At the full Merton council meeting on 15th September Merton Lib Dems will be asking the council to live up to its obligations after its Climate Emergency declaration and divest its pension investments from supporting fossil fuels.
While the eastbound platform at Haydons road station can be accessed without using steps, the westbound platform can't. This is problematic for many residents - especially the elderly, people with disabilities or limited mobility, and families. When planning permission was granted for the development at 1 Caxton road, one of the conditions was that step free access to the platform would be granted via the development. However, no progress has been made as the developer, Merton Council, Govia Thameslink & Network Rail have yet to agree the necessary modifications to the station and means of access.
The work needed to enable step free access in both directions at Haydons Road station is minimal, and it would enable more residents to use public transport.
We're calling on the developer, Merton Council, Govia Thameslink & Network Rail to immediately agree the modest changes necessary to implement step free access as per the original planning permission.
Wimbledon's Liberal Democrats have slammed local Conservative MP Stephen Hammond’s choice to break their promise to the electorate and vote for a 1.25% rise in National Insurance.
The changes, which go against the Conservatives’ manifesto promise not to raise taxes, will mean hard-pressed local families and small businesses will be left paying hundreds of pounds more in tax each year.
Stephen Hammond was one of the 317 Conservative MPs to support the plans. Liberal Democrat MPs voted against the government plans, arguing that they fail to fix the ongoing social care crisis and will fall disproportionately on the young, the low paid and small businesses.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for a cross-party agreement on social care, to find a long-term solution to funding high-quality care for everyone who needs it.
Commenting, Liberal Democrat Councillor Paul Kohler said:
“Stephen Hammond stood on a clear promise at the last election not to raise taxes, including National Insurance. Now they have voted to break that promise by hitting hard-pressed families and small businesses in Wimbledon with a tax hike at a time many are still reeling from the impact of the pandemic.
“The people of Wimbledon deserve better than this. They need an MP who they can trust and who will fight for a fairer deal for our area.
“Unlike Stephen Hammond, the Liberal Democrats opposed these unjust plans in Parliament. We have been clear about how to fix the social care crisis in a fairer way, instead of hiking taxes on those who can least afford it.”
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey MP added:
“The Tories have gone from being the party of low tax to the party of broken promises.
“Conservative MPs have shown that they can’t be trusted and are taking people for granted. It’s little wonder that voters around the country and across the Blue Wall are turning to the Liberal Democrats instead.
“We want to see cross-party talks on how to fund social care in a fair and sustainable way, along with urgent action to fix the staffing crisis in care homes and give unpaid carers the recognition they deserve.”
South Western Railway has launched a consultation on its timetable from December 2022 which closes soon on 19th September [update: our response can be seen here].
With passenger levels forecasted not to return to pre-Covid levels in the near future, the train company is proposing reducing the frequency of its services. Notably they are proposing to reduce the service calling at Motspur Park station by 2 trains per hour off peak to a 4 trains per hour service from the current 6 per hour.
We find the development very concerning. Maintaining the current service level at Motspur Park is essential for our local community and to support environmentally sound transport options. Reducing train services will lead we feel to increases in car journeys which could otherwise be done by train.
Merton Lib Dems will be responding to the consultation outlining our strong concerns and we urge residents opposed to sign our petition.
You can watch Cllr Hina Bokhari and John Oliver outline the changes here -
Merton Liberal Democrat Councillors convinced Labour council bosses to set up a Tenants' Champion scheme to give local renters more information and support.
A successful petition to restore the newly discovered mosaic signage at the Wimbledon Chase Co-op was run by the local Liberal Democrats in Merton.
The West Barnes Lib Dem Focus Team has been informed about the timeline to make Motspur Park Station fully accessible – with works planned to start in late 2022.
On 13 July, we were told: “The outline design stage is underway and due to be complete in March 2022. Detailed design should be completed in November 2022, with work on site due to commence shortly after.”
This follows a long fight to get action on improvements for local stations by residents and the Liberal Democrat Focus team.
West Barnes Cllr Hina Bokhari said:
“We’re so pleased that this is now being done – it will be a real improvement for local people. We were shocked before the last election when the area’s then Conservative councillors went round telling people nothing could be done that Motspur Park could only be made step-free if and when Crossrail 2 went ahead. That complacency probably explains why it’s taken so long.”
Local Liberal Democrats have attacked the Government Planning Inspectorate for its decision to allow an overbearing development on part of the Tesco car park.
The NHS in Merton is currently offering the vaccine to the following groups:
- people aged 30 and over
- people aged 16 and over who are clinically extremely vulnerable (also referred to as high risk), or clinically vulnerable (also referred to as moderate risk) - details of who falls into these categories is available here
- people who live or work in care homes
- health and social care workers
- people who are eligible for Carer's Allowance (more info here)
If you fall into any of these groups you can book a vaccination online here, or for free by calling 119, open 7am-11pm, 7 days a week