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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Committee Rooms C, D & E - Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden SM4 5DX

No. Item


Apologies for absence


There were no apologies received


Declarations of pecuniary interest


There were no declarations of pecuniary interest.



Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 63 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.



Clarion Regeneration


At the invitation of the Chair, Cypren Edmunds, Chair of the High Path Resident’s Association, gave his thoughts on the regeneration project. Cypren discussed Shelter’s ‘vision for social housing report’ and its relevance to this discussion. He explained that despite the positive attributes of social housing, it is looked down upon by many. He told the Panel that although he had previously articulated concerns about Clarion, previously known as Circle, to senior management they had not been listened to and as such the resident’s confidence level is low.

Dave Treanor, local resident, stated he felt that far more families could be housed if non-profit rental was made a priority. He urged Clarion and the Council to split the units as half not for profit rental / half for sale.



Nigel Benbow, Councillor for Abbey Ward, spoke on behalf of his residents who had felt previous meetings with Clarion had been very one-sided without any acknowledgement of the residents’ unhappiness. Despite asking residents to come forward to talk at this meeting, sadly most have given up, thinking whatever they say, will be ignored. He added that he supports the regeneration but does not want to see current residents and maintenance work being forgotten. 

Paul Quinn, Director of Merton Regeneration for Clarion Housing, was asked by the Chair to respond to the speakers concerns.

In response to the comments from Dave Treanor, Paul outlined the Section 106 agreement with an arrangement that any surplus money will get reinvested back into Merton.

In response to Cllr Benbow’s point around people not being listened to, Paul disputed that as based on the extensive consultation so far, Clarion’s feeling is that the great majority of people on the three estates welcome the regeneration plans.

In response to Cypren Edmunds, Paul agreed that the Shelter report is very interesting and Clarion are keen to build as much affordable housing as possible.

The Chair thanked the speakers for coming and Paul Quinn for his comments.

Paul Quinn provided an update report on the Clarion Regeneration. He outlined the progress made thus far and the next steps in terms of planning application dates. Clarion are continuing to run an extensive programme of community engagement.

Clarion recognise there are significant levels of overcrowding in all three sites and all residents, whether homeowner or tenant, will be rehoused in a home of appropriate size.

The Chair asked the panel members for any questions of clarification. In response to member questions, Paul Quinn clarified the following;

  • A panel member asked how Clarion will manage communication with the wider area that is affected by the works. Paul Quinn responded that Clarion acknowledge the need for ongoing communication and to find new ways of engaging. We have been good at formal consultation of forums and letters, but now plan to extend our use of digital consultations.
  • Merton CIL have carried out independent research on how the needs of disabled people can best be met. The intention is to have a bespoke response to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Public health and air quality - a review of parking charges 2 pdf icon PDF 7 MB

Additional documents:


At the invitation of the Chair, the Panel heard representations from Sustainable Merton, LOVE Wimbledon and a local resident.

Diana Sterck from Sustainable Merton explained they fully support the measures set out in the Air Quality action plan but urged the council to use positive communication and other proactive campaigns to encourage changes in driver behaviour instead of pursuing higher parking charges. She asked what action is being taken by the Council on buses as high polluters and fleet vehicles.

Sara Sharp, local resident said that she thought the proposals discriminated against residents in Wimbledon and doubted that the proposals would have an impact on pollution, she thought drivers would seek avoidance measures such as paving over gardens and asked whether there was any evidence that increasing charges would reduce pollution in the borough.

Helen Clark Bell from LOVE Wimbledon said it was regrettable that the business community had not been involved in the development of the strategy so far, questioned the impact that the proposals would have on the level of traffic and whether these proposals would affect trade in the town centre. She quoted that 60% of traffic in Wimbledon is through traffic, and recently Putney changed their buses to Hybrid models and air pollution was reduced by 93%. She requested that the policy of charging for parking after 6pm be reviewed. She also expressed dissatisfaction at the quality of town centre parking, it is not well lit and substandard services are not well maintained.

In response to the speakers, the Director of Environment and Regeneration wished to emphasize that the desired impact of this proposal is improving air quality. Traffic management is one of the methods we have to do it. A lot of work has gone into making the charges proportionate and reasonable and they will be reviewed. The Council will aim to encourage people not to idle in their cars, and do plan to clean up the passenger transport fleet by reducing vehicles where possible and switching to cleaner electric vehicles, we recognise that car parks need to be invested in also and confirmed the business community will have an opportunity to comment during the consultation period.


