COVID-19: Information for residents

This page is no longer being updated. Please visit merton.gov.uk/coronavirus for up-to-date information.

 

Update: Thursday 26 March 2020

Latest service information:

Merton Civic Centre will close to the public from 5pm today 

In line with the government’s new measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, we have made the very difficult decision to close Merton Civic Centre to the public from 5pm today (Wednesday 25 March), until further notice.

We are continuing to work hard to provide vital services and to ensure our most vulnerable residents are supported. Alternative arrangements have been put in place for residents who require face to face services and we will provide further updates with details on this as soon as possible.

If you can, we ask you to make full use of our website, instead of phoning the council, as this gives us more capacity to speak to those who cannot access online services.

We appreciate your patience and support. Please stay tuned to this webpage and our Facebook and Twitter pages for further updates.

Adult Social Care

  • Adult Social Care: Call 020 8545 4388 between 9.30am and 1.30pm Monday to Friday. This includes sharing concerns relating to safeguarding.
  • Crisis Line: Emergencies only between 1.30-5pm Monday to Friday, please call 07903 235382.
  • Safeguarding adult concerns: Call 0845 618 9762 (24hr number) or email adults@merton.gov.uk
  • Learning Disabilities Team: If you need to talk to a duty worker, please email sslddutyteam@merton.gov.uk or phone on 020 8545 4529. For out of hours emergency support (after 5pm and at weekends) please call 020 8770 5000.
  • Following the recommendations on social distancing from government, our Social Care Teams have very limited capacity. This means there may be a delay replying to your enquiry. Please bear with us and be assured that we will get back to you as soon as possible.
  • Home visits have been limited to the most vulnerable who do not have support from family and friends.
  • Rather than face-to-face visits, clients will receive phone calls.

Housing

  • For people who wish to present as homeless, call 020 8545 3636 between 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.
  • For out of hours housing emergencies phone 020 8770 5000.

Parks and greenspaces

Closure of playgrounds and outdoor gyms:

  • All outdoor gyms and playgrounds in our parks have now been closed until further notice.
  • Please help us to keep everyone safe at this time.

Parks and greenspaces social distancing:

  • Currently all of Merton’s parks and greenspaces remain open.
  • We request that all residents using the parks and greenspaces ensure that they are careful to observe social distancing guidelines at all times, remaining a minimum of two metres apart from others.

 Events

  • A number of events in our parks have been cancelled, including Rough-Runner and the Wimbledon Park Easter funfair, whilst other events have been postponed. Please continue to check this webpage for updated information.
  • Other Merton events have also been either cancelled or postponed, please check with the events organiser, contact details can be found on the Merton events calendar.

Recycling and Rubbish

Recycling and waste collections:

  • Currently services are operating with no significant disruption.

Bulky waste collection service (paid-for):

  • Bulky waste collection bookings have been suspended to allow crew members to be re-deployed to support other priority services.
  • We will endeavour to complete any outstanding bookings. If you have bulky waste items, please store these securely in your home until we are able to reinstate the bulky waste collection service. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Recycling and waste container deliveries:

  • Deliveries of recycling and waste containers are suspended until further notice – we will try to complete any outstanding requests.
  • New container requests will only be taken in exceptional circumstances.

Garth Road Household Reuse and Recycling Centre (‘the tip’):

  • Garth Road reuse and recycling centre is closed. Please store and dispose of household waste in the normal manner and securely store bulky waste items until our services resume.
  • Do not leave your waste at the entrance of Garth Road reuse and recycling centre, this will be treated as fly-tipping and you may be prosecuted.

Households that are self-isolating should follow the government’s ‘Stay at home’ advice which states:

  • Store personal waste, such as used tissues and disposable cleaning cloths, within disposable rubbish bags.
  • Place these bags into a second bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste.
  • These bags should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external general waste bin.
  • Please do not take this waste to your local Household Reuse and Recycling Centre
  • Please dispose of your other household waste as normal.

It is more important than ever to ensure that you do everything you can to minimise the amount of waste you produce, that recycling is clean and dry, and that rubbish bags are all securely tied to help prevent spills and protect our collection teams and the public. Thank you for your continued support.


Young People

Schools:

  • Merton’s schools are now closed until further notice and are only open, under different arrangements, to the children of critical workers and children who are vulnerable. This applies across the age range from early years to 6th form and FE provision and includes independent and boarding schools.
  • If your work is not critical in the response to Coronavirus then please keep your child at home.

Children’s Centres: 

  • Church Road, Acacia, Steers Mead, Newminster and Lower Morden are open for health and midwifery services only.
  • However, as staffing levels may be affected by illness or self-isolation, this may be subject to change.

School allocations:

  • Allocations for places in our Reception classes will still be going ahead as planned. If you have applied, please watch out for an update soon.

Mental health and counselling support for young people:

  • CAMHS : We continue to offer a crises/duty line 0800 292 2505/0208 254 8061 from 9am-5pm which young people or families can contact for advice and support if they have concerns. In addition they can contact the trust mental health support line out of hours on 0203 228 5980. It is likely that the service may change in coming weeks. However we will continue to provide a service for young people who need urgent support. A crisis line will also continue to operate.

  • Off the Record: The team at Off the Record are committed to continuing to support young people throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Face to face counselling services have stopped and we are moving to telephone contact instead.

Adult Learning:

  • In line with the announcement from The Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Education on Wednesday 18 March, all adult learning courses will stop on Friday 20 March until further notice.
  • We are working with our providers to establish a different way of bringing learning to you, and ensuring that learning opportunities can continue. We appreciate these are unprecedented times, and thank you for bearing with us. Visit our Adult Learning pages for further information.

