Merton Council is holding a number of public meetings this Local Democracy Week to encourage residents to find out what is new in their neighbourhoods and to share their views with councillors.
These include overview and scrutiny panels, and the joint consultative committee with ethnic minority organisations.
On Thursday 16 October the Merton Partnership – the borough’s Local Strategic Partnership made up of Merton Council, the local MPs, Merton Police, Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust and other voluntary, public and private sector bodies – will debate the ways that Merton can take full advantage of all the opportunities provided by the London 2012 Olympics. Council Leader David Williams will be at the meeting to answer any questions residents might have.
Young politicians are also getting involved in Local Democracy Week, giving up their weekend on Saturday 18 October to take part in an all day event meeting councillors, discussing local issues and working on The Right Stuff – a play focusing on human rights.
The Merton Youth Parliament will be meeting up earlier in the week at Wimbledon’s Odeon cinema on Monday 13 October to watch Bamako – an internationally acclaimed African film set in Mali. Meanwhile, the needs of young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender residents (LGBT) was the focus of the LGBT Forum which met on Wednesday 8 October.
Merton Council’s cabinet member for community safety and engagement Councillor Tariq Ahmad said: “It is very important to involve young people in politics and I have written to schools across Merton highlighting Local Democracy Week and encouraging staff to invite their local councillors in to come and talk to pupils.
“Council Leader David Williams has also written to residents associations across the borough encouraging people to find out more about becoming a councillor. The more that residents are involved in politics and share their views with us the more we can make sure we are putting their needs first and providing them with the best value services possible.”