Abbey News

Please find below our monthly ‘local news’ email for August. This month we cover our calls for urgent action following a damning report into Merton Council, changes to planning regulations and information about the flu vaccine. Plus other news in brief.

We also wanted to let you know that we are here - please don’t hesitate to get in contact if we can help with anything. 


On behalf of the Abbey Lib Dem Focus Team


1) Calls for urgent action following damning housing decision report

Local Liberal Democrats have called for urgent action following a report by the Local Government Ombudsman into the case of a Merton resident who was forced to give up a job in London when Merton Council housed his family in Birmingham. 

Liberal Democrat councillors have written to the Council asking what steps are being taken to avoid this happening again, and requesting a review of everyone who has been housed outside London in the last 2 years. More information is available on our website.

2. Merton Lib Dems slam Conservative housing hypocrisy

Merton Liberal Democrats have condemned the Conservative Government’s plans to remove planning controls on speculative developments at the same time as local Tories are campaigning against affordable homes in Wimbledon. Find out more about the Government’s plans, and the Liberal Democrat’s alternative proposals on our website.

3) Winter Flu vaccine 

We’ve been asked to share this survey about the winter flu vaccine. It takes about 5-10 minutes to complete and the information will help the NHS to develop effective messages about the vaccination. Those most at risk from the flu are also most vulnerable to Coronavirus. We must do all we can to help protect them this winter. The survey is open until 1st September and can be completed here.

Other local news in brief

  • Call for name-blind recruitment to improve Council diversity. Liberal Democrat councillors have demanded that Merton Council implements a name-blind recruitment process after it was revealed that it has a lower proportion of BAME senior managers than the average for councils across London. Cllr Eloise Bailey has written to council bosses urging them to adopt this tried & tested approach, which is backed by the CBI. More information here.
  • Changes to free travel for under-18s. We have received an update from a Transport Minister outlining the planned changes to free travel for under 18s in London. Details are available on our website.
  • Wimbledon Foodbanks (with locations across the borough) are currently seeing increased demand and fewer donations. You can help by donating food at one of these locations.
  • Merton’s Great British September Clean. Keep Britain Tidy’s (rescheduled) national clean up event will be held on the weekend of 26th & 27th September. Sustainable Merton are calling on residents to hold small group litter picks (with up to 5 family and friends), or pledge to do an individual litter pick. You can find out more, and register, here.
  • Support English language teaching schools. While some local authorities gave  English Language Schools COVID business rate relief/grants, others followed the line of Merton Council, who refused support to the borough’s three English Language Schools. Please consider signing this petition calling for all English Language Schools to receive support. 
  • Extra adult learning courses for residents affected by Coronavirus. Merton Council has secured funding for 900 extra places on adult learning courses for residents who have been affected by Coronavirus. The funding is for courses for residents who have been furloughed or made redundant, as well as those who have been shielding without access to technology. Find out more on Merton Council’s website.

Coronavirus information

  • All Government information on coronavirus can be found on 
  • Merton COVID-19 Community Response Hub was set up to help isolated households and those at risk from COVID-19 in Merton. You can find out what support is available, including information in a range of languages, here.
  • Merton Coronavirus support. A number of other organisations are also providing support to Merton residents throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.

Keeping up to date

Reading this email forwarded to you from a friend or neighbour?  It's easy to keep up to date with local news and events by joining our mailing list here You can easily unsubscribe again at any time you choose.

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Barry Smith

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