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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


Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Mclean (with Cllr Dean substituting).



Declarations of pecuniary interest


There were no declarations of pecuniary interest.



Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 90 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed.



Cabinet Member Priorities


Cabinet Member for Community & Culture - Nick Draper:

Looking back, we have achieved the opening of the new Colliers Wood library, Morden Leisure Centre, arts spaces, recreation grounds. We have begun work on Chapter House and the Canons.

Now we are entering a new phase, my priorities are;

·         We need to work in partnership and with commercial acumen.

·         In Regulatory Services, we are a flagship service for London in Air Quality, alongside Richmond and Wandsworth.

·         Look at the possibilities of Shared Frontline Services and pooled resources instead of the flaws.

·         Adopt a more business-like attitude to events.

·         Work with LoveWimbledon and local residents to for ideas to encourage more growth of Wimbledon Tennis – the biggest tennis tournament in the world. 

·         Adult Education – Working towards Good, then outstanding, and would like Scrutiny input on how to improve.


In response to Panel Member questions, the Cabinet Member for Community & Culture clarified the following;

·         Plans are still ongoing for Merton Borough of Film.

·         We are having conversations with the Transitions Task Group Chair on how to move forward with our Adult Education and SEN offer.

·         We are exploring different ideas in terms of building on the Wimbledon Tennis brand. Twickenham rugby sell paraphernalia etc.



Cabinet Member for Environment & Street Cleanliness - Mike Brunt:

I have smaller portfolio but it includes high impact areas. Now that refuse collection has been rolled out, I intend to focus on;

·         Street Cleaning. We are recruiting three new inspectors. We will focus on high density and high usage roads. Ensure all businesses have a waste collection agreement in place that fits their needs.

·         Fly tipping. Abandoned waste.  We have confiscated vehicles that have been used to fly tip (and crushed two of these where the owners have failed to come forward). Education residents on the issue. Introducing a new and enhanced system with Veolia – tagging bags, searching through and identifying culprits and issuing penalty notices.

·         Local community recycling centres. Work needs to be done so these are used properly.

·         Blocks of flats with less than ten flats. The transition has not been smooth for these residents but we are working through this to make the service better.

·         Online reporting tool needs to improve so that residents can receive feedback.

·         Build on our early successes with recycling. 20% increase in garden waste customers. 58% increase in food waste recycling. Reduction of 330 tonnes per month of waste going to landfill/energy exchange.

·         Plastic bottles, cans and glass. Endorse Michael Gove’s deposit scheme for plastics. We need to encourage businesses to change their behaviour.


In response to Panel Member questions, the Cabinet Member for Environment & Street Cleanlinessclarified the following;

·         Agreed to provide information about cleaners employed today versus the day before the start of the Veolia contract by letter to the questioner.

·         We are considering putting together literature for estate agents to pass to new tenants as well as online education tools.

·         The energy exchange generates electric which feeds into the national grid and hot water  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Development and planning control

Additional documents:


James McGinlay summarised the report.


In response to Panel Member questions; 

·         We have no immediate plans to withdraw Capita support. We use very frugally and it provides resilience.

·         Agreed to provide details of how many appeals logged in a year.

·         Acknowledged that IT system isn’t fit for purpose.

·         Explained that neighbour disputes are determined by making an assessment against specific criteria.



Housing Supply Task Group - Monitoring recommendations

Additional documents:


Final report shared. All recommendations completed.

Head of Housing Needs agreed the task group recommendations helped to focus minds and added value.



Update on the impact of the Homelessness Reduction Act

Additional documents:


The Head of Housing Needs summarised the report as the biggest change in homelessness law since 1977. The threat of homelessness has changed from 21 days to 56 and the Council has a statutory requirement to provide a personalised housing plan to each request. This change in law has increased caseload by 55%.


The Head of Housing Needs answered the Panel Member questions about the report;

·         Section 2.6 highlights Section 21 - Residents feel that the issuing of Section 21 notices can be used in an aggressive way by landlords in response to resident complaints about minor issues. It’s the biggest cause of homelessness in London. The 1988 Housing Act brought in non-fault evictions. Prior to this, it was much harder to evict with regulated tenancies.

·         Government are beginning to look at tenure types.

·         We have been running a rent deposit scheme for years. 22% still in tenancy. Agreed to share statistics of those in private rented and assisted by Merton.

·         The Council carried out an estimated count of 26 rough sleepers in Merton.

·         Government have given some funding towards homelessness prevention.

·         Government are prescriptive in how to allocate – priority need blind but reasonable preference and helping hand up the list given to certain groups (homeless, overcrowded unsanitary conditions, severe medical issues)



Town centre regeneration - Presentation


Presentation given by Head of FutureMerton. A copy of which is attached with the minutes


In response to Panel Members questions

·         Fully agreed that the Council needs to actively designate spots for delivery drivers on bikes, with the rise of delivery apps and the subsequent road congestion. We are working with Deliveroo and other apps to look at designated bays, as well as mapping the area with LoveWimbledon.

·         Concept design for Figges Marsh will be sent to all Councillors shortly.

·         Radical rethinking of the transport network in Morden. Looking at bus driver breaks. Rebalancing the ratio of pavements to road.

·         We have fed back to those residents who participated in our workshops. There will also be a full public consultation before we cement the design.



Performance monitoring pdf icon PDF 55 KB


The Panel appointed Cllr Butler as the new Performance Monitoring Lead.


The full performance figures were unavailable as they were yet to be signed off by CMT. Only Libraries and Housing were provided in time for the meeting.

A panel member asked the Head of Housing Needs for clarification on CRP62 who agreed to come back with the details.



Work Programme pdf icon PDF 117 KB


Change Cllr Mclean as Performance Monitoring Lead to Cllr Butler.


Panel were reminded to complete the 2019 member survey