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Agenda and minutes

Venue: This will be a virtual meeting and therefore will not take place in a physical location, in accordance with s78 of the Coronavirus Act 2020.

Link: View the meeting here

No. Item


Apologies for absence


No apologies were received.





Declarations of pecuniary interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 67 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 23 March 2020 are agreed as an accurate record.


The Council's response to the Covid-19 Pandemic pdf icon PDF 94 KB


The Chair welcomed everyone to the first virtual meeting of Cabinet which was being broadcast on YouTube.


The Chair expressed pride at the work done to keep people safe and to support the most vulnerable in Merton and extended his condolences to the families of the 64 Merton residents who had lost their lives to Covid-19.


Merton had almost 3000 vulnerable residents classified at most at risk under Operation Shield and the Council had contacted each one to ensure they were supported and cared for. 


The Chair thanked teams from Finance and Business Rates for diligently supporting the borough’s local small businesses. The Council was in the top 3 boroughs in London for the percentage of grants distributed to local businesses in Merton to help them through the crisis.


At the invitation of the Chair, the Chief Executive placed on record his thanks for the work of all the staff in Merton to keep services going in these very difficult circumstances. He also summarised the organisational framework, both in Merton and regionally, as referenced in the report.


The Chair invited contributions from the Cabinet Members as follows:


The Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, Health and the Environment thanked the Director of Community & Housing and the Director of Public Health and their respective teams for their exceptional responses. He gave an update on hospital discharges, capacity and bed availability in care homes, PPE and access to testing.


On the agreement of the Chair, he read out a message from the South West London CCG on the NHS COVID-19 response.


The statement paid tribute to all health and care colleagues who were working tirelessly on the frontline to respond to COVID-19, who had shown exceptional resilience and commitment every day by caring for the patients who totally relied on their expertise, compassion and professionalism.  It also described how the four hospitals which served Merton residents – Croydon, Epsom St Helier, Kingston and St George’s were collaborating closely, along with other service providers and GP practices, to ensure there was an effective and consistent approach to patient care.


The Director of Community and Housing outlined the 21 Care homes in the borough receiving daily contact from the Council and Merton had mobilised an oversight group with NHS colleagues, public health and care home representatives. The purpose of this group was to ensure homes with cases of Covid-19 received wrap-around support and an immediate response service, including support with infection control measures and use of PPE.


The Cabinet Member for Voluntary Sector, Partnerships and Community Safety thanked the Borough Commander and Police Team for keeping the community safe. She also expressed thanks to MVSC and the volunteer sector.


The Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance further highlighted the work of the voluntary sector including, AGE UK, FISH, Wimbledon Guild, Wimbledon Food Bank, Commonside Community Development Trust, Dons for Action and Merton Mutual Aid.

He also drew the Cabinets attention to the extent of work being done to tackle hardship in the borough.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Changes to Cabinet portfolios pdf icon PDF 54 KB

Additional documents:


The Chair thanked Councillor Eleanor Stringer for taking on the role of Cabinet Member for Children’s Services and Education; and thanked Cllr Kelly Braund for her work over the last two years as the previous Cabinet Member for Children’s Services.



1.    That the Cabinet notes the changes to the appointments to the Cabinet including their respective portfolios (Appendix A); and

2.    That the Cabinet appointments will be reported to the next available Council meeting for noting and to recommend that the Council’s Constitution is updated accordingly.