In response to panel member’s questions, the Director of Environment and Regeneration clarified the following;

  • The Council are planning three policy changes including the diesel levy, parking charge increase and emissions based scheme. Although we don’t currently have an I.T system that can support the emissions based policy at present, we are in the process of procuring one. The Director of Public Health also added there is evidence to support that behaviour change is most effective when done with a multi tool approach.
  • All parts of the borough are different but overall Wimbledon has the better access to public transport.
  • We are in the process of completing our Local Implementation Plan, looking at the transport in Mitcham, the Sutton Link consultation, bus networks and investing more in cycling infrastructure.
  • Although the report states the top polluted roads are  ...  view the full minutes text for item 5.


Business Plan Update 2019-2023 pdf icon PDF 60 KB

Additional documents:


A panel member asked how saving ENV1819-02 (Parking Services) is low risk and low impact. The Director of Environment and Regeneration replied that an old system is currently used and procurement is about to take place of a newer system that will produce virtual parking permits and be more reliable and efficient.

A panel member asked if the reduction of two time staff is viable given the previous discussions around the Air Quality work. The Director of Environment and Regeneration responded that these will be back office staff, not parking enforcement.

A panel member asked for an elaboration on the assumptions made for the figures in ENV1819-03 (Parking Services). The Director of Environment and Regeneration explained it is an estimate and likely to be different in reality. We applied an increase to the volume of transactions and deflated by at least 20% to reflect the change in behaviour.

Councillor Daniel Holden requested, given the previous agenda item, to formally move that this increase in tax be scrapped and Cabinet find an alternative solution. This was seconded by Councillor Nick Mclean. Two vote in favour, five against and one abstention. Motion fell.

A panel member enquired about the reduction in pay and display machines meters. Director of Environment and Regeneration replied that with over 50% of transactions completed via Ringo and the panned further shift towards digital payments, taking out the redundant machines will have no impact.

A panel member asked the Head of Housing Needs, what changed so that CH57 saving could be replaced? The Head of Housing Needs explained that alternative savings were found via housing related support/floating support. With the introduction of the Homelessness Reduction Act and an increase in Houses of Multiple Occupation, the original saving was unachievable without impacting the discharge of these functions.

A panel member commented that the alternative savings of CH35/36 seemed a large amount. The Head of Housing Needs replied that it is one they are confident they can achieve without an impact to vulnerable service users.

The Panel agreed to extend the meeting until 22:30.

The Director of Corporate Services drew the Panels attention to the Service Plans.

A panel member asked about SLWP 2022/23. The Director of Environment and Regeneration explained this recognises the life cycle of wheelie bins.

A panel member asked why so much will be spent on Mitcham when it has already been regenerated. The Assistant Director of Sustainable Communities explained the amount is a provisional allocation for future works.

A panel member requested to know what happened to reducing the fleet vehicles by 10% and using the money saved on capital spend on trees. Director of Environment and Regeneration explained it was considered by Cabinet but not accepted. Cabinet recognised the benefits of this proposal but felt it would generate additional maintenance costs.

A panel member queried why Christmas parking is not mentioned in the savings. The Director of Corporate Services clarified that it doesn’t have a specific budget. The Director of Environment and Regeneration is  ...  view the full minutes text for item 6.


Business Plan 2019-23: savings proposals information pack pdf icon PDF 34 KB

This report is provided separately and will be discussed under Agenda Item 6.

Additional documents:


See item 6


Commercialisation task group - Action plan review pdf icon PDF 61 KB


A panel member asked whether, given the boroughs history with creative arts and film, film rights will be part of the consideration. Director of Environment and Regeneration replied that Communications have a new film right contract.

The Assistant Director of Sustainable Communities gave an annual update report as requested by panel members. Good progress has been made. We are looking at commercialisation opportunities and events through the Greenspaces team, we continue to pursue investment in the Morden area.

A panel member suggested developing a strategy or plan to maximise the brand recognition of Wimbledon to improve tourism/occupancy of hotels. It was discussed that there will be a London Borough of Culture item at Aprils meeting.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 115 KB


A panel member requested that two potential items be added to the work programme – Parks and Keep Britain Tidy. The Director of Environment and Regeneration confirmed he was aware of the Wandle Park pilot of removing bins but has not yet seen the final report from Tidy Britain Group .

A panel member asked whether the panel could have an update on the children’s playgrounds review. The Director of Environment and Regeneration said there is no review planned, but when undertaken the findings can be brought to panel members.

The Chair recommended that ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ item could come to March’s meeting. Director of Environment and Regeneration agreed. The Director also asked Members to note that should the evidence support further action he did not want to delay any progress but was happy to report the findings asap. It was agreed that the findings of the Keep Britain Tidy Group’s experiment in Wandle Park and the action to be taken from it would be circulated to the Panel via email.