Merton Park Ward Residents' Association


Welcome to the website of the Merton Park Ward Residents' Association (MPWRA). Here's where to get updates on local events and issues, read information behind the stories and give your opinions on things that matter to you by emailing us.   

And be sure to check our Notice Board for future events.

***Our FORUM Newsletter for Autumn 2017***

The Autum edition of FORUM was delivered to every household in Merton Park ward in early November by our wonderful volunteers.  You can read it now if you click here.  Even with eight pages, there was not enough space in FORUM for all the articles we wanted to bring to you.  On this page you can read the bckground to some of the topics we covered.

***Consultations: London's Housing & Merton's Local Plan***

The Mayor of London has published highly ambitious housing targets for Merton in a draft based on the government’s overall housing target for London and the GLA’s assessment of land and housing capacity for Merton. Against a new London target of 66,000 new homes every year, an increase of 35%, Merton would see its target more than trebling from 411 to 1328 new homes each year. This is an increase of 223%, the highest increase of all the London boroughs.

What should residents do?

You can take part in the Mayor of London's consultation on London's Housing by clicking here. The closing date for representations is 7 December.

You can also respond to Merton’s consultation on its new Local Plan which is concerned with where and how those housing numbers can be achieved. This is principally a land use document to replace the current planning policies. The link is here. The closing date is 8 January.

***Development Plans for White Hart Pub***
 
The White Hart pub next to the tramcrossing on Kingston Road lies just one track's width outside our ward.  It has been closed for some time and efforts to re-let it have proved unsuccessful.  The land belongs to the Rutlish Foundation and the Trustees are now considering ways to make better use of the site and hope to submit a planning application in the spring.  They are seeking feedback on initial proposals.  Here are the details already circulated to households living close to the site.
 
The Trustees have invited all residents to an exhibition of their re-development proposals for the pub on Tuesday 19 December between 5.30 and 8.00pm at the Old Rutlishians Association Clubhouse, Poplar Road Merton Park SW19 3JS
 
The Trust itself is a charitable foundation supporting young people who either live or were born in the Ancient Parish of Merton, or who have been pupils at Rutlish School.  It provides study grants for their secondary and higher education.
 

***Morden Regeneration***

There are extensive  plans to regenerate Morden.  This is a truly massive project which will potentially completely transform the look, shape and size of Morden.  The latest news on redevelopment was covered in our Autumn 2017 edition of FORUM.

We devoted our June 2017 Meeting to Morden Regeneration.  Paul McGarry, Head of Future Merton, updated us on the project. Click here to view the slides presented at our meeting.The slides demonstrate that the project has not reached the stage of putting forward specific plans.

Nevertheless, work on the regeneration is picking up the pace.  We are entering a critical period.  A developer will be appointed in the coming months.

Here is the September 2017 update from Merton Council, including comments on the timetable and financing.

There will be further updates in our email alerts (sign up here if you wish to receive them) and we will add to our dedicated Local Issues page on Morden Regeneration as more information becomes available.

 

***Next Meeting, email alerts and joining MPWRA***

Our next meeting is on Tuesday 6 February at 8pm in Poplar Primary School.  Please note the change in day and venue.  The special topic is Future Merton, with particular emphasis on the extensive plans for Morden Town Centre.  Everyone is welcome.

Many thanks to all those residents who display our posters to inform their neighbours.  You can download a poster for the meeting here a couple of weeks before the meeting.

You can sign up to receive our email alerts on important and urgent issues.  Just put "alerts" in the title and your address in the body of your email to us.

We hope that you will feel that you would like to join MPWRA to help support our efforts to look after our ward, including FORUM circulation.  It's easy to join.  Just click here.

***Crossrail 2***

In the November '17 Budget Crossrail 2 received little comment.  The Local Government Association commented: "The government will continue to work with Transport for London on developing fair and affordable plans for Crossrail 2, including through an independent review of funding and financing."

During the year, there has been plenty of discussion about Crossrail 2 (CR2) in recent months, with various statements from the Government and London’s Mayor.  Here are the key points:

In March 2017 TfL submitted an updated business case and funding plan for CR2 to the Department for Transport.  In mid-summer a government minister stated: ". . . a thorough analysis is being carried out by my department to ensure it is a robust scheme . . . The next steps, including when the next stage of public consultation will take place, will be decided as part of this analysis."

