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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Council chamber - Merton Civic Centre, London Road, Morden SM4 5DX. View directions

Link: View the meeting here

No. Item


Apologies for absence


Apologies were received from Sarah Goad (Chief Executive Officer Age UK Merton) and Dr Sayathan Ganesaratnam (GP Principal).


Declarations of pecuniary interest


There were no declarations of interest.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 117 KB


RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting held on 28 November 2023 were agreed as an accurate record.


NHS Estates Update

A verbal update to be provided at the meeting.


Mark Creelman introduced the item.


With regards to the Rowans, they spoke with a small group of councillors today and planned a workshop with the Primary Care Network (PCN) to gain thoughts on services to go alongside GP appointments.


The team reached out to the local authority regarding the community space and the scout hall to ensure that this was included in the plans. Within the business case they anticipated, including the development and construction, that the open date would be 1st Sept 2026. The timeline incorporated approximately 10 months for construction and 8 months for fit out work. As they were currently writing the business case, the dates provided were indicative. The right conversations were taking place with the developer and PCN.


In regard to The Wilsons, the team met with councillors and gained many ideas which they were looking through to assess viability.


Some developments included the MRI scanner to remain on site for the foreseeable future and the team continued to look at breast screen capital. They continued to work through the ideas and review the financials and space.


In response to questions, the following was stated:


·       The date provided was indicative.

·       The plan for the Wilson followed the same process as the Rowans but was less complex. They aimed to provide a timeline in the next couple of months.

·       Offered to come to the resident meeting in February. The Rowans unit was a partnership as although there were primary care facilities, there was also a commercial pharmacist. The scout hall and community space were Local Authority, so it was important for conversations to be aligned. The developer continued to worked with the Local Authority regarding the community space. The chair agreed to share details of the District Commissioner for Scouting if it would help.

·       Agreed to put a full update in writing to the Chair.

·       The Chair was provided with governance on where key decisions were made but they would double check before sharing key names of decision makers, although they did not anticipate that this would be an issue.

·       Sexual health was nominated as an idea. They committed to go through each of the ideas and assess viability. It would not be possible to please everyone, but they hoped to come up with something that made sense for the local community.

·       Through the prioritisation process, Colliers Wood fared less well than others due to affordability. They continued to look at alternatives or changes to the existing premises.

RESOLVED: That the Board noted the report



Safeguarding Adults Board Annual Report pdf icon PDF 3 MB


Aileen Buckton introduced the item.


The report was a statutory requirement that was published by the Adult Safeguarding Board in 2023.


An important aspect of the report was the safeguarding reviews. Another area covered within the report was the role of the safeguarding board and the need to ensure that lessons were learnt when things had gone wrong. However, this was only successful if enough residents understood what safeguarding was and it was there for important to look at how to get the message out to local communities on what safeguarding was and how they could help.


There were two aspects of engagement on a community level which were published in the report.


One was a tragic case of a lady who was supported by her daughters. They looked at ways in which agencies could have intervened earlier and helped to prolong her life. Although the daughters were initially hostile with the team wanting to review their mother’s life, they were now involved with the review and continued to work with the team to promote safeguarding.


Another example was of the safeguarding champions who spoke up and promoted what safeguarding was, as well provided support and training. Safeguarding champions also engaged in the local community to increase referrals.


There was an increased focus to gather more data to help highlight issues. An area explored was of someone who had experienced harm and been through the safeguarding experience and they questioned if they felt listened too, was the referral handled in the right way, did they feel safer and whether they felt differently from the start of the referral process. In Merton, 95% said their expectations were met.


Other data focussed on was the diverse communities within the borough, to better understand how the different communities could be best supported.


As highlighted within the report, the partnership was about training and learning to improve the service.


In response to questions, the following was stated:


·       Data was gathered on different ethnic groups within the Borough to help them address how they could best support those who engaged less. This would be a key focus going forward for Safeguarding Champions.


RESOLVED: That the Board noted the report



Merton Safeguarding Children Annual Report pdf icon PDF 3 MB


Aileen Buckton introduced the report.


The children’s report had similarities to the adult’s report and showed examples of partnership working as well as support from individual agencies.


The report highlighted examples of learning and training and the importance of ensuring that lessons learnt were then carried out across different agencies.


The report covered set priorities for children and young people’s safeguarding. Underneath the framework of priorities was the work done to scrutinise and talk to young people. They hoped that the report highlighted the voice of the child and young person. Merton was ahead of the game by recruiting a young scrutineer to work alongside the independent scrutineer and talk to and support children and young people.


The partnership responded to national and local issues. The report highlighted evidence of how Merton learnt from the publicised case of Child Q and how Merton would deal with adultification amongst young people.


In children partnership there was a real emphasis on Think Family and transitional issues for children and young people moving into adulthood.


