Merton Council

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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Colliers Wood Library 105-109 High Street, Colliers Wood SW19 2HR

Contact: Consultation and Community Engagement Team 

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions


The meeting was held at Colliers Wood Library, and chaired by Councillor John Dehaney. Twelve residents attended, as well as three other Merton Councillors. The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Merton Health and Care Plan pdf icon PDF 684 KB

Abbas Mirza, Merton Clinical Commissioning Group


Abbas Mirza, spoke about the Merton Clinical Commissioning Group’s plans and the conversations they have been having with residents. A presentation is available in Appendix 1.


Abbas said the role of the CCG is to improve health and well-being, reduce health inequalities, and ensure equal access to quality services. Every year the CCG produces new plans and speaks to residents about services. Since August they have been speaking with community groups across Merton. They are facing a number of challenges including:

           We know patients have to wait longer than they would expect to, to access some services

           The NHS is facing unprecedented financial challenges

           The quality of some of our services are variable

           Not all of our NHS buildings are in the best condition and need repairs

           Having good access psychological therapies remains a challenge

           There is expected growth in our population which will put pressure on services now and in the future

           There is an increasing demand for new treatments and therapies


The CCG has three priorities areas:

Start Well - Integrated support for children and families; Emotional wellbeing and mental health

Live Well - Wellbeing and long term conditions; Mental health and wellbeing

Age Well - Complex health and care needs


Abbas asked residents for feedback on local services. Residents raised issues about delays accessing test results via their GPs, the Diabetes service at Colliers Wood practice, sharing data between different services, obesity and funding for mental health training. Abbas said the CCG is working with Hearts and Minds, who provide training and peer led support. Abbas also referred to work with Public Health on improving services to prevent diabetes. More information is available at    


Leader of the Council

Councillor Stephen Alambritis will provide an update and take



Councillor Stephen Alambritis provided an update and responded to questions. Finances across local government remain stretched and Merton was no exception. The latest Medium Term Financial Strategy shows that there is a budget gap of £19m from 2019/20 to 2022/23. This would be met through a mix of savings and income generation. Much of the cost pressures relate to Adult Social Care where the Council has a statutory duty to provide for some of the most vulnerable people in Merton. The Council has invested an additional £9m in Adult Social Care to help meet these challenges.

Children’s services where the Council is a corporate parent to 135 children and young people are also a high priority. The recent Ofsted inspection found that the Council was good with outstanding features and one of the top ten authorities in England.

Working in partnership with other boroughs has also helped reduce costs. Merton leads a legal services partnership on behalf of four other boroughs; shares regulatory services like licensing across three boroughs and has even let out three floors in the Civic Centre to colleagues in the NHS. Renting out parks has also brought in additional revenue but can cause residents concern which the council is sensitive to.

The new dementia friendly library in Colliers Wood was recently short-listed for the 2018 Library of the Year award. Wimbledon Arts Space is booked up until 25 November and will have a ministerial visit on 11 October.

The Council has created an additional 4400 extra primary school places since 2010 by extending 23 schools and a new secondary school, Harris Wimbledon, has opened in the former adult education site at Whately Avenue. The school will then move to a new building on High Path in South Wimbledon for the 2020 intake and is already oversubscribed. There are now 15 outstanding schools in Merton, including the most recently Harris Morden, a school which had previously rated as inadequate. The Council’s School Improvement Team continues to work across the borough to support schools. In last year’s GCSE results Merton had the highest scores for the Progress 8 school which measures progress from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 4.

There a number of important regeneration projects underway. Clarion Housing is investing £1billion in improving three estates, that will result in better quality homes and no loss of social housing. The More Morden regeneration is back on track, with a new local plan being developed in 2018, and a development partner being appointed to begin works on improving the public domain in 2021. The new £13m Morden Leisure Centre is due to open later in the autumn with a six-lane pool, diving pool, café and gym. The old leisure centre will then be demolished and returned to park land. On Plough Lane work is progressing on the new football stadium for AFC Wimbledon. The club will hopefully move in for the 2020/21 season. There will also be 600 new homes, at least 30% of which will be affordable.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


London Assembly Update

Léonie Cooper AM, London Assembly Member, Merton & Wandsworth


Leonie Cooper, Assembly Member for Merton and Wandsworth, provided an update on the work of the London Assembly. On air quality Leonie said that the Mayor of London has helped make this a clear priority and an important issue. The Mayor had been to visit Putney, one of the most polluted areas in London, and that had prompted action including cleaner buses. Other changes have included the new T-Charge and from April 2019 the Ultra-Low Emission Zone and the Mayor of London’s Transport Strategy is prioritising opening up streets to communities by removing cars. The Transport, Environment and Housing Strategies will need to work in conjunction with the new London Plan. In London it is impossible to avoid building schools in polluted areas but other things can help including planting, healthy streets around the schools, remodelling transport and cleaner vehicles. Looking at other forms of pollution is also important, for example construction, the Environment Committee, which Leonie chairs had made some recommendations to the Mayor for new approaches to reduce impact. Cllr Cooper-Marbiah said that in the case of the Harris School on High Path there would be planting on Merantun Way, a filter on the new building and access would be on High Path, away from Merantun Way.


The Environment Committee has carried out an investigation into fly-tipping and discovered a serious problem across London. Enfield had the highest number of incidents, more than 75,000 in 2016/17. The full report can be found at  


A resident asked about the lifting of the cap on borrowing against assets for local authorities. Leonie said this wouldn’t help council’s like Merton who no longer have any stock but the Mayor would be looking to work with boroughs to make the most of any opportunities to increase the supply of social housing.


A resident asked about cycling and Leonie said that as more intensification takes place the Mayor will be looking to ensure sufficient cycle storage is provided in new developments and to work with boroughs to approve current provision but understands how much pressure Councils are under.


Anyone with further issues they would like to raise with Leonie they are welcome to email


Date of next meeting

October 2019 – date to be confirmed


Councillor Dehaney thanked residents for attending and closed the meeting. The next meeting will be in October 2019, date to be confirmed.