In July the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, and Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, both stressed the need for CR2 although the Mayor said the current plans for Wimbledon need revision.  CR2 have stated that Wimbledon is ‘unique’ because of its impact on the Town Centre.

Chris Grayling asked City Hall to see if London can fund half of CR2’s up-front construction costs before he will consider whether to approve the scheme.  He wants to see ‘a funding package which works for both London and the rest of the country and recognises other priorities. . . an affordable scheme that is fair to the UK taxpayer.’

The Mayor added: ‘Crossrail 2 is essential for the future prosperity of London and the South East, so I’m pleased that the Transport Secretary and I have reached an agreement to take this vital project forward.  We will continue to work together to ensure the project is value for money and provides the maximum benefits for jobs and growth in the region over the coming decades.’

TfL are under pressure to improve the affordability of CR2 and increase its share of construction costs.  The next public consultation on CR2 should come in 2018 but only once the Government approves TfL’s revised business case and financing is agreed. The consultation proposals will present a preferred option for Wimbledon, plus three other options, with an analysis which demonstrates why these are not preferred. It is not impossible that one of the non-preferred options could be selected following the consultation exercise.

Potentially the Parliamentary Bill might be introduced in 2019 and passed in 2021/22 (currently scheduled to be an election year).  Construction might run from 2023 to 2033.  However, we have learned that CR2 would not be completed until the 2040s under one option being explored by TfL, as they consider how to fund the project.  Business groups say it would be ‘extremely disappointing’ if the project’s timetable were to be pushed back.

For further background and ideas on Crossrail 2 go to our Local Issues Page .

Michelle Dix, Managing Director of Crossrail 2, recently gave an interview to the Wimbledon Guardian making clear there is "no easy solution for Wimbledon town centre".

 

***Future of Epsom & St Helier Hospitals***

Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust has been consulting on how its services should be provided in the years ahead, defined as 2020-2030. It is generally accepted that the hospital estate is no longer fit for purpose and £16 million has already been spent on urgent repairs at St Helier to stop the rain coming through onto the wards. But for the longer term the Trust is consulting to make the case for £300-400m funding to build a new, acute hospital.

Daniel Elkeles, Chief Executive and Charlotte Hall, Head Nurse presented plausible arguments to MPWRA at our meetings in July and October for concentrating acute facilities in one hospital to deliver A&E, inpatient beds for children and maternity. 85% of patients would continue to receive care at the same hospitals as they do now but care for the sickest and most at-risk patients would be improved by having specialist facilities and consultants on one site, rather than spread across two as at present.

If the argument for one acute hospital is accepted in principle, the critical question then is where it should be sited. The consultation puts forward three options – St Helier, Epsom, and a co-location of Sutton and Royal Marsden hospitals. From the viewpoint of Merton residents, there can be no doubt that St Helier would be their preferred choice, and councillors are united cross-party in pushing for this. There are strong demographic arguments as well; the catchment area for St Helier has the greatest health needs and the most economic deprivation of the three options. The gap in life expectancy is actually increasing between the east and the west of Merton, so re-siting acute facilities away from St Helier into Epsom or Sutton can only exacerbate these inequalities.

Even if Epsom and St Helier NHS Trust is successful in its bid for funding (and this is the fifth set of proposals in 18 years), plans are still subject to statutory consultation which must involve Merton’s Health and Wellbeing Board. The Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) will determine the future of health provision for South West London i.e. Merton/Wandsworth, Kingston/Richmond, Sutton and Croydon. A revised strategy is promised in November – the discussion has some way to run yet before a decision is made.

Learn more about their strategy and the outrcome of their consultation on our Local Issues page.

 

***Voice Your Concerns***

 

Merton Park Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) have a new website to let you tell your local police about the issues the matter to you.  The count restarts every month to reflect current issues.  Go to this link to take part.  You can follow our SNT on Twitter @MPSMertonPark and "Merton Park Police" on Facebook.

 

***Morden Depot Expansion Cancelled***

 

We reported in our Spring 2017 FORUM that TfL were planning to expand the capacity of their Morden Depot to enable a significant increase in the volume of journeys along the line.  An additional 17 trains were to be bought so the Northern Line could run 30 trains per hour at peak times.  We have discussed the plans with TfL since then, so were surprised to be told in early October that the plans, due to be rolled out at the end of this year, have been ‘paused’.

