Merton Council

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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Arts Space, Wimbledon Library, Compton Rd, London SW19 7QA

Contact: Consultation and Community Engagement Team 

Note: Postponed from 21 September 

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions

Cllr Paul Kohler



Open Forum

If you would like to raise an item not elsewhere on the agenda please email in advance of the meeting.


A resident raised the issue of litter and maintenance in Dundonald Rec. The parks team have provided the following response:

Dundonald continues to be a popular park, due not only to it location but the facilities on offer too. We recognise that sometimes of the year are busier than others and where we experience this seasonal trend, we ask our service delivery partners idverde to respond accordingly. Within the contract there are no limitation on the number of times that a bin needs to be emptied, it is done as and when required. If there is a particular issue, we look to increase the frequency accordingly. There was a spike when the mobile café was in the park but since its demise, we have not had any report of significant littering issues. If any issues are noted they can be reported online. The playground remains popular as always and as such is subject to wear and tear. The playground is inspected on a weekly basis by idverde and where issues are noted these are actioned accordingly. Where spare or replacement parts are required there can be a long lead in time due to Brexit and the parts coming from Europe, but these units are left in such a way as that they are safe. We aren’t aware of any other live issues in the park. There have been recent works as part of CIL Ward Allocation Scheme funding, and this has meant we have been able to paint a large section of the boundary railings. We continue to work with the local friend’s group on various matters and we’re currently in the process of drawing up a planting scheme with them.


Cllr Fairclough said the Friends group has been given equipment for litter picks and has been working with contractor. Green Flag assessment highlighted issue of bin so is being negotiated with Merton Council.


A resident asked about dockless Lime bikes being left and blocking pavements. Cllr Fairclough said there had been a meeting with Lime as the Council did not have an agreement with the company before the bikes came to the borough. A resident said people can sign up to be paid to move the bikes.


A resident asked about enforcement of 20 Mile Per Hour speed limits. Cllr Fairclough has spoken with Merton Council about the need for traffic calming. Killed and Serious Injury stats increase priority of the road. The Metropolitan Police enforce speed limits rather than the Council. A resident said anyone can contact the SNT to arrange for Speedwatch event where residents work with the police to monitor speeds. 


A resident from the Battles area asked about restriction on dogs off lead in parks being proposed by Friends of Hayden’s Road Recreation. A resident said there was a need for more bins that were regularly emptied, and another said that signage needed if there are restrictions. Kris Witherington said that under the Public Space Protection Order for dogs in parks that  ...  view the full minutes text for item 2.


Update on street names motion


Cllr Kohler explained that a motion had been submitted to Council on behalf of the Wimbledon Forum in relation to streets named after individuals who had been involved in the slave trade. Cllr Holden said his group was did not feel able to support the motion so did not second or vote for the motion. Cllr Brunt said the rules have been changed to allow Cllrs to amend the motions from the Forum in case motions were not feasible.


Kris Witherington, Engagement Manager, provided an update following the submission of the motion from to the Council. Kris has spoken with the Highways team and Street Custodian to get a sense of what our options are. The most salient points are:

  • Changing street legally requires agreement from 80% of residents and the Council would need to compensate residents for the costs they would incur. This would seem prohibitive
  • Drax Avenue is privately owned and therefore the Council doesn’t have the power to change the road sign, we could only suggest to the owners they consider doing so
  • For Marryat Road, Marryat Place and Draxmont these are publicly owned so we could change the signage on those roads
  • In terms of adding some text to the existing signs Highways recommend producing new signs rather than affixing something to the existing sign, which would cost in the region of £250 per sign
  • The Street Custodian suggests engaging Legal to advise on exact wording, and then going to consultation with residents on those roads
  • In terms of the wider issue of street naming the Street Custodian has adopted a policy of using things rather than people for street names, for example on the new Ravensbury estate streets. Southwark is currently running a survey to suggest future names and this is something we could do as well.




Love Wimbledon update

Craig Hurring


Craig Hurring, Chief Executive of Love Wimbledon, said this first forum he has been able to attend and hopes to come to future meetings. Craig has previously worked for South Bank and was involved in similar community forums there.


Love Wimbledon is the Business Improvement District for Wimbledon Town Centre. The BID started a third five-year term in April 2022. The BID as three core objectives

  • Great places, spaces, and experiences
  • Support for businesses
  • Create a greener, sustainable town centre


Places, Spaces, Experiences

There was a Friday Food & Play Pop-up in the piazza during the summer, which had a good cross generational reach and will return in 2023. There will be a Winter Weekender on 26/27 November. This will include a pedestrianised area on 27 November to bring in Christmas markets and a fireworks display.


