Merton Cabinet refocuses to match residents’ needs

Merton Council this week agreed the revised composition of its Cabinet to ensure that it fully reflects and addresses the evolving priorities of residents.

The changes agreed by full council mean that from this week a number of different councillors will take over responsibility for different issues. Whilst some Cabinet roles remain the same, certain portfolios which previously incorporated more than one key area have now been split up and redeveloped to ensure crucial issues of concern or interest to residents can be more prominent in the councillors’ work.

There are still nine members of the cabinet and two assistant cabinet members for the larger portfolios. Councillor David Williams remains Leader of the Council and Councillor Samantha George continues to take on the role of Deputy Leader.

Regeneration, the environment, community safety and engagement and traffic management are some of the areas of renewed focus reflected by the new Cabinet portfolios. Issues covered by these posts range from regeneration and neighbourhood renewal initiatives, to implementing the ‘green’ agenda, including increased recycling rates and improvements to the street scene. Building stronger community partnerships and reducing anti social behaviour will also be part of the agenda. The high priority being given by the Council to local traffic issues is shown by the decoupling of the Traffic Management post from the environment portfolio.

A new position of Assistant Cabinet Member for Schools will assist the Cabinet member on issues such as the primary school programme, school meals and sports and exercise. This post will allow more time for the lead on Children’s Services to focus on the wider strategic education issues across Merton as a whole.

Councillor David Williams, Leader of Merton Council comments:

“To ensure we are able to put the needs of our residents first it is crucial we listen to what their major issues of interest and concern are and reflect these evolving priorities through the work we do.

“For example, from residents surveys, panels and other feedback we know that one key area of concern is regeneration, and this will be addressed through its own Cabinet member but also a number of the other Cabinet posts, whether Environment, Community Services or Traffic Management. Changing the Cabinet in this way means we can take better account of residents’ points of view and ultimately bring them good value for money services.”