In further discussions with TfL we were told that they will be able to increase the frequency of their existing trains without the immediate need to purchase new trains.  The reasons given were changed timetabling and the impact of capacity increases coming our way from the Elizabeth Line (Crossrail 1).  One can hear the faint sound of TfL ‘whistling to keep its spirits up’: timetabling may help a bit but CR1 is an East-West line which will give little relief to the Northern Line.  The news will come as a blow to TfL’s suppliers who had expected these plans to proceed until very recently.

New timetables will be introduced early in 2018 so we will see if there is an improvement.  Of course, the ‘pause’ will mean no disruption from the planned expansion of Morden Depot, although some necessary upgrade to electrical supplies will still be needed.  The greater concern is that this effective cancellation, at such an advanced stage, signals a lack of funds for TfL to carry out its many programmes.

The previously planned works are outlined in this presentation.

 

***Plans to Close Wimbledon Police Station***

 

Consultation outcome: 

MOPAC has announced the planned sale of Wimbledon Station to realise £7 M and save £444,000 pa running costs. It is expected that the disposal may take up to two years to go through.

24/7 front counter provision for Merton will move to Mitcham Police Station.

MOPAC says “While opposition to these proposal was significant, there was no specific proposal set out by respondents which would allow us to revise our plans whilst also meeting the requirements to make significant savings across the MPS estate, and ensure capital receipts are as high as possible.”

Mitcham front counter will be refurbished and upgraded before the move in early 2018

Plans are also being developed for the possible merger of four Boroughs into the ‘South West BCU’ as London moves from 32 Boroughs to around 12 BCUs.

Background:

The Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) consulted (closed 6 October) on proposals to close police stations across London as part of cost saving measures designed to save £400m by 2020.  Wimbledon Police Station would close and policing operations would  transfer to the Mitcham Station;  the Wimbledon Station would be sold for redevelopment.  (The existing 24/7 front counter is at Wimbledon. The MPS proposes moving this to Mitcham which is currently a daytime facility. Wimbledon Station could then be sold and response policing will probably be based from Mitcham along with SNT staff. It is anticipated an office/base for local SNT staff will be required in Wimbledon.)

The MOPAC strategy which was the subject of the consultation can be accessed here.

MPWRA submitted a formal response to the consultation which you can read here.

 

***MP2 CPZ and Car Clubs***

The new Controlled Parking Zone MP2, was introduced in the roads near the Nelson Health Centre in August.  The scheme, which was taken to consultation at the request of residents, does seem to have had a significant visual impact on the area and allows residents to park near their homes.  We are pleased that it has eradicated some dangerous parking especially on street corners.

Watery Lane was included in the initial stages of the consultation but was not included in MP2.  Following discussions with the council, a separate consultation is nearing completion which would see the road joining MP1.

We are observing Merton’s new involvement with Car Clubs.  The scheme, introduced earlier this year, may well encourage some road users to use club cars rather than buy their own.  It provides both petrol-driven and electric vehicles and allows cars to park in CPZ bays.  We welcome the idea but have told Merton it should not be introduced at the expense of CPZ members.  We have been given an assurance that club cars can be kept out of areas which are too congested to accommodate them by the software controlling the scheme.  This will tell users where they can and can’t park and can be varied over time depending on usage and changing traffic and parking patterns.  Parking revenues will not be affected by the scheme as the operator will reimburse the Council for usage as well as paying penalty notices.

Learn more about Car Clubs in Merton.

 

***Waste Collection Proposed Changes***

 

Merton  is  going  ahead  with  plans  to  introduce  wheelie bins  for  all  waste  collections  as  it  joins  a  multi-borough scheme: South London Waste Partnership (SLWP) covers Merton,  Sutton,  Croydon  and  Kingston  Councils.  SLWP has  chosen  Veolia  to  handle  waste  collection  and  street cleaning services across the four boroughs.  Veolia took over the service in early 2017 and the scheme itself will start in 2018. They will collect:

•  Non-recyclable  rubbish  fortnightly from  a  240  litre wheelie bin
•  Paper  and  card  from  another  240  litre  wheelie  bin fortnightly
•  Plastic, glass and tin fortnightlyfrom a 55 litre box on alternate weeksto paper and card
•  Food waste collected weekly as now
•  Garden Waste fortnightly as now for an annual fee

See Local Issues for the background to this item.