The report provided examples of how data had to be used in the right way and the importance of utilising the information obtained.


In response to questions, the following was stated:


·       It was very important to not only provide training but to recognise issues around self-harm and suicide. Through a multi-agency group, they were able to support professional agencies in there day to day practice and provide suggestions which would help staff.


RESOLVED: That the Board noted the report.



An update on the Joint Targeted Inspection

A verbal update to be provided at the meeting.


Jane McSherry introduced the report.


Before the end of last term, Merton received notification of a joint targeted area inspection on serious youth violence which included inspectors from Ofsted, Care Quality Commission, His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services and His Majesty’s Inspectorate of Probation.


The inspection took place over 3 weeks and looked at how they worked in partnership to keep children safe who were affected by serious youth violence, including those who faced criminal exploitation risks.


Many strengths were found alongside effective working and partnerships. They recognised the strength of Merton’s work with participation and children’s voices being heard and acted upon, as well as the strong learning culture.


Areas were identified for further improvement and through the safeguarding children partnerships, they would develop an action plan that responded to areas of development.


The full inspection report would be published on the 12th February 2024, at which point they would development an action plan and provide an update at the next meeting.


RESOLVED: That the Board noted the report



HWS Priority Report - School Superzones pdf icon PDF 2 MB


Annalise Johns introduced the report.


In 2019, the London Mayor launched grants to help remove hazards from children school runs and Merton were one of two boroughs to secure three £30,000 grants.


The GLA School Superzone represented a 400m radius around a school. Merton’s three superzone schools were Merton Abbey, Abbotsbury Primary and St Marks Primary. It was important to use the funding within areas that may have missed out on resources made available within other areas.


The risks established for each school were as follows:


·       St Marks: Street drinking and mugging.

·       Abbotsbury Primary: Agoraphobia and car dominated threats to children’s school run.

·       Merton Abbey Primary: Air pollution and obesogenic environment

The aim for Merton Abbey Primary was to avoid collision for children who were getting out of cars and to address the high air pollution. Most of the funds acquired was used to appoint an Active Travel Coordinator. All children in school years 3-6 were given cycle training and the Active Travel Coordinator established a Walking Bus for students who lived within 5 minutes of the school.


Abbotsbury Primary highlighted an increase in agoraphobia since the pandemic as well as concern for safety of the pupils travelling to school.


Cars were illegally parked on the footway which obscured the view of drivers from being able to see a child crossing the road.


In June 2023, they met with year 5 and 6 students who wrote to the Council and gave them the opportunity to provide improvement ideas.


The Highways Team planned to build a wider and longer refuge island, with works planned to start in three weeks.


As the desired changes would cost approximately £150,000, two further bids were made to the Road Safety Trust for approximately £100,000.


For St Marks Primary School, in January 2023, a walkthrough meeting led by the headteacher took place with the Rest Sleeping Officer, Substance Misuse Officer, Antisocial Behaviour Officer, Parks and Highways, Metropolitan Police, Residents and the Manager of the old Morrisons parking lot. They have since formulated a Street Drinking Task and Finishing group led by Community Safety.


CCTV was installed and a patrolling system was adapted which brought together the Antisocial Behaviour Team and Kingdom. This was paid for by Community Safety, Metropolitan Police and Substance Misuse colleagues. Within three months the headteacher reported no antisocial behaviour and so the CCTV was subsequently moved.


The agriculturalist trimmed back much of the vegetation which meant individuals could see where they were, there was nowhere for people to hide and nowhere to hide knives. Lighting in the area will also be fixed.


In response to questions, the following was stated:


·       The London Mayor had useful data on ULEZ and its impact on children’s asthma. A takeaway from the Merton Abbey pilot was that people did not want to get rid of their cars. To make changes for children’s health, you had to remove the threat of vehicle use around children. A separate asthma pilot was being worked on that involved several schools.  ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.


Young Inspector Membership of HWBB Review (Public Health)

A verbal update to be provided at the meeting.


Russel Styles introduced the report.


Young Inspectors were a group of young people aged between 17 and 24 years old who lived in, studied or were supported by the London Borough of Merton. They supported the Local Authority by inspecting services offered to young people and provided a voice for young residents in a range of different projects and programmes.


The Young Inspector Pilot for the Health and Wellbeing Board began in January 2023.


Anna Huk shared that an encouraging aspect of her role was that the young person centred input was continuously fed into decision making deliberations. The young Inspector input was pivotal and brought in children and young people’s individual needs and feedback gathered from data across various projects.


In response to questions, the following was stated:


·       A follow up conversation was needed to explore ways to increase the voice of children and young people as well as for young inspectors.

·       The Children in Care Council was called ‘Our Voice’ and there was also a Youth Parliament.


RESOLVED: That the Board agreed recommendations