Green budget to grow by £1.6 million

Merton Councillors say they are giving residents what they want, by redistributing £1.6 million of funding to environmental issues in the new budget, which was set at last nights Full Council meeting. This was a direct result of the views of residents following the ward-by-ward surveys carried out borough wide over the past year.

The areas of growth include addressing street scene and recycling issues. Highlights for improving the street scene include:
· Enhanced street cleaning of the worst effected residential streets and 30 shopping parades/adjacent streets
· Seven day evening sweeping in all town centres
· Install bins outside every school and bus stop
· Install 50 new dog waste bins on the street and empty all dog waste bins daily
· Introduce litter control zones and further increase the number of prosecutions year on year.

There will also be more funding for recycling initiatives such as the introduction of kerbside multi-material recycling scheme for dry recyclables e.g. card, plastics, cans and glass. The first step in implementing this scheme has been to extend the recyclables collected in Lower Morden to include glass – with card, plastics and cans to follow. This will be rolled out across the borough over the next 12 months.

The Council have also had to increase resources to deal with criminal damage and anti-social behaviour in the borough, such as graffiti and fly tipping. They will carry on tackling these problems with the continuation of graffiti removal in line with FLAG initiative. The problems will also be tackled with the detection of offenders and enforcing appropriate sanctions.

Councillor Linda Kirby, Cabinet Member for Environmental Quality, said: “The ward by ward surveys have provided us with feedback about what residents want improved in the borough. Environmental issues have always been of great importance to residents in Merton and I am delighted that this has been reflected in the new budget.

“This is the biggest injection of cash into environmental scheme I’ve ever seen since I was elected in l986. The new initiatives will really help to improve the environmental quality in Merton and the quality of life for residents.”