Merton Council

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Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Arts Space, Wimbledon Library, 35 Wimbledon Hill Rd, London SW19 7NB

Contact: Consultation and Community Engagement Team 

No. Item


Welcome and Introductions



Open Forum


A resident asked about the extension of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone and support for vehicles that were not compliant at manufacture but have since been modified. The resident also said that he thought Merton Council could communicate the plans more effectively. Information about ULEZ is available from Transport for London.


A resident about reducing plastic use in Merton and suggested the Council works with Love Wimbledon, Supermarkets and others to reduce use. This could include avoiding using wire ties to put up notices and not re-using them. Cllr Kohler said this could be raised around new waste collection contract and can raise with Love Wimbledon.


A resident asked about COVID booster clinics as they have found a shortage of appointments in Wimbledon. Kris Witherington said that have been walk-in clinics in Wimbledon, and the final one is on 23 June in Wimbledon Library.


A resident said that the bins in Dundonald Rec are not fit for purpose, often overflowing and damaged. Cllr Kohler said in South Park Gardens they are putting signs up to say take rubbish home if the bin is full. A resident said that in Morden Hall Park the National Trust removed bins and that has reduced. A similar experiment was tried in Wandle Park but this did not work and the bins were restored. A resident said solar bins have worked well but can get grubby which puts people off using them. Cllr Fairclough said contract for parks is up for renewal so can be raised as part of that process and in Dundonald Rec domestic waste also being left causing a problem. Cllr Holden said more enforcement in parks would be welcome.


A resident asked about tree management as some trees have been pruned but others not. Cllr Stringer said Cabinet is reviewing a new Tree Strategy on Monday 19 June, which includes maintenance of council trees. Cllr Fairclough said Merton Council has just finished this year’s window for pollarding having had to catch up from COVID staff shortages. Residents can report specific problems to Merton Council and their local Cllrs. There is also a list of scheduled tree work on the council website.


A resident said that the roundabout at top of Kingswood Road was not being looked after, this will be raised with the Highways team.


A resident asked what Merton Council’s policy on potholes and road repairs was. Cllr Fairclough said there is a ranking for roads to be resurfaced and a set depth for potholes before they are repaired. Residents said that reporting potholes usually resulted in prompt action.


A resident asked about the health implications of mobile phone usage and offered to provide information leaflets to anyone who was interested.


A resident said the issue of the fire in Wimbledon town centre and damage to a restaurant. Cllr Stringer said the council is working with the owners to resolve the issue.


Update on Street Names Consultation pdf icon PDF 106 KB


Kris Witherington, Engagement and Consultation Manager for Merton Council gave an update on the Street Names consultation which is attached to this report. Kris explained that there had been 833 responses to the report that most respondents were not previously aware of this issue, and a majority were in favour of acknowledging the history.


A resident asked if some people really strongly objected to making changes, and Kris some had done so.


Peter Walker, who had originally raised this issue, criticised consultation due to ruling out changing names outset and that the council had not shared the actions of the families involved with residents. He said that he feared that the council will not take any action. Cllr Kohler said that this was clearly a divisive issue but thought the community could come together to find a solution. It would be up to the Forum to hold the council to account.


Cllr Stringer said it was clear from consultation that most residents are in favour of acknowledging the history and the Council will be looking at how to do this and hope to announce something soon. Cllr Stringer also said the 75th anniversary of Windrush being celebrated next week.



Future of Wimbledon Community Forum


Kris Witherington summarised planned changes discussed at last meeting, with new style sessions based on Question Time and Citizen Assembly formats being delivered by the council but meetings in the current format can continue if residents want. There is a date in the council calendar for the next meeting in Wimbledon of Wednesday 20 September, so it was up to residents and councillors if they wanted to meet on that night. 


Cllr Kohler said he thought meetings should continue and asked attendees for their views.  resident asked about promoting the meetings another asked about signing up for information. Kris explained there is an automated system for signing up for alerts for all council meetings.


A resident pointed out that there was a significant event at All Saints Church this evening and often other community groups don’t attend these forums.


It was agreed to go ahead with a meeting on 20 September 2023.


Wimbledon Park pdf icon PDF 480 KB


Jeremy Hudson, from Wimbledon Society, shared an update on plans from the All-England Lawn Tennis Club for the planning application being considered by Merton and Wandsworth Councils.


Jeremy said that the plans would be impacted by a Supreme Court decision on a case called Day v Shropshire Town Council. The court decided that when a council sold land in public use it should first consult and seek a fair price and as the council didn’t take these steps when the land was sold, the land was held in trust and the planning application they had granted was quashed. 


Jeremy said that as Merton Council did not take these steps in 1993 when land was sold it meant a Trust is still attached to the land that means the freehold is only for public and recreational use.  AELTC said that this case does not apply as land has been in private use as a golf club. Merton Council is seeking legal advice which may hold up the application process.


A resident asked if the use of the golf course by the public was specific to Merton or anyone else and Jeremy said it was for Merton residents only.


Cllr Hall said that the AELTC had announced that they have received 1500 signatures in support of the application, collected by a marketing company, whereas the Save Wimbledon Park campaign has received 11,000.


Date of next meeting

Future meetings: all 7.15pm in Wimbledon Arts Space



Cllr Kohler thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting. 


The next meeting will be 7.15pm Wednesday 20 September 2023, venue to be confirmed