Merton Council’s end of year performance 2008/09 shows significant improvements in key areas of residents concerns despite challenging times.
The results, which are rated against targets and monitored on a monthly basis, show that despite financial challenges Merton is still managing to tackle its residents main concerns of crime, education, council efficiency and litter and waste.
Merton remains one of the safest boroughs in London and continues to be an area where the borough performs well. In the last year its ‘Parklife’ initiative, established to tackle anti-social behaviour within King Georges park, was awarded third place in the Safer London problem-solving awards. It was also nominated for a national ‘Tilley’ award for its work on gangs. The Safer Merton partnership working with Wandsworth Council and the police has also seen recent success and regional award recognition with the Wimbledon tennis dispersal zone to counteract ticket touting and anti-social behaviour.
Secondary school education in Merton is another area of success and has seen year on year improvements and final results show Merton as top in the country for overall percentage improvement in GCSE’s.
The results indicated that environmental performance is also greatly improving with recycling rates going up from 23.4% to 30.2%. Making the council a cleaner and more pleasant place to live, the council also exceeded its targets for the percentage of sites checked with little or no fly-posting and little or no graffiti. Merton also performed well on the time it took to remove illegal flyers and graffiti.
Other key areas of improvements were linked to the value for money and running of the council, with almost £6million (£5.9m) of efficiency savings made across the council in 2008/09. The number of residents agreeing the council is efficient and well run also increased by 5% to 65% in the 2008/09 annual residents survey.
Merton also saw a large increase in newly built affordable homes with 608 homes built over the last two years.
Councillor Samantha George, Merton Council deputy leader and cabinet member for change management and performance said:
‘ These improvements over the last year are testament to the ongoing hard work that ensures the council can address residents needs and concerns even through these challenging financial times. The council understands how important education, the environment and feeling safe are to residents and so the fact these areas have all seen excellent improvements is a great result for Merton.’
For further information about the council’s performance please see the report to cabinet http://www.merton.gov.uk/democratic_services/ds-agendas/ds-fpreports/789.pdf