Results of Merton’s latest residents’ survey show a record number of residents think Merton Council is efficient and well run (76%).
The survey also reports record satisfaction rates among residents who agree the council is doing a good job, responds quickly when asked for help and involves residents when making decisions.
Over 90% of Merton residents are satisfied with the local area as a place to live, which is significantly better than the national figure (80%). Most residents (96%) feel safe during the day and after dark (85%).
Nearly two thirds of residents agree the council provides value for money (65%), well above the national figure (47%). Seventy-five percent agree the council acts on the concerns of local residents and 81% were in agreement that the council kept them informed about services and benefits.
Significantly more residents said they were satisfied with the leisure and sport facilities compared with when the council asked residents in 2014.
Resident satisfaction with all council services outweighed dissatisfaction, but repair of roads, parking, and street cleanliness in the borough all had lower satisfaction levels than other services. When asked how much of a problem litter was in their local area, 63% of residents said they did not think it was a problem and 37% said it was a fairly big or very big problem.
Merton Council cabinet member for finance Councillor Mark Allison said: “Getting record levels of approval from residents is very pleasing, but as local people ourselves what’s most satisfying is seeing how much pride there is in our community. Everyone knows councils’ finances are tight because the funding we get from the government has been cut, but people can see Merton is careful with their money.
“They know we take a businesslike approach because we want it to be a great place to bring up our families, as well as a place where we look after those who need our help most. They see Merton putting millions into the social care budget, building a new leisure centre and a new library, getting the borough’s best ever school results, with new facilities at every other school and a new secondary school on its way in South Wimbledon.
“But this survey also helps us to see where we need to improve, and after decades of black bags splitting and leaving litter we agree with residents that it’s time to act. Wheelie bins are not everyone’s cup of tea, but we have to listen to what people say, and they will reduce litter, could contribute to nearly £2 million savings per year and are the businesslike approach.
“Residents also need to know that, although we can’t be on every corner, we will have staff on the street, taking a zero tolerance approach to those who litter or fly tip, because we want families to be proud of where they live.”