Merton shortlisted for local government achievement award

The Safer Merton Partnership, of which Merton Council is a member, has been shortlisted by the Muncipal Journal (MJ) for the Local Government Achievement Awards 2012.

The Safer Merton Partnership was shortlisted in the legal services category for its successful closure order of two illegal squats in the borough, including the eviction of the squatters. The shortlisting recognises the council and Police decision to successfully issue a rare double premises closure order – a first for both Merton Council and the local police.

It also recognises the effective joined up working of various council departments in partnership with the local police and the courts to ensure a safer neighbourhood.

Council departments, including the anti-social behaviour unit and the safer neighbourhood, environmental health and legal teams, in partnership with the Police and other partners, worked together with the local community to achieve the eviction.

Twenty squatters had taken over two adjoining houses in the borough and were making the lives of local residents very difficult and the local environment unpleasant.

Merton Council cabinet member for community safety, engagement and equalities, Councillor Edith Macauley, said: “Being shortlisted for this award is testament to the hard work and effective partnership working of numerous council teams, the police and the courts.

“Residents also played a pivotal role in the successful outcome of this case, so this is a successful story of council, police and the community working together effectively. We will always maintain our borough as a place where people want to live and work.”

Michael Burton, MJ editorial director, said: “We’ve had a fantastic response to our awards this year from local government teams across the UK and a large amount of innovation shown by councils.”

Notes to editors:
The MJ Awards will be held in London on 21 June. For more information, please visit:

Merton’s recognition relates to work carried out by the Safer Merton Community Safety Partnership. Main partners include the Police and the council as this was a multi-agency approach to resolve a specific issue (the granting of two premises closure orders to deal with the squats).