Leisure centres and gyms:

  • In line with government orders, have closed our leisure centres and gyms. Visit Better’s website for more information.

Council meetings:

All council meetings cancelled with immediate effect until the end of April.

Planning decisions: Despite the cancellation of council meetings, we must continue to make decisions on planning applications. It has been suggested that we delegate decision-making powers to officers. This is not our preferred option, we favour maintaining the democratic accountability of member-made decisions by allowing our planning committee to meet digitally. However, we are not able to go down this route until the government legislates to allow for digital council meetings. We are aware that there is an amendment to the emergency Coronavirus legislation that will allow us to do this. If and when this amendment is passed into law, we will work to implement digital meetings as soon as possible.

Adult Social Care:

  • All our care services are currently running as normal.
  • Leyton Road Day Centre in Colliers Wood, All Saints Day Centre in South Wimbledon and Eastway Day Centre in Morden are all closed.
  • Home-based care is still being provided as normal – care staff will continue to adopt the necessary hygiene and safety measures, including hand washing.
  • We are working to plan for staff shortages as the virus spreads.

Libraries:

  • All libraries will close from 7pm on Friday 20 March.
  • The Home Visits Library Service will continue to run, subject to volunteers availability, to help support our vulnerable residents.
  • The library service has enhanced its online services, making it even easier for residents to use the free resources. Visit Merton Libraries website for the latest information.

Parking:

For information on parking in Merton and to apply for a parking permit, please visit our parking webpage. If you have a query which is not answered online or need to request an application form is sent to you in the post, you can call our parking permits team on 020 8545 4661. Please do not visit the civic centre.

Domestic abuse and hate crime support

Hate crime advice surgery:

  • Monthly hate crime advice surgery drop-in sessions, held at Merton Civic Centre have been cancelled until further notice.
  • If you have experienced any type of hate crime, there are online and phone services that can give you the advice and support you, without having to go out.

Third party reporting:

  • A variety of organisations in Merton have signed up to become hate crime third party reporting centres and have been trained to assist people in submitting a report to the police, and can make a report on your behalf. You can talk to these organisations over the phone to get support without having to leave your house.

Please visit our hate crime advice webpage for more information on available support.

One Stop Shop – Domestic Abuse service:

The One Stop Shop is currently suspended. Please be assured that you can still access our services using the following details or visit merton.gov.uk/DomesticViolence:

  • Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA): 020 7801 1777
  • Victim Support: 0808 168 9111
  • Legal advice relating to domestic abuse: 020 8543 3302
  • Refuge: 020 8943 8188
  • RASASC (if you have experienced any kind of sexual violence): 07437 330 784 by text or Whatsapp.

Registration services:

  • We have closed Morden Park House for viewings, document collections and in-person certificate orders. All documents will be posted at our expense. You can order certificates online.
  • All weddings until the end of April have been cancelled. We have notified all those who had bookings with us.
  • Anyone who has a wedding booked after April can now suspend their booking to be rebooked at a later date free of charge. Alternatively, you can cancel for a full refund.
  • We have suspended all citizenship ceremonies.

How you can help your community

As the numbers of COVID-19 cases increase, it’s important that we lookout for the most vulnerable residents in the borough. Some of those who are most at risk will require some practical assistance so, if you are willing and able to help, here are some steps you can take to support those in need.

  1. Connect and reach out to your neighbours – As self-isolation increases we will need to find new ways to stay in touch with neighbours to check on their physical and mental health. Share contact details and stay in touch.
  2. Make the most of local online groups – Keep up to date, share information and be a positive part of your local community conversations.
  3. Support vulnerable or isolated people – Different groups in our community are at increased risk, and social isolation and loneliness are key concerns for all age groups. There are things you can do like volunteering and donating to foodbanks. See below for more information on how you can volunteer in Merton.
  4. Share accurate information and advice – Support anyone who may be anxious about Covid-19. Sign post them to the correct advice from Public Health England and encourage people to follow the correct hygiene practices.

Help from voluntary organisations

Merton Voluntary Service Council (MVSC), together with the voluntary sector in the borough, have mobilised a volunteer taskforce to help isolated households and those at risk from COVID-19. Anyone who puts themselves forward may be asked to support people who are currently unable to leave their home. If you are able to volunteer, please contact the volunteer taskforce at volunteer@mvsc.co.uk to offer your services. If you think you might need help, or you know someone who does, email help@mvsc.co.uk or call 020 8685 2272 between 10am–4pm, Monday–Friday.

The Merton Giving Coronavirus Fund will provide monetary grants to charities working locally to help support volunteers to help isolated households and those at risk from COVID-19. You can give online here.

Many other local organisations are also offering support to their communities including:

Organisation Support offered
Wimbledon Guild Talking therapies, grief support and wellbeing support
Commonside Trust Providing support and assistance to vulnerable individuals and families in Pollards Hill. Call 020 8764 9582 or email
Wimbledon Foodbank Part of a nationwide network of foodbanks, supported by The Trussell Trust, working to combat poverty and hunger across the UK
Merton Mutual Aid A grassroots community organising network established to support vulnerable Merton residents during the COVID-19 crisis.

Financial support for individuals

Council tax support:

  • If your income has been affected by COVID-19, you may be eligible for council tax support. You can find out more about eligibility and how to claim on our council tax support page.

Local Welfare Support Scheme:

  • We have a limited fund to support the most vulnerable Merton residents with short term severe financial difficulties. These grants are usually emergency payments to pay for food, heating, hot water and/or essential household items.
  • Find out about eligibility and how to apply on our Local Welfare Support Scheme webpage.