Leader and cabinet take action to address street cleanliness

The Leader of Merton Council and the Managing Director of Veolia UK met on Thursday 15 to visit a number of streets across the borough.

Cllr Ross Garrod, who was confirmed as Leader of the Council last month, was accompanied by Cabinet Member for Local Environment, Green Spaces and Climate, Cllrs Natasha Irons, as he met Pascal Hauret, Managing Director of Veolia UK.

In February, Merton Council issued Veolia UK with a Service Improvement Notice following, “significant and ongoing concerns” over the quality of street cleaning services in the borough.

This is a top priority for the new administration and following a meeting called by Cllr Garrod within the first few days of him taking office, Veolia’s Managing Director has worked with the council and provided an action plan, to address the concern raised by the leader, and the issues set out within the Service Improvement Notice.

As a result, Veolia has proposed a series of improvements, including funding for five additional barrow sweepers for Merton, a new crew to work at night to collect rubbish left in town centres and shopping parades, and the installation of 10 storage units for green sacks.

The plan also includes an improved deep clean service on our roads.

You can view the full Veolia Action Plan here.

Cllr Garrod said: “Following my appointment as Leader, I’ve been taking immediate action on the waste situation in the borough, working closely with Councillor Irons to expand on her work and make sure we have a clean borough that residents can be proud of.

“There is no doubt that services have fallen short of the standards residents expect, and we’re working with Veolia to to see urgent change. One of my first actions was to call a meeting with Veolia’s leadership to make clear my concerns.

“Following this, their Managing Director has supplied us with an action plan responding to the concerns we’ve raised, and I hope we will now see a sharp improvement over the next few weeks. While we know the service has fallen short in the past, we now have a strong action plan and we will work with Veolia to drive the improvements on street cleanliness for residents.”

Cllr Natasha Irons added: “We know the cleanliness of our streets is residents’ top priority. After issuing the Service Improvement Notice in February, I’m encouraged to see our concerns have been addressed in the action plan. We will be holding weekly meetings with the Managing Director of Veolia to ensure that the action plan is enacted and that the commitments are delivered on for our residents.