 

***Air Quality Action Plan***

 

Poor air quality in the borough is a major cause of concern for residents, businesses and visitors.  Merton has produced a Air Quality Action Plan (AQAP) that builds on existing measures and develops several more actions to improve air quality.  The council held a consultation on the AQAP to hear the views of residents, residents' groups, businesses and visitors to the borough.

The consultation ran until 2 November.  This link takes you to the AQAP report and the consultation

         

 

 

***Property Company for Merton***

Like other local authorities, Merton council owns many sites around the borough; some are shops, offices and commercial premises (particularly in Morden) while others are undeveloped land.  Council policy has been to sell surplus sites to developers through a competitive bidding process. Although this generates a one-off capital receipt, the council does not benefit financially from the site once developed and capital receipts cannot be used to meet revenue needs, such as adult social care.

As the demand for property to rent is growing strongly, Merton has formed a Local Authority Property Company (LAPC) with the aim of developing its own housing for private rent.

For more details see Local Issues.

 

***Closure of John Innes Path***

 

The path to take walkers around Rutlish School from John Innes park to John Innes Recreation Ground was opened on 5 September.  The path was originally scheduled to be completed by February 2017.  The works finally received planning permission in March but work was delayed until July after the exam period.  The planner's report can be viewed here.

Further details on our Local Issues page.

 

***New Community Scooter Park***

 

Poplar Primary School have created a Community Scooter Park - believed to be the first in the UK.  Their Crowd fundraising Campaign  successfully raised £20,000 just before its self-imposed end-April deadline.  You can watch the scooter park in action and learn more about the scheme in this video .

We are thrilled that the school has brought derelict land back into use for not only the school but the whole community.  MPWRA members organised a collection and donated a bench for the planned natural area which will be planted with bluebells, snowdrops and spring bulbs.

 

 

***Our Health, Our NHS***

At our September 2016 meeting senior managers from Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust talked about the challenges (there's that word again) facing the Trust.

For more details of the Trust's Estates Review click here and to learn more about the Trust itself click here .

And Healthwatch Merton News -  click here

 

***Morden Leisure Centre and Morden Park Playing Fields***

 

Plans for Morden Leisure Centre have been approved by Merton's Planning Applications Committee.  Merton's latest information (August 2017) on the Centre is here .

Read previous updates on the scheme to build a replacement Leisure Centre in Morden Park.  (Chris Parsloe, Merton's Leisure and Cultural Development Manager, talked to us about the new Centre in November 2016.)

There are also plans to build an inclusive outdoor sports facility under the auspices of the Morden Park Playing Fields Community Trust.  These plans were delayed so that they could proceed in step with the new Leisure Centre.  The plans can be viewed here

Together these two projects promise to transform a large part of Morden Park.

 

***Meetings, News & Membership***

You can download details and a poster for our next meeting normally two weeks before the meeting (held on the first Wednesday of the month) by clicking here.  If you can, please print and display the poster to let your neighbours know what's in store.

(We hold an open meeting every month (except January and August) with specialist speakers, always leaving time to question our Independent Ward Councillors.) 

 You can also  sign up to receive email alerts on important and urgent issues.  Just put "alerts" in the title and your address in the body of the email.

Without financial support we cannot exist.  If you would like to join us to help us to support you and your neighbours and keep you informed of all important issues (and keep Merton Park Independent), please click here to download, print off and return the membership form.

 

***FORUM*** 

Our newsletter, FORUM, is compiled, edited and distrubuted by our volunteers.  We hope you enjoy it and that you will feel that you would like to join MPWRA to help support our efforts to look after our ward, including FORUM circulation.  It's easy to join.  Just click here.

 

***Other News***

 

Smart Water:

Learn more about this property tracking system here

 

This website contains:  

Notice Board
See what's happening around your area - social events, advice, support, etc, submitted by you.
 
 
 
Local Issues
News of relevance to our Ward; issues of interest to our residents.   For example:
     
     Morden Town Centre Development     
     Nelson Hospital     
        
 
 
About Us
Learn more about MPWRA, including our history, organization, objectives and meetings.  
Find out how to contact  or join us.
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Ward
See a map of the ward, information about your local services, policing, health and some familiar sights.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Our Councillors
Merton Park Ward's Independent Councillors, including their contact details.
 

Useful Links

          Police, schools, council services, and more.