Leader’s update for residents

By Councillor Ross Garrod, Leader of the Council

Following my election as Leader of Merton Council this week, I wanted to introduce myself and to let you know what we’ll be doing to address the things that matter to you.

Firstly, it’s a huge privilege to lead the council in the borough I grew up in. My family and friends are all in the area, and it’s always been my home, so the opportunity to help shape the future locally is something I take great pride in.

To help achieve our ambition of making Merton even better, I have appointed a team of nine colleagues as Cabinet Members, with each leading on a key area for local services, such as civic pride, local environment, transport, housing. You can find the Cabinet Member for each area here.

We will work to improve the things that matter to you, with you, from the ground up – from cleaner streets and greener spaces to more affordable housing and sustainable transport, as well as improving opportunities for everyone to be active in our fantastic sporting borough.

We know there are challenges ahead, including the cost-of-living crisis which is hitting the hardest those who can least afford it. I can promise you that we will be there to support our residents every step of the way.

Although we only formally took office last night, we’ve already rolled up our sleeves and got to work. Last week, I met with a senior representative from Veolia, the company responsible for waste collection & recycling in the borough and keeping our streets clean. I made it clear that their performance needs to improve, as a matter of urgency.

I also met Clarion Housing management, along with Deputy Leader Councillor Eleanor Stringer, at one of the estates they are responsible for. I wanted to see first-hand some of the local improvements needed, as well as the progress being made with the regeneration of the High Path estate.

This reflects our goal of building a better borough for everyone. There is so much to be proud of in Merton  – in particular, we will be focussing on making the most of the great sporting opportunities available locally and helping to create a real buzz about popular local events, particularly in our parks.

And I can promise we will be doing even more to deliver on the things that matter to you.

I look forward to updating you again soon, and to meeting as many of you as possible over the coming months.