email all three of them for your area.

PheasantPlucker Fri 14-Jan-11 11:40:19

Count me in. My two children love Deen City Farm, and the staff have usually been lovely to my eldest daughter, who is a wheelchair user.

I agree the cafe is terrible. I am sure they could make more money if they made some changes there - like the V&A's campaign in the 80s!

Is Time and Leisure the glossy freebie?

wombly Fri 14-Jan-11 11:42:29

Yes, it's the glossy one edited by Tony Kane.
This is the local Wimbledon Guardian website.

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 14-Jan-11 11:47:47

I have signed the petition. Also, if you're interested, Ken Livingstone is doing a 'TellKen' meeting on Monday 17 Jan, at Merton Hall, 78 Kingston Road, from 6.30 pm

The purpose of the meeting is:

"to hear your views on issues such as transport, local policing, cuts and loss of job opportunities, the problem of young (and older) people getting affordable housing in the area they grew up, and any other issues you'd like to raise"

... so sounds like a good forum to vent any concerns.

You may already have had a letter if you're a Wimbledon resident (I delivered a whole load around the streets local to me!). If you haven't, contact Emma Nye, who is the local Labour Pary organiser, on 0208 540 5151.

And let me know if you're going and I'll meeet you there!

PheasantPlucker Fri 14-Jan-11 11:56:16

I can't BIWI, it's dd1's 10th birthday, which (bearing in mind her early arrival and many hospitalisations) is quite a landmark Chez Plucker! (Otherwise I would have - albeit minus a post-meeting vino. It being January, the month of misery, and all that.....)

Thanks Wombly, I know the one.

gottasmile Fri 14-Jan-11 12:02:12

I've just signed the petition - let's hope it helps.

wombly Fri 14-Jan-11 12:09:38

When HouseofMirth started the thread, there were 288 signatures, and there are now over 400, which is fantastic! smile

This is the Time and Leisure website.

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 14-Jan-11 13:05:58

I was 401!

TheHouseofMirth Fri 14-Jan-11 19:26:06

Rather than just going off and doing stuff by ourselves would it make more sense to contact DCF and offer them our help/support?

Apart from our enthusiasm and our experience as visitors to the farm do any of us have any relevant professional expertise or useful contacts?

BecauseImWorthIt Fri 14-Jan-11 20:54:37

The most useful contact I can offer is my attendance at the TellKen meeting! But I am a Labour Party member - could see if there's any local support.

wombly Sat 15-Jan-11 00:49:22

We do need to tell our ward councillors they've voted the wrong way as far as we're concerned. They are meant to represent the local electorate, and it's hard to imagine who among Merton residents would want to see a cut in funding to Deen City Farm. There are a million things I would like them to stop wasting money on - areas of abject waste and extravagance aren't exactly hard to identify.

A2363 Sun 16-Jan-11 09:28:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MaeMobley Sun 16-Jan-11 09:34:07

I was 426 on the petition.

bigcar Sun 16-Jan-11 10:12:32

bumping smile

wombly Mon 17-Jan-11 17:22:06

It's 437 now, MaeMobley. So satisfying, watching it go up. smile

wombly Mon 17-Jan-11 22:33:34

I just found this on the petition site - one of the signatories said the following:

"Merton Council Chief Executive Ged Curran's pay packet to April 2010 was £215,546, up £17,000 on the previous year's. Children, Schools and Families director Yvette Stanley, up from from £125,000 to £142,976. Environment and Regeneration Director Chris Lee, up from £105,018 to £107,202, and Community and Housing Director Simon Williams, up from £142,998 to £155,489. On top of this, the council's Director of Corporate Services received an £18,000 pay and pension rise. I think can see where the money to keep Deen City Farm open and prospering could be found...."


wombly Thu 20-Jan-11 12:13:50

Did Ken Livingstone have anything to say on keeping the farm open, BIWI?

BecauseImWorthIt Thu 20-Jan-11 18:32:34

Sorry - I didn't ask the question - I lost my bottle blush

TheHouseofMirth Thu 20-Jan-11 20:58:21

BIWI was he good? I think I'm a little bit in love with Ken..

Anyhoo, what's next? Shall we approach DCF and see if they have a campaigning committee we can offer to support?

Does anyone have any council contacts? I'd love to know if this is a done deal or not then we'd know whether to concentrate efforts on leaning on the council or fund for raising. I am bloody shocked at those payrise figures: 14%? for Yvette Stanley? What a joke!

wombly Thu 20-Jan-11 21:06:32

Yes, I agree, HouseofMirth - we need to know what the process is re the council grant. I'm resisting contacting DCF because I'm so busy I can't afford to get sucked in, IYSWIM.

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