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A resident asked about the introduction of 20 MPH limits Cllr Alambritis said that this was a manifesto commitment, rolling out from East of borough. 20MPH limits are being introduced in many London boroughs as they are shown to reduce road deaths and injuries; there is no evidence that the limits increase air pollution. Enforcement of speed limits is the responsibility of the police but we can take up problems with Transport for London (TfL) if buses are speeding.


A resident said that the traffic lights at Fair Green are causing knock-on effect back to Cricket Green whilst another resident said the reduction in lanes at Three Kings Pond and new layout results in buses blocking junctions and making it dangerous for pedestrians. Cllr Alambritis said traffic lights are programmed by TfL so we can speak to them about the lights and to Highways officers about filter lane at Cricket Green and the road layout around the pond.


A representative from Keep Our St Helier (KOSH) said that the government was now proposing to spend £500m to downgrade the hospital and this will soon go to public consultation. They felt there has been a lack of engagement and scrutiny so far with no detailed plans presented. KOSH would like to meet with Cllr Alambritis to discuss their campaign. Cllr Alambritis agreed with the concerns raised by KOSH and the Council is clear we want to see all services retained at St Helier, including emergency and maternity services. We regularly raise concerns with Merton CCG and Siobhain McDonagh MP has raised this issue in Parliament and with the Secretary of State for Heath. We will consider a judicial review as an option if the consultation is not satisfactory and will push for impact analysis for deprived areas. The Council will look at how to promote the consultation and encourage residents to engage.


A resident raised the issue of the six Clinical Commissioning Groups in south west London merging into a single organisation resulting small group controlling all health spend in the area. They said that Hammersmith and Fulham Council had raised concerns about the CCGs in their area not following the correct legal process.


A resident said that litter on the streets is a significant problem and there are huge issues with fly-tipping. They suggested that lids on recycling boxes would help and asked if fly-tipping had increased since charges for bulky waste had been re-introduced. Cllr Alambritis said that the changes have had some successes with financial savings and recycling up to 45%, with big reduction in the amount going to landfill. In some areas street cleaning is not good enough so we will continue to push Veolia to improve. We will be introducing a new fly-tipping strategy to increase the amount of enforcement. Fly-tipping is a national disgrace, so increasing the amount of enforcement and education was vital. We name and shame those who go to court as well as feature the issue in My Merton and can raise with Wimbledon News about covering this as well. Cllr Alambritis said bringing back charges for bulky waste was a difficult decision due to the financial constraints on the council. Cllr Joan Henry said she has been working with Street Champions to help educate local residents on what rubbish to put out and when.   


Cllr Chung shared an update from Veolia on issues in Rowan Road & Rosemead Avenue following a site visit organised by Siobhain McDonagh MP:


“Previously, we only used one beat sweeper to cover this area. After several meetings with the Council Neighbourhood Client Team, we identified that our resource in this area for sweeping was not sufficient to manage with the volumes of litter accumulating on a weekly basis.


We have now facilitated an additional sweeper to this neighbourhood (3 weeks ago) and streets are now looking visibly cleaner than before the additional resource arrived.

We manage these sweepers, and meet them on-site throughout the week. We are confident that standards have improved and will continue to do so.


Fly-tip levels are very high in this neighbourhood but we are reassured by the work that the Merton Council Enforcement Team take to try and catch perpetrators and issue Fixed Penalty Notices. We task a fly-tip removal cage to this Ward on a daily basis.”