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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre

Contact: Consultation and Community Engagement Team 

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


The meeting was held at the Civic Centre, and chaired by Councillor Pauline Cowper. 17 residents attended, as well as four other Councillors, and officers of the council and its partners. The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Healthwatch Merton pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Update from Erin Cowhig Croft, Information and Outreach Officer


Erin Cowhig Croft, Information and Outreach Officer for Healthwatch Merton gave a presentation on the role of Healthwatch and the local issues they are currently working on. The presentation is attached to this report.


Locally the main issues Healthwatch are currently looking at:

              Wilson Health Centre

              Local Health and Care Plan

              Health and Wellbeing Strategy

              Improving Healthcare Together 2020-30

              Enter and View on the mental health step-down service

              NHS Long Term Plan


A resident asked about public involvement in a consultation on assisted dying. Erin said she was not aware of any current consultation on this issue but any proposed change in services should result in a public consultation. Erin was also asked about pollution and air quality and explained that Healthwatch’s remit covers health and social care services so this would be outside their area but air quality does feature as an important issue for Public Health and will be in the Health and Wellbeing Strategy. Erin also explained that Enter and View visits were usually prompted by reports from service users or carers, for example at Springfield the visit was in response to concerns raised by charity Rethink, the local branch of the national schizophrenia society.


Erin was also asked about Healthwatch’s role on the Health and Wellbeing Board. Erin explained that Healthwatch is there to represent the views of residents and service users, not to take a view of their own. The Chair and Manager of Healthwatch attend the Board.


Open forum


A resident raised the issue of Thames Water Smart Meters and if they result in increased costs. Kris Witherington said that Thames Water had attended the Wimbledon Forum in the past and that they offered advice on how to reduce water usage and therefore costs.


A resident raised concerns about reduced central government support for local authorities and in particular the increased pressure on social care.


A resident asked how residents would able to find out about decisions taken by Magistrate Courts as these are not covered by local newspapers. It was agreed to approach the Magistrate Court to ask them to attend a future meeting.


A resident asked if anyone else had noticed a strong smell locally and asked if it was associated with the Beddington Energy Recovery Facility. Other residents had noticed a smell.


A resident asked about an unoccupied house on Canon Hill Lane. Councillor Nick McLean said he had been in discussion with officers about this site. The Council has tracked down the company undertaking building works and enforcement action was taking place against a gate built without planning permission.


A resident asked about Crossovers having had a neighbour been given permission to install a crossover at an inappropriate site. It was agreed to check with officers if there was pre-inspection of sites, why the cost of applications had increase significantly as well as a specific issue about a business on Central Road crossing the pavement to park.


A resident said they felt the Diesel Levy was unfair to those in Controlled Parking Zone areas.


A resident asked if the Council had responsibility for enforcing overgrown gardens. Councillor Mark Kenny said the Council would take action if the public highway was affected. Obstructions can be reported to the Council at It is also possible to complain about high hedges and this can be done at   


A resident asked if it was compulsory for councillors to attend community forum meetings. Councillor Cowper said it was not compulsory and sometimes the meetings clashed with other events.


Forthcoming events and consultations


Kris Witherington, Merton Council highlighted a number of consultations and events taking place over the next few months

Heathrow Airport Consultation: Proposed changes to airspace and operations that would result from expanding the airport with an extra runway. Closes 4 March.    

Merton’s Transport Plan (LIP3): The plan is in response to the Mayor of London Transport Plan with a focus on improving health, and improving public transport experiences. Consultation from 1 March to 12 April. Details at   

Morden Leisure Centre: Grand opening 30 March 2019, details to be announced soon.

Morden Morden Regeneration programme: Merton Council are still currently in discussions with the GLA and TfL. The responses to the draft Local Plan, which includes the proposals for the regeneration of Morden town centre, will be published on the council’s website by the end of next week. We are also preparing the findings from the public pop-up events and focus groups, which included local primary schools, for publication. Residents can contact the Future Merton team directly or email with any specific queries.

Social Prescribing: Merton Clinical Commissioning Group is inviting residents and local organisations to celebrate Social Prescribing Day at a free event on Thursday 14 March - 1.30pm - 4.30pm. Find out more about the success of social prescribing in Merton and Wandsworth at Transformation House, 66 St John's Hill, London SW11 1AD. See website for details   

Boundary Review: The number of Councillors, Wards and ward boundaries will be reviewed by the Local Government Boundary Commission for England in 2019/20 for the new arrangements to be in place by the 2022 local election. They will be holding a public meeting in Merton to explain the process to resident’s groups and voluntary sector organisations on Tuesday 2 April at 7.15pm in the Council Chamber.

Community Infrastructure Levy Ward allocations: Every electoral ward in Merton is to be given a grant of £15k for neighbourhood projects which enhance the local area. The application process will begin by 1 April and all projects will need to be endorsed by local councillors.   

Eastern Electrics: Following the approval for the event license covering 3 and 4 August 2019 they were invited to attend the Community Forum. EE felt the meeting came to soon for them as they haven’t sufficiently developed their plans for the event yet. They will be organising their own public meeting in March/April and this will be shared as soon as a date is confirmed.

Antiques Roadshow at Morden Hall Park: On Sunday 2 June Antiques Roadshow will be filming at Morden Hall Park. Entry to the show is free, everyone is welcome, and no tickets or pre-registration is required. Car parking will be for pre-selected participants only.


Date of next meeting

7.15pm Wednesday 16 October2019  - Council Chamber

7.15pm Wednesday 26 February 2020 - Council Chamber


7.15pm Wednesday 16 October2019  - Council Chamber

7.15pm Wednesday 26 February 2020 - Council Chamber


Councillor Cowper thanked residents for attending and closed the meeting.