Merton Council gives residents a voice

Merton residents have the chance to put services in the borough under the microscope and have their say on how they can be improved over the next few months – but they must act before the 30 May deadline.

Local councillors on Merton Council’s overview and scrutiny panels regularly carry out reviews of issues and services that affect people living in the borough. These reviews involve finding out about local people’s experiences and looking at how other towns and cities deal with the same problems. Councillors then suggest ways of making things better in Merton.

Merton Council is counting on locals to speak out and say which issues the council should focus on in order to improve the quality of life of people living in the borough. These don’t have to be just issues associated with council services – they could be anything in the borough residents are concerned with.

Previous reviews have covered leisure centres, access to healthcare, recruitment and community involvement. The recommendations put forward by these reviews have changed the way the council operates, for example this latter review has brought about the change from the old Area Forums to new Community Forums which will improve the way local people influence the council and other agencies. Information about this and other reviews, as well as further details about scrutiny at Merton, are available on the Merton Council website

Overview and Scrutiny Commission Chair Peter Southgate said: “Listening to residents’ views on the services Merton Council provides is vital if scrutiny councillors are to be able to recommend changes to improve them and meet residents’ needs.

“It is the people who use our services who are the best judges on their effectiveness. We need them to tell us how and where they want us to do better so that we can review the services and recommend ways to provide them with the best services possible and value for money.’

Anyone wanting to suggest a service or an issue which they think should be scrutinised and improved should contact Acting Scrutiny Manager Barbara Jarvis on 020 8545 3390 or email