Support for businesses

Love Wimbledon provide masterclass sessions for businesses looking at key challenges like recruitment and hybrid working. They also host speaker events working with Merton Chamber.



The Greater London Assembly is supporting Love Wimbledon to recruit Climate Change Champions. This involves a sustainability audit of local businesses to help them reduce energy use. Craig is working to engage local businesses to sign them up for this free help.

Love Wimbledon has also added giant planters in the piazza, and hanging baskets outside Elys.


In September Love Wimbledon resolved 21 incidents of graffiti, 29 reports of fly-tipping and six highways’ issues.


A resident asked about cycle parking in Hartfield Walk that has been changed and are now not useable for adult bikes. Craig said he was happy to look into this.


A residents asked about delivery motorbikes parking on Wimbledon Bridge Road, blocking the drop-off spaces for the station. Craig agreed this is a problem and is working hard with Council to get companies to change policies. We have found alternative sites in Hartfield Road and St Georges car park but we need to get companies to redirect their riders.


Cllr Wright asked about attracting businesses and Craig said he thought we have been too modest about what there is to offer, so he is very keen to encourage more businesses. New office schemes help attract new businesses, but it also will help if we can better connect the spaces like the Village, the Common, and Plough Lane.


A resident asked how new businesses coming to Wimbledon benefit the local community. Craig said that Love Wimbledon is funded by businesses but clearly making the high street attractive to residents is essential to everyone’s success. The closure rate in Wimbledon lower than national and slowing down but new additions have been welcome. The BID cannot dictate who comes in but can market the town centre and encourage businesses to move here.


A resident asked about cultural opportunities in the town centre. Craig said is very supportive as we already have New Wimbledon Theatre and the Polka Theatre, but Craig is keen to have more. Love Wimbledon recently worked with Mitcham Photography club to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Climate Action Update

Dominique Hill


The Climate Change team were unable to attend the meeting so this item was not discussed.


Council update

Councillor Eleanor Stringer, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Civic Pride



Councillor Eleanor Stringer, Deputy Leader, and Cabinet Member for Civic Pride provided an update on behalf of the Council Leader. Cllr Stringer said that following the elections in May this was a new administration with new leader and many new councillors. The administration’s top objective is rebuilding pride in Merton by being responsive to resident needs and views and taking innovative approaches to tackling challenges.


The administration has three main priorities:

  • Civic pride:
    • This includes pride in our communities, places, and town centres, as well and our cultural facilities and community sector.
    • We want to make easier for residents to be active in local communities and to invest in our town centres.
    • We also want to focus on basics like keeping street scene, which is why we are recommending not renewing Veolia contract
  • Sustainable Future
    • We want to encourage active travel and sustainable transport including making Merton the best place to own an electric car or e-bike.
    • We want a shift in planning policy to get energy efficient new homes.
    • We want to build 400 affordable properties on Council land by 2026
  • Creating a borough of sport
    • Merton has a huge amount of sporting heritage, including both national and local facilities.
    • We want to get more investment into grassroot sport.
    • We want residents to have healthier lifestyles.


In Wimbledon we need to get the balance between businesses and residents, and work together, as often it is businesses keeping our town centres open. Culture is important is very important and we support the development of a new Concert Hall as long as it is sustainable and will benefit residents. So far, we have had positive discussions with the trust. Cllr Stringer agreed with Craig that we should do more to market Wimbledon.


A resident asked where this new concert hall would be and Cllr Stringer said this on the

Morrison car park.


A resident raised the previous discussion about dockless Lime bikes. Cllr Stringer said we want to make it easy to make to rent electric bikes but need to work through the issues and will have a plan to address these issues. Cllr Alambritis is leading on this and there is also cross-London work on creating appropriate rules. Cllr Brunt Lime app does instruct safe storage and can fine for blocking the highway. The app can also be used to report bikes left inappropriately.


A resident asked how the administration will encourage grassroot sports, and if there will be a sports summit. Cllr Stringer said there is now a Cabinet member for Sport and actions will include investing in facilities in parks, looking at what funding can we unlock for clubs to open-up access, and working through schools and Merton Schools Sports Partnership.


A resident asked about bins in parks and said there is a problem with design of some especially in Garfield and Dundonald Recs. Cllr Stinger said the contract for parks is different to street cleaning, but she would be happy to look into the situation in those  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Date of next meeting

Future meetings:

Wednesday 30 November 2022  7.15pm in Wimbledon Arts Space

Wednesday 22 March 2023 7.15pm venue to be confirmed


Cllr Kohler thanked everyone for attending and close the meeting.


Future meetings, all at 7.15pm

Wednesday 30 November 2022 in the Arts Space at Wimbledon Library

Wednesday 22 March 2023 venue TBC