A quick look at what's happening around the borough over the Christmas and New Year period.
Recycling and rubbish collection dates
If, like many people, you generate more rubbish and recycling than usual over holiday periods, when there’s wrapping paper and boxes to dispose of, we have been told that the Council is operating their “collect all” policy this year. This means that as long as rubbish/recycling is gathered in suitable containers and does not create a nuisance to others, it will be collected.
Local shops and other information
Fight to save Ridgway Stables only just beginning, local community vows
As Ridgway Stables officially closes its doors today (28 September) local community campaigners have vowed that the fight to save the stables 'is only just beginning'.
Ridgway Stables is closing after almost a century, following a decision by the landlords to evict the tenants.
Ridgway Stables has long been a fixture of the Wimbledon Village community, offering affordable and accessible riding lessons for children across Wimbledon.
Stables manager Julia Hardy, who has run the business for 37 years, has devoted her career to making riding accessible to all, especially underprivileged young people in the local area. As well as offering lessons, the stables runs a number of programmes to widen participation in the sport, in partnership with Merton Council, Camp Beaumont and several local schools.
Rights of people living/working in the UK who happen to be EU nationals
The Government has recently announced that all 3 million EU citizens resident in Britain will have to apply for inclusion on a “settled status” register if they want to stay in the country after Brexit.
Those living in the UK for at least five years will have two years to apply for “settled status”. Any EU citizens who arrived before the cut-off point will be given “blanket permission” to stay for around 2 years, and then will be able to gain “settled status” when they’ve been here for 5 years in total. During that two year “blanket permission” period, they will need to apply for a temporary residence document from the Home Office, and then again for "settled status" when they've been here for 5 years.
We say: this offers little in the way of reassurance to EU citizens who have made Britain their home, and continues to use them as bargaining chips. It also risks the rights of Brits abroad.
Local Liberal Democrats are backing Geoff Cooper in the St Helier Ward by-election on 20 July.
The by-election was called after the resignation of a Labour councillor who is under investigation by the Solicitors Regulation Authority due to "suspicion of dishonesty".
Across the country the Lib Dems went forward, increasing their number of MPs to 12. In South West London the Lib Dems returned 3 MPs, including Vince Cable who is expected to take up the role of party leader over the Summer.
Lib Dems also narrowly lost out on returning by-election winner Sarah Olney to parliament in Richmond Park, with just 45 votes in it.
Locally, in Wimbledon the Lib Dems, Carl Quilliam increased the total number of votes and the overall percentage, securing double the Lib Dems’ national vote share and achieving one of the best results for the party in London.
In Mitcham & Morden, the total number of votes and the vote share were up, with Claire Mathys, the party's candidate moving up to 3rd.
Lib Dems campaign to scrap dementia tax which would hit 98% of homes in Merton
98% of homes in Merton could be eligible for sale to meet Theresa May’s so-called 'dementia tax', research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.
Responding to Theresa May's announcement today on social care, in which she said "nothing has changed," Lib Dem parliamentary candidates Carl Quilliam and Claire Mathys have urged Merton residents, irrespective of their party affiliation, to join a campaign to stop the Conservative social care plans which would saddle those with long-term illnesses with crippling care costs after their death.
The Liberal Democrats are calling for a penny on income tax to boost funding for the NHS and social care by £6bn a year, as well as a £72,000 cap to protect people from crippling care costs. In contrast, the Tories have lived up to Theresa May's own description of themselves, as the "nasty party", by cynically refusing to reveal the level of any cap they might introduce until after the election.
Today we launched the fully-costed Lib Dem election Manifesto - here it is!
The one thing? We think this is a manifesto that puts freedom and opportunity at its heart.
We think the highlights are:
- Extra investment for apprenticeships
- £7bn more for education - key to boosting opportunities in life
- A plan to help more people own their own homes through rent-to-buy.
But don't take our word for it, have a look yourself here.
We know that Labour and Conservative plans just don't stack up because they're leading us to a hard Brexit. Nothing is more important to our children’s future than Brexit.
A bad Brexit deal, with Britain outside the Single Market, will damage that future for our children. We must support the trade, jobs and taxes that keep our health and social care systems running.
We'd love to hear what you think about our manifesto, drop us a line at [email protected]. And if you can help us fight for this, please sign up to the campaign here.
The Liberal Democrats have announced they will invest £28,919,151 more in schools and colleges in Merton over the next parliament.
The funding would reverse cuts to front-line school and college budgets, protect per pupil funding in real terms and ensure no school loses out from changes to funding arrangements.
£1.2 million of the funding would be spent on protecting the Pupil Premium, introduced by the Liberal Democrats to support schools in helping children from the least well-off families.
Labour has no Wimbledon candidate with just a few weeks until the General Election.
Labour has yet to find anyone willing to stand in Wimbledon with the General Election just weeks away. The news has been revealed by the Liberal Democrats, who say that it shows Labour has “given up”, even in seats like Wimbledon, where it has previously had an MP.
There are over 340 constituencies Labour has still not selected for in England, including 28 in London.
In contrast the Liberal Democrats have selected 92% of their candidates in England.
Liberal Democrat candidate Carl Quilliam said:
“It seems that Labour have simply given up on places like Wimbledon.
“This election is now clearly a two-horse race between the Liberal Democrats and the hard Brexit Conservatives.
“Labour claimed to be prepared for a General Election, but many of their approved candidates are simply refusing to run under Jeremy Corbyn's banner. Labour's candidate in Wimbledon for the last two elections told The Guardian newspaper: "It is obvious from my experience that the policies espoused by Jeremy Corbyn only appeal to a small minority of the electorate." I agree with him!
“By backing the Tories on Brexit, making the UK poorer, Labour are letting us down on the NHS, local services and education.
“Every Government needs to be held to account and the Liberal Democrats are the real voice of opposition - nationally and here in Merton.
“If you want to ensure our country has a real opposition, the Liberal Democrats are the only choice in Wimbledon."
In a joint statement, the Lib Dem parliamentary team for Wimbledon and Mitcham & Morden have said that only the Liberal Democrats can prevent a hard Brexit and protect the local economy.
The Prime Minister today [Tuesday] called a snap General Election to be held on the 8th June.
The Liberal Democrats are standing on a clear platform to prevent a hard Brexit by staying in the Single Market, and to give the British people the final say on the Brexit deal through a referendum.
Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Wimbledon, Carl Quilliam commented:
“This election is a huge opportunity for voters in Merton to change the direction of our country and prevent a disastrous hard Brexit.
“People across Merton - and Wimbledon particularly - voted decisively to remain in the EU. They certainly did not vote for the extreme form of Brexit that Theresa May has imposed on us after being backed by Labour. The amazing Lib Dem victory in the Richmond Park by-election in December shows that people do not want this and will vote against it.
“In Wimbledon, our Conservative MP has left his "Remain" voting constituents voiceless - voting against our membership of the Single Market & against the rights of EU citizens living & working here.
"The Liberal Democrats are the real opposition to the Conservative Hard Brexit Government and the only party fighting for a Britain that is open, tolerant and united."
Claire Mathys, Parliamentary spokesperson for Mitcham & Morden added:
“For all those who want to protect our local economy by staying in the Single Market and ensure the people have the final say over what comes next, this is your chance.
"Britain needs an Opposition that will really stand up to the Tories. Labour is simply not up to the job."