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 15 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 local people 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 that residents are concerned with.

Previous reviews have covered issues ranging from highway maintenance to local nursing homes to fear of crime, which has recently been investigated. These and other reviews, as well as further information about Overview and Scrutiny, are available on the Merton Council website

Overview and Scrutiny Commission Chair Peter Southgate said: “Residents are the ones who live in the borough and experience it in all its aspects every day of their lives, so listening to their views on the issues that matter most to them, whether the responsibility of Merton Council or any other public sector organisation, is vital to making recommendations and meeting their needs.

“We need them to tell us how and where they want things to be better so that we can review the situation and recommend ways to improve the local area and provide them with the best services possible.’

Anyone wanting to suggest a service or an issue which they think should be scrutinised and improved should contact Scrutiny Manager Julia Regan on 020 8545 3864 or email Ideas are not limited to council services but anything that could affect people living in Merton.


Notes To Editors:

·’Overview and scrutiny’ describes the way Merton’s non-executive councillors hold the council’s cabinet to account to make sure that they take the right decisions for the Borough. Overview and scrutiny councillors also review council services and issues of local concern to find out how the council can improve or develop policy to meet the needs of local people.

·Merton has four overview and scrutiny panels, which are each responsible for focussing on a specific area of council policy and local issues, and a Commission that focuses on cross-cutting strategic issues.

·The issues raised in this campaign will be submitted to Merton’s overview and scrutiny councillors in June 2009 for consideration in their 2009-20010 work programme. If selected, Merton Council’s overview and scrutiny panels will carry out the reviews.

·The panels’ findings and recommendations for improvement resulting from the reviews will be submitted to the council’s cabinet for consideration, agreement and implementation.

·Overview and scrutiny panels are not able to consider individual service complaints or matters that are dealt with by another council committee, unless the issue deals with procedure. Suggestion for reviews should meet the following criteria: affect a group of people living within the Merton Borough area; relate to a service, event or issue in which the council has a significant stake or over which the council has an influence; and should not be an issue which overview and scrutiny has considered during the last 12 months.