Local Lib Dems have revealed shock new figures showing that around 4000 workers at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships won't receive the London Living Wage.
Cllr Carl Quilliam, Deputy Leader of the Lib Dem group on Merton Council where the tournament is held, has slammed the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) for not ensuring that contractors receive this wage, despite the Club stating they support the London Living Wage.
The London Living Wage is calculated to ensure workers can cover the cost of living in London and are not forced into poverty.
New figures uncovered by the local Lib Dem’s show that only 1000 workers for the tournament receive a full London living wage, while 4000 contracted-out workers are left to struggle on the legal minimum.
Councillors have had a first look at plans to explain the move to wheelie bins to residents.
By 1st October, every household will have 2 wheelie bins (one for rubbish, one for paper) plus a box for other recycling, and a food waste caddy. And either a wheelie or bag for garden waste if you pay to be in the scheme. Batteries and textiles will also be collected.
At the Sustainable Communities Scrutiny Panel on 21 June, it was confirmed by contractor Veolia that the wheelie bins will be taken one week with recycling boxes the next. Food waste will be collected weekly as will batteries and textiles.
Around 75% of households will also see a change in collection day.
Liberal Democrat Councillors have condemned Labour and Conservative councillors for blocking an inquiry into how the Council could help renters in the borough.
Councillor Anthony Fairclough, Leader of the Lib Dem group on Merton Council said:
"There are around 20,000 privately rented homes in Merton and while most landlords are fine, some are not.
"We pushed for a thorough investigation into the issues faced by private renters in the area, by the Council's 'Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel' - a cross-party group of councillors who examine issues, such as housing.
"Labour councillors on the Panel said that there was nothing that the Council could do to support renters - and felt that an investigation would just get people's hopes up that action would be taken. Conservative councillors on the Panel were not willing to take up the issue either.
"We feel that the Council adminstration's record on housing and supporting renters is a poor one - this is why we wanted a cross-party investigation to suggest some real action that could enable the Council to move forward".
The Sustainable Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel met on 21 June to decide the list of topics it would cover during the next year.
After a fantastic election night (and years of tireless campaigning), local Lib Dems are celebrating the election of 6 incredible new councillors, representing West Barnes, Dundonald and Trinity Wards. The largest group of Liberal Democrats elected to Merton Council.
We want to thank everyone across Merton who gave their support to the Lib Dems on Thursday 3 May.
Your Lib Dem council team - consisting of Eloise Bailey, Hina Bokhari and Carl Quilliam in West Barnes; Anthony Fairclough and Simon McGrath in Dundonald; and Paul Kohler in Trinity - will be working hard to repay the support shown to us by being a strong voice for all Merton residents.
We will always seek to do our best for you and work hard with the rest of the local Liberal Democrat team to deliver on our pledges. Please do get in touch if you have questions, comments, thoughts or anything we can assist with. We'd love to hear from you.
The Council now comprises 34 Labour councillors, 17 Conservatives, 6 Liberal Democrats and 3 residents association councillors. The Labour Party will continue to run the Council.
Together, we can achieve a #FreshStart4Merton!
Did you see the Evening Standard's take on Paul Kohler’s court case to stop the Mayor closing over half of London’s police stations?
The legal action has ensured that no police stations will be sold before the case is resolved.
Paul has done a great job, with the help of many people from across London who are 'crowdfunding' the legal fees. If you are able to contribute to the ongoing costs of the case you can do so here.
We local Lib Dems are proud to have backed the case - Paul is also one of the Lib Dem-backed candidates for Trinity ward at the elections in a few weeks.
We know that any plan to maintain a police station in Wimbledon will require our legal challenge to succeed as otherwise the Mayor's decision to close the station will stand. This is why we offered to work with Labour and the Conservatives when we began this battle back in late 2017.
Only the local Lib Dems along with local campaigner Paul Kohler are taking real practical action to save our police station. At the local elections on 3rd May please back our campaign by voting for your local Lib Dem team to ensure we will retain a real say on the future of policing in our area.
Our 2018 local election manifesto, A fresh start for Merton will be launched here soon.
We're calling for a fresh start on health, housing, our environment - and more.
We want a Council that acts in the interests of all residents in the decisions it takes.
We want an honest and open conversation with people about what’s going on locally.
We're calling for a fresh start for Merton on health, housing, our environment - and more.
The Lib Dem team will stand up for you on the big issues - against cuts to local police and to save Wimbledon Police Station, for investment in our local NHS and care services, fairer funding for our schools and more affordable homes.
We are also working hard for our area on the specific things that make a real difference: making local stations "step-free", pushing the Council to keep on top of litter, flytipping and graffiti, and fighting to ensure that residents are listened to.
Read our 2018 local election manifesto
Merton Liberal Democrats have backed 60 candidates to bring a fresh start to our area. This is the most candidates the party has ever fielded.
You will get 3 votes on Thursday 3rd May and each ward elects 3 councillors. To find out which ward you live in, see here.
Liberal Democrat-backed candidates are as follows:
Housing campaigner John Tippett-Cooper said:
"It's clear that Labour Council bosses are failing renters. There's so much more they could do. By challenging them with difficult questions at Council meetings, we have uncovered that they:
1. Haven't even looked at the idea of a licensing scheme for landlords
2. Failed to prosecute any rogue landlords for providing unsafe accommodation in the last few years (see article in the Wimbledon Guardian)
3. Only secured about 10% 'affordable' homes in new developments in the last year - despite their own target of 40% - making it more difficult for people to get on the housing ladder.
"We're calling for a new "renters' charter", to help protect tenants and give landlords more help and advice - and for the new house-building company set up by the Council to build 50% affordable homes, to help people put down roots in our area."
Government cuts have taken their toll on the money local schools have to repair and decorate their classrooms and buildings.
Local Lib Dems have proposed a new "schools bonus", requiring developers to pay an amount into a special fund when they get planning permission. This can then be used by schools to maintain and improve their infrastructure.
Merton Council is currently looking at putting in place new planning rules so it's a good time to suggest new ideas, but Labour and Conservative councillors don't seem to have any.
Local campaigner and parent Anthony Fairclough said:
"Our local area desperately needs some new ideas and a fresh start. I'm so pleased to back this schools bonus - a great idea to give back to the community. Everyone deserves the best start in life and a top quality education. Ideas like this would help teachers provide a great environment for learning".