1. Everyone knows that Merton Council is failing to keep the streets clean.
Since last April, a new company - Veolia - has been responsible for cleaning our streets and collecting our rubbish.
Recent figures obtained by the local Lib Dems have revealed a shocking complacency. 4,792 instances of flytipping were reported to Labour Council bosses between January and September 2017, and yet only 18 fines were issued. For full details of Merton's shock flytipping figures, click here.
2. Whilst Merton’s litter problem is getting worse, residents are concerned about plans to bring in fortnightly waste collection.
The local Lib Dem team have been calling for the Council to commit to maintaining a weekly collection for hygiene waste such as nappies. For full details of our call for action on weekly waste collections, click here.
The petition launched by the local Lib Dems to keep children's football league free, has had a massive response from parents and residents.
Voluntary organisation Raynes Park Little League has played on Sir Joseph Hood Memorial playing fields for more than fifty years, but now they could have to fork out in excess of £4,000 per year, owing to Merton Council's contract with private company Id Verde which is proposing the changes.
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.